Zemi Beach House
West Indies, Anguilla
Luxury, $$$ (from $730)
Tucked away on a half-mile stretch of undeveloped, lush Caribbean landscape and pristine, pink-tinted sand, you'll find Zemi Beach House on Shoal Bay East — one of the best beaches on Anguilla. A newcomer to the island's robust hotel scene, the 65-key luxury resort has quickly earned its stake in paradise for its award-winning spa housed in a 300-year-old Thai tea house, two vitality pools, chic cabanas, daily yoga, and a luxurious cocktail bar that exclusively serves the oldest rum in the world. The sun-filled rooms and suites are designed with natural Caribbean wood and sandstone, opening out to a spacious private balcony (every room has one) or directly onto the baby-soft sand from the beachfront villas. The resort is easily accessible for any type of jetsetter by a short ten-minute flight or 20-minute ferry from the nearby island of St. Maarten.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Beachy and modern Caribbean oasis with five-star service and plenty of privacy to allow you to seriously relax.
Standout Detail: The sexy Rhum Room, with dark rum-colored couches and sleek glass tumblers feels like a modern pirate’s cellar. The on-site “rummelier,” serves flights of more than 100 rare single-batch rhums and shares the island’s history as a sugarcane producer for more than 500 years. He’ll also give you a rundown on the difference between rum and rhum — should you rather drink like a local.
This Place Is Perfect For: Couples who want to check in for full do-not-disturb mode, wellness enthusiasts who want to get their zen on, and globe-trotting families who look for full-service amenities and plenty of activities for the kids.
Rooms: 65 beachy-yet-modern boutique guest rooms, all with private terraces, spa-style bathtubs, and many with full kitchens — perfect to return to for cocktails after the beach. Two- or three-bedroom penthouse suites include a private pool, and beachfront villas are located directly on the beach. The ultra-luxurious Celebration Suite is equipped with a private rooftop terrace and plunge pool with 90-degree unobstructed oceanfront views. In-room amenities include a wireless Beats bluetooth speaker, high-speed Wi-Fi, motion-sensing air conditioning, and Malin + Goetz toiletries.
On Site: The award-winning, indoor/outdoor, 15,000-square-foot Thai House Spa is nestled inside an authentic, 300-year-old Thai home that was transported from Thailand to Anguilla in the 1980s. It was carefully restored and has the first and only hammam on the island. The nine treatment rooms and oversized private suites are designed with Thai carved mahogany walls and hanging lanterns. Also on site: a sun deck for mud and salt body treatments infused with herbs and fruits (helpful for removing toxins), outdoor rain showers, a vitality pool, and a juice bar tucked away in the ancient rice barn. In addition to the spa, wellness amenities include a 60-foot lap pool, chic cabanas for a post-sun nap, daily yoga classes, tennis, free kayaking, snorkeling, and paddleboards. PLUS a full-service gym that could rival any NYC Equinox.
Food + Drink: 20 Knots is the toes-in-the-sand dining experience you long for on vacation — daily complimentary breakfast and a BBQ party every Wednesday night, with live music and grilled local fish. Stone offers seasonal fine dining with sea-to-table fare. Shoal Bay is casual and serves tropical cocktails against the backdrop of crystal-clear turquoise waters and swaying palm trees. Bohio Bar & Lounge is perfect for pre- and after-dinner cocktails.
What to Do Nearby
There’s no judgement if you don’t leave the resort property and crystal-clear bay, but if you feel adventurous, here’s what else you can do during your stay. Explore the other beaches and coves of the island by sailboat, glass-bottom boat, or on bikes. At seventeen miles long and three miles wide, it's easy to plan a coast-to-coast hiking experience — noteworthy trails include Katouche Trail, Limestone Bay, Brimegin Trail, and Windward Point.
For an extra dose of glamour, do a day trip to St. Barts and book a sunset sailing cruise around the island. Or walk the boutique-lined streets of Gustavia and book lunch at Shellona on Shell Beach, a pristine bay with a beach covered with millions of pink seashells.