Intimate Escape

Whoever said good things come in small packages most likely spent time on the enticing isle of Anguilla, a picturesque Caribbean island that measures just 16 miles long and three miles wide. Still, its tantalizing offerings are many, and discerning travelers who crave luxury and privacy have flocked to the island for years. While it boasts just four traffic lights, it is home to 33 secluded white-sand beaches, azure blue waters, stunning coral reefs, and a handful of high-end resorts and villas. One of the most enticing escapes is the Malliouhana Hotel and Spa, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Located atop a panoramic bluff overlooking the sea and reaching down to the beaches of Meads Bay and Turtle Cove, the 26-acre resort has gained acclaim, as well as an incredibly loyal following, for providing deluxe accommodations, award-winning cuisine, and an impressive wine cellar for more than two decades. With just 55 rooms and suites, the resort is never crowded, and impeccable service is the number-one goal of owners Leon and Nigel Roydon. In 2002, this objective was further cemented with the introduction of the oceanfront Malliouhana Spa.

The 15,000-square-foot retreat features eight treatment rooms, including three private suites that are ideal for couples; spacious men’s and women’s locker rooms equipped with saunas, steam rooms, and an outdoor whirlpool; a salon that offers an array of haircare and nailcare services; and a large workout facility with personal trainers who are available to teach both indoor and alfresco classes like yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and more. Though the spa is relatively new in comparison to the resort, spa director Estella Gagliano says it fits seamlessly into the Malliouhana landscape, which takes supreme advantage of its picturesque surroundings. “The spa has a clean-cut, dramatic structure with a profile that blends perfectly with the resort’s existing hotel and villas, maintaining the open tropical style that characterizes the resort,” she says. “Doorways from the men’s and women’s corridors leading to the ocean terrace were designed to be left open to take advantage of spectacular views of the beach, sea, and sky. To infuse the interiors with light, glass walls are structured at the entrance to the spa. We used a neutral and restful palette of honey-toned woods, terracotta and bamboo floors, and rattan furnishings, which we enlivened with Haitian paintings and tropical foliage to incorporate a Caribbean feel.”

Because Anguilla and the Malliouhana itself are such ideal escapes for couples (the island is a hot honeymoon destination), the spa’s three private suites—the Tranquility Suite, the Vitality Suite, and the Serenity Suite—are perfect for those looking to spend a romantic day together relaxing. Each features a private balcony, a lounge area, a large hydrotherapy tub, wet and dry treatment tables, and a multi-jet shower. Gagliano says the suites are designed to offer a “spa within a spa” experience and are available for full- and half-day experiences, one of the most popular of which is the Romantic Duet ($1,500 per couple, 5 hours). It includes a Floating Garden hydrotherapy bath for two, simultaneous Oasis Stone Therapy massages, his-and-her facials, and reflexology, as well as a bottle of champagne and petits fours.

But the spa is not only for couples. Services, including a range of massages, body treatments, skincare services, and more, appeal to a variety of guests. According to Gagliano, one of the most popular is the Ocean Dream ($170, 90 minutes), which includes a scalp massage and bodywork with hot stones. Those looking for a more island-inspired experience tend to try the Caribbean Coconut Body Mask ($145, 60 minutes) and the Banana Body Glaze ($145, 60 minutes), which incorporate banana leaves culled from the property and “are excellent for preparing the body for an even, healthy tan and provide the best results in rehydration and to keep the tan fresh and glowing,” she says. Guests also are drawn to the spa’s enticing boutique, which offers signature Malliouhana spa wear, natural bath salts made on the island, and homecare products from Aromatherapy Associates, Bumble and bumble, Phytomer, and Sothys Paris.


Along with an enticing spa menu and an inviting boutique, Gagliano says it is her 16-member team, who typically handles around 50 to 60 treatments per day, that truly makes the spa stand out. “Our spa guests speak highly of the quality service and the service of our spa team itself,” she says. “Staff members are very professional and talented, as well as kind and friendly, and they anticipate all guests’ needs. They provide a meaningful and memorable experience through warm, compassionate, and genuine care. It is this personal attention that brings back our guests year after year. Our plans for the future are to continue building on the great reputation that the Malliouhana Spa has earned.”

OWNERS: Leon and
Nigel Roydon
Estella Gagliano
OPENED: November 2002
70% female, 30% male
15,000 square feet;
8 treatment rooms
aromatherapy, Ayurveda, body treatments, couples’ treatments, energy work, eyelash and brow tinting, eyelash extensions, facials, fitness, guided meditation, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, makeup application, massage, nailcare, nutrition consultation, outdoor treatments, Pilates, prenatal services, reflexology, salon services, sound therapy, sweat lodge, waxing, yoga
Oasis Stone Therapy ($145, 75 minutes)
Royal Javanese Lulur ($780, 5 hours), which includes a welcome ritual, an herbal body polish, a floral bath with aromatic scalp massage, a four-handed massage, the choice of an Island Breeze facial or reflexology,
a manicure and pedicure, and a fresh tropical fruit platter
Amber Products, Aromatherapy Associates, Bumble and bumble, Essie, Phytomer, Sothys Paris
Cybex, Golden Ratio, Life Fitness, Pro Salon Software, Universal Companies
Earl Swensson Associates
(Nashville, TN)