Comprised of more than 60 islands and cays, many of them uninhabited, the British Virgin Islands offer some of the most beautiful tropical hideaways in the world. Unspoiled natural beauty comes in abundance throughout the archipelago, spanning lush rainforests, white-sand beaches and impossibly turquoise waters, meaning your personal slice of paradise is never too far away.
Much of the archipelago’s charm stems from the fact that it’s far less developed than other Caribbean islands and offers visitors divine seclusion with all the exclusivity and comfort you could ever ask for. Adventure and luxury lay side-by-side within the magic and beauty of the British Virgin Islands – and it’s something you have to witness yourself.
Where to Stay
The old charms of the Caribbean lifestyle meet the pleasures of the modern world at Scrub Island Resort. Located on a private island that lies a short 10-minute boat ride from Tortola’s Trellis Bay Dock, this beachfront hotel offers a selection of eco-friendly suites and private villas with soaring ceilings, island-inspired furnishings and spectacular sea views. Luxury greets you with every step on Scrub Island and the resort places an emphasis on privacy, intimacy and comfort.
There are three divine beaches fringed by coconut palms and crystalline waters within walking distance of the hotel, while sailing and scuba diving excursions are available directly on-site. Perched high above the waters, the lavish Ixora Spa is an oasis of tranquility with an elegant list of treatments meant to enlighten your senses and soothe your soul. Drawing sailors and yachties from around the world, one of the biggest draws of Scrub Island is the hotel’s excellent marina that offers 55 deep-water slips for short and long-term docking.
Our British Virgin Islands Destination Guide also includes a Luxury Hotel Guide with a breakdown of the top luxury hotels on the archipelago.
Where to Dine
Sugar Mill sure knows how to set the mood. Located on the archipelago’s main island of Tortola, this open-air restaurant is housed within a 17th century stone sugar mill. The two alfresco dining spaces are lit by candlelight and look out onto the open waters, making this a prime choice for romantic dinners and honeymooners. The exceptional menu places an emphasis on local produce and ingredients, with the day’s fresh catches complemented by succulent steaks, crispy pork bellies and coconut encrusted chicken breast.
The Sugar Mill is famous for its lobster bisque and lobster Thermidor, but make sure to save room for the decadent rum-soaked banana bread pudding. Exquisite drinks are served in the gazebo terrace bar, which offers a stunning view of Jost van Dyke in the distance. Sugar cane was once boiled here to make rum as evidenced by the old equipment still on view, but now the emphasis is on delicious food, fine wine and a phenomenal atmosphere.
Our British Virgin Islands Destination Guide also includes a Restaurant Guide with more fine dining options.
What to Do
Life on the British Virgin Islands isn’t limited to hammocks and piña coladas, with scenic hikes, excellent diving and snorkeling, and world-class restaurants at your disposal. Meanwhile, protected waters, consistent trade winds, secluded coves and well-equipped marinas mark the BVI as one of the world’s top sailing destinations. Encompassing the beaches and rocky shoreline at the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda, the Baths National Park is a geological wonder that enchants visitors with its massive granite boulders, white-sand beaches and hidden grottoes.
Meanwhile, the northernmost island of Anegada is home to the largest coral reef in the Caribbean, making for world-class snorkeling adventures followed by peaceful beach sessions under the sun. As the main island in the BVI, the bustling Tortola balances out its silky stretches of sand and crystalline waters with family-run restaurants, traditional distilleries and cultural experiences.
What to Pack
When it comes to your wardrobe in the BVI, your best bet is to keep it casual and tropical. This means you can go all-out for color and print, and experiment with whatever wild island look suits your mood. Versatile and timeless, this Zimmermann Brighton Buckle Bandeau Bikini combines a retro ’80s aesthetic with a modern flair. The piece is highlighted with a bandeau top with a buckle accent and low-rise bottoms – all in a vibrant hue that is sure to turn heads.
When it comes to snorkeling and scuba diving, you’ll also need a reliable timepiece. While models like the Submariner Sea Dweller have been classic watches among diving enthusiasts, the Rolex Deepsea is the latest model to join the family. First released in 2008, the Deepsea is Rolex’s most serious dive watch that is water-resistant to an outstanding 3,900 meters.