Anacaona Boutique Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Anacaona Boutique Hotel West End
La Sirena is Great - You Don't Have to Spend A Lot to Enjoy Anguilla!
We've been reading so many rave reviews about the upscale hotels - Malliouhana, Cap & Cuisinart that we wanted to let people know it is possible to have a great time on Anguilla without spending a ton of money.
We stayed at La Sirena and loved it, but if you're looking for a luxury resort/spa experience, then this is not for you. If you like small quaint inns with a mellow European vibe (the owners are Swiss and there are lots of Germans and Brit clientele), then you'll love it. We had an absolutely charming 2nd floor room with a bougainvillea-lined balcony, views of Sandy Cay and wonderful crosswinds that kept our room very comfortable. The owners and staff were warm and friendly, especially Rebecca at the front desk (apparently she's also Anguilla's answer to J. Lo too). The food is decent enough, but we often enjoyed just hanging out at the bar and picking up a conversation with the staff or fellow "inn-mates". The pool is nothing to write home about, but who cares when you have a beach like Mead's Bay right at your feet! Most days we had it totally to ourselves. Yes, the beach is a 3-minute walk away and no, La Sirena doesn't have staff on the beach, but it didn't bother us in the least (and I'd say we're pretty lazy).
FOOD & NIGHTLIFE
Hands down our favorite place was Bankie Banks Dune Preserve. The food is decent, but it's the live music and friendly reggae vibe that made us wish we had discovered it earlier in our trip. It's the neatest place and feels like you're having a beer in Robinson Caruso's shack. Well, not a shack, but a bar made from old driftwood and boats that serve as is an actual dune preserve. It's right on the beach with views of St. Maarten in the distance. It's true that the restaurants on the island can be expensive and are some of the best in the Caribbean, but we often found that more money didn't always mean better food. Our favorite finds were E's Oven and Tasty's if you're in the mood for local cuisine. Also enjoyed Johnno's and drinks at Cap Jaluca's Kemia and Malliouhana, but thought Mango's and Uncle Ernie's were over rated. We had a fairly expensive Italian dinner at this place on the beach (cannot remember the name of it), and thought it was really mediocre.
THINGS TO DO
Definitely rent a car because the roads aren't great for walking. There are a lot of great restaurants and things to see and do, like picking up hitchhikers, which is a fun way to get to know the island (I wouldn't recommend this any other place on the planet though). We loved hiring Captain Rollins and his catamaran Chocolate for a snorkeling/lunch day trip to Prickly Pear! However, our visit to Scilly Cay felt just a wee bit touristy and pre-fabricated - still a good time and a lot of fun. There's a great little ice cream place in the gin mill on the way back to town. Of course, the beaches speak for themselves. Our favorites were Shoal Bay and Mead's Bay because of the gorgeous sand and calm water.
If we had to do it again we would rent a villa at La Sirena for 2 weeks, eat the local cuisine more often and hang out more at Bankie's place.
This year we're trying St. John (Westin) since we now have a rambunctious toddler and if we have even half the great time we did in Anguilla, our vacation will be a success.
Excellent hotel exceeded our expectations.
My girlfriend and I visited La Sirena for three days in Feb 05 whilst island hopping to see what Angulla had to offer.
This is an excellent 3 star/mid priced hotel which is an ideal base from which to explore western anguilla. The rooms are very tastefully and thoughtfully furnished and although most offer garden views there is a very spacious feel to them with two patio doors opening out onto balconies.
It is obvious that the european owners (swiss) have put a great deal of thought and care into every little detail of the rooms and the hotels design and facilities. The Rooms offer almost everything you could want.
The staff are friendly and efficent, moreso than in some of the higher grade & expensive hotels we had stayed in before.
The restaurant offers great breakfasts and excellent dinners, although dinner can be a little pricey with wine added the food quality and choice is excellent and again better than some we experienced in more expensive hotels.
The nearby beach in meads bay, a 7 minute walk away is attractive in an isolated sort of way with very few people, there are guest sunbeds and we almost had the beach to ourselves.
Its waters are a little rougher than some. It also seems a little neglected probably because it has so few visitors. The remains of a wooden beach shelter complete with protruding nails was washed up along the beach (no fault of La Sirenas!), so perhaps not ideal for younger children.
For one of the most beautiful beaches you will see I strongly recommend hiring some bikes from the hotel, only $5 US a day, and taking a 10 minute cycle ride along to West Shoal bay. This beach is still very quiet, undeveloped and has calm waters with some reasonable snorkelling and is so beatiful it will blow you away when you first see it. Theres also a great beach bar offering amazing italian food and shower/toilet/sunbed facilities to lunch guests.
