Although treating a hotel as a home away from home is often encouraged by gracious check-in hosts, it’s rare that it actually feels like one. Part of the draw of a resort, of course, is the out-of-the-ordinary environment, but that isn’t often synonymous with the comfort zone of home.
Not so at the Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla, which has managed to succeed in creating a delightfully luxe experience (the recent renovation cost upwards of $121 million, and it shows in every considered detail) with the laid-back, genuine vibe of a well-travelled eccentric friend’s mansion. You feel it in the elegant, grounding dark wood in the rooms or the private terraces, designed, it seems, strictly for napping on, and in the kitschy, colourful sea-horse labels on the locally sourced organic bath products in the architectural bathrooms (some of which even come with sundecks).
You even feel it in the suggestion that, should it suit, you might fancy swimming from your beach-facing suite to breakfast across the C-shaped bay, where you’ll be met with a towel and ushered toward coffee. The redefinition of luxury through experience continues at Pimms restaurant. The most-requested seats for dinner are by the open arches facing the ocean, where it has become a rite of passage to get your legs splashed by an unexpectedly heavy wave while dining on gourmet Caribbean seafood.
View toward the main buildings, including Pimms restaurant, at the Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla.
The guest experience is the focus here (one of the simplest joys is discovering that the beach umbrella next to your sun lounger is equipped with a call button for drink and food service), but so is the environmental impact of the resort, which has pledged to stop using plastic by 2020. The golf carts that zip guests to dinner are solar-powered; the salt and herbs, like lemon grass and basil, used in the spa are locally sourced or grown; and 20 percent of the menu options at Pimms are plant-based.
Plants are one of the main motifs on the property, from the 18th-century artwork on the bedroom walls to the verdant palms that dot the grounds. The connection to nature flows through the design of the main house too, which has an open-air Greco-Roman meets Moroccan entrance that faces the turquoise sea and has limestone floor tiles whose texture is gently reminiscent of the soft sand Anguilla is known for.
In fact, being barefoot as often as possible is encouraged. “There’s really nowhere here you can’t go in your bare feet,” says designer Lauren Rottet. “We want it to feel like you live here.”
This article first appeared in the April 2019 issue of ELLE Canada.