Exceptional properties with upscale interiors and private butlers are truly appreciated while on vacation, but sometimes I crave privacy and a more relaxed environment. Take the Bitter End Yacht Club and Resort on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands for instance. Here flip-flops and cover-ups are the dress for the day and the only things buttoned up at the hotel are the hatches on the sailboats.

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A gem in the Caribbean, the resort boasts the largest fleet of dingy and small keelboats from which guests can choose to race or sail leisurely. The hotel also offers daily excursions aboard one of their larger vessels to nearby remote islands and caves to snorkel. Their weekly trip to Anegada is a special treat for guests who dine on lobster beachside and explore the wonderful reef snorkeling that is among the BVI’s finest spots.

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Nightly entertainment is low-key, but enjoyable. Kids of all ages enjoy watching an age appropriate movie in the outdoor sand castle theater while adults play foosball at the open air pub. Special dining theme nights include live music and DJ’s, which adds to the en plein air atmosphere of the dinner options.

Want Wi-Fi? Guests congregate outside on the Almond Walk patio to share access to the outside world for the rooms are television and Wi-Fi free zones. No locks on the doors, but in-room safes are available for those who cannot shake off their home town paranoia.

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All the tree top guest rooms blend into the hillside and have private porches overlooking the sound, beach, or pool and have relaxing hammocks to sway away in and read a book with the soothing sound of the surf below. Families enjoy the fact that adjoining rooms are available in each of the hilltop guesthouses.

The island is committed to conservation, and as they use generators for electricity and generate their own water, guests who crave 30-minute showers or bathtubs are out of luck. But those who love the simplicity will appreciate the fact that they are lapping in the luxury of rustic accommodations with unparalleled views. One breathtaking gander from your private porch and you will fall in love with the Bitter End. A night feasting on the local fresh fish and baker Winston’s pastries that rival any French chef’s will hook you. The morning after, tasting Harry’s omelets with his “little bit of magic” will start your day off with a satisfied palette and a smile on your face.

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After breakfast it is off to one of the daily excursions to a local snorkel reef or far away to the nearly uninhabited island for a lobster meal on the beach and a swim on the most pristine beach I have ever seen. Sailors will skip the organized trips, slather on the sunscreen, grab a life jacket and jump on a Hobie Wave or Rhodes 19. Weekly guest regattas take place where friendly competition vies for the coveted first prize of a BEYC hat or second place, a bottle of Mount Gay dark rum. All will go away “winners” for every participant is treated to specialty beers or sodas for the young sailors.

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Tucked away nooks on the beaches ensure that each guest has their own oasis with a slice of private luxury all to their own. Frozen piña coladas can be delivered to your thatched roof covered little slice of heaven and relaxation is a guarantee. Now, that’s true luxury!

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