Tortola vs. Virgin Gorda

Dec 18th, 2003, 04:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Tortola vs. Virgin Gorda

Which would be better for a 30-something couple who enjoys nice beaches, great food & snorkling/SCUBA.

Any recommendations on accomodations? Not budget but not the most high-end either.

Kristen is offline  
Dec 18th, 2003, 07:44 AM
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Nice beaches - either, but Tortola has nice beaches both with and without a choice of bars/restaurants.

Food - Tortola. Quite a few good choices. VG has only one or two places for really good food.

Snorkeling/SCUBA - either really. We found both to have good spots, but for diving, I'd go with Tortola for the better choices of dive shops.

Accommodations - on Tortola, we stayed at Lighthouse Villas. Nice views, spotless rooms, friendly staff, close to all the happenings, on Cane Garden Bay. On VG, we stayed at Mango Beach. It was ok, and the snorkeling there was some of the best we've ever done.

Much more to do and see on Tortola, but VG is great for vegging out on a floaty in the water and not seeing another person on the beach.
Diana is offline  
Dec 20th, 2003, 09:24 PM
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If you stay on Tortolla, stay on the north side or north-west side, where the best beaches are. Road Town on the south side has good and cheap hotels, and is close to the action in town and the harbor, but very little in the way of beaches. On Virgin Gorda, the area around Spanish Town has the most hotels/villas, and is very close to the Baths. Fischer's Cove is quite reasonable, and the reservation staff is very helpfull in other areas as well.
You should check out ferry service between Tortolla and BVI, it is very reasonable, and the islands are only 4-10 miles apart depending on the town.
Peter Island, Biras are very exclusive resorts (ultra expensive but very private), I am going to Peter Isle in Jan 04.
I was warned to bring plenty of sun-screen, as the sun is powerfull, and sun-screen is quite expensive there.
Taxi service is supposed to be excellent on both islands. Car rental is not that expensive, and might be considered if you really want to go exploring.
dogturd21 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2003, 10:54 AM
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We just returned from vacation in the BVI. Stayed in Tortola and spent one day in Jost Van Dyke (White Beach). Our hotel was the small intimate Sugar Mill Hotel ( which was located on the West Side surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. Small beach but very nice with views of other islands. They have won numerous awards for cuisine--excellent. Sugar Mill offers an Adventure Package which includes scuba. Have them pack a picnic lunch for you if you care to attempt to drive the hole riddled road to beautiful Smuggler's Cove (no facilities, sometimes no crowds).
You will need a jeep to get around Tortola--drive left on mountain roads with spectacular views of the ocean. Cane Garden Bay is at a beautiful beach setting where you can rent chairs, chaises, and umbrellas. Several restaurants on beach including Myett's which was very good (hamburgers, conch fritters!).
Take a ferry, Water Taxior or sail to several other BVI islands--Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Peter Island, Anegada etc.
Sebastian's nearby at Apple Bay (good for surfing) usually has a band playing on Sunday ("Lover Boys" were terrific) and check Limin' Times for other entertainment on the island.
Maureen is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 04:02 PM
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Posts: 511

Very seriously looking at Sugar Mill for a 5-6 day stay after 1 week sailing and 1 week on JVD. I have 3 questions for you:

Which units at Sugar Mill would you recommend? We're looking at the Deluxe Villas and the Plantation Suites. Really would like a nice view from the terrace/balcony to sit and relax and watch the sun go down.

While beach is not a major factor, as we will be coming off a stay beachfront on JVD and will be renting a jeep to get to other beaches, we would still like to have a passably decent one. I really don't want to be parking the lawn chairs on the shoulder of the road! Just how narrow/small is the beach at SM? And how rocky and/or seaweedy is it? Is better beach front within an easy walk?

What is the walking distance to Sebastian's and Bomba's?

Thanks in advance.

saharabee is offline  
Dec 28th, 2003, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 230
At Sugar Mill, there is enough parking spaces by the reception area and around the complex for the rental jeep--no problem.
We were very comfortable on the small, quaint Sugar Mill beach and went there to finish up the day after returning from Cane Garden Bay. Guests were swimming in the ocean. The beach is reef/jetty protected and has no seaweed or rocks.
The best units at SM are the Villas and Suites which are fairly new. Our Plantation Suite--2nd bedroom-- was on the bottom level with a huge terrace and 2 chaise lounges--no kitchen. This was considered a Deluxe Unit not a full suite. Upper units included hammocks. Suites and Villas have T.V.s but the other units do not.
We saw a Deluxe Room--Family Suite at SM which included a small front room--couch, chairs, library next to kitchen/table and a separate bedroom--no T.V. Nice big terrace shared by the next unit with a small partition but the view was fantastic.
You can walk down the road to Bomba's Shack at night but it is very dark and sometimes drivers are speeding by. Sebastians is a 2 minute drive and parking is nearby. There is never any traffic jams so no problem!
We also toured the Villas at Fort Recovery and each Suite had a T.V. in the rooms, spacious units with kitchens and great breezes from the balconys. Beach was larger but no restaurant--you can request a cook to prepare meals for you in your room or just drive out to a restaurant. A boat at the Fort Recovery pier will take you to Norman Island for snorkeling. Fort Recovery is located closer to the Boat Marina in the West End.
Maureen is offline  
Dec 28th, 2003, 10:09 AM
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Thanks so much for the extra information Maureen. I'm going to go ahead and book at SM - will probably go for the units with a view!

saharabee is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Posts: 511
Hi Maureen!

We just booked at Sugar Mill today for 6 days. Turns out we are going to be in the "1 room Plantation Suite - Lower Level" (the villa was already booked as was the upper level Plantation suite).

Is this the same unit you stayed in? If so, I'm a little confused - I thought all the suites had a kitchenette (What exactly comprises a "kitchenette"? I don't care if there's a stove - like I'm gonna cook, what a joke! But a fridge would be considered essential as well as a coffee maker for morning joe on the terrace.)

I know, - these are questions I should have asked the hotel rep when we talked, but I got hung up in credit card problems (extra security applied by MC for some reason) and didn't get to it, so if you can help......


saharabee is offline  
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