New Year’s Eve at Sandy Ground, The Way To Start the New Year

More New Year’s Even Celebration News from Anguilla…

Never let it be said that Anguilla is a quiet place, at least not on New Year’s Eve. There is a fabulous party going on at just about every restaurant on the island, many complete with midnight fireworks.

From low-budget rock ‘n reggae for the young to high-end “black tie” (well, not really that formal), Anguilla has a party for all tastes, ages and budgets.

Pumphouse, of course, just wouldn’t be Pumphouse without hosting a tasty dinner and then what most assuredly will be a wild and crazy evening. The menu sounds outstanding, and reasonably priced, as you can see…

Pumphouse New Years Eve

And even if you choose to dine elsewhere, the young and young-at-heart can do what many do after their “starter event” has struck midnight. Head down to Sandy Ground and scream “hi” to Laurie and Deb, owners of Pumphouse.

Dance to the sounds of reggae masters, Versatile Vibes. One of Anguilla’s top DJ’s, DJ Sugar, will carry you the rest of the way, but you’ll have to carry yourself home!

$10 cover charge after 10PM includes free glass of champagne, party hats/favors/noisemakers (whee, yippee!). We’re not sure that Pumphouse ever needs noisemakers, let alone on the eve of the New Year, but what the hay! 😉

The other addition in our New Year’s coverage is also in Sandy Ground. Ripples, hosted by “grande dame” Jackie Ruan, offers an amazingly priced menu for what promises to be a delicious-value meal…

Ripples New Years Eve

And as the menu says, “then it’s time to party.” Sandy Ground does turn into one huge party, with Elvis chipping in a few thousand decibels and hundreds of fans overflowing into the street.

All in all, not a bad place to party until you drop. What better way is there to see the New Years in (if you can take the pace)?

What’s that, you say?

“A good movie at home after a delicious meal with friends and a round of Auld Lang Syne,” no matter where seeing it in happens? I have a feeling Janice and will be agreeing with you on that.

It’s usually home for us, soon after da’Vida’s fireworks for “Janice and Ken.” You’ll probably run into Yuki and Nori, though down on Sandy Ground. Do give us a ring if they cause any trouble. 😉

More Options for Old Year’s Night (AKA “New Years’s Eve” Outside Anguilla)

What the rest of the world calls it “New Year’s Eve,” we refer to is as “Old Year’s Night.” Is December 31st a day to be looking back, to savor achievements and reflect on what could have been done better? It seems to us that January 1 is the day to look forward to the year that is coming, to set goals.

Either way, Anguilla has loads going on. We covered Anacaona in an earlier post. Here are 3 more options for those on-island during the “high season”…

Cuisinart continues its tradition of legendary celebrations at both Le Bistro at Santorini and at Tokyo Bay. And please note…

While the recently launched “Anguilla Card” (from Anguilla-Beaches.com) does not normally cover 10% discounts for special events, CuisinArt (an Anguilla Card Partner) is extending 5% off to Card Holders for its Tokyo Bay celebration (more info on The Anguilla Card here)…

Cuisinart New Years Eve
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A third option is da’Vida, which is offering a full 10% to Anguilla Card Holders for its extravaganza, which is our usual Old/New Year’s hangout. Mom and Dad fade at midnight, but the girls head out for more, the night still young…

da'Vida's New-Years-Eve
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Ah, youth! Young or not-so-young, there’s a wonderful evening for all in Anguilla while the “old year” becomes “the new.”

Enjoy! And Happy New Year!

The Anguilla Card… Don’t Leave Home (For AXA) Without It!

The Anguilla Card

Anguilla Beaches recently launched a clever product for those planning a trip Anguilla, a discount card that gets you 10% off at all “Participating Partners.”  That includes…

  • hotels such as the award-winning Paradise Cove and best-value beachfront Carimar and Great House
  • villas, also a solid collection to choose from (ex., Tequila Sunrise, Sheriva Tortue, and the immense Ultimacy Villa)
  • an outstanding selection of restaurants (AXA Seafood House, all restaurants at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, da’Vida, Mango’s, Palm Grove (and several others)
  • You can even catch a ferry over from SXM (Link) fly in from San Juan (Tradewind), and then rent a car (Island Car) to explore.

All at 10% off.

Aside from “eat-sleep-go,” The Anguilla Card also covers activities such as Shoal Bay Scuba, Viceroy’s Spa and (of course!) shopping at places such as SeaSpray Boutique, Cheddie’s Carving Studio and ZaZAA Boutique.

The Origins of The Card

Catching up with the busy owner of Anguilla-Beaches.com, Nori Evoy, we asked her where the idea came from…

“I was emailing with a reader of my e-zine. She happened to say, ‘You know, I’d visit Anguilla if it wasn’t so expensive.’ Well, a lightbulb lit up.”

“Anguilla is known as a high-end destination and it is, of course. Many of the world’s rich and famous spend upwards of $10,000 and more per night to stay here. It’s the ultimate Caribbean destination.”

Warming up to the subject, she continued, “But there are also many mid-priced hotels and restaurants, as well as loads of free and inexpensive things to do on Anguilla. And really, even the wealthy enjoy a discount.”

“So, I thought, why not a simple, classy discount program for Anguilla? No free-drink come-ons, just a straight 10% discount across the board. Even the card itself is classy. Cardholders have told me they love holding it, and love using it even more.”

