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“Guana Island is Simply the Best” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Guana Island

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Guana Island
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   P.O. Box 32, Guana Island   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Guana Island
Guelph, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Guana Island is Simply the Best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

In the past 5 years we have visited Guana island four times. We don't normally frequent the same vacation spot, but Guana Island has become very special to us. The resort hosts a maximum of 32 people and is family owned with a spirit of environmental stewardship. The mountainous island rises out of the sea with spectacular vistas, lush vegetation and incredible private beaches. There is an extensive network of hiking trails and fabulous snorkeling at Monkey Point and Crab Cove. Our favourite activity is to be dropped by boat at Monkey point and snorkel back to the resort, a two hour immersion with turtles, file fish, cuttle fish, rays and tarpon. The staff are friendly and attentive and will arrange tours to other islands, scuba diving or any activity of interest. The food is outstanding and we appreciate the healthy variety of choices offered at each meal. Their dessert chef is incredible and we always enjoy a taste of some delicious treat at lunch and dinner. During the cocktail hour you get to know other other guests and we have met many nice people at this intimate and friendly resort. The accommodations are very private and have spectacular views. Guana Island is simply the best!

  • Stayed June 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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113 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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English first
Stuart, Florida
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

My husband and I stayed on Guana Island from 5/31/12 - 6/7/12 for our honeymoon. From start to finish, Guana was perfect! Upon arrival at Beef Island Airport on Tortola, we were warmly greeted right outside of Customs and driven to the marina (about 1- 2 minutes). We then boarded The Crown for a scenic boat ride to Guana and offered cold water and/or beer. When we arrived on Guana, Hannah & Matteo were waiting at the dock. We arrived well after lunch, but Hannah so thoughtfully had a delicious lunch waiting for us. After lunch, Hannah showed us our room and gave us a really helpful overview of the island.

We stayed in a Seaview Cottage - Grenada 1 (which has air conditioning).The room consists of a large terrace overlooking Muskmelon Bay (the view is absolutely beautiful!), a large bedroom & a bathroom. While I wouldn't call the cottage luxurious, it was immaculate & very comfortable.

The service on Guana Island is outstanding. It is friendly, efficient, and seamless, all without being pretentious or over-bearing. Hannah & Megan in the office were so helpful with planning activities and accommodating requests; Andrea & Sugar at the White Bay Beach pavillion were so friendly & fun; and each & every waitress did an amazing job.

The food on Guana Island is delicious. Breakfasts consisted of a buffet with bread, fruit, cereal, yogurt, cheeses, and meats. Also, there is a special each morning, but the kitchen will also make items upon request. Lunches were also served buffet style, with a ton of choices, followed by dessert. Dinners consisted of soup, salad, a choice between 2 entrees, and a dessert. The soups, salads & desserts were consistently excellent. Of the 7 entrees that I had, I would rate 5 as excellent. I did not care for 2 of the entrees, but it could be that I just didn't care for that type of fish (fluke & mahi). And,the portions are extremely generous - we were so full after each meal.

Breakfast & lunch are open seating, so you have the option of private dining or mingling with other guests. Seating for dinner is by seating chart, but they will certainly accomodate requests. We enjoyed a nice mix of private dinners and group dinners. We found the other guests at Guana to be just delightful & we had so much fun with them!

There are a ton of activities on Guana: hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, tennis, fishing, etc. A visit to Dr.Liao in The Orchard is not to be missed! We also did a day trip to Virgin Gorda to see The Baths - absolutely amazing! The hiking trails are challenging - definitely bring hiking shoes & reusable water bottles. (Note: The BVI do not have recycling facilities).

Guana is a quiet, beautiful & unspoiled island - we cannot wait to return!

  • Stayed June 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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UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

We travelled from the UK for a week at Guana. The holiday was arranged by Joyce at BVI holidays who did a marvellous job. It was a long journey; BA from Gatwick to Antigua, then 2 hours wait, 90 mins Liat to Tortola, then 10 mins on the boat. However it was so worth it.
I consider myself well travelled, as a beach lover we've been to several Caribbean & Indian Ocean Islands, but we were blown away by Guana.

It's a large island, with stunning beaches but due to their policy of not building any more accommodation it's incredibly private. The website depicts the natural beauty of the island, however we found it much more luxurious that we had imagined. The rooms are simple, but very well equipped; comfortable beds, coffee maker, wifi, endless supplies of towels etc.

We were most impressed by the staff. Jason in reservations was really helpful before our departure & management are very visible & customer oriented. Some guests commented that they'd seen Key Limes in the orchard, Hannah arranged for us to have Key Lime pie the next day. Another couple fancied Lobster before their departure, no problem, we were all offered it.

