It is a well-known fact that Anguilla is popular because of its beaches. Hotels want to be on the water or immediately overlooking it. It may then have seemed counter-intuitive that Dr. Franklyn Hughes and his wife Sherille decided to go against the grain to create an inland resort. However, being off the beach and tucked away has its benefits. Guests enjoy a truly tropical vacation experience that costs less than those crowded beachfront properties.
Situated on 4.5 acres of land and only five minutes’ walk from Rendezvous Bay, Paradise Cove is quite possibly one of the most lushly tropical properties on Anguilla. Completed in 1994, the property was designed by Dr. Hughes’ cousin Evan Gumbs, a New Jersey-based architect. The architecture of the buildings, however, takes a back seat to the landscape.
The Hughes created a lush hideaway to make their guests forget the fact that they weren’t on the beach. “We knew it would be a challenge, but we figured that we can beat it by creating what my husband calls a ‘fish pot effect’. Once you’re in, you don’t want to leave. We created an oasis here, and people just love the atmosphere.”
A plethora of fruit trees, shrubs and flowering plants serve to camouflage the structures, belying the fact that there are 29 guest suites throughout the property. Jasmine, oleander, hibiscus, croton, aralias, silver button wood, and varieties of Ixora grow in abundant profusion, splashing vibrant color against a backdrop of greens and wood browns. Fruit trees such as guava, mango, star fruit, and sour-sop intermingle with bottle brush, fica, and palm trees to provide natural shade throughout the property.
Maintaining gardens in Anguilla is always challenging. The varieties of plants that grow in Paradise Cove are, however, ones that are mostly suited to Anguilla’s hot, dry climate. Sherille, an avid gardener, contributed to the creation of the landscape. “We try as much as possible to use plants that are drought-tolerant so that they don’t look bad when there is a dry spell. The grass may go a little bit brown, but then we have sprinklers to try to keep it all as green as possible.”
Being inland has not stopped the Hughes from offering an on-property water experience. A large pool surrounded by an expansive deck sits squarely in the middle of the property. This too was no accident. “We knew we didn’t have a waterfront property, and that is why we have a pool of that size. The pool and the whole terrace area serve as a beach for our guests. At the end of the day after they come in from the beaches, they go to the pool [to] relax with the bartender.”
Though busy with the day-to-day running of the property, Sherille does find time every now and then to enjoy her property. “Sometimes I go out to the pool [to] sit and chat with the guests, socialize with them. It’s also lovely to come in at daybreak. It’s quite beautiful then—the sun isn’t as high yet. It’s fresh, and it’s a nice experience.”
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