LuxeGetaways Magazine – Fall 2016 | The chain of islands that make up The British Virgin Islands share the same azure blue waters as other landmasses, but they are distinctive from their Caribbean neighbors in many ways. Island life in the BVI goes at a slower, but friendlier pace. Lessons learned from watching too much growth that happened too quickly has helped the big island of Tortola, and smaller ones like Virgin Gorda, Norman Island and Scrub Island expand tourism thoughtfully.
The area is known for consistent trade winds and calm seas, making it a boaters’ paradise. Mega power yachts pull into deep draft ports, but these are positively outnumbered by sailboats of all shapes and sizes. One of the best reasons to endure the long flights to the BVI is that there are so many exquisite anchorages and mooring spots close together. This makes it ideal for short excursions to remote reefs and beaches, where you can drop anchor, don masks, and quickly be snorkeling in some of the clearest, crystal blue warm waters in the world.
Peter Island Resort
Peter Island Resort is the more formal island in the BVI, which in the Caribbean translates to resort casual. Women are perfectly fine wearing sundresses, skirts or linen pants with sandals (not flip flops). Men only need to wear long pants and a golf shirt for dinner with boat shoes.
With only 55 rooms, suites, and villas, the private 1,800-acre estate spreads couples out over the vast real estate (complete with several secluded beaches). The result is that privacy is maximized, but camaraderie can be found seaside enjoying the island rhythm via steel drum music, and cooling off with a frozen drink at Deadman’s Beach Bar. Couples who are celebrating their weddings or special anniversaries flock to Peter Island for unparalleled romance at Honeymoon Beach, which is reserved for only one couple at a time. Tip: The Ocean View Deluxe rooms on the bottom floors open up to private patios, and the options on the ends have the better water views.
Families (children aged 8 and above) are welcome on the island, however there is no kid’s club. The villas are perfect for small groups and families; and since the nightlife is virtually non-existent, traveling with friends and family is ideal for an enjoyable, yet private getaway. If available, be sure to inquire about Falcon’s Nest, complete with a three-story waterfall and grotto. The price might seem steep at first for this exclusive hideaway, but dividing the costs among friends and families makes your slice of BVI heaven much more affordable.
The Bitter End Yacht Club
The Bitter End Yacht Club’s Resort has the most comprehensive watersports program for guests in the Caribbean. The perfectly sized harbor is large enough to host serious sailing regattas for pros, yet not so big that beginner sailors cannot still safely fine-tune their skills on the water.
Situated at the “Bitter End” of the island Virgin Gorda, this remote, car-free destination is so safe that room keys are not required, and it is only reachable by boat. Guests spend their time swinging in hammocks on the private porches of their rustic, but upmarket tree-house accommodations while being completely “unplugged” for a few days. However, for those who need to stay connected to the outside world, WiFi is available at The Crawl Pub and The Almond Walk Terrace.
The resort never seems crowded, even when fully booked during the holidays. This is largely due to the abundance of excursions (included in the daily room rate) where guests leave the property for visits to local reefs for snorkeling, or even fantastic spots like the scarcely populated Anegada Island for a local lobster lunch at the infamous Big Bamboo Bar in Loblolly Bay.
While this resort is one of the more expensive spots to vacation in the BVI, more budget-friendly options do exist. Why not charter a sailboat and live onboard? Pick up a mooring rental at The Bitter End for $35 per night, which includes free dingy dock space when you come ashore. This allows you to enjoy the property by day with special excursion packages that will save you big bucks, while also giving you the freedom to visit other islands at your own pace.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, by Autograph Collection is a great destination for people who have lengthy or multiple flights to reach the BVI. Only a five minute ferry ride from Tortola’s newly expanded airport, exhausted travelers can pick up their luggage from customs, and be enjoying an arrival rum punch at the hotel within minutes of landing.
What makes this particular property so special is the plethora of options for accommodations. From low-key, but well-appointed standard hotel guest rooms, to opulent multi-bedroom villas with infinity pools and gourmet kitchens, Scrub Island Resort has you covered. They have fine dining, room service and casual outdoor dining options; or you can consider hiring one of their private chefs and let them handle the preparation so you can enjoy a frozen piña colada on the patio while watching the breathtaking sunset.
Oil Nut Bay
Oil Nut Bay is the latest eco-friendly, master planned community to be added to the eastern peninsula of Virgin Gorda. Over-the-top secluded home sites are spread across the 300-acre property in petite neighborhoods. The house designs vary, but they all have one thing in common – the most unobstructed and serene panoramic ocean views in all of the BVI. Of course, these views come with a staggering price tag, but do not let that intimidate you. You do not have to buy property on Oil Nut Bay when you can rent a slice of paradise for only a fraction of the cost of ownership.
Exclusive to the property, the Nut House Kid’s Club and Nature Center bridges the generational gap through age-appropriate programming designed to educate toddlers to teenagers about land and sea nature conservation.
Many guests arrive to Oil Nut Bay via private helicopter, or personal vessels. Fortunately, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda & Marina (YCCS) is a newly renovated upscale private yacht club in Virgin Gorda’s protective North Sound near Oil Nut Bay with deep draft dockage for guests with yachts and megayachts. When docked in their deep draft marina, guests also enjoy YCCS privileges, including access to the Clubhouse’s private function room, infinity edge pool, locker rooms and restaurant.
No matter which island you visit, or type of accommodations you choose; the British Virgin Islands are sure to provide the perfect landscape for a luxury getaway for romance, family fun, or simply a relaxed adventure with friends.
Must-Do Island Experiences…
Feel like a pirate looking for buried treasure inside the caves of Norman Island. Play a giant version of Jenga at Pirate’s Bight on Norman Island. Go on a treasure hunt in “The Caves” from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Snorkel at the reefs off Moskito Island and Oil Nut Bay’s Beach to catch a glimpse of a Red-Footed Tortoise, and the beautiful fish of all colors, shapes and sizes.
Start Planning Your BVI Getaway…
- The British Virgin Islands: www.bvitourism.com
- Peter Island Resort: www.peterisland.com
- The Bitter End Yacht Club: www.beyc.com
- Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina: www.scrubisland.com
- Oil Nut Bay: www.oilnutbay.com
- Yacht Club Costa Smeralda & Marina: http://marina.yccs.it