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“Something for Everyone!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bitter End Yacht Club

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Bitter End Yacht Club
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Virgin Gorda   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in North Sound
Paris, France
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Something for Everyone!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Our family has stayed here five times and have enjoyed every minute of this relaxing spot. No tv's and no WiFi in your room means everyone has a restful sleep. Rustic, but peaceful decor set the tone for relaxation. Read a book in the hammock on your private porch with incredible views of the crystal blue waters below or set off on a snorkel adventure. You can rest on the beach or sail to your heart's content in the protected waters just steps away from your room.
The food is included in your stay and changes daily so you won't get bored. Open air BBQ or celebratory dinners are served beachside with fantastic fungi bands playing traditional island music make the evenings truly special! Winston, the pastry chef will spoil you rotten with his delicious desserts and the staff will become your best friend by the end of your stay.
It's not cheap, but it's a sure thing for a family trip. Couples will love the privacy and ability to have intimate private dinners and massages on the beach. There is literally something for everyone!

Room Tip: Make sure to book the Admiral's package if you enjoy water sports and excursions. That way they...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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327 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wilton, Connecticut
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Part are a bit tired and the food occasionally leaves something to be desired, but BEYC is stil the one for service, amenities and all you need in Virgin Gorda. Service at the pool is a must, and the mini beaches are actuall a treat. Go to the ocean side ( away form the bay) for the original view, from 1492 ( kinda), and skip the Anegada trip - you should go there on your own. I'll be back

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

if you want a fancy schmancy place with wifi, bells, whistles, crazy spa ammenities and turkish bath towels - go to biras creek. if you want friendly staff, total relaxation, great sailing, delicious lemon crush drinks, and to simply drop-out - than BEYC is perfect. While some people complain there is a lack of beaches, clearly those people did not try taking a boat anywhere - you can paddleboard, take a whaler, sail any of the myriad boats about 200 yards to gorgeous private sand beaches. The hotel rooms are sparse - but there' just for late night activities or sleeping anyway. The food is noticeably blah, but that's the BVI - they just can't seem to get good chefs or fresh vegetables. And while you have to go out of your way to find wifi and connect to the office... isn't that why you take vacation?!

Room Tip: no need for AC because of the always-present breeze, so save the $$ and get the beachfront not north...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

If you’re into a vacation filled with water sports and rustic accommodations, then the Bitter End Yacht Club is the place to be! We split our time between BEYC and a 5 star resort (on Scrub Island), so we experienced the best of both worlds. This all-inclusive offers a wonderful variety of food, incredible views, and many, many activities. This resort really catered to families. We often spent our day aboard a catamaran or power boat heading off to a nearby island or discovering VG North Sound.

Pros:
• Accommodations: the room steward was on top of it! Rooms were kept tidy; fresh linens every day; yummy-smelling toiletries; evening turn-down service.
• Cost: You can’t beat the cost since it includes accommodations, activities, all water-sports, excursions and food!
• Food: There is a nice variety of restaurants on the BEYC property that offer good tasting, abundant food. We didn’t have one bad meal.
• Water sports: there was always a Catamaran, a Kayak, a Powerboat and Paddle Boards available to take out. We never had to wait for something to be returned. The water sports staff was always enthusiastic and very knowledgeable.
• To do: there are so many things to do. Take a boat out to Saba Rock restaurant; take one of the many free snorkel excursions offered; take a boat to a nearby island (e.g. Leverick, Prickly Pear, etc); a visit to The Baths/Devil’s Bay is a must. BEYC also offers many excursions which were a bit over-priced, but fun.
• Overall: We absolutely plan on visiting again. You will find most of the guests were repeat guests from as long ago as 30 years.

