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“Best... Vacation... Ever!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Guana Island

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Guana Island
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Guana Island
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Best... Vacation... Ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2010

We have just returned from our two week stay at Guana Islands' North Beach Cottage- the ultimate in privacy and scenery. Each morning, wearing only a cup of coffee, I would sit out on our private deck overlooking the Atlantic and watch the sun rise, the pelicans feed and the spotted rays swim back and forth. Lisa and I would then zoom up to breakfast in our own golf cart before spending the day down at the whitest and cleanest beach we have ever experienced.

The snorkling was amazing: turtles, rays, squid, nurse sharks and schools containing tens of thousands of tiny fish made this an ever-changing underwater paradise. There was also hiking and kayaking to fill the day when we weren't lazing around the beach or our private pool at the cottage.

Each evening was just as magical: drinks and hors d'oeuvres followed by a four course meal: soup (which was always a pureed something with a bit of cream- a little variety would have been nice), salad, a choice of two entrees and dessert. We finished off dinner each night with a ride down to the beach bar for a cup of coffee and a viewing of the fourty or so huge Tarpin hanging around the lighted dock.

We visited at the right time as there were no more than 12 guests total at it's busiest and just us and another couple at it's quietest. Most of the time it felt like we had this 800 acre island all to ourselves.

Kudos to the management and staff- everyone made us feel welcome without being intrusive.

If you are looking for glamorous furnishings, shopping or lobster thermidor go elsewhere. If you are afraid of things that crawl away with almost every step you take then stay home (we have never seen so many lizards, snakes and birds- they are everywhere!).

Guana Island is all about privacy and eco-friendly gorgeous scenery which made it the perfect vacation for Lisa & I- we are already looking forward to a return trip!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2010

We just got back, and I miss it! It was a perfect vacation for us - but we're pretty self directed. We went hiking, we managed to go to every beach at least once (there's 7 of them). went snorkeling, went kayaking, played tennis....but also spent plenty of time on a beautiful beach by ourselves, or napping on the swing in the Garden of Eden, or just sitting on our porch watching the birds, waves and sunset.

The food was great, the staff exceptional. The best part was that there were a few days when we were the only guests! Awesome.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank boston_dhc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2010

This is a place to relax and take in the remarkable scenery from terraced gardens. Don't expect glitz, but do expect pristine Caribbean and Sargasso Sea beaches, unique indigenous fauna and flora, an extremely well-trained staff, and meals that are consistently delicious.
There was not a thing lacking. It was our best vacation in the BVI, and we've been going for years.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scottandjulia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Islip, NY
Level Contributor
73 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2010

Guana Island Club offers a drop-dead gorgeous natural setting. This small private island features beautiful beaches, brush covered mountains, and craggy sea cliffs. Totally unspoiled. Totally private with so many beaches and so few guests you can have a beach all to yourself. Hotel rooms consist mainly of white stone cottages dotted across a ridge with stunning views. Sitting on my cottage balcony gazing across mountains, beaches, oceans, and assorted Virgin Islands, I thought for a minute that it just couldn’t get any better! Then I remembered that my room lacked a mini-bar and that we were having potato leek soup for dinner. . . .

Guana offers natural beauty, uncrowded beaches, and total privacy, but, while lovely, Guana also has issues – just like my daughter. So, like I say to Her Princessness, let me tell you about your issues.

Issue number one: the room failed to impress. Furnishings look like they were bought in Pier One or IKEA, and many are long past their “best if used by” dates. The décor shows zero imagination: all the fabrics are white and the few pictures on the walls are faded. The only decoration in my bathroom was a sign instructing me not to use too much water. Overall, it feels like some cheap motel on Cape Cod with septic tank issues. The lack of a mini-bar is a real pain when reaching the real bar means a real walk (especially after dark, which is when I tend to want to drink).

The Guana folks will say that you don’t visit their island to sit in the room, so why worry about the décor or lack thereof. PEOPLE!!! I don’t visit any resort to sit in the room, but when I stay at a resort that charges over $1,000 per night I expect quality furnishings and tasteful décor. If you are too cheap to spring for your own interior decorater, visit some of your competitors and get a clue what a room in this price bracket should look like.

Issue number two: dinner. When I stay at a luxury resort I expect to be presented with a menu of tasty dinner options, including fresh local ingredients and local preparations. At Guana the dinner menu is fixed. No choices, except two entrée options. This would be fine in a school cafeteria, but not in a luxury resort. Much of the food is old fashioned American family fare: corn chowder, roast pork shoulder, grilled steak, basic salads, and starchy desserts. Many side dishes are poorly disguised efforts to jazz up canned veggies and beans. I especially enjoyed the canned corn tossed in vinaigrette and the canned chickpeas in mayonnaise sauce. Every few nights they do a beach barbecue. Mine featured rather pedestrian fish kebabs and jerk chicken drumsticks.

