On Friday, December 1, 2017, Carimar Beach Club received an award from the Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association for their unwavering support during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Carimar was one of the only hotels to remain open after Irma and provided accommodations in September and October to an array of relief workers, government officials, stranded tourists and even 85 British marines. Kudos to the Carimar staff for stepping in and doing many jobs they don’t normally do while in the middle of their own clean up!
US News and World Reports ~ By Gwen Pratesi, Contributor |Dec. 5, 2017, at 3:44 p.m.
“Carimar Beach Club Anguilla ~ Located on Meads Bay Beach, one of the most loved beaches on Anguilla, this one and two bedroom villa resort is planning a grand reopening for guests for the Christmas holiday…”
The Anguillan Newspaper ~ November 6, 2017
Carimar Beach Club, at Meads Bay, has received excellent reviews for opening its doors to a number of guests during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, notwithstanding the absence of some of its amenities and other services.
Carimar’s General Manager, Mr. Rolf Masshardt, spoke to The Anguillian newspaper about how the guests were accommodated, the work of the staff and the plans for the full reopening of the property. “It was a little bit of a challenge. We had two guests through the hurricane. As they couldn’t fly out they stayed here and we took care of them,” he reported.
“We had two other guests who were in another property, where they did not feel safe, so they came to us where I was running one building at the time. Mr. Cardigan Connor [Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism], came one evening [after the hurricane] with eight people. I had no staff here but my wife, daughter, and I cleaned some rooms for them to sleep and that’s how it started. We opened one building after the other and then, a few days later, the British military came and asked for rooms as well. So we had people from different organisations including the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, UNICEF, UK agencies and up to 75 persons from the British military who stayed until the end of September.
“That was quite a challenge and it was quite an active and hectic time. I think Shoal Bay Villas, ourselves and Paradise Cove were the only ones which tried to stay open. This is the advantage of smaller properties. They are personally run, and I run Carimar as though I am the owner – as I am used to that. I think that makes a big difference. I am not criticising them but sometimes the bigger properties take the easier way and don’t want to be bothered with having people around and, unfortunately, don’t open for a long time.”
“I could only provide the accommodation at Carimar because the staff came, cleaned, and did everything they could to make it possible. I could not have done it alone, but the staff was great in providing the necessary assistance. It pays to treat your workers well and then they will pay you back by being loyal. I think it is better to be open. We have noise and reduced services until we are fully open, but it keeps the staff busy. They get service charge, even if it is not much, and they work seven days a week – with overtime pay – so everybody gets something out of it.”
Mr. Masshardt was pleased to state that less than a week after the hurricane he had spoken to the chairlady of Carimar’s Board of Directors and was able to set up a relief fund to raise over 100,000 dollars for the staff. He explained that the contributors to the fund were some 80 percent repeat guests as well as the 24 owners of the condominium property. “We don’t have that many staff. We have 26 so everybody got a nice little something towards their hurricane damage. I think that also helped a lot to motivate them,” he told the newspaper.
It was not the first time that Mr.Masshardt accommodated guests after a hurricane. He did so in 1995 while at La Serena when Hurricane Luis struck Anguilla. “We had that hotel for 22 years and our workers, who were like family, came to work right after the storm,” he recalled.
Asked what message he might have for the people of Anguilla, he replied: “I think most people do exactly what they should do: firstly, clean up and then try to rebuild their lives as good as possible – and be on their own feet. I think everybody tried their best to do so. It is unfortunate that so many properties are closed, and that so many people will be out of work or with less work – and this will be a problem for the next couple of months. But I hope the properties can employ the maids to clean up – and everybody else and so they should give at least everybody a little work. That is important because, if the people of Anguilla have work, they can rebuild. But if they don’t have a job, and any income, it will be very difficult.”
