Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Winner: Best Comeback
- Three beautiful white sand beaches and two infinity pools for nonstop relaxation
- Accommodations start at 720 square feet and feel like mini-apartments
- Spa treatments based on local healing traditions using island-grown ingredients such as aloe and lemongrass
- Modern American cuisine with a Caribbean twist at the Restaurant
What To Know
- Reopened in November 2014 after a three-year closure and 18-month total renovation by TAL Studio and SB Architects — to the tune of $80 million
- Staff greets all guests flying into Anguilla or St. Maarten; the resort can arrange sea shuttle service for those arriving in St. Maarten
- The upgrade to an Ocean-View Premium room is definitely worth the splurge
- You can create your own custom oil blends for massages at the Aroma Design Bar
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Reopened in November 2014 after a three-year closure and 18-month total renovation by TAL Studio and SB Architects — to the tune of $80 million — the Malliouhana encompasses 25 acres of landscaped gardens nestled along a mile and a half of white sand beach. The 44 guestrooms and suites, all with private terraces, are splashed with colors inspired by surf, sand and sky — think mint, mango, saffron and white. The open-air clifftop Restaurant at Malliouhana serves sea-to-table specialties such as lobster and conch pizza and house-made pasta with spiny lobster and sea urchin butter. Cozy up to the Sunset Bar, where bartenders mix 40 rums in fruity cocktails, and live music happens several times a week. The two-story Auberge Spa, which features an outdoor meditation garden and a relaxation lounge, incorporates local ingredients into signature treatments such as the Island Drift: a tropical Caribbean rum foot soak, sweet sugarcane body exfoliation and a coconut crème massage. You can also create your own custom oil blends for massages at the Aroma Design Bar.
In the Area
If you’re looking to stay active, the island has a wide variety of sporting opportunities. Saddle up, and book a seaside horseback ride through Seaside Stables Anguilla. Visitors can learn the island’s national sport — sailing — through the Anguilla Sailing Association, which also operates the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club. Links aficionados won’t want to miss the Greg Norman–designed course at the CuisinArt Golf Club, which has gorgeous views of St. Maarten and the sparkling Caribbean Sea.
How to Get There
My wife and I just wrapped up 4 nights at Malliouhana. It is an incredible setting - the location on the bay, the stunning fittings of the hotel and the gorgeous beach below are, in my view, unbeatable. It is an intimate hotel - you'll never feel crowded even when it's full - and it has infinitely more character than the Four Seasons behemoth at the other end of the beach. As others have pointed out, the hotel is still finding its sea legs after being closed for a year or so post-hurricane so there are areas for improvement - primarily being the food options at breakfast, lunch and general pool service. However, I will say, we ate at the restaurant one night and found the food to be the best we had for our entire trip - nothing overly ambitious but just high quality, well made food. The staff throughout the hotel are consistently outstanding and i think with a few more months of experience, all the service cobwebs will be gone and it will be back to its seamless, former glory. Overall, if you're looking for quiet and relaxing luxury, go no further. We are already booking our next visit!
My wife and I visited for a week in early February, about six weeks after the resort re-opened. It is a truly beautiful and unique place, and I am confident that it will be true "5-stars" in time, but they may have opened before they were ready. There was far more good than not but I'm trying to be accurate. So with that in mind:
The Good (actually Great):
- The room. We stayed in a premium oceanview room in the main house and it was close to perfect (see below). Gorgeous view from the spacious balcony, bright colors, updated bath with two vanities, big tub and separate shower, constantly re-stocked minibar.
- The beach. Maybe the best I've ever seen, and we have been to some good ones. Just gorgeous water and silky sand. Beach staff was very friendly, always way more chairs than people. Kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel equipment available at any time. Easy bar service, but no real food service yet (supposedly opening March '19 but it didn't look that way). DeShon (apologies if misspelled) was fantastic.
- The pool(s). Spectacular infinity pool was the perfect place to be for a couple of hours after the beach, before sunset. Again, plenty of chairs, very friendly chair/towel/bar service. Shout out to Sam (try his *famous* rum punch) and Isaac.
- The location. I love Meads Bay. Beautiful for swimming, easy kayaking or sailing, paddleboarding, etc. Love being able to take a short walk down the beach to Blanchards, Straw Hat, Jacala and, on the other end, the Four Seasons. All those places and yet the beach and bay seem empty! Paradise.
- The people. Everyone we encountered was so friendly, really made an effort to get to know us and what we liked, always smiling. As noted below, the service is not yet up to true 5-star levels, but it is not for lack of trying on the part of the employees.
Room for Improvement:
- Service/Training: As noted, the hotel was open only for about six weeks when we were there, and they clearly rushed the opening. The service is not remotely close to what one would expect at an Auberge or other 5-star property. Everyone is trying hard, but they have not received the luxury hospitality training that is necessary, and management is not present enough. When they are charging full price (we had an early opening discount), they will need to up their game significantly.
- The Food: Generally mediocre in the one restaurant that was open. Breakfast was just ok (a small menu and a fairly unexciting small buffet) although the setting is spectacular. At other properties of this level, we are used to made to order omelettes, smoothies, fresh fruit, etc. Lunch doesn't matter very much (because there are great options down the beach), but the dinner menu is fairly limited and nothing special.
- The Facilities: It is understandable that they are not fully operational yet as they are still getting going after Irma, but we did not feel that we received fair notice of the limited facilities that were open in February (no real spa; temporary fitness center; no beach restaurant; makeshift temporary "sunset bar") and the active construction (with noise). We received an email telling us about *some* of this just a week before we arrived. That is not smart customer service on the part of Auberge.
All of this said (as noted, trying to be candid), we definitely will look forward to returning when Malliouhana is at full speed. It's a gorgeous property, and I don't think you can find a better beach anywhere.
Beautiful hotel on a gorgeous beach with a warm, professional group of people who make every effort to enhance your stay. Cant say enough great things about our experience and we can’t wait to go back.
Great Place, Great People, Great Time. This is one of the best resorts I have stayed in. The beach, the pool, the staff all were great. The rooms were comfortable. Everyone at the resort were eager to be helpful.
Excellent property. This was our fifth visit and Malliouhana is as good as ever. Small, intimate, beautiful with a warm, welcoming staff. Great for just relaxing or a special occasion. Also nice to see familiar staff who remembered us and welcomed us back. Highly recommend.