British Virgin Islands


Photo of British Virgin Islands

About British Virgin Islands

Best known amongst sailors, the British Virgin Islands are a series of exceptionally beautiful islands on either side of Sir Francis Drake Channel. Even the largest of the BVI, Tortola, has only about twenty thousand inhabitants, and the smallest are just tiny blips with nothing but a beautiful beach and a bar. Some of the best places to stay in the British Virgin Islands are in fact the single resort islands.

Of course they're technically British, but they're cut from a similar cloth as the better-known U.S. Virgin Islands, though quirkier and less developed.

Tortola's full moon parties are pretty legendary, so it can get busy, and the bougainvillea clad guesthouses and villas in the hills tend to book up far in advance. Tortola's capital, Road Town, is the home to the sailing business - this is where you'll find the marinas and boatyards. There are some relatively basic hotels here, but also some quite decent ones, for this is also the centre for offshore finance.

The next largest island is Virgin Gorda, which has a much more typically Caribbean feel - hotels and resorts beside superb beaches, and isolated coves with many friendly beach bars, and a very laid-back atmosphere. Popular with the yachting set because of its bars and restaurants, Virgin Gorda's real appeal is its natural beauty.

The Baths, giant granite rock formations which are probably the BVI's best known landmark, are well worth a visit and even if you're not staying here you should ferry over to see them. You can also climb Virgin Gorda Peak.

Then there are the smaller islands. Anegada is certainly amongst the best places to stay in the British Virgin Islands for divers with almost 300 ships sunk off its reefs, but it's also popular with those looking for something a bit different - here you'll find cacti and salt ponds and iguana. Sandy Spit is also popular with divers, and tiny Jost Van Dyke is very popular with those who want to escape the need to do anything at all!

What Not To Miss

  • Whilst the British Virgin Islands is full of beautiful coastal spots, we recommend in particular The Baths (on Virgin Gorda) - a series of giant boulders brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions and creating tranquil pools in which to go swimming. Truly stunning!
  • In terms of beaches, you can't go wrong with spending a day at White Bay (on Jost Van Dyke). This secluded half-mile area boasts a fantastic array of marine life and so is perfect for snorkellers, whilst there's of course plenty of white sand for sunbathing.
  • Get a taste of Caribbean life in Sunny Caribbee Spice Shop & Art Gallery (in Tortola's Road Town), full of a wide variety of spices, art and craftwork representing the region's rich culture.
  • Take in a tour of the 400 year old Callwood Distillery (also on Tortola) to learn all about the rum making process, and make sure to take a bottle home!

Don't forget that these are hugely popular locations for winter sun seekers, so if you want to guarantee a bed in one of the best places to stay in the British Virgin Islands during peak season (Dec to mid April) you'll need to do your homework and book early.

The best places to stay in the British Virgin Islands

On Virgin Gorda

  • Little Dix Bay is a gorgeous, colonial style resort on Virgin Gorda, overlooking a palm-fringed beach. It's a mid-sized resort so they're able to split their kids clubs into age groups, and they offer all sorts of watersports to try.
  • Leverick Bay Resort is a colourful, family-friendly hotel with a marina, tennis courts, a lively restaurant, a spa and mooring facilities. Making it very popular with the sailing crowd. There are just 14 rooms and suites, some with self catering facilities, starting from just £73 per night.
  • The 26-room Mango Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda is a collection of elegant villas lining an idyllic beach. The atmosphere is quiet and the decor is colonial.
  • Guavaberry Spring Bay boasts large and charming self-catering villas, ideal for a family trip away. Set in lush gardens right by Spring Bay National Park, it's also just a stone's throw away from the beach. A terrific all round spot
  • Enjoying a wonderful location in the marina, Bitter End Yacht Club provides colonial style cottages feauturing plenty of dark wood. There's a choice of international cuisine on offer and you can make use of their pool, spa and gym.

On Tortola

  • Tortola's Long Bay Beach Club is another beachfront hotel with plenty of charm. Rooms have wood-beamed ceilings, kitchens and large bathrooms, and there are amenities galore, from a cocktail bar on the beach to a gym and tennis courts.
  • Fort Recovery on Tortola is a collection of relaxed beachfront villas, with colourful, traditional decor and full kitchens. There are excellent facilities to keep you entertained, but this is also a relatively peaceful spot, surrounded by lush gardens.
  • Just minutes from the beach, Sugar Mill is a small resort with plenty of charm. The traditional style rooms have kitchens and private balconies, but there's also a superb, family friendly restaurant and two beachside bars.

For a private island resort

  • Peter Island is one of the private island resorts - 5,000 acres worth of paradise just off Tortola. It is easily one of the best places to stay in the British Virgin Islands for sheer barefoot luxury and a very special holiday.
  • Guana Island is another private island resort, with 18 elegant rooms featuring ocean-view verandas, direct beach access and a superb seafood restaurant.