Mr. Masshardt was asked when he plans to fully reopen Carimar Beach Club. “Right now, we are open for whoever wants to come but they know there is noise; there is work to be done; there are no railings so there are some limitations, and we run on generators so that is a handicap but it works,” he said. “We have a soft opening on the first of December when we think all the work might be done, but we might not have cable TV and full internet – and then we will have a grand opening on December 21st but we are now open for business.”
He added that, in the meantime, ten guests, who visit Carimar and Anguilla every year, had arrived in Anguilla last weekend. “They are coming despite that things are not perfect,” he said. “They have been coming for 20 years, know each other, had to change planes and had a lot of other problems to get here, but they are managing to do so and will be coming for two weeks. I also have two German couples coming in another week, for three weeks, and they come every year. They said ‘we want to come because the beach is here; the people are here, and we really do not care about the fancy restaurants if they are not all open. There are enough local restaurants.’
“I think it is a big chance for local places if they promote themselves properly,” Mr. Masshardt concluded.
October 8, 2017
Carimar Beach Club was very lucky during the passage of Hurricane Irma. The property suffered only very limited damage and had power and water straight through the Hurricane. We had 2 guests staying with us during the storm (they could not get a flight out in time). And although we were officially closed starting September 4th, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, we at Carimar Beach Club were able to host stranded guests from other properties and opened the hotel to relief workers, NGO representatives and the British government and army as a base for their recovery efforts.
Within two weeks after the passage of Irma (the eye of the hurricane just touched Anguilla to the south), we had to prepare for two other Cat 5 hurricanes: Jose just three days after Irma and Maria another 10 days later. Luckily for our island, Jose passed well north of us and Maria about 100 miles to the south. We had a good amount of rain with Maria, which was a welcomed gift for Anguilla; it will allow our gardens to green up again within a few weeks’ time.
The major damage at Carimar are the gardens, the railings going up to the rooms, the warm water solar heaters, beach chairs, some doors and a couple broken windows. The inside of our units did not suffer any damage. Thanks to the hard work of our staff and some additional workers, we were able to clean out the debris on the grounds within days and open one room after the other for more unexpected guests. After four weeks, most of the island is cleaned up or well on the way. The Valley and other villages in the center of the island already have power and ANGLEC is making progress every day. Carimar’s utilities are independent with the use of own generator for power, solar energy panels for hot water, and our own water production (reverse osmosis plant).
One of the remaining challenges is still communication, as our land phone lines, cable tv, and internet connections are down and may be out of service for a few months. However, cell phones are working fine again, and for the last week, we have internet service on the property by the use of “hot spots”. The easiest way to reach us is by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also be reached at 264-497-6881 (int’l #). Our office is currently open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm daily. Our beach (north-east side of Meads Bay) lost some sand, but it has already started to return slowly and we are confident that nature will restore our beach as it always has within the coming weeks. The first flowers in our gardens are blooming again! Visit our Facebook page to see photos taken on October 3, 2017.
When is Carimar open for business again?
As mentioned before, we are currently hosting over 70 guests at Carimar, including regular guests (business people, government officials, and relief workers) and are expecting our first repeat guests returning at the end of October and early November. All of our units have electricity with a/c in the bedrooms, running water (hot water should be restored by the end of October), daily housekeeping and all the comforts our guests could enjoy. Our guests can use their cell phones and access the internet in our reception area and use our “hot spot” with limited service. Landline phone access and cable tv will probably not be available for a few months. There will be repairs and replanting done over the next 2-3 months to upgrade and enhance our property for the upcoming season. We also went ahead with our scheduled plan to renovate the bathrooms in 2 buildings (we will add additional bathrooms each year).
Please direct all inquiries, cancellation notices, and postponement notifications to our reservations department at email@example.com
Period until October 31st, 2017: We decided to keep part of our property open for guests in need of an accommodation throughout the coming weeks, although they know that there will be some noise in the daytime through our rebuilding efforts. The rates for this time will be discounted, and some of that income will go directly to our staff relief fund that Carimar has set up for our staff (more details on our Facebook page and website). Our objective during this period is non-commercial but to accommodate the needs of the Island as there are only very limited open places to stay in Anguilla.
