Vacation all I really wanted

So, as I’ve mentioned before, we recently spent our (belated) honeymoon at the Little Dix Bay resort on Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands. LDB was created by Rockefeller as a sort of wilderness resort, meant to capture the natural charm and beauty of the island. Rosewood bought the property and renovated it to make it a totally luxurious and upscale place. In order to keep with the style of the island and the sort of resort Rockefeller envisioned, there still are no locks on the doors (at least, there’s no way to lock the room from the outside) and no TVs in the rooms but really, I can’t say we missed either of those things. You can “rent” a portable DVD player (which we requested, and were given a TV/DVD player combo instead) and borrow movies from their library, abut that’s about it. Supposedly the resort recently added Wi-fi but we (smartly) left the laptop at home. We checked our e-mail a few times at the reception desk just to check in, but that’s about it. All this is to say – I didn’t miss TV or the internet, at all. Rosewood has a sister resort, Caneel Bay on St. John (American VI). J had stayed there before, which is what drove us to LDB. They offer some sort of package where you can split your stay between the two but we stayed put at LDB.

We flew into St. Thomas via Delta. It was a little over a three hour flight, not bad. Since this was a once in a lifetime trip, we flew in style in first class so I took advantage of pre-take off mimosas (as well as free drinks in flight) to get the party started. (No, I did not arrive at St. Thomas drunk, tyvm). We got to St. Thomas, got our luggage and searched the airport for the “Commuter Plane” section where we were supposed to meet our pilot. We finally found him, filled out some customs forms, and then crawled over the wing to get into the tiniest plane that I have ever flown. It was only a 15 minute hop from St. Thomas to Virgin Gorda, and truly it wasn’t *that bad* although a little bumpy. J took pictures the whole time and we now have no idea which island is which, although the view was very pretty. (You could also fly into San Juan, take a small flight or ferry to Beef Island or Tortola and then some sort of Ferry arrangement – a. I’ve heard San Juan’s airport is a nightmare b. that’s a lot of transportation. This was the most direct and efficient route, although also probably the most expensive). The Virgin Gorda “airport” is essentially a dirt strip runway with an adjacent shack. I’m not exaggerating. But we landed without incident, went through customs were the agent merely waved us in (what if we had had contraband?!) and we then waited for the taxi to take us to LDB. Being as everyone was on “island time” we waited a little bit for the taxi at the nearby Flying Iguana. Of course, the minute we sat down with our beers, the taxi showed up. Figures.

Plane to VG on Fly BVI

Our tiny plane

We take the short drive to LDB. We saw a little bit of Virgin Gorda along the way and let me say this – a lot of tropical islands which have been exploited by the tourist industry suffer widespread poverty among the locals. The locals of Virgin Gorda were certainly poor, but I refuse to go so far as to say it was to the level of a third world nation (ok, the PC term is developing nation, but Virgin Gorda is probably still developing, so I’ll use the non-PC term in order to give the proper image). But there were no grass huts or shacks and no naked children with distended bellies running around. There were wild goats and roosters, and it’s fairly desert like, but it wasn’t all that bad. Yes, it was poor, but not Sally Struthers tearing heartstrings destitute poor.

ANYWAY, arriving at LDB, we were taken to our room. There was a slight snafu at first which was quickly handled (we had requested an upper level suite and were first taken to a first level suite) but it got straightened out. Our room was right on the beach and had a great view. There was a deck with some lounge chairs I wish we could take home. The room was recently renovated and very clean and well appointed. The bathroom was big with an outdoor shower that J keeps claiming was “worth the price of admission.” (Ok, yes, we probably took 1-2 showers a day out there, everyday. I never used the tub). Our arrival was greeted with a bottle of chilled champagne, chocolate covered strawberries (J claims he didn’t order these, so I’m guessing it was a honeymoon thing) and the complimentary bottle of rum provided to every guest on arrival. Plus some snacks in the mini fridge J had requested for our arrival. (Rosewood is so great – they offer a list of snacks and drinks to stock your room with prior to arrival. Of course the prices are outrageous, but it’s nice to have that sort of thing taken care of beforehand.)

View from our room

Outdoor Shower

Outdoor shower, with birdy

Rather than hit the beach right away, we took a nap, tired from our travels. It was really hard to drag ourselves out of bed for dinner but we finally managed to get cleaned up and down to the Pavillion, which is a large open air restaurant which features music entertainment during dinner. The food and service were pretty good. LDB offers a meal plan; a fixed rate gets you breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, whatever you want. Based on the posted prices we def got our money’s worth. We had tons of lobster, scallops, tenderloin, sea bass, etc.

