Everything You Need To Know About Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina – Hotel Review
There aren’t many places in the world where you can use your Marriott Bonvoy points to book a stay on a private Island… but this is one of them. Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina is part of the Autograph Hotel Collection and is located on a small, posh private island in the British Virgin Islands. A vacation at Scrub Island is full of panoramic views of bright turquoise water and easy access to many of the British Virgin Islands’ surrounding islands, and is located only a 10-minute ferry ride from the Tortola Airport, making it a great home base, or first base for your trip to the BVI.
Scrub Island is exclusively accessible to hotel and marina guests only but unlike the Maldives or Bora Bora, you probably aren’t going to want to stay on this small island your entire stay in the Virgin Islands. Part of the magic of the British Virgin Islands is being out on the water! Hopping from one island to the next, finding hidden coves, rustic beach bars, and lounging on sandy shores. In an ideal world, I’d recommend spending the first two days relaxing around the resort, indulging in the spa and enjoying the private North Beach. Once you’ve gotten your fill of #ResortLife, book a yacht charter (We used Dream Yacht Charters) for the remaining days of your stay so that you can explore some of my favorite spots in the BVI: like the Baths on Virgin Gorda, Willy T’s, Peter Island, and Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke (A MUST). And, if sleeping on a boat doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can use Scrub Island as your home base and go on day cruises from there!
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Getting to Scrub Island
To get to Scrub Island in the BVI, you’ll book flights to Tortola (Terrance B Lettsome International or EIS). Most flights will connect either in San Juan Puerto Rico or St. Thomas and from there you’ll take an island hopper plane to Tortola’s small airport (we flew Cape Air). Upon arrival Scrub Island Resort will have someone waiting for you, you’ll be chauffeured to their private ferry that will take you 5 minutes across the bay to Scrub Island itself. The process was quick and easy, plus the Jerk Chicken restaurant right next to the Scrub Island Ferry dock is FIRE! Definitely make sure you order some for your ride over (they also can deliver to the hotel! Just ask the hotel to order it for you!)
With current COVID requirements, it is VERY difficult to vacation in the BVI, but I’m hopeful these restrictions will lessen soon. Currently, in order to enter the BVI’s you’ll have to complete the travel application within 48 hours of arrival, which requires travel insurance, negative PCR tests within 5 days of your flight and your accommodation details. Upon arrival you’ll be tested again and must quarantine until you receive your results (24-48 hrs), you’ll then have to take another test after 4 days before you’re allowed off-island to fully explore the BVI’s.
Rooms and Villas
Scrub Island Resort offers 52 marina-facing guest rooms and suites, as well as 7 spacious villas that are perfect for larger groups (where we stayed, and I highly recommend!!!!). We stayed in the gorgeous 6-bedroom Spinnaker House that sleeps 12 people. The views speak for themselves. Every accommodation is outfitted with teak wood furniture, fridge, complimentary Wi-Fi access and Elemis toiletries. I can’t speak to the regular hotel rooms from experience, but I HIGHLY recommend the villas for a group – our villa had room service, a beautiful infinity pool and ocean view, and it was soo nice to come ‘home’ to each day.
The amenities at Scrub Island are fabulous, the only thing I would say is to remember that once you set foot on Scrub Island, you’re officially on “island time”, meaning the service is not going to be as fast-paced as you’re use to back home. So sit back, relax and take in the views.
- 3 Island Restaurants (only 1 currently open due to COVID)
- Fitness Center
- 2 story pool/jacuzzi tub with swim up bar
- Water trampoline
- Snorkel Gear
- Golf Cart transportation
- Private beach
- Airport Transfers
- Market/Dive Shop
Activities on and around Scrub Island BVI
The resort fee of $30/person per day allows you access to kayaks, golf cart rides around the island, airport ferry transfers and 1 resort activity per day! In my opinion, the best way to spend a day on the resort is to head straight for North Beach where you can lounge in a beach chair and sip their killer Pina Coladas or Dark and Stormies. When you’re ready for a little more adventure, book a boat day with Dream Yacht Charters! We loved their 4-bedroom Catamaran which fits 12 people comfortably. There’s nothing better than sipping rosé as you sail from one island to the next, am I right?
The Food at Scrub Island
Unfortunately during our stay only one of their three on-site restaurants was open, so it’s safe to say I know that menu like the back of my hand now. We typically did a casual breakfast of toast and eggs at the house and then ate lunch and dinner at Donnavan’s Reef. Donnavan’s Reef is located right next to the pool and serves up casual yet tasty fare that will please even the pickiest of eaters. We LOVED the Coconut shrimp, Conch fritters, local lobster and the grilled Yellowfin tuna! YUM.
During normal times, their formal dining room Cardamom and Co is open for lunch and dinner as well as One Shoe Beach Bar located on North Beach (Kenny rates their Pina Colada as a 7.5).
Day Trips from Scrub Island
Hop on board a catamaran and explore the islands!
Approximately 45 minutes from Scrub Island by boat and is home to the infamous “Virgin Gorda Baths”, a beautiful National Park where huge Indiana-Jones-style boulders strewn across an incredible white sand beach. This is a MUST when in the BVI’s, but be prepared for a little bit of a hike! And try to go on off days as it can get crowded!!!
The north most island in the BVI’s, Anegada is known for its immaculate beaches and their LOBSTER!! This is the furthest BVI but you can get there via a boat ride from Virgin Gorda. On the island, you can rent a moped and pop from beach to beach!
Jost Van Dyke
Ah, my favorite place in the BVI and quite possibly one of my favorite islands IN THE WORLD. The western-most island in the BVI’s that is known for one of my favorite bars of all time – Soggy Dollar Bar!! Dubbed ‘Soggy Dollar’ because the only way to get there is by swimming in from your boat!! (so your dollars get soggy!) This classic beach bar that invented the “painkiller” – a very famous drink in the BVI – and a bucket list for any trip there.
We met up with our friend Brian Kelly here of The Points Guy – and he was of course rocking his favorite Kenny Flowers swim trunks, but we of course brought him some of the new Tortola trunks to get him to match the #KennyFlowersSpringBreak crew!
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