Where to stay on Virgin Gorda?

Old Jul 24th, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Where to stay on Virgin Gorda?

I'd like to plan an 8 or 9 day trip to VG for December (before the rates go up). I remember some fine hiking on that handsome island many years ago when we were sailing in the area. Because snorkeling is the main thing we love in the Caribbean, we've been back to St John a number of times (Caneel and Gallows Point), but we'd like to try somewhere different (didn't enjoy Cayman-- so unhandsome). I'm thinking of splitting our time between 2 places (as we often do at St John). Would Biras Creek and Little Dix be good choices? Which accommodations at each place? I'm thinking we might miss having a beach at Biras (they're so wonderful at Caneel, eg), but perhaps the snorkeling and the grounds will be good enough to make up for it? We love: beautiful surroundings, great rooms, quiet and privacy, good food (Caneel is mediocre at best)-- and GREAT SNORKELING. I know, by the way, that Biras has little boats that one can take out to visit various snorkeling spots; I'm not sure we'd feel comfortable doing that. I'm hoping I can hear from folks who know both St. John and Virgin Gorda so that they can compare and contrast. E.g. I wonder if the snorkeling at Little Dix (or anywhere on VG) is as terrifc and various as at Caneel (and the dozen other wonderful spots around the island). I would like to try somewhere new though. Feed-back much appreciated. Thank you! By the way, does anyone know if VG has anything along the lines of Gallows Point on St John? I.e. very commodious and nice condos, gorgeous views, great snorkeling (no beach there-- didn't matter), close to town so that one could walk to many good restaurants. Just about ideal!
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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We have stayed at both Caneel and Little Dix. We much preferred LDB. While Caneel had a number of beaches, LDB's one beach is outstanding and so big, you can pick a different spot each day. We liked the snorkeling better at LDB, but the real plus was a water taxi service that LDB provides to any one of nine different secluded beaches for snorkeling, swimming, sunning, or whatever. They drive, and will drop off and pick up anywhere from 2 hours to all day. We have not been to Biras, mainly because of it's location. We preferred to be closer to town and harbor for restaurants and day sails.
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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SLK-- Thanks for responding. I'm glad to hear that Little Dix has great snorkeling. I'm surprised because at Caneel there are so many many different places to "put in" and each beach has very different kind of reefs/rocks from the next-- endlessly varied and wonderful. Looking at that (beautiful!) big beach at LD, one wouldn't guess that the snorkeling could be all that good. e.g. it's the "sides" of all those beaches at Caneel where the best snorkeling is; and LD only has 2 "ends." Does the reef extend the complete length of that long beach-- and is it close enough to shore so that one can float along over it for hours? I don't understand how it can be good-- but I'm delighted to hear that it is! Also: is the food any better at LD than at Caneel? We thought that Caneel was, at best, mediocre. We went into town for most dinners. Is town in VG about equally accessible? Can one walk to restaurants from LD? Do you have a recommendation for which accomodation to request at Little Dix? We like quiet and privacy. Thank you so much!
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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We were at LDB for one afternoon, very quiet. Nice beach but I perfer St John. I do not think Virgin Gorda has the same night life as St John and Cruz Bay.

ML
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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The reef at LDB runs from one end right across to the other. In fact there is a very narrow lane for boats to enter. Turtles, reef squid and maybe even a shark, are not uncommon in the bay. With that said, to me the real difference maker for me between LDB and Caneel was the water taxis. Every day we were there, we could take a free boat trip to any one of nine different beaches. Mountain Trunk is just north of LDB and has the best snorkeling on the entire island. One day we went over to George Dog Island for a frew hours. We were the only ones there and had great snorkeling. If you want to see the Baths, you can get a water taxi from LDB to Devils Bay and back.

As far as meals, the food is better at LDB, but expensive and we opted for other restaurants, except for their Grand Seafood Buffet night, which is not to be missed. You can walk to town. Realize that town is basically the harbor. Not much there. We took cabs to restaurants. It was anywhere from $12-$20 round trip for two depending on the distance.

The rooms are spread from one of the beach to the other, so all rooms are very close to the beach. The most private are probably the ones up toward the Spa, numbers 101-122. We preferred the rooms between the retaurants and the dock, numbered 1-16. There may be a map out on their website showing the entire resort.
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 05:30 PM
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Thank you, slk! Very helpful.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:13 PM
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slk230: in your opinion is LDB predominantely a place for honeymooners and couples, or could you go by yourself and have a peaceful, serene and relaxing vacation as well?
do people often take their children there? it seems like a beautiful place that caters mostly to couples.....the spa looks wonderful? did you try it?
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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We went to Little Dix the past May for our 2oth anniversary- loved this place- but don't espect the Ritz- beautiful grounds and simple surroundings- my only concern is the development going on- on the hillside above- they are building villas- alot of construction noise! Also don't expect to use the pool unless you are using the spa- a disappointment. We only ate one meal at LDB- very pricey- and there are other fun restuarants that are good. Hope this helps! Susan
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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why are The Baths a must see?
someone at work said it's a small cluster of boulders and you couldn't really snorkel and swimming around takes about twenty minutes. this assessment didn't sound right to me based on what i've read in guidebooks, but maybe i have an unrealistic picture in my head. i envision a huge area of boulders, grottos, pools...something really really unusual and neat....what's the real story??!
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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thanks susan,
do you need a car or can you walk from LDB to restaurants off the premises?
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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Stellaluna: What you envision is correct. But even with the pools, grottos and caves, I still think the Baths are very overrated. I don't know how people actually manage to snorkel, when I was there in February, the swell was so bad that we could barely even swim. It is very crowded. It's one of those things where you either love it or wonder what is the big deal.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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It's intersteing, because I've heard people being concerned that LDB is a family resort and might have too many kids. We have been twice, never noticed many children and certainly never been bothered by it. I think it's much more honeymooners and couples. Doesn't strike me as a singles resort from an active point of view. With that said, it's a great place to just relax and be away from it all. My wife did her yoga at the Spa, but did not induldge in any of the other services. Everyone we spoke to said it was top notch.

As far as the Baths. Our opinion is that yes it is a bit overrated, but it is very unique. The beaches on each side of the Baths, Spring Bay and Devil's Bay are very nice beaches and Devil's Bay has some very good snorkeling. You really don't snorkel in the Baths, there is a trail that you use to hike through. On the hill overlooking the Baths are two restaurants, Mad Dogs and the Top of the Hill. Mad Dogs caters to quick eats, lots of drinks and good conversation. Top of the Hill is a more standard fare and even has a pool to cool off in. I would visit the Baths at least once.
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