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The Caribbean’s British Virgin Islands hold many secrets. While
they’re famous for wreck diving and sailing, one lesser known
attribute is the magnificent, luxurious resorts hidden in lush
surroundings on atolls and cays. Their claims to fame are privacy
and personalized pampering on every level.
A prime property among them is Peter Island Resort, located on an
exclusive private island only accessible by boat. A member of
Virtuoso, the resort has 52 guestrooms and two villas, with another
opening late this year. Staff to guest ratio is 177 to 104 in high
season, assuring clients very special attention.
It begins at Tortola’s Beef Island airport, where guests are met
and escorted to the private launch for a short ride to the island.
Tropical flowers and massive date palms pave the way to the arrival
gazebo, introducing guests to the resort’s 1,300 acres of beaches
and hilly terrain.
Twenty beachfront Junior Suites cluster on Deadman’s Bay.
Thirty-two Oceanview Rooms, in two-story poolside cottages with
peaked roofs and balconies, overlook Drake’s Channel. Two private
villas with their own director occupy a secluded area, and a third
will open in December.
The four-bedroom hillside Crow’s Nest Villa features mission-style
architecture with sweeping views from secluded verandas. Staff
includes valet, chef, maid, groundsman and a driver for the
accompanying vehicle. Two pools are ample for a private dip.
The three-bedroom Hawk’s Nest Villa is more Caribbean style with
high ceilings and lots of windows. Extended balconies make the most
of the lofty location over Deadman’s Bay and the yacht-filled
harbor. A private sundeck has its own plunge pool.
The newest addition, Falcon’s Nest, tailored for 12 people, has
six spacious bedrooms with a flat-screen television in each and a
two-tiered pool with cascading waterfall, swim-up bars and a
spacious Jacuzzi. An open living room and outdoor terrace with
covered dining area offer sweeping views, while the lower level
includes spa rooms, an exercise facility and nanny quarters.
Peter Island Resort’s sophisticated spa features 10 treatment
suites and two separate outdoor huts. A hydrotherapy tub, steam
rooms, gardens and
private swimming beach, plus spa lounge, dining terrace,
meditation area and hair salon complete the setting.
The signature treatment is the Thermal Sand Bundle massage. While
aromatherapy oils invite deep relaxation, heated sand bags are
placed on specific tension areas a hot stone massage,
Caribbean-style. Catching up in popularity is the Mud Bowl
Alfresco. This do-it-yourself massage takes place by the pool or on
the beach, using the spa’s bowls of rich Thalasso Mud. Guests
slather it on, bake in the sun and rinse in the sea.
The Beach and Beyond
Among Peter Island’s five dazzling white-sand beaches, Honeymoon
beach encourages intimacy with just two lounge chairs beneath a
single thatch hut. A resort specialty is a beach picnic set up by
the concierge, with white linens, china and the works. The White
Bay beach garners most of the picnics, as snorkeling here is the
best on the island.
As guests languish on this private reserve, they experience no
feeling of isolation due to a generous off-island excursion menu.
Helicopters fly golfers to St. Croix for a round on one of two
championship courses. The private launch makes daily trips to
Tortola and to one of Virgin Gorda’s most beautiful attractions,
The Baths. The resort’s private crewed yacht, Silmaril, specializes
in intimate sailing trips for full or half days, sunsets or
overnights. Passengers can take the helm or lounge on deck and
enjoy the passing scene. For the best of both worlds, suggest the
Ashore/Afloat package with two nights on board Silmaril and two or
five nights at the resort.
Peter Island rates include three meals daily, plus an elaborate
afternoon tea. Dinner is served in a classic setting with views
through large waterfront windows. The adjoining Wine Room, used for
private events and specialty dinners, displays close to 400 bottles
in climate-controlled cabinets. The Wine Cellar houses a $60,000
inventory of fine wines.
Although not on its own island, Little Dix Bay, a Rosewood
Resort on Virgin Gorda, projects the same luxurious accommodations
and special attention to guests.
This garden paradise was first established by Laurance Rockefeller
in 1964. The latest additions include the Cliff Spa Suite, located
next to the spa high over the beach, and a yoga platform towering
800 feet above the sea.
The sensual hillside spa offers indoor and open-air wet
treatments, and a whirlpool positioned to evoke a top-of-the-world