There’s nothing quite like the chill of winter weather (cough, Stella, cough) to inspire that ever-present desire for tropical wanderlust. Today we’re journeying to the white sandy beaches of Anguilla with our trusty tour guide Nneya Richards, who knows a thing or two about making the most of any exotic vacay. So pack your sunscreen and pull out that favorite sarong of yours; we’re running on island time, baby!

From Nneya

Anguilla. In the last few decades this once sleepy Caribbean island has become synonymous with luxury. With an embargo on cruise ships, casinos and high-rises, Anguilla is home to a barefoot elegance all its own.

Eat

Tasty’s - Located on Main Rd. in South Hill Village, Tasty’s came highly recommended from several Anguilla friends. Classic Carribbean-Creole, the name says it all: everything on this menu is, well, tasty! Be sure to try the poached fish & root veggies and the stewed conch & dumplings.

Sandy Island - Going to Sandy Island for a special lunch splurge came highly recommended by friends who have been visiting Anguilla for years. Take ferry over to Sandy Island — one of the islands in the cays of Anguilla, and spend the afternoon having a delicious lunch, cocktails and soaking up some sun. Recommended dish? The lobster with a coconut and ginger sauce for sure.

Chef’s Table at CuisinArt - Reserve the Chef’s Table at the CuisinArt Resort for a mouthwatering and intimate dining experience for you and your guests. This multi-course meal will leave you feeling absolutely spoiled. My 8 courses included caviar, burrata and A5 wagyu. How could I be satisfied with another meal again?

Spice - Head to Cap Juluca’s restaurant, Spice. This place came highly recommended by a friend from New York who spends a lot of time in Anguilla on holiday, and it did not disappoint. Yes, the food is delicious and Mediterranean-themed, but the decor alone is reason to go, especially for a sunset dinner: imagine seaside dining in a Moroccan lounge complete with lush draping silks and greco-moorish archways.

Stay

The Reef by CuisinArt - The newly renovated Reef by CuisinArt is a boutique hotel powered by a four-acre solar field on Merrywing Bay. Like all hotels in the CuisinArt family, their food is art and the goal is to delight the guests through the senses of taste and smell from the property’s signature scent to the mouth-watering paella from head chef Jasper Schneider. The best thing about the property, though, is the unique extras like in-house classes in Caribbean dance or even drone photography!

Four Seasons Anguilla - Recently opened in October, the Four Seasons in Barnes Bay brings it’s mark of elegance and luxury to this beautiful island. There’s a certain Four Seasons formula that never gets old, and the 35-acre property is so extensive that you’d be remiss to leave. Try the newly installed rock climbing wall to add a kick to your vacation workout, too.

Sea Breeze at the Fountain - Sea Breeze at the Fountain offers affordable luxury nestled in Shoal Bay. Here you have a range of accommodations from studios to full condo-style living. It is a great and affordable alternative when going with a bigger group or family.

Shop

Irie Life - Stock up on souvenirs like dad hats, t-shirts and rasta-colored beaded jewelry at Irie Life in South Hill.

Limin’ Boutique - Limin’ is Anguillan slang for chilling. “Let’s lime,” you’d say. And Limin’ Boutique, owned by expats who relocated from Philadelphia in 2013, is the epitome of calm, chill and serene. From beautifully made caftans to jewelry made from sand from the island dunes, Limin’ is definitely what you want your island wardrobe to look like.

Petals - Located on Meads Bay at Frangipiani Beach Hotel, Petals is not your average resort shop. Sure, it has the raffia handbags, sarongs and ware that you’ve come to expect from a beach shop, but head over to the International Collection. Curated by the owners, Petals features and array of pieces from local designers as well as unique items from places as far flung as Chile or Kenya.

Frolic

The Beach! - I’m guessing you’re looking into a Caribbean island because you have a fondness for the beach. Anguilla has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and they are all public! With white powder-like sand, tranquil waves, and blue skies that rival the Caribbean blue sea, take this time to relax whether it’s yoga on the beach at sunrise or spending the day with your favorite book.

Adventuring in Little Bay - Anguilla is known for Little Bay Beach. It is one of it’s most beautiful and definitely the hardest to reach. Very rarely will you found other beach-goers here, so if you’re looking for privacy, Little Bay is your best bet. You can park your car on the bluffs overlooking the bay and rappel down using one of the ropes anchored at the top. Spend a few hours frolicking in the aquamarine water in this beautiful little nook and be sure to go snorkeling. Want to up the ante? Climb up the rocks and do the famed jump into Little Bay!

Dune Preserve - Reggae artist Bankie Banx is a local legend and his beachside restaurant and lounge, Dune Preserve in Redezvous Bay, is a favorite. Several nights a week you can catch Bankie himself on stage, or if you’re lucky, his celeb friends like Jimmy Buffet have been known to join in. If visiting in late march, head to Dune Preserve for the annual Moonsplash Music Festival.

Images via: Nneya Richards, Linked Sites