The reopening of legendary Saba Rock, the island resort perched on a one-acre cay in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, has been a long time coming.
But it finally happened on Oct. 15 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of more than 100 guests from the BVI community, including government and tourism officials, hospitality partners and residents.
The resort has been closed for four years: after the BVI was hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Saba Rock, which was made famous by diving legend Bert Kilbride, was completely destroyed.
Czech-based ADR Architects created an elevated design concept that not only is structurally sound to withstand future storms but also keeps the fun vibe and charm that Saba Rock was known for among divers, kiteboarders and sailors.
"The reopening of Saba Rock is a great day of pride for everyone involved in its rebuilding and transformation process," said Alain Prion, its general manager. "The new Saba Rock experience celebrates our storied past and the lifestyle that attracts visitors from all over the world.
"We are thrilled to finally rejoin our community and tourism partners to welcome guests to stay in our new rooms, sail up to our docks, dine at our new restaurant and enjoy this little piece of paradise."
Seven guest rooms and two suites feature a design that plays up the island's reputation as a kiteboarding and sailing destination. Also featured are an open-air restaurant, lounge, two bars (including a rooftop sunset bar), spa room, and a dive and retail space that also serves as a museum, with artifacts from nearby shipwrecks. Bright pops of cerulean blue and crimson red are part of the overall color scheme.
The designers added two classic British phone booths brought over from England and walls in guest rooms that display photography of the island's past.
"Saba Rock really lights up the North Sound and lights up our tourism product," said Andrew Fahie, the BVI's premier and minister of finance. "This project brings hope that tourism is back on the rise in the BVI and that the economy will start coming back stronger than ever."