Places I can only get to by boat pique my interest. I saw lots of those places the first time I visited the British Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean, but had yet to set foot on Scrub Island. It’s hard not to overuse the word ‘island’ when talking about this, so I won’t even try. Scrub is a private island accessible only by boat (either your own or the Scrub Island ferry from Trellis Bay), close to Beef Island the only airport on Tortola, the largest of the BVI.
When you’re checking in, the ferry captain will ask if you’d like a rum lunch on arrival. Say yes. They will literally greet you at the end of the dock with a Caribbean-strength complimentary cocktail you can sip throughout the whole check in process. Since Winair (yeah, I hadn’t heard of them either) decided not to put my luggage on the flight from St. Maarten to Tortola, I needed some extra help from the staff at Scrub. Neil at the front desk assured me he’d personally look after it and I realised he really meant it when 24 hours later after numerous calls to the airport, I met him at the ferry dock, suitcase in tow.
My insurance (reasons why you really should get travel insurance here) covers €250 of new gear until your luggage turns up, but I’m not much of a merchandise or gift shop kinda gal. So when I realised the surf shop on Scrub Island, ‘Dive BVI’ had a legit selection of bikinis, sandals, t shirts and dresses I was sold. Cool brands I’d actually wear again, result.
I needed something to wear for dinner that night anyway, since I was booked into Caravela restaurant the finer dining option on the island. Overlooking the marina, the evening views are spectacular. Sunset skies, sail boats and sexy swimming pool lights, my idea of heaven! I went for the red pepper hummus followed by the blackened mahi mahi with mango and black bean salsa and it was all divine. But I also loved the casual day time dining, the first swim up pool bar I’ve seen in a hotel that you can actually eat in too…kind of weird, but totally amazing.
The other side of the island is where you want to be if you’re looking for pure relaxation. Feeling lazy, I got a lift from the staff over to North Beach, but it’s a gorgeous walk if you’re in the mood. I only saw a couple of other guests that afternoon, in fact I saw more hermit crabs that humans and totally switched off in my own private cabana.
I did make the short hike to the Ixora spa though, for more cooling off and lying down. It’s quite unusual to have an outdoor pool in a hotel spa, but then again, Scrub is a private luxury island so things don’t really come ‘as standard’. The infinity pool may be small, but it has my favourite view on the island, simply breathtaking.
Speaking of good views, there was no way I was going to miss sunrise from the balcony of my penthouse suite, the sights from a hilly island are unparalleled, but if you can bag yourself the highest room on the property, you’re onto a #nofilter winner.
Between the slide into the pool right up to the second swim up bar, the late night hot tub, inflatable trampoline in the sea, every eating in/out option possible (there’s a delish deli on site too that makes fresh sandwiches and pizzas all day), secluded beaches (I didn’t even make it to the third, ‘Honeymoon’ beach), happy smiling staff that call you ‘sweetheart’ and incredible location, Scrub Island was the perfect last stop on my BVI tour. An excellent antidote to a week of sailing, read more about that in my very first travel column, ‘The Daily S’Elf Travels’ in Stellar magazine on shelves in February.
Thanks to Scrub Island BVI for hosting me. All views are, as always, my own.