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Concierge.com

British Virgin Islands Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Aquamare
Mahoe Bay
Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands VG 1150
Tel: 787 461 2638
info@villaaquamare.com
www.villaaquamare.com

Aquamare melds the best aspects of a villa rental and a posh hotel. A house for celebration is the idea behind this trio of glass-enclosed, shingle-roofed five-bedroom villas fronting a half mile of beach on Mahoe Bay. And though Hollywood A-listers cherishing their privacy and space (8,000 square feet per villa) have been the first to avail themselves of the enclave's concierge (who will arrange spa treatments or an excursion aboard the property's 62-foot yacht), those who will feel most at home are families or other small groups gathering for a special occasion. In addition to identical master suites in each villa (along with one double and one junior), there is an open kitchen off a high-ceilinged great room that allows everyone to help stir the soup or observe the art of the personal chef, as well as a private infinity-edge pool. Furnishings are stylishly oversized, and as much thought has been given to the texture of the decor as to the (subdued) color, something you notice while standing on the pebbled floor of your master bath's private outdoor shower, wondering—despite the double latticework—how private it really is.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Biras Creek Resort and Spa
North Sound , Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 284 494 3555
Tel: 800 223 1108
caribisles@aol.com
www.biras.com

"Our experience surpassed our wildest expectations." This stone resort accessible only by boat or helicopter means "no hustle and bustle." At the hilltop restaurant, the "food and desserts are to die for!" "Service is impeccable." From rooms in white and turquoise, with bright Caribbean artwork and furnished verandas, the views of the Atlantic are "simply breathtaking."

(31 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Bitter End Yacht Club
North Sound , Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 800 872 2392
binfo@beyc.com
www.beyc.com

Serendipity sailed into Virgin Gorda's North Sound with the Hokin family in the 1960s. They chanced upon a sailor's layover lodge, befriended the owner and eventually bought the place. They've since turned the lodge—accessible only by boat—into the capital of water sports and sailing in the BVI's. Bitter End has the hotel world's largest fleet of free watercraft (a sailing class and use of eight different sizes and styles of sailboats along with windsurfers, kayaks, and small motorboats are included in the room rate). The original five rustic rooms have multiplied to 85 suites, which spill across a lush hillside and stand palm-top high over a sandy beach. The recently renovated North Sound Suites are bigger, more secluded, and have AC, but the original timber-built beachfront villas have way more charm, with ceiling fans and hammocks on wraparound porch decks—and a fresh look courtesy of Barbara Hulanicki (of London's groovy Biba and South Beach's early boom fame). The beaches themselves are just so-so as is the hearty yet uninspired food. But this is a resort for people who don't take their vacation lying down. Action-packed is the name of the game with day trips, snorkeling excursions, fishing, outdoor movies, and sailing, sailing, sailing.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Cooper Island Beach Club
Manchioneel Bay , Cooper Island
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 800 542 4624
info@cooper-island.com
www.cooper-island.com

You wanted away from it all? This "beach club" has no cars, shops, or main electricity (a generator powers up in the evening). The water supply, as they put it, "comes from the sky," and the toilets flush with seawater. In each of the 12 simple timber rooms with wicker chairs and a balcony are a battery-powered fridge (stocked if you ask ahead), a small kitchen, and a semioutdoor (solar-heated) shower. Instead of nightclubs, TVs, or the Internet, you have kayaks and scuba rental, plus two waterfront restaurants serving good simple food like jerk-chicken wraps, surf and turf, and conch fritters. Aside from this, it's beach, beach, beach. Cooper island is about a mile and a half by half a mile and has a population of a handful of private residents, plus the hotel owners. Plus goats.

Closed in September.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Guana Island
Guana Island
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 800 544 6282
guana@guana.com
www.guana.com

Guana is the closest you'll get to a private island without a five-figures-a-day tab: Think a maximum of 36 guests spread over seven beaches (including White Bay, one of the BVI's best) and 850 hilly and hikeable acres. The island's most blissfully isolated space is the lone cottage on North Beach, popular with honeymooners. Most of the other rooms, including new villas with private infinity pools, hot tubs, and golf carts, are spread among stone cottages dotting the saddle between two hills. The steep switchback on the trail from the rooms to the beach can be taxing, but staff are usually around to give you lift. Accommodations are elemental—basic furnishings of white and wicker, air-conditioning supplied by ceiling fans, louvered windows and the altitude. The lack of pretension fosters a clubby atmosphere with nightly cocktail hours and mealtime banter. And you can feel good about your stay: Owners Henry and Gloria Jarecki have made a serious commitment to protecting the local environment. The island and surrounding waters are a nature preserve, and for two months each year, Guana is turned over to scientists studying the flora and fauna. Room rates include all meals (with wine at lunch and dinner), along with unlimited use of water-sports gear such as sailboats and kayaks. Their huge garden supplies ultra-fresh produce at nearly every meal.

