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“A Great Resort Experience on a Beautiful Island”

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Bitter End Yacht Club
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in North Sound
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 21, 2013

My husband and I, along with our teenage son, recently enjoyed our second visit to Bitter End Yacht Club. All three of us adore Virgin Gorda and, I always tell people, "if you like shopping, nightlife, or golf -- don't go to Virgin Gorda." But, the absence of these things is precisely why Virgin Gorda appeals to us. The island is unspoiled and beautiful. The atmosphere at Bitter End is relaxed and casual. Both of our visits were fantastic experiences and, although the cost makes Bitter End a definite splurge for us, I feel their Admirals Package is a good value for what you get (provided you take advantage of the many sports, excursions, and activity offerings that are included, which other resorts and/or cruises charge extra for). The food and service at Bitter End are outstanding as well.

We have visited Bitter End in February and in May. There are pros/cons to both:

-- February --
Costs more
Busier, more crowded
No bugs
A/C not needed (you can sleep with open windows and enjoy the breezes)

-- May --
Less expensive
Uncrowded (you can score a waterfront table at every meal)
Mosquitoes
Hot (non-stop A/C required)

Activities
Bitter End offers so many activities, you can fill every minute of every day, or just choose to relax in one of the hammocks or deck chairs that are everywhere. There is also plenty of shade, which is important for us great white Northerners. The three of us took advantage of windsurfing, kayaking, Hobie Cat sailing, snorkeling excursions, two of the day-long excursions (Best of Virgin Gorda and Norman Island), and a sunset sail. Again, many of these types of outings can easily cost over $100 per person at other resorts or as shore excursions on a cruise, but are included if you get the Admirals package. I also enjoyed yoga (no extra charge) and we all loved the hiking in the area. (The Bitter End trails are nice, but don't miss the trails at the adjacent Las Brisas resort for some spectacular views!) The watersports staff were all excellent, and Joe especially went out of his way to help my husband and son have good windsurfing experiences (showed them where the most consistent winds were, offered to drop them there by boat and bring them back). It is also very reassuring, for anyone out on the water, that the Bitter End staff is watching out for you and comes to assist folks who capsize or are having trouble getting back to shore. We also really appreciated Captains Samson and Kinto, who guaranteed that our snorkeling and excursion outings were all wonderful experiences.

Food
We all agreed that the food on this visit was even better than we remembered. The menu seemed to include more lighter, low carb offerings such as the grilled Wahoo on greens served for lunch and the grilled Tuna on panzanella salad served at dinner. The fish was always fresh, perfectly grilled, and beautifully presented. We also had steak a couple of times, and it too was delicious and perfectly grilled to our specifications. Each meal includes a self-serve buffet in addition to the items you can order from the menu. The buffet gives everyone the opportunity to pick and choose what they want from a multitude of soups, salads, fresh fruit, and side dishes (and, if needed, exercise a bit of portion control). The special theme nights (West Indies grill and Seafood Extravaganza) were fabulous. Desserts were wonderful and my favorites included mango cheesecake, banana creme brulee, and the chewy almond cookies. My husband is an espresso junkie, and his one comment was "they have a great espresso machine, but need a better espresso roast." The kitchen also seems to go out of their way to accommodate people with food sensitivities.

Service
Service is generally excellent throughout the resort. In particular, the front desk was very accommodating when, on both our visits, we arrived several hours before check-in. The front desk staff graciously allowed us to enjoy lunch in the restaurant followed by a full afternoon of water sports so we were able to begin enjoying our vacation the minute we stepped off the ferry.

Service in the dining room was generally good. Although, even if you are on an all-inclusive package, you still have to ask for (and sign) a check at the end of every meal (even breakfast and lunch). From a guest's perspective, this just feels like an unnecessary inconvenience. Is this done so the servers will get tips? (I'd be happy to tip at the end of the week, just like you do on a cruise.) Is it so you see the cash value of what you have eaten? (I know food is expensive in the Caribbean.) Sure, alcoholic beverages are not included in the package, but couldn't you just pay for those at the end of the week as well?

Rooms and Housekeeping
We stayed in the North Sound Suites. We found our room to be very comfortable and spacious enough for the three of us. There are nice welcoming touches with you arrive -- fresh flowers, cold drinks in the fridge, snacks, and a small bottle of rum. Very nice toiletries and bathrobes are provided. The A/C was a definite plus because it was hot in May. Housekeeping mostly did a good job, but some things could have been better. Coffee and kleenex were not replenished. Doors and screens were left open during cleaning allowing even more mosquitoes to get into our room. A housekeeper knocked on our door one evening at 6:20pm and asked if we wanted turn down service. I said we were getting ready for dinner (which doesn't even start until 6:30pm) and could she come back in 15 minutes. She gave me a look that very clearly implied she would rather not, and I told her to just skip us. Personally, I don't care one iota about turn down service but, if you're going to offer it, please do it right. Relations with our daytime housekeeper were also odd in that she would suddenly appear on our balcony and attempt to come into our room via our sliding glass door, and cheerfully ignoring the "do not disturb" sign on the main entrance to our room (just beware all you honeymoon couples!).

