Back from Virgin Gorda

Feb 22nd, 2008, 05:29 PM
  #1  
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Back from Virgin Gorda

We just returned from a week in Virgin Gorda, at the Sunset Watch Upper Unit in Nail Bay. It was fantastic!

I read a lot before getting there on how bad the road to Nail Bay is. That is not true, it’s not paved (or not 100% paved, although they are working on it) but it’s a good road. We had a jeep, but if it’s dry, I think the road would not be a problem for a non-4WD car.

The villa is spotless, the grounds lush and very well maintained, the outdoor shower (2 separate heads) has good pressure and enough hot water. There is a safe in the room, flat-screen TV, satellite dish with good reception, internet service, a small library with enough books to keep someone busy for several months, all floor to ceiling windows have screens, the view is absolutely amazing and the kitchen is extremely well appointed (All-Clad pots and pans of all sizes, including a large, lobster size one, coffee machine, espresso machine, mixer, blender, bread machine, George Foreman rotisserie, fondue set, tons of spoons and utensils, all kind of glasses, frosted mugs in the freezer, everything/anything you can think of, to make your stay more than enjoyable). There is also an outside gas grill.

We snorkeled almost every day – one day only the wind was a little too much, the water too choppy, too murky, so that day we explored the island. The views from the top of road on VG Peak are fabulous. No, we did no hike the peak, it was too hot for that.

We mostly snorkeled at the Mountain Trunk Beach, for it was so convenient to get there, but we also tried other beaches. Maybe because we spent the most time at MTB, that’s where we saw the most interesting fishes (including an entire school of parrot fish and a ray). Generally, the VG beaches are nice and not crowded at all.

We had lunch several times (and once dinner) at the restaurant at Nail Bay who now has a new chef, and the food was very good every time. The drinks there were the best we had. We also had lunch at Mario’s Table (good pizza, so-so, very small and weak painkillers) and lunch another time at the restaurant in Leverick Bay (good food and drinks, too). The day we left, we had a late breakfast at the Flying Iguana. I had the amaretto French toast, DH had the bushwhacker French toast. Both were delicious, but the coffee was weak and just lukewarm.

Overall, the time spent in VG was fantastic, very relaxing and we’re ready to go back.
xyz99 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for posting a trip report. I'm sure it will be helpful to others. It brings back fond memories of our trip a few years ago.
Maggi is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 03:48 AM
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Thank you for reporting back. VG is on our very long list.
caribtraveler is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Thanks for posting your report on Virgin Gorda, as it refreshed memories of my trip there last year.
Glad that the road to Nail Bay didn't faze you at all--I drove it during the day and it was terribly rutted from all of the rain. But the views from that road were simply stunning!

I really loved the snorkeling on VG and hope to return one day soon--I'd love to try the MOuntain Trunk Beach at Nail Bay because it looks so stunning in all of the photos I've seen.

So, do you have plans to return? Would you return, or do you prefer to try a new destination each time? If you return, would you stay at Nail Bay again or try another part of the island? Do you have photos from your trip that you can post?

ejcrowe is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 07:34 AM
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ejcrowe,
Even though it rained a little (just a couple of minutes every now and then), the road to Nail Bay was always dry. I guess it helps it is not flat

Snorkeling at Mountain Trunk Bay was very good – we liked it better than at Mahoe Beach (I remember you stayed at the Adagio, right?). Here are some pictures of the villa, the island, the birds and the fish:
http://picasaweb.google.com/xyz99p/2008VirginGorda02

Hmmm, plans to return….absolutely. Not sure when, we usually go to a different place each time, the list is long and we only explored 3 islands (St.John, Anguilla and Virgin Gorda) – don’t ask which one we liked best, they were all great.

If/when we go back, I think we’ll stay again in Nail Bay. We really liked the location and the resort management, plus our main interest is snorkeling and snorkeling there was great. Mahoe Bay looked very nice too, but the villas there are way too big for us – we are renting 1 BR villas, and generally go during the high season, so chances to rent a 4-5 BR villa for 1 couple during the high season are slim. We visited the Leverick Bay area, but there are no good snorkeling beaches there, so that would not be an option for us. The Guavaberry area (Spring Bay) looked nice, too and I know the villas there get great reviews here, on TA and TTOL but we liked snorkeling at Mountain Trunk Bay better than at Spring Bay.

Where are you going next? We are taking a break from our Caribbean vacation next winter, and will try Costa Rica. So our next island will probably be in 2010.
xyz99 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Great pics! The clarity of your underwater shots is terrific--what kind of camera did you use? With or without a dedicated housing?

Yes, my husband, granddaughter, and I stayed at Adagio Villa last summer for our trip to VG and we loved it--the privacy, the snorkeling, the location, just about everything about it. If I could get the same great offseason rate that I did before, I'd stay there in a heartbeat. Otherwise I'd probably think about the Spring Bay area, because that's where our favorite snorkeling was. Next time we go back we'll have to take a gander at the snorkeling at Nail Bay. How close can you get to the beach in a vehicle if you're coming from off site ? When we drove to Nail Bay last year, we kept seeing roads veer off toward the beach, but there were signs posted saying No Vehicles Beyond This Point. ?!

