With a big anniversary coming up, you’re looking for somewhere special to celebrate. An off-the-radar island, a little beach hut, and an anticipate-your-every-wish resort sound perfect. But a long, multi-leg flight to Fiji, Mauritius, or Hayman Island does not. If only the Caribbean still had an undiscovered spot, you could spend more time on the beach and less time getting there. Lucky for you, there’s a new hotel that fits all of your criteria.
Barbuda Belle sits on the island’s quiet, isolated north coast. Its rustic, stilted buildings are made of bamboo beams and wooden planks. Surfboards and driftwood decorate the Clubhouse. Wooden tables and wicker chairs are juxtaposed with elegant china and a French wine list at the Mangrove, the candle-filled restaurant. Bungalows, of which there are only six, have large decks looking out toward the blue-green water. Plus a wooden boardwalk leads to picnic tables, sun loungers, and white umbrellas on the white-sand beach, which actually looks pale pink due to the tiny pink shells that cover it.
After flying to Antigua, which now receives more direct flights than ever before due to a new terminal at the airport, board a ferry to Barbuda, its smaller sister island to the north. Barbuda was Christopher Columbus’s first stop on his second voyage to the Americas. The limestone island hasn’t changed very drastically. Today, it’s known for its long, deserted beaches; Frigate Bird Sanctuary; and free-roaming donkeys. You see all of them as you ride a smaller boat from Codrington, through the bird sanctuary, to remote Cedar Tree Point.
Barbuda Belle fits your dream better than you ever expected. You try to pay attention as you walk around the resort, but the ocean view is extremely distracting. Your bungalow feels rustic and plush at the same time with simple wooden furniture and crisp white linens. Solar energy provides power to the strategically placed USB chargers. While lunch, for which your stomach grumbles when mentioned, can be served anywhere you want on the property. Anywhere.
You’re going to start with lunch and lime-spiked ice water under a sail-like canopy on the beach. From a picnic table, you can see the mangroves, hear the frigatebirds calling in the distance, and feel the cool breeze coming off the ocean. You’ll scan the water for stingrays and sea turtles as you walk down the deserted beach. You’ll most likely fall asleep on a sun lounger as you listen to small waves breaking and pretend to read. Then you’ll start celebrating with Champagne and a seafood dinner as the sun starts to set. It’s surely an anniversary you’ll never forget.