Cap Julica or Cusinart?

Dec 30th, 2004, 03:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Cap Julica or Cusinart?

Ok, me and my husband are planning a romantic vacation. We though Anguilla would be a great place since we are looking for a good place to relax. We also heard that the beaches are beautiful and there are plenty of great restaurants. We want to avoid a lot of childern if possible... Does anyone have any advise?
mrsizzy is offline  
Dec 30th, 2004, 05:16 PM
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Have not been to Cuisinart, only for dinner (which was great), but have been to Cap and you will not be disappointed. The beach is beautiful and the rooms are big and open up directly onto ocean. It's an A++++
YouGoGirl is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 05:34 AM
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I would give Cap the edge over Cuisinart, mainly because of the beach being a little nicer at Cap. Even that is a matter of opinion. As far as the rooms, the service, the spa and the food, I didn't feel I compromised by staying at Cuisinart. The pool there is lovely and it was nice to spend time there in addition to the beach. There was a significant price difference between the two resorts which was a factor in my decision. I will be going back to Cuisinart in May and I certainly don't feel like I'm settling. I think Cuisinart gets more children because of the pool, but there were only 1 or 2 there lst May. I'm sure it's a different story during school vacations. You will love either hotel.
Jeangail is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 06:55 AM
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they both are wonderful.
Cap Juluca is the nicest one of the two but you would love either place.
see where you can get the best price maybe and let that make your decision?
If price is not a problem , I would probbaly choose Cap over Cusinart but,as I said, both are beautiful.
Barbara1 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:43 PM
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I agree that both are beautiful, but I would choose CuisinArt over Cap Juluca. This is definitely a matter of opinion and it depends on what you want. CJ offers more seclusion, CA offers privacy (but not as much as CJ) with a better option to be social if one wants. I thought CA had a more fun atmosphere, although still very sedate. Some believe CJ has the nicer beach (it sits on its own cove), but I disagree. CA is on a long beach which allows you to walk out of the resort and onto beach without any buildings near you. It also has a somewhat better view. If you care at all about the pool area, there is no comparison -- CA has a very dramatic pool area, whereas CJ's is surprisingly poor. CJ is very spread out and CA is more compact.
Europewithkids is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Just posted this to another question...

We stayed at both about a year ago. That said, CJ and CA both struck me as very similar, in terms of what the rooms are actually like, which are luxurious and beautiful. I would kill to have either of their bathrooms in my NYC apartement! CJ's rooms were a bit more refined, in dark woods and white, while CA's were a bit more colorful. CJ spreads along the beach, so some of the rooms at the end are a bit of a hike from the center and restaurants (or you can just call or wait for a cart to pick you up). CA is pretty much clustered together which makes things a little less private, but more convenient. The swimming pool at CJ is laughable compared to the rest of the resort- small, not well-kept, and hemmed in by buildings and trees. I don't recall ever seeing anybody actually there. The pool at CA is dramatically on axis with the hotel and beach and probably geared more for the ad brochures. Most visitors were at the beach during our stay, but some people just prefer spending time at pools I've found, and for that, there's no comparison between the two.

The beaches are both lovely, with white sand and calm, clear water. Sea weed is present, and raked daily. The beach at CJ is private, smaller, a bit whiter and less windy. The beach at CA was longer (nicer for jogging, walking) and was shared with 2 other resorts as I recall- but both are a good distance away from CA. The water is clear at both locations, but there is very little to see, in terms of snorkeling. I prefer the beach at CJ.

CA is a bit more activity oriented, with it's own gardens, spa/gym, and daily classes (gym and cooking). CJ is definitely more quiet- as has been posted, a real honeymooner's spot. The restaurants are equivalent at both, in my opinion, with an edge perhaps to CA given their on-site hydroponic farm. I would not call the food on Anguilla terribly good, but it is nowhere near as bad as other Caribbean destinations (T&C at the bottom of the list). CA has a nice view of St Maarten, while CJ looks out at the ocean.

For us the real difference was in the service provided at both. I'll give the caveat that we've only stayed once at each resort, but we were overwhelmed with both the poor quality of service at CJ and the astoundingly good service at CA. We've stayed up and down the caribbean, and had gotten used to "island time" before our first trip to Anguilla and CA. But they astounded us with their attention to detail, timeliness, politeness, and eagerness to try and anticipate our needs. We never had to ask for a thing, whether it was cold water/towels on the beach or service at our table, and were always greeted with a smile and a "milady" to my girlfriend. They seemed to actually enjoy their work.