Strong Reception

Nori’s website is the most visited website on Anguilla. She also has the most followed and engaged Facebook page, not to mention strong social presence at Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and Youtube.

So when she approached potential Partners in Anguilla, they loved the concept. Nori notes that, “The whole idea of the Card is that Anguilla itself, our Partners and, of course, the customer must all profit from The Anguilla Card.”

That seems to be how it’s working out, too…

  • Cardholders love the discount, naturally.
  • Partners are receiving free publicity and new customers, card in hand.
  • And she has already received two emails from people who subscribe to her e-zine saying that the savings, which can amount to hundreds of dollars, were enough to hit the tipping point of choosing Anguilla over other destinations!

“I get most excited when I hear that someone chose Anguilla” because of the savings due to the Card.”

With a new phrase coming to Anguilla, “Do you accept The Anguilla Card,” this is one idea that looks like it’s just getting started, here to stay and grow. Sure enough, Nori confirms that “it’s just the beginning.”

She adds partners regularly, carefully diversifying so that there are never too many in any one category, which the Partners appreciate. She adds, “Each category has a limit and most have already reached it. But there are still more categories to add, lots of activities for visitors to do.”

“The goal is to add a Partner every week or two, until you can do just about anything with 10% off.”

What’s Coming?

“I’m most excited about a new program that I’m working on, one that will be exclusively for cardholders.”

She demurred when asked to reveal what that was going to be, but did add that it’s something that is not currently available in Anguilla. We could see that she wanted to give it away, but we let this irrepressible young woman off the hook so she could keep the surprise.

Having started Anguilla Beaches when she was only 14 years old, we asked her for her observations on the island, now that she has reached the ripe old age of 25…

“Times are tougher for many Anguillians since the Recession hit in late 2008. There are some positive signs, though, signs that 2014 just may be a comeback year. My goal for Anguilla Beaches remains the same as ever…”

“Tell the world about our favorite spot in the world, which is now also our home. I’m not in school anymore, so I have much more time, and 2 people who help part-time.”

“I want to grow Anguilla’s presence online and help to bring more delighted visitors to this super-special place than ever. Our entire economy depends on tourism, so the more people who arrive, the better off many of our friends are.”

“We’ve released a really cool page and an accompanying app at calm.anguilla-beaches.com, have another app in the works and a really big development that I hope to launch by February.”

Right now, though, her main focus is on growing “The Card.” At only $49, it’s sure to save much more than its price. Actually, she guarantees it.

Anguilla has a dynamo in its corner.

You can get more information about Anguilla’s discount card here.

Anguilla New Years at Anacaona’s Firefly Restaurant

Anacaona’s Firefly Restaurant’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations sounds like it’s going to be a Reggae blast.

It all starts at 7:30 PM with Lobster Bisque, Three Bean Salads, local organic arugula salad, summer salad and conch fritters.

Chef Kevin Paul slips into high gear with a feast fit for a king, buffet style! Meats include…

  • Caribbean Spit Roasted Pit
  • Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Oven Roasted Prime Rib
  • Pan Roasted Rack of Lamb

Prefer seafood? How about some or all of the following?…

  • Freshly Grilled Deep Water Red Snapper
  • Grilled Jumbo Prawns
  • Grilled Crayfish

Side Dishes (seasoned rice, oven roasted Yukon potatoes, grilled veggies, cinnamon flavored plantain and vegetarian lasagna) round it all out.

An assortment of desserts wraps dinner up.

And then, it’s on to the “Concert on the Lawn” for dancing to the stylings of Omari Banks (Banx Eleven) and the new reggae hit on-island, Tru Intentions Band.

Champagne at midnight, of course.

At US$100 per person, this sounds like a good mid-priced way to welcome 2014. Arrive starving!

Reservations are STRONGLY suggested. Call 264-497-6827.

Where Will You Have Christmas Dinner In Anguilla?

Is there anything better than spending Christmas and New Year’s in Anguilla? Well, please know that it is not all sand, sun, surf and relaxation.

One of the biggest problems is where to have Christmas Dinner! The other, of course, is where to celebrate New Years. Would that all our problems were of this magnitude!

And so, it starts…

Jackie Ruan of Ripples has just released her Christmas menu. It sounds like an unforgettable experience at a reasonable price.

Ready? Loosen your belt before reading the rest of this. Jackie is serving a genuine “Traditional Xmas Dinner,” in her inimitable English style, at Ripples Restaurant, situated in Sandy Ground Village.

Starting at 6:30 PM on Christmas Day, the feast begins with Vegetable Wontons with honey wasabi on wild arugula and Rich tomato soup & garlic croutons

Off to a good start, you’ll be ready for the “star of the show”…

Roast turkey with apricot n apple stuffing, roast,mash potatoes,medley of fresh vegetables

OR (for the less traditional)

Salmon en croute with coconut rice, & veggies

And, of course, just when you thought that you couldn’t possibly take another bite…

Dessert is Christmas pudding flambéd with aged Rhum, and Mince pies & custard

Complete with Christmas Crackers, the price is only US$30 (plus 15% service charge).

Reserve soon. This one should fill up fast. Call 264-497-3380 or 274-497-3394.

Merry Christmas and happy eating!

P.S. Information on Ripples