By Alexander Britell
ANGUILLA — Maundays Bay’s sand curves along Anguilla’s blue, bright white villas dotting the shoreline and Moorish domes rising to the sky.
The only sound is the almost-mystical breeze of this crescent-shaped corner of the island, a place where the built environment finds harmony with the natural world.
The view from the hotel’s grand entrance across the bay is one of the Caribbean’s signatures, a rarefied group of vistas that vacillate between real life and painting.
That’s the striking thing about Cap Juluca, Anguilla’s legendary hotel — beyond the food and the service and the bicycles napping under the palm trees.
This is just a beautiful hotel.
It’s hard to think of a property in the Caribbean where the architecture really does work with its environs, not overpowering or taking over or dissonant.
It belongs here.
When you look across Maundays to the “villas” on the coastline, they almost seem to sprout from the sand, the stucco white married to the brilliant blue and the gleaming, almost platinum sand.
It’s a delight that replicates from just about every angle — particularly as you see St Martin in the distance through Belmond Cap Juluca’s ubiquitous arches.
When I returned to Belmond Cap Juluca this week I was happy to see that the $121 million renovation project had precisely preserved this look, adding some sparkling new touches but keeping the design, well, like Cap Juluca.
That extends, too to the rooms, which grew by 25 villas and suites in the relaunch, which was completed last month.
They’re spectacular, with arch-filled balconies and hidden open-out bars and bathrooms with their own glass-walled sundecks.
And they’re joined by several other new additions, from a new events pavilion (that doubles as a yoga pavilion in the early morning) to a new infinity pool to a beachfront “Cap Shack” (where the day-boat fishermen deliver your seafood) and, perhaps most notably, a Cipriani-branded oceanside eatery called Cip’s.
But while the newness is evident everywhere you look, this hotel has retained something far more important: timelessness, a quality that defines the best and the grandest hotels — the places that feel not just that they’ve always been here, but that they belong here.
And that, for a day or a week, you do too.
For more, visit Belmond Cap Juluca.