Sure, we’re all very familiar with the romantic and exotic concept of a villa. But where did it come from? What is the official distinction of a villa? What does it all mean? What does life mean? Why are we even reading this? Well, we can answer a few of those questions – the rest are on you to figure out for yourself. If you know Anguilla, you know it’s legendary among people in the know for its supreme luxury and total exclusivity; known for its unparalleled privacy and sense of bliss and beauty; known for its world-class resorts and those stunning Anguilla Villas. And if you don’t know, now you know.
But first let’s rewind the tape. Villas were originally ancient Roman upper-class country houses during the Roman Republic (509 BC – 27 BC) and the Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD). According to the philosopher/commander Pliny the Elder, who died in the eruption of Pompeii, there were two kinds of villas: villa urbana (farmhouse estate easily reached from the city for a nice weekend away) and villa rustica (farmhouse estate permanently occupied by servants). Wealthy Romans would head off to the hills and the gorgeous Italian bays to indulge in a luxury vacation for themselves. Emperor Hadrian built a massive villa that’s become quite legendary and Cicero is said to have owned no fewer than seven villas.
Some were lavishly appointed pleasure houses and some were more like English country houses – the visible seat of power for the local magnate. There were also more suburban villas around the cities like mansions of the nice part of town. By the fall of the Roman Empire in the 4th century, villas simply indicated any country house above peasant standard. The villas were often praised for their self-sufficiency (basically putting the villa in village), where they drank their own wine and pressed their own oil. After the Roman Empire collapsed, villas from Sicily to Britain became fortified farming compounds or monasteries, for a time, before returning to being in style as elegant upper class homes during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance especially with a focus on landscaping and sacred geometry.
By the 20th century, villa basically meant a detached mansion and today it lives on through both Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean Revival architecture — and now usually refers to vacation rental properties in tropical locales, as in this context, that could be considered “luxury bungalows”. It’s bliss and beauty on a grand scale, hearkening back to the glory days of the Roman Empire.
So which of these luxury bungalows are the best Anguilla Villas?
VILLAS AT KAMIQUE
The three palatial villas of Kamique are simply stunning. Anani, Aquamarie, and Triton. Just the names suggest majesty and they are even more magnificent in person. Experience full luxury in a masterpiece of a vacation with no expense spared at this ultimate dream destination. It’s a veritable enclave inside paradise, beautifully designed in traditional Caribbean architecture and postmodern design with an atmosphere that flows smoothly with nature. Each villa is sprawling in size and bathed in natural light and features an infinity pool that seems to extend out into the sea.
Anguilla is known as a haven for celebrity clientele – and one of the most sought after properties by those with refined taste and money to burn is Altamer: the resort Forbes Magazine called “the perfectionist villa experience”. Another resort with (the magic number of) three villas named after jewels, Altamer is breathtaking, with massive (12 to 14-thousand square feet) three-storey accommodations that are like living in an art gallery. You’ve got your private beach, your own bartender, games room, skywalks, rooftop hot tubs, private pools, and just total bliss.
LONG BAY VILLAS
Yet another property with three distinct and glorious villas (this time in theme of Sea, Sand and Sky), Long Bay Villas is the ultimate in luxurious indulgence. This serene and secluded hideaway is amazing, with private beach access, infinity pools and outdoor dining pavilions and spacious interiors with multiple bedrooms and sparkling white ambiance, bathed in light, as it were: radiant as ever. The villas are 6,500 square feet, two-storey palaces by the sea and the entire complex can be rented out to accommodate 26 guests at one of the most beautiful villas this side of Ancient Rome.