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Jet over to Richard M. Schulze’s Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club, which is complete with two Greg Norman golf courses, luxe villas, hydroponic farms and, soon, a waterpark

Richard M. “Dick” Schulze has a big vision for a tiny island out in the Caribbean. Anguilla is a stone’s throw from Saint Martin, in the Lesser Antilles, but far less known than its neighbor. And that’s part of the appeal. The allure is evident the moment you arrive at Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club. Dick bought the former CuisinArt resort in late 2020, then majorly overhauled and rebranded it. Anticipation builds as you walk through the open-air lobby, with a long view of the cerulean sea via an infinity pool that cascades toward the resort’s two miles of beach. A personal butler greets you by name and leads you to one of the resort’s 179 rooms (including seven villas and two estate homes), perhaps with a pit stop at the bar for a tropical libation.

Being a Naples resident, Dick is plenty familiar with the charms of a coastal paradise, and Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club captures the best of it. Sitting on 380 acres, this Shangri-La is already stocked with two Greg Norman-designed golf courses, a spa and Technogym-equipped workout center, tennis courts and a bevy of restaurants. All the suites—most 800 square feet or larger—have been renovated with plush, modern conveniences and beds so comfortable you’ll want to strip the bedding to find the make and model. If you’re traveling from New York, you can fly direct out of White Plains in the resort’s charter plane, which stops in Puerto Rico on the way back for a quicker customs process.

But these are just the basics for Dick, who at 82 is still driven by the motivation that propelled Best Buy into a Fortune 500 company: don’t just outrun the competition but stay far ahead of them. Since taking over, the team proceeded to add two hydroponic gardens to supply the resort’s six restaurants; they brought Greg Norman back to add the 9-hole, short course; and they’re now putting the finishing touches on an entertainment complex with a waterpark. An on-site brewery is in the works, too.

The morning after we arrive at Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club, we see the magic in action on a golf cart tour with Edward “Ed” Staros, who is advising on all things hospitality for Aurora. When he first visited the resort a year ago, Ed walked away with one thought: “I said, ‘Wow, this has the potential to be one of greatest hotels ever.’” Ed would know. The Naples luminary recently retired from a 48-year career in hospitality, with two decades spent running the two local Ritz-Carlton properties. His name is synonymous with Naples philanthropy, hospitality and luxury.

Aurora is luxe, but not in a flashy way. Ed drives us past the Greek-style villas that pepper the resort, with a far-flung appeal. We take in the championship golf course with its coral-lined hazards, shrubby vegetation and half of its holes overlooking the Caribbean. He points to the nearby short course. “This isn’t putt-putt; it’s a real course, with sand traps and moguls,” Ed says, adding that the 9-holer has a par-4, rarely found on short courses. “But you can do the whole thing in less than an hour.”

Just beyond, we see the solar field and desalination plant, created to feed the resort with pristine water and keep the grounds and courses green year-round. The vibe is laid-back, serene—everything has been considered, but nothing feels forced.

The most decadent aspect of the experience is the service, which reads more like friendly banter than corporate-mandated niceness. “Hello, Mr. Ed,” a landscaper shouts enthusiastically from across the way as we walk into the 27,000-square-foot Sorana spa. Ed stops to chat with the young man—a scene that plays out time and again with various staffers throughout the weekend. Working in the hotel industry, Ed’s been in and out of dozens of countries; he says he’s rarely experienced the level of genuine generosity and warmth he finds in Anguilla: “I felt it the moment I got off the plane.”


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