08 July 2013

What a Difference a Day (with Sunshine) Makes!

I've got the leaving-Anguilla-blues in a pretty bad way.  We left the island via small plane yesterday at noon and were home in our beds around 2:45 am this morning.  It's a good thing that Anguilla is worth the 12+ hours of travel to get there!

Driveway at Las Esquinas
To combat my blues, I'm allowing myself this one day to download & organize my photos and write & schedule some blog posts.  Which means, it's time to revisit Las Esquinas.  As I mentioned before, we were very lucky to stay one night there, but the weather wasn't so hot and so my photos were a little dull. Robin, the owner, and JR and Clemencia, the staff, all were gracious enough to invite us back again if the weather cleared up.  Thus it was one sunny morning that we drove back to Little Harbour to make more photos. Clemencia welcomed us back with some of that yummy tomato toast, and then Adria and I went for a snorkel since the water was too rough to do that before.
 The entryway 
The east facade
I think that DH and I must be some kind of bad weather magnets, though, because no sooner had I taken a handful of photos, another storm rolled in from St. Martin, and this one was a doozy.  It made for some pretty dramatic shots, though, as the water in front of Las Esquinas was still bright with sunlight. After one storm passed, Adria and I geared up for a snorkel, only to be caught in another passing squall.  Couldn't see much snorkeling, and the waves were choppy enough to make it a little uncomfortable, too.
Looking toward St. Martin 
And again, a few minutes later
So here's a little photographic tour of the exterior of Las Esquinas:
The salt water pool somehow always manages to reflect the colors of the sea.
A little sun between two storms

The little footbath for washing off sand from the beach

This little lizard was kind enough to pose on the kayak for me
The sweet but shy Pyrat, keeping watch over the beach

Landscaping along the waterline

One of the best things about this place is the ratio of bedrooms to hammocks, which is 4:3.  Those are some limin' odds that I can definitely get behind!  I sampled two of them  They all have wonderful views and great breezes--DH started off giving me a gentle rock in each one and the wind kept the momentum going for a good while.

Hammock #1, the breeziest

Hammock #2, the most comfortable

Hammock #3, closest to the water
Of course, one of the best things about Las Esquinas is that blurred line between indoor and outdoor living. Even when sitting down at the breakfast table, or in the living room, there is so much open air surrounding you.  The house is well-built, and there were various sliding glass and wooden panels that could be adjusted to keep the rain out while still maintaining the view. We saw these in action several times, as JR and Clemencia rushed to shut the rain out with each squall that passed through.  The hard tile floors become quite slippery when wet, so this is both a safety precaution and a means to slow down the harm done to furniture and finishings by wind-driven rain and salt.
DH in the lounge area
The breakfast table, which is open on two sides to the outdoors
The breezeway connects two of the bedrooms, overlooking the courtyard. The other three walls say Grace, Humility, and Reverence, qualities we could all do well to find a larger place for in our lives
Here's more of an interior tour of the B&B, including photos from multiple bedrooms because JP & Adria let us take pictures of their room, plus JR took me to one other unoccupied room.  I also tried to highlight all of the individual decorative touches around the house.

The living room
Living room from another angle, showing open doors to the #2 hammock

My DH in his natural habitat
One of the greatest things about Las Esquinas is how green it is.  They have a triple-filtering system to provide potable water to their guests in one of the kitchen sinks.  They also recycle all of the water from the sinks & showers to use for watering the garden, which is why they provide the all-organic liquid soaps, shampoos, and body washes for the guests.  It was just wonderful being in Anguilla and not having to worry about the accumulation of plastic bottles from having to drink bottled water--the lack of potable water combined with the lack of recycling facilities on the island is very sobering and in my mind one of the few very real drawbacks to vacationing there.
The light and airy kitchen
Our bedroom was the Balinese room, and it was quite spacious and gorgeous, with a king bed, a large outside deck with two chaises longues, and even a full soaking tub in the bathroom.  I have no idea who would need a hot bath when vacationing in Anguilla, but it's there if you ever need it.  As ever, it's the little details that make this place special, whether it's the Balinese shadow puppet for decoration, or whether it's the pitcher of potable water with drinking glasses and reading lights on each side of the bed that indicate how much thought has gone into guests' comfort.

Our balcony had great views to the south and east.
Looking down at the pool from our balcony
When Johnny Cash was asked what the key was to a happy marriage, he allegedly replied, "two sinks."  He and June would have been happy here. 
The open shower
Close-up of the cloth hanging above our bed

Adria and JP stayed in the Mexican room, and I loved the bright colors in there.  They had the breeziest of the rooms I visited.  One of their walls faces due east, where the prevailing winds come from, and Adria demonstrated just how breezy it was when the windows on that wall were opened.  If I wanted a guaranteed room where breezes were constant and a/c absolutely unnecessary, I'd pick the Mexican room.  They also have an outdoor shower.
The Mexican room

Balcony on the Mexican room
Just a sweet arrangement of shells and coral on the Mexican balcony
JR showed me the Mediterranean room, which was also lovely.  It would be perfect for families with one child to share, as the daybed at the foot of the main bed is a twin mattress. 

The Mediterranean room, with day bed

JR on the balcony of the Mediterranean room
In no particular order, here are a few of the folk art pieces from around the world that Robin has collected.
Balinese shadow puppet

Mask on a kitchen wall

I suspect this is a wind chime, but it hangs on a large linen-press or cabinet

A Polynesian oar, propped in the corner of the living room

Another mask on the wall

Nice cock. 
Just a touch of color in the corner

These tassels are made with sea shells

One of many pieces of original art (no reproductions) hanging in the house

This lends a little extra visual interest in the vestibule

The main light in the vestibule
Last, but far from least, one of the greatest pleasures of being at Las Esquinas was meeting the people there, both staff and guests. 
Clemencia and Lucy 
The remarkable and many-talented JR, with DH 
Adria and JP
Thus it was with slightly-heavy hearts that we left Las Esquinas, but it left me scheming how to get back there again next year, if only for a short respite.  Because everybody needs a vacation from their vacation, during their vacation. Right?
The upper levels of Las Esquinas, looking from one bedroom to another, with the courtyard down below
The small beach at the bottom of the property

DH, taking his leisure


  1. Despite it being a stormy day, the colors in that first picture are absolutely incredible! Looks like you had an amazing vacation, I can totally understand the sad feeling of letting it go.

    1. Shannon, I'm with you on that one. When that photo downloaded off the camera I was rather mesmerized by the deep colors in it!

  2. Emily - what a lovely review, I would like to put a link in the FAQ's on TA if it is ok with you.
    That space is gorgeous, what attention to detail, the design and decor is just stunning and it appears as if no expense was spared.
    Thanks for taking me along with you, I loved seeing all the pictures and reading your beautiful writing.

    1. I'd be flattered, Ellen. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. So glad to read and see more about Las EsQuinas, truly a heaven on earth that I cannot get out of my mind since our visit last May. Thanks for letting us recall such beautiful memories through your experience. And that top photo of the storm and Pyrat - especially loved that one!


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