July 26, 2021

10 of the best luxury resorts

From private island hideaways to a legendary resort that dates back to the ’60s, here’s where to book an ocean-view room

Necker Island, a picturesque private island escape in the BVINecker Island, a picturesque private island escape in the BVI — Photo courtesy of Rachel Vigoda

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The British Virgin Islands is known as the sailing capital of the Caribbean, but sometimes you want to get off the boat. The 60 islands that make up the BVI were hit hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, but today, many of the hotels and attractions are rebuilt and better than ever.

The region is dazzling tourists with warm turquoise water, soft white sand, lush hills and some of the Caribbean’s most exclusive resorts and private island hideaways.

Necker Island

A guest room in the Great House on Necker IslandA guest room in the Great House on Necker Island — Photo courtesy of Rachel Vigoda

Hammocks swaying gently above soft white sand, a crow’s nest hot tub perched above an art-filled open-air great room, bedrooms fit for a queen, lemurs and flamingos…this sustainably-minded private island owned by Sir Richard Branson, the man behind the Virgin brand, has it all (including wind turbines and a solar farm for renewable energy).

For most of the year, Necker is rented out in its entirety, meaning the only people on the island – besides the friendly staff – are the ones you bring with you. But there are a few weeks throughout the year when you can book a single room.

Moskito Island

Richard Branson's private Moskito IslandRichard Branson’s private Moskito Island — Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Just two miles from Necker is Moskito, another spectacular private island owned by Richard Branson. The Branson Estate is a collection of three chic villas with a total of 11 bedrooms.

Like on Necker Island, this level of luxury doesn’t come cheap. A night in the Branson Estate for up to 22 guests, including all food and drink, water sports, airport transfers and access to all the island’s facilities (like the tennis courts and the beaches) goes for $33,000.

Baraka Point Estate

Wake up to ocean views at Baraka Point EstateWake up to ocean views at Baraka Point Estate — Photo courtesy of Baraka Point

You don’t get your own island at Baraka Point, but this secluded estate on a quiet beach in Virgin Gorda is just about as private as you can get. It’s rented to only one group at a time, so the only other people you’ll interact with on the property is the staff, including your dedicated chef.

The villa includes suites with views of the Caribbean sea, kids’ bedrooms with bunk beds, a pool and an area set aside for pampering spa treatments.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Secluded Rosewood Little Dix BaySecluded Rosewood Little Dix Bay — Photo courtesy of Rosewood Little Dix Bay

The legendary Rosewood Little Dix Bay is the type of place guests return to year after year. Its story dates back to 1964, when conservationist Laurance Rockefeller built the 500-acre eco-friendly beachside resort. In 2016, Rosewood closed for a refresh – Hurricane Irma hit a month before the planned reopening and the resort had to start all over.

It finally reopened in January 2020 with a mid-century modern aesthetic and 21st-century amenities. The perks start before you even reach the Virgin Gorda hotel: luxury catamarans ferry guests from the airport in Tortola to Rosewood, where your personal butler awaits to check you in.

Anegada Beach Club

On idyllic Anegada, the least inhabited of the BVI’s four main islands, Anegada Beach Club has an organic garden that supplies produce for the poolside restaurant. Book a hotel room or “rough it” in a thatched-roof room right on the beach, complete with a king-sized canopy bed and a spacious deck looking out on the impossibly blue water.

Mango Bay Resort

The beach at Mango Bay Resort on Virgin GordaThe beach at Mango Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda — Photo courtesy of Mango Bay

Six private villas set along a sandy beach protected by a coral reef barrier make up the serene Mango Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda. The villas, which have spacious terraces, make it feel like you’re staying in a home, not a hotel – a home with massages available en suite, snorkeling equipment and kayaks, that is.

Oil Nut Bay

The exclusive Oil Nut Bay on Virgin GordaThe exclusive Oil Nut Bay on Virgin Gorda — Photo courtesy of Oil Nut Bay

Planning to spend a lot of time in the British Virgin Islands? Buy a home at Oil Nut Bay, an ultra-luxe resort spread out over 300 acres on the narrow eastern tip of Virgin Gorda.

If that’s a bit out of reach, Oil Nut Bay has pristine villas for rent too, which come with access to the resort’s seaside pools, white-sand beaches, spa, water sports and marina complex.

Quito’s Luxury Inn

The view from a balcony at Quito's Luxury Inn on TortolaThe view from a balcony at Quito’s Luxury Inn on Tortola — Photo courtesy of Quito’s Luxury Inn

Popular BVI musician Quito Rymer owns Quito’s Luxury Inn, a bright, colorful, beach-chic hotel at Cane Garden Bay in Tortola, where each of the 21 suites is named after one of Rymer’s songs.

The largest guest room has a loft and a wraparound balcony overlooking the water and sleeps up to six. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch Rymer playing music at Quito’s Gazebo, an onsite restaurant with live music daily.

Valley Trunk Estate

The tranquil Valley Trunk on Virgin Gorda is named after a type of sea turtle. Only one group can book the property at a time, so it’s only you and your friends wandering the paths set among the tropical gardens and relaxing by the freeform pool.

The guest rooms are spread out among multiple villas – try not to fight over who gets the palatial master suite.

Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort

Guest rooms at the Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort on Tortola are spread out among several small buildingsGuest rooms at the Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort on Tortola are spread out among several small buildings — Photo courtesy of Wyndham Lambert

For more of a traditional hotel feel, the beachfront Wyndham Lambert includes 38 guest rooms in eight single-story buildings, plus a swim-up pool bar, a spa and fitness center, and restaurants. Set on Tortola, the biggest and most populated island in the BVI, the resort is convenient to the international airport and to Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands.