I spent December 13 – 19, 2012 on Peter Island. I was a little apprehensive about traveling to the resort solo, but it was a wonderful, relaxing, beautiful vacation and much needed respite from a busy and cold Northeast in the U.S.
The property is gorgeous, the staff almost uniformly wonderful and friendly, and the food (unfortunately with the notable exception of deserts) was usually delicious. I had a few problems, mostly with my room and explained below, but that was not enough to detract from my high rating.
The Property. The property is itself is beautiful and the facilities are well maintained. The main beach, Deadman’s Beach, has a gorgeous view, white sand that stayed cool in the hot sun, and it has plenty of shade under coconut palms and thatched umbrellas for folks like me who like to sit outside and stare at the ocean, but don’t like to get much sun. The beach is not wide, so it’s a short walk from the road to the comfortable cushioned beach chairs and a short walk to the water’s edge. Given that the resort only has 50+ accommodations – at least while I was there – the beach was never crowded and always quiet. (I did select chairs some distance from the restaurant bar, but I never got the sense that it became rowdy).
On one day I went to White Bay beach and had the resort deliver a picnic lunch. The beach is nice and apparently the snorkeling is good at the far end (but mediocre where I went in, closer to the where they dropped me off and closer to the center of the beach). The sand is different, and got very, very hot. The only shade is under fairly rustic wooden open structures the resort generously calls “cabanas” and the beach chairs are not of the cushioned variety. They are your typical cheap vinyl slat-type chair. It was nice to be on a different beach, but give me Deadman’s any day of the week.
The Service. Staff members made a largely successful effort to learn the names of guests and greet everyone at meals or just along the resort by name. That was a wonderful touch. I got the sense that everyone was genuinely nice.
On the beach, a very nice staff member most days walked down the beach distributing flags to use to signal her if guests wanted to order drinks / food. While a great touch, the restaurant at least on one day did not carefully monitor the flags and I ended up waiting 30 minutes before giving up. (The server was lovely, and when serving someone at the next umbrella, came over to ask if I wanted anything…. at the time a rum drink just seemed right).
I had one massage. I’ve only had a few professional massages before, so have little to compare it to, but it was mediocre.
I did one afternoon snorkel trip arranged through the dive shop on the property. The skipper / dive master was friendly and helpful. The only problem was that the front desk was less than knowledgeable about what the dive shop could do for snorkel trips. The front desk really should know what can be done and be able to book it.
Most of my time was spent alternating among staring at the ocean, reading, and napping. Perfect.
The Food. The food was usually delicious. While I was there, breakfast was served in the “main” dining space, Tradewinds, which is close to the Ocean View rooms, the pool and reception. Lunch was at the beach restaurant and dinner usually alternated between the two restaurants. (Despite the way the resort describes it, there are really only two restaurants and each has its own bar). Deserts were uniformly disappointing with the exception of the Bananas Foster on the night there was a buffet for dinner. A chocolate crème brulee, for instance, was not a custard and did not have a bruleed top. It was just a thick, mediocre pudding.
It would be nice to see more local flavors on the menus. Yes, there were lots of seafood choices for dinner, but not all of it was local. At lunch, there were conch fritters and always a choice of roti with some curry, but that was pretty much it by way of local flavors.
The Room. I stayed in an Ocean View room. It was fine, but no more than that. It was on the ground floor and the patio was protected by lots of foliage, thereby blocking both the breeze and any real view of the ocean. The cushions on the furniture were stained or dirty. I spent little time in the room anyway.
The room was where some things were less than wonderful.
First, when I made my reservation, I told the representative that I had a minor physical disability and asked if I could have a shower bench. She told me that would be no problem, but they had no other accommodations, including no hand shower. It turned out that my room was (as I was told by an assistant manager) the one (sort of) “accessible” room at the resort. There left me a plastic shower chair for the tub and, to my great surprise and relief, the tub had grab bars. The shower itself, though, was lousy. The water pressure sucked. The shower was a hand shower but had a very difficult “latch” to take it use it as a hand shower.
I chalked up poor water pressure to it being an isolated resort, but when I used the shower at the spa, there was great water pressure and a great, easy to use and hand shower. This needs to be fixed in the rooms, or at least the one “accessible” room.
Second, the room is getting a bit dated. There were cracks in the plaster / paint in the bathroom that are in need of repair.
The air conditioner worked, and the weather was never too hot as I was there in December, but the thermostat was set much cooler than the a/c could cool the room to and at times a touch cooler would have been nice. Also, on a few occasions, the a/c spit out small chunks of ice.
Third, when I arrived, I noticed the room was missing a safe and a clock radio. That was fixed the next day (even though I complained about the safe when I checked in).
Fourth, there was a light fixture in the entry way that was missing a globe throughout my stay. There was a bare bulb above the entry way mirror with the clips for a globe, but no globe. Housekeeping should have noticed it and fixed it right away.
Fifth and finally, one day Housekeeping left my door with the chain propping the door open even after they finished. Thankfully, nothing was missing from my room but that is a huge oversight.
Traveling Solo. I expected to be a little uncomfortable at a resort with lots of honeymooners and where at least most guests were couples. I was never uncomfortable, even at dinner. The staff always treated me well, I met nice people, and when I was eating alone (usually) I simply enjoyed my book and at dinner sipped my wine.
All in all it was a wonderful, relaxing, quiet vacation.
I didn’t and don’t understand those folks who went to a place like Peter Island but wanted to travel to lots of other islands and see lots of things. That’s fine if that’s what you want, but Peter is quiet and isolated. Come and savor that!
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- Also Known As:
- Peter Island Hotel Peter Island
- Peter Island Resort British Virgin Islands