So when we went back to Anguilla and stayed at the supposedly more upscale CJ, we had really high expectations.To our suprise and dismay, the opposite was the case at CJ. I constantly felt like I was imposing on any of the staff to get anything, and was replied to with surliness on more than one occasion. We are not high maintenance travelers, but it was all we could do to get ANYBODY to help us with most tasks (towel, drink, general questions etc). I, for one, tend to let just about anything slide while traveling, but even I was getting beyond frustrated. This was service I expected from a discount place on St Thomas, not one of the premier resorts in the region.

For those reasons, we have just booked another trip to Anguilla and Cuisinart and I can't wait.
kud is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 11:36 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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kud: Very interesting comparison. Your experience with the service at CJ is surprising. I can concur that the service at CA is excellent -- we really felt pampered. I do have one question. You say that the food on Anguilla is not very good. This is contrary to what I believe is the overwhelming majority of commentators on sites such as this, as well as professional reviews. Quite frankly, my wife and I thought the food was outstanding (I believe we ate at 7 restaurants). Where did you eat? Obviously, your experience is what it is but I am curious about the restaurants you went to and what kind of dishes you typically ordered.
Europewithkids is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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I feel like I should've taken back that comment. For the Caribbean, the food in Anguilla is some of the best- probably on par with Barbados, but behind St Barths and WAY behind the food at The Beach House in Barbuda (an Italian chef, stolen away from the K-club in Barbuda, who creates astounding multi-course meals equal to just about anything I could find even in NYC). The food throughout the Grenadines and Virgin Islands don't measure up to Anguilla's, and as I mentioned, the food in T&C is uniformly the absolute worst. On that note, I should have praised, rather than denounced the food in Anguilla.

I wish I could remember the names of the 2, maybe 3 places we ate outside of the resorts. One had an astounding Russian piano player and overlooked Cove Castles. One other was in Mead bay, and the other... can't remember. Sorry. I don't think we had a bad meal, per se, anywhere on the island, which should in and of itself count as a positive review. Whatever we found that was the freshest tended to be the best, but it's just that I don't remember the food being too much more than a bit above average, even at CJ and CA- never memorable.

I think the problem for me at least, is that we tend to compare to NYC restaurants (which I know isn't really fair for most destinations, let alone island nations that have to rely on importing most of their food). And in that comparison, we can go to any number of little restaurants within 2 blocks away and pay far less for better food. Fair comparison? Maybe not...
kud is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Having been to both, I prefer Cap over cuisinart. I found Cap's beach to be perfect and Cuisinart's too windy...too windy to enjoy...actually got sandblasted. Not sure if it was the time of year or what...So that being said, for us the question is Malliouhana or Cap!....Not to confuse you anymore but Malli is wonderful. On Meads bay (the sunset side of the island). The Restaurant called The Restaurant is teriffic. Anguilla has so many perfect beaches and the lovliest people, you really cannot go wrong. My advice for a first a car, explore the beaches, meet friendly people, drinks lots of rum punch and just enjoy. You don't have to go broke dining on Anguilla either. Some of our favorites: Johnnos for lunch makes great snapper sandwiches and great music, Olivers - mid priced go early and have a drink on the sunset deck and after dinner stroll the beach...just a few as too uch to mention. Go to bob green's website for everything and all about anguilla Look thru the archives, read the restaurant menus and look forward to a perfect vacation.
You can always go to Cuisinart for lunch or dinner...
Annabel is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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The restaurant with the Russian piano player is called Altamer. The restaurant on Mead's Bay might be Blanchards. I love the food on Anguilla
(yes I dine in NYC too) but nothing can match the ambiance of the island,plus the Anguillian crayfish!! My favorites are Covecastles, Trattoria
Tramonto, Blanchards, Koal Keel, and Cedar Grove, and Mangos.
penny is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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Thank you for your responses.
KUD- Your insight on CA and CJ was great. I am also from The NYC area (northern NJ) and know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to restaurants and service. I tend to compare (not always fair to do). I have also heard from other posts that CJ service is really poor which kind of concerns me. I'm still in the research phase and appreciate everyones comments.
mrsizzy is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 274
I work in NYC and do quite a bit of business travel to places like San Francisco, New Orleans, etc. I found the food on Anguilla to be memorable. We especially liked Blanchards, Hibernia and The Overlook. I guess everyone has their own opinions.

