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Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

14 posts
Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

Hi everyone,

I've read so many of the prior posts that my head is now spinning. I was hoping to get some updated thoughts/answers to two questions if you don't mind, in regards to a trip for 2 we are planning to Virgin Gorda (VG) from Fri 6/16 - Sat 6/2:

1. Travel: Trying to decide whether to get there and back from Philadelphia by flying to STT then taking series of ferry's to Tortola then to VG (my understanding is that there are limited ferry's from STT directly to VG on our arrival Friday) versus paying a bit extra and flying Philadelphia to San Juan then connecting via Cape Air from San Juan to VG. My sense is that the San Juan route might be easier logistically, but was hoping for some insight.

2.Lodging: our preference would be to stay at a hotel/resort that has some amenities, like a concierge/common area, breakfast option, etc. rather than being completely on our own in a villa, but this isn't mandatory (a villa is not absolutely off the menu). However, we do definitely want

a) Easy access to a great beach or beaches that we can walk to with at least relative ease to read and relax after scuba diving

b) Air conditioning in our bedroom(s)

c) Wifi availability, strongly prefer in our rooms but not absolutely mandatory.

FYI - we could/will rent a car.

Thanks, in advance!

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31 reviews
1. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

If you can change it, i would suggest flying into st Thomas on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday that way you can take the direct ferry. Go to best of bvi . Com to look at the ferry schedules and times.

I have never flown to Tortola or virgin gorda so I cannot comment, although some people like cape air direct to virgin gorda. Cape air leaves st Thomas.

it is too bad little dix is under renovation as that would have been perfect for you.

i think most people prefer to stay on the southern side of the island which is flat and closest to the great beaches. No resort options other than little dix.

I can't recommend it but Fischer's cove now has some renovated cottages that are on their hotel complex. They do have a restaurant and beach on the property. Although a $10 eggo waffle might not be called a good breakfast.

Places that most on this forum would recommend are guavaberry spring bay cottages. thess cottages are priced well in off season. Make sure you ask for a/c if you need it.

Also check out mango bay, no restaurant but on the beach.

You could also try yard village which are condos. Not on the beach but close to one of the best beaches savannah bay. The place has a pool, restaurant, pool bar, mini spa, and mini exercise room and tennis. It is close to the little town.

In the middle of the island is nail bay with acces to a couple small beaches and a reason premises.

On the northern side of the island you will find leverick bay that has a tiny beach, restaurants, shops, and mini market. The draw here is the marina and access to the north sound area.

For a more isolated experience you can take a look at bitter end yacht club or Saba rock hotel.

Have fun!

Edited: 04 May 2017, 20:31
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1,631 posts
31 reviews
2. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

Meant to say nail bay has a restaurant on premises. I am Using an iPad and typing can be a challenge.

Edited: 04 May 2017, 20:33
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1,631 posts
31 reviews
3. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

If you can get cape air from San Juan, as you referenced above, that would be good too. I think the cheapest way is going by ferry, but it might be the longest. Flying all the way would probably shave some time off of your travel time.

When we take the ferry we enjoy the ride so it doesn't really seem bad to us, but it makes for a really long day.

When we go in high season I try to have a backup plan just in case our plane is delayed and we miss the ferry.

British Virgin...
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851 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

There is a distinct advantage in flying through San Juan in your particular case because there are direct flights, whereas you would have to change to get to St. Thomas. That will save you time. Right now it is cheaper to fly to EIS and take the short Speedy's ferry to VG than to fly SJU-VIJ, but that could change. I would track fares a bit and see how that goes. What exactly are your dates, and are you thinking this year or next?

Wantagh, New York
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2,363 posts
104 reviews
5. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

We like to fly from JFK on the night flight to San Juan and stay over at the airport hotel, then take the first cape air flight to VG...we gain an entire day this way..we arrived in VG at 7:30 am....

Franklinville, New...
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6. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

Last year my husband and I visited VG for the first time. We flew Philadelphia to San Juan(AmericanAirlines), then San Juan to Tortola(Seabourne Airlines on the same reservation with AA), then ferry (Speedys) fromTortola to VG all on the same day. Check AA from PHL-EIS for flights. The airline tickets were cheaper than flying to STT. I would recommend using this route, as we are repeating and arriving June 30 this year. If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

Another reason why we flew PHIL-SJU-EIS, my husband gets really sea sick. We don't think the 90 minute ferry ride from STT to VG would have worked for him. Instead we opted for a 20 minute ferry ride from Tortola.

We rented a villa during our first trip on Mahoe Bay, a few yards from the beach. We loved having the beach so close and our own private pool at our villa. We cooked breakfast daily (so we could play asap!). We did all lunches and dinners out, minus a few picnics we packed for beach days. Others here on the forum have their favorite spots. Do your research and find the best fit for you.

Good luck with your planning!

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1,696 posts
33 reviews
7. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

Just to throw things in the mix. We just returned and loved Virgin Gorda. We stayed at Nail Bay and we were very pleased with our villa choice. Having a kitchen, the views, privacy, the villa, was amazing. Leverick Bay also has a nice hotel and people we met were happy there although not the best beach. But access to the N. Sound area compensates. VG is super easy to get around, you will want a rental car. We also looked at all these options, except Air Sunshine which offers flights from St. Thomas, would consider them if I couldn't arrive on a direct ferry day. We had a late flight from Reagan to Miami to STT so stayed one night on St. Thomas then took the morning ferry. We enjoyed breaking up our travel. But recent price drops into Tortola make that an attractive option as well. I would look at times and costs, then just commit. I over thought the getting there part before choosing, as there is no super easy solution. The ferries are fun and part of the adventure so don't fret that. Biggest recommendation I have is travel with carry on if you can, makes things much easier and you don't have to worry about things making the multiple transfers. Have fun, you will love VG.

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50 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

Hi Jeff,

We have flown Phila to San Juan on AA then used Air Sunshine from there directly to Virgin Gorda. Landing on the dirt air strip is the best part.

This is the shortest and usually the most economical route. You can be on the beach by late afternoon.

Or having the first pain killer at Bath and Turtle, which I read has sadly moved away from the water.

Air Sunshine is a smaller operation and has many reviews on here. They can run on time or late but we always got there.

The Nail Bay area has different villas scattered over the hills and apartments/condos near their restaurant. The apartments were more dated than the villas we stayed in- Island Spice, Nyumbani.

Mountain Trunk Beach in Nail Bay had the best shore snorkeling but the drive down is steep.

Also, take a look at Mango Bay Resort at Mahoe Bay. This is at one end of the beach and the large villas are at the other. You drive past this to get to Nail Bay. Bellamare (villa) was very nice for our group of 6 but the beach got too loud with other large groups and their music.

It is a good idea to rent a car so you can explore the island.

Oh, I miss it. We are trying Anguilla this July instead of our usual VG.

Have a great time.

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1,631 posts
31 reviews
9. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations


I think you will love Anguilla. I Will be there in a couple of weeks. The beaches are truly phenomenal and the food scene is wonderful.

The island, to me is big because I am use to my virgin gorda being so small. Anguilla is about twice the size.

Where are you staying? We are at rendezvous bay hotel. Last year we were at shoal bay villas.

You will find more people and beach bars' no anguilla, but not crowded, still low key.

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50 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: Questions re: route from USA and lodging recommendations

Not to hijack the thread, BostonTia we will be at Solaire. Happy to hear it will be low key.

Enjoy your trip.

Jeff, are you planning on going this June?

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