Best Beach at the best price
My husband and I just returned from a one week vacation to Anguilla. The island is perfect for those travelers who are content with getting to know the people and relaxing on any one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. La Sirena is located on the most beautiful beach on Anguilla. We were in walking distance of several great restaurants; Blanchard's, Frangipani, Mango's and Malliouhana. La Sirena is clean and the staff there incredibly accommodating and helpful. I would recommend the hotel and the island to anyone desiring a relaxing vacation at a great price.
Good family value and an awesome beach
We stayed at La Sirena in June 2002 on the recommendation of two families who had stayed there in prior years. We recommend the villas for a family - great value. 3 br/3ba. The living room and kitchen are not air conditioned but the bedrooms are. A bit warm in the late afternoon but otherwise comfortable. And the summer was a terrific time to go - there we were with a villa overlooking the Carribean for the same price as a beachside condo in North Carolina. The weather was great - not too hot (mid 80s) and the off-season pace was great for a family. La Sirena is a bit rough around the edges - you'll see a tossed planting pot here and there and perhaps broken roof tiles - like the rest of Anguilla. The friendly Anguillans more than made up for that. We felt safe and La Sirena is a very pleasant place to stay. For instance, some boys getting off their school bus showed us how to pick and eat kinettes (ping pong ball sized fruit that you break open and suck like a sour ball) growing over the porch of the Iri Life t-shirt shop.
Perfect informal resort
We recently returned from a six night stay at La Sirena and found it to be just the sort of hotel we love. The owners were accessible and quite friendly as were the rest of the staff, the other guests an interesting mix of Europeans and Americans Our room, the pool and dining room all met or exceeded our expectations, and the short walk to the beach (which gave us pause when we initially booked) turned out to be quite pleasant. We visited many of the other hotels on the island during our stay, and were glad we had chosen La Sirena.
Perfect in EVERY way!!!
My family has returned to stay at La Sirena on numerous occasions precisely because it does stay open when other hotels on that island close. Anguilla is at its best during this quiet time-- when people desperate for "beach services" crowd off their cruise ship and march onto some other island. The owners, Vivian and Rolf and their lovely staff are friendly and warm. They will positively go out of their way to ensure that any need that you have is attended to. Moreover, La Sirena's adorable, spotless rooms, huge villas and popular suites could not be a better value, yes, even in winter. The friendly, safe island has tons of jaw-droppingly gorgeous public beaches with crystal clear water. There are no casinos and no little plastic wrist-bands. If you want that, then please, go complain somewhere else and leave the beach all for me...
The Siren's Call
Anguilla is a beautiful island nation. The people are amazingly friendly. St. Bart's used to be my favourite island, but now it is Anguilla. La Sirena is nestled in the northwest tip of Anguilla in Meads Bay, secluded yet a short distance into 'town' and the airport.
The beach is simply ravishing - powdery white sand and views that rival the so-called most beautiful beach of the Caribbean - Shoal Bay East.
Meads Bay was one of my favourite beaches - with stronger waves than other spots, perfect for jumping the waves, other water activities.
It's especially pleasant in the night, in the moonlight when the waves are even stronger. La Sirena is perfectly situated, literally a 2 minute walk from Meads Bay.While it is true that half of the walk to Meads Bay is through other property, ALL beaches in Anguilla are public - even the hotel beaches that they make seem private. The walk itself is very pleasant, and I personally preferred the short walk to living on the beach, as it can be a bit too rowdy at times. Rolf, hiw wife and his staff are genuinely nice people. I've had many good conversations with them - at breakfast, while they were swimming, etc. They were extremely accomodating - I would sneak some ice cream from their kitchen each night - and that was perfectly ok with them. (Of course, I paid at the end) I wanted a stereo in my room (the junior suite in the gardens - 2 floors) and he complied, he let us have his personal stereo system for our stay! They provided snorkeling and other water gear, as well as beach towels, whenever we asked. When we needed to rent a car, he let us have one of his cars for the day until our rental car arrived. Rolf even cooked a quiche we bought at the Gourmet Cat (a fantastic local catering house - great for picking up inexpensive meal) in his own home. As for rooms - I stayed in the bilevel junior suite.
