Frenchman’s Cay, British Virgin Islands

Photo: Frenchmans Resort
Photo: Frenchmans Resort

This was supposed to be a quick trip. You planned a little getaway to the British Virgin Islands at the beginning of the low season. You hoped for better hotel rates, no restaurant lines, mostly locals at the bars, and practically empty beaches. All of your wishes came true. So hopefully your hotel won’t mind if you take over one of their cottages and never leave.

You’re staying on the quiet West End of Tortola. The hillside is dotted with gingerbread cottages and bougainvillea. Sage Mountain looms in the background. Sailboats bob in the harbor. And a breeze off the water cools everything down.

Frenchmans has stand-alone cottages with names like Guava, Avocado, and Papaya. They have Balinese decor, comfy nooks, and balconies overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel. You spent the first few days taking pictures of St. John and Peter Island while walking along Frenchmans Trail. You snorkeled above the protected reef, where you saw barracudas and hundreds of tiny fish. You spotted sea turtles and stingrays while kayaking. You drank Island Summer Ales by the pool, built your own mojitos at happy hour, and ate gourmet seafood dinners of conch and lobster.

Photo: Frenchmans Resort
Photo: Frenchmans Resort

After falling in love with your hotel, you walked to Soper’s Hole to browse the little shops and drink rum painkillers at Pusser’s. You went fly fishing for tarpons one day, and deep-sea fishing for wahoo another. You spent the morning on Long Bay, a one-mile, white-sand beach. Then you moved to palm-lined Smuggler’s Cove, with a view of Jost Van Dyke, in the afternoon. You thought about jumping on a ferry to visit other islands, but you ultimately decided to stay right where you were.

That’s why you think you should just cancel your return ticket home. Then you could explore the rest of Tortola’s beaches, eat fish tacos every day, and never change out of your bathing suit. At least until hurricane season arrives.

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