Next morning, we hit the breakfast buffet at the Pavillion. They offer a menu which you can order from (J never did, I had eggs benedict a few days which were great and waffles one day – they were not great). The buffet offered bagels, pastries, fresh fruit, juice, an omelet/egg station, a smoothie station, cereal, potatoes, bacon and sausage, etc. Plenty of options. The first day we walked along the beach from the Pavilion to our room, mostly just to see the beach. The water is so amazingly clear it’s almost unbelievable. The beach is gorgeous and, during the off season at least, fairly peaceful.

the Beach

LDB Beach

We got back to our room but didn’t hit the beach yet – we had a couples message scheduled at the world-renowned spa in order to get us into proper relaxation mode. A little golf cart shuttled us up to the Cliffside spa, where we relaxed by the infinity pool before our appointment. Then, we were taken to separate locker rooms to change into robes and taken to our suite for the messages. So worth it! The hour passed all too quickly. Feeling relaxed, we sat by the deck of the suit, sipping lemon water and enjoying the view. Then we showered (the spa locker rooms also offer an outdoor shower, where J had a kitten visitor watch him) and took the golf cart shuttle back to our room so we could hit the beach.

Once we staked out a bohio, the little thatched huts with lounge chairs, we flagged down the service guy to bring us some pina coladas. Nothing like a frosty drink on a hot day, beachside. We alternated in the sun and shade, trying to take it easy in the sun the first few days. We cooled off in the water and basically did nothing until lunch time, we when sauntered to the nearby beach grill for lunch. The Pavilion also offers a lunch buffet, which we did a few times, that was very good as well. Made to order grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. and all sorts of salads and whatnot. Beach Grill wasn’t bad either; we tended to eat on the later side of the lunch hour and managed to avoid the “crowds.” (It was off season and while busy, I never felt the resort was crowded). Then back to the beach for more sun and sand. Eventually we head back to our room to clean up for dinner, we had reservations at the Sugar Mill, the smaller more romantic restaurant. We ate there most nights and overall were pretty happy with the food. Some dishes were hit or miss, but for the most part we ate very well.

Bohio - where they bring me my drinks

Bohio

The pattern of breakfast (during which we enjoyed reading the Times digest, a poorly edited copied digest of outdated news), beach, lunch, nap, beach, dinner was pretty much an accurate depiction of the majority of our trip. Sure, we did some stuff. Took a visit into Spanish Town (weren’t impressed). Did a beach drop to Long Bay, where we enjoyed our own private beach for half a day, because we had the beach to ourselves. They dropped us off by boat with an umbrella. You can also order a picnic lunch to take with your. We took a snorkeling trip one day which was a lot of fun. We also took a sunset cruise to the north end of the island and saw Necker Island, Richard Branson’s place. We did a lot of snorkeling. We even visited the gym every now and then! We bought Cuban cigars at the resort gift shop and smoked them on our deck, while scheming how to bring them back with us (we didn’t, although we probably could have). We took a taxi to The Baths, a series of granite boulder outcroppings that creates a series of pools and did some pretty cool snorkeling in the area, as well as enjoyed lunch at The Top of the Baths. We walked along the beach at sunset and at night. We went to the manager’s reception and enjoyed island punch, as well as the Grand Buffet at the Pavilion (which was pretty grand). We checked out the pool one day, briefly, just because I felt we should. But mostly, we chilled on the beach, relaxing, reading, napping, snorkeling, floating and swimming. And it was absolutely perfect.

The Baths

THE BATHS

It was extremely hard to reconcile to ourselves the fact that we would soon have to leave and return to reality – alarm clocks, jobs, having to cook and clean up after ourselves. No turn down service or golf carts to take us where we wanted to go. I was ready to send for the cats and make a go of it down there. We kept scheming of ways we could live in the islands, at least part time (not during hurricane season). I don’t think I have any complaints about LDB. Sure, the food wasn’t always five star top notch, but it was definitely above average. The majority of the service we received was incredibly helpful and friendly. In short, we had an absolutely amazingly wonderful vacation, a totally perfect honeymoon. And I have the best husband in the world, since this vacation was pretty much all his doing.

I’ll try to post some more pictures later. I hope how I can figure out how to embed the tiny movie clip I took of the beach, since I couldn’t figure out how to take a panoramic shot with my camera, and some of the underwater pics we took, some of which came out really well!

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1 Comment »

  1. jealous Said:

    WOW! Next time can I go with you? This is amazing!


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