Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Quiet beachfront resort with a Greek-meets-islandy flair
Built in the 80s, the CuisinArt Resort & Spa was one of the first luxury resorts on Anguilla and even today is one of few on the tiny Caribbean island. The hotel impresses upon entrance; pretty domed buildings -- reminiscent of those in the Grecian islands -- dot the lush, sprawling grounds, and high ceilings create an airy atmosphere that fits in well with Anguilla's laid-back island vibe. The decor also incorporates an island theme -- brightly-colored furniture and floral prints are prevalent -- but seems a bit dated to some. Nonetheless, the gourmet restaurants, island's only golf course, and a large, modern spa made this a quality luxury pick.
Considering its small size and difficult-to-reach location, Anguilla attracts mostly couples and families looking for a tranquil vacation. At CuisinArt, guests can participate in activities such as cooking classes, wine tastings, fitness classes, and golf. Though these are geared largely towards adults, families can certainly find plenty to do at the resort; there are on-site tennis courts, and non-motorized water sports are offered at the hotel's white-sand beach. The beach is certainly beautiful -- and has the white sand and turquoise waters visitors come to the Caribbean to see -- but it's not as wide or nice as the one at the nearby Viceroy Anguilla, a newer property with a sleeker, more modern vibe.
On the tiny island of Anguilla
The CuisinArt Resort sits on a white-sand beach along the three-mile stretch of Rendezvous Bay. On the western side of the island, the resort is within easy reach of other luxury properties -- such as the Viceroy -- and is adjacent to its own 18-hole golf course, the only course on the tiny island.
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.
Gourmet restaurants are a highlight at this resort.
As a CuisinArt property, the hotel prides itself on its food -- and for good reason. On-site dining options include a Japanese restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a Mediterranean restaurant, a poolside cafe, a beach grill, and a lobby bar. Though many foods must be imported to the island, the menus here boast fresh seafood as well as ingredients from the hotel's hydroponic farm -- a rare find not only in the Caribbean but at hotels in general. The restaurant decor, like the decor throughout the hotel, feels more island-y than upscale, but contributes to the relaxed atmosphere.
The CuisinArt, one of the best-known resorts in Anguilla, is a sprawling beachfront property dotted by white, Grecian-like buildings. It features numerous amenities, from an extensive spa to the only golf course on the island, but the real standout here (not surprisingly given its CuisinArt ownership) is the food; several on-site restaurants offer gourmet meals with a focus on fresh ingredients from the resort's hydroponic farm, and guests can nosh on Japanese, Italian, or Mediterranean fare. Though the hotel manages to exude an upscale vibe through its beautiful open layout and luxurious services, rooms don't feel quite up to par: Tiled floors and somewhat kitschy island decor leaves them feeling dated, despite modern features such as flat-screen TVs and free Internet access. At least partial ocean views can be seen from each of the 93 rooms, however, and the nice beach offers activities such as non-motorized water sports and snorkeling.
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