Questions about Anguilla

Feb 17th, 2005, 06:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2
Questions about Anguilla

I am planning a trip to Anguilla in the end of April for 7 nights and have decided to stay at the Rendezvous Bay Hotel. This will be my first time in Anguilla and the Caribbean. I would just like some advice in regards to traveling to the island and transportation on the island. Iím not sure if I want to fly into St. Maarten and take the ferry over or fly into Anguilla from San Juan. Is the ferry just as reliable and convenient as taking a plane? Also, I am not 25 yet so I can not rent a car and I was worried that this would pose a problem if I want to go to different beaches and restaurants. Are taxiís readily available on the island? Renting a bicycle is always another option to get to other beaches.

Any suggestions/information would be greatly appreciated!
MAS25 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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MAS, as far as the difference between flying and ferrying, it really depends on the schedules of each and how quickly you want to get there.

If you fly direct to Anguilla, you would avoid having to take a cab to Marigot (at least a half hour or more depending on traffic), paying the ferry fare, and you might arrive sooner. However, it might also be cheaper or quicker to go the ferry route.

FYI - I would assume the cab fare from the airport to Marigot is about $20. I can't say for certain since I always rent a car there. The ferry runs every half hour. Below is a link with specific info about going to Anguilla via the St. Martin ferry.

Taxi's are available on Anguilla but using them often can get expensive so bear that in mind when planning. I can't comment on the bicycle issue.
Statia is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 08:41 AM
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Bicycling around Anguilla will be a bit of a challenge and quite honestly you don't see a lot of bikers. There is basically one main paved road which runs the length of the island with a few paved roads running off of it but many of the secondary roads (especially those leading to the beaches and a good number of the restaurants) are unpaved, rather bumpy and not suitible for biking. What this means is you will be limited to where you will be able to go, unless you plan on taking taxis (there are plenty on the island and the drivers will gladly drop you off and pick you up at pre-determined times). Be warned, however, taxi can get expensive. You might be able to work out a deal with one driver if you promise him or her a certain number of trips during your stay. It is worth asking about when you get on-island.

As to traveling to/from the island it really is a matter of what you are comfortable doing and your travel schedule. You will find people who swear by flying into SXM and taking the ferry to AXA. There are just as many who always fly from SJU to AXA. Still others fly to SXM and take an island hopper for the 7 minute flight to AXA. Another alternative, popular with some, is to take a private water taxi from SXM to AXA. What I'm trying to say is there is no right or wrong answer to this question. The best approach is to do what fits your particular travel style and budget, either way, you be with others making the same trip. Most people opt for the method that gets them to the island as early and as quick as possible.
Feb 17th, 2005, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 69
Comments on transporation around the island are spot on as well as the ferry comments.

We took the ferry to Anguilla from St. Maarten, and would fly directly to Anguilla for our next trip. This goes back to a previous poster's comments about the travel time and steps needed to get to the island. We felt is was a hassle to get from SXM to the ferry, ride the ferry, take a taxi to the hotel, etc... It would have been much more simple to fly straight into Anguilla.
hockeyfan is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Being a long way on the wrong side of 25, I have no direct experience, but things are a lot more casual in the Caribbean and I would not write off the possibility of renting a car without checking with some of the local agencies.
RAB is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 25
There are many scooters and bicycle shops that have rentals. If you are very athletic, I am sure you will have a great time on a scooter or a bike. The road network in AXA has been greatly improved over the past couple of years. THe best beaches- Shoal Bay (East), Meads Bay, Maundays Bay, Cove Bay, Rendesvouz Bay, SHoal Bay (West), Sandy Ground Bay, Crocus Bay, all have asphalt paved roads.
oceanic is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions/information. I think I've decided to fly into Anguilla seeing as it may be more convenient.

I figure I might as well ask around at local car rental agencies if they will rent to people under 25. They may just add an additional daily charge to their rates. If not, it looks like taxis, bicycles, and/or scooters are the way I'll be getting around the island!