Closed September and October.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Katitche Point Great House
Plum Bay Road
The Valley , Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 284 495 6274
rentals@katitchepoint.de
www.katitchepoint.com

A benchmark in luxe seclusion, this 21st-century "great house" was designed by that British darling of Architectural Digest, Michael Helm. It is gaspworthy, from the westerly views over the Sir Francis Drake Channel and the coral-sand beaches to the show-off villa itself: five satellite suites with AC (one an optional add-on master suite) grouped around a central pyramid structure with a distinctive 30-foot semicircular infinity pool and pro-standard Viking-stoved kitchen. Everything has been thought of—including a Bose sound system, Wi–Fi and a flat-screen TV—and superhousekeeper Martha Collymore, "Mimi" for short, and the full-time butler can provide for anything else. Decor is a Zen mix of teak built-ins, antiques, and acres of space; laundry, snorkel gear, toys (kids are welcome), and advice are free—optional car rental and an in-house chef are not. Though expansive (Katitche can easily sleep 10), the villa is available starting with a single couple use of one suite for as few as three nights. Rates for one couple stay the same all year, but those for larger groups are lowered considerably in the summer. In spring 2008, the Katitche team will open two new villas on the south of Virgin Gorda called Red Rock and Salt Spring.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Peter Island Resort & Spa
Off the southern coast of Tortola
Peter Island
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 770 476 9988
Tel: 800 346 4451
reservations@peterisland.com
www.peterisland.com

At 1,800 acres, this is the largest and most luxurious of the archipelago's private-island resorts. And it's all yours (along with however many lucky vacationers are staying in the other 52 rooms and three villas). At full capacity, that's still only 130 guests, with 250 staff members to look after them. But the numbers don't begin to convey the spirit of this privileged place. Arriving by private launch, you're driven by golf cart to your room (even the lesser rooms are spacious, with full baths and sea-view terraces). The resort rightfully claims bragging rights about its third villa, Falcon's Nest, a 21,600-square-foot, six-bedroom hilltop aerie complete with a private spa, chef, butler, and infinity pool. A sprawling, wooden A-frame complex houses lounges, a restaurant, and a reception area for the rest of the resort; another restaurant, the more casual Tradewinds, is down on Deadman's Bay just off the beach. The 10,000-square-foot spa (a meditation pool, lounges, pergolas, and hot tub are perched at cliff's edge—and that's all before you even enter the $6 million facility) overlooks Big Reef Bay. The staff genuinely seems to like working here. They'll ignore you if you like—say, when you're hiking to White Bay, the most secluded of five beaches—but they'll also readily deliver a picnic on linen and china and collect the basket afterward. Water sports (windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling) and instruction are included, plus tennis, basketball, bikes, boats, and fishing—and meals.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Rosewood Little Dix Bay
The Valley , Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 284 495 5555
littledixbay@rosewoodhotels.com
www.littledixbay.com

Laurance Rockefeller's knack for channeling the future of high-end vacation travel (Mauna Kea, Hawaii; Costa Smeralda, Sardinia) is perfectly illustrated by this divine, beachy, eco-sensitive resort he founded in 1964. Now under Rosewood's umbrella (Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas; Caneel Bay, St. Thomas), it's set on an ideal half-mile, white-sand crescent bordered by palms, sea grapes, and lush gardens on one side and a coral reef on the other. A five-year renovation, completed in December 2006, refreshed the 100 rooms (including new bathrooms) and public areas, and added three-or-four-bedroom villas with private pools. Rooms have various permutations of patios and porches, outdoor showers, oversize bathrooms with soaking tubs; all have AC and sea views. A granite seaside pool is a kind of mini-Virgin Gorda Baths. Dining at Little Dix is all open-air, with contemporary Caribbean cuisine at the fancy Pavilion and Sugar Mill restaurants, and casual lunches served surfside at the Beach Grill. Much is made of the spa, which uses local plants, salts, and methods in its clifftop "treatment cottages."

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Sandcastle
Jost Van Dyke
British Virgin Islands
Tel: 284 495 9888
relax@soggydollar.com
www.soggydollar.com/sandcastlehotel/

On many islands, they'd be bulldozing the brush of postcard-perfect White Bay to make way for a mega-resort. But this is the BVI's, which loyally cling to their low-key charm. And there's no beach resort quite as low-key as the Sandcastle. Four basic screened cottages and two small rooms step back from the bleached-coral sand into the shade of seagrape trees. The two beachfront cottages are the prime digs and best chance for steady breezes; the hotel rooms have AC, but lack the charm of the fan-cooled cottages with their outdoor showers. The mood floats from hammock-napping ecstasy to beach blanket bingo and back as the day progresses. Before 11 am and after about 3 pm, guests have the area to themselves. In between, the beach and its bars, including the famed Soggy Dollar, are invaded by yachties, cruise-shippers, and day-trippers from Tortola or the USVI. A boon for people watchers and social butterflies, the midday rush can be annoying for those banking on utter peace. Fortunately, White Bay is big enough that there's always an empty stretch of sand somewhere.

Closed September.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.