The Bitter End is Back: Bitter End Yacht Club Reopening
For almost half a century, until it was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Bitter End Yacht Club was the best-known and best-loved sailing center in the British Virgin Islands. It’s taken over four long years, but now the BEYC is again welcoming sailors visiting Virgin Gorda’s North Sound.
If you’re not familiar with the Bitter End, you have a treat in store. Bitter End 2.0. as owner Lauren Hokin describes it, has all the attractions of the original plus quite a few more. The bars, restaurants and watercraft center that made the BEYC such a fun place to spend a day or three are back, in new guises but offering the same relaxed vibe.
As you sail down North Sound, you’ll make out the row of buildings beneath the steep green hillside and the masts of the boats docked in the new marina. Out front, there are 70 moorings, up to 15 of which can be reserved by contacting the resort. The remainder are first come, first served.
When you go ashore, you’ll check in at the new Quarterdeck building, and then head upstairs for a Painkiller. Right next door is the Village Plaza, where you can enjoy alfresco dining at the Clubhouse restaurant and then work off lunch at the new watersports center with its fleet of kayaks, paddleboards, kiteboards and dinghies. If you’re looking for beach clothing, swimwear, sunglasses to replace those you’ve lost overboard or just gifts for the folks back home, the Reeftique Boutique will sort you out.
You’ll also find The Market provisioning shop, stocked with groceries, fresh produce grown in the Bitter End’s own gardens, and essentials like fine wines and spirits. Bitter End regulars will be especially happy to see the return of the renowned fresh bread and pastries from Winston’s Bakery. A pizza oven, a sunken boat converted to a bar, and a long stretch of beach for after-lunch walks are among the other enticements. All up, there are five wining-and-or-dining venues, catering for everything from casual snacks to high-end cuisine.
Of particular interest to sailors looking for some relaxed time ashore are the new Marina Loft apartments, the first over-water accommodations in the BVI. You’ll be able to step up to your front “porch” from your paddleboard or kayak. The first two of a series of larger beachfront bungalows have also been completed.
The North Sound has always been a perfect jumping-off point for charter sailors heading for Anegada, offering a good angle for sailing to this beautiful island in the Northeast trade wind. With the return of the Bitter End, that option is even more attractive. As with the BVI in general, the Bitter End Yacht Club faced a tough battle to come back from the devastation of Irma and Maria, but now both are looking to the future.
“Welcoming the first wave of visitors, guests, family and friends ashore was exciting beyond compare,” said Lauren Hokin. “Seeing the North Sound filled with boats from all over the world made every step of this journey worthwhile. And so much more is still to come.”
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