November 1st to November 30th, 2017: Although most of our repairs and replanting will be done by the end of October, there will still be some work going on at Carimar (painting, landscaping, etc.). We have not opened our booking portals (like Expedia, Booking.com) for new bookings for this period, but will accept guests to stay with us if they wish. There will be only a limited choice of restaurants opened for the guests. – a great opportunity to discover many of our excellent local restaurants for a true Caribbean experience. We have some repeat guests who strongly want to come during that time to show their support for Anguilla and Carimar Beach Club. We will offer a special 30% discount to those guests who still want to come and support us.
December 1st to December 20th, 2017: We are confident that we will have all repairs and enhancements done by December 1st. However, we see this period as a soft opening as we are not sure if all services (only limited internet, TV, and landline phone) will be available as it usually is. We will offer a special 15% pre-opening discount during that period to all our guests and this special rate (clearly mentioning the possibility of limited services) will be available directly and through our travel industry partners.
December 21st, 2017: Grand re-opening of Carimar Beach Club on Meads Bay. We are very confident that Carimar Beach Club will be fully operational with all services running at the beginning of the Christmas Season. Our property will be nicer than ever, everything will be repaired and repainted, some of the units will have brand-new bathrooms (this project was planned before the hurricane) and will most likely have one of the lushest and loveliest gardens we have ever had. A lot of your favorite restaurants will be reopened as well, including our neighbors Blanchard’s and the Beach Shack. Some of your favorite restaurants will be reopened as well, and there is a great opportunity to explore some of the excellent but less famous local establishments.
WELCOME BACK TO PARADISE!
For weekly updates check our Facebook Page or send us an email if you have specific questions.
– Rolf Masshardt (General Manager) and Your Upbeat Carimar Team
Please help support the needs of our incredible staff so they can get back on their feet. Thank you!
Anguilla Comes in at #1 ~ “Finding a destination with unpopulated shores and stellar food might seem to be an unreasonable request. But not on Anguilla — where there are 33 pristine stretches of sand as well as some of the finest food in the Caribbean. Visit Palm Grove, a seaside shack nestled into the mile-long crescent of Junks Hole Bay, for grilled lobster and johnnycakes prepared while you snorkel. Lounge at Little Bay — accessible by boat or climbing down a cliff with a frayed rope — and experience a place out of one’s winter fantasies. When describing Anguilla, one reader said: “There’s nothing touristy. Just great, welcoming people and beautiful beaches.” Who can argue with that?”
“ANGUILLA IS A SMALL ISLAND IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN. THE PLACE IS A BONA-FIDE TROPICAL WONDERLAND. I SURFED, RODE A HORSE THAT SWAM IN THE OCEAN, SAW A LIVE REGGAE SHOW AT A WOODEN BEACH BAR, AND PARTIED ON A SANDBAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN.
I drank a lot of rum and ate local lobster the entire trip, and if anyone is wondering I was offered a variety of drugs. I was told there were no waves in Anguilla, but hours after arriving I witnessed chest high wave’s breaking perfectly down a left point. There was one surfer in the lineup, who happened to be a girl, and she was catching waves. (If you’re curious, you can find her on Instagram here: @anguillabeaches). Beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise water are just a few of the reasons why I’d recommend a trip to Anguilla. If you plan to visit, which you should, here’s a list of some of the fun things you ought to do while you’re there.”
ARTICLE BY MARIANNE SALAYMEH – November 1, 2015
Marking his return to Meads Bay, Rolf Masshardt joins the Carimar team as General Manager. He spent the past 8 years managing boutique hotels in his native Switzerland. Many will remember Rolf as former developer, owner and manager of La Sirena on the west end of Meads Bay for nearly 20 years. He and his wife, Viviane, have a large network of friends and former employees that they continued to see on their annual visits and they are thrilled to be back on Anguilla full time. Their two children, ages 22 and 26, attended the local schools and still have many friends here.
