On Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands, you’ll find equal doses of adventure and romance.
It’s just after sunrise and a flock of gulls is off in the distance, yammering on about this and that. A scruffy pelican cuts through the congregation and deep-dives for breakfast. The breeze is in no hurry, lazily ruffling Caribbean palms as it passes through the marina. Rise and shine, it’s morning on Scrub Island.
Located in the Lesser Antilles, Scrub Island is made up of two volcanic islands, Big and Little Scrub, connected by an isthmus. September 2017 gave the island quite the scare, as hell-raising Hurricane Irma bulldozed through much of the island’s serene surroundings, leaving trees down and both buildings and the marina in disrepair. But after a year of care—and with hard work and help from other nearby islands—the property is poised for company.
While on Scrub, you’ll meet families traveling with children, middle-aged men on sailboats wearing straw Stetsons, and vibrant couples from nearby Puerto Rico. And that’s one of the charms of Scrub Island: It’s transient enough to keep things interesting and small enough so you’ll feel like you’re the only ones there.
While it’s not exactly difficult to get to Scrub, it does take some patience. Your adventure begins in Charlotte where a direct flight gets you as far as San Juan. After a stopover in Puerto Rico, you’ll hop aboard a Cape Air puddle jumper—we’re talking eight seats here (someone may even get to sit next to the pilot!)—and head east to the island of Tortola. From there you’ll board a 15-minute ferry heading for the Scrub Island marina.
A private island, Scrub is small, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of elegance and luxury. Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina has just over 50 guest rooms and suites, each blending intimacy and exclusivity with a charming, Old World aesthetic. Palm-leaf overhead fans gently cool the rooms, each rustic with colonial-style mahogany accents and today’s amenities (think: deep, porcelain tubs and luxe showers). Nine elite homes are situated along the island’s hills.
Scrub’s two beachfronts, while something out of a desktop wallpaper, are small and somewhat rocky, making them just fine if you love long conversations and reading, but limited if you’re more into shell-combing and beachfront activities.
Bring your walking shoes for sure—the island slopes are steep. A popular loop around the property measures just at a mile and, at times, can find you out of breath, depending on your pace. Looking for a bigger adventure? Hike up Big Scrub, which, at over 400 feet, offers original settlers’ ruins and the best views of the ocean and neighboring islands.
If it’s more romance you seek, hop in a complimentary kayak and paddle along the calm, turquoise waters to ultra-secluded Honeymoon Beach—only accessible by kayak. Daily ferries also allow for island hopping, too. Don’t miss The Baths, a labyrinth of boulders that form enchanting pools, sheltered along the edge of the beach on nearby Virgin Gorda.
De-stress from the big day by indulging in a side-by-side couples massage at the resort’s open-air iXora Spa. The newly renovated building—cozy along the island cliffs—provides swoon-worthy panoramic views. The waves slowly rolling in will quickly take your post-wedding stress out to sea. Each of the massage therapists on site are trained in the best of classical Balinese techniques, but Santi takes it to the next-level. Request her for one of the best possible experiences. (You’ll have to rock, paper, scissors for who gets paired with her.)
Get your fill
The resort stays mostly quiet during the day but surges in the early evening, when boats begin to fill the marina, their passengers ready for a meal at Scrub’s fine-dining restaurant, Canavera. Dress up one evening and head over for a satisfying Mahi Mahi or rare ribeye, or for a truly exclusive experience—perhaps on your last night—share a meal in a private cabana overlooking the moonlit waters.
For more information and for rates, click here or call 284-394-3440.