Thanks again!
MAS25 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 62
My husband and I just got back from a week at Rendezvous Bay and adored it--our third time there. Don't forget to walk down the beach to Banky Banks local hangout. We took the ferry from Marigot to Anguilla, and will do so in the future because we heard so many horror stories from other guests at the hotel who'd had late or cancelled flights in San Juan. If you don't mind the possibility of being stuck overnight in San Juan, then go that route, but we prefer the certainty of being able to get there by ferry. The ferry was roughly $20, plus $3 tax and they run until about 8 or 9 p.m. They are all individually owned and built and some are faster than others (the Anguillians are great boat builders and sailors) I think the cab from airport in St. Martin to the ferry was about $15 for two of us--with minimal bags--and took about 20 minutes.
Did you email Bart, the manager at Rendezvous Bay, and ask him about bikes, motor scooters, etc? By the way, Bart is getting married in April at St. Gerrards's church on Anguilla.
For a great site with all kinds of info about anguilla, go to Green's Anguilla News).
One piece of advice--if you're on a budget, try eating at Hungry's van, Mabel Gumbs's stand, Gee Wee's bakery, the English Rose and all the other little local places around the island--the food is spectacular everywhere and you won't pay the inflated tourist prices at the restaurants that cater to tourists. We had fantastic rotis (wraps) at the Roadwell Cafe for about $5-$7 each.
In your room at Rendezvous Bay Hotel you'll have a fridge and a coffemaker, and we went to Albert's supermarket in the Valley or Ashley's (about a mile from Rendezvous Bay) to stock up on groceries--we made our own breakfast in the room. Liquor is incredibly cheap too--but be aware that prices are in EC dollars, which they convert to US--so a $16 bottle of gin was really $7.
Have a great time!
pears43 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 947
Hungrys Van is IRAD who owned IRAD's in Sandy Ground for a while--Now Roy's bayside. IRAD is an excellent chef and also does villa catering.
HowardC is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 05:20 AM
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PEARS43, Thank you so much for your post. My husband and I are heading to the Rendezvous Bay Hotel in April and we are going to be on a budget. The tips about the food and grocery store are much appreciated. I wanted to ask you what you thought about the Rendezvous hotel in general. I have looked a million times (!!) at the websites of Rendezvous and the Anguilla Great House and I can't help but wonder how the beaches compare. We keep saying that simply being on the island will be good enough for us, but I thought I would get an opinion from someone who has recently been there. It also helps that you seem to have had a vacation that was enjoyable without breaking the bank. Not all of us can afford weeks at the Malliouhana! Also, did it turn out o.k. without having a pool? Thank you for your insight!
sharabinks is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Both Great House and Rendezvous Bay are both on Rendezvous Bay, which is a crescent shaped beach about 2 miles long. If you look at the bottom picture on the Great House webpage you will see how the beach curves around. If you want to be right on the beach, then I think Rendezvous Bay Hotel is best for that - if you stay in the suites right on the water. Great House main rooms are back off the water. The one on the end is close and there are a few cottages that are close, but I don't think they compare to the villas right on the water at Rendezvous Bay.
cartera is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hi sharabinks--
Cartera has it right--both these hotels are on the same beach. Anguilla's beaches are all spectacular, but in my humble opinion Rendezvous Bay is the best, because it's sheltered from the wind, and the water is calm. You don't get sand blowing in your face. Nevertheless, if you're a beach person like me, it's fun to explore the other beaches. Try Smokey's for lunch--you get great food, reasonable prices, and another lovely beach view.
Re Rendezvous Bay hotel--we stayed in the cheapest units--what the old-timers (regular guests) call the cell blocks. They are rooms with a common verandah looking out on the water. Their chief appeal to me is that they are cheap (for the Caribbean). They are clean and comfortable and have a fridge and coffeemaker and phone--but no TV, which is a big plus for me. They supply bottled water every day, as well as ice and beach towels. It was peaceful and quiet. The staff, especially Maya, the housekeeper who looked after our block, are very conscientious, and we didn't bother to lock our room--left money, passports etc there without a care because there's always someone around keepng an eye on things.
The rooms are by no means state of the art--our shower had an unfinished hole in the tile instead of the chrome fitting, but those things don't matter at all to me, as long as the room is clean and comfortable. Things I loved: sitting on the verandah with the other guests sharing drinks and nibblies and watching the sun set, the friendly staff, the terrific food, the gorgeous beach and crystal-clear water, the ability to relax with no crowds, no traffic jams, no cruise ships or casinos.
I think what speaks best for RBH is that the same people go back there every year for literally decades.
The kind of people who wouldn't like it are the ones that must have 5-star accommodations--but you pay through the nose for that on Anguilla. The grounds are not exquisitely manicured at RBH, but again, that doesn't matter to me--if you want that you pay $500 a day at the fancy resorts.
This is my third time at RBH and I can't wait to go back next year.
Don't forget to go over to Koal Keel to the French bakery for great fresh croissants and pastry and to admire the lovely old restored colonial building and maybe have breakfast or lunch (dinner is very expensive).
I hope you love it all as much as we do---Jeanette
pears43 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Sharabinks--just realized I forgot to answer your message re pool. We didn't miss it at all, as the ocean water is so calm and inviting--you can wade out on talcum powder white sand and swim in clear turquoise water that is just the right temperature--i didn't even think about a pool. And it's a very short walk back to the room to rinse off anyway. Plus, there's a perennial water problem on Anguilla and the islanders depend on cisterns and a desalination plant, so pools are a real (and in my opinion unnecessary) luxury--J
pears43 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2005, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2
Jeanette- I apologize for not responding sooner. Thank you so much for your insight. We are very excited about our trip and from what you described, RBH is right up our alley. We just wouldn't "fit in" at a luxury resort. I think I would waste my vacation feeling out of place. Sounds like we will feel right at home at RBH. I appreciate the tips on where to eat. Our plan is to have breakfast in our room (the bakery you mentioned is perfect!) and spend lunches doing a circuit of the BBQ shacks. This girl could live off of BBQ, so I'm most excited about that! My husband told me I was crazy to think about a pool when the beautiful ocean was steps away, but I think I needed an opinion from someone who had been there. I appreciate you sharing your experience and I will let you know how it goes. We will be traveling there on April 20 for six HEAVENLY nights!! NO toddler, NO TV, No cell phone!!!! I may not come back! Sarah T.
sharabinks is offline  
Mar 21st, 2005, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 62
Sarah--have a great time! I'm dying to know how you like it and to hear about your adventures--or maybe you'll spend the whole time lying on the beach or in the water! I'm salivating just thinking about the BBQ and other spicy food they have there--J
pears43 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 395
Everything people said here about the Rendezvous Bay Hotel is correct, in my opinion. We stayed there last year for the 1st time (our 3rd time on Anguilla, but before we stayed somewhere else) and loved it! We have already booked Rendezvous again for this summer. Can't wait to go back!! Interesting to hear that Bart is gettng married - I'll send him an e-mail to congratulate!
For the rest, I really have nothing to add to pears' very informative posts - she (he?) said it all!
Carola22 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 11:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 395
Sorry pears - I realize now you must be a 'she' (talking about your husband) - that was kinda stupid of me!
Carola22 is offline  
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