- May 31st, 2018
- in Lifestyle
Sipping rum drinks on the beach and relaxing in a hammock swaying in the warm Caribbean breeze are just two of the many luxuries of staying at a resort property in the BVI. When Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the islands, many of the beloved resorts were severely damaged. The good news is that many of them have rebuilt – or are rebuilding – and the BVI is ready to once again welcome visitors. From top-notch service to amazing accommodations, we’re highlighting just a few resorts to show how they fared during the storms and how they’ve come back better than ever.
Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda
Leverick Bay Resort and Marina took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma and suffered extensive damage. Roofs and buildings were ripped apart, and the beach bar and retail shops were destroyed. Water and debris filled the entire property, taking a toll on nearly every part of the resort. Just days after the storms, Leverick Bay staff began arriving to help clear debris and assist with cleanup of the property. Construction crews began rebuild immediately.
Leverick Bay Resort and Marina is open for business and readily accepting guests. Because of the amazing response of the staff and construction crews, the property was able to reopen ahead of schedule for the 2018 high season. The Restaurant at Leverick Bay is once again offering fine dining to guests, while the casual cove area and Jumbie’s Beach Bar provide food and great drinks for all. The marina is also open and has mooring balls and slips available, in addition to the dock having power, water and ice. Provisioning is available at the grocery store and with excellent hotel accommodations, a pool, spa, retail shops, water sports and entertainment, Leverick Bay is a full-service stop in the North Sound.
Anegada Beach Club, Anegada
The BVI’s largest island, Anegada was hit nearly directly by Hurricane Irma. Incurring $3 million in damage, Anegada Beach Club has worked hard to recover their unique place as a top resort on the island. The gift shop, restaurant and hotel fared the best and suffered 25% damage. The luxury tents on the beach – a top draw for vacationers – were completely destroyed.
Since the hurricanes, Anegada Beach Club has rebuilt and upgraded all facilities. The eternally popular luxury beachfront tent accommodations offer an incredible view for guests to enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves in a truly unique way. In addition to having completely refurbished beach accommodations, the resort has hired 20% more staff and is purchasing more vehicles to easily transport guests and staff around the island. The resort reopened on February 1st, 2018 and is accepting guests.
“The BVI in general took a hard hit, and is working to rebuild, but the hurricane damage is very evident on most islands. Anegada Beach Club staff can’t be beat and loves making our guests’ experience the very best in the BVI. The island is completely open for business; we have moorings, docks, villas, rooms, luxury beach tents, and at least 8 restaurants all ready for guests,” said Jamie Johnson, Anegada Beach Club manager.
Learn more at www.AnegadaBeachClub.com.
Cooper Island Beach Club, Cooper Island
Compared to other outer-island resorts, Cooper Island Beach Club (CIBC) fared well. When Hurricane Irma swept over the BVI, CIBC was closed for their annual maintenance work, so all but two staff were off island and hurricane preparations had been completed well in advance. All buildings that had been renovated after 2009 remained structurally sound, and CIBC credits this to Smith-Arneborg Architects for their solid designs and ES Construction’s excellent build quality.
Both docks were destroyed and storm surge drowned the restaurant, bar, kitchen and beach pavilion. The roof of the power-control roof was completely torn off and the storm caused catastrophic damage to inverters, batteries and generator. Miraculously, only 42 of the resort’s 288 solar panels were damaged. Local teams from ES Construction and renewable energy experts aTec BVI assisted with recovery efforts right away and all critical systems were completed in March 2018, allowing CIBC to reopen for guests on April 1st. The power control room now has a solid concrete roof. Boardwalks have been moved further up the beachfront to counteract the inevitable effects of climate change and rising seas.
A sustainable and eco-friendly resort (the property is 85% solar-powered), CIBC offers a laid-back luxe feel. While the beach is missing some foliage, the kitchen garden will soon be better than ever. The resort produces its own drinking water and the on-site microbrewery offers a full range of draft beers.
“Our sustainability is our best feature, and everything is locally-sourced or homemade wherever possible to reduce imports and support local farmers, fishermen and producers,” said Samantha Baker, CIBC Resort Manager.
Guests get a unique experience, even when self-sufficiency isn’t an option. A new and expanded rum bar features the largest selection of rums in the BVI and the Sea Grape Boutique offers designer beachwear, jewelry, local art, beauty products and gifts. Cooper Island Beach Club is accepting reservations through 12th August, when they will close for 10 weeks of annual maintenance. Reopening on 25th October for the 2018-19 season means a new wave of guests will get to experience the amazing eco-resort.
Learn more at www.CooperIslandBeachClub.com.