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“Watersports Valhalla--but hard to get to.”

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Bitter End Yacht Club
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in North Sound
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Watersports Valhalla--but hard to get to.”
Reviewed 24 February 2009

Just returned from five nights at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, BVI. It was a first class family resort that had all the amenities, including perhaps the finest watersports program anywhere in the world. While the resort did not have the all-out luxury that you will find at the Four Season's Resorts or those of a similar ilk, Bitter End offered everything you'll need and with a more understated luxury.

The Premium Beachfront Rooms were worth the small extra cost. They were closer to the resorts main activities (dining, shopping, watersports, dock) and recently remodeled. The rooms were large and airy with a wrap-around deck with hammock, king bed and stone shower with a view of the sea. All of the rooms at Bitter End have beautiful views. The ones with the best views, however, have the highest climb (ours was 75 steps), so be forewarned if you are not able to climb stairs.

The resort has over 100 boats for the complimentary use of guests. Most of these are sailboats, but there are ten Boston Whaler dinghies with a small outboard for those that are not into sailing. We took out a Whaler one day and explored the islands in North Sound. It's a nice way to spend time on your own private beach. If you're into sailing, it's valhalla at BEYC. We're not, but we still loved it. We are into snorkeling, and the options there were many and we took advantage of the various snorkeling trips (all included for resort guests). There were also day trips to scenic destinations like The Baths, Norman Island or Anageda, and others. These trips were usually on a 40" Sailing Catamaran. They are fun trips, but if the weather is rough, it can be a bit upsetting. We had our trip to Anageda cancelled because of high winds. Good thing, since an 35 mile sail in high seas would not have been fun.

The food at Bitter End is good. I wouldn't characterize it as haute cuisine, but rather good country club or yacht club food. After all, Bitter End is a yacht club. I almost didn't go to Bitter End because of all the poor food reviews in Trip Advisor. I was encouraged by the fact they had just hired a new executive chef and sous chef. They upgraded their menu and eliminated a lot of the buffets. I'm glad we took a chance. Breakfasts were very good (choice of buffet or menu). Lunches were more casual, but hearty. Dinner was different every night. Several menu choices and two special buffet nights a week (West Indies on Tues. and Seafood on Friday). I don't think we had one bad meal during our stay. The wine list was surprisingly good and reasonably priced. The two bars (Clubhouse and Pool) both made excellent tropical drinks.

One of the best aspects of Bitter End was the service. In every area of the resort, you were met with friendly hellos, interesting conversations and excellent responses to your questions. Many of the staff actually remembered our name. It made you feel like you were at your own club back home.

Bitter End is very family oriented, but not so much that couples felt comfortable. We were a couple, but we don't mind being around kids. I'd say it was about half and half between families (a couple kids) and couples. The kids were very well behaved for the most part

Every resort has some negatives and Bitter End is no exception. Thus, I did not give them top ratings in every category. The biggest problem was the remote location of the resort. Traveling from the midwest, it took us between 16 and 17 hours each way. We flew into St. Thomas via Philadelphia. That part of the trip went smoothly. But, we than had to take a taxi to the dock in Charlotte Amalie, a ferry to Roadtown, Tortola, another taxi to the dock on Beef Island, Tortola, then a ferry to Bitter End. Our ferry from St. Thomas to Roadtown was cancelled and we had to wait an hour to catch the next one. That made us late for the second ferry, which required a two hour delay in the last leg of the trip. On the return, everything ran on schedule, but the entire trip still took us 17 hours. Next time (and there will be one) we will fly directly to Tortola's Beef Island Airport and take the ferry from the end of the runway to Bitter End.

The biggest negative with the resort was the lack of room keys and the fact that there were no safes in the room. You had to use the lobby safe deposit boxes if you didn't want to leave valuables in the unlocked room. While it was convenient to not have to worry about room keys, it did make us a little uncomfortable. Virtually every resort in the world now has combination safes tucked into a closet. Bitter End should do the same.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank wolverine-traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2009

This was a delight to the eye.It was a good place to relax and rest.It has spectacular views.The staff,most are very friendly.The friendly know who they are,so no need for names.The scene I believe is a bit stuffy.It has a few more stuffy guests than I would prefer to see in one day.You know the kind in school that I did not like to hang around with.The kind that in school would not be late for school or miss a day of school.A little clicky,not the best atmosphere for my tastes.The kind that like to sing at the bar,that group was not there.That does not make them bad people,but many were not much fun.They were more into there $300 dinners for two.The owners should read this review and learn from it.Or they will become a dinosaur in the business.I do not want to believe that they would be as stuffy as some as ther guests and take the constructive criticism.I am not prejudice and I have very wealthy friends.But often people who are rich are like many sports stars...just plain boring!!!!! Not all but often many put me to sleep.And I am a very active and in good shape person so it takes an extra dose of boring to put me to sleep.I loved the villas,the snorkeling,the staff on the beyc ferry ,they were enjoyable,but even the dive staff were young and catered to the uppity's...so even the young can be boring.We loved the place and fortunately my wife is beautiful,friendly and exciting...oh and she did miss school and she was like me, never clicky ,never boring..oh! and only the boring will be offended by this review.so this review is really a self evaluation...test....but there is still time to change if you are under 75 years of age.Get out there and stop being a bore.

