Memories of Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla

Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla

We spent our honeymoon in the Caribbean: a week on Anguilla and a week on St.Barthélemy. We’ve been back a few times. It’s a long plane flight from the West Coast, usually involving a “red eye.”

The Rendezvous Bay Hotel on Rendezvous Bay in Anguilla is a hidden gem. On an island where celebrity sightings are common (Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney and Michael J. Fox, among others) and the hotels are expensive, this place is laid back and affordable. (I learned about this hotel from a former colleague at The Chronicle, Alex Barnum, whose family often went there for Christmas. Alex is now at the state EPA in Sacramento). I have never seen such a gorgeous beach. The water is as clear as Lake Tahoe.

Rendezvous Bay Hotel was Anguilla’s first beach resort. It opened in 1962. The owner was Jeremiah Gumbs, whom we got to know. He is a local hero, having led a protest in 1967 that lumped Anguilla into a self-governing state St. Kitts-Nevius-Anguilla, associated with Britain. Locals considered that heresy — like if you tried to merge Grass Valley and Nevada City.  Gumbs prevailed and Anguilla remained independent. His obituary was in the New York Times.

One time, during an afternoon on Rendezvous Bay, we saw Janet Jackson filming this video on the beach. It was in the ’90s. The Gumbs confirmed her presence while hotel staffers loaded the boat with lunch for the boat ride and filming episode. I found the video here:

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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