Petals Boutique featured in Runway Anguilla

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Models turn heads at the 4th annual fashion show

Marking the fourth annual event of its kind, Runway Anguilla showcased three local artists and three local boutiques including the Frangipani’s very own Petals Boutique. The event took place at Cuisinart’s Italia Restaurant and played host to a full crowd of onlookers.

The local designers’ showcases were mixed: some breezy beachwear; some a bit more avant-garde.

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A silent auction was going on in parallel, helping the event raise money for both youth education and elderly medical care across the island. Winners of the auction and total funds raised are yet to be announced but at first glance the event was a success! A huge thank you goes out to everyone who put on the event and made this fundraiser possible.

Snapshots from the runway

Petals girls looking great on the catwalk:

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These duos received warm welcomes:

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Were any of you there on Sunday? What did you think?

Photo album: Manager’s Cocktail Parties

If you follow us on Facebook, you probably have already discovered that Wednesdays are one of our favorite days of the week.

One of the greatest parts about being a part of a more intimate, boutique property is the opportunity to get to know each guest individually. We’re fortunate enough to have amazing, interesting guests and we like to express our gratitude with a weekly Manager’s Cocktail Party. Serving up white wine, red wine and rum punch (an Anguilla staple, naturally), we dedicate our sunsets on Wednesday evenings to getting to know our guests a bit better.

Here are some snapshots from weeks past — bartenders doling out goodness, stellar sunsets and fantastic friends:

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For those of you that have stayed with us before, what memories have stood out to you at the Frangi?

 

 

Staff Spotlight: Ross Romney

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Frangipani’s landscape architect doubles as Anguilla’s champion sailor

If you’ve spent time in Anguilla previously, you’re probably already familiar with the island’s passion for boat racing. If you’re planning your first trip to the island, you’ll surely notice sailing is infused into the decor and the souvenirs you see on the island.

Now that we’ve announced our 2013 Carnival Package, we thought it only fitting to spotlight one of our staff members who gives us extra buy-in to the boat races. If you talk to any of our staff members (or any locals for that matter), you’ll quickly see that Anguillans have their loyalties to their favorite sailing teams and their respective boats.

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De Tree, the boat sponsored by the Frangipani, has held its reign as Boat of the Year and Champion of Champions for the past three years and is working on maintaining its title for the fourth year in a row. Ross Romney, who captains the champion sailboat, also works on the Frangipani grounds as our chief landscape architect. Over the past five years, he’s led the landscaping team to revamp the resort’s grounds, conceptualizing the property’s layout and making his vision a reality. While we may be a bit biased, we tend to think he’s done a pretty stellar job!

If you’re staying with us for Carnival (or if you’re keeping up from abroad), you can join us in cheering on Ross and his team as they take us to another victory.

If you’re looking for a bit more insight into Anguillan sailing culture, be sure to watch Nuttin’ Bafflin, The Story of the Anguilla Racing Boat and gain some stellar insight into the history of boat racing on the island. Keep an eye out for Ross (along with his father and grandfather!) in the movie as they talk about sailing in Anguilla, a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next.

Watch the trailer:

Carnival 2013 is making a splash

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Frangipani Beach Resort’s Annual Carnival Package is announced

We’re thrilled to announce our 2013 Carnival Package, where we will introduce guests to a hearty slice of Anguillan culture. Anguilla’s annual Carnival is renowned in the Caribbean as one of the biggest and liveliest celebrations. 2013 marks 46 years of celebrating boat racing – Anguilla’s national sport – by day, along with traditional Carnival festivities by night. Onlookers can check out the pageants, the calypso competitions, Band Clash, street dancing and revelry that continues throughout the week.

August Monday marks the #1 beach party in the Caribbean. On August 5th, locals and visitors alike will take to the streets in the Valley at 4:30am to dance their way down to Sandy Ground.  Boats from Anguilla and neighboring islands tie up to enjoy beach activities throughout the day with live music and local BBQ guiding the way.

Join us as we take part in one of the year’s most anticipated celebrations.  We’re thrilled to share the festivities of Carnival and what is sure to be an incredible and memorable event. Our 34’ boat, the Relentless, will be waiting in Sandy Ground for our guests. You’ll enjoy on-and-off privileges throughout the day as you listen to live music, dance on the beach and sip on rum punch. Bring your outside voices to help us cheer on De Tree, the Frangipani-sponsored sailboat, as it fights to hold on to its championship title for the fourth year in a row!

