Bitter End Yacht Club
Christopher Columbus once thought Virgin Gorda resembled a supine lady from afar, but the similarities end there: this spot in the British Virgin Islands isn’t the place for spending all day flat on a beach towel. At the family-owned Bitter End Yacht Club (one of the first hotels on the island), Boston Whaler motorboats are at the ready for island explorers—a 40-minute ride will bring you to several lush, sparsely inhabited islands, including Salt Island, which is home to a 19th-century shipwreck. Back at the hotel, which dates to the 1970s, trade winds cool the 85 West Indian–style rooms (most with unobstructed views of the water) and keep the accredited sailing school filled with adventure types practicing for keelboat certification. Three years ago, the resort underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, and this summer, it will unveil a brand-new marina large enough to accommodate 18 yachts for travelers arriving by sea.