“When I heard that Carimar was looking for a General Manager, it immediately caught my attention,” said Rolf recently. “Living here for more than 20 years on the same gorgeous Meads Bay as Carimar, this opportunity to manage one of the best situated resorts in Anguilla was too good to pass up. I’ve loved the island and the people of Anguilla for so many years. This just seemed the right time move back to our second home.”
Rolf had high praise for Fred Thompson and the entire staff. He noted, “Carimar was always very well managed and has been a steady icon in the Hospitality industry of Anguilla. It has a long-tenured staff that provides exceptional service and a large number of repeat guests. The owners have continued to invest in updating the units. Under Fred Thompson’s long stewardship, the property is beautiful and in great shape.”
CARIBBEAN JOURNAL article July 18, 2015 – “With 33 stellar beaches fringing its 35 square-miles, we definitely know where we’ll be spending our days in the beach paradise known as Anguilla. But since we can’t sleep on the sand, here are our favorite places to spend the night. These are the best hotels in Anguilla, from small, affordable stays to grand luxury resorts.
Carimar Beach Club – Huge suites with full kitchens that make eating in easy; proximity to great island restaurants when you want to eat out; and room rates that won’t break the bank. What’s not to love about this Meads Bay gem?”
CONDE NAST TRAVELER article by Katherine LaGrave February 4, 2016
Anguilla – If you’re looking to vacation in luxe fashion, then Anguilla is one of your best bets. Just 16 miles long and three miles wide, the low-lying island nation is characterized by endless sandy beaches and spectacular coral reefs.
*JetBlue And Seaborne Launch Codeshare Agreement* | *LIAT To Resume Daily Service from Antigua*
The Valley, Anguilla November 3rd, 2015 – Visitors to Anguilla will find it easier than ever to get there, thanks to new airline agreements that facilitate travel from both Puerto Rico and Antigua direct to Anguilla.
A new code share agreement between JetBlue Airways And Seaborne Airlines allows for a seamless connection via San Juan’s San Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in Puerto Rico to flights into Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA).
Anguilla passengers flying on JetBlue and Seaborne will enjoy the benefit of traveling on a single ticket which allows for one-stop check-in, baggage transfer to the final destination, and conveniently timed connections in San Juan. Seaborne operates direct service from San Juan into Anguilla three times a week, on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; the flight takes just over an hour.
A further convenience for travelers on this route is that passengers from Anguilla to San Juan will clear immigration and customs in San Juan as their first point of entry into the U.S., thus arriving as domestic passengers at their final destination.
JetBlue is the largest carrier into San Juan. The new codeshare opens up several gateway markets for Anguilla as Jet Blue offers daily service from ni nine U.S. cities into San Juan – New York, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Hartford, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa. Travel to Anguilla may be booked on JetBlue.com, on a preferred online travel booking website or through a local travel agent.
Starting November 13, 2015, LIAT Caribbean Airlines will be offering daily service from Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) to Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) via a lease agreement with Caribbean Helicopters to utilize their Piper PA31-350 aircraft.
The service is timed conveniently to connect with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights arriving from the United Kingdom. This daily service is expected to increase to eleven flights a week in the winter season.
“These agreements will greatly facilitate access to Anguilla for visitors from our most important markets, the United States and the United Kingdom,” said Donna A. Banks, Chairperson of the Anguilla Tourist Board. “We are delighted that it will now be much easier to locate flights to Anguilla on all the major online booking platforms. We are confident that this will have a very positive impact on our visitor arrivals, as we work to grow the industry by expanding and improving access to our wonderful destination,” she concluded.
