|Almost everyone has heard of Little Dix Bay of Virgin Gorda, known
in some circles as "the world's most famous beach resort". It was
created more than 30 years ago by Laurence Rockefeller as an exclusive,
secluded retreat for honeymooners and America's "rich and famous".
His original design included 50 no-frills bungalows privately spaced along
a gorgeous crescent beach edged with perfectly manicured lawns, towering
palms, and colorful tropical foliage - one of the most beautiful settings
in the Caribbean.
During the 1980's, the legendary "Rockresort" was sold, underwent several
expansions, changes of ownership, and eventually transformed into a large
98 room complex filling the entire half-mile beach. Happily, Rosewood
Hotels assumed management of Little Dix, carried forth extensive renovations,
and has turned it into an upscale family resort, specializing in activities
for children of all ages, and for mom, dad and grandparents too!
An extensive child program is centered around the "Children's Grove" pavilion, 2500 square feet of rooms full of toys, playthings, and even a miniature kid's house full of tot sized furniture. Teenagers have their own room too. While the kiddies are having fun in the Grove or on the beach, parents and grandparents can play tennis, enjoy spa treatments, sail, scuba dive, or just relax while sunning on the picture perfect white sand shoreline.
our stay, we saw families everywhere, all having a great time. Teens
enjoyed the "internet room" with two computers and high speed modems.
Kids over 8 can sign up for an "introduction to Scuba" program or snorkel
in search of colorful fish. Children were often seen in the Guest
Reception Center each morning watching Blue's Clues and other child-oriented
TV programs. Early morning pastries and juice were available for
early rising "little guests". Moms with strollers enjoyed the flower
The beach was a popular place for children to build sandcastles while parents caught some rays or relaxed with the latest novel.
The "Children's Grove", is located near the tennis courts.
Scheduled activities are extensive and available at extra charge for ages
3 to 6 and ages 7 to 12. Monday through Saturday, play time
begins at 9:00 am and ends at 4:30 pm. - parents can either spend
the noon hour from 12 to 1 with their offspring, or sign them up to have
lunch at the Beach House with counselors (reservation required).
Activities consist of beach games, sand sculpture, Caribbean stories, artwork,
garden tours, beach walks, scavenger hunts, domino tournaments, tennis
lessons, and 10:30 am snack on the beach - to name a few. Evening
activities began at 7 pm and include games or crafts followed by a movie
which ends at 9:30 pm. With reservations, children can have dinner
at the Sugar Mill with the counselors from 6 - 7 pm.
Activities rotate every two weeks and children under the age of 3 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or a nanny which can be arranged by the resort on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis at the prevailing rates. Reservations for lunch or dinner with the counselors must be made 24 hours in advance. Fees for children's activities is $40 a day per child with two snacks included, but lunch at additional charge. Half-day activities are $25 per child. Evening activity fee is $30 per child, dinner at extra cost.
For complete details about Little Dix's programs and activities for
children at Little Dix, click this LINK.
Scuba divers will be delighted to find a Dive BVI operation conveniently on site. A Scuba Professional schedules daily dive trips, provides certifications, and teaches the popular "resort course" - a morning introduction to Scuba followed by a shallow water dive.
The dive boat leaves the pier each morning at 9 a.m. and returns by 1 p.m. for two tank dives; one tank dives are offered each afternoon at 2:30 except for Sunday.
Snorkelers can explore a protected reef just off shore and have many
choices of chartered, guided snorkeling tours to other underwater gardens.
Dive BVI also offers trips in their fast power catamaran - afternoon snorkeling
at the famous Wreck of the Rhone, and a day trip to the distant island
of Anegada, which includes a lobster lunch and transfers to spectacular
Loblolly Beach. Check with the dive shop for more information and
reservations. Also popular is the Thursday beach barbecue lunch at
Spring Bay. Little Dix transfers guests with motorized skiffs.
Many different day sails and sunset cruises are available, as are island tours. Hikers will find several trails, some with outstanding views at the top of the surrounding hills. The nearby Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor has fun, quaint shops and can be reached by a 15-20 minute walk or taking a taxi.
Kenny and I arrived at the airport dock and boarded Little Dix's fast power catamaran "ferry" with another couple and two families with 6 children. The transfer took about 25 minutes and we were all met at the dock by Derrick. He gave us a quick overview of the resort, then escorted the families to their rooms near the Children's Grove and called us a ride to our Premium Room at the other end of the resort.
