I know, I know. Anguilla is marketed as a high-end, luxury travel destination to which you can fly in on your private jet and stay at lavish resorts where your every whim is catered to night and day…and it definitely is, if you have the money to spend on that kind of experience.
For those of us, though, who love the island and aren’t quite able to adopt the lifestyles of the rich and famous, there are more mundane things we need to think about when we travel, like how to avoid airlines’ checked-baggage fees and how to get the barbeque sauce stains out of our shirts in the hotel sink. (Interestingly enough, dark rum does not appear to permanently stain clothing and if you just let the item dry out, the alcohol will evaporate and leave no lingering scent behind. Don’t ask me how I know this.)
On my last trip to Anguilla, in December 2012, I managed to pack fewer items of clothing than I needed for the length of my stay and I needed to do some laundry around the middle of my visit. I am fortunate to have some friends on-island who are kind enough to offer their washers to me whenever I need them, but I don’t always like to bother them while they’re working or when their families may need to use the machines.
So, I went in search of laundry services on Anguilla and was happy to find a few places that I will definitely be using on future visits. Now, many hotels will wash and dry your clothing while you’re off enjoying some time on the beach, so if you’d prefer that on-site convenience, you should definitely take advantage of those offerings. If, however, you’re willing to spend some time going off the beaten path, one of the following laundromats might be of interest to you:
R&R Services Laundromat in Island Harbor
(Convenient to the Shoal Bay East area and the Eastern side of the island)
When I was asking around about laundromats, one of my friends gave me the vague directions of “Try the one in Island Harbor. Turn at the church.” Now, for a local, this might be enough information to get them to the right place, but I had to make a few wrong turns and stop and ask for additional directions before I found it (which I didn’t entirely mind – adventure!). I provided more detailed directions in the box above so you are able to find it more easily than I did.
When I arrived at R&R in the middle of the day on a weekday, it was closed. As I stood outside the locked door wondering what I should do next, a young gentleman who happened to be walking along the road asked me if I was looking to use the laundromat. When I said that yes, I was, he walked past me a bit more, tilted his head up in the air without breaking stride and yelled “Aaay Rock! Da lady wanna use da laundry!” in no particular direction. I hadn’t seen anyone else around so I was surprised to see another guy walk out from behind the buildings to meet me. I waved thanks to the passer-by and, while I shouldn’t have been surprised at how he helped me, I was. This is why I love Anguilla.
Rock (short for Rocklyn) said that he’d be happy to open the place up for me since he happened to be working around back that day. Usually, they are open M-F 5pm-9pm and Sat-Sun 9am-9pm, when he and/or his wife are off from their day-jobs, though he does plan to have it staffed full-time during the week at some point soon. In the meantime, he said that anyone interested in using the laundromat outside of their regular business hours can give him a call at 264-476-4388, and he’ll open it if he is able to do so.
In December 2012, everything in R&R Services Laundromat was immaculately clean and looked practically brand new. There were two washers, two dryers and a large folding table in the middle. Additional amenities included baskets for use in the laundromat, seating, a TV, a fan, and a restroom.
Also available for purchase are laundry detergent, fabric softener, and bleach but you can bring your own if you prefer. To use the machines, you’ll need to buy tokens from the person behind the counter – one for each washer load and one for each dryer load. In December 2012, it cost US $5.00 per load to wash (self-serve), and US $5.00 per load to dry (self serve). R&R also offers a drop-off service, for US $7.00 per load to wash and US $7 per load to dry, where they will wash and dry your clothes for you and you can pick them up at a later time. I would highly recommend that you call ahead to make sure they will be staffed for this service at the time you’d like it done. Note that all prices are subject to change. Please call to confirm current prices.
I’d consider my experience at R&R to be a pretty good one…well, aside from the slightly embarrassing moment when I couldn’t figure out how to put the token in the machine, that is. That’s why I included the token acceptor photo above – so you can avoid the same moment of minor humiliation. (Remember: put the token in short side down!) To his credit, Rock was so helpful and polite that he didn’t even laugh at me even as I stood there cracking up at myself. (Hmm, I wonder if he thought I was a lunatic…not unlikely, and not entirely inaccurate.) Rock was very accommodating, the machines worked perfectly and my clothes were clean afterward. What more could I ask for? I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend R&R Services Laundromat to anyone in need of wash & dry laundry services.
Laundromat at Tackling Apartments in Stoney Ground (aka Tackling)
(Convenient to The Valley and the central part of the island)
I didn’t actually use the laundromat at Tackling Apartments myself, only because I found R&R first, but it was recommended to me by several friends and it seemed to have everything you’d need to get your laundry done: Four washers and five dryers (including one commercial sized dryer).
The machines at the Laundromat at Tackling Apartments were a little older than the ones at R&R, but most of them were in pretty good shape. This laundromat also requires the use of tokens which you can buy at the desk right inside the front door, where detergent and fabric softener are also available for purchase. The young lady who was working on the day I visited in December 2012 said that they charge US $5.00 to wash (self-serve) and US $5.00 to dry (self-serve) one load of laundry. They also provide a drop-off service for US $7.00 to wash and US $7.00 to dry. Again, you may want to call ahead, at 264-498-4544, to make sure they’re staffed when you need drop-off service. All prices listed are subject to change. Please call to confirm current prices.
I would probably do my laundry at this location if it was closer to wherever I was staying. They’re also open more hours during the week, so it may be convenient to some for that reason. The staff members that I spoke to were very helpful and happily answered all of my questions.
Some might consider US $10 for a load of laundry (wash & dry) to be a bit high, but when you consider how much it costs to check a bag on an airplane these days (often US $25+ per bag, one way), taking only a carry-on and doing a load of laundry or two during your trip turns out to be much more economical. You might also consider doing as the locals do it and hang-dry your laundry after washing, if you have the space wherever you’re staying, to save even more money. Remember that both water and electricity are both precious commodities Anguilla and anything that you can do to conserve both is appreciated by all (do full loads, hang dry when possible etc.).
I did find a couple of other laundromats on island, but some were un-staffed with broken token machines and some full-service-only places were not able to provide a price list. I’m sure there are other good laundromats that I haven’t found yet, but I will update this post if I find new ones to recommend. For the time being, though, I hope that the suggestions above are helpful to anyone who wants to save a little bit of money on their next trip to Anguilla.