Guana Island – Private Island Paradise – Hotel Review
ABOUT OUR REVIEWS // We love what we do! We travel often. It’s essential to stay up to date on the hotels we sell. Truth + transparency in travel is our goal, so if we don’t enjoy our stay at a hotel, we won’t write about it. If you’re reading this – the hotel below was a hit!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS // The only way to arrive at Guana Island is by boat. This is the view that greets you from the dock – a completely undisturbed and pristine beach with picture-perfect white sand sloping gently down to a crystalline bay. The beach at Guana Island is aptly named White Bay Beach.
The arrival feels somewhat ceremonial and fills you with excited anticipation. I couldn’t wait to get to the room, unpack my swimsuit and find my way back to the beach.
Guana Island is one of the last remaining privately owned islands in the British Virgin Islands. Rarer still is that this island operates as a hotel, allowing guests to experience the private island lifestyle without committing to renting the entire island.
My recent stay at Guana Island was otherworldly. Or maybe I should say, I was transported to another time. I know it will be hard for me to put this experience in words, but let’s see…
If you’ve ever wanted to be alone with your shadow this is the place. After you drop your bags in your charming cottage and make your way back to the beach, you might just be the only person there. Other than Sampson, the cheerful and attentive bartender who will make sure you are swiftly introduced to a “Painkiller” the famous cocktail that originated in the BVI.
DINING// All meals are included at Guana Island, and their culinary program is one step ahead of the “farm to table” movement by literally offering “our farm to table.” Most of the vegetables, fruits, and herbs used in the kitchen are grown in the orchard on the property. The menu changes almost daily at Guana, designed around what’s ready to harvest in the orchard.
Guana Island is proud of its farm, and taking a tour is a must. By the time you are reading this and booking your private island vacation, you’ll probably be able to enjoy a meal or two in the garden. When I visited Guana, the hotel was perfecting its in-orchard dining concept, and I could tell it was the start of something wonderful. To dine in a fragrant garden, surrounded by swaying palm and banana trees, under loosely strung cabana lights, is a memory worth making.
All meals, wines, and snacks like tropical fruit and fresh-baked cookies (perfect after spending an afternoon hiking) are included in the room rate at Guana Island. This private island is the antithesis to an all-inclusive getaway, but the convenience of the inclusions increases the relaxation factor. It’s nice to put your wallet away and know that everything is taken care of. Does this sound like a vacation concept you’d be interested in? Contact us for more exciting details about exactly what’s included at Guana Island.
ROOMS // All cottages at Guana Island are named for other Caribbean Islands. They vary in price due to the size, with the sea view cottages being less expensive than the multi-roomed villas. Guana is one location where I can decidedly say that old-world charm does not mean you are sacrificing luxury. No, the island is not a modern chic showpiece like you’d find in the pages of ELLE Decor. Still, at every hour of the day, you are reminded that authentic experiences are a luxury in and of themselves.
The rooms at Guana Island are where the real magic happens… that private island magic. Almost every bedroom has a water view. No two rooms are alike. The rooms are all very private; some connect and feature separate living spaces in the same cottage, and all have private entrances. Every single one has a private outdoor sitting area.
PRO TIP // Book Anegada 1, and you’ll end up with a private pool. Not a standard square plunge pool – but a full-size swimming pool anchored by a curved edge that disappears into the horizon becoming one with the sea. Private plunge pool suites are always in demand and perfect for a romantic getaway.
One of my favorite things about being on Guana Island was the wind. Wind makes me feel alive, and I know that’s why I’ve always craved living by the ocean.
The sea breeze continually finds its way up the hills of Guana Island and feels stronger at night. Maybe that was my imagination, or just some unnamed phenomenon – something that happens when your senses shift from sight to sound and touch. Instead of having all your energy supporting your eyes while you try to comprehend and absorb the insanely breathtaking views before you… Instead of focusing on all the beauty surrounding you, you start thinking that the wind has picked up once the sun sets. You begin to notice the noise it makes as it whistles through the window screens and dances with the palm fronds. Your sense of touch heightens, and the tiny hairs on your arms pull in one direction, then the other, ever so slightly. You feel alive.
