We’re back from our tropical getaway and sorting through our notes for the next few blog posts. I promised to let you know about our affordable accommodations on Virgin Gorda a couple of weeks ago, so here it is: our stay at Guavaberry Spring Bay .
Note – All prices are in USD because, despite being part of the Commonwealth, the British Virgin Islands use US dollars.
Note – These islands are officially called the Virgin Islands. They use “British” to differentiate themselves from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The vacation homes offered by Guavaberry Spring Bay suit just about any need. You can rent small one- and two-bedroom homes between 350 and 710 square feet for between $160 -$210 a night in the summer and $255-$325 in winter, which is a bargain when an ocean view at Rosewood Little Dix Bay (the premier resort on the island) can cost $420 per night. If you’re looking for luxury, Guavaberry Spring Bay offers that too, with Deluxe Villas like Beach House that are just off the beach, featuring gourmet kitchens and plunge pools. They were also built with air conditioning in mind. For two people you’ll pay $3,000 per week in the summer and $4,000 per week over the winter. Being the budget-minded travelers we are, we chose one of the 350 square-foot cottages without air-conditioning since we really don’t mind the heat. It was a decision that would come to literally bite us in the ass.
We were met on the other side of customs by our ride to take us out to Spring Bay with two other couples that were staying at Guavaberry, too. The office was only a short 8-minute ride and cost $4 per person.
Note – If entering the British Virgin Islands via Saint Thomas, you must have your passport and go through customs.
The office is everything you’d want in an out-of-the-way destination like Virgin Gorda. You can get all the essentials you need. The staff will help you make reservations for side trips, taxis and excursions. You can also rent snorkeling equipment from them, $3.50 for fins, mask and snorkel for a 24-hour period. They also have a clubhouse with wifi (for a fee), television, and games and books to check out. You can even rent a personal hotspot for $15 a day. A warning though, the internet speed isn’t what you’re used to, unless you have an old dial-up connection. But if you want to check email, Twitter or the news the speed is just fine.
The best part is the commissary; they have a lot of the essentials in stock, from suntan lotion to frozen pizza and beer. You can even order fresh bread (a day in advance) from the bakery down the street. Guests log their purchases on a notepad with the name of your house on the top and pay your bill when you check out. I was told by other guests that the prices were competitive but didn’t have the chance to check that out myself. We did the math and after a week we spent about $30 a day in groceries. The one time we went out for dinner it cost $50 for two burgers, fries and drinks. We certainly came out ahead by getting breakfast, lunch and dinner each day for $30. I will admit we brought our own coffee from our favorite coffee shop, because we’re snobs like that.
Our villa was at top of a hill situated behind one of the large boulders that dot the island. It commanded amazing views of the sea. The 350 square-foot hexagonal house packed in all the essentials you need.
Our villa was equipped with a small gas range and oven, full-sized fridge, breakfast table, a couple of comfy chairs, a large bed, closet, small safe, and a comfortably sized shower. The whole house was built with the trade winds in mind. The screened windows and slanted shutters to cut down on the light are designed to bring in the soft breezes. The temperature was just right, actually quite comfortable considering there was no climate control.
We were prepared for our unplugged week at the beach. But, a flaw in our plan quickly emerged. The small gaps in the screens where they met the frames were enough for the bugs to get in. Getting bit by mosquitoes sucks. We had to hide under the covers to sleep, even though it was still pretty warm at night. Still, the bites were the only drawback, one we could put up with since covering yourself in bug spray is just a mood killer.
The cost of our Saturday to Saturday stay ended up running about $1,400 for our rent and commissary bill.
All in all we enjoyed the convenience, service and privacy during our stay at Guavaberry Spring Bay.
We’ll cover the wonderful beaches of Virgin Gorda, and especially the unique and amazing Baths, in an upcoming post.