There are two types of junior suites, one in the main building and the other in the gardens. I stayed in the latter, in the beautiful garden (but remember, Anguilla is a desert climate, the plantation is not lush like other Caribbean islands).The layout is: kitchen, living room, patio on the 1st floor, bedroom & bathroom upstairs. The enormous bathroom has a jacuzzi bath, as well as a separate shower, with two sink basins. The bedroom faces Meads Bay and gives a fantastic view of sunrise & sunset. My only complaint - the bed wasn't very comfortable - but I was impressed that it was a genuine king bed, not two twin beds put together. The kitchen is very functional, with microwave, fridge, cutlery, and plates - we cooked several times. The living room area is Caribbean - wicker furniture with bright colors, fishes and stuff. The decor of La Sirena is mostly 80's - imagine 'Cocktail'. The maid service was prompt, always smiling, astonishing really, considering that we always left our clothes everywhere, every spot sandy & wet. Our room was spotless when we returned after a day spent lazing around beaches. I can't comment on the food as I did not dine there - and frankly, restaurants that claim to do everything (east meets west, etc) scare me. Furthermore, there are SO many choices in Anguilla - during high season, all the gourmet choices are open, during down season, all the local places are still open. But that's another long, long story...To respond to the review titled "Horrible Beware" (Oct. 16th) - one must realize that the reviewer visited Anguilla sometime in late Sept/Oct - the down season for the island - also known as 'Hurricane Season' for the hurricanes that so often visit the islands during those months. The entire island shuts down, most of the hotels are closed for repairs. La Sirena is one of the three hotels open for business, but they too must renovate for the upcoming busy winter seasonr. The nature of the down season means that there are no beachside services and nightly jazz concerts - and there will be garden maintenance. Anguilla is a desert climate, for any semblance of a garden to exist, one must exhaustively maintain every sapling. Therefore, travelers to Anguilla during Sept/Oct should be prepared for these inconveniences for the privilege of having the island almost entirely to themselves and normally exorbitant prices slashed 50-60%. To summarize, La Sirena is a great buy - great location, privacy, great staff on a great island. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
La Sirena is fabulous
La Sirena is exactly what you would expect: an affordable hotel, clean, quiet on one of the most beautiful beaches in Anguilla. Sorry if the food (and/or food service) did not live up to another NY, NY reviewers expectations but it is fine for breakfast/lunch. Go out to dinner at one of the many fine dining establishments on the Island with the money you saved on lodging.PS LA Sirena gardens have one of the most interesting herbal gardens in the Carribean.
La sirena was one of the worst trips I have personally encountered. Not only was the service as slow as a moped but you are waiting for something that taste like something out of a dumpster. You know on the brochure how it says a quick walk through the "beautiful gardens." I thought the walk was annoying as ****. No only did you walk on rocks....THERE WAS NO GARDEN!. And you were basically walking through peoples lawns. You DO NOT wanna know what our family saw..... dirty houses laundry lines naked natives. So you would walk down to a actually true part of the brochure it is A NICE BEACH. The water is clear and warm, the sand is pearly white. BUT there is no food serivce so they were basically asking for you to drag a the pad for the chair ALL the way back down the gravel path. and if you were hungry there are no people to serve you. For example my wife and children wanted something to drink and we ended up ordering food from the GARDENERS. And to note they burn god **** leaves in front of the god forsaken hottel area. Which I could personally smell. So as my family took a walk down the beach we would see the most beautiful hotels ever (3X amount of money) and wished that we could be there right this second. and lastly the trip was so bad that we were actually looking for other hotels DURING the trip. BEWARE ALL TRIP'ES THIS IS NOT THE HOTEL FOR YOU IF YOU DONT LIKE THE THINGS I have LISTED ABOVE.
We've been to La Sirena several times and have nothing but praise for all aspects of the hotel. The staff is warm and friendly, the location is superb, the facilities are wekk kept, the grounds are beautiful, and the price is fair. I highly recommend Anguilla and La Sirena as the perfect destinations for quiet, lazy, peaceful getaways.
TripAdvisor Reviews Anacaona Boutique Hotel West End
Travel Blogs from West End
So my time on St Martin has come to an end. I am ready to move on but will be taking the skills I learnt; the confidence I gained; the memories of the people I met; and the bug bites scars with me. I want to say a huge thanks to Chris and Sally who own octopus for letting me come and work with them for the past 3 months. Also a big thanks to JT, Lee, Mike, James and Mark who are great people and who I had a good laugh with both at work ...
Hallelujah, Woo hoo, all is right with the world!!
As many of you know, I write my travel blog each day of my various trips and I was the dumb bunny who left her laptop charger in the hotel pre cruise. I was wandering around, asking at the front desk on the ship, desperate for some kind of charger and lo and behold this young man overheard and said…" I have a mac book ...
... 8 clothing changes throughout the afternoon. Everyone at our table says "here she comes, here she comes" Subtlety is not our strong suit. After the last modeling session she comes by our table and hands the stores business cards to...........the men! WTH? I guess that's the French way. Model for the men in hopes of them wanting to buy their ladies something.
We have to be on the ship by 5:30 so we ...
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... that thought makes me sad. One of the things that I find so fabulous about St. Kitts is that it's so green and the mountains are so undeveloped. However, most of the expats I know on the island who aren't associated with Ross are developers. Even in my short year there, I've seen one area go from majestic greenery to bulldozed for a new development.In any case, I got back to town and had dinner at this beach bar, then headed to the hotel to chill for ...