Review: The Four Seasons Resort Anguilla (Caribbean)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.

Today (January 15, 2020): Review of The Four Seasons Resort Anguilla (Caribbean).

Throughout this ultraluxe resort on the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla, modern architectural forms interplay with the natural environment, while sophisticated, contemporary interiors by designer Kelly Wearstler add rich textural contrasts to a laid-back, beachy feel. From elegant garden-view guestrooms to beachfront villas with private pools, the resort’s wide range of luxury accommodations fit all tastes. And if that’s not enough yet, the resort sits along one of the most gorgeous beaches in Anguilla with sugar white sand and turquoise waters.

Four Seasons Resort Anguilla features in my top 10 list of the best luxury resorts in the Caribbean.

Have you ever stayed at The Four Seasons Anguilla? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.

In this review (more info and photos below my YouTube clip):


PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • The Four Seasons Resort calls the inviting, upscale island of Anguilla its home, a tiny British territory in the Caribbean. Discerning travelers come here to sprawl on the island’s silky strands, swim in clear turquoise waters, play Robinson Crusoe on Anguilla’s offshore islands, and snorkel or dive the fish-filled reefs and wrecks. Named the number one island in the Caribbean by Travel and Leisure, Anguilla biggest draw are its dazzling white sand beaches, mixed with friendly locals and an authentic island vibe. With 33 pristine, public beaches to explore, it becomes a highly enjoyable and achievable challenge for beach lovers to visit as many as possible. Anguilla is also known as the Caribbean’s culinary capital, with more than 100 restaurants and beach bars.
  • The resort enjoys a privileged setting along the island’s northwest shore, atop coralline bluffs overlooking two of Anguilla’s most pristine beaches. On its eastern side, the resort is flanked by (and has direct access to) Meads Bay Beach, a long and majestic arc of silky-smooth sand and aquamarine waters. In addition to sunning, swimming, and watersports, this stretch of beach features some of the best restaurants on Anguilla including Blanchard’s, Jacala and Straw Hat. To its western side, the property sits on Barnes Bay Beach, a magnificent golden sand beach (though a bit rocky in some parts). Four Seasons operates a private beach club on both beaches. Barnes Beach is the quieter side of the property, as most guests spend the day on the Meads Bay side.
  • The resort features massive dimensions, although its layout is rather convenient once you know your way around. Guests enter the property via a grand, palm-lined drive that leads to a chic and stunning hallway & lobby, both hidden behind clean, stark white walls. The reception area extends into to an oceanfront and catwalk-worthy lawn flanked by a boutique, sunset bar and stunning pool on one side, and the main restaurant on the other. Serving as a the social hub and heart of the resort, this lawn is beautifully lit after dark with flaming torches. The west side of the resort is lined with massive all-pool villas looking onto Barnes Bay Beach while to the east rise four-storey accommodation blocks, overlooking the gardens and Meads Bay.
  • The property showcases a modern and glamorous white decor against the tropical backdrop of lush vegetation and a turquoise sea. The interiors were designed by Kelly Wearstler, the signature designer of the USA West Coast who became famous for her irreverent and bold designs for A-list clientele. The contemporary architecture is juxtaposed with organic materials, such alabaster, richly carved wood, marble walls, travertine floors, extravagant woven rattan chairs and wrought bronze suspensions. Some African influences – rough wood and sculptures –  are combined with Indian touches and a refined Asian sensibility, all providing a striking visual contrast to the geometric lines of the resort’s sleek architecture.
  • The Four Seasons features 181 superb accommodations, ranging from expansive villas (with as many as five bedrooms), townhomes, and penthouses, to residences, suites and guest rooms. During my holiday, I was upgraded to an enormous two bedroom residence on the third floor, overlooking the family pool and Mead Bay. The residence was done in cream and taupe tones with gold accents, and came equipped with a gourmet kitchen, washer & dryer, dining room, indoor living space, and a large covered terrace with sitting area and plunge pool. The two bedrooms featured supremely comfortable beds with monogrammed pillowcases, and each room had its own oversized bathroom, with a deep soaking tub and a separate shower.
  • Although the rooms and suites at the resort are amazing, the ultimate prize here are the one- and two-story villas. Set by the quieter Barnes Bay Beach, these extremely spacious villas offer a distinct experience from the rest of the property. All villas feature a central living space, fully equipped kitchen, dining area, three to five ensuite bedrooms, and an expansive terrace outfitted with an infinity pool. The villas are built in two rows on a hill, and while they all boast spectacular views, only the villas in the first row offer direct access to Barnes Bay beach. The villas can be booked for a vacation or purchased to serve as a home away from home.
