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Tortola Private Resort 166

OCRef#: 166
Destination: Caribbean
Country/Island: Tortola
Region: Beef Island
Rating: Luxurious****
Bedrooms: 16
Bathrooms: 16
Sleeps: 36
Week Low: $129,500
Week High: $157,500
Coastal: Beachfront
Pool: Pool
Tennis: Private Tennis Court
Staff: Full Staff
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Private Island Paradise

One of the few remaining privately-owned islands in its part of the world, Tortola Private Resort 166 is 850 acres of undisturbed natural beauty.

Seven pristine, white powder-sand beaches and miles of tropical forest, mountains, hills and valleys. In this setting, where the sparkling Caribbean meets the vast Atlantic, you’ll find excellent food, accommodations and service in the tradition of low-key luxury perfected through seven decades of family stewardship.

Best of all, with acres of privacy per guest (usually around 30 at a time), and no marina or public facilities of any kind, you’ll barely have to share it with anyone.

When you arrive, you’ll be welcomed on the hilltop with a cool tropical drink, a flower and a chance to familiarize yourself with the Island and its many pleasures. 18th century Quakers called it the Great House. Today, it’s the Club where you’ll gather for cocktails, and dine on romantic candlelit terraces. If you like, you may choose to socialize with other guests in the comfortable Living Room, or just relax on a jasmine-scented terrace and count the falling stars. Browse the Library to find a good book. Or write one yourself. Guests have been known to do both.

After a day of being dazzled by lush tropical beauty and crystalline waters, return to the spectacular view from your own private terrace. Sprinkled along a scenic ridge and cooled by gentle trade winds, the cottages enjoy commanding views of the Caribbean and the Atlantic.

There are 15 Guest Cottages and one Private Cottage on the other side of the island to choose from.

The interiors are comfortably, but not overwhelmingly furnished in a style that comes out of the history of the Island, once a sugarcane plantation owned by American Quakers. But Quakers who knew how to live! They favored stone architecture and managed very nicely without media rooms and discos. That mood still prevails.

Truly a world of its own, the Private Exclusive Cottage is the only house on the Island’s stunning North Beach. Favored for its beauty and seclusion, the Cottage’s living room, bedroom, and kitchen, are surrounded by scenic terraces. Nestled among leafy sea grape trees, the only sounds you’ll hear are the surf lapping the white sand at your doorstep, and the pelicans diving just off your seaside deck.

If you’d prefer a calmer swim, you’ll find your own saltwater pool just steps from the ocean. And when you feel like company, hop in your golf cart and take the winding trail past a Quaker stone wall, the Island’s Orchard and the Flamingo Pond, to the main beach and tennis courts. Meals are served at the Club, but arrangements can be made to dine alone at the North Beach Cottage.

At the Club for breakfast and lunch, enjoy splendid buffets that range from the healthful to the sinful. Or, choose a Castaway Picnic— where the boatmen can whisk you off for lunch and a private afternoon, on a beach all your own. In the afternoon, take a break for Island grown fruit, or tea and fresh-baked cookies at the Club or on the Beach.

For cocktails, guests gather on the Queen’s Terrace, named for the Queen Mother on her 1964 visit to the Island. As the sun sets, some hope for a glimpse of the green flash— a blink of iridescent chartreuse at the moment sun meets ocean– that is somehow not visible to everyone.

Then comes dinner—the freshest seafood, Island grown fruits and vegetables, breads and muffins from our own oven—all served on china and crystal by a staff as cheerful as candlelight. Then comes the rest of the star-filled night.

The island is full of so much activities. Let’s begin, as most guests do, with White Bay Beach, a half-mile stretch of glistening white powder sand—the beach you see in daydreams of the Caribbean. Swim in the gentle clear blue ocean. Take a small sailboat, transparent kayak, pedal boat or windsurfer. Snorkel, or just relax on a lounge or hammock. There are six more secluded beaches to visit, either by boat or on foot, where you can request a special, private Castaway Picnic, snorkel the reefs on your own, or just watch the pelicans dive.

On land you’ll find two excellent tennis courts and a croquet court. And if you want a comfortable workout, try walking or running the paths along the Flat, thirty acres of green fields that separate the Beach and the Flamingo Pond. For the more energetic, the Island is also unique for its twelve miles of hiking and walking Trails.

Enjoy an afternoon of water skiing, take a day trip to another island, scuba dive, try deep-sea fishing – and more. Whatever you choose to do, a perfect way to end every day can be a soothing or exhilarating massage in the tranquility of the waters-edge Beach Spa. And while you’re there, look off towards the West where the sunset tinges the blue Caribbean with bands of pink and gold and orange–predicting the arrival of another flawless day.

Scientists say that this island has “more flora and fauna than any island of its size yet studied in the Caribbean and possibly the world.” This formidable reputation is one they strive to keep by protecting the Island’s natural environment and preserving it for future generations.

The restoration program has brought extirpated species back to this Island and other Virgin Islands. The stout rock iguana had survived only on Anegada but now flourishes here and lives on other islands as well. Other harmless plant and animal species we restored and protect include the red-legged tortoise, the bridled quail dove, the Caribbean roseate flamingo, the white crowned pigeon, Eggers' mallow tree, the Virgin Islands euphorb, Hohenberg's ground bromeliad, and a unique bromeliad found nowhere else on earth.