There are so many activities from hiking, canoeing, tennis, paddle boarding & fantastic snorkelling it's impossible to be bored. My husband really enjoyed the fishing (he took his own fly rod) though despite a lot of effort he didn't catch the 70lb Tarpon.
If it's down time you're after this is the place. It's impossible not to relax, all the cottages have lovely porches with a spectacular views. We spent hours in the rocking chairs, reading & snoozing.

I don't know if we were especially lucky but really enjoyed the company of the other guests. No one was a repeat guest (although I suspect we all will be). Most people enjoyed time alone in the day, although many of us played a riotous game of cricket on the beach one afternoon, but guests tend to meet for cocktails before dinner. We were asked when we arrived if we would prefer communal dining, if we'd said not we would have been on a table for two. As it was we had some fabulous evenings with the other guests, which were one our highlights.

I can't recommend Guana enough. It's the perfect location for couples to relax in splendid isolation. I suspect we'll be those repeat guests I've read about. I may well become a Guana Groupie!

I'd be happy for anyone to contact me regarding this trip. We've also been to PSV, so would happily compare it required.

Room Tip: Our cottage Barbados had AC. North Beach Cottage looked amazing for a honeymoon.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, Connecticut
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
134 hotel reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
163 helpful votes 163 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

“Unspoiled, 850 acre private island with some of the best beaches in the world. Extensive hiking trails, hidden beaches, exotic flora and fauna; spectacular view points from all guest areas. The friendly, helpful staff offers the highest level of service, yet is unobtrusive. There is nothing like it I’ve seen or heard of elsewhere. ”

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

This was, without a doubt, the most social resort we've ever been to (leaving aside tiny camps in Africa, where all 10 or 12 guests are thrown together by necessity). Almost all the other guests were long time (15 + years) returnees who knew each other, but we newbies were accepted into the fold warmly, and thoroughly enjoyed the communal mealtime (and beach time). True, you can eat at a table for 2 and stay by yourself (the one young couple who were there -- whom we dubbed the "honeymooners" -- did), but that would be missing the point of Guana.

Accomodations and public areas are not as "luxurious" as other comparably expensive Caribbean resorts, but they are perfectly comfortable and welcoming. "Fancy" is not what Guana is all about. Service, attention, and the camaraderie of truly interesting people is what sets it apart from, say, Peter Island or Caneel Bay.

Physically, the island is truly wonderful. A myriad of well-marked hiking trails with gorgeous vistas, a crescent beach with the softest white sand I've ever walked on, an orchard with every tropical fruit . . . loveliness everywhere you turn.

So why only 4 stars instead of 5? The food. I agree with Boh_1 (and several other reviewers) that the food is, at best, mediocre, and the limited choice makes it difficult for one without a catholic palate. I found it do-able for a 4 or 5 day stay, but not up to the level I expect at these prices.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

I am just back from five days at the Guana Island Club. It was a wonderful five days.

The setting is beautiful. There are water views in all directions. The entire side of the mountain facing the cottages is entirely undeveloped and natural. The beach is clean with lots of space to relax. Our lodging was very comfortable. All the arrangements and services were were impecable.

There is lots to do but no pressure to do anything. We took some hikes, swam, visited the orchard and ate by the beach. We could have done more, or less. No worries.

The food was imaginative and reliably delicious without being pretentious. The other guests whom we met before and during dinner were a source of interest and pleasure. Which is to say that I liked the kind of people who like the Guana Island Club.

Yes, it is expensive but, if that is not an obstacle, the Guana Island Club is a perfect place to relax, unwind and share time with (in my case) family.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Westminster, Canada
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

Let me state right away that Guana is not inexpensive and anyone desiring either a cheap or organized holiday in the Caribbean would be better off at Sandals or on a cruise. This place is unique, which is why we chose it for the second week of our midwinter Caribbean vacation. And overall, we're very glad we did.

The island itself is beautiful. Hilly, lush, with white sand beaches and views in all directions. Great trails to walk on to explore and a collection of interesting creatures ranging from iguanas to flamingos. The web site does a great job of capturing the naturalistic feel of the island and it really is quite spectacular. But the island itslef is only one aspect of the resort experience. The service, food and amenities are also important components.

The service experience is adjusted to meet your needs. It can be high touch when you want it, invisible when you don't. Mingle with others or keep to yourselves as a couple, it's all up to you. We elected for the latter and chose the North Beach Cottage (NBC) for our little hideaway. With a rustic, West Indies feel, the NBC has its own pool and virtually private beach (alas currently without much sand) complete with oceanside deck. This place is super private and quite remote from the rest of the property which is why they give you your own golfcart to zoom around on. We can see why some of the honeymooners choose the NBC and we were very happy there. As far as we were concerned, we had that side of the island to ourselves. We continued that experience through most of our meals as well, opting to enjoy each others company.

