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Overlooking the undisturbed, white sand shores of Long Bay lies Anguilla's first Relais & Châteaux property, the grand Quintessence Hotel.
Owned by Mr. Geoffrey Fieger, Quintessence has been over a decade in the making. It is a project of passion for art, for design and most of all, for Anguilla. Those passions emerge throughout the hotel's nine suites spaciously laid out over its three floors.
Exclusive, sophisticated and timeless, Quintessence is a grand tropical mansion that sets a new presidence.
For an in-depth look inside this one of a kind estate, watch the video below.
Prepare to be dazzled by vibrant green palms, and lulled into a state of calm by their gentle rustling. Lush gardens surround the stately entrance, marked by its strong pillars and fixed with the iconic Relais & Châteaux plaque.
A few steps inside and Mr. Fieger's exquisite art collection catches your eye immediately. Pieces by Bresil and pieces from Haiti line the walls, with a 900 lb hand-crafted rose resting just below the top of high, wood-vaulted ceilings.
Mr. Fieger fell in love with Malliouhana back in the late 80's and 90's when it was owned by Mr. Roydon. Quintessence is, in a way, Mr. Fieger's interpretation of the iconic property.
Follow your eyes to the blue sea beyond the hotel's entrance and you will find...
The Path to Long Bay
Inside the house on the main floor lies...
Also set on the main floor is the restaurant at Quintessence, Julian's: A Tropical French Bistro.
Named after Geoffrey's eldest son, Julian's defines Quintessence as a Relais & Châteaux property. Chef Dominique Thevenet is a famous name in Anguilla. He rose to fame in the 1990's when he raised Covecastles' level of cuisine to new heights.
Outdoor Patio at Julian's at Quintessence
Quintessence is the perfect match to Chef's haute-cuisine. Dishes that highlight Chef Dominique's background include goat cheese and fig wrapped in phyllo with almond lavender honey, Burgundy escargot, French rack of lamb and Poulet de Bresse with Morel cream sauce. The menu is also rich with local flavor, including coconut mahi mahi laced with vanilla sauce and a catch of the day in Creole sauce.
Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Aioli and Apple-Fennel Slaw
More on the full dining experience at JULIANS: A French Tropical Bistro here.
Up the hotel's regal staircase (or via elevator), the second floor boasts three grand rooms. The first is a suite set to the floor's western side. On the eastern side?
The Polo Lounge.
The Polo Lounge
Cavernous, with dark woods, deep leather couches and a plethora of rums for sipping, the space rings true to its name. The perfect escape after a day in the sun (the room is kept at a crisp ~75°F), the space has a media room with 72" flatscreen television and fully equipped conference room.
The conference room makes Quintessence a fantastic choice for intimate company getaways and conferences.
Beyond The Polo Lounge is the floor's final suite, Brésil. The Polo Lounge and Brésil can be rented out together (2,400 square feet combined).
No expense has been spared and no detail has been overlooked in crafting Quintessence's nine opulent suites.
Mr. Fieger and his designer, Mark have chosen each piece specifically for its suite. Leather sleigh beds in one suite, regal four post beds in others. All are topped with handmade, natural Swedish mattreses.
Perhaps most noteworthy of all is Mark's eye for lighting. Oversized glass fixtures, circular shades that cast a thousand shadows, dancing on the walls. Each element and its effect has been thought through.
Exquisite Light Fixtures
Because of the careful nature of the hotel, Quintessence is not a property for children under 12 years old.
Each suite has an all-Turkish marble bathroom with walk-in shower, Roman sink tub and a host of amenities. Gilchrist & Soames products, real sponges for scrubbing and even deodorant and bug repellant. One of the most thoughtful touches that hotels often overlook? Quintessence's bathrooms each have a bathroom scale.
The suites on Quintessence's main floors (six in total) are referred to as "Villas." They range from 833 square feet to nearly 3,000 square feet (the Penthouse - with two bedrooms and two bathrooms). Each features an outdoor terrace with Long Bay views and full dining space.
Penthouse Suite Terrace
The remaining three suites are located on the hotel's lower level.
To the west side of the hotel's main floor, a staircase leads to Quintessence's last level.
The staircase opens into a billiard room. The handsome pool table is complete with tassels and enchanting light that casts star-shaped beams onto the regal table. The billiard room is across from the cellar, which houses thousands of bottles of rare and aged wines, including those in Mr. Fieger's private collection.
The Billiard Room
A long posh hall leads from the billiard room to the remaining three suites. They are far from your average "garden suites."
Designer, Mark has crafted these with care, capturing a tropical, mid-century modern flair. Set apart from the rest of the hotel, they have a noticeable aura of calm and tranquility. Two feature a private terrace area (Long Bay and Sea Grape suites). The third has its own full kitchen in place of an outdoor terrace (Meads Bay suite).
Long Bay Suite
All suites feature vibrant murals, intricate head boards and mid-century style chaises and curtains. A nod to Malliouhana of the late 1980's, you know that a hotel is truly special when its garden suites are utterly fantastic.
In addition to renting "villas" and suites, there is the option for entire villa buyout.
The final, and critical aspect, is the team. General Manager Merla Smith delivers on the promise Quintessence makes when you step foot inside the property's stately walls. 24 hour butler service and personalized concierge are all part of the Quintessence experience.
With a passion for the property, a true sense of ownership and a deep understanding of her guests, Merla impresses at every turn. Her attention to detail ensures an experience that exudes Anguilla warmth.
Mr. Fieger's Quintessence Hotel is one of the few hotels that both captures the spirit of Anguilla and successfully modernizes that which originally defined "Anguilla luxury."
For a complete walk through of Quintessence, take a look at the video below.
Directions: On the road to Meads Bay, past B&D's BBQ, turn right at the former location of Lucy's Restaurant (there is a Quintessence sign). Follow that road and you will see the hotel further down on the right.