Biras Creek

May 10th, 2007, 03:36 AM
  #1  
owa
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Biras Creek

I have a few minutes before breakfast to write about our stay at Biras.

First, I think we have the best room location on the resort. We are in 5B at the very end to the left facing the ocean. Totally private. The breeze coming from the Atlantic feels wonderful as we sit on our deck. I think the rooms are very nice. StanKase the manager told us that they installed new ac units recently. The sitting room is cool enough for me, and I am a stinker about ac. I want to take the chairs in the sitting room home with me. I just sink into comfort with my book. The beds are exteremly comfortable with nice sheets and pillows. I would choose this room over Caneel's anyday because of the sitting room.

The food. Caneel's breakfast buffet is far superior in terms of variety. We have never had lunch at Caneel so I can't compare. Here they provide grilled fish, chicken, pork, and beef along with a variety of salads. No complaints from me. I also find the dinner selection more than adequate and quite delicious.

I would pick Caneel over Biras because of the beaches, and the ease of walking a few minutes to snorkel.

We went to Anegada yesterday with a boat from Bitter End. The beach is beautiful. There must be better snorkeling on other parts of the island than we experienced. A couple that had been on the same trip two days earlier said the visibility had been much better and they had seen more fish. Biras packed us a picnic which everyone said was a lucky decision. Evidently the lobster and fish of the day was horrible from the way it was described.

We are going out this afternoon on a snokel trip with the Bitter End. We'll have three stops. I'm quite impressed with their weekly list of activities that is included in their room rate. For example, the trips to Anegada are included. Biras charges $85pp.

There are many couples on their honeymoon. Mostly from the east coast. It has been fun to get to down the other friendly guests.

My husband and I were talking last night about the friendly staff. Our housekeeper has been here for eighteen years. Biras has guests that return and return just like Caneel. The couple that came on the boat with us had just been here in February.

I was hoping to rent a car tomorrow to see the beauty of VG. I don't know if it will happen. Owa
 
May 10th, 2007, 05:18 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Hi Owa,
It's fun to hear from you over there at Biras. And I'm glad you're so pleased with your room. I do very much hope you get to explore VG-- it's as wonderful as St John. At least as many spectacular beaches and good snorkeling (though nothing compared to having it all in one spot, a la Caneel).
poss is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #3  
GerdaFaust
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When we were at Biras this year, we took a trip over to Savannah Bay on VG - great beach, nice snorkeling. Bitter End may include more in the room rate, but IMO it is tacky over there! Biras is more "rustically elegant."
 
May 10th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Glad to hear you're having a wonderful time.

I hope you get to explore VG tomorrow. Can't wait to hear the report!!
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May 11th, 2007, 02:26 AM
  #5  
owa
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Good morning, It is raining this morning, but I'm sure it will be over shortly. Sorry for the mistakes in my summary.

Yesterday I was suppose to go to the Baths with the Biras boat. I arrived to an empty dock before the scheduled time. They told the captain he had the correct number of guests, and he left early. Reception wanted to call the boat back, but I said absolutely not. That would not have been fair to everyone else. I decided instead to try snorkeling here. I'm taking my husband back this morning to see if he can help me identify one of the most beautiful creatures I've seen snorkeling. A cuda followed me for about an hour. I really wasn't alone!! I watched a coral crab move around in a crevice, went very close to the mangroove (this is quite interesting), and swam after a large porgy.

In the afternoon another couple and I (my husband was on a two hour conference call--he worked too much this trip) took the whaler over to Bitter End. Quinto took the six of us to three spots. The first was Oil Nut Bay. The second was the same location that Biras took us to on Monday. We ended with a drift snorkel along the reef. If you have never done this, I highly suggest it. A great afternoon.
I asked Quinto about the snorkeling on Agenada. He said "you have to know where to go". Isn't that the truth!! He was great fun.

We are not going to make it driving around VG today. We will have to come back. We'll go snorkeling with the Biras boat this AM.

StanKase, I mentioned the room temperature in my above post after you posted that the sitting room was too hot to use. Every one else says they are cool enough too.

Off to snorkel.
 
May 11th, 2007, 03:35 AM
  #6  
GerdaFaust
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Ask Shawn if he can take you out snorkeling near Mosquito Island, which is very good.
 
May 11th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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owa; Happy to hear you are enjoying yourselves despite the limited beach area. Are you finding the disyance between units and beach, dining, tenninnis and trails any issue or did you rent a golf cart. I would have but they were beginning to unpack the first one the day we left in mid-Dec. Glad you are enjoying the snorkeling. Our criteria are quite different I assume. Grand Cayman, Cuacao-WEST END (you will see when you go), Tobago Cay and several other areas of the Grenadines plus several parts of T&C and Bonaire in past few years PLUS Caneel far exceed the health and beauty of VG in our opinion.We hope to add Andros Island, Bahamas to the list in early June.
Continue to enjoy. Do you agree the dinners are very good with a few near gourmet?
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May 11th, 2007, 02:31 PM
  #8  
owa
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Gerda, Shawn took us out on Monday, but he was sick today. Another great young man took us to a couple quite good spots today. We saw our first hammerhead shark turning around and around under some coral while we watched above him to really have a good look. I credit my husband with that find. Then we drifted along the reef. Very enjoyable morning.