Tucked away in the northern Caribbean, Anguilla’s 33 pristine beaches and spectacular turquoise seas are justly renowned. The island’s understated chic, endless beaches, tony resorts and super villas have earned it a top spot on the Caribbean’s “hot” list, and enjoys an exceptional reputation as a culinary destination in its own right.
VACATION IDEA article April 20, 2015 – “Resting on the shimmering white sands of Mead’s Bay Beach in Anguilla, this beautiful beachfront resort offers discerning guests a sensual seaside escape in the heart of the Caribbean. Luxurious beach villas set right on the sand combine privacy with five-star hotel amenities and outstanding service to offer idyllic retreats. Interiors decorated in cool tones to echo the surrounding landscape are beautifully furnished and fully equipped with modern kitchens, en-suite bedrooms and private balconies with spectacular views. Savor sublime cuisine, including sumptuous seafood at one of five gourmet restaurants, beach bars, and local barbeques around the resort, or enjoy private dining in the comfort of your villa overlooking the sea. Venture into the blue depths of the ocean to explore the life on the local reef, and set sail on the sea breezes off the coast. From romantic cruises to sailing, snorkeling and big game fishing, this luxurious seaside resort offers a choice of activities for every taste. Rooms start at $230 per night.”
THE ANGUILLIAN article Dec. 12, 2014 – “The most prestigious award, Hotelier of the Year, was won by Mr Frederick Thompson, Manager of Carimar Beach Club. He joined the staff there as Facilities Manager in 1982 and was promoted Manager in 1995. Mr Thompson became Treasurer of the AHTA in 1997 and was elected President in 2000 and served for two terms. He was awarded Hotelier of the Year in 2001 and 2006; appointed to the Board of the Caribbean Hotel Association as one of Anguilla’s representatives in 2003; was appointed to the Anguilla Tourist Board in 2006 and served until 2010. He was re-appointed as Anguilla’s representative to the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association in 2011 (an appointment he still holds).”
FAMILY TRAVEL NETWORK article by Nancy Schretter 2014 – “Budget–Friendly Boutique Escapes: Anguilla offers for families on a more modest budget, too. Some are beachfront, including the one– and two–bedroom units at the award–winning Carimar Beach Club situated directly on magnificent Meads Bay. “
ANGUILLA-BEACHES.COM article by Nori Evoy. Nori’s Rating: 5 out of 5. “Known for delivering pure relaxation and serenity, Carimar Beach Club is one of a kind. Spacious units, right on majestic Meads Bay’s sandy shores, next door to some of the island’s top restaurants, and all at under $300-450 per night. It’s no wonder Carimar Beach Club is loyally-loved by many.”
RATING FROM TRIP ADVISOR March 16, 2014 – While many people visit Anguilla for singles vacations or couples retreats, the island is also the perfect place to go for a family vacation. If you are planning a vacation that includes children of any age, you’ll want to ensure you are staying at a hotel that caters to families – or at the very least is kid-friendly.
FROM CARIBBEAN TRAVEL+LIFE article by Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon & Debbie Snow: Carimar Beach Club on Meads Bay, Anguilla: Bougainvillea-draped terraces, tropical gardens and friendly staff are sure to impress at this villa-style 24-suite gem, where beach lovers will swoon over the prime location on the sands of Meads Bay. Restaurants are within walking distance, but many guests use of their private kitchens, all recently updated. Frequent potluck beach barbecues bring visitors and locals together. From $199 per night.
THE FAMILY TRAVEL NETWORK names Carimar one of the TOP Budget Caribbean Family Vacations.
Great article by Nancy Schretter, Editor of Family Travel Network about enjoying some of the top Caribbean vacations with your family, “without breaking the bank.”
TRAVEL + LEISURE article by Shane Mitchell names Carimar’s own Mead’s Bay Beach as “One of the Best Places to Travel in 2014.” Facing west, 1-1/2-mile-long Meads Bay is ringed by some of the island’s best casual restaurants.
