An Artful Escape to Paradise: Quintessence, Anguilla

An Eastern Caribbean island known for its 33 sprawling beaches, an abundance of culinary offerings, and laid-back local culture, Anguilla is a sought-after destination for those seeking a dose of sunshine, adventure, and R&R. The 16-mile-long island is roughly the size of Manhattan with a curved shape that offers incredible oceanfront vistas from the lively Mead’s Bay to the quaint East End with plenty of under-the-radar hideaways in between. Bright turquoise waters that cater to boating and yachting enthusiasts, friendly local vibes, nightly live music, and some of the Caribbean’s best restaurants are just a few of the reasons Anguilla has become such a beloved vacation destination, particularly among celebrities and the elite. 

While there is no shortage of luxury accommodations in Anguilla, one boutique hotel stands  above the rest. Affectionately nicknamed “The Tropical Grand Mansion,”Quintessence is a five-star Relais & Chateaux property that offers the feel of a private villa with the amenities of a full-service resort. Perched above the picturesque Long Bay Beach, where travelers  likely won’t spot a single footprint, the property features nine uniquely decorated suites, an incredible spa, tennis courts, French-Caribbean fine dining, an outdoor infinity pool, and a museum-quality art collection curated by the hotel’s owner, Geoffrey Fieger. Fieger worked with a team to meticulously construct the property over a period of 10 years. 

Upon arriving at Quintessence, visitors are greeted by lush greenery and an array of vibrant artworks by renowned Haitian artists such as Jasmin Joseph, Henri Robert Bresil, and Albott Bonhomme. A sweeping staircase, ironwork chandeliers, and marble flooring complement the lobby art for a feeling that can  be described as tropical elegance. A restaurant named Julian’s, features an inviting outdoor bar where guests will want to toast  the start of their vacation. Here, they’re encouraged to dine al fresco with breathtaking sunset views and a fun oversized chess board backdrop. At the helm of the property’s kitchen, French-born Executive Chef Dominique Thevenet serves up a fusion of French and Caribbean flavors for cuisine he’s dubbed “island soul food” with gourmet flare. Guests can choose from an expansive and ever-changing selection of fresh-grilled seafood, steaks, pastas, and more, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors to ensure the most incredible quality. 

Each suite at Quintessence has a personality of its own, with curated art pieces that offer an eclectic, vibrant feel, and perks like butler service, dreamy Hästens mattresses, and incredible views of the sparkling Caribbean Sea. The suites pay homage to Fieger’s favorite artists with names like the Joseph Penthouse and Bresil Polo Lounge, the latter of which comes with a customizable full bar and a boardroom that’s perfect for C-suite executives who may be working while trying to enjoy a little downtime too. 

A private beach path easily accessed from the suites is decorated with blooming flowers and butterflies that flutter  overhead during the winter months. As travelers arrive at the beach, a set of loungers magically appear while a mixologist at the hotel’s Coral Beach Bar whips up a refreshing rum punch or procures a bottle of Champagne. The waters are warm and tame for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling. The best part is feeling like you have this spot all to yourself. 

Art aficionados are encouraged to visit the Q Art Gallery that features more than 1,000 pieces hand-selected by Fieger, which span across various mediums from sculptures and metalworks to paintings and drawings. And since nothing goes better with art than wine, the property invites guests to take advantage of its Wine Spectator Award-winning Tuscan wine cellar, which features more than 2,000 bottles from Fieger’s personal collection. For a truly unforgettable escape, guests can book the property’s ‘Bruts, Blancs & Beaches’ package and get whisked away by private jet with round-trip private flights from the U.S. via Tradewind Aviation. The package also comes with accommodations in the property’s Joseph Penthouse, a spa credit, and a selection of high-end wines for guests to savor during their stay. 

When they’re looking to venture off property, visitors can explore nearby beaches like Rendevouz, where a funky spot called the Sunshine Shack grills up the day’s fresh catch along with BBQ ribs, chicken, and a side of soft reggae music. An excursion to Sandy Island takes travelers by boat to a private island where they can enjoy an unspoiled stretch of beach, lounge in hammocks, and savor a meal of fresh seafood made with local flavors like curry and coconut. Guests of the hotel can also rent a Moke and drive around the island in style. The cute convertible cars come in bright, bold colors to match your daily outfits and ensure the perfect Instagram photo. 

By night, visitors can dine at Veya, which features bright, farm-fresh cuisine fused with international flavors in a chic treehouse setting, or Jacala Beach on Mead’s Bay, which is rumored to be a favorite of Martha Stewart. Travelers looking to rub elbows with locals can visit one of the many beach bars found in Sandy Ground, or if they’re lucky, catch a live show at Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve, where Bankie and his son, two island legends, belt out tunes from Jimmy Hendrix, Prince, and Bruno Mars with near perfection. Back at Quintessence, they’re always awaiting your arrival and your butler is nearby with your favorite cocktail in hand. 

Quintessence’s intimate size and layout make it ideal for a buyout, whether it’s a family celebration, a small group, or a dreamy destination wedding with the utmost privacy. For those on a leaner budget or looking to spend more time off property, the hotel recently debuted “Quinn,” an addition of three guest suites available at a lower price point with access to the same amenities as Quintessence. A new American Airlines daily, nonstop flight from Miami, marks the first direct flight from the United States, making it easier than ever to visit this tropical paradise. This fall, Quintessence also has plans to debut pickleball courts and a champagne tasting room. For more info, visit www.qhotelanguilla.com or call 1-800-234-7468. 

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