Not so long-ago Peter Island in the Virgin Islands was the place to holiday for those in the know. For some the Caribbean began only after an ‘onward flight’ from Antigua or Barbados. Then in came the flash and glitz of Mauritius, the Maldives and Dubai and younger travellers went East to sample these new delights. And the Virgin Islands? Well they’re twinned with El Dorado (in more senses than one).
But for sailors and those still in the know, the best beaches and great cocktails are still in the BVI. What separates the BVI from almost everywhere else is the lack of ‘tat’. Is it Cheap? No – but no one is going to take your shirt. Can you buy a McDonalds or get your hair braided on the beach – no, but you can experience a different life experience at Saba Rock, or perhaps Cooper Island, busy, fun, casual in a Cotswolds sort of way. Belongers and guests mingle here, you don’t need your own story, just enjoy human contact. If that all seems like too much effort then becalm yourself in a hammock on Deadman’s Beach and wonder at how the sea and sky can be so blue and how the woes of the world can’t penetrate your private BVI world.
So back to that opening title; for the past couple of years access via Antigua has been on a non-stop VI Airlink shared charter service or a through-ticketed (airline speak for your baggage is waiting for you at your final destination) Inter Caribbean service. But now, BVI Airways will be flying non-stop from both Miami and New York giving UK travellers the option of the delights of New York and Miami combined with a true escape. So now a holiday can mean a Broadway show and time in a hammock on a Caribbean Beach; or time in Miami’s Art Deco district with its great restaurants and then Painkillers (of the Rum variety) on Peter Island.