What’s open in the BVI?
Just one year on after Hurricane Irma hit the British Virgin Islands, the sheer resilience and community spirit among locals and international volunteers have helped to transform this “jewel in the Caribbean” back to its former glory.
The British Virgin Islands has not only bounced back better, stronger and greener, but many of our most-loved local establishments have reopened to delight our seasoned sailors with their refreshing island cocktails, mouth-watering cuisine and famous Caribbean hospitality.
After our recent trip to the British Virgin Islands, it’s safe to say its pristine white sands, turquoise waters and snorkelling spots are as spectacular as ever, but don’t just take our word for it. Read on to find out which establishments are now open for business, and start planning your ultimate winter escape.
Tortola is the largest and one of the most popular islands in the British Virgin Islands — and it’s easy to see why.
A year on since Irma, Tortola is back to being known for its beautiful beaches including Smuggler’s Cove and Cane Garden Bay, Full-Moon parties and top snorkelling spots. But no visit to Tortola is complete without heading to Bananakeet Café in Carrot Bay. Boasting one of the island’s most scenic views overlooking Carrot Bay and the outer-lying Islands, this Caribbean fusion Café has once again reopened its doors to serve up fresh local conch, spicy jerk pork and unforgettable sunsets.
Other Tortola restaurants and bars now open include: Brandywine Estate Restaurant, Brandywine Bay; D’ Best Cup, West End; Genaker, Nanny Cay; Gene’s, Sea Cows Bay; HVM Restaurant at JY Marina, East End; Matcha’s Bar and Grill; Mulligans, Nanny Cay; Myett’s, Cane Garden Bay; Nanny Cay Beach Bar, Nanny Cay; Nigel’s Boom Boom Beach Bar & Grill; Paradise Club, Cane Garden Bay; Peg Leg Landing; Pusser’s Road Town; Pusser’s, West End; Red Rock Restaurant and Tamarind Club, Josiah’s Bay.
Situated at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands archipelago, Norman Island is rumoured to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s famed pirate novel, Treasure Island.
Apart from its popular diving sites such as The Caves and Indians where you’ll find warm waters teeming with blue tangs, parrotfish and sergeant majors, you will also come across the islands speciality — it’s “Bight”. This large protected harbour is one of the British Virgin Islands safest and most picturesque anchorages, which is also home to one of the island’s most loved bars; The Pirates Bight Bar and Restaurant.
Re-opening just 3 months after Irma, the establishment said, “The BVI community has been through a lot over the past couples of months and the management and staff of Norman Island have been working hard to reopen our doors to all of our patrons”. We recommend spending the afternoon relaxing on the islands soft sands overlooking the restaurant and tuck into conch fritters or spiced mahi-mahi, for a truly Caribbean culinary experience.
Around 4 miles south of Tortola, Peter Island is the BVI’s fifth-largest island and home to the luxurious Peter Island Resort. Its lush greenery, excellent hiking paths and pristine beaches, have attracted travellers to this spectacularly remote spot for decades.
Legend has it in the 1700s just off its coast, Blackbeard punished his mutinous crew by marooning them on Dead Chest Island with nothing but bottles of rum. Today, you can snorkel around the seagrass beds in Deadman’s Bay and come across green sea turtles and steel drum bands playing on the sands.
Since Irma, owner of William Thornton (Willy T’s) Floating Bar and Restaurant, Ewan Anderson has decided to move location and settle in the Great Harbour on Peter Island. If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, this bistro on the briny pirate bar delivers, with it
’s water-ski shots, charbroiled Mahi Mahi sandwiches and eclectic mix of Caribbean tunes.
Virgin Gorda is known for its otherworldly beachside boulders, natural bubbling pools and turquoise grottos. Luckily, this part of the British Virgin Islands remains largely untouched by commercialism apart from a sprinkling of movie star’s villas and resorts.
