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Travel Blogs from Anguilla
... still in their waters.
St Maarten is considered the centre for yachting in the Caribbean with many chandleries, it is also known for its white sand beaches and aqua coloured seawater. The first two nights we spent anchored in Simpson bay and we took the dinghy into the town a few times to buy provisions and to check email at cafes. In the end we decided to move back down the coast to "Great Bay" as it gave much better protection from the ...
... songs he never does the same ones twice and if you request a song, he knows it. He has a great back up band too.
I love it at Spice, great parking and wonderful view, they set us in the dining room right by the water, it was fabulous, I like it way better than Maundays Club.
Thurs, 5/2 - beach – very nice – more Gerauds, ordered sammy’s for departure day – turkey and ham – no stinky stuff – I hate being on the ...
... about an hour sightseeing drive, we arrived at a dock to take a double-decker pontoon style boat (the Explorer) to the French side capital city of Marigot. One member of the crew had a DJ setup on the second deck and entertained us during the 30 minute ride. He has a great voice. We were told that normally a lot of dancing takes places during the ride, but today the deck was wet and a hazard. We also had the island’s favorite rum punch ...
... and tying up a few loose ends in the UK takes us to 1500hrs and time to venture back out. It is still very hot. We swim in the beautiful and clear blue watered Little Bay just outside our suite. Lovely white sanded beach. In 15 years we have not really had a beach holiday as this is not really our scene but for 3 days we are having fun. Not quite sure how we would manage much longer as we are ready to explore other ...
... see regular winner Soma (from St John USVI) up against boats like Paradox, the 63 ft Irens trimaran and the Gunboat Coco de Mer entered by Katherine Mullins…. Around 11 cruising catamarans will sail with entries from Ukraine and Russia who will compete with local jaw breakers Guimamalou and Katzenellenbogen.”
Pas de Deux was clearly not even on the radar screen….
Follow the race by reading our next blog entry, "Let the Racing Begin!"
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Historical Traveler Reviews Ku Hotel Anguilla
Can't wait to return to Ku
Anguilla!.....a third world country?....Hellooooooooo!!! where are these folks from? Either they are just a bunch of sad complainers or extremely ignorant. I think these people have not travelled in their lifetime, to come up with such sad issues. These people are pathetic. Anguilla is paradise, with the most warm and friendly faces, you could find anywhere. And who are they to say that the locals are crazy and uneducated. They had some nerve. I picked up a local newspaper while on island and saw five faces that have just completed their degrees in the USA and guess what...these are the said locals that are topping the Deans list and graduating with honors? What is wrong with these people? I have stayed at Ku....Ku's beds are firm but comfortable and the staff....o my God, down to earth and soooooo helpful. Go to Ku and have a ball.......Don't you dare let these people, deter you from going to Anguilla and having a marvellous time at Ku. Those people are just plain losers. Anguilla and Ku is toooooooo goooooood for these losers.
My wife and I spent seven nights at the Ku in late April for our honeymoon. Overall, we were pleased with the accomodations. Because the beaches and water on Anguilla are the main attraction, a hotel only needs minimal services for an enjoyable stay on Anguilla.
The positives of Ku/Anguilla:
1. Beautiful beach and water. The water was rougher and cooler than the water on the other side of the island. However, if you walked east along the beach the water became calmer and warmer.
2. Opportunity to visit Cap Juluca and rent an umbrella and chairs on their beach. The cost is $10 per person for the day. A great way to enjoy this beautiful resort without having to pay the ridiculously inflated prices.
3. Service. Your room is cleaned extremely well every day. They even wash your dishes and put them away for you. The staff is very helpful and eager to make your stay enjoyable. My wife was starving at about 4pm. Although the kitchen was closed, the chef put together some nachos and dip with sliced watermelon for her free of charge.
4. Affordable. Although Anguilla is very expensive, Ku offers an affordable option for enjoying the island.
5. Food. The food is fantastic on Anguilla, although it is difficult to drive to the restaurants (see discussion below). For dinner, we strongly recommend Picantes, Bananas by the Sea, and Roy's Bayside. For lunch, we recommend Gwen's (must visit), Tasty's, and Uncle Ernie's. For breakfast, you have to go to Deon's Overlook.
The negatives of Ku:
1. Loud and annoying music. The day we arrived a terrible calypso band was playing for four straight hours. The bar/restaurant also has 2 mixed CD's that they blare over-and-over-and-over every day. By the last day, we were bordering on insanity when we heard the macarena for the umpteenth time. Also, they have DJ music on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays until 11pm. The music was bad and waaaay too loud.
