Virgin Gorda Attractions and Resorts
Virgin Gorda—Nature’s Little Secret
Find the best resorts, attractions and restaurants on the third largest of the British Virgin Islands.
I walk into an Aquamare villa on Virgin Gorda and gasp. The ethereal beauty of the luxurious villa with its 30-foot vaulted ceilings, exquisite furnishings and enormous glass doors opening to an infinity pool and the great blue beyond of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is worth savoring—if just for a few moments.
You see, I’m not actually staying at Aquamare, with beginning prices at $20,350 per week in high season and frequented by the likes of Harrison Ford. But, a girl can dream. And it’s so easy to dream here, on this island that is one of “Nature’s Little Secrets,” as they say in the BVI. Virgin Gorda is perhaps not as well known as some more touristy islands, but when it comes to Caribbean splendor, this natural beauty pulls out all the stops.
Virgin Gorda is the third-largest island of the BVI, striking a chord with even Christopher Columbus, who came upon the island and thought its picturesque silhouette resembled that of a shapely woman, naming it Virgin Gorda, or “Fat Virgin.” Hundreds of years later, Laurance S. Rockefeller became enamored with its pristine beauty and stunning emerald vistas. He set about creating one of the most idyllic resorts in the Caribbean, Little Dix Bay, just around the bend from where Aquamare is now located. (More on that resort later.)
Stonehenge of the Caribbean
No one can visit Virgin Gorda without seeing The Baths, a natural phenomena of enormous granite boulders piled up at water’s edge like a natural version of Stonehenge. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the BVI. The formations create amazing natural cathedrals and grottos with sunlight streaming through to crystal wading pools. Plan on lunch at the Top of the Baths restaurant to complement your grotto wanderings.
Also interesting to visit are the Copper Mine ruins on the southeast tip of the island, a pretty picture at cliff’s edge with mine remains from more than 150 years ago. To quench your thirst, stop by the funky nearby Mineshaft Café before heading to Gorda Peak, the highest point on Virgin Gorda, for stunning vistas.
A favorite restaurant on the island (outside of resort dining) is The Rock Café in the valley. The café, which features a piano bar and entrées ranging from $19 to $40, is set amidst huge boulders like that at the Baths. Who needs walls when nature can provide them?
Balance in Nature—and Resorts
Life on Virgin Gorda revolves mostly around its fine resorts and villas. At front and center is Little Dix Bay, a Rosewood Resort, situated on a crescent-shaped beach shaded with palm trees. Most of the luxury accommodations are steps from the beach, offering an elegant simplicity where less is more, so the focus is on the beautiful surroundings. Ixora shrubs with pink flowers line stone walkways, fishtail palms bend with the gentle breeze and a mahogany preserve offers welcoming shade. There are 500 acres of such beauty.
But at the heart of Little Dix is its beach and Polynesian-styled pavilion for waterside dining, with many visitors choosing to go no further. That is, of course, until they discover the Sense spa. The spa’s offerings are decadent, and the infinity pool seemingly falls off directly into the Caribbean Sea. It’s hard to imagine a setting more calming for inner balance.
A highlight of visiting Little Dix is the private water taxi beach drop service—a resort boat whisks guests to the stunning beach of their choice nearby and returns later to pick them up. The resort also has one of the best kids’ facilities in the Caribbean, the Children’s Grove, with myriad fun activities.
For a special meal when the sun goes down, the resort offers fine dining at the Sugar Mill restaurant (entrées mostly $30 to $40; meal plans are available, which include discounts for families), and for extra romance, guests may choose a special spot on the beach for candlelight dining ($75 extra).
Next: North Sound Stays