One hundred rooms, suites, and villas offer all types of accommodations and rates from $375 a day to $2500 a day in the spring, summer, and fall with no additional charge for children under 16 years of age. Several meal plans can be added to the room rates - $110 per person per day for those over 12; $55 for children 5 to 12, and no charge for children 4 and under.
The no-frill guest cottages of long ago and newer accommodations received
a complete modernization by Rosewood and are tastefully decorated with
soothing colors and lovely rattan furnishings. State of the art telephones
which accept data lines are now in each room. Scattered along or
near the beach, rooms are grouped two, four, or eight to a building and
follow two designs. Square rooms include a small to moderate sized
bathroom with a shower (some have one lavatory, some have two); hexagonal
shaped rooms are slightly larger.
Several Deluxe "hex" rooms are on stilts with patio and hammock below and are located behind the one-story beachside units. All have a small sitting area, desk, under-counter refrigerator, hair dryer, and umbrellas. The rooms are air-conditioned with window louvers and ceiling fans. Two air conditioned one-bedroom suites feature a bedroom, living room, and bathroom with large bathtubs.
The last time we stayed at Little Dix, we were in "premium class" room
31 near the busy arrival-departure pier, the Beach House dining room/bar,
and rows of watersports equipment - very much like Grand Central Station
of the Caribbean!
The adjoining room had three adults and a two year old child who constantly screeched and cried. The nearby Beach House had continuous kitchen clatter, and we were close enough to the tennis courts to hear the thunk of balls from sunup to sundown. Older children constantly peeked into our room, and the housekeeper ignored the "do not disturb" sign several times. These annoying distractions did not exactly provide the quiet, secluded, and romantic vacation which we had planned. Unless you like lots of continuous commotion around your room, ask for one far away from the public areas.
This time (for all the above reasons), we reserved a Premium Cottage in the "100" series, set near the southern end of the property in a "quiet" area.
The beach was about 200 feet beyond a lovely garden area and the main dining pavilion was a few minutes walk. The new spa was a short way up the hill, very convenient! The new pool was also just a few steps away.
Our six-sided duplex accommodation in one of the original cottages was spacious with a sitting area and large elevated balcony. Four-plex rectangular rooms were on either side of us in a line down the lovely green lawn rolling down to the beach area.
Our Premium Cottage had a king bed, plenty of pillows, desk, lots of
closets along one wall, and two comfortable lounge chairs. The small
bathroom was long and narrow, with a shower, and not air-conditioned -
each time we opened the door, it was as though we had our own sauna!
During warm afternoons, Kenny liked to sit inside and read books.
This part of the resort has a pretty beach separated from the main beach
by a cluster of large rocks. The two new villas are near the end
of the point, below the spa. Thatched shade huts with lounge chairs
underneath proved to be a delightful way to relax and sunbathe.
Two villas sit at the end of the beach with gorgeous ocean views across
Little Dix Bay. The three bedroom villa is only a few steps from
the water, while the two bedroom one is slightly elevated on the hill.
The peak of the spa can be seen above in the photo below:
Each villa has a kitchen, oversized living and dining rooms, private pool, and outdoor grill. Families wanting the ultimate in beachside luxury would find these spacious accommodations superb.
While their children or grandchildren are enjoying their day at the Grove, parents and grandparents can lavish themselves at the new Spa.
It is located on a hill at the south end of the property and has fabulous views of the BVI. The Spa is composed of several buildings scattered up and down the high ridge - each holds a different type of treatment room - massage, skin care, manicures and pedicures, plus a dressing room for ladies and one for men.
A large reception pavilion with peaked room welcomes guest to the spa. After signing in, guests are escorted to dressing rooms where they can change into robes and sandals. They are then shown to a treatment room, all with a wonderful ocean view. A free-form pool with lounge chairs invites guests to swim or relax.
Little Dix has three dining areas - the Beach House grill, the huge Pavilion, and the small intimate Sugar Mill - all with gorgeous views of the beach and bay. Plenty of high chairs are available for children and special kiddy menus too.
Early morning coffee, juice, and pastries were available on the Pavilion
patio from 7 to 8:00 am, followed by breakfast which included a huge fresh
fruit buffet with assorted cereal, pastries, smoothies, and juices.
