The Best Boutique Hotels to Book in The British Virgin Islands

Approaching the idyllic Virgin Islands
Approaching the idyllic Virgin Islands | Courtesy of Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina / Expedia
Andrea Schulte-Peevers

If you’re serious about mastering the art of unplugging, you’ll find few better backdrops than The British Virgin Islands (BVI) – a UK overseas territory in the Caribbean, just east of Puerto Rico. A mesmerizing mosaic of dozens of islands and cays fringed by sugary beaches, it beats to an unhurried rum- and Calypso-fueled rhythm. From dancing at full-moon parties to exploring Technicolored coral reefs, feasting on fresh lobster or doing nothing at all – the BVI practically defines tropical paradise. Yachties love it here but for those without a boat we’ve ferreted out some of the finest bed-to-beach hotels, all bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Scrub Island, for a private island retreat in Tortola

Chain Hotel, Luxury, Spa Hotel

A beachside pool at Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina, overlooking blue oceans and scattered islands
Courtesy of Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina / Expedia

Once upon a time there were two uninhabited volcanic islands called Big Scrub and Little Scrub. Today, they harbor one of the best resorts in the BVI – a fairytale come true. Just a 10-minute boat ride from Tortola airport, this private retreat delivers swoon-worthy views of the shimmering Caribbean from, well, everywhere: its beaches, two pools (one on the beach), three restaurants and the clifftop spa. Rooms and villas, traditionally decked out in dark wood and island-inspired art, will ground you after a day spent in such remarkable surrounds.

2. Maria’s by the Sea, for wallet-friendly rooms in Tortola’s capital

Hotel

If you want to be in the thick of Tortola’s action, there are few better bases than this perky charmer in the bustling BVI capital of Road Town. Oozing with character and hospitality, it’s a mere mango toss from banks, stores and professional services. For vacationers, the simple but comfortably furnished rooms (some with balconies and sea views) make a budget-friendly launchpad for trips to such sightseeing highlights as beach bar-lined Cane Garden Bay, trail-laced Sage Mountain National Park or the neighboring islands of Virgin Gorda and Anegada.

3. The Heritage Inn, for sunsets from a lofty perch in Tortola

Hotel

A pool at The Heritage Inn, with nearby dining area covered by a red roof with the sea is in the distance
Courtesy of The Heritage Inn / Expedia

Views, views, views! This owner-operated inn practically comes with a romantic-sunset guarantee thanks to its enviable perch high above Carrot Bay on Tortola’s northwestern shore – yet close to beguiling beaches. You’ll feel right at home in newly slicked-up rooms sporting a kitchen, balcony and cheerful-yet-understated boutique hotel touches. Join locals for daily happy-hour sunset drinks on the poolside terrace of the attached Bananakeet Cafe. Its Caribbean fusion fare is magic on a plate.

4. Sebastian’s on the Beach, for surfers and self-caterers in Tortola

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel

The yellow and green exterior of the Sebastian’s on the Beach, with the shoreline in foreground and clifftop buildings behind
Courtesy of Sebastian’s on the Beach / Expedia

This tranquil port of call puts you right on Little Apple Bay, a sliver of pristine beach caressed by Tortola’s best surfing waves. For the full sensory impact, snag a balcony room fronting the teal-blue sea, although those traveling with friends or family might prefer the back units – sleeping up to five – cradled by tropical gardens. Some rooms even come with a kitchen, although using it would mean missing out on the delectable Italo-Caribbean fare churned out by the locally beloved on-site restaurant.

5. Sea Crest Inn, for proximity to a legendary celeb haunt bar in Jost Van Dyke

Hotel

An outside area of the Sea Crest Inn, overlooking a sandy bay and green hills
Courtesy of Sea Crest Inn / Expedia

Tiny Jost Van Dyke is popular with yachties, although boatless folk can easily get there by ferry from Tortola. You’ll plug right into the island’s easy-going spirit if staying at this family-run guesthouse in the south-coast enclave of Great Harbour. Its five units, each featuring a balcony and a kitchenette, put you steps away not only from the lovely beach but also from Foxy’s, one of the Caribbean’s most legendary bars once frequented by Jimmy Buffett, Keith Richards and other party-loving celebs.

6. Anegada Reef Hotel, for personalized service and sea views in Anegada

Boutique Hotel

The exterior of the Anegada Reef Hotel, with grassy surrounds and palm trees
Courtesy of Anegada Reef Hotel / Expedia

Flat and desertlike but rimmed by silvery strands and ridiculously blue seas, teensy Anegada feels like the moon in paradise. Siblings Lorraine and Lawrence are the heart and soul of this darling beachfront inn near the ferry dock. With only 20 rooms, it’s quite literally the place where everybody knows your name in a day. Toss back its famous ‘smoothie’, toes firmly in sand, then sate your hunger pangs at the restaurant with a spiny lobster plucked straight from the water.

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