Stan, No, the distance between everything was not a problem for us with the bikes. The loose gravel is a bit tricky. One lady took a nasty spill with many bruises as a result. That was the end of the bike for her.

Except for last night, we think the dinners are excellent. Presentation is beautiful. We also had a variety of nicely grilled meat and fish at lunch. Variety at breakfast would be an improvement, but then more variety is an invitation to consume more calories!! We were very pleased with the food.

Actually, I have become more appreciative of what Biras offers the longer we stay. I had two massages included in our package. Two of the best I have ever had. I just finished with the "island cooler". First a salt scrub and then an aloe wrap. This is followed by a massage. It felt heavenly.

We couldn't have asked for better weather. We couldn't have asked for better fellow guests. We couldn't have asked for a better staff. Some are outstanding. Finally, I have to say that Mike, the manager, seems truly concerned that guests are having everything they need. He is very visible during the day and in the evening checking in on everyone.

We leave Biras at seven in the morning. Reception just told me they would put breakfast in our room while we are at dinner. I could have stayed longer to rent a jeep and drive around. I could have stayed longer to go to some of the beaches and snorkel the spots I have not seen. A return to VG is in the future, but not this year because of two more already booked trips. Owa
 
May 11th, 2007, 04:10 PM
  #9  
GerdaFaust
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Biras does grow on you, doesn't it? I am so happy that you enjoyed your stay. We can't wait to go back next year!
 
May 11th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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Hope the weather holds for our trip Sunday, Owa. Glad you had a good time and have a safe trip back!
Maggi is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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owa; I suppose that at an $800+/day for 2 I expected, as we have had at 8-10 other Caribbean resorts, better breakfast buffets and lunches. I try to control my consumption but like to enjoy what I do eat. When we were there we had one broken ankle and one very messed upper leg and arm bruised biker. The 2 folks in their late 30's, I would guess, whose bikes tumbles over. One on the gravel and the other going up one of the elevated dirt/gravel roadways. It reminded me of Bermuda from the scooter renters.
Also, glad to hear they had new A/C's 4 months after we left though. We paid for a fully functioning resort where the outside lounges would be pleasant. I may sound like a complainer but a number of guests at cocktails before dinner from honeymooners (probably 30+% of the guests)to us old timers in our early 60's found it unpleasant and we paid the 2007 rates of shoulder and a few days of high season rates, not the $900/day rates for 2008 (with tax+service) for high season.
That's what we paid at the Parrot Caye in T&C.
By the way Mike is the temporary Gen. Mgr. from Michigan while they hire a resort G.M. hopefully he said by April. If Mike squares everything away by then and they get a G.M. of the calibre of Peter Island, Junby Bay, Parrot Club they will have a nice boutique resort until they begin building the 2-5 million dollar homes on 60+/- of their acres in I think 2009 whose owners (renters) can use the resort facilities. The homes are in the written master plan when they purchased the resort. Did Mike mention that?David the owner of Biras denied it but when he left Mike was honest enough enough to be an honorable and by the way quite a capable person.
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May 12th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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The owners of Biras purchased part of Oil Nut Bay for a completely separate development plan - it has about 400 acres for a new resort and villas, all self contained. There's also an empty 50 acres of land between Biras Creek and this new development as a "buffer zone" for noise and construction activity.

So not only will there be a buffer land division between Biras and the new resort/villa site, but they will be independent of each other as far as guests and operations go. (not to say they can't visit the other resort as does guests at Biras and Bitter End).

Biras will stay the same resort, other than the owners continuing to improve and tweek the property and amenities. They will be closed during September to redo the beach grill and bar area and carry forth the annual "redo". Hubby and I will be visit Biras in June and I can hardly wait to see the "new Biras" and also plan to find out more about the Oil Nut Bay Estates development. It looks very interesting http://www.oilnutbayestates.com/
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May 12th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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ScubaMom; Mi,e showed me part of the artitectual plans. There will be homes on a portoion of the 140 acreas the has constituted Biras Creek for years. It i similar to an arranagement of a boutique hotel they have in MI next to large homes and golf couses. The Oil Nut Development is separate. The homes on the current property will, have full use of the current Biras Creek Resort facilities as if thet were guestd there i.e. beach, tennis courts, dining if they wish, etc. I do not kno how much Oil Nut Estates will use the Biras Creek resort facilities but that is years and unfortunately loads of pollulants into the water and killing more coral down the road. The world is not as perfect as it once was. Biras Creek was paradise 15 or so years ago as was Caneel, Little Dix, etc.
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May 13th, 2007, 04:51 AM
  #14  
 
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Uh Stan, when did you get this info? Last fall? Things have changed in the last 6 months.