Guana Island in their own words…
“Our intimate hotel is built of native stone and coral, on the foundations of an 18th century Quaker estate.
Sprinkled along a scenic ridge and cooled by gentle tradewinds, each of our 18 unique rooms and villas offers a commanding views of the Caribbean and the Atlantic..”
WHAT TO DO // There is so much to do on Guana Island! The private island paradise consists of 850 Acres, 7 Beaches, 12 Miles of Hiking Trails, and only 32 guests max. So much space that you’ll never have to wait for your turn to do anything.
There’s tennis, volleyball, badminton, croquet, ping-pong and even bocce, lawn bowling and horseshoes at the beach. A fleet of beach toysstand at the ready, like stand-up paddleboards, paddleboats, kayaks, sunfish and Hobie-cat, and snorkeling geay. Further adventures include scuba, water-skiing, kite surfing, local and deep-sea fishing, and wakeboarding. But of course, one of my favorite things to do here was… absolutely nothing. I can’t recall lying on a gorgeous beach with a more impeccable view than this! Beaches as tranquil as this are hard to come by. The absence of cramped palapas and the lack of hearing chatter from other guests was not lost on me. The peace I felt on Guana Island was a highlight, and just one more reason why vacationing at a private island hotel is the best way to experience the Caribbean.
COMPLIMENTARY VACATION CONSULTATION
Click here to complete our contact form, and we will reach out to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation. During this call, we will help you decide if Guana Island is a good choice for your vacation and explain our planning process.
VIBE // Barefoot luxury reigns supreme here. The vibe is casual ambiance tempered with exceedingly attentive hospitality. The warm, friendly smiles of the staff instantly make you feel at home. Within hours of arrival, you’ll know all your needs are met.
You’re reminded that Guana is a private island at every turn because, as far as you can see, the only structures that interrupt your view are those on the hotel map. This is all Guana Island, and it’s all yours to explore.
Who is Guana Island best for? Why not take over the entire hotel with your closest friends and family? I can’t think of a better way to revel in all this private island hotel offers. With only 18 rooms, it’s the perfect size for a destination wedding or a small social group with your best friends.
Secondly, Guana is perfect for anyone who dreams of an eco-vacation but is unwilling to forgo any creature comforts. Nature surrounds you. It is perfectly reasonable to assume you can break in your new hiking boots, swim in a deserted bay, and cross off five other activities from your wish list, all before your multi-course, five-star dinner.
Couples seeking the idyllic combination of privacy + panoramic views will love Guana Island. From your cottage located on one of Guana’s peaks, you’ll feel you can reach out and touch the sky. It’s impossible not to stargaze here – where it feels more stars shine overhead than anywhere in the Caribbean.
FINAL THOUGHTS // My idea of nirvana is a simple one. Allow me to be ensconced in nature, dining on fresh ingredients that were harvested or freshly caught in the sea that very day, while taking in endless ocean views. Add in a smiling, warm, welcoming staff that instantly makes me feel at ease, and Guana Island is pretty close to heaven. The entire time I was on the island, I had this feeling that I was somewhere exceptional. A Guana Island vacation will be filled with a few once-in-a-lifetime moments and unrivaled experiences. Contact us today to start planning if you’re ready to dive in and see if Guana is a good fit for your next Caribbean vacation.
Special thanks to our preferred Caribbean partner Island Luxe Resorts + the staff at Guana Island for arranging such a fabulous vacation.
G U A N A I S L A N D F A S T F A C T S ::
How do you get to Guana Island?
Guana Island in the BVI is reachable only by boat. Your travel advisor will arrange for you to fly into Tortola or St. Thomas and transfer over by water taxi + private sea shuttle.
Is Guana Island adults-only?
No. Guana Island welcomes families.
Is Guana Island all-inclusive?
All meals and wines, as well as snacks like tropical fruit and fresh-baked cookies, are included.
C H E C K O U T T H E S E O T H E R B L O G P O S T S :