Single Occupancy: Solo Travel to the Bitter End
By Melanie Nayer
When I walked into room 23N at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, I was breathless — the blue and orange silk linens were flanked by gorgeous dark cherry wood accents and my balcony (complete with a hammock and lounge chairs) offered one of the best views of the Caribbean. I excitedly dug through drawers and opened closet doors to see what I could find. I couldn’t wait to hop into the shower that was built for 10, and was all mine. After dinner, I would retreat to my hideaway, flip on the TV and get online so I could share my whereabouts with everyone I know… wait, where is the TV? What do you mean there’s no Internet? WHAT am I going to do?!?!
How would I fall asleep at night without the soothing sounds of “The Golden Girls” reruns or my favorite episode of “CSI: Miami”? I suppose I could bust into the bottle of rum the hotel hands out to all guests when they arrive, but that’s not the healthiest option. There’s a book in my bag which I can’t get into, but I suppose under this kind of distress I can make it work. Or, I can embrace the quiet nights at the Bitter End.
My first day started with a site tour with General Manager Mary Jo Ryan. We hopped in the golf cart and cruised around the resort grounds, passing by the three restaurants, sports bars, resort boutiques and movie theater. There are hiking trails throughout and a small spa on the grounds, but the true gem of the Bitter End is in the water.
The Bitter End’s ideal location on North Sound is the largest non-commercial deep water harbor in the Caribbean. Boaters can dock overnight for a free or stay for an extended period of time, making use of the resort’s facilities while spending the night on their boat. Kids go full force into the water with kayaks, sailboats, snorkeling gear and take part in the daily water activities the Bitter End’s staff plans.
This single gal took another approach.
I quickly changed into my swimsuit and sundress, grabbed my flip-flops and SPF and hopped into the bakery for a fresh baked baquette and hunk of cheese. I took my untanned body to the beach and copped-a-squat on cushioned lounge chairs. In the distance, kite surfers took flight and boaters took off for the horizon. I took a break from the beach and hit one of the resort’s boutique to check out the loot, then treated myself to a massage in the spa’s private rooms at the top of the hill.
As the sun set, I made my way to the bar to join friends for cocktails and snacks. The bar’s movie theater-sized screen TV was projecting the football games back home, which kept everyone in a festive mood. Darkness fell and drinks continued well into the night. Kids with buckets of popcorn sat happily in the movie theater watching the Disney flick of choice while parents dined in the outdoor restaurant on the beach, next door to the theater. If there’s one thing to note about the Bitter End Yacht Club it’s this: no matter your age, there’s a good time to be had.
Thanks to the mini-flashlights the resort hands out when you check in, I trekked my way back toward my room on the North Side of the resort. I stopped to stare at the vast sky of stars and watched as the moon slowly turned its way around the Earth. I tucked myself in that night with the windows open so I could see the stars and welcome the breeze of the ocean air into my third-floor suite. With no TV and no Internet, I slept soundly on the Bitter End and woke up ready to tackle the new day.
For more info: Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
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