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“Island Paradise - a truly "virgin" island” 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
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Island Paradise - a truly "virgin" island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We went to Guana in early October, just before their high season and during their annual month-long science program, which meant that, aside from a few scientists and some graduate students, we were the only guests on the island. We felt like interbellum-era creatives living the high life.

Guana is an amazing place, but you should understand what you're getting into. This is not some cookie-cutter Club Med or Sandals where you go for cheap thrills, easy hook-ups, and hokey after-dinner entertainment. We live in New York and have to deal with the mess and noise of 8 million people every day, so going to a beautiful place where you can enjoy silence, space, and nature while still being pampered was a dream come true.

A lot of the things that might turn some people off are the same things that make Guana great. There are no TVs. Watch TV at home, not when you're in an island paradise. Pack a lot of books; I made more progress in Proust in those six nights than I had in the six weeks prior. The roads are steep and the hiking trails are steeper. But this is part of the ethos: Guana is minimally developed and they intentionally retain somewhat of a rustic feel. Which also involves a commitment to conservation. Guana is full of animals. You will find lizards and insects in your room, and you will see (harmless) snakes on the trails. It's why you go to a natural reserve: to see what the world might be like if humans hadn't ruined everything.

If you can handle those things, you are almost guaranteed to have a great time. The vibe is very relaxed, and the staff is overwhelmingly (and sincerely) friendly. There wasn't a single request that they weren't happy to accommodate. If you're going on a hike, take a cell phone from the office and, when you're finished enjoying your destination, call to be picked up by golf cart or boat. The mango was the best we'd ever had in our lives, so they were happy to send someone to the orchard to pick up a few more just for us, and then slice them up at the beach bar.

On that note, the food was phenomenal. The chef is a fairly new addition, and what a find. At each lunch he would come and make sure that what he was planning for dinner suited our tastes, and it always did. Seeing the menu each night was a visceral thrill: a creative soup, a delightful antipasto, an immaculately prepared main, and a sublime dessert. And each night they place you at a different table, each with a different view. My favorite was seeing the lights twinkle from Tortola.

After a few days we settled into a groove and spent most of our days on White Bay Beach, snorkeling if we felt like it, or just lounging under a tree. The complete relaxation and almost-total seclusion was exactly what we needed. We'll definitely be back at the earliest opportunity.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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111 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
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Michigan USA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

My husband and I and our 23 year old son vacationed on Guana Island during the first week of June, at which time the weather provided upper 80 degree, sun-filled days and an occasional shower. This was the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation we have experienced. The island and resort are incredible – White Bay beach and the island views are beautiful, the accommodations are clean and spacious, and the food is 5 Star. This is the place for you if you like peace and quiet, nature, beaches, snorkeling, hiking, great food and pampered service. This entire vacation on Guana was magnificent from start to finish. Thanks goes out to Jason, the reservation manager, who was friendly and enthusiastic in answering all our questions about the island, providing valuable insights ahead of time and made sure our arrival time was coordinated properly. Also, thanks to all the staff who were extremely friendly and treated as if we were the only guests on the island, which we actually were for most of the 7 days.

To reach Guana Island you first need to get to Tortola, which we chose to do by ferry from St. John Island. We arranged in advance for a taxi to drive us to the Beef Island dock where a Guana representative picked us up for a short 15 minute boat ride to our destination. If you are traveling from St. Thomas, there are ferry companies that take you directly to Tortola in about 60 minutes. Upon arrival at the dock we were pleasantly greeted by the Guana staff, Andrea and Asia, who gave us a citrus scented cool towel and bottle of water. We were driven up hill to the resort in golf carts and given a short tour of the main resort building and our room, while our bags were taken care of for us. We were then offered a perfectly prepared lunch on the front terrace overlooking White Bay – what a magnificent view and fabulous food.

