by Diana Lambdin Meyer
A frangipani is a beautifully fragrant flowering tree with clusters of white, pink and yellow blossoms. The rest of the world calls the tropical tree a frangipani, but most North Americans refer to it as a plumeria. Whatever you call it, you’ll find it blooming all around this lovely four-acre beachfront property.
Anguilla is renowned for the number of boutique hotels it offers to families, and Frangipani is a shining star of the island’s rich selection. Located on Anguilla’s west end on lovely Mead’s Bay, Frangipani occupies one of the most enviable locations on the island. West End is the quieter end of the island, but that does not mean it is lacking in aesthetics, activities or beautiful Caribbean sun and sand.
The Mediterranean-style resort has only 19 rooms, so the intimacy is much of the charm; you are an individual here. From dining to water activities to your favorite drink delivered poolside, the staff here will get to know you and your family and what it takes to make your vacation special.
You won’t find an enormous selection of activities from which to choose, but you can be assured that while taking part in the activities offered, you will receive a first-class experience. Frangipani distinguishes itself from other boutique hotels with one fabulous little detail: motorized water sports at the resort are free; free powerboats kick your family’s good times up a notch at no extra cost. Children under 12 also stay for free.
The Frangipani is privately owned and was completely renovated in 2008, and the guestrooms and suites saw a remodel in 2015.
Our Editor Loves
- Kids under 12 stay free
- Free motorized water sports
- Perfect white-sand beach
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Although Frangipani has just 19 guestrooms, you have a dozen room options from which to choose. From standard rooms without an ocean view to a luxury penthouse suite, your bases are covered. Note that rooms 1 to 8 have the best views, but if your kids struggle with climbing stairs, be sure to ask for ground-level rooms; there are no elevators. None of the bathrooms have bathtubs. The showers are lovely with multiple jets and massive water columns that the kids will love playing in, but if your young ones really need to be in a bathtub, you'll have to improvise. You will love the heavy-duty, fluffy towels and complimentary bathrobes, along with the "plumeria" custom bath products offered in each unit. Each room has its own DVD player and a huge selection of DVDs available for check-out at the front desk. You'll also find books and board games for check-out at no additional charge.
Remodeled in 2015, the luxury rooms feature a sitting area with a balcony or terrace. A mini-fridge is also offered in a standard room.
Junior suites and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites are options most suitable for families. The suites offer ample space for an additional crib or rollaway bed, which is available at no additional cost. The kitchens are fully equipped and spacious; eat at the counter or at a full-sized table. Suites are equipped with a washer/dryer, but if you choose a standard room, the staff will do your laundry for an additional charge. Daily maid service includes washing any dirty dishes in the sink.
Pools and Beach
The two pools on property are certainly sufficient, but are simple rectangles with no interesting details. One is an infinity pool, and the other an appropriate lap pool, which is nice, but both pools are between three- and five-feet deep. Of course, the ocean is just steps away, and the water at Mead's Bay is always quiet.
Kayaks and small Hobie Cats are available at no charge for guest use. Snorkeling gear and a small collection of beach/pool toys are also provided. Also available for guests are two motorized boats. The Relentless is a 34-foot cruiser that is perfect for a sunset cruise, although there is a rental fee for this boat. As the name suggests, the Baby Relentless is smaller (a 17-foot powerboat), and is available at no extra charge. Staff members captain pulling you and the kids on inner tubes, wakeboards or water-skis, or you can zip around the island on your own to explore other snorkeling and beach locations.
A lighted tennis court is also on the property; no need to pack your gear: rackets and balls are provided at no charge. Bicycling is very popular on Anguilla, although there are few designated bike trails. However, the roadways are wide and not heavily trafficked with motor vehicles near Frangipani. Rent a bike, helmet and lock for less than $20 a day.
Straw Hat Restaurant
A continental breakfast at the Straw Hat Restaurant is included in your room rate, or you can receive a credit toward a-la-carte menu items for breakfast, including just about anything you can dream up. This is the benefit of a small, boutique resort: they cater to your needs and interests. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.
The Straw Hat is also open for lunch and dinner daily. You may walk up to the beach bar for service in your swimsuit, or slip a covering on and come inside and enjoy the air-conditioning and big-screen TVs along with your meal. A children's menu includes baby-sized salads and lots of healthy choices for people of all ages. The kids will stay entertained with crayons and doodle pages provided by the staff.
One night a week live local entertainment complements the setting, allowing for some dancing or just listening under the stars as the ocean sleeps a few feet away.
Of course, room service and preparing meals for your family in your suite is certainly an option. The staff at Frangipani will gladly stock your refrigerator with your requests prior to your arrival.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Babysitting services are among the many services the staff at Frangipani will arrange for you. And if you need anything special for the kids or in your room, just let them know in advance and it will be waiting for you when you arrive.
The entire property has a strong and free Wi-Fi signal, so you can sit at the beach, at the pools, in the restaurant or on your balcony and be connected.
Serious shoppers will need to get out and explore the island for a large variety of shops, but Petals provides an upscale shopping experience on property. Locally made women's clothing, jewelry and art are not your typical souvenir-quality gift items. You'll enjoy wearing the special crocheted women's dresses found here over and over again.
The state-of-the-art fitness equipment includes cardio machines, free weights, personal training and yoga sessions.
The Art of Smart Timing
Anguilla is a year-round destination, and Frangipani caters to their guests with the same attention to detail all-year-long. If you're visiting for Christmas, ask and a Christmas tree will be included in your room. Of course, the Christmas holiday season is the more expensive and most crowded time to visit. For a break in prices, visit from mid-April to mid-December.
Come in August to celebrate boat racing, Anguilla's national past-time. The Anguilla Summer Festival is 10 days of boat races, parades, concerts and lots of family friendly events. It's something to do to gain a better understanding of the Anguillan culture, similar to taking your family to an All-Star Game or the World Series in the U.S.
Most visitors to Anguilla fly directly to St. Maarten and then take a ferry across the channel, arriving at the Blowing Point Ferry Terminal, which is on the south side of the island about 15 minutes from Frangipani. If you fly in to the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, you'll land smack dab in the middle of the island, about 30 minutes from Frangipani.
Taxis and car rental agencies are available at both facilities. The Frangipani does not offer shuttle service.
For Mom and Dad
Although Frangipani does not have a designated spa, beachside massages, facials and mani/pedis are available every day. And if you are into luxurious showers, the cascading massaging showers with multiple heads will make you want to go home and re-model your own bath.
For a nice quiet evening without the kids, remember to plan ahead with a reservation for a sunset cruise aboard The Relentless. The Frangipani concierge can also make dinner suggestions and reservations for you around the island.