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Bitter End Yacht Club
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Reviewed 3 January 2010

While this is a very late review, I think it speaks volumes hat I remember every detail of the trip as if it were yesterday. We were a large group with three teenagers and everyone had a blast. The focus is on sailing. The fleet of boats available allowed us to stay in the water all day, explore the small islands nearby and have great adventures. The windsurfing is spectacular here--now that I kite I am looking forward to going back. If you are a sailor, this is the vacation for you. If you don't sail, take lessons! All inclusive meals were prepared fresh each day. We liked the staff and they were very attentive. They had a nice new Years Celebration to mark the turn from 1999 to 2000.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank Edward V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2009

Here's an insider's view of Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC), and the British Virgin Islands (BVI's) in general. I lived and worked there for a few years, and just wanted to share some insights on Paradise!

Layout - Virgin Gorda and Tortola are the 2 main islands in the BVI's. On the Northern side of Virgin Gorda is a large, open expanse of water called the North Sound. Roughly in the shape of a large circle, created by reefs and islands, it makes for a totally unique environment protected from the open water of the Atlantic. For example, waves and swells on the outside can range up to 20 feet in height while inside the North Sound, there might be no waves and 2 foot swells, but the open ocean wind is still the same! The result is an incredible environment for watersports like no other on the planet!

There are several resorts located in the North Sound as well as BEYC, but BEYC is the hub of all activity, whether scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkeling, dining, dancing, sightseeing, exploring, hiking...You name it...All adventures in the BVI's ultimately come in contact with Bitter End, which can often resemble a small adventure city!

Local Culture - The BVI's have a distinct culture that may be a little foreign to visitors, but is not difficult to navigate at all. Probably the biggest thing to remember is to just be friendly with a smile, and a "hello" to whomever you come into contact with.

I could probably write a book on this topic, but if you just do those simple things, you will be welcomed warmly, and will discover some of the richness of the island soul, and perhaps make some lifelong friends! The people in the BVI's are a rich treasure all to themselves. You will be amazed and fascinated by the personalities, stories, and experiences that you will encounter just by being friendly!

Activities – By virtue of the layout of the North Sound, BEYC is one of the best destinations in the world for watersports, no exaggeration!

Sailing is an incredible activity with a worldwide community all its own. In the North Sound and the BVI’s, an expert sailor will have the time of his life exploring and adventuring. He will come in contact with a great many of his peers, and can either sail leisurely, or push the limits of his expertise if he chooses.

For the beginner or intermediate sailor, the same is true, and you will find that your skills increase exponentially in a very short period of time. Bitter End has an incredible fleet of boats ranging from very small (6ft) to mid-size (30-40ft) crafts. Actually, Bitter End has a larger “navy” than a great many countries! Over 100 boats, use them!

There is always a steady wind from the open ocean, coming at a distinct point of sail, so it’s perfect conditions for learning and developing boat maneuvering.

Windsurfing and Kite-Surfing, all I can say is WOW! Many professional caliber events are held in the North Sound, and it is a common sight to see windsurfers zipping across the water at 40-plus miles per hour. But don’t be intimidated if you are new to the sport because it’s easy to get started, and there is nothing that compares to the adrenaline rush once you get going!

With all of the Watersports, Bitter End is phenomenal because of an exceptional staff who are always on hand to patiently teach and assist, many of them renowned and competitive sailors or windsurfers from a variety of countries.

Scuba and snorkeling are amazing activities as well to explore the reefs and shipwrecks that are scattered around the BVI’s. Kilbrides Scuba is a highly respected and well-known operation that resides on-site at BEYC. The water is unbelievably clear and calm, allowing great visibility. It is also relatively shallow which makes it easy for the novice to experience shipwrecks, which are normally require extensive certification due to depth.

Again, Bitter End is like a small city at the foot of a small mountain. There are no roads, but there are some amazing hiking trails winding across the mountain, that offer views that will take your breath away. In my mind, I often think of a day that I sat on a rock and just watched a large stingray searching for food on the reef…A couple hours, I was just entranced, watching him!

As for exploring, and especially for couples, if you have a little sense of adventure, it is easy to find deserted and secluded beaches, away from everybody else. While they are not heavily advertised, they are there! For a romantic getaway, I guarantee this is something you will remember forever!

As far as nightlife, there are quite a few restaurants, and bars, if you know where to look. They range from elegant and sophisticated, award-winning experiences to the young, party-hard crowd. Steel drum bands, reggae, and calypso rhythms fill the air like a warm breeze, and the nights hold their own adventures and magic.

A few little mentioned bits and pieces follow…

The pricing structure at BEYC is all-inclusive which means that by staying there, you get an incredible bang for your buck, meals, activities, sailing lessons, amenities, etc. Hard to overstate this dynamic as many things can be expensive once you are there.

Be prepared to lose contact with the outside world…Cell-phones, internet, and even electricity are not always reliable. But do not stress, embrace it! Island life moves at a much more relaxed pace than you might be used to, though in some ways it moves much faster... :-)

Again, be friendly to everyone! Say “hello”! Everyone is equal and also extra-special in the islands! :-)

One thing that I love about Bitter End is that it becomes a generational tradition for so many people. Your children will have the adventure of their lifetime there, and will return with their own children in the future…It just becomes a part of you! This is an incredible dynamic that I have seen played out time and time again, and is a wonderful Club to join.

In closing, feel free to let me know if this was helpful, and, if you are travelling to the BVI’s or Bitter End, let me know…I will be happy to field any questions or provide helpful tips, suggestions, contacts, etc.

Enjoy!

Stayed: October 2009, travelled on business
12  Thank DGreeny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2009

Cannot say enough good things about this hotel/resort. Be sure to stay on the beachfront side. Beautiful rooms, excellent service, great food. Sherry will make sure your breakfast is perfect! Eva will meet and greet you and help you find the perfect room. Charles will take your luggage wherever it needs to go. Sabrina will happily serve you in the Pub. Claudette will soothe your muscles in a relaxing massage. Spent 4 nights here and we will be back!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CaliforniaHarmony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2009

Well I havent been to them all, but having stayed three times at BEYC, I have stopped looking. It has the feel of a sailing club, relaxed, friendly and loads to do.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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Thank johnnyal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2009

My husband and I spent 5 nights here, after spending 4 nights at Mango Bay, where we had basically relaxed on the beach for a few days. We thought mixing up that, with all of the activities available at Bitter End would be a good mix, and it was. We aren't sailors (if you are, I imagine Bitter End is nirvana) but stayed here because of all their daily snorkel excursions, as well as the free access to their dingyys, which enable you to go and explore on your own. Our room had a fantastic view - partially of Saba Rock and the open ocean, where every afternoon at two, we were able to watch the kite surfers from our porch. Make sure if you don't like to walk far, to let them know you would like a room closer to the main restaurant. We only had a 5 minute walk, but after you've done that back and forth 10 times each day, I was glad we weren't in some of the rooms which were even further away from the main area. The staff are all amazingly nice and helpful, obviously well trained. We were on the package which included all meals which of course meant we ate way more than normal, but the food was very good, and lots of selections especially on the buffet nites. The rooms are really fantastic, if you like the style - I felt like I was in a really well appointed tree house...if you just want a place to sit on the beach this probably isn't the best choice, as the swimming 'areas' I didn't think were that hot. However if you like to take trips to snorkel in a lot of different spots,eat great food, stay in a unique place, this is definitely a place to consider.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank harleysvillesue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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