  • Liked — snorkeling and the views everywhere
  • Disliked — the lack of entertainment
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank kaatok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2008

Just returned from a week at the Bitter End. Great experience, lot of fun, and terriffic ambience.

I was there for seven days, my partner joining me for the last four. My main purpose in going was to take advantage of the sailing school on property and earn a basic keel boat certification (which I managed to do!).

What's great about the Bitter End is the very laid back ambience. You can spend the entire day barefoot and in your swim trunks. It's the most totally casual kind of island mood you can imagine. And of course, the location in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda is just one of those very special places in the world. You'll never forget the scenery around you.

That said, the resort is defineately tatty, not at all "fancy". Rooms are quite well situated for views, and have everything you need in them, but they are really quite basic. The bed is comfy enough, plenty of towels, and those views! On balance, what else do you need.

The staff is among the overall firendliest I've ever met in the Carribean, where, to be honest, service and satff attitude can sometimes be a problem. On the first few nights when I was there alone, the dinning room staff took extra special care of "poor" me. Front desk staff is very good. Everyone smiled and said hello, and many people addressed me by name throughout my stay.

The real point of visiting the Bitter End, however, is to take to the water. The range of boats and water crafts available is just astounding, the saling instructors are fantastic, and the range of boating activities offfered is marvellous. I would go so far as to say that if you don't enjoy being out on the water, on boats or sailboards or day sails, you really should not stay at the Bitter End. There are nicer places if all you want is a beach. But if you've got the boat gene, or want to learn to sail, this is the place for you!

The downside? Well, the food is really awful (let's just say it!). And the beaches at the property aren't really great (though they are pretty). Add in that the rooms are a little tatty (even the renovated ones) and that's the sum of my complaints. Take a look at the resorts web site -- they don't doctor the pcitures, and you'll get a good idea of what to expect.

But, overall, we had a fatastitic time. Go and learn to sail, or just sail away if you already know how to, and you'll discover a great spot.

  • Liked — The location, range of watersport activities, sailing school, super casual ambiance
  • Disliked — Poor food, fairly basic rooms, underwhleming beaches
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mike14c14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2008

My family (husband and two children 11 and 8) have just returned from a fantastic week at the Bitter End Yacht Club. We already knew it was a beautiful location having been there 18 months ago on a charter yacht. We wanted an activity holiday with lots of watersports options, hoping to encourage our younger son to take up sailing which is our big passion. But I also wanted a luxurious and relaxing break, with time for myself, and to feel like I had a real holiday. The Bitter End Yacht Club gave us everything we wanted - a beautiful location with fantastic stylish rooms, verandas overlooking the yellow sand beach and azure blue sea - and a hammock! The choice of boats from the watersports centre kept us all fully occupied - and the fact that it was all totally included in the price meant you were happy to use all facilities as much as possible. The resort was well maintained, clean and with fantastic friendly staff - the fresh water pool with its bar and food servcice made a great location for lunch every day, and we enjoyed the variety of a la carte or buffets offered in the beautiful Almond Walk restaurant every night. There was masses to do - different events on every day and excursions - or you could just pick a secluded sun lounger on one of the several choices of deserted beach around the resort and chill out, knowing the children were safe and occupied - usually snorkelling, in the pool, or doing some watersports from sailing, to kayaking or windsurfing. As an active club sailor, I also enjoyed the friendliness of the yacht club bar, and the camaraderie of the other guests. But you don't have to be a sailor or watersports enthusiast to enjoy the Bitter End; we really enjoyed the morning yoga (I never thought it was such hard work!) and the spa facilities. Can't recommend it enough - a really fantastic holiday. Any bad points? Well the mossies were apparently unusually bad so I'd recommend taking some sprays or anti-itch devices (but you could buy them from the resort shop), and it's quite a journey to get there - but really well worth it. Next time - I'd go for 2 weeks and charter the BEYC's yacht so we could have a few days touring the BVIs as well and enjoy both a land based and yacht charter holiday. High point - getting my son to love sailing - he's even keen to do it now back home in the winter.

  • Liked — stylish decor, amazing views, veranda with hammock
  • Disliked — no aircon, but was available in other rooms our choice to not have it.
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank sallysailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2008

We stayed at the Bitter end early May 2008. Overall we had a great stay, good times, great activities every day, access to boats, sail boats, snorkeling gear. Definitely go on the excursions to the baths, Normand Island beautiful snorkeling! sunset sail...
Lovely scenery and atmosphere all over the BVI. Resort grounds are very nice but beaches are narrow not as inviting as other areas.
Small pool. Great staff very helpful and responsive.
Accommodations: No room keys and safe is in the lobby area.
We were in a beach villa at first, but there were no curtains or A/C. Although temperatures are cool at night staff kindly moved us to the North suites (slightly older, currently being renovated but clean) which have curtains and A/C. All rooms require a walk uphill sometimes on unpaved roads. There are taxis/golf carts available, but after midnight lobby staff and cabs are no longer available. Food was fine, atmosphere nice, romantic, private, quiet. Good crowd at the resort. All rooms have patio and stunning views. Great place overall.