2. Wrong side of the island. You must rent a car if you stay at the Ku. There are limited sources of food on the east side of the island, and you have to travel to the west side of the island to visit the great restaurants that the island has to offer. This is fine, except for two things. First, the roads are terribly bumpy. I had a terrible back ache after a few days of driving on them. Second, the locals are crazy. They drive crazy, and the pedestrians have no concern for cars. We saw one guy just walk into moving traffic and come within inches of being clipped. Because there are few street lights, this becomes especially dangerous at night time. Also, be aware that the restaurants do not open until 6pm at the earliest, and because everyone moves on "island time," you can't possibly finish a meal in under 2 hours.
3. Ku's mattresses felt like cardboard boxes.
The one complaint I have about Anguilla is that besides the restaurants and hotels/resorts, it is essentially a third world country. The residents are poorly educated. When you speak to them, they stare at you with a blank look in their eyes. They spend most of the day walking around in a daze, tending to their flock of goats, or walking in traffic. If you required medical attention, you would be in seriously dire straits.
Sorry for the negative tone, but I am a consummate cynic and tend to dwell on the bad things. Overall, we loved our stay, but just want people to be aware of the negatives when making a vacation decision.
We stayed at KU in December last year with our then 10 month old baby. I had requested a ground floor apartment by telephone and e-mail, so I was very cross and disappointed to find we were on the 1st floor. I had also requested a cot and high chair which again they knew nothing about. There was definitely a lack of communication between reservation/management and check-in which was disorganised and slow. I heard that the managemnet team from Cap Juluca had been placed at KU to 'manage' things, clearly they were more concerned about PR and decor than the real nitty gritty and also nowhere to be seen. We were moved 4 days later to a ground floor apartment overlooking the pool and beach which was great.
On a more positive note, KU is on an amazing beach and the apartments are nicely decorated in whites with hints of blues, spacious and the beds are very comfortable. The kitchen has evrything you need and all is cleaned daily. The bathroom is basic and small and ours had a leak in for most of the holiday.
The restaurant staff are really lovely but alas the food was not very impressive. They also insisted on piping out awful music all day long. There was no store on site or spa as the webisite suggested. KU as far as I am concerned is located at the wrong end of Anguilla. Most of the restaurants are at the other end of the island which is a 20 or so minute car ride away.
Just as a note on Anguilla the restaurant reviews I had read prior were claiming VERY high standards. Some were good but not amazing and we ate at most. I would head to St Barts if you want exclusive, sophoisticated a cute town and excellent food.
After reading the negative reviews about Ku on this site I feel I must tell of our wonderful experience. We thought the hotel and grounds were beautiful, far more beautiful than any of the pictures that I have seen on the net.
The people who work there are terrific. Their attitude certainly added to our vacation. Everyone went out of their way to help you. Actually everyone we met on Anguilla was friendly, smart and sweet.
Our room was gorgeous with every amenity anybody could want. The kitchen had all new appliances and everything that you could need.
And the room was, by the way, the one we had requested when we made the reservation. I know that that is not always possible but I believe they try. I think it speaks of their integrity.
The bar area is great. They have a fabulous string band called Smokey and the Boys on Sunday afternoons from 3-7. We believe it to be the best band on Shoal Bay beach if not all of Anguilla. It certainly set us to dancing.
We did not look at this property as Cap Juluca's 'poorer cousin'. It stands on its own merit. It is a very fun place with an excellent vibe.It is also incredibly relaxing just staring at that gorgeous turquoise water. That is after all why we go there.
I know there has been a lot of talk on this forum about earlier problems at Ku. We found most of those problems to be solved and if any are remaining, they are doing everything in their power to resolve them.
There are now showers to wash off the sand as you leave the beach. The Market is now open and quite well stocked. The pool area is very well tended and beautiful. There are plenty of towels and umbrellas. We saw no ants in our room. They seem to be working on getting rid of them.
We loved it, it is beautiful, we had a fabulous time there and we would go back.
