I often tell people that I want to keep Anguilla a secret from the rest of the world so I can have it aaaallllll to myself. Then some of them, who know about this site look at me and say, “But you write on a blog about it! A lot!”. I laugh and somewhat shamefully turn away knowing full well that the contradiction is glaringly obvious but, still, the inner struggle between shouting from the rooftops about all of Anguilla’s loveliness and keeping it hidden from everyone else is a difficult one for me.
It is with those same mixed emotions that I am about to tell you about one of my most favorite and ultra-secret places to hang out in Anguilla. But after you read about it, you can’t tell anyone else, ok? Promise? Alright, good.
So, one of the best ways that I’ve found to unwind on vacation is to just spend entire days looking at gorgeous scenes like this:
I mean, that’s just perfect, isn’t it?
As noted above, that’s the view of Rendezvous Bay from the Sunshine Shack Anguilla which is located right on the beach between the Anguilla Great House and the CuisinArt Resort. It’s brightly colored and hard to miss:
On my Sunshine Shack days (yes, plural) during my last trip, I usually showed up early (around 10:30 or 11am) to maximize my time at this wonderfully simple and laid-back spot owned by the Lake brothers Garvey, Leon and Perry. Garvey, who runs much of the day-to-day operations at the Shack, works hard to make sure his guests enjoy their time there.
Those of you have been to Anguilla before may recognize Garvey from his previous stints at the CuisinArt Resort’s Beach Bar and at the Sunset Lounge at the Viceroy Anguilla Hotel. He and his brothers recently decided to try their luck at their own venture with the Sunshine Shack and I’m glad to see that it looks to be doing really well!
I highly recommend that you rent beach chairs and an umbrella from the Shack since this spot on the beach and its view are hard to beat:
Of course, in between dips in that beautiful sea, you should also be sure to order up one (or four) of Garvey’s many beverage concoctions. (Beer is also available.) My favorite are his piña coladas, of which I had several. Unfortunately, they never lasted long enough for me to take a picture, but here is a photo of the famous pineapple margarita that Garvey also makes so well:
Let me tell you something else: I had some of the hands-down best food of my vacation at the Sunshine Shack. It’s well-seasoned and cooked on a grill right there on the beach by master chef Garvey who tells me that his mother taught him everything he knows about cooking.
My favorite of the Sunshine Shack’s food offerings is the omigosh-delicious & drool-inducing broiled snapper, but you have to call (264-476-0649) to order it at least a day before you come, so plan ahead.
Man! Just posting that photo makes me want to head back there now! Since I’m unable to do that right this second, I’ll also show you the very tasty chicken and ribs combo (you can also get larger servings of either of those separately if you like) that I devoured down to the bones as well:
(Yes, both of the above platters were mine, but remember I was there on multiple days, so I’m not a complete pig! (Unless no one’s watching! shhh!) Each of the entrees are served with coleslaw, a small lettuce & tomato salad and a johnny cake. I think that you can also get rice and peas instead of the johnny cake for an extra charge, but please call and ask Garvey to confirm that. (You may need to order that ahead of time too – contact information is below.)
Once all that food is well-digested, you might also choose to go for a banana boat ride led by a boat driven by Perry:
If you’re lucky enough, you might even find Garvey sitting out playing his guitar and serenading his guests. I even got a great picture (and video!) of him dancing but he made me promise not to post those! Edited 2/28/2012: He gave me the go-ahead to post the video today, so here you go!
In my opinion, the Sunshine Shack is the perfect spot to just relax and spend a peaceful day. Garvey’s concept for the shack is wonderfully simple: good food & good drinks on a one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Who could ask for anything more? Not me, that’s for sure.
I know that Garvey has put a lot of hard work into the Sunshine Shack over the years and he’s such a down-to-earth person that he’s the kind of guy you root for to succeed, you know? So, I’ve changed my mind about not telling anyone about it. Go spend some time at the Sunshine Shack the next time you’re in Anguilla and tell all of your friends to do the same!
Oh, and now that I’m thinking about it, Garvey and the Sunshine Shack were featured in Condé Nast Traveler in 2011, so I suppose it’s not really much of a secret after all. Oh well. Go ahead and spread the word!
Sunshine Shack Anguilla
Rendezvous Bay Anguilla, BWI
Call for hours as the Shack is closed on some days of the week.