The small British Overseas Island Territory took the full force of the category five winds last September, with power only fully restored in December.
But Carolyn Brown, director for the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia for the Anguilla Tourism Board, said: “We’re starting 2018 on a high with a number of new developments planned for the year, including a new scheduled flight from Antigua, making Anguilla easier to access for UK travellers.
“Since Irma hit, Anguilla has flourished, making a remarkable and robust recovery. More than 30 hotels and villas have already reopened and we’re delighted to announce that a number of the five-star hotels damaged by Irma are set to reopen over the coming months, ahead of schedule. A large number of the islands’ restaurants have reopened and the festivals are also back.”
Zemi Beach House on the Shoal Bay, will reopen two months ahead of schedule on February 15, following the completion of repairs to the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. It will be the first five-star property to reopen on the Island.
The property’s restaurants – Stone and 20 Knots – will also reopen with new menus.
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences meanwhile is set to reopen on March 23, more than a month earlier than previously planned. As the island’s largest private employer, the announcement has been welcomed by residents and local businesses.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa is undergoing a refurbishment following Irma and will reopen at the end of this year.
Elsewhere, Cap Juluca will reopen in November following its acquisition by the Belmond Group and a complete refurbishment.
In terms of accessibility, a new scheduled service between Anguilla and Antigua started this week, operated by Trans Anguilla Airways. The service will run four days per week, connecting visitors with the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic services from London to Antigua.
Meanwhile, an evening of live music called Rebuild, Rise Up! in support of Anguilla at Ronnie Scott’s club in London raised £20,000. Reggae artist Bankie Banx, who lost his house during Irma, performed.