Cons:
• Accommodations: the rooms are VERY rustic. We joked that our room was literally at the Bitter End. We had the furthest room on the South Side. It was a long walk from the main office/restaurant to our room, only to be trumped by the EIGHT FLIGHTS OF STAIRS to get to our room. When we registered, they already had our room reserved without seeing whether or not we could physically handle the walk/climb. So, when booking your room, make sure you request a “low room” if you don’t want the trek. All Garden Villa rooms are higher up. We didn’t mind the walk/climb. The view was a wonderful pay off!
• Cost: Since alcohol was not included, drinks tended to be expensive. But, then again, I’ve yet to find a resort or vacation spot where the drinks were cheap and strong.
• Process: they don’t seem to have a proper process in place. We always received a ‘tab’ after our meals. Sometimes there was a charge zeroed-out, other times there wasn’t a charge – it was blank. Sometimes the gratuity was included; sometimes it wasn’t, so check your receipts! On the last day of our stay I went to the front desk to tell them we were checking out and we would need to settle our tab (costs incurred from gift stores, provisions, etc). She said we were all settled-up (I had a credit card on file), and good-to-go, only to have them stop our Ferry and hour later asking us to settle our tab! Did I miss something here? Also, a few charges were missing from our tab. Again, their lack of process was cause for their oversight.
• Dining/Tipping: The wait staff didn’t seem to have a process for telling the BEYC guests apart from people coming in for the day. In fact, on Thanksgiving we had the most amazing meal, and the service was spectacular till we told her we were guests of the resort (all-inclusive). Immediately, there went the great service. She never came back. We did tip her very well, but that didn’t seem to change anything. Unfortunately, most of the wait staff look like they would rather be somewhere else.
• Mosquitoes: Bring DEET!!! They provide a can in every room – use it!
• Dinner reservations: You are required to make dinner reservations, which was a pain because we often forgot. If you plan to vacation during tropical storm season (we did) always get a table that is under an awning. We were caught twice eating when a storm hit and BEYC was very slow to make accommodations. Both times we just sat and ate in the rain.
• Food: Our biggest gripe was they kept running out of Lobster. Even during BEYC’s celebrated “Lobster Night” they ran out within 30 mins. The Poolside Restaurant is known for their Lobster Salad, but I don’t know who would have recommended it since they were out of Lobster every single day. I actually told the COO about this and she just shrugged. My recommendation is when you make your dinner reservation make sure to reserve a Lobster, too.
• Water sports: As a single couple we have no complaints. But on many occasions we saw children getting into boats w/o life jackets. One time we saw a powerboat, manned by two 10 year olds who had driven it all the way in Leverick Bay (no life jackets). I asked where their parents were and they didn’t know. So parents please don’t rely on the BEYC staff for your child’s safety.
• BEYC Excursions: Instead of paying the high BEYC excursion price to The Baths, we took a Ferry out to James Beach, grabbed one of “Potter’s Taxi Service” cabs (reservations can be made via BEYC) and taxied to The Baths. The cost of the taxi ride and entry fee was $40.00 for the two of us and we stayed there as long as we wanted. The Baths excursion via BEYC is over $100/pp and we were told they give you the “bum’s rush” to hurry through The Baths.
• Package Upgrade: Don’t upgrade your package to Admiral. The food is the same, the excursion costs are the same (though it reads differently on their site), and the only difference is it costs more.
• Yacht Shots: this is the professional photographer for BEYC. Even though the sign on the door reads they’re open, they are in fact closed on Sunday. We went there on a Sunday to pick up our photos before departure only to leave empty handed.

Room Tip: The rooms are VERY rustic. We joked that our room was literally at the Bitter End. We had the furt...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Auburn, Maine
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We have been several times and it is always nice to go back. The location is fantastic, and although they are known for sailing and their fleet of boats, you can do as much or as little as you want. The food has always been good but it seemed to be even better than I remembered. I vacationed with my wife and two boys 18 and 16. We have been snorkeling in the past but gave scuba a try. We took the resort course offered and went on five dives. We are hooked. We are already talking about going back. We can't wait.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

After 25 years of serious travel all over the world, from Santorini to Bora Bora, we found paradise in our relative backyard at the Bitter End Yacht Club. If I tried to detail every positive experience, this article could turn into a novel. So, I’ll try to just describe our highlights, and first and foremost would have to be the absolutely wonderful BEYC staff. Never in all our travels have I hugged so many people goodbye. It was very special. Plaudits should go to the managers, Mary Jo and the COO Sandra Grisham. They have assembled an all-star staff.

The Bitter End Yacht Club is, arguably, the preeminent yachting resort in the Caribbean. I had
heard about the Bitter End years before I actually visited. My Father was an avid sailor and raced his
Resolute every summer weekend on Long Island Sound. I was usually called upon to crew, along with a couple of his buddies. I was not along for my expertise. My Pop rightly figured I could get into less trouble if I was with him. My Pop and his buddies talked all the time about chartering a boat to sail the British Virgin Islands, and BEYC was always a part of that plan. Alas, they never did the trip.

Like many BEYC guests, I first visited the resort while on a cruise ship. Almost immediately, I realized this was a place I wanted to come back to for a real stay. While we were at the resort, I asked to see all three types of rooms and got a real feeling about what I wanted to do. I fell in love with the Beachfront Cottages, high up on the hill above North Beach. The next year, we were there for a land trip. Our first trip, I over-packed very badly, bringing sports coats and dress slacks. I nearly killed the poor gentleman trying to lug our bags up to our villa on the hilltop. But that never happened again.
All you really need are shorts, a polo or two and flip flops, even at Dinner.

