Virgin Islands, British Travel Guide
Our trip to Boston last month obviously turned out to be quite horrifying. But before it all went down - before the madness - we were rather impressed by how big of a draw the marathon was for the city. Hotels were full, restaurants were packed, and visitors were welcomed from around the world. It wasn't just a race. It was an attraction.
As far as events go, the Boston Marathon has to be up there with the best of them in terms of its effects on tourism. Maybe it's not quite on the same level as the Super Bowl or Mardi Gras, but the race has certainly served the city well since its inception in 1897.
Marathons, ironmans, and similar competitive events such as Tough Mudder have really gone mainstream over the past few years, so much so that even the most out-of-shape people we know are training for them these days (and bragging about it on Facebook). These events are not just for the athletically inclined anymore - they've made their way onto the bucketlists and social calenders of the masses. In a very sick way, the bombing in Boston has helped to solidify this trend. You can bet your bottom dollar that next year's race will have the most participants ever.
Given that rise in popularity, cities are vying to host their own competitive events and marathons can be found in dozens of destinations in the United States alone. Recently, we received a press release from a resort in the Caribbean that at first made us roll our eyes. A half hour later, something clicked, and we pulled the release out of our archive folder.
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Just because you’re not ready to sign on the dotted line and make a multi-million dollar real estate investment at Oil Nut Bay, doesn’t mean you’re not welcome at all. Instead, guests and potential buyers are more than welcome to stay in one of their rentals and see what this multi-generational residential community is all about, while naturally taking advantage of all the five-star amenities and services (and with a price tag that starts at $1,500 a night, you can bet there are a few).
They always say you should test drive before you buy, and since Oil Nut Bay is only accessible by boat or helicopter, you might want to make sure this is a place you don’t mind disappearing to for a while.
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Well, now the world is saved! Okay, we’re being facetious, of course: It’s a noble thing to take a stand and do some good for the planet and, after all, we all need to do our part.
But we do have to ask: Just how much bottled water are they consuming over there on Necker Island? There are only six houses (aka rooms) holding a maximum of 28 guests. And at a cool $29,000 (single or double) for a seven-night stay during “Celebration Weeks” (the only time you can book individual rooms; otherwise it’s the whole island or nothing for $42,500 per night.
Is his British Virgin Island's nirvana really fully booked all the time to need to make a big deal of letting us know Sir Richard is trying to get green while collecting that green? Forgive us if we smirk just a tad.
It's not hard to love a spa, we know. But we really love the Sense spa at Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort for delivering on the promise of "total relaxation" that all spas make but few keep. Yes, we've loved the treatments here, and yes, we've swum in their pool. But right now, we're seriously into Sense's newest amenity: a side of coconut water, which is being offered free throughout May and June.
Yes, a fresh coconut plucked from the lush grounds of the resort will be served to any guest--poolside, of course--when they book a 90-minute Caribbean Breeze Spa Treatment.
Dreaming of lounging by a pool at a Caribbean resort this winter? We'd recommend the Rosewood Little Dix Bay, a British Virgin Islands resort with breezy cabins and no locks on the doors ("there are no keys in paradise!"). If you like luxury without pretense, this is your place.
But that whole "popular with families" thing? It almost ruined the poolside afternoon we planned for ourselves on a recent visit. As soon as we saw the large group of kids playing "Marco Polo" and splashing about, we knew we needed a Plan B.
And we found it--up the hill at Sense, a Rosewood Spa. But instead of a candle-lit relaxation room, this spa is open-air, set atop a cliff overlooking insanely blue ocean. There's a two-tier infinity pool and a little jacuzzi tucked away behind palm fronds.
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Boy, that Autograph Collection sure gets around. We've barely finished letting you know that the Marriott group of 'high personality hotels' was going Euro and here comes news that they'll also be hitting up the Caribbean.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina in the British Virgin Islands will fall under the Autograph umbrella in early 2012—the most appropriate time of year to drop everything and jet off to a small, private island. Start racking up those Marriott Rewards points now!
Where do you go when you're 65, have founded a (we assume) very profitable internet company and want to wed your twentysomething supermodel bride with no press or stalkerazzi?
You go to paradise, where nobody knows your name; more specifically, Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda, near Isle de Richard Branson (Necker Island). Oh, and you invite Jimmy Buffett to come along, too.
