British Virgin Islands hotels
Hotels in the British Virgin Islands run the gamut from rock-star villas to modest inns, and from romantic boutique hotels to sexy private island hideaways. Hotels often reflect the character of the islands they're located on. Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, and Cooper share an "out island" atmosphere, with very basic on-the-beach lodging, such as the cozy cottages at Sandcastle. An over-the-top resort occupies each of the private Peter and Guana islands. Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island goes even further: You and yours are the only guests. Virgin Gorda hotels include the beachiest (Little Dix and Biras Creek) and boatiest (Bitter End Yacht Club), most of them offering great comfort and seclusion. Only the main island, Tortola, where 80 percent of "belongers," or locals, live, has anything like a big town, and therefore the widest selection—in price, size, and quality—of hotels. Renting a car on the "big island" allows for plenty of beach-hopping, and excursions to the other islands leave from Tortola ports daily.
Still, yachting is one of the main reasons to visit the BVI. There are more bunks available than beds, so it's worth considering as an alternative to a stay on dry land. If you have the know-how, bareboating is the way to go. Try booking with Horizon Yacht Charters (Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola; 284-494-8787; www.horizonyachtcharters.com). The Moorings offers both bareboating and fully crewed yachts, so you can do as much or as little as you want (Tortola; 888-952-8420; www.moorings.com).