My wife and I have vacationed in the BVI many times, and we have stayed at each of the "big 3" resorts-- Little Dix Bay, Biras Creek and, most recently, Peter Island. We have visited Bitter End Yacht Club often, but we've never stayed there because we don't sail and it doesn't have a great beach. Each of these places is special in its own way, so its difficult to name our favorite.
Peter Island has the best food of the 3 resorts. That's not to say the food isn't good at the others, but Peter Island offeres a more varied menu and excels in some areas the others do not. For example, Peter Island serves the best steaks. When I am on a tropical vacation, I generally eat seafood and local specialties, and these dishes are excellent at Peter Island. But it's rare (no pun intended) to get a really good steak in the Caribbean. But after a week of lobster and fish, I had a large filet mignon at PI and it was outstanding. Peter Island also serves a better, more complete breakfast, with more choices than the other resorts. Again, I'm not knocking the food at Biras or LDB; but meals at PI are consistently better than the others.
Of course, you don't have to travel to the BVI for a great steak. Peter Island also has some of the best beaches, led by the wonderful Deadman's Bay. Little Dix Bay is very placid and peaceful, but it's SO calm that there's usually some algae in the water. It's still a great beach, but it loses points because of this. Biras Creek's beach is set in a deep inlet, and there is a large field of sea grass covering most of the sea floor. Deadman's Bay is sparkling clear with just the right amount of surf to create that wonderful sound of gently breaking waves, without being too rough to enjoy a quiet swim. The views from all of these beaches are beautiful in their own ways, but the dramatic sight of Dead Chest Island, complete with stories of buried pirate treasure (who cares if they are true?) give Peter Island the unofficial title for Best Beach. And since Peter Island is, well, an Island, there are other exclusive beaches to enjoy. While not as picturesque as Deadman's, White Bay offers a very private beach experience, with similar clear water, if not the same view. Of course, some of the Caribbean's very best beaches are on nearby Virgin Gorda, including the famous Baths and it's adjoining beaches, and the underrated Long Bay. But for onsite beaches, Peter Island edges it's nearby competitors.
It's not a coincidence that the service at each of these resorts is excellent. Many of the resorts' staff members occasionally leave one resort to work at another. We have always been treated extremely well at all 3 places. The Peter Island staff kept the rooms spotlessly clean and dealt with questions and requests with the highest degree of hospitality and friendliness. Biras probably wins the "service" category because the resort is so small and private. When we forgot to attend a group snorkeling trip one morning, the staff graciously took us, by boat, on a private snorkeling tour, and we didn't even have to ask. The staff at Peter Island was every bit as friendly and accommodating. If service is the most important factor in choosing a resort, you cannot go wrong with any of the 3 resorts.
The rooms at Peter Island are more traditional that those at the other 2 places. Biras houses guests in private cottages while room choices at Little Dix range from cottages that are just a few steps away from the Bay, to giant (unfortunately somewhat ugly, in our opinion) condominum-style housing set higher in the large hills overlooking the property. Accommodations at Peter Island are more conventional rooms grouped in small buildings. We had a beautiful terrace view of Deadman's Bay from our room at the far end of the resort. The room itself was simple yet sufficiently luxurious. If pressed, we prefer the beachfront cottages of the other 2 resorts, but the rooms at Peter Island are probably more universally-appealing because they are a little more ordinary. They are extemely clean and well-maintained. Housekeeping does a very good job of attending to your room at your convenience, and whenever we requested amenities delivered to the room like food or towels, they came very quickly. One evening, I was tired and did not feel like going to the dining room; the staff prepared a complete meal for me (the aforementioned steak, in fact) and brought it to me on a cart. I was particularly impressed by the fact that they brought a truly complete meal, including bread, beverages and a pot of coffee, all fresh and hot.
The common areas at Peter Island are beautifully designed, but a little less naturally lovely than Biras. The central pavillion is paved, rather than natural stone and earth, which is the style at Biras. Little Dix has undergone a trasnformation over the years as the resort has grown. It used to be beautifully primitive, like Biras, but it now has a mixture of styles. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the expansion of Biras, and the addition of the hillside villas, while very luxurious, take away from the natural beauty of the resort. However, Biras has made some worthwhile additions over the years including a very nice pool area, and a large spa (something all 3 resorts have; you'd have to ask someone else about the spas as I don't really go for massages or other treatments. I think the spa at Little Dix is the largest and most complete). Like Little Dix Bay, Biras Creek has also been making additions to its property, including a collection of villas called Oil Nut Bay. However, these villas are not within view of the resort itself, so the impact on vacationers is minimal. Biras has also added a large yacht club near the resort's main dock. I am a little apprehensive about the impact of this construction on the resort, but I have not visited Biras since it's completion, so I really cannot comment on it.
Peter Island is the closest of the three to Tortola, with frequent ferry service to the cruise ship area of Tortola. The other 2 are quite remote, so if shopping is important, I guess Peter Island is the best choice. If shopping is REALLY important, none of these very tropical, very secluded resorts is probably for you.
We have stayed at Biras three times, compared to only once at the other two resorts. But we are probably going to do Peter Island the next time we go to the BVI (and there WILL be a next time) because I want to check out the new developments at Biras before we go back. But we have had great vacations at all three.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This place is temporarily closed due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The resort will remain closed for the duration of 2017 and into late 2018. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Peter Island Hotel Peter Island
- Peter Island Resort And Spa British Virgin Islands