Richar Branson billionaire mogul/hotelier has managed to take time away from his busy space-travel planning schedule to outline a plan for an eco-resort on Mosquito Island in the British Virgin Islands (of course.) The AP reports:
The plan calls for 20 villas and a beachfront restaurant. The resort would be powered by wind turbines and solar panels, while captured thermal flows would cool the buildings. Guests would eat food from an organic orchard, and they would have access to beach buggies that run on biofuels.
Branson's eco-friendly plans are being reviewed by the government but the word is they "seem to like" his ideas. More on the eco-resort can be found here.
Branson is in the midst of planning a bunch of "Urban" Virgin Hotels and he already has a few luxury resorts in his portfolio including Necker Island. Although the latter might not be as eco-friendly with its helicopter landing pad.
Say "Bonaire," that laid back little spit of land in the Caribbean, and people will respond, "diving paradise."
For decades, the island has been a world-class diving destination with a gorgeous reef. Go to Flickr and you'll get just a small taste of astonishing shots of the island from the underside.
But you're thinking there's no WAY you can take pictures like that, right? This can be remedied.
Sometimes billionaire nerds are the worst hotel wedding crashers. This Saturday, Google co-founder Larry Page will tie the know with his fiancee on Necker Island, the private Caribbean island owned by Virgin's Richard Branson.
Necker Island is pretty extravagant place that can house 26 of your closest friends. But Page obviously has more than 26 "friends" so he has rented the nearby island of Virgin Gorda for his wedding guests, including the entire Little Dix Bay Resort:
No one except Page's guests is staying at Little Dix Bay resort on Virgin Gorda "so that Page's wedding could be completely private," said an insider. "They rented all of Virgin Gorda. They took over the island."
The source also said "boats and ferries for hundreds of guests were ordered to ship them from Little Dix Bay to the ceremony."
Page is also flying guests in from all over the world on private planes. Expected to be in attendance are Bono, and other millionaires and billionaires.
· Google Wedding Seizes Island [Page Six]
Virgin Gorda is a piece of paradise in the British Virgin Islands that has scenic beaches with serene lapping waves of bathwater-warm sea. Speaking of baths, it's home to The Baths, an unusual geological formation of massive rocks and boulders belched up by ancient volcanoes, that is now a grown-up playground of natural pools and caves.
Hidden among all the natural beauty here is The Guavaberry Spring Bay Resort, a little gem of a hotel that puts you in walking distance of The Baths. You'll get an airy suite with a living room, balcony, kitchenette, and substantial open deck with views of the yachts and pelicans floating around Sir Francis Drake Channel, as well as some of the gentle slopes of the surrounding islands, including Tortola.
But its best attribute is its proximity to The Baths. Just a short stroll gets you there for a morning dip before the tourists show up. Guests can perch on gigantic boulders that rub against shrubs and trees just below their room decks - and there's a private beach just north of The Baths (the proprietor has timed the walk to be "between three and eight minutes") for more dipping into that soothing Caribbean water.
Summer rates start as low as US$140, with the three-bedroom house going for as much as $380 a night during the winter high season.
[Photo: Jason Coleman]
· Guavaberry Spring Bay Resort reviews [TripAdvisor]
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven Annie 007 let's us know where she would go when money ain't a thang and you got your own helicopter to travel in. Enjoy.
When it comes to flights of fancy about faraway hotels and luxury accommodations, nobody ever thinks "Five-star service on a private island owned by Richard Branson, with all the amenities money can buy."
They think, "Outdoor throne."
Crown yourself "porcelain goddess" on Necker Island, Sir Richard's exclusive resort paradise, just 15 minutes by boat from Virgin Gorda (or, if you're in a tearing hurry to relax, arrive in style by high speed boat or helicopter).
You and 26 of your bestest, closest friends can have the whole freaking place all to yourself - or you and your disgustingly lucky significant other can roam the empty hallways and take advantage of the extra closet space -- for just $19,000 a day.
For the privileged few for whom money is no object, you gotta go here. It has butler, maid, and cook service - a full staff to fulfill your every whim, whenever you're feeling whimsical. There are two pools, two Jacuzzis, and a beach pool. It has a Balinese gazebo, lit tennis court, a patio for al fresco meals overlooking a waterfall that burbles through lush gardens and spills down into one of the pools.
If you're bored, there's sailing, water skiing, wind surfing, diving, banana boat rides, an aqua trampoline, sea kayaking, a DVD and book library, board games, and snooker. You can ask for an evening bonfire on the beach, with lobster tails served on fine china. Or burgers, tater tots, and Bud. Whatever you want, they got.
More of Richard Branson's paradise after the jump.