Sandy Hill Bay
The island of Anguilla is only 30 square miles and has 32 beaches. We recommend to guests that they check out as many as they can. After 30 years of visiting Anguilla, beach hopping is still our favorite thing to do.
Jon and I used to work for an arm of the U.S. State Department and traveled all over the world. We always added a long weekend to overseas travels in search of the “perfect” beach. We’ve checked out beaches all over the Caribbean, but also in West Africa, Australia, Tahiti, Fiji, Bali, and more. Anguilla is a winner. The beaches of nearby St. Barths pale in comparison to Anguilla.
Bird of Paradise is at Sandy Hill’s Beach. It took us a year to find what, we believe, is a perfect location for our home. As you descend to the gate that takes you outside the Bird of Paradise compound, there is a set of stairs and a winding path through the bush to Sandy Hill Bay, a three-minute walk. A perfectly-shaped crescent beach, gently slopping shore and protective reefs, provides excellent swimming, snorkeling, and safe harbor for a small yacht.
Jose will set up beach chairs and umbrellas. We have a cooler and picnic basket and/or you can use your Bird of Paradise cell phone to call for beach service should you decide to have a chef and butler.
It goes without saying, the sea is a living environment. The photos of Sandy Hill Bay beach are untouched, but, like the beaches and weather anywhere in the world, at times it's not perfect. We cannot promise that there might not be seaweed, driftwood, etc.
On a clear day panoramic view of five countries. There are no resorts on the beach, so you will find it quiet and private.
More Anguilla Beaches
Another option nearby is Crocus Bay, which is a favorite of ours for snorkeling, but also for finding 40,000 year old fossils. As mentioned in our best restaurants on Anguilla review, we hang out at DaVida beach bar, which has chaise lounges and beach service for food and drink.
Also near to the Bird of Paradise is the longest, most deserted beach on Anguilla, Savannah Bay. Nat’s Palm Grove has food and beverage, but you need to bring chairs and umbrellas from the Bird of Paradise.
The most famous beach on Anguilla, but, perhaps, the busiest is Shoal Bay. There are lots of restaurants and beach bars, but we prefer being at the quieter east end of the beach and usually hang out at Tropical Sunset. They have chairs, which they will let you use if you’re buying lunch.
Rendez-vous Bay is a great place to spend the afternoon. We usually make The Place our base for lunch and, then, head down to The Dune Preserve for a drink, a funky bar which is where Jimmy Buffett recorded his DVD/CD on Anguilla.
Mead’s Bay is a lovely beach and it’s where we spent the first 20 years visiting Anguilla, but it has gotten quite busy with numerous resorts and catamarans arriving with day-trippers from St. Maarten. The restaurant, “Beach Shack” is popular with the kids as they have hot dogs, chicken fingers, smoothies and more. The Beach Shack has chaise lounges and umbrellas for rent or you can bring them from the Bird of Paradise. For fine dining there are several options on Mead’s Bay.
Another option is to head out by boat for a day trip to one of the cays. Departure is from Sandy Ground, the main harbor of Anguilla. Many of the yacht charters will make stops at Sandy Island and Prickly Pear, both of which have chairs and umbrellas a beach bar.
There’s a little fishing village near the Bird of Paradise, Island Harbor. At the dock are several local eateries on the beach. There are picnic tables, but you’d need to bring beach chairs if you wanted to spend an afternoon. A more expensive option is to take a complimentary boat from Island Harbor to Scilly Cay, a little island that has live music on Sundays and a sumptuous lunch of lobster, crayfish, or chicken. Chaise lounges are available on the island.
The main port is at Sandy Ground beach. There are numerous restaurants and beach bars or, as always, you can bring a cooler from Bird of Paradise, stocked with drinks.