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StanKase Dec 28th, 2006 03:28 PM

Short Trip Report-Biras Creek Resort
We spent 8 days at Biras Creek returning home about 10 days ago. First off you must understand we are avid snorkelers and 80+% of the coral is dead or dying around Virgin Gorda and Anegada. One spot Nail Nut Bay just 1 mile off Biras Creek was the only healthy area we saw but it was with a heavy surf and a less than alert boatsman taking us out for 90-100 minutes to different spots and while in calm areas it was not an issue but at Oil Nut it was in our opimion danagerous for him not to be attentive. We always loved snorleing around Caneel and 2 groups on Moorings charters told us the snorkeling there is still very good but not excellent as is was 4 years ago. They said around Peter Island it was o'k but not like it was when one couple sysayed there 3 years ago.The reasons are many: Global warming create water temps as high as 84+ and coral to be heathy need 80 or less,Pollution from large power and sail boats not propertly treated before being discharged and tanker type ships sometimes leak and some have the same discharge problem, lastly some building projects that are not responsibly handled allow building material and sand to cover coral that also can kill it.
The Resort if snorkeling is not your thing. The dinners were good to very good but only 1 of 8 was outstanding. Lunches 5 of 7 days were at the beach on picnic tables but under a cover. The food, all buffet style was fairly good. The 2 days the lunches were served in the dining room the food and comfort was better. The breakfast cook was not very good, when he could not cook an omlette or srambled eggs well done. The almost tasted like buffet srambled eggs. But they had fruits and danish that were good.
When we arrived the resort was 75%-80% fully renovated. By the time we left 12/13 it was 90% complete and I am sure by Dec. 23, the Christmas/New Years guersts, it was 98% complete. The suites were comfortable. The Garden Suites were not in a desirable location. The Ocean Front Suites were nicely located and the renovation was fairly well done. But the sitting room fan in our and another couples suites were moving slow so it was not comfortable sitting in there even with just the screen door.The bedrooms were well air conditioned. The Master Suite was much more room than we would have needed for 2 people need and the Ocean View were the right size but without A/C in the sitting room and in the toilet it was really one comfortable room. The Master Suite we were was much more comfortable.
The beach is nice but not beautiful nor extremely long but adequate.The pool is very small, maybe 18 X 12 and lounges for 15-18 guests.
If you do not enjoy walking or biking (at some of the inclines and I saw bikers hugging) you have a problem. But, if you called for a golf cart to pick you up in 5-8 minutes they came and gave you a lift. They were planning at some point to get a number of golf carts and renting them to guests during their stay.They had a number of Hobby Cats and similar while we were there (it was I think 75% full)and Shawn would help ypu get going. The Boston Whalers were available but some of the area the water was rough like the day we went to Oil Nut Bay and I would not want to be out there alone with my wife.The staff is very pleasant with the exception of a few waitresses who were either shy or really did not enjoy what they were doing. One of the Personal Assistants, Maria, was a gem. She is also the wife of 1 year of the chef who has been there for 2 years.Is it worth $800 with sevice/tav or $1300 in the Master Suite I do not think so.
I realize the new management cannot do anything about the dead and dying coral or control the georgeous weather we had so until the coral regenerates in 10 years, if it does, we would likely not return to Biras Creek even with 10% off the 2007 rates which are 12-15% not 10% above the 2006 rates.It was by far not our worst vacation and we travel to similar resorts 2-3 times a year but it was in the lowe 25%, unfortunately.
Hope this helps.

ExpertTripPlanner Dec 28th, 2006 03:41 PM

Thanks, StanKase, for your trip report. I've been waiting for your impressions. Snorkeling was to be a large focus for my trip in February, so I am sorry to hear that it was below standard. At any rate, I will proceed with my plans to travel to Biras Creek this winter. I still like the idea of being at a rather secluded location, mostly all-inclusive, with the possibility of a few different day trips. (I'm thinking the Baths, Savannah Beach, Anegada- did you do any of these?) I like to hike, and I enjoy sitting on the beach with a good book; don't like too much activity, unless it is outdoor-oriented. I figure that some of the problems may be ironed out by February. Also, I have generally modest expectations about dining in the Caribbean - I have sampled great food in most of the world's large cities; the only good meals I've had in the Caribbean region were at Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos and one great luncheon buffet at Caneel Bay on St. John about 15 years ago!

owa Dec 29th, 2006 03:00 AM

Thanks for your report StanKase. Sorry to hear you did not enjoy BC. Where will you go next for snorkeling? Did you snorkel around Great Camanoe? I just read that along the shore of Great Camanoe facing Marina Cay where the undersea cable comes ashore is still good.