Here’s our official release:

Carnival 2013 Package

Have you been to Anguilla for Carnival? Are you planning on coming this year?

If you’re interested in joining us for this celebration, contact us and reference our 2013 Carnival Package. We can be reached by email or by phone at 1.877.593.8988.

Restaurant Spotlight: Dolce Vita

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Italian food makes a splash in Anguilla

Guests often ask for restaurant recommendations. For most, the sheer quantity of high calibre restaurants on the island make this is a seriously tough question to answer. There are a few restaurants that constantly stay top of mind for me — all standouts for their own reasons — but arguments can surely be made for many of the restaurants on the island.

One of the places that never fails to make the recommendations list? Dolce Vita in Sandy Ground. I’ll be frank in prefacing this discussion: Italian isn’t one of my favorite cuisines. Unlike the majority of mankind, pizza and pasta rarely capture my interest. That being said, Dolce Vita’s take on traditional Italian cuisine leaves me wanting more.

The food itself is, without a doubt, divine. Housemade pastas, fresh seafood, and high quality inputs make their fare irresistible. Beyond that, though, there’s the ambiance, the service and the proprietor, Abbi Ibrahim, who keeps Dolce Vita buzzing with life.

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Their appetizer menu offers perfectly balanced options: pair light and refreshing tuna tartare or bruschetta with the decadent gorgonzola gnocchi and your table is guaranteed to be all smiles. My love for tuna tartare is often unparalleled, but the gnocchi is tres magnifique; a must-try even for the most discerning palates.

Their pastas, seafood and meat options offer something for everyone. Not a pasta fan? The branzino, which is deboned table side, gets rave reviews from frequenters of this Italian spot. If you’ve made reservations at Dolce Vita because you are an Italian enthusiast, you’re in good hands. One of their frequent specials allows you to choose crayfish or lobster with your choice of house made pasta. Other house favorites include their famous homemade lasagna (more like a decadent, melt-in-your-mouth soufflé), the seafood pasta, and the duck paparedelle.

After the bread, the wine, and the pasta, you’re probably thinking you’ll need to be rolled out of Sandy Ground. Well, be warned: the desserts and after dinner drinks will set your hearts aflame, so save room. Abbi, ever the showman, expertly makes Grand Marnier sizzle, and sets bananas flambé aflame table side (see the picture above).

Here’s a snapshot of their dinner menu to whet your palate:

Dolce Vita Menu

See their menus here.

Dolce Vita is open for dinner Monday through Saturday and offers a lunch menu Monday through Friday. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Have you dined at Dolce Vita? What’s are your favorite menu items?

Live music on the island

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Plumeria Press launches a live music calendar

Half of the draw when picking a venue to explore in Anguilla is live music! The island has an incredible amount of local talent which provides visitors and locals alike the opportunity to enjoy fine dining or beachside relaxation while being serenaded by local musicians. Whether you’re looking for The Musical Brothers to get the party started at the Pumphouse or Sprocka to bring the jazz at Johnno’s, there’s no shortage of entertainment to keep your trip alive with Anguillan tunes.

We have officially launched the newest addition to Plumeria Press, our Live Music Schedule, which can be found at the top of the page. We’ll be keeping the page updated as new performers begin making the rounds, so please let us know if we need to make additions or changes.

Happy listening!


Restaurants and venues: if you’re interested in having your live music schedule included on our page, please leave us a comment below or email us the information so we can continue to keep our page current.

Frangipani Weddings: Intimate Ceremonies

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Constructing an intimate island wedding

The Frangipani has played host to a variety of destination weddings, from intimate affairs for two to celebrations of 150+. Each couple brings with them a unique conceptualization of their wedding day, with their visions and cultures infused into the guest list, attire, menu and decor. Per the request of a guest of ours who is hosting her own intimate wedding at the Frangipani in April, I thought it befitting to dedicate a post to addressing the small, intimate weddings that the resort hosts year round. (More on the larger weddings in a forthcoming post.)

The venue.

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There are plenty of gorgeous churches on the island if you’re looking for a traditional element, but most small destination weddings have one thing in common: a ceremony in the sand. The white sandy beaches of Meads Bay and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea provide an incredible backdrop for photographs. If you’re hoping for an evening ceremony, you can tie the incredible Anguillan sunsets into your experience.