In addition, eggs, omelettes, waffles, and pancakes could be ordered freshly
cooked on the grill.
Lunch was available at the Beach House Grill and the Pavilion. The Grill offered salads, sandwiches, and luncheon entrees such as sautéed crab cake, fish, burgers and hot dogs. The Pavilion lunch buffet had a salad bar, grilled fish, chicken, burgers, and hot dogs followed with some delightful desserts! English style tea was served each afternoon.
Dinner is served during the summer season at the Pavilion and the Sugar Mill (the Beach House is also open during winter season). We dined at the Sugar Mill one night and found a huge array of grilled fish and steaks plus a la carte vegetables - excellent! Five Course selections at the Pavilion were more of a "fashionable" cuisine with the latest culinary combinations such as "Yellow Chilean Tomato Carpaccio with Asparagus Tips, Plantain Rings and Lolo Rosa", "Marinated Vegetables with warm Goat Cheese in a Fennel Crust served with Black Olive puree", "Grilled Peppered Ahi Tuna dressed with Black and Brown Butter, Lemon, Capers, Green Beans and Coriander Leaf". Each course is perfectly and artistically presented on the plate - almost too pretty to eat.
Many evenings we enjoyed a simple, excellent "Fresh Anegada rock lobster
served with rice pilaf and a bouquet of vegetables". Dinner service
in both the Pavilion and Sugar Mill was generally good until the dessert
course. Many evenings, we gave up after waiting more than 30 minutes
for the dessert menu to arrive. The Pavilion has an outstanding buffet
a once a week and this lavish event should not be missed (cancel those
Sugar Mill reservations)!
DINING: The Sugar Mill must have dinner reservations, as does the Beach House during winter season. Book at least one day in advance to be assured of a table. Children are welcome at all the dining rooms.
Two meal plans are available - the Modified American Plan with breakfast and dinner, and the Full American Plan with all three meals included. Those who plan to dine at Little Dix will save by signing up for the meal plan since a la carte can add up in a hurry. Guests who prefer to dine elsewhere must take a taxi or rent a car.
DRESS: Elegant resort wear. During the day, shoes, fashionable sportswear. or bathing suits and cover-ups are worn in public areas. In the evening, ladies wear stylish pant suits, cocktail length dresses or skirts; men wear slacks, collared shirts, and closed-toe shoes. Coat and tie are optional for dinner. Children should be appropriately dressed if dining with their parents.
TIPS: One of the most popular activities is being taken by a captained motor boat to a remote, secluded cove on Virgin Gorda, so make reservations a day or two ahead. If you plan to order a picnic basket, be sure and ask how many drinks are included. One family discovered that their box lunches only contained one soda per person to last them the whole day.
When swimming in the mid-section of the beach, between the Pavilion
and Beach House, be alert and avoid boats and water craft which must pass
by to reach the dock.
ROOMS: Little Dix has a large assortment of room categories with various locations along or near the half-mile beach. Only a few steps from waters edge, rooms 1-36 are centered between the main dining areas and the busy pier/beach house; seven tennis courts are across the road from numbers 21-36. Units 37-80 are on the east side of the resort, with 77-80 being somewhat private but farthest from the dining rooms, however, motorized shuttle carts provide transportation for those who would rather ride than walk. Guest rooms 101-121 are in a secluded area on the west side of the dining rooms and overlook a vast expanse of lawn which rolls down to the lovely sea grape and palm lined beach. (Units 81-100 do not presently exist.)
To see a large map of Little Dix Bay Resort and the location of rooms,
click on the image below:
GETTING THERE: At this time, only small commuter airlines fly into Virgin Gorda from St. Thomas and San Juan - a van meets guests at the airport for a quick ride to the resort. American Airlines Eagle flies into Beef Island on Tortola and guests take a short van ride to meet the Little Dix power catamaran for a 25 minute cruise to the resort.
If you are looking for a gorgeous beach and lots of activities for all
family members, then Little Dix would be a superb choice since it is the
only upscale resort in the British Virgin Islands which welcomes children
of all ages. Romantic couples wanting a hideaway vacation with lots
of privacy, seclusion on the beach, and quiet candlelit dinners might be
|For more information, contact:
(800) 928-3000 (284) 495-5555 FAX: (284) 495-5661
(800) 525-8090 (361) 643-4555 FAX: (361) 643-6975