TOP 33 PLACES, PEOPLE AND SERVICES IN THE BVI
Top 33 Places, People and Business Services in the BVI 2013 – 2014
VIPY Readers’ Choice Awards
Written by Stephen Leslie France
Editor - aLookingGlass on Oct 4, 2013
This is the third annual VIPY Readers’ Choice Awards and as always, the results have been exciting with more voters, different winners and the interesting addition of newcomers.
Due to the fact that some categories had such close competition, we felt obliged to provide a percentage ratio between the 1st and 2nd place positions by using the total number of votes among the two or in some cases, three top candidates. A huge applause to all the winners.
This is a great reference point for anyone seeking a quick, comprehensive guide to the best services and places to visit in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). This information is offered in relation to BVI property, BVI sailing and island lifestyle – all voted by the people who know best about the BVI – YOU.
BEST BRITISH VIRGIN ISLAND(S): Jost Van Dyke & Virgin Gorda
One eager beaver opted for St John as his preferential British Virgin Island. Apologies friend – if it serves our knowledge, St John is still under the US bracket.
As a slight change from last year, two islands won this category: Virgin Gorda joint with Jost Van Dyke. Of course it’s not hard to see why – Virgin Gorda is often the showcase island of the BVI and Jost provides a social scene of increasing exhilaration with every visit.
Virgin Gorda: 36% Jost Van Dyke: 36% Tortola: 28%
BEST BVI NEIGHBORHOOD TO LIVE: Cane Garden Bay
For the third time running, the best neighborhood fell to popular beachside location Cane Garden Bay with its unconventional combination of providing tranquility and an active social scene.
Renowned for its strip of bars and restaurants along the waterfront, this is the ideal visitor’s hotspot and makes for a city dweller’s perfect escape when seeking a home that is the ultimate antithesis of city life.
BEST BVI SUNSET LOOKOUT ESTABLISHMENT: Bananakeet Cafe
Taking the winning scenic point again was Bananakeet Café – it appears like this location has a monopoly on sunset views as despite the fact that there are many epic land and seascapes in the BVI, this was a landslide victory.
BEST BVI MUSEUM: Old Government House
From the response in this category, it would appear that many BVI residents and visitors are unaware of the museums that exist here. This question gained quite a few queries along the lines of “Does the BVI have museums?” The renowned Old Government House took this category for the third year running.
BEST BVI ARCHITECTURAL FIRM: Roger Downing & Partner Co. Ltd
Another tight vote leaning toward two respected companies responsible for much of the fine architecture seen around the islands, Roger Downing & Partner BVI Architects were the overall winners.
Roger Downing & Partner: 51% OBM International: 49%
BEST BVI RESORT/HOTEL: Rosewood Little Dix Bay
This was a close call between three resorts that continually win awards on Trip Advisor, however, Rosewood Little Dix took the biscuit.
Rosewood Little Dix: 35% Peter Island Resort & Spa: 34% Frenchmans Hotel: 31%
BEST BVI VACATION RENTAL: White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages
This was a challenge to count up on account of the fact that there is a wide selection. It seemed like every other voter opted for a different vacation rental. In the end, White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages won out and with the incredible view of turquoise waters, it is no surprise.
BEST BVI HISTORICAL HOTSPOT: Copper Mine
Someone made a point of saying the BVI doesn’t promote much historically. We were certainly educated by the survey replies here as there are quite a few historical hotspots across the BVI – the two favorites?
Copper Mine: 59% The RMS Rhone: 41%
BEST BVI MARINA: Nanny Cay
Nanny Cay is truly anchored in this spot with its third consecutive win in this category.
BEST BVI REAL ESTATE AGENCY: Smiths Gore
Smiths Gore: 58% Property BVI: 42%
BEST BVI SPA: Peter Island Resort & Spa
Peter Island’s luxurious Resort & Spa, the consistent winner of Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Caribbean Spa’s list takes the win here. This was followed closely by Road Town’s Sole Day Spa.
Peter Island: 53% Sole: 47%
BEST BVI LANDSCAPE ESTABLISHMENT: Minine’s Plants & Landscaping
Minine’s roots nearly saw upheaval to rival Groundworks BVI this year with a ratio –
Minines: 57% Groundworks: 43%
BEST BVI POOL: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina
Several comedians out there voted for their own pool, which gives the public justification to have a great party at your property. Prepare the BBQ, get the drinks in, but first, the winner – Scrub Island Resort. Another close call.
Scrub: 52% Tamarind: 48%
BEST BVI SAILOR: Alec Anderson
Someone did point out the ‘fact’ that Popeye is the best sailor, but this survey is restricted to non-fiction persons of the BVI. Best BVI Sailor went to Alec Anderson pictured here with his extreme watersports buddy Chris Brockbank. Alec recently wrapped up his college sailing career to begin his 2016 Olympics campaign.
