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.
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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