2019 Platinum List Focus: Belmond Cap Juluca

This breathtaking Anguilla hotel—with its pristine beach, lavish villas and delicious fare—offers an idyllic Caribbean escape

WORDS Derrik J. Lang
September/ October 2019
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Besides sugary white sand, tranquil turquoise waters and a pristine location kissing Maundays Bay, there’s a very special reason why Belmond Cap Juluca’s crescent-shaped beach has continued to lure guests for more than 30 years: It’s spiritual. “There’s a positive energy around this bay,” says general manager Tiago Moraes Sarmento, “and that comes from the Arawak, who came here a few thousand years ago and worshipped their gods on this beach.”

Belmond Cap Juluca is located on the southwest side of Anguilla, the idyllic 16-mile-long Caribbean island that can easily be accessed by ferry after landing at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport. (The name Juluca refers to the Arawak “rainbow god,” and an image of the deity painted over 3,000 years ago can be found inside a nearby cavern.) With uninterrupted sight lines and rarely any waves, the resort’s beach is ideal for relaxation—whether visitors are interested in the metaphysical connection or not. “Coming to Cap Juluca,” Sarmento says, “is better than any medicine out there.”

The resort’s beach received several upgrades as part of a $121 million renovation following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. Belmond Cap Juluca reopened in December with the addition of a new oceanfront infinity-edge pool and the thatched-roof Cap Shack, a casual bar and eatery where beachy fare such as fish sandwiches, burgers and poke bowls are served from a vintage pastel-blue Citroën truck parked in the sand.


The resort’s signature Greco-Moorish architecture 

The lavishness extends inside the guest villas, where Houston-based firm Rottet Studio redesigned Belmond Cap Juluca’s 113 rooms with eclectic touches that blend seamlessly with the resort’s Greco-Moorish architecture. The beach is never far away, either: Every room features a view of the ocean.

Sarmento is proud that Belmond Cap Juluca guests never have to fight for a spot on the sand. Chaise longues beneath oversized umbrellas are reserved for every guest, and attendants provide chilled towels, bottled water and sorbet throughout the day. “There’s always a place for you,” he says, “whether you’re an earlier riser and want to be on the beach at 8 a.m. or you don’t want to come out until later in the afternoon.”

For visitors seeking more adventurous activities, Belmond Cap Juluca offers snorkeling amid the rainbow-hued coral reefs off its coast, kayaking along the peaceful azure waters, or sailing on one of the resort’s six boats, including four zippy Hobie Wave catamarans.


A newly renovated guest room overlooking the Caribbean

Belmond Cap Juluca also offers a good look at the stars—and not just the ones hanging in the night sky. The property is popular with celebrities, counting the likes of Janet Jackson, Liam Neeson, Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington among its guests. “I’ve lost count of how many celebrities have come here,” says Sarmento, who adds that celebs frequently visit Belmond Cap Juluca because “they can just be themselves here.”

The GM notes that while the paradisiacal atmosphere initially draws visitors to Anguilla, it’s the locals who inspire them to return. “The other night I stopped at the supermarket on the way home and was surprised to see one of our villa hosts, Cassandra, there still in her uniform,” he recalls. “She was buying a few items for a family staying with us. She didn’t need to do it. She wanted to do it. Where else on earth would you see someone going out of their way—and doing it with a big smile?”


 

To discover the 2019 Platinum List Awards for Best Beach Resort, click here

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