  • Liked — views
  • Disliked — no room key, lack of curtains/blinds in some room, can't black out room
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank romijude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
1 review
Reviewed 5 June 2008

This was my third trip to the Bitter End, and it was just as wonderful as my first two trips there. The rooms have a nice sea breeze, and a fantastic view of the North Sound, and of the sunset. The rooms are not luxurious, but have a mini refrigerator, a large shower, a porch, a clean bathroom, many cabinets, and a few chairs and tables, along with two comfy beds. Though your room doesn't have a tv, you don't need one, because you spend your whole day outside. The food was nothing amazing, but tasted good, and didn't get boring after a week. The beaches are large, quite empty, and have pavilions. The staff seem friendly, and are willing to accommodate your needs. The water sports are excellent, and take you on an optional trip every day, such as snorkeling, sailing, or exploring other islands, or places on virgin gorda. If you aren't satisfied with where the scheduled trips take you, then you can charter a boat, and go wherever you want. The resort has a large variety of boats that you can sail around the north sound, such as Hobie Cats, kayaks, whalers, optis, and more. I plan on going back next year.

  • Liked — staff, beach, food, day trips, water sports
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank johnothan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2008

My husband and my 2 1/2 year old daughter visited the Bitter End in April. It was our fourth trip to the Bitter End (my 6th) and the first visit with our daughter. I have always said that what you pay for at the Bitter End are the outdoor activities and the beautiful setting on North Sound. There are so many things to do and EVERYTHING is included. We're sailors, so having the clubfeet of hobie cats, lasers, windsurfers, kiteboarding, kayaks, sunfish and daysailers at our disposal, not to mention that every day there is a day trip somewhere fabulous on either their sailing Catamaran or large double decker powerboat has made it worth it to us. You get up in the morning, throw on your swimsuit and coverup, have breakfast on the water loooking out over North Sound, go for a day trip, or if staying behind, take out a Hobie cat, play on the beach, take a snorkel trip (2 local snorkel trips offered daily), lunch, beach or then to the pool - some combinatin of this means you're outside all day long.

We only head back to the room when it's time to get ready for dinner. And this is a good thing, because for years we have stayed in the North Sound Suites and they are barebones (no tvs, etc.) and in serious need of some updating. (I've heard the Beachfront villas on the otherside of the resort are wonderful since they were renovated a few years ago.) We stay in the suites because they have a/c. Our suite this year was particularly disappointing (thick dust on light fixtures, sticky counter tops) although when we called down to complain it was cleaned immeditately. While cleaner, it was still old. Also, with a toddler who needs a nap, we were in the room more often than in past years, this was unfortunate.

Beacuse we had our daughter with us, who was too young for the kids club and the day trips and snokeling, we spent most of our time on the beach and at the pool. The pool is lovely but there are better beaches in the Caribbean. Also, there are a lot of steps to the rooms up in the hills. So my advice is to wait on the Bitter End until your youngest is at least 5. Especially when you consider that to get to the Bitter End you take two planes and a boat -- all the travel and transfering can be hard on a little one.

The service is very, very good. There was some mix up with the provisioning I had requested when we arrived, however, everyone I have ever come in contact with at the Bitter End has been lovely, friendly and helpful. They were so sweet to my daughter, and housekeeping went above and beyond on more than one occasion for us. (Washed our daughter's much need blankies in less than 2 hours so she could have them for bed.) You are on island time but the staff really does care. The excellent water sports staff is also willing to go the extra mile and is knowlegable and accomodating.

The food is good when ordering a la carte. If you stick to the meal plan, you could eat all three meals in the same restaurant. There's a pub that's not on the meal plan with pizzas and burger (a sailor/chartering hangout) but lunch at the pool is included. They'll also bring drinks and lunch to you on the beach.

Also, skip Leverick Bay (across the Sound from BEYC), we took out a Bradly (22' powerboat) to have lunch there one day and waited over 2 HOURS for a terrible lunch. We will never return.

The Bitter End is a laid back sailor's paradise that may be in need of some updating. However, if you're outside all day anyway, it's not that big of a deal. Speaking of deals, the Bitter End is one of the best in the Caribbean. Everything, all excursions, meals, some drinks, watersports, sunset cruises is included in their Admiral's package plan. We'll return again and again.

If you go, pack light and casual, you really will spend the day in your swimsuit and only get dressed for dinner.

  • Liked — Views of the Sound from the Balcony, enormous outdoor/indoor shower room
  • Disliked — Outdated furnishings, could have been cleaner
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank alimom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bitter End Yacht Club

Property: Bitter End Yacht Club
Address: Virgin Gorda
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Virgin Gorda > North Sound
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in North Sound
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Bitter End Yacht Club 4*
Number of rooms: 85
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Also Known As:
Bitter End Yacht Club Hotel North Sound
Bitter End Yacht Hotel
Bitter End Yacht Resort
Bitter End Yacht Club British Virgin Islands/Virgin Gorda

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