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Idyllic Escape

By Sarah Crosland

Posted: Monday, Mar. 24, 2014

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Long before you've stepped on the palm-fringed beach and before you've soaked in the panoramic view from your suite's spacious balcony, if you're staying at CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa, you've already seen the romantic island of Anguilla's most seductive view.

The Mediterranean-inspired resort's stunning entrance was designed to instantly bring the Caribbean Sea-and all of its soothing powers-to arriving guests. A warm breeze-filled lobby opens to trellises filled with fragrant bougainvillea and leads to a long pool before dropping to the azure water and the distant mountains of St. Maarten.

It's just one of many measures CuisinArt takes to stand out among the Caribbean's top resorts. The property, which is known for its epicurean delights, features a hydroponic farm, cooking classes, a weekly chef's table dinner, and a variety of on site restaurants with fare ranging from fresh sushi to authentic Italian. On an island that is quickly garnering a reputation as the Caribbean's top spot for foodies (its 35 square miles boast more than 100 restaurants), it's hard to imagine a better spot to indulge.

But don't let the decadent dishes distract you from Anguilla's real treasure: Its miles of pristine beaches. After you and your new spouse have checked in, you'll want to stroll down the resort's tile paths to the convivial beach bar for one of its signature blended mojitos, an icy elixir made with fresh mint from the nearby garden. Then settle into a waterside chair where the only distractions in this enclave of Anguilla's Rendezvous Bay include passing sailboats and the occasional gleaming yacht. Celebrities including Denzel Washington and Martha Stewart are known to frequent the exclusive island-and even stop in for one of CuisinArt's famed fresh-from-the-hydroponic-farm salads.

It's not imperative that you have your feet in the sand for this view though. Beachfront suites include balconies, perfect for luxuriating in the sun without ever leaving your room. For true honeymoon seclusion, request the second floor of villa ten, where swaying palm trees offer privacy from everything but the turquoise waves.

When you're ready to explore, Anguilla has plenty to offer. The resort features a seaside Greg Norman-designed golf course, sailing, and snorkeling. Beyond its manicured grounds you'll find eclectic side streets featuring art galleries filled with colorful paintings. For an epicurean adventure, head to the pier at Sandy Ground Beach and catch a small boat to the famed Sandy Island. This strip of white sand dotted by a few palm trees with a tiny sand floor restaurant in the middle is a favorite draw. Sip potent rum cocktails and dig into its signature crayfish-seasoned perfectly and grilled seaside behind the restaurant-at one of the laid back wooden picnic tables. Then snooze in a hammock beneath the shade of a palm tree or take a leisurely dip in the cool water before catching your boat back.

After a day of island adventure, plan to spend at least a little time in the resort's tranquil spa. Its second-floor location offers bright views of the beach and its luxurious treatments use products like cucumber and aloe from the resort's farm. For a Caribbean twist on the traditional, try the warmed seashell massage featuring heated seashells in a therapeutic treatment certain to release any remaining tension.

Still not completely relaxed? Finish your day in the resort's intimate 3,600-bottle wine cellar stocked with international vintages. Twice a week CuisinArt's knowledgeable and enthusiastic sommelier leads tastings, offering the chance to sip and savor some of the world's best wines-and the perfect end to another day of island bliss. Rooms start at $550 per night, www.cuisinartresort.com.

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