The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands is the unspoiled Paradise of the Caribbean. It has so much to offer, yet maintains the relaxed atmosphere which adds to its charm! We have local contacts throughout the BVI and can set up any activities for you. Below are just a few to choose from:
Sailing - What a sailor's paradise! Steady winds, the near perfect weather, the intriguing and secluded anchorages and the protected main channel are just a few of the reasons they consider the B.V.I. to have the world's best sailing.
Scuba Diving - Crystal clear warm blue waters with phenomenal visibility, colorful coral reefs with hundreds of ship wrecks, caves and coves teeming with tropical fish, and near perfect weather make the BVI a Diver's meca.
White Sandy Beaches
Site Seeing Tours
Wind surfing, kite surfing, surfing
Attractions on the Island of Tortola
Tortola, "land of turtle doves' is the largest of the British Virgin Islands overlooking Sir Francis Drake Channel and situated about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico. Road Town is the capital of Tortola and where most of the 20,000 residents of the B.V.I live. The island is mountainous; Sage Mountain reaches a height of 1,780 feet.
Road Town, located on the southern shore, is the busy capital of the B.V.I. Road Town's scenic setting and sheltered yacht-filled harbor allow the laid-back BVI lifestyle evolved over the last 400 years by English, Dutch, French, and Spanish adventurers, followed by plantation owners and 20th century settlers. Here are the shops, banks, hospital and Government House.
This relaxed, friendly and diversified community tempts travellers with every sort of regional and international cuisine found in a choice of cheerful pastel painted restaurants, former forts, and sugar mills. Palate-pleasing menus feature West Indian specialties of fresh lobster, conch, turtle, spicy goat, and curries of every description. An authentic English pub serves Pusser's Rum, traditional drink of the British Navy for 300 years, as well as a popular fruit flavoured local concoction known as the "Painkiller."
Savvy shoppers can usually find bargains in perfume, jewellery, wine, and Wedgewood china in the homey-style stores dotting Road Town's Main Street and Soper's Hole, West End. However, the shops are best known for their unique local products. Look for one-of-a-kind antiques, silk-screened fabrics, intricate ship models, and watercolours by Tortolan artists.
J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens is a cool and peaceful refuge located in the center of Road Town. The beautiful four-acre garden includes a lush array of indigenous and exotic tropical plants. It offers a peaceful walk past pergolas covered with colorful vines, and along pathways that wind through a miniature rain forest and fern house. There are many types of cacti and 62 varieties of palms. Various interesting species of birds have made the gardens their home. Between the beauty of the flora, various birds and the slow moving red legged tortoise, we recommend you allow yourself ample time to appreciate the full beauty of the gardens.
The V.I. Folk Museum located on Main Street in Road Town, the museum is housed in a traditional West Indian building, and has many artifacts on display from the islands' Tiano, plantation, and slavery eras. There are also pieces from the wreck of the RMS Rhone.
Sage Mountain National Park is located 1716 ft. above sea level and at 92 acres this site of wonder is the B.V.I highest peak. At the upper elevations, traces of a primeval rain forest can still be seen. The second highest point is found at Sky World. Visitors are afforded breathtaking views of Tortola and surrounding islands.
Cane Garden Bay is dotted with many bars, hotels and guest houses and gets lively on weekends. During peak season the week nights host various bands and events. Many of the island's annual beach parties happen here. It is also home to famous musician Quito Rymer. Rymer sings and plays to packed audiences out of his own venue, Quito's Bar & Grill. Nearby and housed in a stone plantation building, the 200-year-old Callwood Rum distillery can be found. It's off the beaten path, but worth the visit. The rum is made much the same way that it was centuries ago and is sold on the premises.
Soper's Hole is a popular anchorage and is located on the West End of Tortola. The main ferry terminal is here, as are several restaurants and the Caribbean-style Soper's Hole Marina and shopping wharf.
Mount Healthy Windmill is located near the beautiful beach of Brewer's Bay. The site and windmill frame is one of the few preserved archetype of plantation period construction. Through a grant established in 1983 from the National Parks Trust, this historic ruin has been superbly restored.
