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Our recent trip to Guana Island

We've been home for several days after a wonderful trip to Guana Island, a fabulous resort in the British Virgin Islands. This was our 24th trip there - the first one in 1983. It is a private island of 850 acres with a ~800ft peak (Sugar Loaf) and a 450ft peak (Pyramid). The dining room and dwelling houses are at about 250 ft and higher. There is a gorgeous beach - close to 1/2 mile long with white sand where you swim, etc - it is called White Beach. It has a coral reef that is no longer in good shape. There are several other beaches at various points. Lots of trails - many of which we have hiked. They will drive you up and down the hill to and from the beach, but we always walk on various routes.

View from the terrace in front of dining room

There are usually between 20-40 guests, many of who have been there before. The dining tables seat 8 - there are private opportunities - and we were mostly with 3 other couples who we have been there at the same time as us.

The food is excellent - there is an orchard and the orchard keeper and the chef cordinate their work.

It was devestated by Hurricane Irma and was closed in 2018. Roofs destroyed, furniture blown out to sea, much of the vegitation messed up. But restoral has been done and much of it looks like it did before. A big tree near the dining area is gone and the tree at the beach that provides shade is much smaller. The owner is a wealthy person whio is really committed to keeping the place thriving for guests, staff, and wild-life so he made sure the funds and other resources were available for restoral - many other BVI resorts are still not open. In October there is Scientist's month.

There is a salt pond near White Beach which has flamingos - there used to be 7 or 8, but this year we counted as many as 38. It is hard to count accurately since they are often clustered in the distance.

There are also some Rock Iguanas roaming around; they are almost extinct - only 100 of them according to the placemats and some are on another nearby islands.

And lots of pelicans - I love watching them dive.

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Remember that those placemats are from 1995, when the iguanas had only recently been reintroduced. There might well be more now.

The terrace view photo with the rainbow is spectacular. Love the other two photos as well. The rock lizard is certainly a unique looking creature.

What is the unique quality of this island that has brought you back over and over? A sense of the familiar? The people? Comfort in routine? A love for all things British?

We like it for so many reasons. Interesting terrain with lots of options; excellent food; small with return guests so there are always people there we've been with before, the fact that they try to make interactions between guests: assigned seating for dinner, cocktails in the living room, the commitment to wild-life preservation... familiarity now that we've been there so many times. We tried other places, but as soon as we found this we knew it was great. It is very expensive, but...

We actually had a complete rainbow at breakfast a few days earlier. I don't know if jwg got a decent photo of it.

There's not much especially British about the resort -- its owner is an extremely wealthy American, who made a fortune in silver in the 1960s-70s, and most of the guests are from the US.

In addition to all the reasons John listed, there's the fact that the accommodations might seem rather "rustic" to some -- they're perfectly comfortable, but they don't exactly shout "luxury" -- and this may keep certain types of "snobbish" people from visiting (or at least visiting more than once).

John has characterized it with the description "There's nothing to do, and not enough time to do it in".

Unfortunately, one of our favorite activities there was not available this year: There's a lawn area near the beach where there's usually a croquet court (lawn? field?) set up, and we generally play a game or two most afternoons when we're there; but among all the other (admittedly more important) things they had to do in the aftermath of the hurricane, they hadn't got it set up yet. They actually started laying it out while we were there, but it wasn't quite finished (or whoever was doing it didn't completely understand the setup, or both) by the time we left. On our last full day we learned from one of the staff that they had decided to set it up when we arrived because they remembered that we liked to play. And if that isn't a reason to love the place, I don't know what is.

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