The dress.

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Most brides-to-be are acutely aware of the gown-buying process. In a traditional ceremony setting, gowns can account for thousands of dollars of wedding expenses. Beach weddings allow brides to jettison the traditional wedding attire and instead opt for comfortable, casual dresses that better fit their environment.

The aisle.

When your guest list consists of you, your partner, and two witnesses, aisle runners and flower girls probably don’t make their way into the picture. Instead of an aisle runner, we’ve constructed ‘aisles’ by using locally grown bougainvillea to create a colorful path for the bride.

The flowers.

One of the greatest parts of getting married in a natural setting is that it takes very little decor to make wedding pictures dazzle. Aside from some flowers to line your aisle, the only flowers you’ll likely need to purchase are a personal bouquet and boutonniere (plus accents pieces for other people involved). Black Orchid Florists is the go-to for gorgeous wedding accents. They also specialize in event set-up and can craft a small outdoor ceremony space if you’re looking for something extra romantic.

The food.

One of Anguilla’s claims to fame its the unsurpassed dining scene when it comes to Caribbean destinations. When you’re not concerned about hosting 150 of your closest friends for dinner and cocktails, you have your choice of any of Anguilla’s top-notch restaurants to celebrate your special day. Here are a few restaurants that make special occasions extraordinary with exceptional food, great service and incomparable settings:

Photography.

Your wedding may eschew tradition on many fronts, but there’s a fair likelihood that you’ll want someone to document your special day, even informally. We’ve had creative on-site staff wield their DSLRs to capture the emotions of couples’ big days, but there are also professional photographers on the island that can put a small package together to fit your needs. Check out Susan Croft at Anguilla Escape and Derrys Richardson for your on-island photography needs.

Make it an experience.

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Your wedding isn’t just a single ceremony on a single day. For many couples, their destination wedding is an experience which starts the moment that they set foot on the island. Make your journey memorable with a few  add-ons:

  • Beachside massages. Decompress on the beach with a relaxing massage. Enjoy a 60 or 90-minute couples massage (Swedish or deep tissue) and let the Caribbean Sea provide the background music.
  • Charter a plane. It sounds like an uber-glam splurge, but it’s not as out of reach as you may imagine. Trans Anguilla Airways offers charters to Nevis, Virgin Gorda, St. Kitts and others for a reasonable fee. The prices on their site are a bit outdated, but rumor has it that rates have stayed mostly the same on charters.

We want to hear from you! Did you get married in Anguilla? Planning a wedding here? What are your tips for making your wedding experience a memorable one?


The legal scoop: You must be on island for at least three days prior to the wedding ceremony. You can tie the knot in Anguilla under a special license that takes just two days to process. The bride and groom must present a few required pieces of identification, most of which you will need to enter the country anyway. The actual ceremony will require at least two on lookers to bear witness to your union. Note: If you’ve been married previously, you must present your official divorce papers.
A marriage license will run you $284 USD, but will drop to $40 if you are on the island for fifteen days prior to the date of the wedding.

7 reasons to visit Anguilla in the summer

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Visitors flock to the warm beaches of Anguilla during the winter months. Some join us to celebrate the holidays beachside with their families, while others are excited to leave the frigid winters in New York, Chicago, Vancouver and the like. While winters in the Caribbean never fail to dazzle, summers certainly have their perks. For those that aren’t necessarily set on their winter warm-up in the Caribbean, I could make a serious argument that May and June are prime months for planning a getaway to Anguilla (in fact, I’ve mentioned this to friends and family alike on a number of occasions). Here are 7 reasons to get you thinking about your summer getaway:

Low season prices are in effect.

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1. It’s no secret that an Anguillan getaway can be a bit of an investment during the winter months, but rack rates drop considerably across the island during low season. Sure, our one bedroom suite may not play into your romantic getaway budget during the holidays, but you can enjoy the same luxury at half the price if you book for the summer.

The weather still rocks.

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2. I know what you’re thinking. There’s a reason people go to the Caribbean in the winter — the weather is at its peak! Well, yes, the weather is great during December, but it’s just as great during May or June. Expect weather in the high 70s – high 80s for most of the year, low season included.

You can get into your favorite restaurants.