ROOMS: Each of the resort’s cottages is named for a Caribbean Island; we stayed in the Dominica, about 100 feet from the main resort building area where meals were served on the various outdoor dining terraces. Our room was quite large with a walk-in shower, walk-in closet and an extra room for our son. The well-appointed rooms reminded me of a Greek resort with white washed walls and many large windows offering tropical breezes and exceptional views of the bay. Our room also had its own terrace, surrounded by bougainvillea, cactus and other flora with views of the North Shore to the left, the Salt Pond and pink flamingos to the front and White Bay Beach to the right. Some room amenities included a refrigerator; coffee maker; WI-FI and lightweight, comfortable bathrobes. There was no TV in our room, but we didn’t miss it. The room and its location were absolutely perfect for the three of us.

DINING: Thanks to Xavier, a young Chef from Spain, each meal was a delight. His culinary expertise was displayed with each meal he prepared, not only in taste but in presentation. Each meal was well balanced and perfectly portioned, never leaving us hungry or wanting to eat between meals. As we were the only guests for most of the week, we felt like we had our own Iron Chief. Xavier was not only a top notch chef but a friendly person who we enjoyed talking with and seeing his smiling face each day. Each meal is served on an outside terrace offering beautiful views or lunch can even be served at the beach.

Breakfast: Breakfast began with a buffet of an array of fruits, cheeses,Tuscan meats (prosciutto, speck, salami), breads, croissants, muffins, cereals and yogurt. This was followed by daily specials such as eggs Benedict, French toast, crepes or other delicious breakfast dishes along with your choice of breakfast meats, eggs, juices and coffee.

Lunch: On some occasions ilunch also began with a buffet, but always consisted of a 4 course meal which included fresh fruits, salads, breads, vegetables, a fish or meat entrée and ended with a delicious dessert.

Dinner: Each night, it was fun for us to guess where we would be seated for dinner as the staff ensured we enjoyed a variety of views, often overlooking the water as the sun set. The tables were accented by candle light and the pathways lit by Tiki torches. Each dinner was accompanied by complimentary bottles of a red and a white wine. Dinners were 4 or more course, 5 star meals that began with a soup, followed by a salad, meat or fish entrée and dessert. Chef Xavier’s chick pea and coconut milk soup was not only exotic but delicious and his chicken cannelloni was as good as any pasta dish we have experienced during our trips to Italy. An example of a dinner menu was: Mulligatawny soup, lobster tower, herb crusted rack of lamb with mushroom Arborio and panna cotta for dessert. FANTASTIC!!

Drinks: In addition the complimentary wine at dinner, each day the resort provided ice cold water, freshly made lemonade, iced tea and a delicious tropical fruit drink. These were always made available at both the main house and the beach. Conversely; sodas, beer, additional wines and alcoholic drinks are available but at an additional charge.

ACTIVITIES: This beautiful island is ecologically protected and produces its own electricity, purified water and has a wonderful orchard of tropical fruits and sugar cane. Activities are primarily recreational, although the main resort building has family friendly board games and a library of books to read.

Beach: The beach is a beautiful white sand, palm tree laden, ½ mile dream beach with beautiful turquoise water. There is beach house with showers, restrooms, lockers and a bar area where you can have drinks and snacks. The resort has thought of everything for beach fun – there are comfortable loungers, chairs, foam full body length floats, paddle boards, kayaks, etc. I particularly enjoyed lying on a float in the warm turquoise waters watching the pelicans soar above. The bay also offers good snorkeling. My son and I enjoyed snorkeling each day around the five fingerlike coral projections which were accessible directly from the beach. We saw a variety of fish, some of which were the usual tang; grunts; squirrel, parrot and trunk fish and sting rays; but we also encountered barracuda, tarpon, squid, porcupine pufferfish, spotted drum and a nurse shark to name a few. At the end of your relaxing beach day, if you don’t want to walk up the steep hill to the main resort, Mr. Sugar, will gladly give you a lift in the golf cart.

