This Caribbean resort is the ultimate girls’ getaway — with rum, sushi, and outdoor adventures

Zemi Beach House in Anguilla

Courtesy of Zemi Beach House

The Caribbean island of Anguilla turned out to be the perfect place to reunite with my high school best friend, Linda, after several vacations postponed by COVID. Arriving at Zemi Beach House, on the northeast coast of the island, we looked at more shades of turquoise than we knew and agreed that this paradise was worth the wait.

Our vacation goals were sun, beaches, poolside cabanas, great food, cocktails, and tropical atmosphere. Zemi Beach House ticked every box: a 76-room boutique hotel with four pools, a sandy beach, a spa, tennis, and a staff that made us feel pampered every minute we were there. A handwritten note greeted us, and when it was time to leave, we received another note signed by many lovely members of the Zemi team who felt like friends after just a few days.

Zemi Beach House in Anguilla

Zemi Beach House in Anguilla

Courtesy of Zemi Beach House

Celebrities also love Zemi Beach House. Paris Hilton and her husband checked out the day we arrived and several guests told us how gracious they were. Princess, the hotel’s rum expert (more on that later), said her 12-year-old son, a huge “Cooking with Paris” fan, was thrilled (and stunned) to receive a FaceTime call from Mrs Hilton.

Back in the rum room, where Linda and I sampled premium Caribbean rums in a flight of five, some of over 100 small-batch rums from a single estate, each with unique flavors and unique styles. The elegant room is furnished with comfortable seating and a display of cigars for patrons who appreciate the combination of rum and a fine smoke. Princess, the hotel’s “rummelier”, is knowledgeable, charming and fun, and we tasted rare rums from Guadalupe, Mauritius and several other islands, as well as information from Princess on how the rums are made and aged. spirits.

Our first dinner was served at a seaside table just steps from the shore, surrounded by candles and lanterns with grilled steak, lobster and our first Johnny Cakes, the start of an obsession with local fried bread who made us dig through every breadbasket afterwards. Moist, flavorful and a little crunchy on the outside, they were worth every carb and calorie.

A hearty breakfast buffet was served daily at 20 knots, and we enjoyed our first meal with the sea breeze and toes in the sand. Lunch and dinner are also served at tables by the sea and on the terrace. From noon to 9 p.m. daily, there’s sushi at the Bohio Lounge, and Stone, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, also offers local seafood and meats with Asian flavors.

Zemi Beach House in Anguilla

Zemi Beach House in Anguilla

Courtesy of Zemi Beach House

Entertainment is organized every evening at the Bohio Lounge. A favorite was Mystic Vibes, featuring a keyboard, saxophone and vocalist. On Caribbean night, dinner focused on local cuisine including grilled lobster, conch, salads and desserts, accompanied by dance music from Boss and the Horse Power Band. Their energy filled the dance floor at the end of the evening.

We spent a morning at the Zemi Thai House Spa, located in an authentic 300 year old house that was transported from Thailand almost 50 years ago and restored in Anguilla. We started by swimming in a heated pool on the terrace near the Thai Tea House juice bar. Guests can choose from personalized massages, body treatments, facials, and healing rituals in the spa’s tranquil atmosphere, then relax on a hammock, rattan swing, or cushioned lounge chair.

Zemi Beach House in Anguilla

Zemi Beach House in Anguilla

Courtesy of Zemi Beach House

One of the best experiences was driving a Moke around the island. The vehicle was described to us as something between a golf cart and a Jeep, and although we were a little nervous at first, we quickly got used to it. I drove and Linda navigated, mostly successfully, but bumping into the road and feeling temporarily lost was part of the fun. We stopped at beautiful beaches, marina and viewpoints, laughing as we passed goats, roosters and the same group of locals on several occasions when we were a bit lost. Each time we passed, we received louder cheers.

We met some of our fellow travelers — couples, families, retirees, groups of friends — who were just as thrilled to be there as we were. Nicolette and Will were on their honeymoon and planning their future together with many possibilities ahead of them. Ellen and Matthew, in a babymoon for two weeks of relaxation, were impatiently awaiting the birth of their daughter. Others were enjoying the warm tropical surroundings before returning to the cold winter in Chicago and New York.

As we boarded a boat to connect to our flight to St. Maarten – part of the fun of vacationing in Anguilla – we agreed that our tropical vacation was worth the wait. And that we were already looking forward to being back at Zemi Beach House.

About Brad S. Fulton

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