“Scrub” is an awfully low-end sounding name for such a beautiful island. Named by British sailors who were ordered to clean the hulls of their ships upon arrival, the isle became thereafter known as Scrub Island. The island is not a big place, 230 acres in all, and a scenic, hilly one-mile road from its eastern most point to its western coast overlooking Cam Bay. It is here that the Scrub Island Resort & Marina resides, comprised of guestrooms and suites, two- to four-bedroom villas, a spa and Governor’s Point, a spectacular peninsula with a helicopter pad and a patio floor for wedding ceremonies.
Scrub is the first luxury resort development in the BVI in more than 15 years and the first member of the Autograph Collection of hotels in the Caribbean. It was selected for the collection for its quality, rich character and uncommon details. The island is technically part of Tortola, but it’s a separate landmass that can be reached from Tortola following a complimentary 10-minute Trellis Bay ferry ride. When we arrived, we were met by the resident four-foot tarpon fish swimming off Pier B.
Most of the newly-appointed large hotel rooms are in Marina Village and offer Italian stone flooring, teak wood furniture and private verandas. Among the room amenities are tiny bottles from the spa of mists for your pillow scented with lavender and geranium to help guests relax. The marina itself offers 55-foot slips that welcome some of the largest and most luxurious yachts around. If you did not sail to Scrub on your own boat, you can charter a private 49-foot luxury catamaran for the day, or take a multi-island guided boat tour.
The resort also encompasses its own private beach called North Beach. It is a quiet little secluded spot set amid lush foliage, with lounge chairs, a bar and pool. Every Wednesday, guests can enjoy the North Beach Festival featuring a barbeque, live music, and stilt-walking Jumby dancers. But if North Beach is not secluded enough for you, you can take a (complimentary) kayak to Honeymoon Beach. This is the only way to access it, unless you rent the particular villa that has a private path leading down to it.
If you want to explore the island, there is great deep-sea fishing, snorkeling and diving activities which can be arranged through the hotel. Scrub has its own dive boat that takes you near the wreck of the steamship RMS Rhone which sank in an 1867 hurricane. It is now a National Marine Park lying at 30 to 90 feet below the ocean. Dive BVI took us snorkeling one day over to the island of Virgin Gorda and to another national park. Its trail leads through huge boulders, called The Baths, and ends with a warm swim at Devil’s Bay.
After our second morning, staff seemed to know our names and even what we liked for breakfast (their crispy coconut French toast is a great). Many guests return because of its friendly team, and we would return for the same reason. And well, also for their delicious, cinnamon-topped piña coladas, maybe the best in all of the Caribbean.