Entering the new decade, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will see a number of highly anticipated hotel and villa openings and transformations to many of the islands. With an environmental focus as a key factor in these reopening’s and renovations, the BVI and its people continue to prioritise sustainability and nurturing the beautiful environment. Necker Island has installed wind turbines that have enabled the island to run on up to 90 percent renewable energy and Bitter End Yacht Club will continue sustainability efforts by opening a new marina this summer, made from upcycled materials. Others, such as Guana Island and Anegada Beach Club focus on sustainable culinary efforts, creating organic gardens on their islands, which produce food for the restaurants.
In addition to this, the BVIs will host a large number of local events throughout the year, from the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival in March to the month-long celebration of food in November, during the BVI Food Fete.
Combine these events and hotel openings with the 60 glorious islands, awash with pearlescent bays and neon-bright shoals of fish, boasting some of the best sailing, diving and snorkelling in the world and there has never been a better time to visit the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
HOTEL & VILLA NEWS
Rosewood Little Dix Bay opens in January 2020
Rosewood Little Dix Bay opened its doors earlier this month, following a four-year closure. Inspired by its natural setting with structures positioned to follow the lines of the landscape, the resort has been reimagined for the luxury traveller by New York-based design team Meyer Davis. The 80 new guestrooms, suites and villas will span 500 acres on half a mile of beach. The resort also has a newfound sustainability focus that covers composting, an on-site sustainable farm and a ban on single-use plastic.
Necker Island’s Sustainable initiatives
Necker Island will finish rebuilding by April, and introduce uniforms made from recycled plastic found in the ocean; in 2019, the resort installed wind turbines that have enabled it to run on up to 90 percent renewable energy. In 2020, new sustainable initiatives will include: locally sourcing, composting, collecting rain water, removing disposable toiletries, and new employee uniforms made from recycled plastics from the ocean.
Oil Nut Bay Expands with a Wellness Village
In addition to 5 new villas, a brand-new marina village was opened, featuring Nova Restaurant and its global cuisine and fresh flavor accented by locally grown ingredients. The property now offers day passes for marina guests to enjoy the hotel’s exclusive amenities. New for 2020, Oil Nut Bay will open their new Asian restaurant which will join the marina’s signature overwater restaurant, Nova, alongside a Wellness Village in a private bay, which is set to be completed by 2020. A new Watersports centre and Rum shack are also under construction.
Valley Trunk and Baraka Point Reopen after Extensive Refurbishment
Virgin Gorda’s beautiful Valley Trunk Estate reopened in December 2019 following a significant refurbishment. This villa is nestled in 19 acres of private tropical gardens and long white beach remain dotted with impressive granite boulders. The entire house has been refurbished and revamped with an abundance of plants, light, fresh colours and organic materials. The estate is rented on an exclusive basis only.
Baraka Point, a stunning 12,000-square-foot villa on the western coast of Virgin Gorda, is set to reopen its doors in the first quarter of 2020.
Cooper Island Introduces Electric-Powered Yachts
Cooper Island Beach Club on Cooper Island, a 15-minute water taxi ride from Tortola, plans to offer packages combining island stays with emissions-free sailing trips aboard a new electric-powered yacht from Voyage Charters.
Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort is Back
Formerly known as Lambert Beach Resort, the resort reopened as a Wyndham-branded property in November last year. Located on over 14 acres with 38 guest rooms in eight villa-style buildings, Lambert includes a lavish swim-up pool bar, an outdoor veranda with breath-taking sea views for private dining, and intimate happy hours.
Anegada Beach Club adds New Beach Tents
Famed in the BVIs for its glamping accommodation options, Anegada Beach Club will add five premium beachfront palapas in 2020 to its portfolio. The property has also opened a brand-new spa, Touch of the Caribbean Day Spa, which is the only spa on the island. Also new for 2020 is an enhanced farm-to-table experience, available at the poolside restaurant, utilising its new organic garden.
Voyage Charters have recently announced the arrival of our first electric powered charter yacht, the VOYAGE 480 “Electrified.” This vessel will be the first of its kind in the BVI, combining thoroughbred sailing performance and luxury with the latest in Eco friendly electric drives, renewable power generation and a high efficiency standby generator.
BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival – 30 March – 5 April 2020
This April, The BVI will welcome a flock of sailors and visitors for the annual BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival – 3 days of non-stop coastal races and parties in some of the best sailing waters in the world. Chartering companies such as The Moorings and Sunsail will offer the opportunity for guests to take part in this renown regatta, whether as a participant or a spectator.
To register: www.bvispringregatta.org
Emancipation Festival – 23 July – 8 August 2020
The British Virgin Islands will host its annual Emancipation Festival the last week in July through the first week of August 2020. The two-week event celebrates the emancipation of the slaves in 1834 and showcases the culture and history of the Territory with extravagant parades, musical performances and food fairs. All events for the Festival take place in communities on the island of Tortola.
BVI Food Fete – November 2020
In November 2020, the BVI will host its 7th Annual Food Fete, a month-long celebration of cuisine which will spread out across six different islands and attracts visitors from all corners of the world. The Food Fete will include a Rum Festival at Cooper Island; a jazz-fuelled gourmet party with stunning views of The Baths at the Taste of Virgin Gorda; a BVI Gourmet Soiree; and the fete’s most popular event, the two-day Lobster Festival on Anegada.
To book: www.bvifoodfete.com
BVI Wreck Week – December 2020
Wreck Week is an entire week dedicated to diving the wrecks around the BVI as well as offering dive specials, beach clean ups and plenty of parties! The BVI is a must-visit scuba diving destination, boasting renown dive sites such as The Kodiak Queen, a sustainable artificial reef which was sunk in 2017 and the RMS Rhone, a British Royal Mail Steamship, that sank in 1867.
In addition to these much-loved dive sites, the Beyond the Reef project created two new dive sites in 2019, sinking the old iconic floating restaurant, Willy T and three plane wreckages (which had been creatively turned into sharks and dubbed Sharkplaneo!) which would also become sustainable artificial reefs, creating a diverse hub of marine life. Money collected from diving these sites will be donated to local charities that provide local children with swimming lessons.
To learn more: www.bviscuba.org
If this wasn’t enough, the islands will host a number of other events throughout the year, such as the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival, KPMG Tortola Torture in April, Foxy’s Old Year’s Party on New Year’s Eve as well as the Trellis Bay New Year’s Eve Party.