Soper’s Hole Revitalisation
- February 29th, 2020
- in Lifestyle
Back in the 18th century, a former plantation owner, McCuthbert Soper, gave his family name to the West End Harbour, now called Soper’s Hole. Just off the southern coast of Tortola, Frenchman’s Cay protects Soper’s Hole and creates one of the BVI’s most picturesque first impressions for many visitors to Tortola.
Frenchman’s Cay is connected to Tortola by a small bridge under which clear water flows constantly, creating a fantastic marina environment. Lined with quaint shops and a kaleidoscope of colours, Soper’s Hole is the Caribbean dream.
The well-protected bay and sandy anchorage always benefits from a cool breeze and is high on the list of overnight stays for charter yachts touring the Virgin Islands. Deep drafts also attract many beautiful mega yachts, especially in the winter. Cruisers from all over the world return, again and again, to find respite in their temporary home at Soper’s Hole.
When Hurricane Irma barreled through the British Virgin Islands in 2017, Soper’s Hole in Tortola’s West End, like many other harbours in the archipelago, took a hard hit.
Some businesses in the marina were completely levelled, while others struggled in the months post-storm to offer limited services from damaged buildings. Soper’s Hole was also virtually cut off from the US Virgin Islands; the hurricane destroyed the West End ferry terminal, meaning that visitors and residents travelling via ferry between Tortola and St. Thomas could only go through Road Town.
But now, more than two years after the record-breaking storm, the scenic marina on the far western tip of Tortola is back on its feet with new-and-improved offerings. The protected anchorage with a water depth between 20-30 feet features moorings and full-service marina facilities including long term or overnight dockage with water and electricity available to all berths. Other necessities for boaters like diesel, gas and ice are also available. A wide host of eclectic restaurants and shops entice boaters and land lovers alike.
Soper’s Hole Wharf & Marina officially reopened on December 13, 2019 with a block party and invited islanders to visit both long-standing and brand-new businesses. As of August 2019, West End is also formally reconnected with neighbouring islands. A temporary ferry terminal was opened that month, and officials from Customs and Immigration are now on hand to accommodate international arrivals. Construction on a more permanent structure will continue into the spring.
Restaurants, Shops & Stores (open now)
A boutique that sells both casual and elegant clothing, accessories and gifts. Other store locations can be found in Nanny Cay Marina and Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda.
Island Surf & Sail
Rental shop offering water toys, watersports equipment, lessons, safety gear, waterskiing and more.
Breakfast and coffee shop featuring outdoor, waterfront seating.
Omar Fusion Restaurant & Bar
Restaurant serving Indian and Caribbean cuisine for lunch and dinner. The menu features everything from spicy curry to well-done steaks.
Pusser’s Landing Restaurant
Classic Caribbean restaurant and bar, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.
Pusser’s Company Store
A Caribbean-inspired boutique selling clothing, accessories and, of course, Pusser’s Rum and Painkiller Mix.
Unique spice shop offering exotic spices, seasonings, herbal teas, coffees and much more.
Ocean Surfari Charters
Sports fishing excursions on a luxurious 61’ Buddy Davis.
Sailboats rentals offering luxury sailing vacations aboard their bareboat or crewed charter catamarans.
The Admiral Pub
Bar and Restaurant with cool breezes and a large outdoor space.
Admiral Marine Management
Offering yacht management services with an on-site marine engineer.
Other Amenities & Services
- West End Boat Yard (Haul out & Boat Repair Services)
- BVI Customs & Immigration
- West End Ferry Terminal
- Ocean Dreams Water Tax
- Soper’s Hole Car Rental
- Laundry facilities
- Soper’s Hole Marina – Dockage, water, electricity, diesel & gas
- Lighthouse Marina – Dockage, water, electricity, diesel & gas
- Shepherds Marina – Dockage, water & electricity
Businesses expected to open in 2020
- Kenny T (clothing and gifts)
- Harbour Market (groceries)