Carimar is a Home Away from Home for Shelli Goldberg Albert
Carimar Beach Club is “Your Home Away From Home” – just ask Shelli Goldberg-Albert. We sat down on her beach view balcony the other day and listened to her tell us of her love for Anguilla and Carimar. Shelli has been a loyal Carimar guest for over twenty years.
Shelli is from Phoenixville, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. She and her husband, Robbie, started visiting Anguilla in 1994. Anguilla was referred to them by a friend and the couple booked a stay at the now-defunct Cinnamon Reef Hotel. Unbeknownst to them, their friend canceled their reservation at Cinnamon Reef and changed it to Carimar Beach Club. They only found out only a few weeks before their departure and decided to go with the flow.
They fell in love with Carimar the minute they walked in. There was nothing they liked more than the peace and quiet of Carimar. Their days consisted of sitting on the beach, swimming, going out to dinner, and reading a book in bed at night. Amenities were fewer then; there were no phones or televisions in the rooms. If you like night life, gambling, discos, and shopping, then Anguilla is probably not for you. However, “if you like the beach, you’ll love Carimar.”
The laid-back atmosphere of Anguilla and the friendliness of the Anguillan people make this island the most comfortable place in the world to be. Shelli certainly thinks so, as she has been coming to Carimar for twenty years for a total of twenty-two visits and stays for a month at a time!
Sadly, Robbie passed away on Anguilla in 2002 at the age of 45. Fred Thompson and Heather Gumbs, the general manager and assistant manager of Carimar, respectively, were there for Shelli throughout the entire ordeal and were her family. They stayed at the hospital with her, helped her make Robbie’s arrangements, and arranged for her to stay with owners so she was not alone. The entire Carimar community took care of her; the staff, owners, and guests could not have been more supportive. Shelli stressed that she could not have gotten through the ordeal without the help of her friends at Carimar. Shelli says it was a surreal experience, but she and Robbie could not have been in a better place when it happened. Robbie loved Carimar and enjoyed it until his very last day.
Shelli still visits Carimar Beach Club each year and annually celebrates Robbie’s memory with a beach party. The personal attention and love she receives at Carimar keeps her coming back. She feels that the intimate size of the resort – twenty-four villas in total – allows one to be known as a person, not just a room number. It is a special, magical place. Shelli has become a lifetime friend of the owners, staff and guests – many of them repeat guests like her. The layout of the villas in a horseshoe shape with the courtyard in the center promotes socializing and Shelli loves attending the many cocktail parties held by guests on their balconies, sunset drinks on the beach, and the managers’ parties. Carimar awards ten-year repeat guests with a free week stay and throws a community cocktail party in the courtyard.
Shelli is active with the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation (AARF) and transports homeless dogs to the U.S. for adoption and foster care. The staff and guests of Carimar Beach Club and Anguillan people are an extension of her family; she could not see herself spending a vacation anywhere else in the world.
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