Still Not Ready For Primetime
I couldn't help but chuckle after seeing the last few reviews of Ku - they were so accurate. From the moment my wife and I arrived at Ku we were uneasy with the service - this is their #1 problem. We planned this trip to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. The day before arrival I called to make sure we got the best garden view room available and a chilled bottle of champagne to get our anniversary off on the right foot. When we arrived at 4PM we had no room at all - it was still being cleaned even though check-in time is at 3PM. No problem - they gave us vouchers to get a drink at the beach bar. When our room was ready we dropped our bags and opened the curtains. To my surprise there was a garbage dumpster outside of the kitchen window AND there was no chilled bottle of champagne to be found. I proceeded to walk over to the front desk to inform them about the room and the champagne. They were very gracious about the champagne - they actually sent over a bottle on the house. They could not however, find us another room since they were sold out. After I walked back to the room my wife noticed that the TV and phone were out of commission. I had to walk back to reception again since the phone was out. Once those problems were fixed we started to relax but my opinion of the service had already been formed. The staff was very nice and quick to help - the problem is they are all rookies and it was evident that they were not knowledgeable or confident in what they were doing. This applied to hotel issues and to offsite activities. My wife and I are VERY easygoing and for us to be complaining like this takes a lot.
Now, there are some positives to the hotel. The rooms are big, clean and well appointed. The restaurant food was exceptional for dinner, even though no one else seemed to eat there. Have the Surf & Turf Paella! The beach is INCREDIBLE and right outside your doorstep. The beach bar is impressive and the water sports center is right next door. You also have privileges at Cap Juluca, which boasts the best beach in the Carribbean in my opinion.
This hotel has all the makings to be above average. All they need to do is take a page out of Cap Juluca's management training manual and it will become a very good hotel. Sadly, I don't see this happening anytime soon.
Not ready for prime time
This property is located on one of the most beautiful beaches to be found anywhere. Alas, this resort now under new management by the Cap Jalucca folks was a major disappointment during our recent 5 night stay--especially at those prices. It must be said that we are seasoned BVI travellers and we were concerned that the exessive expense of this island would not be justified. Ku was off kilter from the moment we arrived. Check in provided early clues that this might be a little iffy as particularly hideous 'dentist waiting room' music is piped into the reception area. The checkin itself was chaotic and even the free rum grog was a hassle standing in line while one overworked bartender was attending to participants in a silly spin the wheel happy hour game. At $360 bucks a night (including the 10% tax and 10% SC), our garden/'ocean view' unit was separated from the adjacent Shoal Bay Villas by a beat up construction fence and fronted a parking lot.Behind the building and up a small embankment was a local house and its rather loud occupants were heard from regularly (especially in the mornings).You could see the ocean but on the rare occassion that I hung out on the balcony, a truck came into the lot and idled for about 20 minutes spewing diesel fumes while resort garbage was collected.We could not wait to get off the property and explore Shoal Bay and the rest of the island on our own and it appeared that many other people felt the same way. The restaurant and bar were sparsely attended during our stay. My mother-in-law contacted Ku to surprise my wife on her 40th birthday with a bottle of wine and one-hour massage. They got us the bottle but forgot the massage certificate.
The island itself does have supurb beaches and the Anguillans are extremely friendly and helpful. There are a number of first rate restaurants but plan on being north of $200 for 2 with a moderately priced wine and appetizer. The Straw Hat and Koal Keel were particularly memorable as was a night at the very expensive Malliouhana Resort (snapper for 2 cooked in a salt brick-highly reccommended).Other spots to visit include Gwen's Reggae Shack (live music on Sundays)KoKo's up on the northeast corner,Smokeys for lunch, Olivers, and Pumphouse.
This island is clearly on the way to becoming an exclusive enclave for the uber-rich and it was sad to see the new 'Greg Norman" golf course open for business. It seems possible that the beautiful spirit of Anguilla and the Anguillans could be diluted by the relentless onslaught of monied interests. It is unlikely that we would return to Anguilla but we definitely will not visit Ku again.
The Emperor's new clothes
With all the hype this new hotel has received and from its part ownership by Cap Jaluca, my husband and I had high expectations. These were quickly dashed when we arrived at the hotel to find that reception had no knowlege of e-mails that their own reservationist had sent us-for example agreeing to have a car for us and a certain class of room. The reception staff, while friendly enough, was constantly baffled when asked to do anything.Were they ever trained?
Our room's appearance continued this feel of being in a slap-dash operation. A coat of purple paint had been painted on the outside of the balcony leaving blotches of purple on the unpainted roomside. The bathroom vanities were the old rusty ones from the previous incarnation, but with a coat of white paint slapped on top, the door still broken.
