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At Scrub Island Resort, Caribbean Luxury That’s Hard to Beat

At the most southwesterly point of Scrub Island Resort, Spa, and Marina, just off Beef Island in the British Virgin Islands, I’ve discovered an eagle’s-nest lounge atop a couple of flights of stairs. It’s the perfect location for gazing out over the waters of Drake Channel.

I am struck by how mysterious and irresistibly attractive the other islands in the chain appear from this vantage-point. I wonder about exploring them.

In the near-distance I notice an upside-down green bowl of an island — Marina Cay — with a whole flock of sailboats anchored in its lee.

Directly below me is a gorgeous marina replete with luxurious yachts, straining at dock lines, impatient and elegant at the same time.

As I watch people boarding boats, preparing to cast off, I’m filled with momentary envy.


Relax on a glamorous private isle when you visit Scrub Island Resort. Above, the resort’s guests can rent boats or charter skippers to explore the British Virgin Islands. (Pool photo by Sharon Matthews Stevens for VacayNetwork.com; top photo courtesy of Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina)

But then it hits me. This is a five-star private island retreat. I don’t need some fancy yacht.

I’m already ensconced in the lap of luxury.

This wonderful feeling continues when I explore the resort and discover two freeform pools. The higher one overlooks the lower, which itself overlooks a pretty little beach. A waterslide descends from the higher pool to the lower one. A swim-up bar occupies one corner of the lower pool. Here, they serve me one of the best piña coladas I’ve ever had.

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Gardens splattered with the scarlet of poinciana and the purple of bougainvillea shelter a hot tub strategically located between Donovan’s Reef (a casual restaurant where pub fare meets Caribbean flair) and Cardamom and Co., Scrub Island’s new fine-dining option where Asia meets the Antilles.

The harbor down below is bordered by stone tile walkways sauntering along the shore in front of buildings inspired by traditional colonial architecture. Among the finds are a dive shop, a sailing school, and a deli with a wine rack you would expect to see in a big city.

Rising up from this photogenic plaza are 32 hotel rooms, all located in this resort section they call, appropriately, “Marina Village.”

The village, with its breathtaking views, makes you feel downright soporific. Yet, once I’ve seen my room it all things in and around the resort seem like distractions.

I might never leave.


The bedrooms are so lush at Scrub Island Resort it will be difficult to tear yourself away. (Photo by Sharon Matthews Stevens for VacayNetwork.com)

While options range from standard to one-bedroom suites to the Governor Suites, each one boasts decor that is a combination of traditional Caribbean and pure elegance. Think marble washroom fixtures and kitchen counter-tops; think high ceilings with whimsical fans cooling four-poster beds; think furnishings of mahogany accessorized with rich fabrics in earth tones.

Think a melodious duet between Manhattan and Caribbean Great House.

That’s equally true when it comes to the villas lounging hillside.

Inside: elegant and tropical. Outside: English colonial Great House or Mediterranean-style retreats rich with orange terracotta tile roofs.

And I haven’t even introduced you to the spa.

Scrub Island Resort offers a range of Ayurvedic options based on one of the oldest holistic healing systems in the world. Some of the materials used at Ixora Spa, named for a local plant, are sourced from the island. The mood is set for you when you are invited to lounge on a wicker chaise longue on a coral stone patio high above the water. After your treatment, chill in the infinity plunge pool with views of Drake Passage that could make a politician cry.

Then, energized, maybe take a hike.

“No shortage of options here,” says Scott McArdle, general manager of this boutique resort that’s a proud member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. “Plenty to do.”

A trail leads you to the height of Big Scrub (joined by an isthmus to Little Scrub, it forms the landscape that defines this private island resort), or stroll over to North Beach. Or stick closer to the marina. A water trampoline bobs just off the beach, a whole collection of sea kayaks line up on shore like a fleet of fishing boats. Learn to sail. Book a deep-sea fishing charter. Take a cruise of the area.

“Stay right here, if you’d like,” McArdle says, “but we also encourage you to explore the other islands.”

But that brings a crucial question to mind, one that occurs to me either between my next two piña coladas or maybe en route to the weekly beach barbecue. At Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina in the British Virgin Islands I am ensconced in the lap of luxury. Why would I ever leave?


  • Win 3 free nights at Scrub Island Resort or a 4th night free — one of the Caribbean partners of the Trippzy travel-trivia app. Download Trippzy in the Apple Store or Google Play Store and begin winning rewards points toward your visit to the British Virgin Islands.
  • Should you ever manage to tear yourself away from Scrub Island Resort, Spa, and Marina to explore the other British Virgin Islands (highly recommended), start your exploration at www.bvitourism.com.
  • For all things Scrub Island, from planning dinner to planning your vacation, click on www.scrubisland.com.

Vacay Network is the publishing partner of Trippzy.

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