Accommodations

Three types of rooms are available to suit different tastes. The Beachfront Villas were much like our
Overwater bungalows in Tahiti in terms of layout and feel. Tucked into the hillside, you get the feeling of camping out in luxury. There are trade winds blowing night and day, and combined with
the ceiling fan over the bed, the villas are always comfortable. I love them. The Premium Beachfront Villas seem to be identical except they have air conditioning. I’ve always gone to BEYC in April or May, and unless you like sleeping in a meat locker-type climate, there was no need for A/C. In August, it may be different, I really don’t know. The third room option is the North Sound suites
located at the other end of the resort. They are very nice, with an A-frame look to them, but more like a traditional resort room. They were not for us. The Beachfront Cottages are open all around but screened to discourage bugs. A terrace wraps all around the cottage and has a two-person hammock ideal for late afternoon siestas. The shower is screened in with wooden slats which open floor to ceiling, giving you the feeling of showering outdoors and featuring a gorgeous sea-view panorama.




The Resort

Unlike most of the ships and resorts I’ve covered in these pages, the Bitter End Yacht Club is definitely a vacation for the whole family. There are two different programs for kids, one for ages 5-12, the other for kids 13-17 years old. But don’t get the wrong idea. BEYC has plans that are aimed at romance, and can make this as sensual and intimate a vacation as you want it to be. Bottom line, there is something here to love for everybody. And although it is a yachting resort, you need not be a sailor to find a million things to do. Whether it be getting certified for scuba, trail hiking, yoga classes,
snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, learning to sail at the Sailing School, watching movies at the Sand Palace,
or just lounging by the gorgeous pool before your massage at the Spa, ranked a World’s Best by Conde Nast, there are unlimited possibilities for every taste. And if you are a sailor, choose from 100 vessels and get out there. I love the Hobie Cats. And to explore the area, you can’t beat a Boston Whaler. Oh, and don’t miss the day-long excursion to Anegada replete with sweet lobsters and fabulous snorkeling.

Our Typical Day at BEYC

Susie and I are up just before sunrise brewing up a pot of coffee from the provisions provided in the Villa. Sunrise is when the big rays come to shore to feed, and although we are high up on the hill,
my zoom lens brings me right to the lapping waves. We watch the rays and sip our coffee out on the wrap-around terrace as the sun rises out of the sea. We are the first ones at breakfast or close to it. I like to eat a big breakfast as my lunch will be just freshly-caught fish and salad. We have brought all our suntan creams, books and sundries and set up in chaise lounges. Susie works and is not a water person. Her perfect day is reading, tanning, dozing and occasional dips in the unbelievably perfect water. In short, pure relaxation. I am retired and am a fanatic water person. I cannot sit still. I may put my things on a chaise lounge but it is unlikely I will ever sit in it. I take a morning swim and then a walk. The grounds are beautiful, bursting with flowers of every persuasion. At mid-morning, I grab my mask, fins and snorkel and join Captain Kinto for the morning snorkeling excursion aboard the Ponce de Leon. These excursions visit reefs nearby including two of Sir Richard Branson’s islands, Necker and Mosquito. I’ve come to like Kinto and he makes all the dives fun. He calls me the “Hot Mess.” I like to think affectionately. Or maybe not? After the dives as we skim across the crystal clear water, you can choose from Kinto’s jug of rum punch or water and soft drinks. I’d love a rum punch, but have bid farewell to booze, so water will have to do.

We arrive back at the pier just as lunch is being served. I order whatever is today’s catch of the day
and head up to the extensive salad bar. The kitchen makes a creamy pepper dressing which is to kill for. After lunch, I return to the salad bar and hit the fruit section with mango, papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon and other treats. I’m so proud of my dietary discipline that I can almost overlook that it was creamy pepper dressing.

After lunch, Susie returns to her reverie while I take out a Hobie Cat. Although I had been raised sailing, I hadn’t done it in forty years, and I went out with a friend twice just to get my bearings back.
Turns out everything came back to me, and for the rest of the trip, I took a Hobie out every day. I return to the dock in time to catch Kinto’s afternoon snorkeling trip. By the time we get back, I’m pretty beat and it’s time to head over to North Beach and check out the kite boarders. The wind picks up noticeably in the afternoons and watching these guys is a blast. There is a small jetty which runs out a ways into the water and has a thatched roof and chaise lounges. It also happens to be right where the kite boarders do their thing, so you know I have my camera. This is good for about 45 minutes and then the sun and sea begin to catch up with me. With the continuous trade winds blowing, it is easy to lose track of how much sun you’re getting. And with my English-Scottish complexion, I would probably beat Johnny Winter in a tanning contest, but not by much. Be smart, use a high SPF sunscreen and reapply.