Hiking: There are many trails available to hike; unfortunately, we didn’t have sufficient time to explore the various hiking trails as we were enjoying the beach most days. We did hike to the North Shore and Crab Cove and walked around the Salt Pond to photograph the flamingos. We also enjoyed walking the well-kept trails near the main resort which were lined with beautiful flowers and plants. I enjoy photography and the island provided many opportunities for good photos.

Orchard: Highly recommend that you take time to visit the Orchard. Woo and Mae Ling, who maintain the orchard, were very friendly and really wanted to share the beauty of their orchard. They provided educational information and prepared fruits for us to taste. We loved the passion fruit, mango, papaya, and fresh coconut.

Spa Service: We enjoyed massages from Ceri, she was wonderful. These are at an additional cost of course, but well worth it.

HELPFUL HINTS: You may want to bring you own supply of bug spray and sunscreen; although the resort does have some on hand, you don’t want to run out. We are avid snorkelers so we brought our own gear, but the resort does provide if needed. We over packed – you don’t need fancy clothes for dinner, the atmosphere is more casual and you just need to be covered up at meal time. No need in June for a lightweight sweater or jacket, unless you want to bring something to wear if it rains. Do recommend hiking shoes or Keens if you plan on doing the trails. Don’t forget your camera!

TO SUM IT UP: It’s been nearly 2 months since we arrived home from Guana Island and we continue to have that longing feeling to return. Wish Xavier was here to cook for us. This was truly a vacation of a lifetime.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malden, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We spent five nights on Guana Island in late June and loved it. The cottages are ideal - simple and clean and comfortable, but nothing fancy (and hopefully you're not looking for fancy if you're considering Guana!). We were in the "Barbados" cottage, which is next to the club house. I'd requested a cottage with A/C but we never needed it thanks to the ceiling fans and trade winds. Our covered patio was totally private with a view of Muskmelon Bay, and furnished with comfy chairs and lounges.

The food was truly outstanding. I think some of the older reviews complained about the food but believe me, the current chef is simply fabulous! Each night, you're seated on a different patio so that you have a different view. A lot of the reviews mention communal dining, but perhaps because there were so few guests when we were there, we always were seated by ourselves, which was our preference anyway. Our last night on the island was special as we were the only guests on the whole island, so it was even more luxurious than before!

I only managed to get to a couple of trails, and really wish I'd gotten to the bat caves but ran out of time (reason for a return trip, I suppose), but I will say that I clearly have a different idea of "easy" and "mostly level terrain" than the person who wrote the trail guide! Do be sure to bring good hiking shoes if you plan to hit any but the most basic trails!

White Bay Beach was wonderful, with plenty of space to walk, snorkel, and swim, and it's own bar! The orchard tour gave us the opportunity to sample freshly cut mango, coconut, jackfruit, sugar cane, and more. Since many islands we've visited seem to bring in produce from outside, it was nice knowing that you were eating truly local fruit at breakfast.

My only complaint was that I didn't see one of the often-mentioned six-foot iguanas during the trip - the largest one I spotted was maybe three feet, so a bit of a disappointment - but yet another reason to return!

  • Stayed June 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgefield, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Guana Island is the most relaxing and beautiful resort that our family has ever visited. As indicated in other reviews, this is a special place for those who want peace, quiet, beauty and a number of things to do. The staff is extremely attentive and graciously while always being discreet. In contrast to many resorts, it is clear that the staff is friendly and enjoys being there to serve.
We would like to point out that there is great snorkling here (Monkey Point and Crab Cove) which we were surprised to learn many guest do not take advantage of. The guide Jen clearly enjoyed teaching and pointing out things that one may not notice on his/her own.
We cannot say enough about wonderful Guana Island and the staff are. We will definitely go there again for a longer stay.