For a beach break

  • The Cooper Island Beach Club is a small eco-hotel right on the beach on Cooper Island. In addition to the amazing views, this is a great spot for divers and sailors alike. Plus, the locally sourced Caribbean food is excellent.
  • Scrub Island is a five star beach resort offering the best of both worlds - with full kitchens and ample living space, but also a choice of four restaurants. Decor is Caribbean but without a hint of twee - think gorgeous dark wood beds, opulent fabrics and enormous private balconies. If you want to try scuba-diving or sailing, this is the place to do it as the hotel has a wide array of courses and trips to try. Of course, you could also just paddle out to one of the private beaches to enjoy a picnic lunch.

For A Villa

  • If you'd rather enjoy the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner,

Travel Information

  • The British Virgin Islands are generally hot year-round, with an average temperature of 27°C.
  • However, there's plenty of rainfall from September to November and hurricane season runs from Mid-August to mid October so you may want to avoid coming at these times.
  • May's a good bet if you're looking for hot weather but less tourists milling around.
  • Visitors can fly into Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, located on the east side of Tortola, though all flights require a connecting flight from another Caribbean airport.
  • Or, you can fly to a nearby island and then take the ferry across to the British Virgin Islands.
  • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure which to book?


Monthly Weather in British Virgin Islands

Best Hotels in British Virgin Islands

  • Leverick Bay Resort Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands 14 rooms from £93

    Families  -  Suites have large kitchens/living rooms for family dining, plenty of child friendly activities and hotel entertainment
    Sailing  -  Seafarers are always welcome at Leverick Bay Resort & Marina. Hotel offers a full service dock
    Local markets  -  Nautical Gallery in hotel - hand crafted jewelry, art and gifts in the Caribbean
    Diving  -  Dive BVI
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Family friendly hotel with marina. Colourful rooms have rattan furniture, large bathrooms and balconies. Outdoor pool, tennis courts, mooring facilities and spa treatments. Superb and lively restaurant serving international cuisine. Laid back, jolly and ideal for sailing fans. See More

    Check Availability
  • Guavaberry Spring Bay Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands 12 rooms from £125

    Hideaway  -  With kitchens and living rooms to whip up your own meals, a very secluded spot with white sandy beaches on your doorstep
    Sights nearby  -  To the south lie the fabled "Baths", a spectacular phenomenon of tranquil pools and caves formed by gigantic boulders
    Views  -  Some villas have wonderful view across the Caribbean to other small islands
    Great walks  -  Along Spring Bay
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers

    Charming self-catering villas set amid spectacular gardens. Spacious suites have full kitchens, beamed ceilings and large verandahs. Lush gardens with massive rocks & bougainvillea galore, and direct beach access. Peaceful, relaxed and perfect for independent travellers. Excellent value too. See More

    Check Availability
  • Mango Bay Resort, British Virgin Islands Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands 26 rooms from £152

    Beach Life  -  Secluded bay, large hidden verandahs, full kitchens to take it at your own pace, watersports close by
    Swimming Pool  -  Only with larger private villas
    Sights nearby  -  The Baths
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers

    Re-opens Nov'19. Six elegant villas on an idyllic beach, divided into smaller units, offering flexible accommodation. Contemporary decor with Italian furniture and there are large outdoor terraces for lounging or dining. All units have BBQs and outdoor showers. Direct access to an unbeatable beach. See More

    Check Availability
  • Cooper Island Beach Club Cooper Island, British Virgin Islands 9 rooms from £164

    Beach Life  -  Sailing trips from the dock (in front of the restaurant), white sand beach, laid-back atmosphere
    Sailing  -  Cooper Island’s Manchioneel Bay features on many sailing itineraries
    Fishing  -  Deep sea fishing trips can be arranged
    Diving  -  60 dive sites to choose from
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Eco-hotel on the beach. Contemporary rooms are in white and taupe with wooden furniture, marble bathrooms and stunning views. Excellent local-grown Caribbean cuisine, breezy beach bar. Laid back, very secluded and friendly and great value. See More

    Check Availability
  • Fort Recovery Tortola, British Virgin Islands 30 rooms from £191

    Families  -  Villas have full kitchens, large living and dining rooms. Minutes from watersports for adults and beach for little ones
    Swimming Pool  -  Freshwater outdoor pool
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors

    Relaxed beach front villas. The decor is traditional and colourful with tiled floors, beamed ceilings and full kitchens. Outdoor pool, spa, gym and watersport centre. Family-friendly restaurant. Surrounded by lush gardens, it is quiet and a good choice for families. See More

    Check Availability
  • Sugar Mill Tortola, British Virgin Islands 19 rooms from £207

