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The British Virgin Islands is a popular destination for the wealthy, with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson owning two of the BVI’s 60 islands. The islands are all about yachts and sailing and stunning wreck diving – “a bygone era of romance and natural wonder” in the words of its tourism official. The BVI is renowned for its seclusion and privacy, which is part and parcel to its appeal. This paradise of lush rainforests, white-sand beaches and bright turquoise waters makes even the most discriminating traveler easy to please. Even on the smaller, more remote islands like Guana Island, Peter Island, and Necker Island, guests will pretty much have the areas to themselves. These rustically private hideaways are the ultimate in laidback luxury.
The dedicated LVH team ensures the ultimate in service and satisfaction are provided to all guests throughout their entire stay in the British Virgin Islands. LVH can arrange for private chefs, private jets, exotic cars, luxury yachts, and anything else guests require to make their British Virgin Islands vacation stay remarkable.
British Virgin Islands luxury villas can be arranged through LVH to accommodate families, large groups and are perfect for hosting lavish events. Vacationers seeking British Virgin Island luxury retreats have the best to choose from when booking their stays.
These four areas in the British Virgin Islands are among the loveliest and most exclusive. It’s easy to see why:
Anegada is the only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain. It is surrounded by the most incredible coral reefs, secluded by sandy beaches, and clear springs that bubble from coral beds. Needless to say, Anegada is a diver’s and snorkeler’s paradise. It’s also replete with nature trails that are home to some of the most interesting wildlife such as rare rock iguanas. The reef’s mazes, tunnels and drops are rich in needlefish, bonefish, stingrays, parrot fish and other marine life. The waters are calm and ideal for swimming.
This area was named for the early Dutch settler and former pirate, Jost Van Dyke. Visitors can explore greenery-covered sugar mill ruins, old trails crisscrossing the island and a natural, sea-formed hot tub on the east end. Whales and dolphins often also make their presence known. The BVI’s smallest island has only 300 residents, but fun and good food still abound on the island. Visitors can sample BBQ, West Indian rotis, flying fish sammies, fresh grilled fish and lobster and take part in yacht-filled parties on Halloween and New Year’s Eve.
Tortola has everything a luxury traveler could hope for: Sunshine, sand, lush mountains, and harbors filled with yachts. Beaches are palm-shaded and secluded. Water sports and fishing enthusiasts will love the protected anchorages of Brandywine Bay, Soper’s Hole, and Trellis Bay. Surfing is great on Cane Garden Bay and game fishing is exemplary at the North and South Drops. Tortola residents are friendly and hospitable and it’s no wonder why many vacationers spend their British Virgin Islands luxury holidays here at Villa My All, an exquisite estate perched on the ocean hillside above gorgeous Trunk Beach Bay. The villa has many unique and wonderful features like soaring ceilings and a number of detached, guesthouse bungalows for family and friends. The property has a lovely outdoor infinity pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, outdoor dining area, and patio. There is room for up to 16 people.
Virgin Gorda is the BVI’s third largest island, enticing visitors with its yacht clubs, quiet coves, and safe harbors. There are many plant-lined trails, nature sanctuaries and natural wonders in protected parks. For an incredible view of the surrounding islands, hikers make their ways to Gorda Peak. There is evidence of the rich African, Indian and Spanish history here – from the Spanish ruins at Little Fort National Park to the Cornish Copper Mines ruins. Virgin Gorda is also home to many shops and restaurants and has lively arts and fashion scenes.
The British Virgin Islands have a number of restaurants that offer the finest cuisine. These six establishments are among the finest the town has to offer:
The Beach Club on Virgin Gorda, serves club-style eats infused with island-style flair. Order a juicy handmade burger cooked to perfection, or share an artisan pizza with favorite toppings. Try the delectable hand-rolled sushi and farm-fresh salads, perhaps with a side of Oil Nut Bay’s legendary fries. The restaurant supports local industries and works closely with neighboring farmers and fishermen to procure homegrown produce and freshly caught seafood whenever possible.
This upscale eatery is located in the Scrub Island Resort. The restaurant offers fine cuisine accompanied by spectacular panoramic vistas. Freshest local and imported ingredients are used to offer guests refreshingly modern Caribbean cuisine with an American twist. Seamlessly blending gourmet fare with casual dining, Cardamom & Co leaves a lasting impression. Feast on delightful Caribbean staples or opt for a hand-cut premium aged steak or chop.
