This Elegant Eco-Friendly Resort in the British Virgin Islands Practically Invented Barefoot Luxury

When billionaire conservationist and philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller first came upon Virgin Gorda in 1958, the lush island was home to little more than sandy coves, ancient volcanic boulders, and a small agricultural community. A true Robinson Crusoe-style paradise, one idyllic, palm tree-shaded crescent bay—dubbed “wilderness beach” by Rockefeller himself—stood out, and would later serve as the blissful centerpiece of his eco-friendly resort.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay remains true to Rockefeller’s mission of sustainability to this day, leaving the majority of its pristine land undeveloped, growing organic farm-to-table produce, and working with the Association of Reef Keepers (ARK), a local marine conservation organization on coral restoration and sea turtle monitoring. A highlight of the property are its stilted Tree House Suites, which pay tribute to the originals erected by Laurance Rockefeller in 1964. Perched among the foliage, they allow guests to enjoy a stellar view of the ocean without requiring construction on the waterfront or clear-cutting the brush.

That’s not to say the resort hasn’t evolved in the 21st century. Guests can expect five-star amenities like beach butler service at the press of a button, complimentary afternoon ice cream, and the ultra-luxe Sense Spa, complete with a cliffside infinity pool that seemingly floats into the Caribbean Sea. Warm, genuinely helpful staff is always nearby to guide you to your next adventure, whether you’re looking to join a yoga class, embark on a snorkeling safari in the crystalline waters, or indulge in a private, gourmet picnic on one of Virgin Gorda’s secluded beaches.

An eco-friendly retreat that proved to be ahead of its time when it opened over five decades ago, Rosewood Little Dix Bay keeps setting the bar.

Top Takeaways

Location: Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: OG barefoot luxury

Food + Drink: In addition to room service and pool and beach dining, Rosewood Little Dix Bay hosts three of the island’s best restaurants, each with a distinct menu and personality. Sugar Mill is all about innovative tapas and fresh seafood with panoramic views of the bay. At Pavilion, guests can taste local Caribbean flavors like slow-cooked beef pepper pot and jerk-marinated meats. Meanwhile, Reef House showcases the daily harvest from the resort’s own farm. Night caps at Rum Room, an open-air lounge with an extensive library of rare and aged rums and classic cocktails from the 1960s and 1970s, are a must.

Amenities: Dedicated butler service, Sense Spa, fitness center with guided classes and personal trainer, hiking trails, tennis and pickleball courts, two pools, watersports, local beach drops to nearby islands, on-property jeep rentals, and Rosewood Explorers Program for children

5 Nearby Attractions: The Baths and Devil’s Bay National Park, diving or snorkeling the wreck of the RMS Rhone with Dive BVI, Saba Rock, learning to sail at Steve and Doris Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School, and Hog Heaven (the view is as good as the barbeque)

Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? A collection of 50-plus islands, islets, and cays, one of the best ways to explore the British Virgin Islands is undoubtedly by water. Supplement your getaway at Rosewood Little Dix Bay on the resort’s 57-foot catamaran, Vision. Guests can book the boat—equipped with spacious lounging areas, trampolines on the bow, water sport gear, air-conditioned cabins, and an open bar—for a full or half-day or go all out with a Stay & Sail experience that includes at least two nights at sea.

Rooms: Decorated in an updated, breezy interpretation of the mid-century modern design that was in vogue when Little Dix Bay first opened, accommodations feel understated, yet authentically Caribbean. Every room boasts enchanting seaside vistas and private patios or terraces, and most have outdoor showers. 

Pricing: Rates start at $1,800/night. 

Closest Airport: Virgin Gorda Airport. The resort provides a 20-minute boat transfer from Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport in Tortola, where the majority of its guests arrive.

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