    Families  -  Rooms have kitchens and plenty of living space for all; child friendly activities and menus
    Local markets  -  One-of-a-kind antiques, silk-screened fabrics, intricate ship models, and watercolours by Tortolan artists
    Diving  -  Hundreds of ship wrecks, caves and coves teeming with tropical fish
    On the beach  -  Small beach with a natural reef which is great for snorkelling
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers

    Charming resort minutes from the beach. Traditional style rooms have colourful fabrics, kitchens and private balconies. Outdoor pool, lush gardens and spa. Superb restaurant and two beach side bars. A great choice for families and excellent value. See More

    Check Availability
  • Peter Island Peter Island, British Virgin Islands 55 rooms from £312

    Beach Life  -  Five secluded beaches
    Spa  -  Includes 10 indoor treatment rooms, two outdoor bohios, couples suites, a beach-side Jacuzzi and a tranquility garden.
    Sailing  -  The island has its own marina and private yacht

    For top class peace and quiet and a perfect beach, this private Island in the Virgin Islands is probably unbeatable. Ocean view rooms, suites and villas are stylishly decorated and have stunning seaviews. Loads of on island activities and sumptuous spa. Perfect barefoot luxury. See More

    Check Availability
  • Long Bay Beach Club Tortola, British Virgin Islands 40 rooms from £315

    Groups  -  With kitchens or kitchenettes, private BBQs, large living rooms and snorkelling on the doorstep
    Sailing  -  Day trips to Jost Van Dyke, Norman and Peter Islands, the Indians, and the Baths on Virgin Gorda
    Great walks  -  Along Long Bay
    Recommended by  -  Frommers

    Charming beach front hotel. Rooms have wooden beamed ceilings, kitchens and large bathrooms. Outdoor pool, spa, gym, tennis courts and direct beach access. Great seafood menu in the friendly restaurant, cocktail bar on the beach. For atmosphere and amenities, good for younger groups. See More

    Check Availability
  • Scrub Island Scrub Island, British Virgin Islands 58 rooms from £340

    Romantic Break  -  Nearby Honeymoon beach is accessible only by kayak for complete privacy; spa and private dive lessons
    Close to nightlife  -  Visit lively bars on Marina Cay or Beef Island (also full moon parties)
    Fishing  -  Closest marina to the North Drop, the hot spot for world-record Blue Marlin
    Great walks  -  Plenty of tracks and roads across Scrub Island for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Five star beach resort. Elegant rooms have mahogany furniture, nautical features, kitchens and stunning views. Outdoor pool, gym, spa. Excellent Caribbean and American cuisine, buzzy bar. Low-key luxury, with extras which make it the ideal romantic destination. See More

    Check Availability
  • Bitter End Yacht Club Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands 85 rooms from £492

    Active Holiday  -  Outstanding range of watersports from this harbour location and specialist sailing courses
    Fishing  -  Catch elusive bonefish & Tarpon in the shallows surrounding Virgin Gorda, and Kingfish, Dolphin, Wahoo and Tuna just offshore
    Kayaking  -  Tandem and single Hobie “Lanai” and “Kona” kayaks are ideal for taking in the scenery surrounding Bitter End
    Sailing  -  Bitter End’s Basic Keelboat Course (additional fees apply) is taught on Rhodes 19s and IC-24s
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Colonial style cottages on the marina. The decor is dark wood, contemporary furnishings and large bathrooms. Outdoor pool, spa, gym and direct beach access. Choice of great international and seafood menu in restaurants. A perfect location for an active holiday. See More

    Check Availability
  • Guana Island British Virgin Islands 18 rooms from £542

    Hideaway  -  Totally secluded island resort, with excellent spa, white sand beaches and plenty of space to relax
    Great walks  -  Endless trail routes through the island's 850 acres
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors

    Spacious private island resort. Elegant rooms have rattan furniture, tiled floors and ocean-view verandahs. Outdoor pool, tennis courts, spa and direct beach access. Superb seafood and island-grown menu, understated bar. Secluded, peaceful and low-key. See More

    Check Availability
  • Little Dix Bay Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands 100 rooms from £656

    Families  -  Extensive and excellent kids club for both younger and teenage children; large family suites
    Romantic Break  -  Palm-lined beach, outstanding spa, romantic beachfront dinner and gorgeous gardens
    Sailing  -  Resort offers hobie cat sail boats to learn the art of sailing
    Fishing  -  Half and full day deep sea fishing excursions can be arranged
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Gorgeous resort within the palm trees. The decor is colonial with wooden beamed ceilings, contemporary furniture and blue tiled bathrooms. Outdoor pool, beach access, spa, tennis courts, gym and watersports centre. Great Pan-Asian & seafood menus, ambient bar. Luxury stay in an unbeatable location. See More

    Check Availability