Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional jetsetter? Starting this month, we will feature travel tips and off-the-record experiences by various jetsetters and journalists who have visited Cap Juluca.
First up, our talented friend and wordsmith, David Lansing. David has written for National Geographic Traveler and Islands Magazine, to name a few, and refers to himself as a modern-day flâneur – a French term meaning gentleman stroller of the streets and aimless wanderer. David’s relaxed approach and taste for the finer things in life make him an ideal guest to check in with on all things Anguilla.
CJ: What is your all-time favorite experience at Cap Juluca?
DL: I love going out on the resort’s 32-foot sailboat for a sunset cruise. Captain Eddie and his crewmate, Elvis, are extremely gracious, and sipping champagne while watching a squall play out far over the horizon is always a treat. And you just know that at some point on the cruise, Elvis is going to tell you a great story. My favorite is about the honeymooning couple from Oklahoma who were completely hammered when they jumped off the boat, swam to a nearby limestone cliff with a prominent sign at the top that said in big bold red letters ABSOLUTELY NO JUMPING, used a rope to climb up the sheer rock and then jumped like lemmings into the sea some 30 feet below. They were a little scratched up from climbing the cliff but otherwise fine, according to Elvis. Before this story can fully sink in, Elvis says, “Did I tell you about the group of rich Russians we had on board one time?” He did not. But he will.
CJ: What’s your most memorable indulgence at the resort?
DL: This is a simple indulgence: I like to laze about at Blue, the resort’s open-air beach cafe, for a long, late lunch. It feels so French to sit in your swimsuit drinking rosé and picking at a lobster roll while watching guests rearrange themselves on the lounge chairs on the snowy white beach in front of you. You can completely zone out sitting there, staring at the ocean until you eventually look at your watch and realize lunch was three hours long. And then try to decide whether you should have a rum punch or not. And I always do. Why not? There’s just this feeling of everything being slowed down and extremely laid back.
CJ: Of course we have to know, what’s your favorite Anguilla beach and why?
DL: I love Sandy Ground because of all the little beachfront cafes and bars. It’s the best place to meet the locals and have a cold Carib or a rum punch. (Every little bar here will tell you they make the best rum punch on the island, so you have to try them all.) But personally, I think the most stunning beach on the island is Maundays Bay, which is the beach right in front of Cap Juluca. It’s like that picture postcard you have in your head about the most idyllic looking Caribbean beach. Fine white sand, water as clear as gin and a sailboat or two anchored just offshore. All the beaches on Anguilla are public, including this one, so you don’t have to be staying at the resort to take advantage of the calm, warm water. But do bring your own towel and chair.
CJ: As a travel expert, what’s your best travel tip when traveling to paradise?
DL: Get off the reservation. Don’t spend all your time just at your resort. Enjoy an ice-cold Carib under the palms at Elvis’ Beach Bar in Sandy Ground and ask a local to explain the differences in Anguilla’s famed racing boats (it’s a big sport here). Flag down a small boat for a ride to Scilly Cay and listen to a local reggae band while eating grilled lobster. Catch the live music at the Pumphouse, an old salt factory turned pub, in Sandy Ground.
CJ: Name an item you pack and cannot live without when you check into Cap Juluca?
DL: I kind of take the opposite approach: What is it I really don’t need at Cap Juluca? Every time I go, I pack less. I think I could probably get everything I really need into a small backpack: swimsuit, couple of t-shirts, two polo shirts and some flip-flops. It’s not easy, but I try to stay offline when I’m there – skip the laptop, stop checking my messages. What I like to do is send out an email blast just before I go saying “I’m going to have limited access to wifi and won’t be checking my email, so don’t expect to hear from me.” It’s not exactly true, but it sets the right tone.