Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A small, charming property with Caribbean flair, a wide range of amenities, and access to a gorgeous beach
In 2010, Anguilla-based consulting firm Ricketts & Associates purchased the Sirena Resort and Suites, a rundown budget property with lots of potential. The rooms received the first wave of renovations, and were upgraded with new furnishings, iPod docks, large flat-screen TVs with dozens of channels, Frette linens, and empty mini-fridges. They still feel a little rough around the edges, though -- with the occasional mini-fridge awkwardly placed on a wooden box in a corner of the room -- but overall, the island-style decor and pops of color feel more charming than cheap. Some bathrooms, however, were left mostly untouched, and are in need of an urgent update. They’re all spacious and have locally made toiletries, but most have dated-looking tiling and showers only. Other improvements to the property included wireless Internet and fresh coats of paint.
The sight of chickens and hens roaming the property may not be a welcome surprise to some, but the Anacaona is not as rustic as it may seem. Lush tropical grounds are neatly landscaped with frangipani and dozens of different flowers, and guests can enjoy rope hammocks hanging between palm trees.
The Anacaona offers more bang for your buck than many other mid-range hotels in Anguilla. It features two small pools; a great restaurant; a small, basic spa with a few salon services, and live entertainment once a week (though for a fee, even for guests). Great freebies, such as free Wi-Fi and free snorkeling equipment, add to the value.
The highlight here is arguably the beach. A five-minute walk through an off-property path puts gests on a gorgeous one-mile beach on Meads Bay, one of the most coveted stretches of sand on the island for its fine white sand and turquoise waters. It is the same one the Viceroy Anguilla guests enjoy, but guests here can experience it for a lot less money. The property offers beach service, as well as a massage hut right on the sand, and free use of towels, loungers, and umbrellas.
In the heart of West End, home to beautiful beaches and several restaurants
The Anacaona is located in the heart of Anguilla’s popular West End, where locals and tourist come to play, both literally and figuratively -- the area is home to the island’s only golf course, as well as to a number of restaurants and beach bars. The main attraction in Anguilla, besides the Heritage Museum Collection and a few other sights, are its powdery beaches -- and there’s no lack of those in this area (there are more than 30). Meads Bay is one of Anguilla’s prettiest stretches of sand, and a having a drink on the sand at sunset is one of the most popular activities here.
Anguilla is a small British territory in the Caribbean that covers fewer than 40 square miles. It's less built up than many Caribbean islands, and exudes an upscale vibe -- perhaps due in part to the fact that it is harder to get to than other nearby islands. Visitors must either fly to St. Martin and take a short ferry to the island, or fly in directly (by way of a small seaplane) from San Juan Puerto Rico.
Because of its size, there are few attractions, hotels, shops, and restaurants on the island. Most gourmet restaurants are at hotels, and restaurants are often very expensive as almost everything has to be imported. But Anguilla is a gorgeous place with beautiful white-sand beaches and turquoise waters (great for snorkeling), and it has the happy-go-lucky vibe the Caribbean is known for.
The 27-room Anacaona is a solid mid-range option in Anguilla’s West End. It offers access to the same gorgeous white-sand beach as the neighboring Viceroy -- through an off-property path -- as well as to the nearby Greg Norman’s golf course and a few restaurants. Rooms are large and airy, and have great amenities, including large flat-screen TVs with dozens of channels, iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, and Frette linens. But most bathrooms are lackluster, with old tiling and fixtures. With two small pools, free snorkeling equipment, a great restaurant serving Caribbean fare with a twist, and a massage hut on the beach, the hotel is a good pick for value.