Just over a year since the British Virgin Island's one-two punch knockout by both Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the islands are making their comeback. The BVI is reporting that by the end of this year, 75% of its marine berths and 37% of its accommodation inventory will be open.
The BVI lost more than 90% of its accommodations and attractions in the devastation of the hurricanes, but it is reporting that more than 1,000 rooms and 3,200 berths will come online by the end of the year.
Airlift & Ferries
Virgin Gorda's Taddy Bay Airport reopened on Nov. 2, and InterCaribbean Airways provides service between San Juan and Tortola. Island-to-island ferries are also in full service. The Auguste George Airport on Anegada is also open.
A new ferry service, Sensations Ferries and Water Taxi, operates between Road Town in Tortola and Virgin Gorda with chartered water taxi service. New Horizon's Ferry, another ferry service that operates between West End in Tortola and Great Harbor in Jost Van Dyke, is operating a multideck, air-conditioned ferry with beach ramp access.
Disney Cruise Line made its return to BVI in early September, and Norwegian Cruise Line followed in October. Still to come, the Celebrity Edge will dock at Tortola on Dec. 19.
Hotels & Resorts
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina is showing off six new villas, with three more to open by the end of the year. The villas sit on the hillside in configurations of two-, three-, and four-bedrooms. Each villa has a master suite, with a king-size bed, large bath, and separate seating area. Bathrooms offer rain showers and soaking tubs. Full gourmet kitchens, a living room, terrace, private plunge pool or infinity pool, and separate dining area round out the accommodation offerings. A private chef can be arranged, as well. The entire inventory of 52 guest rooms and suites will be available by the end of the year.
Richard Branson's. Necker Island reopened on Oct. 19, and its Great House has been expanded from nine rooms to 11. The signature "Bali High" complex has been expanded with an extended pool and outdoor lounge. Private plunge pools have also been added to each individual villa.
Starting this month, Oil Nut Bay will open its one-bedroom Bay Suites. The resort will also open a marina village with 93 slips that can accommodate yachts up to 131 feet.
Looking to 2019, properties to reopen will be Rosewood Little Dix Bay and the Bitter End Yacht Club marina. The resort will reopen in 2020.
A new development project in the British Virgin Islands is aiming to put Norman Island on the map, as well.
Traditionally, Norman Island is known for its caves and nature, but it is reinventing itself as an emerging destination for environmentally sustainable development projects. That includes lodging, a spa, an observatory, a restaurant, a floating pool and a beach bar. That said, more than half of Norman Island will maintain its green space.
The project calls for expanding the existing facilities offered by the Pirate's Bight restaurants. The plan includes sites for three potential 20- to 30-room hotels, boat slips for day visitors and residents.