Architect Lauren Rottet reinvents barefoot luxury at Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla
Belmond Cap Juluca, a five-star luxury resort on the island of Anguilla, is sure to impress both its loyal and new customers alike, because it is now better than ever. World famous architect, Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio, along with his New York-based team, David Davis, partner, and James Cull, design director, are the creative minds behind the extensive $ 121 million refurbishment of the beachfront property. Belmond Cap Juluca offers 66 guest rooms, 42 suites, four restaurants, a cocktail bar, a bar, a spa and an infinity pool.
A complex that has been redesigned
The overall transformation of Cap Juluca is described by Rottet as “reinvented” as opposed to “renovated”. “The property has always been a favorite for many people from all over the world year after year, but it had declined over the years and was a shell of its potential,” she explains. “We kept the ‘barefoot’ luxury feel but elevated the experience.”
Transforming an already iconic hotel into a better version of itself is nothing new for Rottet, whose extensive portfolio of works includes such hotel projects like The Four Seasons in Chicago, Illinois, The Four Seasons in Houston, Texas, The Surrey Hotel in New York City, Loews Regency in New York City, The Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles, California and The St. Regis in Aspen, Colorado, Just to name a few.
Although Rottet achieved stellar results, the project was not without its share of bumps in the road. Shortly after starting work on the station in mid-2017, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that was one of the most powerful on record in the Atlantic, passed through Anguilla, causing significant damage throughout the flat island. The first review of the resort’s model rooms was scheduled shortly thereafter. “We have all been there, including the owners and the Belmond team, and stayed in modest private residences not destroyed by the storm,” she recalls. “The whole island was powered by a generator, there was a place serving food and we had to time our showers and our electricity usage. We couldn’t charge our phones and were all worried about how we would wake up in time for the model room exam in the morning. This turned out not to be a problem as the roosters crowed at dawn. The locals were amazing and took great care of us. We have all felt part of the recovery process.
Rottet had his work cut out for him. The original structures were built in 1988 with an architectural style that can best be described as Greco-Moorish, but the interiors needed special attention. “The architecture is well suited to the look and feel of the island as well as to the resistance to hurricane pressures, but the interiors were not suited to the architectural style,” she says. “They were disjointed and lacked a distinct perspective.”
The Texas native spent time on the property and envisioned a scenario of what it might reflect – a fantastic home of an English aristocrat who sailed to Anguilla for the riches of the Caribbean and fell in love with life. islander there. “He built a resort for his family in Maundays Bay,” she explains. “Using the island’s sand and stones to build, he modeled the architecture after the pristine white Greco-Moorish villas that withstood ocean storms so well.” The complex consisted of a main house and a series of cottages for long-distance guests from Great Britain. Over the years, the house and cottages have been filled with an eclectic mix of fine British Colonial furniture and artwork, and locally produced goods.
The architect says his inspiration came naturally after spending time on the property, walking barefoot in the sand, picking wildflowers on the rocky outcrops by the sea, swimming for breakfast and eating snacks. locally grown vegetables and vegetables, as well as the daily fresh peach. “We wanted the feeling to be a natural ‘barefoot luxury’ with as little as possible between the guest and the sea – as close as possible to Swiss Family Robinson or Gulliver’s Travels, but with the luxury and style of service unspoken. by Belmond. Belmond is very good at immersing you in their brand – nothing predictable, nothing too forced or pretentious, just beautifully found, designed and curated for the ultimate Caribbean Bay experience.
Guests of the property experience relaxed luxury in the great outdoors. “We did not conceive Belmond Cap Juluca so much as a hotel, but rather as a restoration of an imaginary family island. This is how you feel – like it’s your home and it’s for the week or months you stay in “barefoot luxury”.
A complex ahead of its time
Belmond Cap Juluca has long been known for its healthy food with greens grown in a greenhouse on the property and serving freshly caught fish locally from the sea.
The largely open-air resort is also eco-friendly as it offers many health and safety features that are now demanded by discerning travelers. Guests are met at the airport and transported in a hotel car that has been disinfected. They are greeted on arrival by the staff with a fresh and clean hand towel and they check in under the canopy of the open air lodge or they are simply greeted and given the keys to their buggy and villa. If a guest does not wish to communicate with others, they can drive directly to their villa, ride in their own buggy or sanitized bicycle, or walk or swim anywhere on the property with great privacy.
Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, Rottet incorporated health precautions into his designs, as his father was an ear, nose and throat doctor well known for his natural and holistic treatments. For example, Rottet consults with mechanical engineers to find the best ways to keep indoor air clean and fresh. “In my opinion, this is the biggest health problem,” she says. “There are filters, ionizers, purifiers, etc. but the best thing is to keep the humidity low and LOTS of fresh air coming in.” “I have long liked the idea of a sink at the entrance to the restaurant,” she explains. “I had seen this on the ancient Greek island and because people literally walk barefoot or sometimes swim across the bay for dinner, I felt it would be welcome.”
For Belmond Cap Juluca, Rottet found a huge block of local limestone and had it dug in a sink. She had placed bowls of native salts on it so that guests could wash their hands with a salt scrub before going to eat.
The demand for health and wellness is ubiquitous right now and is somewhat new as a priority for hotels. “We are fortunate and fortunate to have properties like Belmond Cap Juluca, which are so open and naturally healthy,” says Rottet.
Visit Cape Juluca
Rates at Cap Juluca start at $ 845 per room, per night in addition to a 22% government tax. There is currently availability for vacation bookings. The establishment will open on October 22, 2021 for its 2021/22 season.
Visitors to Anguilla who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, must be fully vaccinated (last dose or only dose 21 days before arrival) to be able to enter Anguilla. Visitors should also complete an application form in advance of the planned trip. It includes the desired length of stay, proof of health insurance and a negative PCR test within three to five days before arrival.
Upon arrival in Anguilla, a PCR test will be administered and visitors will be asked to stay in the resort until they receive your negative test result (results are usually received within six to twelve hours of testing). During this time, you can use one of the resort’s restaurants and enjoy the beach and beach services. Once you’ve received your negative rt-PCR result, you can leave the resort and explore the island at your leisure.
Face masks are mandatory in the resort area, including restaurants, lobby, and main house. We can provide single use disposable mask for any customer who needs it.
Belmond Cap Juluca requires all guests to submit to a non-contact temperature control upon arrival. Anyone not completing the screening will not be allowed to enter the hotel.
On request and according to your travel requirements, a second PCR test can be administered on site before departure. Our team remains at your disposal to assist you in this process. Tests are subject to additional charges. The results of the tests will be provided by the Anguilla health service.