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The island: Anguilla
The goods: True, the Caribbean offers a broad menu of island choices, but none distills the elements of true sun-splashed relaxation better than Anguilla. It's basically a 16-mile-long sandbar where days go something like this: Stroll to the beautiful beach (right outside your fabulous hotel) and recline. Spend your time contemplating the fabulous restaurant you want to sample that evening. Consider it a day (and evening) well spent.
Be sure to: Try a different restaurant every night. There are so many great ones that the danger is you'll settle in somewhere and go no farther. A good start is Blanchard's, which serves Caribbean dishes with Italian and Asian inflections. It's run by an American couple who came down and never quite managed to leave.
Best beach: With 33 named beaches, there are enough to go around without feeling somebody else is blocking your sun. But if you want maximum blanket space, find it in the sugary white sand at Barnes Bay Beach, which is most easily reached by asking for directions at Mangos Restaurant.
Perfect season: December through April, avoiding school holidays if you can.
Call it home: Malliouhana Hotel & Spa. Long competing with Cap Juluca for title of classiest stay on the island. For many guests, the 25,000-bottle wine cellar tips the scales in its favor.
Tel: 264 497 6100
Malliouhana Hotel & Spa
Tel: 246 497 6111
Doubles from $345