Nestled between giant granite boulders, a pristine beach and the crystal waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel, Cocomaya not only offers amazing culinary choices, but sunset views that are unrivaled. It is the ideal place to breathe easy and enjoy a leisurely lunch or a relaxing dinner with a favorite cocktail while watching the sun dip below the horizon. Here, diners will find a fusion of American and Latin flavors with a hint of Caribbean. Choices include shrimp lettuce wraps, house ribs, deep-fried CocoMaya roll with tempura shrimp, avocado and spicy mayo. Sharing plates are also available with choices like Pad Thai and skirt steak with crispy tempura onions and chimichurri sauce.
Deadman’s Beach Bar & Grill serves a tempting fusion of Caribbean and continental flavors. Guests can enjoy delicious wood-fired pizzas, colorful buffets, signature sandwiches and Peter Island’s famous ribs, or soak up the sun on the beachside deck with a delicious blended drink. The eatery also offers beach service, so guests can order right from the sand. A steel drum band sets the mood on select Sunday afternoons and thrills guests with a repeat performance to spice up Wednesday nights at the restaurant’s Caribbean buffet.
The uniquely relaxed island atmosphere and stylish gastronomy at Saba Rock will delight all fans of good food and drink. It’s even more adventurous, since the only way visitors can get to the island is by boat. The Ahi is fabulous, and Anegada lobster appetizer should not be missed. At 5 p.m. each day, staff feed the Tarpon off the deck which diners love to see. Staff is welcoming, professional, and hardworking.
The fine dining restaurant at the Sugar Mill Resort on Tortola is famous for its fresh lobster, tender steak in its “steak bar,” tournados Rossini, scallops in champagne sauce, pate foie gras, and escargots. The restaurant is hidden within the 400-year-old stone walls of an old rum house. Needless to say, the ambiance is wonderful. Diners can choose to enjoy their meals inside or on the terrace. Either way, the sea views are amazing.
Many artists have been lured to the British Virgin Islands, giving rise to many exhibition spaces, studios and museums. These three venues are worth checking out:
For well over 200 years through the 1990s, prisoners were housed in this building built in 1775. It was turned into a museum, opening its doors in 2016. Upon entering the gates of the old prison, visitors are greeted by two museum historians who come with interesting stories about the prison’s past. Visitors will get to experience the cells in which prisoners stayed before being hanged and where those hangings took place. All in all, the museum provides good information on a chunk of the BVI’s prison life.
Although visitors can tour on their own, a guided tour is the recommended way to explore Old Government House. Former BVI governors have left their marks on Old Government House in terms of bequeathing mementos such as china, uniforms, clocks and art. Many interesting artifacts are in cases throughout the property including the guest book with the strikingly similar autographs of the Queen Mother in 1964 followed by Queen Elizabeth in 1977. The last known member of the Royal Family to sleep in the house was Princess Margaret in 1972. Other members of the Royal Family have visited the house in addition to Queen Elizabeth in 1966 and 1977. The late Prince Philip and Prince Andrew have also passed through its doors.
McCleverty slaves built this sugar works structure in the 18th century. It was once part of a booming harborside sugar plantation. Inside is a veritable treasure trove of island artifacts including old muskets, coal irons, bedding stuffed with banana leaves, woven baskets and a native folk medicine exhibit. Visitors will also enjoy viewing a rotating art gallery and learning about how molasses, sugar and rum were produced in the 1940s.
Whether looking for a night of partying or relaxing in a lounge with a glass of wine, everyone will enjoy the nightlife in the British Virgin Islands. These four venues might appeal:
Best known for its monthly full moon parties, Bomba’s Shack has become a must-visit spot for tourists and locals alike looking to party until dawn. In addition to its popular rum punch, Bomba serves a special mushroom tea during the parties, setting the bar apart from other celebrations on Tortola. Thanks to live music, laid-back vibes, and a non-stop flow of drinks, this place proves to be a good time no matter when it’s visited.
This place is home to more than 100 kinds of rums, making it the BVI's largest collection. Up for grabs are rare aged editions, house infusions, and cocktails made with rum from places throughout the Caribbean. Want to get a little history alongside a drink? Order a sampler board, and the bartenders will provide a lesson on the origins of each offering.
Pirate’s Bight combines a menu of beach bar staples – surf and turf, salads, and tacos included – with an impressive bar menu. Here, guests can go all out with a satisfying seafood entree, or nosh on an array of appetizers and top it all off with a caipirinha, tropical martini, or the classic painkiller. Even better, its beachfront location in the Bight, the island’s most popular anchorage point, makes it a convenient stop for guests looking to relax in the sun, play in the water or take a nap on the powder sand beach.