USA TODAY – READERS’ CHOICE article December 2014 – “#3 – Anguilla: The island of Anguilla offers a smattering of high-end resorts, gorgeous powder-soft sandy beaches and unparalleled cuisine – everything from upscale restaurants to sunset beach barbecues. Far fewer cruise ships anchor at Anguilla than at nearby islands, which only adds to the sense of sexy seclusion.”
CARIBBEAN JOURNAL September 20, 2014 article by Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, CJ Travel Editor:
Anguillian chef Shawne Bryan runs the pastry kitchen at Zuma, one of downtown Miami’s hottest tables. Celebs such as Gabrielle Union and Pharrell (Williams) come here for the restaurant’s Japanese cuisine, but they keep coming back for the indulgent finales: the deconstructed desserts for which the Johnson & Wales-trained chef is known.
Bryan often sneaks in a little Caribbean flavor by using tropical fruit and vibrant island colors. “I used to work at this great restaurant on Mead’s Bay (Jacala). The setting is beautiful and you never feel rushed here, only relaxed. Go for lunch or dinner with a beachfront view and try one of my favorites: the tuna or the snapper meuniere.”
MEDIANDERBLOG article by Kathleen S. Boodoo:
The perfect beach: Is there such a thing? I think it’s something different for everyone. For me it means soft, powdery sand and clear, calm ocean—and oftentimes delicious food right nearby. I’ve been lucky to find my idea of perfection at several different places around the world. What follows are my top five. Remember, summer may be almost over, but the beach is forever! Plan your getaway now—or at least enjoy the photos.
My favorite beach is Meads Bay on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Not only does it have soft white sand and the clearest—and cleanest—ocean I’ve ever seen, it also features a variety of restaurants along the beach. Their prices vary, for those on a budget to those on not so much of one. Try lobster on the beach at Jacala. Also a benefit: At the resort where I stayed, the Carimar Beach Club, each beach chair comes with its own umbrella. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the beach but don’t want to be directly in the sun. Meads Bay wasn’t crowded when I was there, making it feel like my own private getaway. Bonus tip: Anguilla is easily accessible by a quick, affordable ferry ride from St. Maarten (a.k.a. St. Martin)—see two gorgeous islands in one trip!
CARIBJOURNAL.COM article from March of 2014 – There are more than 100 restaurants on the island of just around 13,000 people, giving it more top-notch eateries per capita than any other place in the West Indies, from local joints to outposts of haute cuisine.
TRIP ADVISOR TRAVELERS CHOICE AWARDS – What makes Anguilla’s beaches the best in the world? White, powdery sand that stretches for miles, pristine waters and the laid-back, welcoming attitude of the Anguillan people. Swim and sunbathe all day—and all year round—at romantic public beaches like the aptly-named Rendezvous Bay, then dance to calypso music at Anguilla’s annual summer festival.
CONDE NAST TRAVELER article names Anguilla as #8 on the list of The Friendliest Caribbean Islands. Anguilla is where you’ll find “the best people on earth,” according to one of our readers. Another adds: “While the beaches in Anguilla are truly second to none in the world, it’s the people and the culture that make Anguilla a true gem.”
USA TODAY article by Elaine Glusac names Anguilla one of the top Caribbean Islands. Elaine writes “You can drive 16-mile-long Anguilla in less than 30 minutes end to end, but you could walk its 33 beaches seemingly endlessly…”
CONDE NAST TRAVELER article “You’ll find “the best food in the Caribbean on this island,” one of our readers raves, while another adds that “every restaurant is better than the next, from beach bar to swank. All fabulous!” Restaurants aside, some of the best food on the island can be found at street stalls, which sling everything from plantains to crayfish.” Carimar Beach Club’s own Mead’s Bay Beach hosts THREE of Anguilla’s BEST restaurants – Blanchards, Straw Hat, and Jacala. Just steps away from this gorgeous villa style beachfront hotel.