While I am a fan of familiarity, in terms of vacations I have always lived by the "been there, done that, onto the next" rule. Meaning that we never would intentionally visit the same place twice, instead opting to feverishly research and ask everyone and anyone for their advice on must-go resorts. However, the busier life gets and the more things we each have to manage (a new house, a toddler, careers), the less time we want to spend searching for a relaxing destination- it just becomes an added stress, which sort of defeats the purpose. So when we hit the "oh my if we do not get away pronto both of our heads are going to revolve Poltergeist-style and scare our new neighbors" point, we went online, booked flights to Anguilla and opted for a first- a second visit to Viceroy Anguilla.
Leading up to the trip, we questioned ourselves a few times if we were being silly not to try somewhere new- but our time there last February was so perfect- and that was with a toddler in tow! One can only imagine the wonders that would await us as we arrived this time, unencumbered by swim diapers and nap schedules. (Cue the sparkling rainbow stars and prancing unicorns.)
Upon returning from said paradise, I can confirm that my vacation tune has changed. Instead of "been there, done that, onto the next" it is "been there, loved it, and will love it more next time, and the time after that, and so on".
Instead of that first day anxiety where I am typically fretting about missing out on the must-do activities or the must-eat restaurants, or trying to scope out the must-get water-side seats on the sly, this time, we arrived and immediately relaxed. Like, in seconds. Because we knew where we were, we knew where to go, and we knew how to edit our days to perfection.
Moving forward, when it is a relaxing beach vacation that we are looking for, I hope that we will be so fortunate as to have the same routine- "hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Viceroy Anguilla we go". And I am confident that with each visit, it will just get better.
If you haven't been, go. And to give you that feeling of calm upon arrival that only comes with familiarity, here is my tip list:
- Sunset Lounge at Viceroy Anguilla: Go your first night for sushi, cocktails (I recommend the Uva Bella) and to meet people- the lounge-like setting is conducive to making fast vacation friends, who 45 minutes later you will be dancing with while a DJ plays to all those top 40 songs you secretly love.
- Scilly Cay: On Sunday or Wednesday go here for grilled lobster and the strongest rum punch known to man.
- Picante: Fun atmosphere and great Mexican- go your second night so you can go back again before you leave, because you will want to. Plus, it is a short walk away from the Viceroy.
- Elvis' Beach Bar: Considered one of the best in the Caribbean, fun atmosphere and big screen tvs if you happen to be there during sporting events.
- Dune Preserve: On Wednesday night, Anguilla's version of Bob Marley- Bankie Banx- plays live. It is the perfect place to indulge your inner laid back hippie (which I admit I don't have on any level but still managed to very much enjoy myself.)
- Smokey's: Ride bikes from the Viceroy here for lunch- have the coconut crusted shrimp and a rum punch, take a swim in the super calm water and, if you hit it on the right day, enjoy live music.
- Island Bike Tour at Viceroy Anguilla: We waited to do this until our last day but wish we had done it sooner- a great way to see the island, plus the pit-stop is a bakery, which really makes it my kind of workout. The yoga at Viceroy is great too.
- Blanchard's Beach Shack: A short walk on the beach brings you to this lovely lunch spot- get the fish tacos, curry mussels and greek salad. Then, a roadie of either of cold beer or frozen yogurt for the stroll home.
Also, as I noted here, if you are traveling with kids- of any age- the resort is incredible. But let's all just be honest with ourselves here- a vacation with kids isn't really a vacation as much as it is a "nice family getaway" or something along those lines. However, if you are looking for a place to bring the entire family, this is the place to do it. Just limit your rum punch intake, okay? I mean, c'mon, be responsible- you are a parent. After the kids are asleep you can sneak out to Sunset Lounge- I won't tell...
Have you ever done a vacation double dip? Do tell...