  • The resort features three magnificent pools, all located in different areas of the property and providing the right level of relaxation and fun for all guests. The central part of the resort features an architecturally stunning pool, which has amazing views of the Caribbean Sea; this pool wraps around several tall banana palms and is lined by luxurious cabanas. A second, family-friendly pool area is conveniently located adjacent to the beach club on Meads Bay Beach, and offers easy access to water-sport activities and strolls on the resort’s sandy shores. The third and adults-only pool is the most spectacular one: this saltwater infinity-edge pool overlooks the bluff, is lined by cushioned lounge chairs, and – as the name implies – is the perfect spot for a sunset swim.
  • The property features four restaurants, all of them offering delicious, island-inspired food:
    • SALT is the resort’s signature dining venue, enjoying an ocean-front bluff-top location. It serves modern Caribbean cuisine, such as Anguillan risotto with local conch and lobster. SALT also offers a lavish breakfast buffet, which includes extensive vegan and gluten-free options such as quinoa porridge and kale & tofu toast.
    • Set along the adults-only infinity pool, the Sunset Lounge serves sushi, ‘buddah bowls’ (Asian dishes) and cocktails. On selected nights, the Sunset Lounge hosts DJs or live bands.
    • Bamboo Bar & Grill is a casual dining venue, located along the family pool and overlooking Meads Bay Beach. It serves snacks and salads during lunch and Mediterranean cuisine on selected nights.
    • With a picturesque location on Barnes Bay Beach, Half Shell Beach Bar is a beach shack and casual spot to grab a light lunch or to host one-of-kind private-dinner parties.
  • The resort’s luxurious two-level spa is located next to the central pool area and overlooks the ocean. Inspired by the spirit of Art Deco, the spa interior reminds one of a contemporary ultraluxe Californian mansion transported to the Caribbean. Featuring 13 indoor treatment rooms, three spa cabanas, three facial rooms and two couples’ spa rooms, the complex offers the company’s “Spa Everywhere” concept, where signature massage, body and skincare treatments are provided inside the spa, in the fresh air of a spa cabana, or in a guest’s room. The property also has a separate building housing a well-equipped gym, bike spinning room, and weight room
  • With its two beaches, sports facilities, and three pools, the  Four Seasons Resort Anguilla is an excellent choice for a family holiday. The resort also operates a complimentary Kids For All Seasons (KFAS) program, which make the Four Seasons one of the kid-friendliest properties on the island. Each day features a different, fun-filled activity, including cookie and cupcake decorating classes, reasure and scavenger hunts, nature walks, and jewelry making classes. Additional features such as tennis courts, a rock-climbing wall, volleyball and basketball courts, and a putting green also appeal to families.
  • The property is managed by Four Seasons, probably the best known luxury hotel brand in the world. The Canadian-based company has, for nearly 50 years, transformed the hospitality industry in a tale of continual innovation, remarkable expansion and a single-minded dedication to the highest of standards. Four Seasons was founded in 1960 by the young architect Isadore Sharp, but the real breakthrough of the brand came in the seventies with the opening of the Four Seasons London. Although the company went public in 1986, the Sharp family – along with a group of like-minded investors such as Bill Gates and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal – took the company private again in 2007 to protect the integrity of the brand well into the future.
  • The resort provides exceptional service, as you would expect from the Four Seasons brand. As good as the facilities are, in the end, it is the unmatched service that really has this hotel standing head and shoulders above most of its competitors in the Caribbean. From the second I stepped foot onto the property, I was treated like royalty, thanks to the incredibly hospitality and the welcoming, professional attitude of the hotel staff. Senior managers frequently checked throughout my stay whether everything was ok and whether there was anything I needed. Miraculously, everyone at the resort seems to know your name and what you want before you even know it yourself.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

With two spectacular beaches, three amazing pools, world-class facilities, and a fascinating interior design, it should not come as a surprise that the Four Seasons Anguilla is one of the best resorts in the Caribbean. Due to its wide range of accommodations, it also feels like ‘three resorts in one’ (with the villas on one side, the residences on the other side, and the other accommodations in between). It’s hard to fault the resort, but you need to know the following when considering a stay here:

  • At 35 acres with over 181 keys, the Four Seasons is the largest property on Anguilla. The large size of the property allows for fewer crowds and a peaceful vibe but it can also make getting around a tad more difficult (24/7 buggy service is provided though). If you are looking for a boutique hotel, you need to look elsewhere.
  • The Four Seasons Anguilla has an American vibe rather than a Caribbean feel. The California-inspired design, funky music in the restaurants & bars, see-and-be-seen scene, and innovative cuisine clearly cater to an American clientele, which should not come as a surprise since the USA is the Caribbean’s most important visitor market. Don’t be put off by this though, as I adored the property and its ambience, even when I am not an American.
  • Anguilla is a small British territory in the Caribbean 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 in Puerto Rico. The good new is that this keeps the island less touristy than many other Caribbean islands, preserving an upscale and tranquil vibe.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 10/10
  • Pool: 10/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Breakfast: 9/10
  • Spa: 9/10
  • Service: 10/10
  • Value for money: 9/10
  • Overall experience: exceptional 9,2/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like The Four Seasons Anguilla (and/or receive many free perks).
  • Room tip: Villas, set apart from the rest of the resort, offer more privacy as well as their own pools. Only the villas in the first row have direct beach access.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Anguilla has a pleasant tropical climate with average highs that hover in the 80s °F (around 28 °C), usually tempered by cooling trade winds. December to March are the most popular months to visit, characterised by warm, generally dry days, whilst the summer months between June and November tend to be more humid, with regular showers and the possibility of tropical storms and hurricanes. The best time to visit the island is April and May, a sweet spot featuring lower prices and fewer crowds.


HOW TO GET THERE

Visitors to Anguilla must either fly to St. Martin and take a short ferry (or pivate sea shuttle) to the island, or fly in directly (by way of a small seaplane) from San Juan Puerto Rico. Once in Anguilla, the resort is a short taxi ride away.


PHOTOS
RESORT MAP
ARRIVAL COURTYARD
ARRIVAL COURTYARD
ARRIVAL COURTYARD
HOTEL ENTRANCE
LOBBY
LOBBY
LOBBY
LOBBY
LOBBY
LOBBY
LOBBY
LOBBY
LOBBY (CONCIERGE AREA)
LOBBY (CONCIERGE AREA)
WELCOME DRINK & COLD TOWEL
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
CENTRAL COURTYARD
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
ADULTS ONLY INFINITY POOL
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
SUNSET LOUNGE
FOUR SEASONS ANGUILLA BOUTIQUE
RESORT GROUNDS
RESORT GROUNDS
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: LIVING AREA
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: SECOND BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: SECOND BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: SECOND BEDROOM & BATHROOM
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: TERRACE
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: TERRACE
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: TERRACE
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: TERRACE
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: TERRACE
TWO BEDROOM RESIDENCE: TERRACE
SPA: ENTRANCE
SPA: RECEPTION AREA
SPA: RECEPTION AREA
SPA: RECEPTION AREA
SPA: TERRACE
SPA: TERRACE
SPA
GYM
GYM
GYM
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
CENTRAL POOL AREA
FAMILY POOL
FAMILY POOL
FAMILY POOL
FAMILY POOL
FAMILY POOL
BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL (NEXT TO FAMILY POOL)
BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL (NEXT TO FAMILY POOL)
BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL (NEXT TO FAMILY POOL)
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
MEADS BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
BARNES BAY BEACH
HALF SHELL BEACH BAR ON BARNES BAY BEACH
HALF SHELL BEACH BAR ON BARNES BAY BEACH
HALF SHELL BEACH BAR ON BARNES BAY BEACH
HALF SHELL BEACH BAR ON BARNES BAY BEACH
LUNCH AT HALF SHELL BEACH BAR
LUNCH ON THE BEACH
LUNCH AT THE SUNSET LOUNGE
LUNCH AT THE SUNSET LOUNGE
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
INFINITY POOL AT SUNSET
FOUR SEASONS RESORT ANGUILLA AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS RESORT ANGUILLA AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS RESORT ANGUILLA AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS RESORT ANGUILLA AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS RESORT ANGUILLA AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS RESORT ANGUILLA AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS RESORT ANGUILLA AT NIGHT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT SALT RESTAURANT
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
DINNER AT BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT
BREAKFAST AT SALT RESTAURANT

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