A dream come true
Trudy Nixon on how a stay at The Antilles Pearl at Altamer Resort, combines all the magic ingredients for a luxurious, laughter filled vacation with people you love.
Altamer and I
I recently celebrated my birthday at The Antilles Pearl, a 5 bedroom villa that is part of Altamer Resort on Shoal Bay West.
The property rang with laughter for the duration of our stay, and I and my friends loved every single thing about the experience. I want to sing the praises of this fabulous villa and the people who work there, to the roof.
So why was a stay at Altamers’ Antilles Pearl a ‘dream come true’ for me?
To explain that I must take you back in time to 2002, the year I first visited Anguilla …
I was liming at Scilly Cay with my travel companion and having a fabulous time – but there was one group of people having even more fun than me. A table bursting with glamourous people stuffing themselves with lobster, rum punch and fine wines.
I was fascinated by the happy throng who were laughing, dancing and carrying on with the band. They were clearly having the best of times and I thought how wonderful to spend time with friends and family like that.
When I asked Eudoxie who they were he smiled, and, to paraphrase, said, ‘They always stay at Altamer and they come back every year. Those guys in the polo shirts are their Butlers and they make everything great for them.’
After that lunch I asked around about Altamer and found out it was a group of luxury villas designed by an American Architect called Myron Goldfinger.
I had already seen Altamer, and neighbouring resort, Covecastles! My maiden voyage to Anguilla was on a sailboat heading north from Nevis, and I had noticed the distinctive buildings as we came into land.
I loved the sound of the stylish and luxurious enclave with a fun feeling and stellar reputation for amazing service. From that moment I decided that one day, when I could, I would stay at Altamer.
Fast forward to December 2020
One of the privileges of living in Anguilla during the pandemic has been the opportunity to ‘staycation’ in some of the island’s best addresses*.
I was excited to be able to finally stay at Altamer – and this dream come true exceeded my expectations.
Anguillian Expertise and Excellence
The fantastic staff are the healthy and steadily beating heart of Altamer.
If you are a fan of old school Anguilla five star service – then you will love and appreciate what the dedicated team at Altamer offer.
We were looked after by Manager Preston Brooks, Butlers, Lavon and Jerimi (known as Perry) and housekeepers Janet and Judith – but all the staff we encountered were amazing.
Having know Preston and Lavon for years, I, and my guests, did wonder if it would feel awkward to have friends serving us breakfast. It was not. They made it amazing.
The service is discreet yet exemplary. The small team will ‘make themselves invisible’ but are on top of everything when you need them.
As one friend said, ‘The staff made it for me … professional, but they still felt like extended family’.
At Altamer there is at least one butler on duty, between 7am and 9pm, every day of your stay.
I loved how Lavon, after I asked for a cup of tea on arrival day, would appear at the same time every day with a pot of tea. Made exactly the way I like it.
Or how Perry, popped out to the pool and beach on a regular basis to ask if we needed anything. And would come back moments later with perfectly mixed cocktails.
Or when Preston and Lavon helped Nathalie, of Les Grands Vins De France surprise me with a wine tasting for my special birthday dinner.
Bluest of Blue
Altamer’s setting on Shoal Bay West, the island’s most westerly beach is phenomenal.
The waters in Shoal Bay West are a deeper blue than the beaches and coves of the north, south and east coast. The perfect backdrop to The Antilles Pearl’s architecture.
The property is both elegant and relaxed – a stunning combination.
We especially liked the fact you could step right from the pool deck onto sand. One of the more lyrical guests described it as ‘… the pool melts into the beach.’
The Antilles Pearl has stunning Master Suite (or in my case Mistress Sweet because I got the ‘best’ room) and 4 beautiful guest bedrooms.
The Mistress Sweet is a truly impressive room. Beautiful, comfortable and filled with light. It boasts a huge balcony with show stopping views to the ocean and neighbouring islands.
The curved bathroom is a dream of creamy stone softly illuminated by a large skylight. At night you can lie in the bath and watch the stars.
There are two vanities, a massive tub and a shower, as well as monogramed robes on monogramed hangers.
There is an eyrie office space – yes, it is above you. And a lounge and dining area. This gives you space to relax, read and write should you need to do some business, or have some alone time.
The most remarked upon and coveted feature in the room is a gigantic wooden bed. I had to use steps to climb into it – which is a lot of fun until you have a little too much to drink!
The classic décor features beautiful wooden pieces as well as original art. The TV is cleverly tucked away in an enormous rattan trunk and pops up on command. It’s like having a home cinema at the bottom of your bed!
Bottom line – If you do not feel like a King or Queen occupying in this room I don’t know where you would.
And how did the others sleep?
Brilliantly. All four of the guest rooms are equal in size and amenities. My friends absolutely loved their rooms, calling them private and ‘suite like’.
All have floor to ceiling windows and spectacular views. Each has all the amenities expected, a/c, TV, extremely comfortable beds and modern bathrooms.
And oh yes … the beds! Everyone loved the beds. So much so that there was a flurry of enquires into where to purchase the mattresses!
The Antilles Pearl sleeps 10 in the main house. You can add additional guests by also renting little gem, Petite Topaz: a separate unit, which sleeps two and has a hot tub!
When I video called my brother in the UK to show him where I was staying he thought Altamer was a hotel. Not surprising. The Pearl is impressive and the amount of space and quality of amenities match those of a boutique hotel.
There are two tennis courts with floodlights and gazeboes (we had a tennis party). There is also a fully fitted gym, kayaks and other water sport equipment and the famous games room.
We LOVED the games room. It had a large card table with its own monogrammed poker chips (we had a poker party), a huge flat screen TV perfect for watching movies or gaming and a gorgeous baby blue pool table.
The villa’s sound system ensured our favourite playlists followed us throughout the building.
Art AND Architechture
There is art EVERYWHERE at Altamer. I loved it. I am an art school graduate and traveling to look at art is one of my things. I was fascinated and impressed.
I have never stayed in a luxury property with valuable and important international contemporary art on the wall before.
When choosing art for Altamer, the Curator felt that staying at the property was like having the opportunity to ‘inhabit a sculpture.’
I agree. Staying in Altamer is like staying in Anguilla’s equivalent of a building by Gaudi.
The art of the architecture is everywhere. In the magical light that permeates all aspects of the building. In the dramatic shapes – triangular roofs, curved balconies and sculptural white railings. In the huge glass panels artful skylights. And, of course, in the 50-foot ‘Skywalk’.
Like all grand designs The Antilles Pearl was made to look great and function better.
This is villa which works equally well as the venue for a fun filled beach & pool party, swanky special dinner, quiet family catchup or long term stay.
As well as the beach and pool areas there is indoor and outdoor dining, hammocks and comfy outdoor sofas, a spacious living room AND an incredible rooftop lounge.
What I will remember and treasure most about our stay.
The gracious, helpful presence of Preston, Lavon and Perry – making everything perfect for us. And the laughter. Every room rang with laughter.
The magic of Altamer is easy to explain. It’s a simple spell of special people and gorgeous places. Sorcery that make you happy. Really, really happy.
For more information
To find out more about booking The Antilles Pearl or Petite Topaz visit their website here.
*You can read articles about other fabulous properties the True Anguilla team have visited in the STAY IN section of this website.