Many feared that after hurricane Irma, our beloved British Virgin Islands have lost its touch as the magnificent vacation spot it once was, or at least while the restoration is still in process. But the question at hand remains, is it ready for your upcoming family vacation?
While it is true, even after more than a year, many resorts, bars, stores and memorable sights to see are not yet restored completely, it is noteworthy that many of the places that were hit the hardest have gotten up and running on a temporary setup. For example, the Soggy Dollar, on Jost Van Dyke, while having been hit VERY hard, losing the entire building all except the bar counter, is up and running and still serving arguably the best painkiller in all of the Virgin Islands and great food, they even expanded their gift shop!
Sadly, Marina Cay did not share the same luck, as the restaurant was completely obliterated. Since then they set up a patio restaurant much smaller than the original, and the Pusser’s on the island is not in the best shape. But still, even in more unfortunate cases like these, there is still water to fill your boats, good food and a refreshing drink to be had. Myett’s would be another case of limited functionality since the hurricane. The hotel and spa are closed, as the rooms were destroyed. On the bright side, the restaurant is opened but with a limited menu, as well as the gift shop.
For those interested in how the nightlife has kept up, the party scenes and such, fear not, as the Willy T’s is back with a new ship and has not changed a bit! It is now located on Peter Island and don’t worry; the food and drinks are still great (and yes… You can still jump off the second floor into the water, despite the sign that says otherwise!). Other great places to check out for the nightlife and that are fully functional are Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke and Paradise Club on Cane Garden Bay.
One aspect that has changed since the hurricane is the amount of algae on the beaches, there is a LOT. Especially on the beaches surrounding Anegada and Cane Garden Bay, but in general all of the beaches are covered in it.
The on-land resorts were badly hit and other places that have not yet been able to re-open are the Bitter End Yacht Club and Saba Rock, but they are working hard to get everything going as soon as possible. But, to answer the question at hand, it would seem like the BVI’s are ready to receive guests this season, despite some spot still being closed, the snorkeling is as enjoyable as ever most resorts and bars are ready (or getting ready) for this upcoming season. It’s important to note that the more people to go visit said places and support them through this rough time they have been going through after this horrific natural disaster, the faster they will be able to restore everything to how it was before, if not better!
Nicholas King is 19 years old and a student at Adolfo Ibanez University in Santiago, Chile where he studies journalism. At this age he is lucky to have the opportunity to have been in the BVI three times in the last three years with his family on a chartered sailing catamaran. He wrote this blog at our request.