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Mer Caraibe, Dec-Jan-Feb 2006-7

(Translated from French)

Surfsong

Villa Resort, Tortola

The Murmur of the sea, the “Surf”, and the rustle of the wind in the palms mesh with the song of the birds, the “song” to immerse me in the serene universe of “Surfsong”.  Far from crowds and tourist beaches, I have discovered my place to relax and rejuevenate in the BVI, British Virgin Islands.  This archipelago, situated to the north of the Lesser Antilles is a grouping of forty islands, which includes the famous Necker Island, bought by Richard Branson, founder of “Virgin”, on which there is a hotel that appeals to the English jet-set…

After traveling the whole Caribbean, to find the perfect place, Cate and Mark Stephenson, chose to create their “resort” in 2005, by Well Bay beach, on the southern coast of the island of Tortola, only a few minutes from the airport.  Their warm welcome, the quietness, and harmony, the four luxury villas in Balinese-style, and lush tropical landscaping make Surfsong an intimate and unique paradise.  At Surfsong you may have services organized for you like private chef, massages, yoga course, excursions…  This is the ideal place for a wedding, with the possibility of taking the entire resort for a maximum of 12 persons.  Cate, Mark or Michelle will welcome you at the airport with great pleasure.

Photos:  The bedroom Surfside Villa offers charms and comfort with impressive view to the sea through large windows.

The two rooms of the villa Driftwood open on a deck deprives, giving directly on the beach.

 

El Nuevo Dia / “De Viaje” section, June 26, 2005, pg. 25

http://www.endi.com/deviaje/2005/06/26/ – article: “Melodia relajante”

Written by Larissa Vázquez Zapata

Translation by Sarah Miles:  Spanish to English

 

“A Relaxing Melody”

The visit was not planned, but curiosity caused me to ask Carlton, the cabdriver, to continue straight on a narrow and long road, very near the airport of Tortola, but surrounded by wild vegetation, as if in a different place; far away from any sign of the city.

A pair of structures appeared to the left, while to the right, behind branches full of leaves, I could make out the water. What could be around here? It was the question that turned all the heads until we arrived at an iron gate and an intercom. A warm and friendly voice answered in English on the other side, the same voice gave us the consent to enter to the property. Carlton cautiously and slowly took his foot off the brake.

What a surprise! The soft breeze, the trill of the little birds that constantly sing almost hypnotizes, the constant whisper of the waves that seem to signify its name, Surfsong Village Resort. Cate Stephenson, with an indelible smile that flowers her lips, slender but with definite muscles in the arms, without drop of makeup, encountered us. She lit up in a wide of cotton skirt, sweater and some sandals. A little later her husband also arrived, equally nice, and both conversed about the resort that they had recently restored together.

Key ring in hand, Cate crossed the interior patio, with its Zen gazebo and a crocodile made of wood that seemed to mount guard in the area.

The four villas that accommodate a total of 12 people, are equipped with a stainless steel kitchen, king beds of many pillows (dressed with white and canopies to achieve a romantic effect), safe deposit boxes, telephones, BBQ in the patio, DVD players, CD player, satellite television (there is internet service in a small office), an ultramodern bathroom with granite and stones, as if removed from a magazine. The candles and accessories create a simple and elegant decor. After opening the doors made of two leaves and solid wood, the other villas looked similar; the difference rests in the size, but all allow the guests to enjoy privacy.

Add to everything else, the view of the sea. After a few steps you arrive at Well Bay, protected from the winds, and with trees for shade, where you enjoy calm water. And if you do not want to take a dip, light the bonfire when it gets darks to enjoy marshmallows and other treats under a cloak of stars. Or perhaps opt to read a book in the library or to take tea in the Zen gazebo.

Sufficiently relaxed? If not take a yoga Pilates class with, who else, but our host, Cate, who is an instructor certified by the inventor of the method. And if you did not travel with your mat, the accessories for this exercises, it does not matter, Cate has more (and she gives the classes to residents in almost any place on the island). With her voice deep and smooth, but with strict discipline, the Canadian that married here in the same pristine place in front of the sea- will guide you through a session in which I assure you that you will sweat.

Then you will be ready for a massage. Proceed to the Spa Pavilion, which is made of wood, set in the sand and next to the beach, camouflaged by an enormous stone and branches of trees. Surfsong also provides the services of a concierge, provisions from the village before you’ve arrived, the use of a car, laundry services and practically everything you need to be relaxed during your stay. Only children over eight years old are permitted, although you can rent all the facilities if you want to celebrate a small wedding or vacation with all the family. (More details at info@surfsong.net, www.surfsong.net)

As it began to get dark, Cate and their husband said good-bye with hugs and squeezes of hands as if we were old friends. Also, she promised to arrive at eight o’clock sharp the following day for exercise class, on there in the hill, in Allamanda Estate, where we went to stay. And we? To the chorus of the baby, with Carlton on the return trip, also we promised one thing: to return.”