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank PTSOmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 20, 2013

I had the pleasure of experiencing the Bitter End for both work and play. The staff all around are incredibly friendly and helpful. The resort manager, Mary Jo, and her food and beverage manager, Marielle, are top notch. Everything here is well focused around the guest experience. The rooms are superbly comfortable and transform one to a new level of relaxation. And as a final attribute, The Bitter End has taken great strides in being a "green", Eco-friendly resort, and are continuing to forge on in that front.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank JSkriv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

The Bitter End Is nothing short of an amazing port for sailors. It's gorgeous but it's a millionaires haven. You never know who could be sitting on the bar tool bext to you here... Everything is expensive here but take a look around and you will see why. You're surrounded by luxury and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of yachts. Sir Richard Branson's 102 ft catamaran the Necker Belle is often times docked here if that tells you anything. The drinks are ice cold, and the food is great as far as islands go. It's a great place to pick up some souvenirs, get some ice cold drinks and a lunch and let everyone stretch their legs in style. Everything here seems to close pretty early. Don't expect much nightlife at this port. You gotta hit Anegada if you want to stay up late dancing on the beach. Stop in, the Bitter End has just about anything you need, for a nominal fee of course. Enjoy!

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank kava-kauboi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Enjoyed happy hour outside with live reggae music right on the water. Chicken wings were tasty and we voted their conch fritters the best on our BVI island hopping tour! Shopping was good and found some deals on the sale rack. Store clerk was very helpful when hubby wanted a particular shirt -- she found his size in the stock room!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PiperNeedsMoreTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Listen, if you are interested in an action packed vacation for your family this is the spot. The water sport area has a great fleet to take out. The rooms are for sleeping and that is pretty much it. The beds are very comfortable that is for sure but the actual furniture and design are seriously a bit campy to say it kindly. Our bathroom was a bit of a joke but worked fine. My suggestions to the management is spend a little to at least fix the broken hooks, holes in doors, broken areas around the room. Get better furniture that is comfortable to sit on in the rooms as well. They are huge on the North Sound side so perhaps a better more thought out layout would be good. In addition, take care of your boats. The light fixtures are broken on the Corinthian and keep it in good working order.

The food was good not gourmet but good. Considering we were booked under the Admiral package our food, fleet and trips were all inclusive of our rate. Not to mention an additional room for our kids. The rooms were connected by the balcony and we felt fine with this arrangement.

Here is the what made the BEYC special to our family. We loved the guests that we met on our trip. Our children met kids right away and by the 2nd day they had a huge group of friends to sail, play, snorkel etc. with. We met so many wonderful people it really made the trip fantastic.

The staff overall was wonderful. The water sport staff was a bit tough to deal with but the captains on the boats were great as well as the chefs. Our son has a life threatening peanut allergy and the staff took good note of it at our meals. The management was present at all times and helped us with a few things which was very nice. The family of owners were on the resort and they were attended to hand and foot by the staff which to be honest seemed a bit odd. I would have thought that if anything the family would have wanted the paying guests to have the special treatments vs them. They were not exactly friendly or outgoing to the guests either. This was a bit off putting.

We dove with Kilbrides on a few occasions and enjoyed our time as well. The visibility was a bit poor on a couple dives and one had really rough seas but the equipment was good and we felt safe.

Our family has stayed at Little Dix Bay three different times which was an unbelievable spot with over the top service and really nice rooms but it lacked the activities and adventure we were looking for. So would we return to BEYC absolutely. I just hope they start taking care of what they have vs let it get so run down they can't use it.

Room Tip: I would suggest staying on the North Sound suites on the lowest level. We toured the beach front ro...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank ckayjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

If you like watersports, this is the place to go. They have sailboats, including hobies as well as monohulls, windsurfing, kiteboarding, swimming and the best scuba team that we've had anywhere (Caymans, Curacao, Hawaii,etc). The Admiral's package includes use of boats and all meals. Lessons for sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and tanks for diivng are extra. We learned to windsurf on this vacation; and, when you fall off the board in 81F water, it is much more comfortable. Since we went in the off season, it wasn't as busy, and that was a good thing.
They also offer a ton of activities to nearby islands, cruises, snorkeling, etc throughout the day. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you want to be.
One of the weird things about the resort is the accomodations. You stay in these dual treehouse like huts, where you have two units per hut. You do not have key locks on the doors, so the room stays open all day. You can lock it from the inside at night, and they have room safes for valuables, but that it is. We didn't experience any theft or problems, but it is an adjustment.
The challenge about BEYC is getting there. We flew into Virgin Gorda on a small plane (Air Sunshine) from our larger plane on St Thomas (American). I would not recommend flying Air Sunshine. They are expensive and not particulary customer friendly. There is not really great really direct way to get there, since you have to get there by water, no matter what. Landing on Tortola (Beef Island) and taking the water taxi is probably a good option. I'd say the better option is to take the sea plane from St. Thomas during the season. It lands right in the bay of BEYC. Any flying option is a little more expensive for the travel, and then add on more if you have more than 50# of luggage per person. Since you have a real trek to get there, plan to spend at least a week there to make it worth it. CapeAir is a better option for local planes that land on runways only, but only goes to Tortola. (Most people staying at the resort were there for 1 week or more).
All in all, it was an incredible vacation that we spend at least 1/2 our time in or on the water.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank FreqTravelerDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

I recently saw a less than stellar review of BEYC by some one who attended a wedding there. I can't believe they were in the same place where my daughter was married.
While admittedly it was a few years ago, our family and over 70 other guest had a fabulous experience! The staff could not have been friendlier, more accomadative, or more professional. We even had a hurricane come close at the beginning of our stay which necessitated a complete shut down of the facility including grounding of all the watercraft and shuttering the cottages. Everyone was provided with safe quarters, food and emergency supplies. Luckily the storm veered off and damage was minimal. Incredibly, the entire operation was up and running as if nothing happened within 12 hours!
The wedding went off with out a hitch. I would do it again and can't wait to go back. Next time just my wife and I just for an idyllic, romantic getaway!

Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
1  Thank EdW113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bitter End Yacht Club

Address: Virgin Gorda
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 #1 of 1 Hotels in North Sound
Price Range: $465 - $920 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Bitter End Yacht Club 4*
Number of rooms: 85
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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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