British Virgin Islands
Rosewood Little Dix Bay, BVI
Rosewood Little Dix Bay bedroom
Bitter End Yacht Club
Rosewood Little Dix Bay living room
At a glance, you might think The British Virgin Islands is a piece of paradise best suited to savvy sailors or loved-up honeymooners. But do consider it for a seriously luxury family holiday. The BVI ticks the boxes for a luxury family holiday thanks to its laid back Caribbean vibe, endless water activities for the kids and maximum tranquillity for frazzled parents. Lying east of Puerto Rico, and dubbed 'nature’s little secrets,' the BVI are a cluster of over 50 idyllic islands and cays. Their lure is exclusive seclusion. By choosing a shore-side hotel or villa, with a view of twinkling, turquoise waters and pristine white sands, you have no choice but to slow right down.
Bitter End Yacht Club
Bitter End Yacht Club is a classic hotel with a sailor-chic feel and tons of activities for both parents and children.
Check into the Bitter End Yacht Club if you want action and adventure on your family break in the BVI. The emphasis here is on watersports, so any beach boredom can be banished with windsurfing, kayaking, surfing or sailing lessons. High-energy children will throw themselves into the exciting kids’ programme with...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina
A short boat ride from Tortola lies the sleek Scrub Island Resort, defined by five-star style and service.
This luxury family resort is a firm favourite for those mooring sail boats, thanks to its outstanding facilities and private feel. Once on the Island of Scrub, which is almost vehicle-free, there’s little else to do but enjoy the resort and Scrub’s three beaches. Embrace this peace and privacy or use Scrub as a...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Rosewood Little Dix Bay is the ultimate beachfront retreat for high-end luxury
A resort that's tranquil and elegant yet still ultra child-friendly will always get a big thumbs up from families. At the long-established Rosewood Little Dix Bay, every last detail has been considered to make sure babies, children and parents feel deliriously pampered. From babysitting to bottle warmers to golf...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Trellis Bay Cyber Cafe
Trellis Bay, Beef Island, Tortola
The BVI is famous for its full-moon parties, which are masses of fun, but mostly unsuitable for children. A very family-friendly version, however, can be found at Trellis Bay Cyber Cafe on Beef Island. At full moon, you can feast on a West Indian buffet and be entertained by local dancers, musicians, artists, stilt walkers and fireballs. Kids can join in the dancing or simply soak up the party atmosphere. If you visit the cafe for lunch, the all-day pancakes with syrup are a treat that will go down well with the children. They’ll also be happy to amuse themselves on the cafe’s hammocks and swings.
The Lobster Trap
Sitting at the end of a tiny dock, this shabby shack doesn’t look much by day. At night though, when lit up with hundreds of twinkling lights, The Lobster Trap becomes the place to tuck into lobster – Anegada’s famous, juicy local catch. Kids are welcomed and there are mini-portions of everything available so they can try out the Islands’ speciality too. Bookings are a must, so call by 4pm and let them know that you’ll be coming for lobster. They’ll catch and cook it for you whilst you’re on the way.
Pirate-loving kids can delve into the islands’ tales of shipwrecks and folklore by catching a boat to Norman Island, a former pirate hideaway. Enjoy a snorkel around the Treasure Caves or head straight to Pirates Bight, which opens daily for lunch and dinner. Clean and modern after an impressive recent revamp, this beachside restaurant serves up delicious local snapper and coconut curry shrimp. The wings, pasta and sliders on the children’s menu will appeal to fussy eaters and there are comfy sofas should the little ones want to curl up for a snooze. You might want to leave before it gets too late as there’s much more of a party vibe in the bar after dinner.
One Love Bar and Grill
Jost Van Dyke
Dining on The British Virgin Islands is relaxed and unfussy, with the best restaurants being doorless and right on the sand – perfect for easy, child-friendly eating. The family-run One Love Bar and Grill is the best example with its ‘no shirt, no shoes, no problem’ motto. Not always open past sunset, it’s best to visit for lunch. Spend the day on the beautiful White Bay Beach just on the western side of Jost Van Dyke, and slope in to One Love when hunger strikes. Children will love the fresh fish sandwiches, conch fritters or sticky ribs. Adults shouldn’t leave without trying the famous bushwhacker cocktail. When you do leave, it’s bar tradition to hang an item of your clothing from the rafters, a quirky touch that will amuse the kids.
Swim with dolphins
For an unforgettable encounter, head to Prospect Reef Dolphin Discovery, where children as young as one can swim, hug and share a handshake with dolphins. Make sure you take a waterproof camera.
Visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda
When on Virgin Gorda visit The Baths, an enchanting formation of giant granite boulders sat on the shore. Although challenging in parts, older children will enjoy clambering through the tunnels and exploring the grottos and water pools of this natural playground. You’ll be rewarded at the end of the adventurous cave trek with Devil’s Bay, a great beach for some lazy play.
Peebles Hospital on Lower Main Street, Road Town, Tortola is the main hospital of the BVI – +1 284 494 3497. It has an ambulance service, a 24-hour Accident and Emergency department and x-ray facilities available. Call 999 for police, ambulance and fire services. For emergencies at sea, call Virgin Islands Search & Rescue (VISAR) on 767. There are no animals or insects in the BVI that can deliver a fatal bite but, as with most Caribbean Islands, the mosquitoes and sand flies can be a nuisance, never more so than after wet weather or when the wind drops. Because the dengue mosquito can be found in the BVI, extra precautions should be taken against bug bites. It’s cheaper to stock up on repellent from home and take it with you so you can apply it liberally and often without fear of running low. For you, choose one with a very high DEET content and for the kids, a child-safe repellent recommended for travel in the tropics should keep them safe.
When to go
The British Virgin Islands boast warm temperatures all year, with its peak season falling between December and May (covering Christmas and Easter school holidays). Travel out of these months and you’re guaranteed quieter beaches and cheaper rates, but you’re chancing a few showers too – June to November is generally wetter. Visit at the end of July or early August and you’ll catch the BVI festival – a two week extravaganza of music and colourful celebrations.
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