I too heard that there might be some guest villas added back then (we were there about the time you were) but now with the Oil Nut Bay development, Biras has dropped the idea. That said, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if someday Biras didn't add a couple of guest villas - they've proven quite popular at Peter Island and Little Dix.

But for now, Biras remains the mid-sized boutique hotel that it's always been.
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May 13th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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owa, thanks for the great review of your trip to Biras! I've been waiting for it in anticipation of our upcoming trip. When we were there last, they were in the middle of replacing the old furnishings and were also delighted with the wonderful beds and sitting room chairs - pure comfort!

They were also planning to redo the menus, so it sounds as though those are better than ever too.

Also good to hear about the new A/C - we'll be there in June so will appreciate being able to cool off if those tropical breezes wane.

Sounds like you had a great time!
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May 14th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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owa
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Thanks everyone.

Stan, I hope your information is incorrect about allowing guests from another resort to invade Biras. That certainly would change all the positives of a now small resort. You are right about Biras as a honeymoon destination. It seemed half of the guests were on their honeymoon, and most had been married 5 May. Stan, I have a different take on your comment about how it was in past years. I am just grateful to be able to experience it as it is today. We and another couple discussed exactly this topic. They too started their married life with zero money, saved every penny, drove cars for twenty years, and lived in small houses. We four all think we are very lucky.

Now to what I termed my " battle with bugs". I am sad to report I am a weak and failed warrior. I purchased a soap called "bug me no more". The term "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" applies here. I showered with the soap, and then waited for the bugs to come to me. When they started buzzing around me, I reached for the spray. The rest of the trip I still used the soap, but never went outdoors without spraying. I came home without a bite which is a first. This trip I saw more men than women going crazy with the spray can (Biras had them in full view everywhere). The other plan was not to put any lotion on after a shower. That really pained me after my skin had been in salt water for so many hours. I don't know if that is what helped also.

I have to say again that I was really impressed with Mike the General Manager. The morning we left he took us from our room to the dock for our trip to Tortola. My husband gave him an article from The New York Times about research on dying coral. We had an e-mail the next day thanking my husband. I also had given him a note about some special staff. He reported he had passed along my praise. Finally, we had missed saying farewell to a special couple. We gave him a card to pass along our regret in not seeing them the last evening of our stay. That was accomplished.

We used Cape Air to and from San Juan to Tortola. We have also used them in the past. We have also left on time without fail. They allowed us to plane check our one bag. No complaints here except it was a long, long day of travel. My husband wants me to go to Vienna with him in two weeks. I can't convince myself of how wonderful it would be when I think of the long plane ride. Oh well. Owa

 
May 14th, 2007, 12:12 PM
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Owa: I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip.
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May 14th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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owa; The invasion will only be the x number of tropical mini-mansions on the current 50-60 acreas not the extra property they purchased. It looked like 15-20 homes so only 40-50 people will really have access to the current Biras Creek facilities. Oil Nut Estates I would image will have its own quite elaborate marina, beaches, bars, maybe a restaurant (just a guess) etc.
I would imagine for the next 2-3 years what you left will be as nice as it is so if you liked it go back before 2010. But by then, I would guess the in-season rate will be $1200-$1300/day/couple.
I agree Mike is a pro. I hope they get someone 75% as professioal and nice as he when he leaves in several months.There is not much they can do about the dying and dead coral though several countries are actually cleaning the coral with the hopes that regeneration and mimimized further iemmisions will allow re-growth in the 10 yrea time period. Australia and Malaysia, French Polenesia are 3 that are doing just that.
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May 15th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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owa; You really did not comment on the quality and the health of the coral and colors and in terms of whether there was a wide variety of fish and sea anenomes that I did not see. What we saw was coral mostly covered with an ash colored topping with little spots of living coral (2-4 inches) and an occasional piece of living fire coral but not even 25% as good as Caneel, Grand Gayman, T&C, Grenadenes or even Barbados/St.Barts. That was with the exception of the Baths and Oil Nut Bay but unfortunately most of the 2 major spots out at Anegada. Renting boat to Coopper Island for $700 I think got us to much better snorkeling but at an outragious price so we went once.
While I do not put a lot of value in ratings the new Zagat came out yesterday in the mail, I and hundreds of others are Zagat raters of worlds best resorts/hotels for 2007. Peter Island was slightly higher rated than Biras and it is 10% less than Biras and Caneel and Little Dix. Jumby Bay amomg others were rated much higher and are the same price or a little less.Parrot Cay was far superior rated to Biras but is a bit more expensive in season with good snorkeling.
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May 15th, 2007, 04:43 AM
  #20  
GerdaFaust
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Stancase, where is the good snorkeling at Parrot Cay? I did not see it when I was there, and I am returning at Thanksgiving.
 

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