Once you are tired of the gold and glitter of St Barths, St Tropez, Mauritius, and Maldives and have visited the various "hideaway" resorts from Aman, Four Season, or other exclusive 5* chain - perhaps you are ready for a real luxury family vacation.
The location is probably as "in" as you can possibly find anywhere in world. North Sound on Virgin Gorda. Here there are no roads, only small sail&motor vessels from the resort and visiting yacht renters/owners sailing by. One mile to the north lies Google founder Larry Page private island Eustacia. A further mile north you will find the favorite haunt of Hollywood elite; Richard Branson's Necker Island where they pay more than $ 40.000 a night. To the south inside the same bay lies Yacht Club Costa Smeralda new multimillion dollar harbour for superyachts 80 feet and up. And to the east - Oil Nut Bay, Caribeans most exclusive villa development. So why are the rich and famous flocking to this area? miles and miles of untouched coastline, gorgeous beaches with turquise water, and unbelievable year round weather. But perhaps most importantly - absolutely no mass tourism. The few small resorts that are here are spread over hundreds, if not thousand of acres.
BEYC is heaven for activity seeking kids of all ages. But this is probably is not the place to be if you prefer lazy days in a sunbed lapping up cheap Pina Coladas listening to Jimmy Buffet pipped over some resort-wide stereo system. Nor if what you are looking for is a week of party. And if you don't like walking a bit - this is a LARGE resort - certainly not in terms of guest, but it is a good 25 minute walk from one side of the resort to another. So most people that come here and love it, are people that enjoy having lots of fun & privacy while meeting likeminded people in a friendly easygoing active atmosphere. And especially those that love to sail, snorkel or scuba! This is Mecca for those enjoy playing in, on or under the sea. Joe and his plentifull watersports team of 8(!) instructors (always with a smile) helps you out with a boat or a board. There is world-class diving and snokling with great sights and a amazing array of fish with Shaun and the diving guys. Scott &Ross do their utmost to get new and experienced kiteboarders some good wind and a just great guys.
A typical day for our family of five was breakfast at 8, the youngest soon running off to join new friends in the Kids Club with some water activity (snorkeling, beginner course in sailing, sandcastle competition etc), the two older teens either kitboarding, windsurfing or scubadiving. A noon meeting for a great healthy lunch served right next to the water, then soon running off again to sail either a Hobie, a Lazer, a Sunfish, a Bug, or anything else that floats. My wife and I might take out one of the many Boston Whalers they have and go on a expedition to some empty beach on one of the many uninhabited islands near by, or do yoga with an instructor on the dock, or even chill on the beautiful beach with a book. But most likely I will soon run off again for some new sailing fun. By the time sunset comes, we will all have sailed, surf'd, scuba'd/snorkled countless hours. Now is a great time to relax on our cabin deck in one of the hammocks or lounge chairs and excitedly tell about the days adventure. The youngest saw her first sting-ray, a wild dolphin playing about and array of exotic fish. I circled around a large turtle with a Hobie for nearly 10 minutes. My wife tells about seeing her first lemon shark. The teenagers admitting they are scarily looking forward to a dive exploring a 140 year old shipwreck tomorrow. We are all now hungry for a hearty dinner with day-fresh fish, or huge lobsters accompanied by a wide choice of great salads. Desserts are my speciality and I can attest that they are all great. Thanks Chef Winston!
If you feel the need for a change of scenery once in a while, eating at one of the "neighbourhood" restaurants is fun and easy - just borrow a boat and go. There is Saba Rock 2 minutes away, YCCS, Fat Virgin cafe or Biras Creek about 5 minutes - all with very different atmosphere and price levels. But believe me, an meal at BEYC with Beluah and her great staff is by far the coziest and best alternative. Special mention must go to Mr. "Cool" Kerlon who cheers up the sleepy-eyes in the morning with his jokes, stories and smiles while cooking up some great omlettes with "a special bit of magic".
The cabins are just that - cabins. We stayed in a premium beachfront unit with two rooms with a common large terrace. The rooms are rustic, with roughly cut wooden walls and roof, and mahogony floors and furniture. The bathrooms are large and offer a beautiful full view of the blue lagoon just below. This is not Las Vegas, so do not expect marble and gold faucets. But the beds are great, and everything is clean and sturdy. The real treat ofcourse is the view, both from inside the room and from the porch. This same standard runs though the entire resort. Sturdy furniture mostly out of mahogony, much of it home made. There are artifacts from boats and ships spread throughout the entire resort, priceless orignal lamps from some lost treasure mixed with hundreds of donated sailboat flags adorning the main dining room celing. Sure there is some rust here and there, some broken tiles or lamps. Yes there might be mosquitos or mice (although we unfortunatly never saw any), but there is also Iguanas, pelicans, turtles and any number of exotic other animals or fish. This is real nature, not the Disney version. Yet there is very little "roughing it" at Bitter End. You might awake to the sound of the friendly garden crew in their daily raking of the beach. Or partake in the morning yoga session on the hidden exercise dock. Or even have a massage in a cabin up on a hill overlooking the entire North Sound. Hollidays are great at BEYC, just not in the traditional bland way of "designer resorts".
The heart of Bitter End main buildings are spread along a long dock that runs (interupted by the watersports beach) for about 1/2 mile. Here is a provisioning store for visiting sailboats and yachts, a popular pub&cafe, a scuba center, a general store with everything from shirts to watches, a outdoor cinema, an open aired reception area, a women clothing store, and finally the large dining area including the renown bar. All kept in a cozy, old maritime style. Along these docks and piers there is constant action - dozens of dingy's from moored sailboats, tenders from various private yachts, a privileged few vessels having secured a valuable dock place, some courtesy watertaxis from BEYC or nearby resorts, but most of all lots of Boston Whalers, kayaks, windsurfers and sailboats from the watersports center coming or going with some guest aboard.
So if you are a happy, active healthy family or couple wanting a great, fun & adventurous vacation I can think of no better place to go. And at a price that is basically a steal. So run and book your holliday, your family will thank you forever - because this is a place where dreams are reyalized and memories made
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.