Pardon me, but resort cooking is not rocket science!! Hire a serious chef, take advantage of your tropical climate to grow fresh tomatoes and other veggies, buy lots of fresh local fish, and serve it with Caribbean spice. (Don’t tell me you lack the water for a veggie garden. My cousin in the Negev lives in a sandlot and you should see his tomatoes!)

Issue number three: the DIY bar. There is something fun at first about mixing your own drinks, but like camping in a tent it gets old fast. I sorely missed a real bar with a professional bartender shaking up tropical cocktails. Without one, beer, wine and liquor on the rocks or mixed with soda are your only real options. Planters punch is my poison of choice in the Caribbean, and I shouldn’t have to make it myself. The house wines served with dinner were of variable quality.

Issue number four: the Guana groupies. Unlike rock band groupies, Guana groupies tend to be elderly folk from earnest places like Ontario and Massachusetts (When I told them their new Senator is quite the looker, they arranged to dine at another table). One Guana groupie has returned to the island for 35 consecutive years. He declared to everyone who would listen that Guana Island is the most wonderful spot in the world. All the groupies-in-training gasped with awe at this insight. Fella, if you haven’t gone anywhere else for 35 years, you have no basis for comparison. And yea, I have sentiments about someone who takes exactly the same vacation for 35 years in a row: awe is not one of them!

Guana is a lovely property with super beaches. But it feels like staying at your elderly aunt’s beachhouse on Block Island rather than a four star resort.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
23 Thank tarrytown54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anguilla, British West Indies
Level Contributor
159 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2010

Sleep with gentle breezes washing over you as leaves rustle outside your window, reconnect with nature on well marked and laid out trails, indulge in 3 sumptuous meals a day featuring local/fresh ingredients, swim in gentle waters from a long stretch of white sand beach, enjoy pampering from a warm and thoughtful staff, savor the intrigue of flora and fauna, feel awed by the unforgettable night sky and spectacular views, bask in the beauty of this quiet, romantic retreat.

This charming hideaway is the REAL Caribbean. It's not for everyone. But if you truly want to experience the Caribbean in it's natural state you can't go wrong with Guana Island. This is not a place for glitz, glamour, relying on others or "things" outside ot yourself to make your experience happen. Guana is about indulging the senses, reconnecting with one's self and/or partner or family. A nature lover's paradise with an interesting history and owner's commitment to preserving and understanding the island's ecological balance, visit the little on site museum. Observe the radiant flamingos and say hello to the iguanas who seem to pose for visitor photos as if they are just as curious about us as we are of them.

I felt such happiness during our stay. And when one considers the experience, the food, the staff, the castaway lunch, the pristine condition of an older property, the private and efficient transport between Tortola, Guana is very well priced. It may seem expensive to some but it truly isn't, especially when you compare it to other "high end" options. And if you can rent the entire island, go for it! It would be a life changing, unforgettable memory.

Note that there are 2 types of accommodations. The original, low key but immaculate, perfectly maintained cottages and the newer, more sophisticated structures which you could essentially find anywhere except for the sensational views. Our taste is such that we opt for the original. You can also rent the separate, completely private water's edge cottage. Although our room was attached to the main structure we savored total privacy and quiet throughout our stay.

We live in the Caribbean and explore as many islands as possible focusing on the smaller, less developed ones. We would return to Guana in a heartbeat, and intend to do so!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KarenGr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2009

Guana is simplicity and luxury at the same time. Staff are great - as helpful or in the background as you want them to be. Just ask if you want something. Plenty to do - hiking, swimming, fishing, tennis or sitting on the beach (we excelled at that!). Its hard to put into words how difficult it is to leave Guana and go back to the real world (esp if its cold and snowing!). After days of no TV, no radio, no phones, no cars, no traffic, no need to carry your wallet or keys and no need to lock your door - its hard to get back to reality! Your biggest decisions on Guana are what to have for dinner and when to get a massage and when to go on a picnic. Thank you Guana - our batteries are fully re-charged...though our hearts are aching for our simply wonderful days and nights on the island.

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank GlobalGirlNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2009

You can stop searching for the perfect tropical island getaway! This is it, don’t even browse one more page!

You would be hard pushed to find someone who has higher expectations than me when it comes to staying in beautiful places. Without sounding like a complete travel bore I can assure you that when it comes to quality, I want nothing but the best.

To that end Guana Island is a breahtakingly beautiful island that I could not recommend more strongly. To start it would difficult find a place where on the busiest day there are only 10 people on the half mile stretch of gorgeous white sand and turquoise water that is their busiest beach.

Guana has the perfect combination of magnificent scenery, total tranquility and first class service. The staff attend to your every need with wonderful care and a keen eye for detail that is unrivalled anywhere that I have been!

I could ramble on for hours about every aspect of this hidden gem, or just say this. The only regret you will have about vacationing on Guana Island is that at some point you will have to leave. Book it now, you will not find anywhere better than this!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SPainter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guana Island

Property: 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
Reservation Options:
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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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