Peter Island is not our cup of tea

Old Dec 19th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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Peter Island is not our cup of tea

Having said which, I can readily see why many folks enjoy it very much. Since I asked so many questions in advance of our trip, I'll offer a few notes here in return.

A main disadvantage (as we see it) is that there's nowhere to get out of rough weather. We happened to have had the misfortune of being in the BVI's during Tropical Depression Olga. So be it-- nothing one can do about the weather. HOWEVER, unlike the case on every other island we've been on, whether at a resort or in a villa, on PI one was constantly barraged by the wind; there was nowhere to get in any sort of lee. The entire time we were at the resort, there was virtually no one on any beach-- the sand-blasting from the high winds was just too unpleasant. Virtually no one was at the pool either-- too much wind. This is not PI's "fault," obviously. But understanding now what we understand abt the configuration of the island, especially the resort's location on it, we'd not schedule another vacation there: just too iffy. (We've been at Caneel and other places in high winds-- always somewhere to find respite.)

The other big drawback was one we'd been prepared for-- the mediocre snorkeling. Of course things were stirred up pretty badly from the storm, but we were able to get a sense of what the various reefs were like-- mediocre at best. Again, not the fault of the resort....

We were able to get a complimentary upgrade, so we were happy with our accommodations. I checked out the ocean view rooms-- would not have been pleased to be in one of those (though the view was fine).

The beaches: handsome, but no more so than the beaches on many another Caribbean island.

We thought the food was very good, heads and shoulders over Little Dix or Caneel, e.g. Lightest french toast and pancakes I've ever tasted. Extremely good desserts. Excellent salads and sandwiches and pizza. Seafood dishes very well prepared. Etc. All quite first-rate. (This was a nice surprise. We hadn't expected the food to be quite so good.) (The afternoon tea at PI was inferior to the ones at the Rosewood resorts-- small matter with the rest of the food being so good.)

Service was excellent. Most employees seemed genuinely to enjoy their jobs, seemed happy to go the extra mile to make a guest happy. We were impressed repeatedly during our stay with the high quality and general pleasantness of the service, with the whole "tone" of the place.

Will be most happy to answer any specific questions. Peter Island would be a good choice for many people. But whereas we're eager to return to Caneel and Virgin Gorda (e.g.) again and again, we doubt we'll be back to PI.

Happy holidays to all and thanks for the advance in-put.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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How about some general cost breakdown such as room and food prices and bar tab? Thanks.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Since anyone can get those "factual," "objective" kinds of specifics by looking at a website or brochure, I simply offered the more "subjective," "personal" kinds of comments. At Peter Island, by the way, all food is included in the rate. Bar tab is extra.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Alas, each tropical wave or storm is different and moves across in a unique pattern. Evidently the winds were from the NE which would only leave the Spa beach and White Bay Beach protected (not bad choices actually! Too bad someone didn't pass that info along.

High winds can really affect snorkeling and diving. We've had a few trips like that ourselves. Nothing like Mother Nature not cooperating! <grin>

Good to hear you liked the food - it has been really good on our last couple visits.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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P.S. Peter Island just made the list for one of the top resorts in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure - World's Best Resorts.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/tl50...t-peter-island
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for the trip report, poss. I'm so sorry that you didn't enjoy your stay more, especially after the hours of research you did on the place. But you can't predict the weather, and at least the food was a pleasant surprise!

I couldn't tell from your post if you had constant rain, or just constant wind. Is really *is* a shame when the wind is too strong to enjoy sitting outside with a good book.

Were you the poster who was concerned about the noise level of the generator at night? If so, how did that work out for you? Can you tell us a little more about the decor of the rooms? What about the lower grade rooms would you not have liked?

Were you able to get out on any daysails for snorkeling, or were the boats grounded? (beached? what do you call it when boats don't sail?) Did you enjoy any of the spa services?
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Old Dec 20th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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EJ:
I think what you call it when boats don't sail is a bummer! Indeed, no one was allowed to take any of the little boats out until the last day we were there. (We sail and kayak at home, but we often still enjoy puttering around in those little boats when we're in the Caribbean.) No snorkeling trips went out the first 4 days we were there-- simply too rough and turbid. (Divers went out some days.)