The bar only had a few people there at happy hour, then closed down for the night around 7. The only people we ever saw eating in the restaurant were the ones waiting for their rental cars to arrive so they could go elsewhere. Even the staff in their Ku t-shirts ate next door at Uncle Ernie's.
Given the lack of detail shown in the renovation, the lack of training in the staff and the bad value-for-money,this is a hotel that is all hype.
Love Anguilla but Ku has problems
We were at Ku from 12/11 to 12/19. We love Anguilla and had a really good time on the island. We have very mixed feelings about Ku. The staff was generally very warm and as helpful as possible. We tipped heavily and got good service. Ku had great prices when we were there and we realized that we got what we paid for. Now, at $395.00 per night it is not great value.
Continental breakfast was very limited and $16.00 per person, Most guests ate in their room or went elsewhere for breakfast.
Dinner was good but not as good as most other restaurants with the same upscale pricing. We tried it once. Lunch was good and a much better value.
The brochure promises several things that did not exist:
No music, except piped in speakers by the restaurant for 12 hours a day. No dancing and no music on Sunday as promised.
No deli, no store at all. Buying any supplies required a car ride into town.
The door to the room was not secure and the sliding glass door did not lock. We complained and the problem was eventually fixed. We had a leak on our bathroom floor from our toilet that took 3 days to fix. We asked for a room change and were told that was not possible. We then asked for a rate reduction and were told that was not possible since the problem was repaired.
The bathroom is small with hardly any amenities...bring your own. The floors are slippery, expecially in the shower, which did not have a rubber mat. The lighting in the bathroom is oK but there is no makeup mirror.
The do not disturb signed showed up at the end of our stay.
The maids leave their cleaning supplies, dirty linens and guest room trash in the entrance way all day long which was a very unpleasant greeting.
The beach is crowded by the rental chairs from Uncle Ernies and the water sports shed. Ku does not have enough lounge chairs or umbrellas. There were only 2 chairs by the pool.
The pool was cleaned only 2 times in a week.
It took 3 days for a property light to be repaired. The light was by some steps on the way to the parking lot and of course I tripped and twisted my ankle.
On the positive side, i thought that the property looked beautiful and the views of the beach, sea and sunset are memorable. The beach is wonderful and the new bar is great. The staff was generally very warm and as helpful as possible. We tipped heavily and got good service. Ku had great prices when we were there and we realized that we got what we paid for. Now, at $395.00 per night it is not great value.
Ku is a good hotel. Clean, nice. The location is terrific. The breakfast is overpriced, rent a car and head to the supermarket to stock up (east of smittys is a good one) or head to the highway bakery for cinnamon buns. The rooms are not 'resort like' but are very functional (full kitchen etc) I would stay beachfront when I do it again (and i will!) Can't wait to go back.
Ku Is On the way to becoming a very good hotel!
I just returned from a 2 week stay in Anguilla and I stayed at Ku. Ku use to be the old Shoal Bay Hotel which I never had stayed at but had heard that the owners had let get very run down. Now that is it is Ku it is being managed by the Cap Juluca people for the next 5 yrs to turn it into a top hotel on the eastern end of the island.
I must tell you that when I arrived they had just finished putting the finishing touches on my room. I had a very spacious 1 bedroom oceanfront suite on the 3rd floor with great views from the balcony. The restaurant which was suppose to have been open was delayed due to construction and materials problems and the were working feverishly to get it open.
I also had no cable tv for 2 days because they were working out the bugs with the the wiring and also my telephone seemed fine because I could call the front desk but they could not call me but eventually this was resolved as well.
The personnel and staff at the hotel were great and treated me very well. I think the maids were upset that I did not want the turn down service because I didn't need it. Also too the bathroom toiletrys are Bulgari products which was a very nice touch.
Now for the things that need improving. The pool was not properly maintained and needed to be cleaned daily. The restaurant when it did open had decent food but the $16 continental breakfast which was nothing more than some cereal, coffee, tea, and breads was way overpriced. I had ordered room service and they charged me $3 extra because I didn't have dinner at the restaurant in addition to the 15% service fee. Also the beach bar is not up and running and you had to wait quite awhile for your drink or you could walk a few feet over to Uncle Ernies and get one right away and cheaper!
I think the problem Ku is going to run into is that they are trying to make it a mini Cap Juluca which it will never be. Shoal Bay is not the exclusive enclave Maunday Bay is nor will it ever be. Shoal Bay is more public than private. I think they need to concentrating on becoming a good solid mid range hotel.