TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board (BVITB) is excited to share news that top-ranks of the 2015 reader's survey, "World's Best Awards," from Travel + Leisure were awarded to Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, Scrub Island Resort & Spa, and Rosewood Little Dix Bay. Jost Van Dyke was awarded the No. 2 spot while Virgin Gorda followed in the No. 3 ranking this year for Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas. These spots were awarded based on readers' rankings of natural attractions, beaches, activities, sites, restaurants, food, people, friendliness, and value.
Additionally, Scrub Island Resort & Spa and Rosewood Little Dix Bay were among the top 25 "World's Best Hotels" based on readers' rankings of rooms, facilities, locations, service, restaurants, food, and value of hotels and resorts in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas.
As the BVI gears up for the high season this winter, the destination reflects on its noteworthy changes, from airlift to property upgrades and developments and exciting initiatives, including the announcement of the second culinary extravaganza – BVI Food Fete – which will offer a variety of festivals and activities throughout the month of November.
"New developments for various properties range from enhanced wellness and spa programs to sailing courses and luxurious beach tents to ensure travelers will have the ultimate getaway experience," said Sharon Flax-Mars, Director of the BVI Tourist Board. "Transportation initiatives such as the cruise pier expansion and increased airlift make paradise in the BVI more accessible than ever."
The BVI offers something for every type of traveler – couples and honeymooners, families, adventurers, sailors, and those seeking a relaxing escape in a picture-perfect location – with a wide range of accommodations and a variety of activities. Visitors can island-hop with ease and explore all the BVI has to offer. For more information on all the islands, visit www.bvitourism.com
- Summer FREEdom Program
This summer, the BVI Tourism Board invites travelers to take advantage of incredible offers throughout the 60 beautiful islands as part of the Summer FREEdom program. Value-added offers from a variety of properties – private islands, luxury villas, yachts and more – include free nights, resort credits, free transportation and free excursions, making getaways to paradise more affordable than ever. For a full list of all the Summer FREEdom offers along with booking and travel dates, visit: http://www.bvitourism.com/summer.
- Pier Expansion
The Cruise Pier expansion has been completed and the BVI Ports Authority has now turned its focus to the adjacent landside development, Tortola Pier Park. Several of the buildings are near completion and the park is expected to officially open before year end with amenities to include places to dine and shop.
- Turtle Encounters Program
Through a newly formed partnership between the Conservation and Fisheries Department (CFD) and the local non-profit Association of Reef Keepers (ARK), the BVI is offering a Turtle Encounters Program. The program will give participants the opportunity to join ongoing efforts toward sea turtle conservation within the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST).
- Emancipation Festival
The 61st annual Emancipation Festival is the celebration of local ancestors' freedom from colonialism in 1834 and local history. The BVI community and visitors gather for a spectacle of pageants, parades, boat races, street performances, and much more to commemorate BVI's rich history. The festival takes place in Road Town, East End, and Carrot Bay on the main island of Tortola from July 24 through August 9.
- Necker Cup
The Necker Cup is a six-day/five-night, all-inclusive world class Pro-Am Tennis event hosted by Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands scheduled for November 28 through December 3. Participants are also offered the opportunity to engage in typical Necker Island activities like paddle boarding, sail boat races, kite boarding, wake boarding, snorkeling, massage therapy, beach tennis, parties and more – visit http://neckercup.com/ for more information.
- BVI Food Fete
Planning is currently underway for the second annual BVI Food Fete, a series of culinary festivals and activities that highlight the exquisite flavors of British Virgin Islands cuisine. Different events will be featured each week that feature visiting chefs from around the globe, culinary competitions, bar crawls, and the second annual Anegada Lobster Festival, which culminates the festive month.
- Jost Van Dyke Bar Crawl introduces attendees to some of the BVI's most popular beach bars on the island where the famous Painkiller was created.
