Just back from Long Bay, Tortola--any questions?

Old Jan 12th, 2001, 09:36 AM
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Just back from Long Bay, Tortola--any questions?

My family and I spent 9 days at Long Bay Beach Resort in Tortola over the XMAS/New Year holiday. I'd be happy to share our experience.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 05:47 PM
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I'm curious Neil, was the service as poor as we've read on this board? I stayed there several years ago and loved it, but since then I have read bad things about the decline of Long Bay...what was your experience? We rented a villa on the hill with our two daughters, it was clean and very well furnished. Which type of room did you stay in? Would you go back?
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 06:58 PM
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Hi Neil,
Would love to hear what you thought of the resort. How was the food? service? How old are you kids and did they enjoy it? Was the beach swimmable? Was it difficult getting around? Whatever you can share - am considering going with my family of 4 (children 10 & 12) in April.
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 02:14 AM
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Neil, last time I was at LB was late 90's to visit and tour, not to stay. What did you like best? What could have been better? Were you in one of the cabanas or one of the places up the hill? Swimming from the beach okay? Thanks.
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 07:41 AM
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I'll try to respond to all of your questions.
There were a total of 9 family members on our trip (4 adults, 2 20 year olds, a 17 year old, a 10 year old and a 7 year old). 6 of us stayed in a 3 bedroom villa up the hill, while the other three stayed in a 1 bedroom suite
closer to the main reception area. The villa accomadations were quite nice, particulatly the master suite that my wife and I shared on the top floor. We had incredible views of the ocean and Jost Van Dyke--you could even look out over the ocean while taking a shower.
With respect to service, we had read some of the disquieting comments on the web and were concerned. We shouldn't have been--the staff was among the friendliest we've ever encountered. And although some of our meals at the hotel were served at a leisurely pace, they were like lightening speed compared to the length of some of our meals at local restaurants (part of the problem, I think, was that our party of 9 overwhelmed some of the small places that we visited).
The beach at Long Bay is beautiful, with incredibly soft sand. It is true, however, that large portions of the swimming area have a rocky bottom. You need to search a little bit for sandy bottomed swimming areas.
Our family rented two jeeps for the week ($360 a week from Dollar Rental car on-site), and we had a great time exploring the various beaches of the North shore of the island. We loved Smuggler's Cove, which is only a mile from Long Bay, but a 10-15 minute ride because of the hilly dirt road. Its a great beach for swimming and snorkeling, there's an honor bar where you can rent chairs and buy drinks and snacks, and there's a man on the beach who sells fabulous fruit drinks (with or without rum). Other beaches we really enjoyed were Brewer's Bay and Josiah's Bay. These were about 20-30 minute drives, but the views are amazing. Each of these beaches have chairs to rent and have quaint beachside bars where you can have lunch.
While some people may find travelling around the island a hassle, we loved it. You get a great feel for the island, and unlike some of the other places we've been in the Caribbean, the people were warm and friendly wherever we went.
The hotel tour office arranged a day sail for the 9 of us on a 50' catamaran called the Ulti-mate. We sailed to three different snorkeling spots around Norman Island, where we also moored for lunch at a beach restaurant called Billy Bones. It was a not to be missed experience, probably the highlight of our trip. We also took the ferry to Virgin Gorda and spent a day at the Baths and Devil's Bay. Beautiful, but a little crowded the day we went.
All in all, we had a great time, and all of our various age groups seemed happy. My only complaint is that the resort probably charges more than is warranted--its a great laid-back island spot, but it is definitely not luxurious. You will not be pampered, but you will have a relaxing--and probably more real--island experience.
Old Jan 19th, 2001, 04:03 PM
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Thanks, Neil, for the thorough review. I'm glad the restaurant worked out. That was a big question mark in my mind. And thanks for the beach description.

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