Guests who care about nature find much to see and enjoy. But even those whose interests lie elsewhere are captivated by the special sights, sounds and fragrances that make the Island so extraordinary. Some, of course, prefer to observe it all from a distance on a chaise, with a Piña Colada as a study aid. Like everything else on the Island, how you make use of the natural wonders is entirely up to you.

The Island Resort can be rented by room or exclusive private use as well.

You and up to 35 others can have the Island all to yourselves. Bring your family. Bring the kids. Bring your friends. Have a business retreat or a family reunion. Any reason is a good one to bring people you enjoy to the sun, sand, sea, and seclusion.

Imagine your own private Caribbean island - 850 acres with soft white sand beaches, tropical foliage, mountain trails, tennis courts, flamingoes—and a population you’ve chosen yourself!

There are leisure activities for everyone—from snorkeling to sailing, from tennis to hiking— just for you and your guests. And no facilities for anyone else. No moorings, no public restaurant or beach bar. The entire Island will be yours – every magnificent acre of it—for as long as you like.

For your Wedding, instead of a wedding day that’s simply memorable, make yours unforgettable. For the ceremony, choose the morning sun on magnificent White Bay Beach, a perfect sunset on the Queen’s Terrace, or a moonlit night in the fragrant Garden of Eden. For the wedding feast, imagine a very special beach banquet that begins at dusk and ends under a shimmering canopy of stars. We’ll take care of everything, working with you to plan your wedding to the smallest detail. Come as a couple, as a small group or bring friends and family to fill all the Cottages. Whichever you choose, it will be forever remembered as your wedding in paradise.

IT'S EASY TO GET TO THE ISLAND THAT'S LIKE NO PLACE ON EARTH. Fly by commercial airline into the British Virgin Islands' Beef Island airport via San Juan, St. Thomas, or Antigua. (The airport also accommodates private planes). Then the boatmen will be waiting for you, it’s just a matter of minutes until you see the iguana-shaped rock outcropping that identifies this Island, the only difficult part about a trip here is leaving it.

We can also arrange local privates jet and airplane transfer services to the island.

Rates include almost everything. Three meals per day plus wines at lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, coffee and snacks, all on-Island activities and WiFi Internet service. Not included: certain optional activities, and taxi and boat transfers from Beef Island airport.

On-Island activities include: the use of two tennis courts (Omni Court and Hydro Court), Sunfish, kayaks, pedal boats, windsurfers, hiking trails, croquet, ping-pong, snorkeling and fishing equipment and more.

Optional activities, at additional cost include: Motorboats, day trips to other islands, water skiing, deep-sea fishing, boat charters (sailboats, catamarans, cabin cruisers), scuba diving, tennis lessons, massage, and yoga.

White Bay Beach, the main half-mile beach, is an easy walk or a quick ride to and from the hilltop on a Beach Surrey. Most guests begin by taking the Surrey, but after a few of our excellent meals they seem to prefer walking.

The Island has always meant to provide a disconnect from regular life – to be a haven where people come to escape work, phones, newspapers and television. But although they still do not want television or phones in guest rooms, they finally had to join the 21st century somewhat by installing Internet service. Those who bring their own laptops can connect in their rooms or on their terraces using their own WiFi card or one the island can provide. Those who don’t have a laptop can use the Guest Office computer which is there for the convenience of guests.

Tipping is not expected; the service charge is meant to cover everything.

The Island’s talented West Indian chefs provide excellent American, Continental and Caribbean cuisine. All meals are served on open or covered dining terraces with spectacular views of other islands. Breakfast is both buffet and table service. Lunch is a 1 pm buffet with an array of tantalizing dishes. Beach lunches and Castaway Picnics can be requested. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are from 6:30 to 7:30. At dinner, guests choose to dine by candlelight at private tables for two or at “social" tables with other guests.

Beach Barbecues with Caribbean music are a weekly event, especially memorable when there’s a full moon and crab races. Each afternoon, coffee, tea, home-baked cookies, fruit, crudités and other refreshments are offered at the Club and at the Beach Bar.

Guests who wear a bathing suit to breakfast or lunch are requested to wear a cover-up as well. In the evenings, dress is smart casual (slacks, sport shirts, dresses, skirts or pants).

The Island has intentionally (and by guest choice) never put telephones or TVs in the rooms. Guests use the phone in the Guest Office, their own cell phone or one the Island can supply. Cell phones may not be used within the sight or earshot of other guests.

They also offer limited wash and fold laundry service at no charge, but for larger quantities there is a charge. Ask for anything you would like and don’t see, such as more hangers, extra pillows, down pillows, additional amenities, etc. And please feel free to make suggestions about anything.

Most of the accommodations are in scenic hilltop cottages. The rooms are all comparable, unique and comfortable.

The Island is closed to individual bookings in September and October, but they do take Island Rentals in late October.

RATES INCLUDE: Three meals per day, plus between-meal refreshments, including fruit, coffee and tea at the Club and the Beach • Wines for lunch and dinner selected daily • Unlimited use of: two tennis courts, small sailboats, kayaks, pedal boats, windsurfers, snorkeling gear, hiking trails, croquet, ping-pong, beach and fishing equipment, Internet service and more…• Beach Barbecues and Old Movie Nights • Wash-and-fold laundry service is available.