Little Dix vs. Caneel vs. Biras Creek?

Old May 11th, 2000, 10:14 PM
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Little Dix vs. Caneel vs. Biras Creek?

Which is better? We are planning our October honeymoon. (I know it's a hurricaine risk) We want an upscale, non-touristy resort with great snorkeling and food.
Old May 12th, 2000, 04:51 PM
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We are going to Caneel in July, I will let you know.
Old May 12th, 2000, 05:21 PM
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Tracy, I think you've picked three excellent resorts, no question about that! I like Caneel's layout, its many beaches. I would rather it was in the BVI,however. St. John is getting to be as touristy as St. Thomas, but Caneel itself is not that way.
Biras is very much in a class by itself. I was there in 99 with my wife and we very much enjoyed it. It is so unusual in every way. The meals are outstanding and while some who post here object to the use of bicycles to get around, we found it to be fun and quaint. Its location is, imo, the best of the three.
LDB has a great reputation but I was there also in 99, but not to stay. To my way of thinking, the only stand-out feature was the landscaping which was very well done. Everything else seemed a bit cliche.
Inasmuch as it is your honeymoon and you will be wanting a romantic setting with lots of seclusion, no crowds, and natural settings, then I have to recommend Biras.
Old May 13th, 2000, 07:59 AM
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Hi Tracy,My vote goes to Biras Creek. All 3 resorts are good choices in their own ways. My husband and I stayed at Biras in Feb and just loved it. We stopped by Little Dix (it had just reopened after the hurricane) and the grounds were lovely, but alittle too formal for our tastes. Biras is very laid back-the grounds are less formal-but still beautiful! The food there is wonderful. The menu changes every night. Three days a week they have BBQ's on the beach at Deep Bay(swimming beach)-Don't miss them! You can snorkel at Deep Bay or take one of the Boston Whalers out into North Sound and pick one of several beaches to go from. Also they have trips going out almost every day to different places to snorkel.
I did read they were going to redecorate the suites and would be closed during Sept and maybe part of Oct, so you better check.
Have a great honeymoon! Kathy
Old May 13th, 2000, 02:23 PM
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I think it is a choice between Biras and Caneel. LDB is, as others have said, kind of cliche and formal. I thought it wasn't exactly stuffy, but was too staid. And too many kids!
Biras is on an isthmus so it is very spread out. Three great bays; one for swimming that seems like something out of the musical "South Pacific"; another bay and beach for the bungalows, and a third which opens on Gorda Sound has the marina. Super food. Super romantic atmosphere. A couples place with class and a bit of toney atmosphere, at least at dinner. Nice entertainment in the evening on the terrace below the restaurant. Super views. It really defies description, Tracy. Even scubamom couldn't quite capture the romance, the intrigue, the "je ne sais quoi" of Biras. Both a good and bad thing is that it is only accessible by boat. If you want to take a day to tour Virgin Gorda (a sorry island in my view), you would motor to Gun Creek in your Boston Whaler (fun!) and take a rental car for the day. The thing to do on VG is the Baths (very good!), and the national park (interesting). There are other things but they were not to our taste.
You do have the option of catching the ferry to Tortola, connect to the ferry to St. Thomas, and enter the greatest jewelry free-for-all on the face of the Earth! I LOVE jewelry. My husband proposed to me there and we bought my engagement ring there. Super buys. Do bargain!
As to Caneel. Hmmm! Very nice, but oh so quiet. Older clientele, I think. A bit too quiet. Not romantic quiet, but people-taking-naps quiet. Too much lawn. But fabulous beaches. Many beaches. Lots of seclusion.
Well, must fix dinner. Hope this helps!
Old May 13th, 2000, 04:21 PM
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Sounds like the votes are in! And I go along with the rest ... Biras! But, as mentioned, I am the one that "complains" of the three-quarter of a mile bike ride to the swimming beach ... just wish it were not but then that is part of the appeal of Biras! (and an eigty-something gentleman kept beating me to the beach when we left at the same time!) When you are old and have bad knees, you can head to the other spots and I wish my knees were better so we could enjoy a return trip! I would go in a heartbeat! And that was my ONLY complaint ... it is wonderful!!! But any of three would be a good choice - Little Dix became my preference to Caneel because of its smaller more intimate feel and it is lovely ... but the seven beaches at Caneel are hard to beat! Beside Caneel would give you more access to the more activity on St. John and St. Thomas easily (if you want that!). Since children and families are more welcome now at LDB and Caneel, might want to check to see if your honeymoon will conincide with the holiday weekend - that's when families will most often travel. At Biras, you won't have that! Did you check out Guana Island?
Old May 16th, 2000, 10:15 AM
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Go to
Good write-ups and pictures--
Old May 16th, 2000, 07:04 PM
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Haven't been to Biras but we just got back from an anniversary trip to Caneel and Little Dix (5 days at each).
here goes
Magnificent setting, beautiful beaches, stayed at Scotts (end room) quiet, restful, romantic.
Food-Breakfast good, the rest not good. i would eat off property if you go. Cabs are easy and restuarants on St. John are great (Asolare, Zozo, Paradiso,La Tapa)
The Island--St John is being "discovered" but in the off season it is still quiet. Great beaches all around the island to explore by jeep.
Service-This is the BIG PROBLEM with this place. The staff is surly and unhelpful. I thought this was just me but everyone we talked to had the same impression. They are quite inefficient and unhelpful. This really made the experience much less than it should have been. They always acted as though you were bothering them with any question or request no matter how polite you were. At $450/night that's rather difficult to take.

