A private island playground
32 Rooms / 20 Suites / 3 Villa Estates
Like a good wine, some things age well, and such is the case with Peter Island Resort & Spa, which still maintains its dependable service and luxury amenities nearly four decades after opening.
As history explains, early visitors to the island included Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake and Blackbeard, who is said to have buried treasure there. Since 1978, Peter Island has been owned by the Van Andels, a family dedicated to protecting the island from overdevelopment and preserving the resort as an unspoiled tropical getaway.
A 20-minute ferry ride from Tortola, the British Virgin Islands' largest island, Peter Island is the largest private landmass (at 1,800 acres) in BVI, and Peter Island Resort & Spa is the only hotel there. You can rent the entire island, but if that isn't an option, stay in a private villa that’s set apart from the resort and offers a secluded escape with spacious bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens, private pools, personal staff and a chauffeured vehicle. Resort rooms and suites are also available and, while not as tucked away as a villa, still prove luxurious.
Peter Island Resort & Spa draws mostly couples, and active twosomes will feel right at home. Recreation includes hiking, biking, sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling and tennis. For an additional fee, an on-premises dive shop takes certified divers on excursions to amazing underwater sites.
One observation guests make about Peter Island Resort & Spa’s 55 rooms and suites and three villas is their spaciousness. For example, the four-bedroom Crow's Nest villa is 6,500 square feet and is set on top of a cliff, featuring its own pool, sundeck, outdoor bar and grill, and a private vehicle and driver for personal use. There’s also the three-bedroom Hawk’s Nest villa (3,626 square feet) that comes with a chef’s kitchen, separate living room, and a large, private outdoor deck with its own dipping pool and views of Deadman’s Bay and Sprat Bay. Both units have natural tones, palatial bathrooms, dining rooms, entertainment systems, multiple entrances, and a butler and villa manager on call.
The most over-the-top villa is the Falcon's Nest. The posh 21,645-square-foot space accommodates up to 12 guests and offers an infinity pool with waterfall, an alfresco bar and grill area, media and fitness rooms, its own staff and a private car with driver. Plus, it gives you a stunning view of the Caribbean Sea and nearby islands.
Other accommodations include beachfront junior suites with living rooms, Jacuzzis, direct beach access and private balconies or patios with ocean views; and oceanview rooms with private balconies or patios with pool, garden or ocean views. Also worth noting: Suites and rooms come with blue- or green-accented nautical styles and many bathrooms include double sinks, a stone-tiled shower and a glass-walled whirlpool tub with a sea view.
The resort’s 10,000-square-foot Spa at Peter Island includes 10 indoor treatment rooms; two outdoor bohios; couples suites with private verandas and deep-plunge hydrotherapy soaking tubs for two; a beach-side Jacuzzi; and a tranquility garden, all with views of Big Reef Bay. For treatments, choose from massages, scrubs and wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures and Ayurvedic services, a traditional Hindu method of rejuvenating the body.
When it comes to dining at Peter Island Resort & Spa, the direction you go all depends on your mood. There’s one casual outdoor venue, Deadman’s Beach Bar & Grill, and one dressier indoor/outdoor restaurant called Tradewinds. Both serve Caribbean dishes, with Deadman’s focusing more on burgers, seafood salads and pizza. At Tradewinds, order the fresh scallops or seasonal fish prepared with coconut or mango. This eatery also has a wine room that houses more than 300 selections. If you don’t have a taste for vino, try the “grog,” a rum with fresh lime juice and sugar. Meals (but not alcoholic drinks) are typically included in room rates. Tradewinds also offers a daily breakfast buffet (the signature coconut French toast is a must) and an afternoon English tea. Drake’s Lounge, a casual set-up for drinks and lunch, also makes for a pleasant backdrop any day during your stay.
Unexpected resort amenities include private picnics or dinners set up on the beach; five-course weekly wine dinners at Tradewinds; five beaches, including one for private use; and excursions on the 51-foot Silmaril, which might be tempting to do after watching people sail in for the day on chartered yachts or their own spectactular boats. One other recommended activity is the Sunset at the Loop, a ride up a curvy mountain road to one of the highest points on the island for a breathtaking view.