For further information:

Surfsong Villa Resort

Well Bay, British Virgin Islands

www.surfsong.net

Tel (284) 495-1864

Fax (284) 495-0089

Email info@surfsong.net

 

No Virgins, No Party

When one thinks of the Caribbean the word paradise comes to mind, however, primarily associated to banks and not as a resort destination. The British Virgin Islands cannot break away from this stereo-type of thinking especially when there is a boom in like-minded tourists. There are 20 thousand people spread over approximately 60 islands, named by Columbus in honour of Saint Orsola, the British Virgins, better known as the BVI (the British Virgin Islands). These Islands are virtually free from the charter-type money skimping tourists and the thousands of coach-type travelers; rather, the Virgin Islands are visited by the more sophisticated travelers that stay in villas versus hotels, many of whom enjoy the most elite accommodations that no Caribbean local could ever afford.

The huge full-moon parties are legendary for their exotic foods served at Bomba Shack. No bar is the same at the BVI. At Road Town, the capital, the Dove is a very sophisticated bar, with a British snobbery atmosphere. At Pusser’s, a few hundred meters away, one must try the Pusser’s rum that is served to the sailors of the ship “Sua Maestà” and has been served up for over 330 years. The lively atmosphere pulsates with salsa and calypso every hour of the day, even on the bridge of William Thornton at Norman Island.

When the sailors are not drinking or dancing, they are drawn to ride the trade winds and land at Anegada, the only coral atoll of the archipelago where they submerge and linger amongst approximately 300 wrecks. On other occasions, they simply stay at their own resort, as in the “Bitter End Yacht Club” at the Bay of North Sound, Virgin Gorda.

In fact, some guests reserve the entire 15 suites at $40,000 a night for an extravagant evening at Necker Island belonging to Richard Branson, known as “Mr. Virgin”. There are also some “jewel” villas, brand new as in the Surf Song Villas, near the Tortola airport. These Villas are hidden by massive flamboyant, granite rocks near the shore-line of a small lagoon: hammocks, large sofas, gazebos are found on the beach for those who do pilates and dinners by the lights of bonfires. Your everyday tourist just does not wander in these places. The operative words here are: “Maximum Discretion”.

Five Things Not To Miss Out On:

  1. At Pusser’s, in Tortola, to drink the original Pain Killer, it’s a pina colada with orange and nutmeg,
  2. A Full Moon Party at Bomba Shack in Tortola: the motto is: “no panties, no problem”.
  3. Bathing at Bathes of Virgin Gorda: without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
  4. Have Hollywood (local host) sing an Italian Opera at Surf Song Villas in tortola
  5. Eat lobster for breakfast at Anegada resort, the only coral atoll in the British Virgin Islands.

INFORMATION

Information on the Virgin Islands:

BVI Tourist Board

c/o AIGO (Tel: 02.667.14374)

www.bvi-turismo.com

TRANSPORTATION:

The fastest way to reach the Virgin Islands is by air: Air France from Paris to Saint Martin and then a short transfer to Tortola (www.airfrance.it) Tel: 848.884466).

ACCOMMODATION:

Surf Song Villas in Tortola

From January to April, 2006; 1 bedroom Villa US$3,500 per week (the least expensive resort)

Leverick Bay

(www.leverickbay.com) at Virgin Gorda

A beautiful marine for those who sail and (submariners?)

From mid December to mid April: 1 room, double occupancy @ $149.00

However, the best resort for those who sail and the center for subs is the:

Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda

$500.00 (in December, excluding Xmas) per day includes 1 room , double occupancy, unlimited use of fleet and equipment. (www.beyc.com). To rent a boat, Sun Sail is the most trustworthy (www.sunsail.com). One can rent boats, catamarons, with or with skipper: fleets and prices are available on the site: www.sunsail.com.

GUIDED TOURS:

The tour operator/agency, Agamare (www.agamare.it: tel. 02.6739721) advertise 7 nights (from December 30, 2005 to January 6, 2006) at Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda from Euro 3,300. If one flies with British Airways, the overnight stay in London is not included. For those who love sailing, the tour operator Mondevela (tel: 02.4819071: www.mondovela.it) advertises spending a 7-day cruise on a boat all year round, at British Virgin Islands: For US$1,300 a double cabin accommodation, full board and lodging on a catamaran Lagoon 440 is included. Flight is not included in the price.

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