West Indian glamour debuted a new address in February on the most sparkling of Anguilla’s 33 ultra-turquoise beaches, Shoal Bay East. Say hello to Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa, a collection of low-rise mansions designed by celebrated Caribbean architect Lane Pettigrew and cast over 6 acres and a near quarter-mile of beachfront. Sixty-three guest rooms seduce with a blend of dark and light woods, an earth-tone palette, and floor-to-ceiling windows that frame Anguilla’s 50 shades of blue. The vistas extend to the beachfront infinity-edge swimming pool and continue at the two seasonal-cuisine waterfront restaurants, which highlight authentic Anguillan flavors and feature local rum on tap.
Zemi’s opening comes on the heels of facelifts at Malliouhana Hotel & Spa and Cap Juluca, the two Greco-Moorish hotels responsible for placing Anguilla on the jet-set map in the mid-1980s. The new Malliouhana Resort & Spa, reimagined by the teams at SB Architects and TAL Studio, now stands as a 46-room boutique property of Auberge Resorts Collection pedigree, while Cap Juluca struts a rejuvenated edge with more modern decor and a newly constructed presidential suite equivalent, the 3,290-square-foot Jonquil Suite.
In October, the design-driven Viceroy Anguilla will reopen after a two-month makeover as the Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Anguilla. The resort will retain its Caribbean-cool vibe and Kelly Wearstler interiors while implementing Four Seasons–caliber service and excellent food and wine offerings. To accommodate Anguilla’s new wave of luxe inventory, Tradewind Aviation has started servicing Anguilla directly from Puerto Rico on a fleet of contemporary Pilatus PC-12s.
In the late-nineteenth century, Bermuda’s aquamarine coastlines were deemed fit for royalty—a princess to be exact—when Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise, fell in love with the natural beauty of this petite British colony. The Princess Hotel, named in Louise’s honor, opened in 1885 and attracted the who’s who of the early-twentieth-century global elite. Flash-forward 131 years, and this history-steeped hotel, rechristened the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, is penning a new chapter after a $100-million refresh.
Though the traditional, salmon-tinted exteriors of the 400-key resort remain, the interior is a different story. The hotel’s new modern art collection comprises 60 museum-quality works strewn across the property, starting with the gallery-like lobby, adorned with art by Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol. While all accommodations have been renovated, 43 have been converted into larger guest suites at the hands of Botelho Wood Architects. Of the three new restaurants, don’t miss Marcus’, Bermuda’s first and only celebrity-chef restaurant. The sleek eatery showcases Bermudian cuisine as interpreted by James Beard Award–winning chef Marcus Samuelsson, with signature dishes like trout roe tacos and fish chowder croquettes dotting the menu. A new Exhale Spa offers the wellness brand’s flagship treatments and fitness classes and flanks an adults-only spa pool, a quieter alternative to the resort’s main harborside infinity pool.
In anticipation of hosting the thirty-fifth America’s Cup next summer, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has also supersized its marina to become the island’s first and only full-service marina, accommodating up to 60 water toys. But it needn’t be race time to enjoy an afternoon on a super-yacht, catamaran, or fishing boat. Many of these glossy ships work with the resort for pursuits in the island’s cove-laced, pink-sanded water world.
We can never get enough of St. Barths—our favorite St. Tropez–inspired sliver of the French West Indies—so we’ve rounded up a few fabulous and timely excuses for your next dose of European glamour, five-star pampering, and incredible gastronomy.
This year’s top pretext: Visit the island’s newest and most coveted resort product, the Christopher Columbus Suite at the Eden Rock – St. Barths. This 2,200-square-foot sanctuary, named after the island’s founder, is a glass-encased jewel box that sits atop the hotel promontory, strewn with Italian furnishings, pop art, and views of St. Jean Bay. Island regulars will recognize the space as the former lobby, which was moved beachside to accommodate this architectural masterpiece.
Over on the island’s easterly reaches, Le Guanahani is also paying homage to Columbus’ voyage to the New World with the nautical-themed Admiral Suite, the final touch of the famed resort’s $40-million refurbishment and expansion. The suite perches by Grand Cul-de-Sac bay and features wrap-around balconies and direct beach access.
Foodies now can add another annual pilgrimage to their calendar: the St. Barths Gourmet Festival.
In just three years, this wine and food festival has grown into a spectacular happening with internationally acclaimed chefs taking over the island’s most popular restaurants at ticketed events boasting French-Creole fusions and wine pairings.
The 2016 festival, scheduled for November 3-6, will be headlined by celebrity Parisian chef Christian Le Squer, who, earlier this year, received three Michelin stars for his Le Cinq restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris.