The Dune Preserve, Anguilla

Bankie Banx's rugged beach shack hosts the Moonsplash music festival and more

© Bill Boyd

The Dune Preserve, home to iconic Anguillian musician Bankie Banx and the famous Moonsplash music festival, is a two-acre strip of land on Anguilla's Rendezvous Bay flanked by the CuisinArt Resort and Spa and Cap Juluca's Temenos Golf Course. The property also includes the Dune Preserve Restaurant and Planet Dune, a live-music lounge.

Since 1994, Bankie and sidekick Ras Bullett have collected old sail boats, fishing boats and driftwood and transformed them into an ever-expanding work of functional art. Originally, the property consisted of Banx’s one-room cabin and a beach bar, but the singer’s slapdash domain has grown significantly over the years despite twice being ravaged by hurricanes. Banx has even had a hand in restoring the storm-decimated sand dunes at Rendezvous Bay -- they’ve now returned to about half of their former size.

The Dune Preserve has been described as the coolest place in the Caribbean, and repeat visitors have included former U.S. President Bill Clinton. "It's the only beach bar in the world where you are likely to run into a former president, a former pirate and a former Wall Street bigwig in the same day," said Olaide Banx, the manager for Bankie Banx.

Moonsplash, held each March, is the biggest party of the year on Anguilla, but island visitors can drop by to enjoy the sunsets with a Duneshine -- a fermented ginger drink -- in hand anytime. You can meet Bankie and maybe discuss politics and economics, catch a show at Planet Dune, or snack in the open-air restaurant by the sea.