As I sit and watch, I am greatly entertained by the never-ending battle between the pelicans and the black-headed gulls. If there is another name for the gulls, I don’t know what it is, so black-headed gulls they will be. Every time a pelican makes his kamikaze dive into the surf after spotting a fish from the air, the gulls are all over him. They sit on his back while he smartly keeps his head underwater until the fish is secured in his bill. Even then when he raises his head out of the water, the gulls are trying to poke their bills into the corner of his mouth. This does not end, and the pelicans seem to accept this with a Job-like resignation, like this is part of the pelican job description. Funnier still is when the pelicans decide to take a break and doze in the sun, there is always a gull or two who go and join him. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Who knows?

I’ve decided that the hammock on our villa deck is sounding really good, so I decide to head back to the room. I pass two young boys who have gotten two land crabs out of the rocks and are trying to race them. There are obstacles to land crab racing; a lot of them. For one, neither crab seems to be particularly eager to go anywhere. Then, when they do move, it is never at the same time nor in the same direction. I encountered a similar quandary when I went to Woodstock in 1969 and tried to walk three bullfrogs on a rhinestone-studded poodle leash. It was an interesting concept but difficult to put into practice. Watching the land crab “race”, I had the feeling that I could nap, shower, shave and dress and be back before the stretch run. I returned to the villa’s hammock, where the trade winds rocked me to sleep. Susie returned and woke me when it was time to shower for dinner.

Dinner for me was very similar to lunch. There are always steaks, chops and other alternatives available, but I live in New York City where I can always have these kinds of things. A piece of broiled fish just hours out of the water is something I can’t get all the time. So we generally adapt our vacation menus to where we happen to be, the local specialties.

After Dinner, as we stroll back to our villa, a brief rain shower passes over. This happens virtually every day. And after, a breathtaking rainbow fills the horizon. You never get tired of these kinds of scenes.

We reach our villa and it is very early, barely 8:30 PM. But I’m thinking shower, a little reading and bed. You can’t get up at sunrise, be moving all day and then break into party mode. I’ve had exactly the kind of day I had hoped for; there is nothing more to add to it. There may very well be good nightlife at BEYC. I’m just the wrong guy to ask.

In closing, I just want to give a shout out to some of the BEYC staff who made the resort feel like home to us. I know I’ll forget some people, and my apologies. At check-in, Kesheem immediately charmed us, as did Vonda. The entire group at Reception was warm, caring and made us feel like family. When we were checking out, we genuinely felt that they were very sorry to see us leave. In the Restaurant, we fell in love with Restaurant manager Maureen, Ophelia (I kept asking after Hamlet), Beverly, Beulah, Burton and frankly, everyone who served us. I will miss some names here who should be recognized for their excellence, but suffice it to say everyone was a winner. At the Bar, we had many fun, lively discussions with Titus and Willis. They took great care of us. Kinto, Maureen’s son, made the snorkeling excursions cool and memorable. There are thousands of beautiful resorts all over the world, and Sue and I have been fortunate enough to visit a great many of them. But a resort is only as good as the people who make it run. I had the chance to get to know Sandra Grisham, the co-manager and found her warm, easy to talk with and exceptionally competent. She gets it. Bitter End Yacht Club has a wonderful, warm staff. This is a resort we will keep going back to again and again. Virgin Gorda has a number of fine resorts. In the all important “Bang-for-the Buck” category, I place BEYC at the top.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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New Hampshire
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Just recently spent a week at the BItter End and can't wait to go back. Yes, it is a little difficult to get to, but that makes it even more special. Arriving by ferry is a great experience and you're welcomed by a staff member right at the dock. We went during the ProAm Regatta week and what they say is so true: you can do as much as you want or as little as you want. There are plenty of activities for those so inclined, but you can also just sit back, relax and do nothing if that's your thing. For us, it was a great combination of both. The staff is warm, friendly and always willing to help. While we climbed 87 steps to get to our room, the view and privacy were wonderful and it helped burn a few calories after the great meals! All-in-all a great place! We've been blessed to have had the opportunity to travel frequently and the BEYC is on the "return to" list for sure!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Bitter End Yacht Club

Address: Virgin Gorda
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Virgin Gorda > North Sound
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in North Sound
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bitter End Yacht Club 4*
Number of rooms: 85
Reservation Options:
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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 Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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