Room Tip: Room 4 Dominica. Beautiful view of White Bay Beach. Great cross breeze in the room and great private...
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Road Town, British Virgin Islands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

My husband and I went over to Guana for the weekend initially intending to stay 2 nights. We have lived in the British Virgin Islands for many years but had yet to make it over to Guana. I could not believe what we had been missing when we got there! The lovely comfortable boat ride over to the island and the warm reception by the staff when we arrived were just the beginning. I don't even know where to start but let me just say, we ended up staying an extra night! We hiked a different trail everyday and loved exploring the island on our own. Guana is completely unspoiled and because it is private and has only a small amount of guests at one time it is very rare to come across anyone on the trails which makes you feel like you are truly alone on your island adventures. The food was delicious and the ladies in the kitchen and doing the service were warm and friendly. I just want to make a special note that the staff at Guana were incredible and really went above and beyond to accommodate us and make our stay one we will never forget. This is also made evident by the fact that all of the other guests we met while we were there were return guests some having come there annually for the last 20 years! The beaches were pristine and quiet, a perfect spot to read a book or have a snooze before grabbing an afternoon beer from the well stocked honor bar at White Bay. When we weren't hiking or beaching we went out on glass bottom kayaks, fishing off the dock and touring Guana's very own Orchard where Woo gave us coconuts to drink from as he guided us through the sugar cane and other exotic fruit trees of the Caribbean. We stayed in a newly renovated room which was beautiful and fresh feeling with our own private outdoor lounging area to relax in. The last night we stayed we watched a movie in the "Garden of Eden" on a projector which was pretty spectacular to be in such a beautiful setting, natures own cinema. Ok I am going to wrap this up now by saying that Guana is definitely somewhere we hope to return to at least once a year and somewhere we would definitely recommend highly to friends and family looking for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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.
Boynton Beach, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We were invited to our first ever destination wedding to Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands. What a beautiful little island for a private wedding or any private event for that matter. The Island is simply breathtaking and relaxing.

The resort itself was beautiful, extremely clean with all private cottages tucked into the beautiful terrain coupled with wonderful wildlife. We stayed in their Harbor House, which was elegant with a Jacuzzi and pool off your bedroom suite overlooking the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean. The beach was fabulous.

Andrea was our main contact on this trip and Hanna and all staff for that matter at the resort couldn't do enough for us throughout our stay, which made for a wonderful stay. The food prepared by their chef was fabulous and their island organic vegetables were very healthy. Don’t miss the beach bar. It was a joy as the personalities of the folks working the bar made for a wonderful day of drinking and laughs. Do try their daily “drink specials”. They are awesome!

Lastly, do make time to get a beach side massage or in one of their suites with beautiful views of the Caribbean. Can’t say enough about their therapists, as they are warm and caring and what an excellent way to relieve stress after your flights or after a few days of hiking, snorkeling or kayaking in the blue waters.

I have traveled during my career to a few different small islands in the Caribbean, however I must say, Guana resort is now our favorite. I certainly will miss everything about this island. The only problem as most would say, you don’t want to leave.

JP

Room Tip: Harbor House Villa's......outstanding
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

I'm not sure what I expected when I booked Guana Island Resort. The photographs were wonderful, but some of the text caused concern;. "Rustic" "Communal Meals" "All-Inclusive Meals". What I have to report is that there is absolutely no other resort (I hate using the word resort, because this was an experience.
Pros:
-Every request; done, every wish done, Hanna, Megan, Andrea and the lovely wait staff and even the mechanics and engineers were wonderful.My companion and I were speaking to the bartender at the beach bar and casually mentioned that we like chocolate before bedtime. That night fresh baked cookies were in our room. One night we missed the conch fritters at happy hour and we mentioned how much we liked conch fritters. Conch fritters were on the lunch menu the next day. The place is magical.
The food is very good and the variety was incredible. The best thing were the freshly grown organic vegetable from the island. Cooked to perfection. EVERY TIME.
Cons: NONE. For me that is. However ,you do need to do your research. This place is so super quiet and laid back that some may not like it. But if you want to really re-charge your batteries for a few days. This is the only place to go.

Room Tip: GET A VILLA! Get a Villa. Get a Villa
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 3
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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