Our next trip is to Guana Island (in the BVI) in April to celebrate an anniversary, as I was the winning bidder for an auction. Then the Big Island of Hawai'i this summer, and that's it for this year. Costa Rica looks amazing--I hope to get there one day.
ejcrowe is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:47 PM
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ejcrowe,
I used a Canon G9 with a dedicated Canon housing.
I agree, Mahoe Bay looked wonderful – I would stay there, too but as I said earlier, the villas there are too big and not in our budget for ‘in season’ rates.

When you get to Nail Bay and see the ‘No vehicles beyond this point’ sign, you’re there. The road bends and you only have another couple of minutes to walk down to the beach.

Guana Island, hmm, don’t know much about it, you’ll have to write a report when you come back. And post pictures, of course. Happy Anniversary and enjoy it. We’re going to Switzerland this summer, so now I need to start planning that.
xyz99 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Wow! Check out those fantastic towel animals. Thanks for the trip report. Enjoyed your photos.
mymoosie is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 08:10 PM
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xyz99,

Thanks so much for posting!!! I'm planning on a trip to VG next February and because of your great review and pictures, I'm now looking into Nail Bay. My other thoughts are Mango Bay Resort (not the private villas) and Guavaberry!

Did the villa have wireless internet?

You are going to love Costa Rica!!! We were there New Years 2006 and hope to go back again sometime soon!
Jayneann is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 04:19 AM
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LOVED the pics. Made me want to go now!
caribtraveler is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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Jayneann,
When planning this trip, we also looked at both Guavaberry and Mango Bay. In the end we decided on Nail Bay because the only Guavaberry 1 BR villa that we considered, the Casita had no ocean view and Mango Bay does not have private villas and a/c. Plus, their units are not as new/polished as the villa we stayed in.

In the end, I think the choice was right – a/c was not absolutely necessary in February, it might be later in the year, but it was so nice to have it
Yes, the villa has wireless internet, although we never used it.
xyz99 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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Hi again xyz99! For all the reasons you chose Nail Bay, I am leaning towards it too!! I just emailed them since we also want to go February "prime time"! Hopefully, we'll be able to get the same villa you stayed in.

How far away from the beach were you? Also, were people staying downstairs from you at the time? I'd love to rent the whole villa in case family want to visit, but I hate to spend that amount of money if no one else can get away! Decisions, decisions........

Thanks again, you've been so helpful!!
Jayneann is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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Jayneann,
We booked last February, I don’t think you’ll have any problems booking it now. The villa would be great for a larger family – it has 2 totally separate apartments, with individual kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor showers.

The beach is definitely within walking distance –maybe 10 minutes max of very leisurely walk. The only thing is, it is not a flat walk, not sure if that’s a problem. But keep in mind, VG is all hilly, so everywhere you would have to deal with some kind of a slope.

We had neighbors for the first 2 nights, and then for the last 2. The apartments have separate entrances, so they are very private. Unless you seek your neighbors’ company, you don’t really meet. If you decide to go, you’ll love it.
xyz99 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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xyz99,

Great information!!! I haven't heard back from Nail Bay yet, although I'm not sure my online inquiry actually went through. I'll probably resend the info in a couple of days if I haven't heard from them by then.

Thanks again for all your help! I'll repost when I have made a decision!
Jayne
Jayneann is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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Great report. We were planning on VG this year, but switched to Curacao.

XYZ...Did you fly into STT or Tortola? and then on to VG?

Ej...your plans sound great. Ours are scaled down a bit this year. Curacao and then NJ for a wedding in Oct =(.

Peace, Greenie
greenie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Jayneann,
Try again with the email. Each time I emailed, Kasha responded within hours (even on weekends).

Greenie,
We flew into Puerto Rico, then flew Air Sunshine. Worked out great. Enjoy Curacao, and please post a report and pictures when you come back.
xyz99 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 06:22 PM
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Enjoyed your trip report and photos. We're going to VG in June -- staying at Adagio. Great tip about snorkeling at Mountain Trunk Beach -- we'll have to check it out. Is it difficult to find? Is there shade?
cm318 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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cm318,
Mountain Trunk Bay is very easy to find – just follow the road to Nail Bay. When you get there, it will be on your left, going down towards the beach. There is a very small parking lot (maybe for 2-3 cars max) next to a “No vehicles behind this point” sign. From there, you’ll have to walk, but it’s a very short (few minutes) walk, though pretty steep coming back.

There is a little bit of shade, especially in the morning. For the afternoon sun, it has umbrellas so I think it’s a wonderful beach. And the snorkeling is great, too
xyz99 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 11:17 AM
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Ahhh, Virgin Gorda, our favorite island so far.

xyz99-Thanks for the trip report and great pictures! And glad to hear you had a better experience w/Air Sunshine than we did.

cm318-you're going to love Mahoe Bay! We stayed at the villa Caribbean Wind there and loved it. Nothing like being right on the beach! Check out Dog and Dolphin restaurant up the street too (it's up the dirt road away from the main road when you pull out of the villa)-it's a neat little place. I'd have to rank Mahoe bay beach as my favorite so far
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