Old Government House Museum
Old Government House was once the scene of elegant parties and receptions, and many diplomats, dignitaries and even Queen Elizabeth were entertained here. In 2003 the BVI Government planned to demolish the building and replace it with a modern structure. Public response, including a rousing editorial in the Island Sun, was strongly opposed to this idea. And so the building was saved and the new Government House was erected next door. Today, this gracious old building houses a collection of artifacts from the BVI’s past. Filled with fascinating photos of old Tortola, period furniture, hand-painted china, guest books signed by Queen Elizabeth and a fascinating room displaying an extensive stamp collection on loan from the BVI Philatelic Society, The Old Government House Museum is well worth a visit.
Bomba's Surfside Shack
One of the most famous seaside bars in the Caribbean (maybe the world) is just a quick stroll down the beach from the Sugar Mill. Clabbered together from flotsam and jetsam and decorated with a mind-boggling collection of trinkets, license plates, frilly underwear, hand-painted signs and anything else fans choose to tack up on what might loosely be called the walls, Bomba’s Shack’s décor and legendary “Full Moon Parties,” make The Shack a must stop for the young, the brave and young at heart.
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FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average temperature?
Between 75-85 degrees
What side of the road do you drive on?
We drive on the LEFT
What is the local currency?
How far are you from the airport?
It's a 45 minute drive
Where are you located on Tortola?
On the north shore in Apple Bay
Do I need a passport?
Yes, a passport is necessary for visitors to the BVI. You are required to enter with appropriate travel documents if you are entering the BVI from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas or St. John in the USVI - don't forget to take your passport if you visit these nearby islands.
Are your rooms air conditioned?
Yes, all our rooms are air-conditioned and also have ceiling fans.
Do you have TV's in your rooms?
The Villa, Plantation House, the Cottage and the Pool Suite all have TVs.
What other room amenities can we expect at the Sugar Mill?
All rooms have irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, coffee makers, refrigerator, telephone, wireless internet.
What type of voltage is in the BVI?
How do I get to Tortola?
The main airport in the BVI is on Beef Island, connected to Tortola by a road bridge. The airport code is EIS. You will need to connect through San Juan or Antigua. The following airlines fly into EIS: Air Sunshine, VI Airlink, BVI Airways, LIAT, Cape Air, Seaborne Airlines.
You can also come to Tortola through St. Thomas airport (STT) in the USVI.
If we fly into St. Thomas, how do we take the ferry?
Please be advised that we recommend arriving into St. Thomas prior to 3 pm, as the last ferry from St. Thomas to West End, Tortola, leaves at approximately 4:30 PM From the airport, just get into a taxi and ask the driver to take you to the next ferry to West End, Tortola. They are usually familiar with the ferry schedules and will take you to the closest dock, Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook. You also can browse www.bviwelcome.com and check the ferry schedules. Ferry tickets cannot be purchased in advance and are about $50.00 per person round trip
How do I organize activities like day sails, diving, spa visits, massages, tennis, etc?
Our concierge will be happy to help you with all your arrangements.
Do I need a car?
Most of our guests like to have a car for at least a few days to explore the island. We can handle your car rental right at the Sugar Mill.
Note: Drivers must be 25 years old in order to rent a car on Tortola.
Is there more than one type of restaurant at the hotel?
Our fine dining restaurant, The Sugar Mill, is open for dinner only. Breakfast is served on the terrace and lunch is available at Islands, our beachside restaurant.
Will men need jackets and ties in The Sugar Mill restaurant?
We appreciate appropriate clothing such as collared shirts in the dining room, but jackets and ties are not required.
Is your beach good for swimming?
We are lucky to have two reefs which protect our beach from the Northern surge making Sugar Mill's small beach excellent for swimming and snorkeling. We offer complimentary snorkeling equipment to our guests.
Is the Sugar Mill opened year round?
We are closed during the months of August and September.
Can I drink the water?
The drinking water is perfectly safe in the BVI.
Will I be able to use my laptop computer?
You have access to complimentary wireless Internet in your room and in the Reception/Bar Area. You can obtain security access keys from the Front Desk.
We also have a laptop by the Reception/Bar for your use at a charge of $5.00 per 1/2 hour.
Will my cell phone work in the BVI?
Please check with your provider to see who the roaming partners are and if it is compatible in the BVI. Our cellular carriers are CCT Boatphone, bmobile and Digicel. Out of respect for the peaceful atmosphere of the Sugar Mill, cell phones are not allowed in the public areas of the hotel.
We hope you'll leave the cares of the world behind and enjoy the quiet beauty of the BVI.