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3. There’s a fair likelihood that your favorite restaurants on the island are other visitors’ favorite restaurants, too. The reality is that many people make their restaurant reservations in advance; months in advance in some cases. If you’re looking to make a reservation at Blanchard’s, Straw Hat or Barrel Stay (amongst many others in demand) over the holidays, you’ll probably want to make those reservations early. If you’re looking to get into those same restaurants during the summer, you’ll have a much easier time getting a reservation and fewer visitors to share your space with.

You’ll have your own stretch of beach.

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4. Low season brings fewer visitors which means there’s a strong likelihood you’ll have a large stretch of beach all to yourself. In reality, this happens even during high season in many spots (it’s one of the perks of Anguilla being a rather undiscovered gem), but low season is impressively relaxing and personal. Sure there are spots that you can go if you’re looking for a lively crowd, but if you want some quiet beach time during the day, you’ll be able to find a place to enjoy your very own patch of white sandy beach.

You’ll get a rental car.

5. I realize this doesn’t sound like a bonus, but it really is. There are a number of rental car vendors on the island, but there isn’t always sufficient stock to supply all of the tourists that visit during the bustling winter months. Some people opt for taxis over rental cars of course, but that can be an expensive prospect. During the summer months, you’re almost guaranteed to find a rental car for your stay. Remember: Drive left. (A post on why you should rent a car is forthcoming.)

Enjoy some local flair.

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6. If you’re looking for a serious local experience, Anguilla’s annual Carnival celebration is not to be missed. The entire celebration spans nearly two weeks, beginning at the end of July and heading into August, but the most noteworthy is arguably August Monday. The first Monday of August (the 5th this year) marks one of the most famous beach parties in the Caribbean. Locals are out en masse to celebrate Anguillan culture with local fare, local music and a whole lot of dancing.

If you’re not up for a Carnival experience, the summer months will still give you a glimpse into local living. When beach bars and restaurants aren’t loaded up with visitors, you’ll get a better chance to chat with locals and expats about Anguillan living (plus gain some insights into their favorite to-dos).

Family vacations make sense.

7. Last, but not least: family vacations make sense during the summer. If you’re looking for a family getaway instead of a romantic rendezvous, summer becomes the most ideal time to book. With the kids out of school and the new year crunch time dissipating at work, taking a week for family time becomes a bit more doable. Plus, with rates being 50%+ lower than high season rates, the two or three-bedroom suite makes your getaway more comfortable and more affordable.

Do I have you convinced? What’s your favorite time to join us in the Caribbean?

Guest Post: A photo album from Meads Bay

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Our guests never cease to amaze us! One of our guests, Kirk Nelson, who joined us from Iowa for a week-long beach getaway, shared some of his incredible snapshots with us. Needless to say, we’re impressed and flattered to see such stunning photos of our hotel and amazing Meads Bay!

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Thank you, Kirk, for sharing your photos and your experience with the Frangipani!

Restaurant Spotlight: ‘A’ Burger

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Keeping it casual with budget-friendly island eats

Despite its small size, Anguilla is renowned as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. As tourists can attest, there’s no shortage of five-star options for foodies looking for their fix in the British West Indies. For many visitors, though, a mix of high-end dining and casual bites makes for the perfect blend during their getaway.

Enter ‘A’ Burger.

This casual island eatery sits in Lower South Hill and is the only traditional burger joint on the island. Serving up variations on burgers, hot dogs and fries (think sweet potato, garlic and cajun), visitors and locals alike pop in for an affordable meal. Not a meat-eater? ‘A’ Burger’s got you covered with gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Not entirely sure what to expect, we stopped in for a quick lunch, armed with about $30 in cash. With a fish burger, cheeseburger and an order of cajun fries to our name, I handed over $20 and some change for the entire meal. Naturally, you’re wondering if that $20 actually got us good food. The answer is a resounding yes! My fish burger was a switch-up from the traditional fish sandwich of the island; more like a zested up fishcake, perfect with a hearty dose of Rockfield Pepper Sauce. Our small order of cajun fries was plenty for the two of us to share, though they have large sizes available if you’re feeling extra hungry. All of their buns are baked fresh daily in Anguilla, burgers are ground fresh daily, their produce is locally sourced, and their fish is locally caught.

At first glance, it would seem that ‘A’ Burger’s business is probably equal parts dine in and take out, and their service is surprisingly fast by island standards. For visitors on the go, reservations are not required so pop in at your leisure.

A bite of their menu:

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To keep up to speed with ‘A’ Burger happenings, follow them on Twitter at @aiburger.