BEST BVI REGATTA: Spring Regatta
The ultimate in sailing and a festival of international repute, it cannot be beaten. Spring Regatta sees victory again in this category.
BEST BVI HIDEAWAY: Anegada
This was a category that suffered from lack of representation, but we totally understand. Voters want to keep those hidden locations a secret. Many of you even filled in the answer simply with “not telling”. The overall winner—to the satisfaction of many residents—was Anegada – a not-so secluded spot in comparison to the many other possibilities out there, that will remain true hideaways for another year.
BEST BVI WATERSPORTS ESTABLISHMENT: Bitter End Yacht Club
This award goes to an establishment that celebrates love of the water in every sporting activity possible. Bitter End Yacht Club of Virgin Gorda grabs the gold.
BEST BVI BEACH ESTABLISHMENT: Soggy Dollar
This was slightly amusing as the two top competitors in this category are practically opposite each other, though located on different islands.
BEST BVI DIVE SHOP: Blue Water Divers
Another landslide victory for a company that has also won its category three times in a row, Blue Water Divers owns the sea. With locations in Soper’s Hole and Nanny Cay, this well-known dive shop provides courses from amateur to veteran level and visits diving hotspots all over the BVI.
BEST BVI SAILING SCHOOL: Rob Swain
Top sailing school for the third time running, the Nanny Cay establishment Rob Swain Sailing School won the category hands down.
BEST BVI BAREBOAT CHARTER COMPANY: Moorings
Being one of the most important industries in the BVI, three companies sailed in to battle it out with one overall winner.
Moorings: 36% Horizon: 32% Voyage: 32%
BEST BVI DAY SAIL: Mystique
Mystique: 51% White Squall II: 49%
BEST BVI YACHT BROKERAGE: BVI Yacht Sales
Longest standing yacht sales company and upholding a high reputation, BVI Yacht Sales clearly secured our readers’ vote in this segment.
BEST BVI PROVISIONING STORE: RiteWay Food Markets
A category where the vote was strongly in the favour of a sole company, RiteWay Food Stores consumed the competition with its great wealth of provisioning and accessibility across the BVI.
BEST BVI HOME ACCESSORIES RETAILER: House
House dominated this category soaring to first place. Their array of home ware and BVI essentials continue to garnish popularity as was evident with the vast vote count they owned here. Check out their hot new products here.
BEST BVI RESTAURANT: The Dove Restaurant & Wine Bar
The reigning champion—The Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar—met with close competition. BVI residents and visitors know exactly what services they like so this category received a huge amount of votes, but two restaurants shone above all – this was tight.
The Dove: 51% Brandywine: 49%
BEST FULL MOON PARTY: Trellis Fireball Full Moon Party
There was a new entry with Cocomaya here, but the dominating forces of Bomba and Trellis are epic parties to be reckoned with. The burning fireballs of Trellis still mesmerize the community, hypnotizing all away from the extravagant frolicking at Bomba’s.
Trellis: 54% Bomba: 46%
BEST BVI LIVE MUSIC VENUE: Quito’s Gazebo
At separate ends of the island, the vote came down to Quito’s Gazebo in Cane Garden Bay, home to Quito and the Edge and Last Resort in Trellis that has witnessed some international acts pass through. The winner?
Quito’s: 55% Last Resort: 45%
BEST BVI ARTIST: Quito
We melded photography, music and painting together in this category as they are all art forms in their own right. It would appear that only one was seen as the strongest candidate to hold the torch – the legendary Quito Rymer.
BEST BVI LATE NIGHT HOTSPOT: Le Grand Cafe Deux
This award was taken for the second time in a row by the famous or infamous Le Grand Café Deux. Now offering delicious kebabs alongside copious cocktails, this location is heralded as the central hotspot for BVI late-night congregation.
BEST BVI CAR RENTAL: Dede’s Car Rental
Dede’s: 55% International Motors: 45%
BEST AIRLINE FLYING INTO THE BVI: Cape Air
Reviewing the voting, this category was not received with the most enthusiastic of responses owing to one particular airline that could use…let’s diplomatically say improvement. Nonetheless, it did have a very clear winner in Cape Air – a service constantly celebrated by knowledgeable residents as the best service to fly with in the BVI.
BEST BVI BARTENDER: Sean Anderson
In the two years Origin Sushi Bar has been open, Manager and Bartender Christian has created a whirlwind of a storm in the BVI and probably formed a cocktail with that very name; however, Sean Anderson’s renowned skill at the Dove kept him afloat, winning this category for a second time in a row…it was close.
Sean: 55% Christian: 45%
Also to mention – Kishayne and Henry of the Dove and Mick of Soggy Dollar.
Stephen Leslie France
Editor at aLookingGlass
Hailing from London, UK, Stephen graduated with a BA English Literature degree at the University of Southampton in 2007. Whilst employed, he completed the second draft of his 90,000 word novel ‘Fall from Grace’ among other writing projects and a variety of occupations. He is currently the editor for all aLookingGlass projects.
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