Riselle Celestina of The Traveling Island Girl shares her experiences of affordable accommodations in Anguilla. Here is her story on the Hibiscus House.
Walking into Hibiscus House is like walking back into time. The house run by local Anguillan Mr. Sidney Gumbs, is filled with antique treasures passed on from generation to generation in the Gumbs family.
A piano left to him by his aunt, a tea set from another family member and so much more adorn this two – story house in an area called Rey Hill on Anguilla. To the right of the main door as you walk into the grand Hibiscus House is a bedroom, gorgeously decorated with blue as the focal color. An en – suite bathroom is just passed the king size four poster bed, with a walk – in closet complete with bath robes and plenty of storage space on the left.
To the left of the Blue Bedroom as I like to call it is the living area. This room you have to see it to believe it. Like the rest of the house, here too is filled with antiques and other heirlooms of Mr. Gumbs but the funny thing is that the entire house never feels cluttered and Mr. Gumbs keeps the house so meticulous that there is never any dust anywhere.
In the center of the house is the kitchen, definitely the heart of the house. It is shared with Mr. Gumbs who lives in the back room and with guests staying in one of the other rooms.
Upstairs is where I got to call home for two nights. The royal room as I call it since rumors have it that the Queen of England herself once stayed in this room. It is large and beautiful. There’s a reading space with a day bed, a large flat screen tv with international channels, a walk – in closet that feels more like a dressing room and a spacious bathroom with a tub, shower and dual sinks. It is all quite majestic.
The double doors opposite the large bed lead to a sizable balcony, where one can enjoy a gorgeous view over St. Martin and the garden downstairs. There is a dining table here and I have heard from previous guests that they had a romantic dinner at this table, prepared by Mr. Gumbs himself, who is not only a delight of a host but also an expert chef.
You can rent one room at Hibiscus House or all three bedrooms and have the entire house to yourself. Breakfast is included and is served on the outside patio but you also have the option to get lunch and dinner prepared by Mr. Gumbs.
I had the pleasure of experiencing a delightful dinner here. Mr. Gumbs must have spent the entire day in the kitchen. We had cray fish and fresh baked bread made in the wood oven outside, paired with watermelon salad and more. It was just scrumptious.
Who is Hibiscus House for?
Couples, families, a group of friends and solo travelers will all walk away with a memorable experience at Hibiscus House and a restful stay. Business travelers will find it very convenient to have a personal chef available and female solo travelers can rest assured that the house is not only safe but that the host makes sure that your safety and peace of mind come first.
Animal lovers will have a stay of a lifetime here. Mr. Gumbs has four rescue dogs – Coco, Eral, Scruffy and Raccoon – and two cats called the “Angusses” plus a small family of goats and another small family of sheep. I loved helping him feed them in the evenings even though he insists his guests don’t lift a finger.
What are the highlights of staying at Hibiscus House?
- Obviously as an animal person I really enjoyed having animals around. But if you’re not, Mr . Gumbs can keep them away in a separate area so that they disturb the guests.
- The size of the bedrooms feels like you are in your own private apartment.
- Mr. Gumbs is not only an excellent chef – he takes such a pride in taking care of his guests with a spread for breakfast – but he is also a great storyteller and has many fascinating stories to tell about his family and the history of Anguilla.
- I enjoyed having the option of an in – house lunch or dinner prepared by Mr. Gumbs.
You can book Hibiscus House on Airbnb. The nightly cost is US$ 150.00 for the the top floor and US$ 125.00 for the ground floor.