After spending the day hiking to Gorda Peak and wandering around its collection of sky-high boulders, take the time to relax in the late afternoon with a trip to Coco Maya. Reopening its doors, this open air bar personifies island living with its signature cocktails and exotic blend of Asian and Latin cuisines around the crackling fire. Enjoy tempura shrimp lettuce wraps, crispy aromatic duck and spicy calamari topped off with a refreshing ginger and lychee champagne cocktail to end your day on the right note.
Other Virgin Gorda restaurants and bars now open include: Fischer’s Cove Beach Restaurant; Spanish Town; Hog Heaven Bar & Restaurant; Jumbies Bar at Leverick; Oil Nut Bay Restaurant; Restaurant at Leverick Bay; Snapper’s Bar & Grill and Top of the Baths.
This eco-conscious little gem is home to a protected anchorage, superb snorkelling spots, a solar-powered microbrewery and the largest rum bar in the British Virgin Islands. There are only 5 privately owned properties on the island, plus a friendly Eco-resort, Cooper Island Beach Club.
Supporting sustainable tourism, Cooper Island beach club is back and open for business. Offering over 230 worldwide rums, water sports activities and mouth-watering dishes such as lobster bisque seafood stew, this resort has everything you need for the ultimate island getaway. After exploring some of the Caribbean’s top snorkelling playgrounds, from the Devils Kitchen to Wreck Alley where moray eels, brilliant blue tangs and parrotfish swim freely, Cooper Island Beach
club is the perfect place to unwind.
Jost van Dyke
Named after Dutch settler and former pirate, Jost Van Dyke, this island is known for its verdant scenery and colourful folklore. Despite its storied past, Jost remains an unspoilt oasis dotted with sugar mill ruins, natural sea-formed Jacuzzis and spectacular views for dolphin and whale watching.
In just a few short months after Irma, one of the most popular hangouts in the Caribbean reopened. Soggy Dollar Bar, home of the notorious painkiller cocktail, drew its rum-loving pilgrims back to White Bay’s sandy shores just in time for New Year. And it’s only gotten better since. You can’t head to the British Virgin Islands without dropping anchor for this coconut cream and distilled rum infusion, coated with freshly grated nutmeg. If you’re looking for somewhere that exemplifies island living, Soggy Dollar is it.
Other Jost Van Dyke restaurants and bars now open include: Abe’s By The Sea; B-Line Beach Bar; Little Jost Van Dyke; Coco Loco’s Beach Bar; Cool Breeze Cafe, Great Harbour; Corsair’s Beach Bar & Restaurant; Foxy’s Tamarind Bar & Restaurant, Great Harbour; Hendo’s Hideout, White Bay; Ivan’s Stress Free Bar; LSL Bake Shop and Restaurant; Mimi’s Kitchen; Seddy’s One Love Bar & Grill; Soggy Dollar Bay, White Bay and Sydney’s Peace and Love.
Anegada is only coral island in the British Virgin Islands. Characterised by its low-lying vibrant coral reefs, this island is also known for its secluded whimsical-named beaches such as Flash of Beauty and Loblolly Bay.
Apart from its rock iguanas, wild flamingos and sea lavender, Anegada is without question, the Caribbean capital of lobster. If you miss the annual culinary extravaganza that is The Anegada’s Lobster Festival 24-25 November, we’d recommend you head to Neptune’s Treasure resort.
Restored to perfection in the earlier part of this year, the resort now provides hand-cut stone walkways and a new Tiki bar. Enjoy some of Anegada’s most delicious fresh-cooked lobster at Neptune’s Treasure restaurant, and if you’re lucky see the preparation first-hand from sea to plate. We would also recommend their sautéed conch and curried shrimp for an unforgettable dining experience.
Other Anegada restaurants and bars now open include: Anegada Beach Club, Anegada Reef Hotel Restaurant; Big Bamboo, Lo
lbolly Bay; Cow Wreck Beach Bar & Grill; Lobster Trap; Neptune’s Treasure Restaurant; Potter’s by the Sea; Wonky Dog.
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