Guana Island, one of the most unique, captivating Islands in the Caribbean. It is remarkably well preserved, very peaceful and little known by the general public.
The escapist kind. In which a character knows someone who owns a private island in the Caribbean where a small group gathers and the plot unfolds. Guana doesn’t have bus tours, public restaurants, or glitz of any kind. It does have excellent accommodations, fine service, wonderful food, acres of privacy per guest, year-round temperatures in the seventies and eighties, and a choice of oceans. This makes good reading, we admit. But, as you’re about to discover, it’s even better when it’s real.
Guana with 850 acres is the 7th largest island of the 30 or so in the BVI. It is located just north of Tortola, and is just a short boat ride from Tortola’s airport on Beef Island. Guana Island is named for a large iguana-shape rock on its western shore. The entire island is privately owned, and accommodates a maximum of 30 guests. Guana Islands is a great island that is a wonderfully relaxing vacation spot.
Guana Islands all-inclusive rates limit decision making. There is no TV, telephone, or scheduled activities other that the lovely natural ambience. Guana Island is for the laid back visitor. If you are seeking a relaxing time to hike, snorkel, or just sit on the beach and read a good book, this island is perfect for you.
With the splendor of nature taking people’s breath away at every turn, we use restraint indoors. Our interiors are comfortably but not overwhelmingly furnished in a style that comes out of the history of Guana Island, which was once a sugar cane plantation owned by American Quakers. That’s right, Quakers — but Quakers who knew how to live! They favored native stone architecture and managed very nicely without media rooms and discos. That mood still prevails.
Guests stay in secluded cottages, each with a private terrace overlooking the sea. You can read a good book. Or write one. Our guests have been known to do both.
Guana Island accommodations are mostly in secluded cottages spaced along a high ridge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean. Each cottage is named for a Caribbean island–Anegada, Barbados, Camanoe, and Dominica (the main house), Eleuthera, Fallen Jerusalem, and Grenada. These stone, whitewashed cottages are simply furnished, comfortable and clean. There is no air conditioning, but the thick cool stone walls, Caribbean breezes and ceiling fans are very comfortable. They all have nice sun porches or a covered verandah. The simple style and design reinforces the magical ambience. Each cottage is different, but all are special in their own way, like open air showers. If you’d like to be near the oceanside, you will need to book the North Beach cottage. It is the only cottage that sits on the beach and is isolated from the other cottages. It comes with its own motorized cart for getting around. The island also uses motorized carts to ferry the rest of the guests up and down the hill to White Bay, the most popular beach.
At cocktail time, guests gather on Sunset Terrace hoping to see the Green Flash — a blink of iridescent chartreuse at the moment sun meets sea that is somehow not visible to everyone.
Then comes dinner — the freshest seafood, Island-grown fruits and vegetables, breads and muffins from our own oven — all served on china and crystal by a staff as cheerful as candlelight. And then comes the rest of the star-filled night.
After cocktails, guests may opt to dine privately or to join others at friendly social dining tables.
The meal are served in the main house, and the menus are changed daily. Breakfast, lunch, tea, snacks, and dinner are all included in the rate. Guests tend to dress casual for breakfast and lunch, a little dressier for dinner. In the high season, men wear jackets in the evening.
Visitors can dine with their friends or alone if they desire a more romantic dinner. Wine is complimentary at lunch and dinner. Since Guana Island is so small, other drinks are on the “honor system”. You just sign a book when you get a cold soda or have a mixed drink, and it appears on your bill when you leave.
Bay Beach is the powder-white stretch of glimmering coral sand that most of our guests use every day. And since they never number more than thirty, it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking it crowded. We do, however, understand that there are times when people want to be alone. Really alone. Fortunately, we have six more beaches on the Island, some so secluded they’re accessible only by boat, on any of which we can arrange a very private picnic.
Guana’s beaches are ideal for swimming and collecting exotic shells. If you can tear yourself away there’s also snorkeling, windsurfing, tennis, and croquet.
There’s a lot to do on Guana Island, like snorkeling, scuba diving in the pristine bays, or hiking the mountains. There are many trails with unusual flowers and plants. Kayaking, fishing and sailing are also available. There are massages, tennis pro’s and motor sailing trips.
There is aÂ real wildlife sanctuary. With an official designation and more flora and fauna than any island its size in the Caribbean, maybe even the world. In fact, we’ve published a special guide for the many naturalists who come from as far away as China to explore our mountain trails. Most guests, however, prefer to observe it all from a distance on a chaise, with a pina colada as a study aid. Like everything else on the Island, how you make use of the natural wonders is entirely up to you.
Guana Island is a haven for many endangered species, including the Masked Booby, the Bridled Quail Dove, and the Crestfallen Traveler.