By: Kristin Bourne
Shoal Bay East may be the most heavily credited Anguilla beach, but I've discovered that many more have a deep love for Meads Bay, also on the island's north shore.
Why? Let's find out! :-)
It might be the Meads Bay scene that makes me smile the most (with exception to all of the Meads Bay action and boatrace on Anguilla Carnival's August Thursday ;-)
As you enter Meads Bay by the little fishing boat under the tamarind tree, you are amidst Malliouhana which is currently closed and under renovation.
I look forward to the day that this historic and beautiful hotel reopens. It is in a special spot and I have fond memories over breakfast at its restaurant which provides a nice birds eye view of Meads Bay.
Until then, there are plenty of very nice accommodations on Meads Bay which I will pass by as I begin to walk west.
First up is Carimar (seen in video below). Carimar's stark white building with contrasting dark wood, wrapped up by beautiful greenery and flowers is a very pretty sight.
This moderate hotel has a loyal following. While I've never slept there, I've spent time in several of the units of friends who have stayed there. They return time after time, happily.
They are lovely and comfortable and if you are looking for moderate pricing and want to be directly on Meads Bay, this is your spot. You can read more from Nori on the Anguilla hotel Carimar here.
Just beyond Carimar is Blanchards. Blanchards is one of Anguilla's tenured upscale restaurants and one of the Evoy family's favorites!
Blanchards restaurant was the original five-star restaurant on the island. Owned and operated by Bob and Melinda Blanchard who are from Vermont, they told their story of moving to sunnier climates in "A Trip to the Beach."
You can read more about the wonderful Anguilla book penned by the owner's of Blanchards, here.
Blanchards is painted a cool blue and as nice as it is, still encourages a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for dinner.
Their lunch spot, Blanchards Beach Shack, is a favorite for casual lunch that is hard to beat.
Just next to Blanchards is Nathan's Cove. A small accommodation option right on the beach and nestled in between two fantastic restaurants...
The newer kid on the block, Jacala is just steps beyond Blanchard's and Nathan's Cove.
Jacala is open for lunch and dinner.
The restaurant, Jacala
After Jacala, there are no more businesses along the beach for a little ways, unless you plan on doing business with the sellers of a multi-million dollar beachfront house! ;-)
What a dream!
All of this can be yours for the right price. What a beauty!
The next little building you will see is the former sales center for the Viceroy (now Four Seasons) prior to its opening. I hear they use it now for employee parties and things like that. To me, it feels like it sits about "mid-bay" on Meads Bay.
Turtle's Nest. Right on the sand.
Continuing to walk west past, next you approach Turtle's Nest which are two white buildings seemingly sitting closer to the sea than almost any other buildings on Meads Bay for some reason.
They are tall (for Anguilla) and are condo's and visitors may rent the condo's and settle in for their nice expansive views of Meads Bay and the setting sun.
Next is the building for Meads Bay Beach Villas. You can read more about villas along Meads Bay, here.
Immediately beyond Turtle's Nest is the pretty and unique boutique hotel, Frangipani.
Frangipani is a more welcomed look on Meads Bay especially after having just passed by Turtles Nest. Not to take away from Turtle's Nest but Frangipani is pink with a terra cotta roof and not many hotels/resorts in Anguilla can boast that they are pink.
Pretty Frangipani, Petals Boutique (not seen), and The Straw Hat Restaurant (on the right)
Frangipani is also home to the new, stylish, chic yet casual Petals Boutique. Petals can not be seen from the beach but is less than a minute walk from the sand as it sits right there next to one of the Frangipani pools and next to the Frangipani office.
I would suggest bringing some cash or plastic with you if you are staying elsewhere and take off down the beach for a walk, Petals is worth stopping in! ;-) You can read more about Petals Boutique, here.
Also at Frangipani is the beloved restaurant, Straw Hat. Straw Hat another one of the Evoy family favorites for both lunch and dinner.
You see why so many people love Meads Bay?
There are so many lovely options and we aren't even all the way down the beach yet!
After Frangipani, Petals, and the Straw Hat we will hit another lull in businesses along Meads... just simply quiet, pretty land stretches along the sand for a little break from stimulation, which is nice because the other end of Meads Bay houses the largest cluster of accommodation, restaurants, and activity center on Anguilla.
From Four Seasons checking the conditions
for SUP (stand-up paddle boarding). This is near
where you leave the beach to walk to Anacaona
and where the Four Seasons loungers begin.
All of that excitement is not before we pass by the grounds of Anacaona. This is considered to be another one of Anguilla's boutique hotels, however it is a little more value-oriented than Frangipani.
Anacaona is not easily seen from the beach, however you will see their beach chairs and umbrellas. The hotel itself is a short walk from the beach.
They also have a restaurant called Firefly in case you are hungry from all of this walking!
It's easy to find the walkway up to Anacaona, just look for the white-walled walkway and follow it up to the beautiful grounds of the hotel.
I pause here and reflect because this spot is meaningful to me. It is where Anguillian Divers enters and exits from their beach-entry dives and where started and completed my PADI Open Water Certification for Scuba Diving with them. You can read all about Anguilla diving adventures here in the Anguilla Dive Journal.
Meads Bay beach at Four Seasons (formerly Viceroy)
Ok, refocusing. Right next to Anacaona's beach set up is the beginning of the enormous Four Seasons Anguilla (previously Viceroy Anguilla) property which takes over the western end of Meads Bay. You would have to be sleep-walking to miss it.
Posh beach loungers and umbrellas line the end of the sand here.
You are also likely to see their water trampoline and guests using kayaks and paddleboards.
If you choose to adventure on to the property, you will find a couple places to have lunch close to the beach. Aleta and The Bamboo Bar & Grill are the restaurants on the Meads Bay side of Four Seasons.
My camera missed the actual sunset,
but you get the idea! Breathtaking!!
As you may know, Four Seasons covers a point between both Meads Bay and the next bay over, Barnes Bay.
That is the end of the road... I mean, beach. Four Seasons is the finale and what a finale it is!
The last but not least experience to make your time on Meads Bay complete is an Anguilla sunset.
The sun sets out over the water at Meads Bay (toward the west, obviously ;-) and it is a soul-soothing sight to see. Don't miss it.
Meads Bay is truly one of the most visually impressive, wide and expansive beaches.
With so many dining and accommodation options, it is no wonder it's one of the island most widely loved, and top big beaches.
A word of warning... Be careful of rough seas, especially in the Winter months. As peaceful as Meads Bay can be in the summer, in the Winter (December/January), tides tend to surge, waves reaching as high as 8 feet!