About the Resort
Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands is, perhaps, the oldest private-island resort in continuous operation in the entire Caribbean. Built in the 1930’s amongst the 17th century ruins of a Quaker sugar plantation, Guana Island has been painstakingly diligent in preserving its old-Caribbean character and charm. Ample cross ventilation and openness allow the scents and sounds of this 850-acre sanctuary to find their way to you.
This superb resort has seven beaches, some so private they are accessible only by boat. The guests of the 15 rooms and 3 villas enjoy panoramic views of the sea and neighboring islands. And for honeymooners and others desiring ultimate privacy, there is the secluded North Beach Cottage, a one-bedroom house surrounded by open and closed decks for dining, lounging or sunbathing. Two new and separate, stunning villas, one two-bedroom and the other three-bedroom, offer privacy as well as private chef services if desired.
Guana Island lies off the north coast of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. It is accessible only by boat, the resort’s own, a 10-minute ride from a dock near Tortola’s airport. Tortola is a short non-stop flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a number of flights offered daily.
Weather is fairly consistent throughout the year, with temperatures in the 80’s during the day and 70’s at night. Tropical breezes and overhead paddle fans cool the resort’s accommodations and clubhouse along the island’s highest ridges.
Guana’s rooms and villas are attractive and comfortable and are in seven separate clusters. Together they resemble a hillside Mediterranean village, white-washed stucco and blue-shuttered. Private terraces or decks provide sweeping views of the Caribbean or Atlantic from the high ridge on which the cottages sit. Inside, the rooms are spacious, most with sitting areas, and all with overhead fans to catch the ample island breezes. They are comfortably but not overwhelmingly furnished in a style that comes out of the island. Cool white walls are offset by bright fabrics. Bathrooms are a special treat here, large and with a low adobe-style wall curving around an open shower.
For those desiring ultimate privacy, there is the secluded North Beach Cottage, a one-bedroom cottage on its own beach, with open and covered decks for lounging, sunbathing and dining – and two new private villas, one with two bedrooms and the other with three, with private chef services if desired.
Beachcombers will find seven beaches on Guana Island, all for the private use of the resort’s guests. White Bay Beach is the longest and most often used by guests – a nearly quarter-mile long stretch of white-powder sand. Of the six others, some are remote and reachable only by boat. At the main beach there are small sailboats, windsurfers and snorkeling equipment for guests’ use, and just off the beach are two tennis courts. SCUBA diving and fishing trips can be arranged.
Guana is also for walking and hiking. There are about 20 well-marked trails, from an easy 20-minute walk to a challenging 90-minute climb over Sugarloaf Mountain. By arrangement, guides can be provided. Since Guana Island is by design a nature preserve, there are numerous plant and animal species to be seen. There is even a little museum, lovingly filled with a collection of natural and historic treasures from the island.
Guests gather at the resort’s homey clubhouse for dining and very casual socializing. The "dining room" is really two awning-covered open-air terraces, one looking out over the Caribbean, the other over the Atlantic. Views are absolutely breathtaking. With so few guests on the island even when the resort is full (never more than 30), the atmosphere tends towards the convivial, with many choosing to join new (or long-time) friends at tables of eight, while others prefer private tables for two.
Menus include West Indian specialities as well as continental and American dishes. All food and house wine is included in the rates, and cocktails are poured by the honor system, a nice reflection of the low-key and friendly style on the island.
Rates include three meals daily, cocktails and snacks, afternoon tea and coffee, use of small sailboats, kayaks, windsurfers, snorkeling, beach and fishing equipment. Double occupancy rates range from $695 to $1,450 daily, depending on the season. 17% tax and service is additional. There is no additional tipping.
Rent-the-Island rates, which range from $21,000 to $32,000 daily depending on the time of year, include accommodations for up to forty in fifteen private rooms plus the resort’s three villas.
For more information about Guana Island or to inquire about a reservation, call Sanctuare at (800) 225-4255 from the U.S. and Canada; from elsewhere, call (802) 457-5280. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.