Could you leave the bedroom door open to have the A/C cool the sitting room? When we were in Bonaire, I was very uncomfortable with A/C only in the bedroom.

Did you ever eat at Bitter End? Isn't that where you can eat lunch rather that eating at BC everyday?

Happy New Year, Owa

StanKase Dec 29th, 2006 05:51 AM

owa; You cannot leave the door open for long and expect the A/C to be effective when you return to the bedroom. It is a good 1 room A/C unit. We went to Anegada for the day. To Loblolly Bay and Cow Wreck the 2 sopots known to be the best. The conditions there were not noticeably better there.They did not suggest Great Camanos as a good spot. If you charter a boat for 4 hours for $650 they say some fairly decent snorkeling around Norman and Cooper Island. I eat at Bitter End 2 years ago on a cruise and it was nowhere near as good as Biras. Also, we met a couple from Bitter end who eat dinner at Biras on there last night and said the food was much better at Biras.Sorry to disappoint but those are my impressions. Next trip is to the Red Sea in April.

Curt Dec 29th, 2006 07:10 AM

$800 a night? Was that just the room or did you get all inclusive for that? That is a lot of money for what sounds like a fairly poor and not so nice place. Please expand on what you really get for $800 a night and what you had to pay extra for while there. Thanks!

StanKase Dec 29th, 2006 07:34 AM

Too clarify the snorkeling question. The Baths are still nice I am told by several people went during our stay. That is because it is an area of huge bolders with little coral and sea anenomes attach to the boulders that are under water and the anenomes attract a fair amount of fish.But you should know the depths of water is only 5-10 ft. but the folks said water was clear. We had gone on 2 previous trips so did not go o see the same thing.
Savanah Bay was not a destination because even the water staff said the best accessible good spot was Oil Nut Bay.
The $800 (includes tax & service) in shoulder season (until 12/15) plus 3 meals and as I said good dinners, fair lunches 5 of 7 days and adequate breakfasts if you want eggs or pancakes but the fruit and rolls/danish were good.Use of Hohhy Cats and boston Whalers and snorkel gear, if you want if are complimentary. No liquor, wine or soft drinks at meals are included. A nice touch was they stocked our frig with about 4 cans of soft drinks and 2 Perrier and a bottle of inexpensive but decent white wine. Orders for additional soft drinks in-room were $3.50 (including service & tax).The Master Suite only 2 offerred a few more snacks but was about 50% more but with 3 times the space.But as I said it is better for 3 adults. I do not think they allow 4 in those Suites, but check. The Ocean Suites only allow a maximum of 2 persons. While they state children under 8 not permitted we were at an off period and saw only 2 and he said he was 6 1/2. But, they were quite and not an annoyance, at all.I am not sure how they can reject someone that arrives who is 5-7 years old, though.

StanKase Dec 29th, 2006 07:43 AM

To all. I re-read and saw my typos. I am a "hunt and peck" typist and you cannot use spell check. Sorry.

ejcrowe Jan 1st, 2007 08:25 AM

Stan, thanks for the trip report. I, too, am sorry to read that you didn't enjoy it more. Biras Creek is still on my list of places to visit one day, but with their continually rising rates, I'm not sure I'll ever get there!

ScubaMom Jan 7th, 2007 04:22 AM

ejcrowe, this might be a good time to take another look at Biras since they just revised and updated their rates and packages for 2007.

StanKase Jan 7th, 2007 07:37 AM

Yes, the rates for regular Ocean Suites went up 12% in 2007 and Master Suites about 16%. On top of that increase you have to add 17% (service % Tax) but generally very little additional tipping. We gave Maria $40 for she is quite special and Blacker who took us out in a Boston Whaler left us off and picked us up in 1 hour. That was extent of tipping after getting out of the airport at Tortola.

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