Little Dix
Resort--very nice but less "natural" setting than St. John. More "resorty".
Service--not spectacular but much better than Caneel.
Island-very quiet but peaceful and romantic
Food-have to eat at Little Dix since not many other restuarants on island-this got old quickly due to the redundant menu choices and the kids (We didn't bring ours and I really resented having cranky 2-5 year olds in the dining room and bar area at 9 pm-an inappropriate time and place for young children and really not fair to the other guests. Also they could probably nix the steel drum band-they weretoo loud and gave the place a touristy feel that wasn;t necessary.
Best Day trip-somewhat pricey but the Fly BVI trip to Anegada was the best. 12 minute flight, spectacular deserted beaches with best "off the beach" snorkeling I have seen in the Caribbean. Great Anegada lobster lunch at Loblobly bay. A truly memorable day.

I must say we are getting quite picky as we get older however. some things that bother us maynot bother everyone. However, at these prices I expect close to perfection as is reasonably possible. Certainly service issues are things that could be rectified.

That being said, overall St John is our favorite island but we'd probably rent a villa next time and do more stuff on our own now that we know it so well. Caneel's setting is best but the service really put us off this time.(our second visit) Little Dix would be a great honeymoon choice however, if you don't mind the same restuarant evey night. Stay clear of school vacations however. They really mean "child friendly" there now.
Any other questions give me an e-mail.
Have a great time whatever you decide.
Old May 17th, 2000, 10:26 AM
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I was trying to make the same decision. I am going on my honeymoon in July. I decided on Biras. For the most part I based my decision on these message boards and travel agent advice. I did have a close friend who went to Caneel. His remarks were very similar to responses I have seen here. He thought the service was really bad. All of the employees had an attitude and were not helpful at all. He did say the beaches were beautiful.

I decided I wanted to go to the BVI's over the USVI's. That is because they seem to be less built up and the water and beaches sound nicer. Little Dix was eliminated because of the children's program and they also have a problem with their air conditioning. The latter might not be an issue since you are going in October. I wanted a quite resort that really takes care of you. Biras only has 30+ rooms so there are not a lot of guests. You also get use of bikes and boston whalers for your stay. With the boston whalers you can cruise around the Gorda Sound and explore some very isolated beaches.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.
Old May 17th, 2000, 10:31 AM
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There are choices of eating on Virgin Gorda other than at Little Dix if you are staying there. Rent a jeep, take a taxi ... you are not "stuck" there! But I would stay at Biras just because of the "kids" at Little Dix ... or even head over to Peter Island, beachfront ... or Guana!
Old May 17th, 2000, 05:33 PM
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My husband posted earlier listing pros/cons of Caneel vs. Little Dix. I agreed with all of his comments. My close friend just went to Little Dix and Peter Island. She thought Little Dix was the far superior of the two - - she felt that Peter Island had service problems similar to those on Caneel.

Also, in regard to restaurants. If you are truly into fine dining, I don't think you'll find much on Virgin Gorda. We looked and couldn't see anything approaching an upscale dining experience other than resort restaurants. If eating is important to you, St. John wins for dining. The restaurants are EXCELLENT - - comparable to those in larger US cities. And some have absolutely stunning views making for very romantic evenings. Others are just great food.

Hope you find the perfect honeymoon spot.

Have you considered Petit St. Vincent? For romantic, I'd rate it tops. You are on an island and the resort takes up the entire island. There are only 20-30 cottages on the whole thing. You can easily be completely alone on a gorgeous beach ALL DAY. PSV has a great beach set up with hammocks, bohios, chairs, etc . . .and will deliver lunch to even the most remote locale on the little island. Off the beach snorkeling is only fair, but there is good snorkeling via boat trips.
Food is good, but can get a little boring since you are eating in only one restaurant night after night. Accommodations do not feel luxurious, but they are totally private. Some have spectacular views and are overlooking huge cliffs. They are very spacious (with bathroom, bedroom, sitting room, and huge deck with hammock and lounge chairs), but more "rustic". PSV is more out of the hurricane belt since it is pretty far south. It is not for everyone, but has a lot of repeat clientele.


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