Tortola Help

Old Jul 21st, 2008, 05:44 PM
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Tortola Help

Hello all,

Hoping someone can help steer me in the right direction. I have been reading quite a bit over the last few weeks, and 90% sure Tortola will be a good choice for my next vacation.

I fell in love with St John, and wanted to find something similar. Tortola seems to be about as close as I'm going to get when looking at the BVIs. What I'm looking for is suggestions on places to stay. Long Bay beach resort looks to be about my speed, but open to ideas.

What I'd like to find is something on a nice beach. Huge plus would be good snorkeling on site (not sure about Long Bay resort for this). Being close to a few restaurant choices is nice, as well as a fun place to hang out for drinks (beach bar) would be great. Not afraid to rent a jeep and explore other beaches & snorkel sites. Really prefer to be under $300 a night for the room (off-season). Most likely travel period would be November.

Is Long Bay the choice for us? Are there other condos around that might be a better choice? Any help is hugely appreciated.

-Scott
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Old Jul 21st, 2008, 06:59 PM
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You may want to check out some of the small places on Cane Garden Bay. There are many drinking/dining options within walking distance. Tortola is a great island to explore by car, but extremely winding and hilly. It puts STJ to shame in that aspect. Good luck planning your trip to the BVI!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 04:04 AM
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I've never been to St. John, but I've been to both Tortola and Virgin Gorda. It seems to me that most St. John fans on this board who visit the BVIs prefer Virgin Gorda over Tortola. You may be the first I've read who is considering Tortola over VG.

Long Bay has a gorgeous stretch of beach--no doubt about that--and it's convenient to Smuggler's Cove, where you can find decent snorkeling. So if you're not particular about rooms or service, it could be fine for you. Granted, my opinion is not actually based on personal experience on this one, but rather reading the multitude of reviews on Trip Advisor.

The Sugar Mill might be another option--it's much smaller, the beach there is quite tiny, but the rooms are comfortable, the service is warm, the food is good, and you never lose sight that you're actually in the Caribbean whilst there.

Our other good snorkeling off the beach on Tortola was at Long Bay East on Beef Island. We had the entire beach to ourselves. As you face the water, head to the far left where the remnants of an old snorkel trail are still submerged.

Otherwise, my snorkeling experiences on VG were much better than my ones on Tortola.

I think both islands are great--I never quite understood how Tortola gets treated like the red-headed step child of the BVI by some folks--but I still give the overall edge to VG.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Thanks for the replies folks.

ejcrowe,

I think what has me a little afraid of Virgin Gorda is how quiet it is there. Don't get me wrong, we are not looking for Cancun....but from what I've read so far, Tortola nightlife can be found...where as VG nightlife is almost non-existant?

Please correct me if I'm wrong. No decisions have been made yet, and I'm always open to looking at all my options. Snorkeling is huge, so you have my attention with your post about VG.

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 01:42 PM
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The next bay over from CGB is Brewers Bay. We enjoyed snorkeling there many times during our stay. There's a great little beach bar that rents chairs and has good food.

We rented an apartment in little carrot bay and loved the proximity to good restaurants and bars. We were close to palms delight, coco plums, long bay, sebastians, etc.

CGB has a lively bar scene, but the beach is not the best (too many boats, etc).

Peace, Greenie
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Old Aug 29th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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I've been to Tortola twice--and loved it. I much prefer it over VG, which is small and doesn't have as much variety. We stayed near Long Beach in a beautiful house and at the Sugar Mill Hotel--small but very nice. There seem to be more dining and nightlife options on the other side of Tortola and we have friends who stay on that end and love it. Tortola is not as neat and tidy as St. John--it doesn't have the benefit of the National Park Service, etc., but it is easy to get around Tortola and you get a more real idea of life on the islands. I'd choose it over St. John's or VG in a heartbeat. Hope you have fun.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 02:15 AM
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to me, Tortola is much prettier than VG (more dramatic peaks, and beaches are fantastic). Cane Garden Bay I found just a bit busy, particularly if they unload a cruise ship in Roadtown. The best beach on the island is the one below Long Bay (can't remember name but they filmed blue lagoon or something there). We stayed in a villa through purplepineapple.com (sugar apple villa), and its one of the coolest places I've ever stayed in. Open air, on a bluff above Little Apple Bay. 10 minutes over to Pusser's and Soper's Hole, you can take a ferry to Jost Van Dyke for the day, or for that matter to VG and The Baths.
I'd go back in a heartbeat. Drive over to Brewers Bay is breathtaking, literally. Josiah's Bay was nice for a day trip
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