Paradise Meets Luxury in the British Virgin Islands at the Newly-Reopened Bitter End

Set on the aptly-named “bitter end” of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, the Bitter End Yacht Club is a storied resort ready for a new era.

Completely demolished during 2017’s Hurricane Irma, Bitter End Yacht Club has faced a daunting task in the past few years, rebuilding the premises from the ground up. But now, with the territory’s first overwater bungalows open, she’s back—and better than ever. 

The iconic 54-year-old resort has undergone a dramatic transformation, boasting two-story overwater bungalows resembling traditional sailmakers’ lofts. While only a handful of these retreats are open to guests at the moment, the resort has also added more than 70 mooring balls and nearly 30 boat slips, meaning that guests on charters can also enjoy the many new amenities the resort has to offer.

If you do get lucky enough to score one of the spacious villas, they’re perched right along the edge of Virgin Gorda’s North Sound, with ladders allowing guests to dip into the water directly from their front deck and leisurely-placed hammocks perfect for relaxing away the afternoon by the water.

Outside your bungalow escape, the new Bitter End has a fine-dining restaurant, the Buoy Room, already known for excellent brick-oven pizzas and Caribbean favorites like conch fritters. The Reef Sampler bar, a repurposed boat found in the North Sound, serves light bites and rum-heavy cocktails (this is the BVIs, after all), and soon, The Clubhouse, the original haunt of Bitter End’s first proprietor, Basil Symonette, will reopen for fresh sea-to-table cuisine.

After imbibing, enjoy Bitter End’s mile-long stretch of flawless sand overlooking North and Eustatia Sounds, or try your hand at kiteboarding and windsurfing. The beachfront has comfortable lounges and hammocks alongside a protected swim area, all of which are available to both guests of the hotel and those renting mooring balls or slips for the night.

Guests staying in one of the bungalows also have access to the Quarterdeck Lounge, a semi-secret space with a vintage maritime feel. Boasting some of the best views on the islands, the room is packed with vintage games and nautical reads. Enjoy the sunset, rum punch in hand, with fellow marina guests and yacht club members. 

Whether you’re seeking an intimate escape from reality or a family getaway, this island icon has officially entered its golden age.

Top Takeaways

Location: Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Star-Rating: Four-star 

The Vibe: A relished BVI haunt reinvigorated for the modern era

Our favorite thing about the hotel? The Market is a must-visit for yachts looking to stock up on provisions or guests simply wanting to have one of Chef Winston Butler’s world-famous key lime pies all to themselves. Even if you aren’t chartering a yacht, the local goods stock also makes excellent souvenirs.

Food + Drink: The all-day restaurant The Buoy Room serves everything from tacos to brick-oven pizzas, all with a Caribbean flair. (Try the island avocado!) After dinner, head to the Reef Sampler, a low-key beachfront bar constructed from a salvaged hull raised from a nearby seabed after Hurricane Irma.

Any Neighborhood Recs? Neighborhood? What neighborhood? You’re essentially in your own private oasis, but if you do need to get away, you can take a dinghy across the water to the all-new Saba Rock for a drink or a bite.

Amenities: Rooms have direct water access via private docks, Wi-Fi, and hammocks. There’s also beach access and water toys available. 

What’s Nearby? You’re at the largely-secluded end of Virgin Gorda, so not much—but isn’t that why you came?

Rooms: The hotel has reopened with a handful of Marina Lofts, the territory’s first overwater bungalows, but it plans to add up to 40 more bungalows spread across the 65-acre property. There are also 72 mooring balls and 27 marina slips for those who wish to sleep aboard their boats.

Pricing: Rates start at $500 – $1,800 a night.

Closest Airport: The easiest option for getting to the island is to fly into St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and take a ferry to Virgin Gorda.

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