You really can't say that you've 'done' the Caribbean until you have seen and experienced the British Virgin Islands in all of their glory.
The region offers private island resorts and idyllic beaches; real barefoot luxury with a similar low key feel to the resorts of the Maldives.
As a Travel Specialist, I have the privilege of visiting some of the world's most coveted destinations, but I hadn't been to these stunning isles for 15 years and so I was especially excited to return and see if they were as unspoilt as I remembered; I was not disappointed.
The British Virgin Islands lie at the Caribbean's north-eastern tip and have a total of 21 national parks protecting acre upon acre of untouched natural beauty, both on land and in the sea. With travel from the UK being easier than ever before, you'll be glad to hear that the outstanding exclusivity, white sand beaches and teeming coral reefs remain!
I flew into nearby Antigua then caught a connection to Tortola with VI Airlink; a BVI owned and operated airline that is now offering a direct service twice a week. The views were breathtaking!
There are so many accommodation options for a luxury British Virgin Islands holiday, and on my trip I was lucky enough to sample the very best!
Our first stop was Rosewood Little Dix Bay*, a fantastic resort that offers a great standard of accommodation, with all rooms facing the Caribbean Sea. We were staying in the new Rosewood Junior Suites, which are spacious and well-appointed throughout, with luxurious features such as double vanity sinks and beautiful bay-view terraces. One little quirk of this resort is that there are no room keys; the quiet, safe and intimate setting means they are simply not needed!
Next onto the Bitter End Yacht Club, which you may guess is a sailor's paradise! Water-based activities abound and the resort's Sailing School is truly world-class, with the world's largest fleet of complimentary watercraft and a regatta every Sunday! In the evening the vibe is lively, with weekly entertainment at The Crawl Pub, where you can also sample a tasty brick-oven pizza.
Alternatively, enjoy the rustic feel of Guana Island; a private island resort that does barefoot luxury like no other. Having been a hotel since the 1930s, the resort oozes character and charm. With only 15 cottages and four villas, this property is ultra exclusive and very beautiful; I think it looks like the setting of 'Mamma Mia'!
Peter Island is the largest private island in the British Virgin Islands, so it's the perfect option for clients wanting a more expansive island to explore and to lose themselves on. There are five different beaches here, meaning none of them ever feel crowded and the accommodation is stylish, with a lot of attention to detail. I recommend a stay in one of the Junior Suites, which benefit from direct access to a beautiful crescent-shaped beach and are a great romantic option for couples.
On our way back to the UK, we were also lucky enough to enjoy a couple of nights in Antigua. Inspiring Travel Company offer VIP meet and greet, so our progress through arrivals was speedy and smooth. Once on the island there are just so many fabulous choices as to where to stay. From the colonial and exclusive surrounds of Jumby Bay, to the low-key luxury of Hermitage Bay, and so much more besides, there's an option to suit every taste and requirement!
I simply couldn't fault my experience on these islands and my one top tip would be to request VIP departure from Antigua when speaking to your Travel Specialist; they can arrange everything, or pass you onto the capable hands of our Concierge service. This VIP service ensures that you avoid long queues in the hot sunshine, so your enjoyment of your holiday can last as long as possible. With a new airport due to open later in the year, perhaps there'll be even more treats in store on your own luxury Antigua holiday!
What a wonderful trip - I hope I don't have to wait another 15 years to go back! If you'd like to begin planning your bespoke Caribbean holiday today you can start a webchat in the box below or call our Travel Specialists on 01244 355 600.
*Since Jackie’s visit, we’ve had the exciting news that Rosewood Little Dix Bay will be closed until late 2017 in order to undergo a complete, multi-million dollar refurbishment. We can’t wait to see the new resort when it’s unveiled next year!