Speaking of meals, earlier comments about the food are spot on. At its best it is "good", at it's worse, it borders on mediocre. Breakfast was okay and lunch was generally better than supper, mainly due to the diversity of offerings. Suppers were a fixed progression of communal appies followed by soup, salad, a choice of two entrees and dessert. Examples of the good here were BBQ side ribs and seared duck for entrees. Examples of the less than good were a truly strange, almost sour creme caramel and another dessert of mixed fruit with marscapone and orange Jello. Yes, genuine Jello. An entire orchard at their disposal, including some very tasty passionfruit (which could easily be made into a gelatin), and they make Jello from a box.

I understand that this is not a restaurant review, and different standards should apply. But their guests are effectively a captive audience for food, and it would be nice if they offered a more interesting range of menu items. Several items on the bill of fare may have been popular in the 1950's or 60's (pineapple upside-down cake anyone?) but restaurant food in the Caribbean is vastly better than it used to be and Guana really needs to get with the times. I don't fault the chef here - the execution was quite good. I think he is just constrained by management into unimaginative dishes.

The rest of the amenities are quite good and we alternated between hiking days, beach / watersport days and cottage days. More relaxation than activities, but the mix is entirely up to you. You can add extra cost items like sailing trips, snorkeling excursions, spa treatments etc. Just ask, and the resort staff will make it all happen. Any service issues we had during our stay were mostly minor and usually rectified immediately with follow-up by staff. There were a couple of other things that we did find quite jarring however.

First, although disclosed on their web site, and as others have mentioned, the honor bar system seems out of place. While common in some of the smaller guest houses in the Caribbean, for these rates charging five dollars for a self-service beer seems a little annoying if not downright cheap. A truly minor issue, but not consistent with the "mostly inclusive" offering here. However, the thing that actually shocked us upon arrival was the number of children present. The Guana web site goes to pains to portray the resort as adult oriented, and gave us the impression that there would be very few children (if any) on the island. In fact, they state ".... we try not to have more than a few children on the island at one time ...". Such was not the case for us.

We didn't do an exact count, but there were somewhere between 10 to 14 children present our first two nights there. Assuming the resort was at the stated capacity of 32 guests, that is a pretty significant proportion. We were not the only guests to comment on this. This may not be the norm, since it seemed that most of the kids were there as part of a large family group celebrating a special birthday, but we were not informed of this at any time during or after making our reservation quite far in advance. To be fair, maybe this is something we should have confirmed prior to making our booking, and I suggest doing exactly that if it's important to you. If this was an exceptional circumstance, then fine, but at least let us know when we check in so it's not a surprise. This is a good segue to some observations and opinions that did not impact the overall rating given but that do tie back into some earlier reviews and may possibly be helpful in understanding the experience.

Guana seems to be at an interesting crossroads. The vast majority of guests we met were repeat visitors. Repeat in the sense that some of them had been coming back every year for 15 years or more - the polite term used by one insider we spoke with was "Guanaphiles". Obviously, Guana must be working hard to provide them with a consistent experience year after year, and that is what keeps them coming back. Maybe this explains the relatively narrow food spectrum. An earlier, somewhat negative review commented further on this trend describing these regular guests as clubby, effectively one upping each other on their previous Guana experiences, and leaving that reviewer somewhat turned off. Since you don't have to interact with any of the other guests unless you choose to, I'm not sure this is really much of a problem, but it may be indicative of Gauna's long term viability.

Many of the guests and some insiders we spoke to expressed significant concern over what was going to happen at Guana as their repeat guests get older and stop returning. Keep in mind that the average age of adult guests during our stay appeared to be well over 50 and Guana is not a good place for people with mobility issues. So how will Guana stay viable? Should they attract more families with children? Market to a new generation of affluent 30-45 year olds? Amp up the cuisine to attract foodies? Play up the ecotourism angle more? There are probably many strategies that the current property managers could consider, but living in the past or attempting to be all things to all people, are not amongst them. Guana will have to change.

I hope the Guana organization can retain the sense of laid back, West Indies exclusivity while improving the overall experience where needed. I think they really have a lot to offer, and can change for the better. But time will tell and, until then, Guana is still a unique experience even with its flaws.

Room Tip: Choose the North Beach Cottage if you want super-privacy.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guana Island

Address: P.O. Box 32, Guana Island
Location: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Guana Island
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Guana Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Guana Island 4*
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
Guana Island Hotel Guana Island
Guana Island Hotel Tortola
Guana Island Tortola
Guana Island British Virgin Islands

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