The Soggy Dollar Bar is the sometimes-disputed birthplace of the painkiller, the BVI’s signature cocktail made of dark rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple and orange juices, topped with nutmeg. Going to this watering hole? Order a painkiller online and it will be waiting on the bar’s drink board! The bar gets its name from the many patrons who choose to swim there from boats moored in White Bay, hence, soggy dollar.
No matter when visitors descend upon the British Virgin Islands, there is always some event taking place. These five offer something for everyone’s tastes:
The British Virgin Islands shows off its status as one of the world’s top windsurfing spots during the world’s greatest windsurfing and sailing adventure in this annual competition. A week-long journey between Virgin Gorda’s Bitter End Yacht Club and the nearby Caribbean island of Anguilla, attracts the world’s best athletes and sailors to the BVI.
The biggest music festival in the British Virgin Islands takes place each Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. Some of the world’s biggest calypso, jazz, fungi, reggae, and rock artists perform at this lively three-day event on Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay Beach. Music is accompanied by delicious local food and a pristine white sandy dance floor.
None of the numerous sailing regattas held throughout the year match the size of this week-long event at Tortola’s Nanny Cay Marina during the last week of March. More than 150 boats take part in three thrilling races around the Sir Francis Drake Channel. All regatta events are followed by fun victory parties at several Road Town bars.
The British Virgin Islands Carnival celebration coincides with the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in 1834. The parade on the first Monday of every year commemorates this special day in one of many lively events held during the biggest festival of the year. One unique event is the annual horse race at Tortola’s Little A Race Track. The festival is filled with beauty pageants, live music, tasty food, and J’Ouvert early morning street parties.
For many years now, Virgin Gorda’s capital has hosted this deep sea fishing showcase at the same time as the island’s annual Easter festival. The festival’s main event is a wahoo fishing tournament, but visitors can also sample the fresh catches, attend lively parades, and listen to spontaneous fungi band performances.
There is no shortage of things to do to create lasting memories in the British Virgin Islands. Remember to have a camera at the ready for these four:
This natural wonder known as The Baths include wading through colorful coves and granite boulders. Travelers and experts agree: It's the must-see attraction of the BVI archipelago. Massive smooth ash gray boulders of varying sizes rise from the sea's crystalline waters, making a maze of sorts for travelers to wade or swim through. Although photo opportunities are rife at The Baths, some travelers recommend saving camera space for a few shots of The Baths' Cathedral Room, a natural pool within a small cave.
Sage Mountain stands at 1,716 feet overlooking Tortola. Much of the park is under the cover of rainforest full of mahogany trees, elephant ear vines and tropical birds, but there are also some magnificent views of the other Virgin Islands, both British and US, from lookout points along the way. Hikers say venturing through the park is a nice way to break up a beach-centric vacation, and the flora and fauna are spectacular. Travelers suggest budgeting at least two hours to complete one of the trails and hikers should wear sturdy sneakers or boots they aren't afraid to get dirty. There aren't any park rangers, but the banana smoothies at the small gift shop/restaurant are delicious.
The RMS Rhone sailed for the last time on Oct. 19, 1867, and sank near Salt Island during a Category 3 hurricane. Now, the wreck site and its surrounding waters are known as the Rhone National Marine Park and it's a go-to dive for intermediate to advanced divers, though there are sections beginners can enjoy too. The ship's bow can be spotted from the surface of the sea, but divers will have to descend some 90 feet to explore the rest of the largely intact vessel and swim among moray eels, turtles and octopus that now call the ship home. Some divers were in awe of how much of the vessel is still intact, with even experienced scuba pros saying it's the best dive they've done. Others say the experience is almost eerie, especially for travelers who read about the sinking of the ship prior to their dive.
Anegada has traditionally been somewhat of a hidden gem for guests visiting the British Virgin Islands. For many years it was off-limits because of its remote location away from the main cruising grounds and the dangerous reefs surrounding it. In recent times this has changed. Anegada offers visitors a wealth of natural beauty to explore. The Anegada Reef Hotel as well as Hotel Neptune's Treasure have an intimate feel to them and offer guests full-service restaurants. Right next door and the first thing guests see when they get to the main dinghy dock is the popular restaurant, Potter's By the Sea, providing its customers with freshly caught lobster and lively entertainment in the evenings. Its walls are covered with signatures and doodles left by visitors from all around the world. This is a wonderful place to spend a night while on a British Virgin Islands luxury vacation.