- Taste of Tortola and Virgin Gorda will be hosted on these two islands; both events will feature chef demonstrations, mixologist competitions, sampling of various foods, and more on November 7 and 21.
- Barefoot Gourmet Soirée offers an incredible 5-course meal prepared by international and local chefs. The dinner is hosted at Peter Island Resort along a chic beach setting with live food stations featuring food prepared by each chef on November 14.
- Anegada Lobster Festival is one of the most popular culinary events in the BVI where visitors can try the famous spiny lobster prepared in a variety of ways – grilled, jerked, curried, ceviche, broiled, stewed and more – washing it all down with the BVI's signature cocktail, The Painkiller. This two-day event is on November 28 and 29.
- Due to increased demand, VI Airlink introduced a new scheduled flight that connects with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways flights to offer service from Antigua to the BVI two days per week on Fridays and Saturdays.
- LIAT announced daily flights between Tortola and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The new service between Tortola and Puerto Rico provides convenient same day interline connections to New York, Newark and Orlando on JetBlue and United.
Property & Attraction Updates
- Anegada Beach Club added brand new beach tents in December 2014. The tents offer beach living at its finest and are equipped with a king canopy bed, a furnished deck with a hammock big enough for two, beautifully crafted bathroom with hot shower, and an extra daybed for stowaways.
- Peter Island Resort & Spa welcomes new General Manager, Scott Hart, who starts this role on July 8. Additionally, the resort is delighted to complete its beautification project in Summer 2015, which includes enhancements to the Mega Yacht Harbor, a new welcome pavilion, new dive shop, yacht captains' lounge, commissary and renovations to the Ocean View and Ocean View Deluxe Suites. Peter Island is also pleased to offer Learn-to-Sail and Island-Style Boot Camp packages as well as a Summer Villa Rental Program, which provides up to 40 percent savings on villas.
- Rosewood Little Dix Bay offers a re-envisioned wellness experience that incorporates a holistic approach to health and relaxation under the guidance of new Regional Spa Director, Menique De La Rosa. The award-winning spa will feature a new treatment menu that boasts specially curated spa products, as well as the region's natural ingredients and remedies. For an invigorating fitness experience, the resort has partnered with FranklyFitness of New York City, to offer a truly complete wellness program, including on-site trainers who provide everything from wellness consultation, or classic strength and conditioning training to yoga and meditation along the Spa's private relaxation beach.
- Scrub Island Resort & Spa welcomes new Director of Food and Beverage Maheesha 'M' Ratnayake and new Executive Chef Juan Morrison. The resort also made hires for several key positions, including James "Jim" Miller as Managing Director, Douglas "Chip" Nelson as General Manager, Daniel L.A. de Kok as Director of Finance and Denise Gordon-Morrison as Spa Manager. Scrub Island has recently received impressive accolades and was named one of Travel + Leisure's 500 World's Best Hotels for 2015 and ranked the eighth World's Best Family hotel in the Caribbean in 2014. Lastly, the resort partnered with Dive BVI, Association of Reef Keepers and the Conservation & Fisheries Department, to offer guests a new "Turtle Researcher for a Day" program, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that assists in ongoing sea turtle conservation efforts.
About the British Virgin Islands
An archipelago comprised of 60 islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are located 80 kilometers east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. Road Town, located on Tortola, is the British Virgin Island's capital.
The BVI is renowned as a destination for sailing, diving and snorkeling. The destination's vast topography provides unique opportunities for hiking, outdoor adventure and sustainable tourism.
The BVI is home to many famous attractions that include The Baths on Virgin Gorda, the Wreck of the Rhone off the coast of Salt Island, The Caves off the coast of Norman Island, the flamingos on Anegada, White Bay Beach on Jost Van Dyke, and Sage Mountain on Tortola.
Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency.
The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the seduction of our pristine and exquisite home. For more information on all that BVI has to offer, visit www.bvitourism.com.
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SOURCE British Virgin Islands Tourist Board