The comment about the beach at CuisinArt is one I have read before. We were there in November and it was not very windy at all, just a gentle breeze. I could see where a sandblasting experience would be a turnoff, though! We thought the view from the beach at CA was the best on the island and we loved being able to walk out of the resort, unlike what we saw at CJ. Also, being able to walk right next door to the Dune Preserve is fun (a different experience from driving up). We thought the beach at Malli did not compare to CA or CJ and it is a hike to get there from most units. However, the pool at Malli is beautiful -- maybe not quite as nice as CA but far superior to CJ. Interestingly, during our stay at CA we found people who also liked CJ but we did not speak with a single person who was interested in staying at Malli. I guess it is just a matter of taste and perhaps the CA crowd is not the Malli crowd.
Europewithkids is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I grew up, lived in nothern NJ too(Bergen) for most of my life! Talk about service-most spots go crazy on a Saturday night, it is the worst night to go out for sure! Yes, I know a few exceptions. Unlike NYC where in most cases service is outstanding.
Anyhow, I know exactly what you mean. We have high expectations!

Anyhow I honestly feel there are no wrong choices-each hotel has its plus
and minus (very small) indeed. I am partial to the views of St. Martin, it really is stunning from CuisinArt, not as dramtic from CJ.

Kud gave a great comparison. The pool at CJ is a joke, it is worst now (past few years) since they extended the kitchen. In the early 90's the kitchen
was tiny, lunch was only served in that area, and Georges only served drinks!!
The pool at Cuiinart is the focal point of the property, dining is centered aroud it --they are not on the beach as the west end of Rendezvous bay can be very windy on this long wide span of the bay.

All the beaches are wonderful
at the three hotels. Out of my 16 trips to the island I have only stayed at Malli, Cuisinart,Covecastles once, the rest of the time CJ. All I can say is there is no bad choice! The service at CJ to me just gets better and better. To be honest I do not dine there-just Kemia and busy Geroges. I like to treat the hotel more like a villa. I find the restaurants on the island to be more interesting!

Kud, I agree the food on Barbados is most diverse, but the island is too busy for me. I am glad we gave it a try.
St. Martin has outstanding French influenced cuisine-the island is again not for me.
One of these days I have to give up my fear of flying into St. Barths. The new spot The House in Barbuda sounds very interesting. I have heard people love it. Nice to hear about the chef,
it does make a difference!

Mrsizzy-Anguilla is a romantic island!
That is why we keep going back!
Anguilla is a great place to totally relax!
penny is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Thanks again everyone for your posts.
we want a romantic and relaxing place and anguilla sounds perfect. I wanted to stay away from the high rise madness that occurs on some of the islands. I like a more laid back "island time" feel. Thanks again. If anyone has any more thoughts keep em coming. I haven't booked quiet yet.
mrsizzy is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 42
Anguilla is perfect for you and I'm sure you'd be extremly happy at either hotel. Don't worry too much about it either way. I have to say that I live in NYC and dine out quite frequently and I still found the food in Anguilla to be very very good...and I have pretty high expectations. Definitely try Blanchards. Enjoy!
jenniemojo is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6
mrsizzy- Hadn't noticed your concern about children before... I don't know that I ever even saw any tourist children during our 2 stays. I would offer that CJ is definitely more quiet than CA, if that equates to children. And yes, Anguilla is the true antidote to the built-up, highrise nonsense in other tropical resort destinations; the people are incredibly warm, the food is consistently decent to very good, and beaches and water are beautiful. We're heading back for trip #3 next month and I can't wait! (returning to CA, so we'll see if my original impression holds up). If you go CA or CJ, I doubt you'll be disappointed.

Penny- Yeah, Altemer and Blanchards. Just remembered we went to Scilly Cay as well (probably originally forgot due to getting smashed off of just one supersonic mystery punch in the sun there). All the spots were beautiful in terms of ambience, but again, I just didn't find any of them terribly memorable food-wise (except for the grilled crayfish at CJ- yum!).

I agree about Barbados- a bit noisy for us too, which is why we haven't been back for years. Porbably better for a family due to there being more non-beach activities there. Good, varied food though, much like Anguilla. You MUST get over the hype about flying into St Barths! My girlfriend was terrified after hearing stories of nose-diving through the gap into the aeroport. The only scary bit is coming pretty close to the ground in the gap, but the dive was fine. I guarantee you've been through much worse, many more times than you can imagine. And food, beaches and physical beauty there makes it one of, if not my favorite, spots in the Car. Barbuda is a strange island- the Beach House sits literally by itself on 14 miles of beach, while the K-club and another resort share a very large cove on the other side of the island. There is NOTHING else on this pancake flat, swampy island... I should probably just write a review in the Antigua/Barbuda section...
kud is offline  

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