I did go to the spa one day, in part because at least that pool area was a bit more out of the wind. (Not a swimming pool, just a sitting/lounging pool. Very pretty though.) It was howling down at the reef beach and at the hot tub. The spa at PI was wonderfully handsome and spacious, more impressive even than the one at Little Dix (tho it was gorgeous too). My hot stone massage at PI wasn't up to par: I've had better ones at other places (including, in fact, at LD). But it's a very lovely setting, and perhaps some of the other therapists are better.

I'm not sure whether we'd've heard the generator in the ocean view rooms (hard to hear much of anything except the howling wind most of the time), but the one day (couple of hours) we were able to sit by the pool (no way at the beach), we definitely did hear the generator. I found it annoying-- it was definitely loud-- but plenty of other folks might not have been bothered at all. (My husband can tune those things out.)
As for the ocean view rooms: The rooms themselves weren't bad, but I found the bathrooms just too small and dreary. I much dislike combo tub/shower anyway-- they remind me of motels-- and also the bathrooms had a worn look. The beachfront rooms (which I'd not have paid the big extra bucks for, by the way) were considerably larger, with a fine sitting area. The rooms also had excellent and varied lighting-- of major importance to us readers (especially in bad weather). And the bathrooms were a pleasure: huge and well-functioning jacuzzi tub, two good sinks, double shower, etc. Decor was fine-- not luxurious, but pleasantly Caribbean in feel. Plenty of space, plenty of comfort.

The 5 days we were on Virgin Gorda it rained every day-- often quite hard and for a couple of hours, often a couple of times a day. At night there was plenty of rain-- real downpours, often for hours-- and that awful wind. Not much sunshine in those days. By the time we got to Peter Island for our last 5 days, things had gentled a bit and brightened a bit. Less rain, though plenty enough to keep things wet and dripping. Days were part cloudy, but with some sun. Seas were still roiled. Water was full of sand. Beach was more or less unusable until our last day.

The best laid plans o' mice and men gang oft aglay.

ScubaMom: We for sure checked out both the spa and White Bay. When I looked at the map, it seemed as if there'd be a fair chance WB would be ok, if not for snorkeling, at least for sitting on the beach and reading, which we were so hungry for. But, no. The several couples who went out there called for the ride back in an hour: just too unpleasant with all the wind and sand blowing. We did snorkel both sides, but, obviously, visibility was pretty poor. Even went back the next day to try again. Finally, on our very last day, the wind had calmed, and it was pleasant to be on the beach-- even Deadmans. Spent our last afternoon over at WB again. Water less turbid, but still plenty stirred.

We were grateful to have gotten that room upgrade. I think we'd've been a lot more down without it. And PI really is a special place. Some of the food was truly memorable (best calamari we've ever had-- so tender and lightly done; best duck breast, etc), but I think it was the ambience of the place-- the unusual thoughtfulness and cheerfulness and helpfulness of the staff-- that made the place a stand-out from many other resorts.

Another thing I believe I forgot to mention: We didn't think the grounds were anywhere near as handsome as at Caneel or Little Dix or Biras. Far fewer flowers and far less interesting walking from place to place (e.g. to get from beach to pool, from room to Tradewinds restaurant, one was on the road at PI, mainly out of view of the sea, unlike at Caneel, e.g. where every step, every view is gorgeous.)

Oh, but did I mention the music? Excellent steel drum group, and really cool jumbie dancers.

In short: a blessed place to be, even in bummer weather.

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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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I hope the management at Peter Island takes your comments very seriously. They should find a way to reconfigure the island so that guests are not disturbed by trade winds during storm season. It is also very unfortunate that they have not put in place any arrangements to ensure that snorkelling is not effected by rough waters.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 12:56 AM
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I understand your frustration but must admit I felt almost the same way when we were hit by a hurricane (lasted only 1 day) at Caneel a number of years ago. Nowhere to go and nothing really to do.
But at least at Caneel when things settle down the snorkeling is still pretty good while it has reached the point of only "fair" around PI, LD and Biras and will get worse. I hope Caneel can fight the pollution some way for they can not do much about the global warming in he nar term that is killing the coral.
Sorry you had a "downer" trip.
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