Back in the 90s, I watched a Janet Jackson special where she stated that Cap Jaluca Resort on Anguilla was her favorite vacation getaway: the white sand beaches and laid-back vibe made it the perfect place for her to chill. It was in that moment listening to Janet that my Cap Jaluca fantasy was born. I imagined myself on those beaches, running and frolicking in the sand with Miss Jackson. I think I even told her the story during an Entertainment Tonight interview.
Unfortunately for the 90s version of myself, Janet and I never made it to the resort together, but I did eventually make it to Anguilla … and you know what? The trip was better than any music video fantasy I had dreamed of.
Recently, my family and I wanted to vacation in the Caribbean, and because I am an EXTREME hotel snob, I wanted perfection. I consulted with Donna Wong of Allure Plus Travel and she suggested we try a new place in Anguilla called Zemi Beach House. At the time, it was a brand new property and Donna had heard great things about it.
Zemi is located on the opposite side of Anguilla, away from Cap Jaluca and the other popular hotels on Shoal Bay East. The beaches are pristine, the water is crystal clear and the weather is magical. But what sets Zemi Beach House apart from the rest is that it’s truly a five star getaway. It’s one of those places big enough to have all the amenities you need, and small enough that you know everyone employed there by day two. It really is a little slice of heaven, but remember in life you get what you pay for. Standard rooms at Zemi are close to $700 per night, suites on the beach, close to $2,500. It may sound like a lot, but it was worth every penny.
We chose to stay in one of the resort’s two bedroom beach front suites and it was spectacular, really expensive, but spectacular. At nearly 2,000 square feet, the apartment was spacious with two big bedrooms and a full kitchen. My tip is to call ahead and have the resort fill the fridge with all your family’s favorite items.
The patio features a small wading pool if you don’t want to mingle with the masses at the resort pool, but I hated the fact that the water was not heated. Still, the beach and the Caribbean are just a few feet away from your room, so the pool is just a little extra icing on your vacation cake.
Unlike so many resorts in the region, the beach was never crowded. As a matter of fact, at certain points we were relieved to see other people. This is the beauty of Zemi, it feels like you are on your own private island. You swim, you layout, you eat, you drink, and you unwind. It’s so laid back that there are chickens that roam the property and live on the beach. The chickens are just part of the allure of this place, and add to what makes it feel so comfy and homey.
Dining options at the resort are minimal, and there are not many options close by, but the food is excellent and the service is top notch. You don’t ever need to leave, but if you feel that you must venture out, there are world class options on the other side of the island.
Zemi is also a fantastic place for kids. My children loved the fact that they had the run of the resort. At night, parents have the option of hiring a babysitter or dropping off the younger guests at the kids club. We found that at times our kids would just go hang in the kids club because they had such great activities. But mainly they spent their time on the beach, eating, swimming, exploring and ordering a ton of virgin strawberry concoctions.
Ultimately, the reason to go to Zemi is the spectacular service. The staff is quick, courteous and ready to help at a moment’s notice. Normally, I hate beach vacations because I live in Southern California and the beach is just minutes away, but Zemi blew me away. If you can live with the expense, then I highly recommend you find your way to Zemi to unplug from the world in the lap of luxury.