The winter of 2015 brought record-breaking snowfall to the Midwest. Come March, I’m always in desperate need of some vitamin D, and my kids need to escape our basement family room, where we spend most of our winter plugged into to computers, video games, and a big screen TV. Last winter we escaped to a Caribbean paradise. One of the lesser traveled but oh-so-blissful Caribbean islands is Scrub Island. It’s in the British Virgin Islands and it’s hard to get to. That’s the point. Paradise, for me at least, means peace and tranquility, and fewer people.
Caribbean Islands Paradise
Close your eyes. Try to imagine your idea of a tropical paradise. You’d likely envision something that looks very much like Scrub Island Resort. The resort takes up most of Scrub Island, which is in the middle of the British Virgin Islands, surrounded by white sand beaches and shallow coral reefs. Opened in 2012, it was the first resort built in the British Virgin Islands in 15 years.
Thousands of cruise ship passengers won’t be descending upon your slice of paradise each day. Instead of cruise ship chaos, be prepared for a week as a Caribbean castaway. The difference? This remote island has all the comforts of home— if your home was a luxury resort. There are high-end marble bathrooms, Tommy Bahama-like decor, heated multi-tiered pools surrounded by cushy chaise lounges and a spa sanctuary!
Activities for Kids
Of course my kids need a little something more. Action! Luckily, Scrub Island has a water slide that kept my 6-year-old daughter busy for hours. The kayaks and stand-up paddle boards were perfect for my teens. And the water trampoline was perfect for everyone!
The water trampoline was perfect for everyone!
The resort is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. You can rent snorkel equipment on site, but if you have your own, why not bring it and save the expense?
The resort has its own marina, where you can take sailing lessons or charter a fishing boat. Bonus: The resort’s chef will cook up your catch! Don’t want to go fishing for dinner? Feel free to choose one of the live lobsters on display in the restaurant. I found it hard to decide between the lobster and the ahi tuna salad. Ahhhh, choices!
A nightly happy hour made it surprisingly affordable to eat and drink at the resort, at least by Caribbean standards!
If you want to eat and drink off property, an hourly complimentary motorboat ferry transports resort guests for the 5 minute ride to Tortola, where several bars and restaurants are only a few steps from the dock. The Last Resort is a great choice with nightly live music. We had the great fortune of being there during the monthly full moon party, when the whole area turned into one big party.
Our two bedroom villa had a full kitchen (perfect for families!), three large flat screen TVs for when the kids needed to escape the sun for some down time, and a patio with a plunge pool, perched over the ocean. Each morning we’d head down the stairs to our own private beach, feeling like we were living out our Swiss Family Robinson fantasy. It was a vacation we’ll never forget!
Most guests stay in one of the 52 ocean-view guest rooms in the main hotel, overlooking the marina and multi-tiered pool area. The rooms are decorated in Tommy Bahama-style island decor and feature 300 count sheets, down comforters and L’Occitane toiletries. Every room has its own patio to enjoy your coffee in the morning and a glass wine at night.
Getting to Scrub Island
The best way is to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and from there take a flight on Seabourne Airlines directly to Beef Island Airport in Tortola. The airport is within sight of the hotel. Of course, this being the British Virgin Islands, there’s water between the airport and the resort. Once you’re at the airport, the resort will pick you up for the five-minute boat ride to the private island, which feels a world away from the hustle and bustle (at least by Caribbean islands standards) of Tortola. Once there, you’ll find 230 acres of tropical bliss.