Story and photography by Donna Adinolfi
Sometimes it takes a tropical island getaway to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit and reconnect you with that part of your adventurous self.
Join me as I revisit this spectacular island adventure at Peter Island Resort & Spa, British Virgin Islands, while they’re still undergoing repairs and renovations due to hurricanes Maria and Irma.
There is a place that you will want to call “your island” once you experience the warm hospitality and private atmosphere of Peter Island. Enjoy your journey, wherever it may lead you.
Reminiscent of what I imagined traveling to the islands must have been like many years ago and full of anticipation of a new journey, I arrived in Tortola and waited for my private yacht transfer over to Peter Island. I couldn’t help but think of the adventure before me on this island rich with history and the promise of a lush, elegant, and relaxing atmosphere.
In the late 1960’s, a Norwegian millionaire purchased most of the land and it ultimately became Peter Island Resort. Ownership has since changed, however, Peter Island offers a secluded atmosphere and has also been named one of the “Best Places to Stay in the World” as well as other top accolades.
Peter Island is surrounded by the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Sir Francis Drake Channel. The island is 1200-miles southeast of Miami and 70-miles east of Puerto Rico. This tranquil island oasis is ideal for a solo retreat, romantic hideaway, or a girlfriend’s getaway as there is much to do or you can choose to do nothing and relax under towering palms while listening to the melody of the sea.
This island is the fifth largest of an array of sixty islands, cays, and exposed reefs in the British Virgin Islands and is home to five stunning white-sand beaches. Activities include water sports, bicycles, tennis, hiking trails, and a fitness trail. Perhaps you’ll enjoy an off-shore activity such as scuba diving, yacht charters, or bareboat sailing. My goal was to spend as much time as possible checking out the spa and wellness programming – more on that later.
Choices for accommodations include 52 guest rooms plus three villa estates including Falcon’s Nest. This luxurious villa includes six bedrooms with private balconies, and the location provides dramatic panoramic views of the neighboring islands. The most amazing feature of this 21,645 square-foot Barcelona-style Villa is the zero-entry two-tiered pool with a cascading waterfall. Falcon’s Nest is an expansive and private oasis featuring a private chef, butler, housekeeper, and the ultimate in service. In fact, the entire resort imparts an above-and-beyond attitude toward service, whether you’re dining in one of two restaurants (Tradewinds or Deadman’s Beach Bar & Grill) or in need of a shuttle ride to the other side of the island, it’s truly service with a smile.
I enjoyed a balance of adventure and serenity while at Peter Island and discovered that the image of a true island retreat was possible. Mother Nature created this abundantly beautiful island and the staff created memorable activities that come back to life every time I look at one of my photos or visualize my time there.
Secluded coves comprise much of this private island and long walks on the beach are possible and desirable. There are five beaches and Deadman’s Beach, which is the largest, is a crescent-shaped beach with towering palms and sea-grape trees. Honeymoon Beach, appropriately named, allows access to one couple at a time for a truly romantic escape. White Bay Beach provides the ideal location for scuba and snorkeling and is the ultimate spot for a gourmet picnic. Sunbathe on Little Deadman’s Beach and take a walk (or jog) along the shoreline of Big Reef Bay, located next to the Spa.
Back to the Spa – both the beach and the spa’s infinity pool offer an ideal space for meditation while the sound of the lapping waves creates a healing atmosphere in preparation for a day at the spa.
The focus of my journey at Peter Island included the Spa’s Yoga Week and Wellness Program, where we participated in morning yoga sessions in the spa garden as well as wellness treatments such as the Hot Poultice Massage (the poultice had chamomile, lavender, and marigold flowers to soothe sore and stiff areas), which provided a heavenly experience, as well as one of the their facials, which I almost didn’t do and am so glad that I did – it was one of the best facials I ever had.
The unique 10,000-square-foot island spa is known for its Ayurvedic-inspired program for an all-encompassing approach to wellness. Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old practice of traditional medicine native to India and is practiced as alternative medicine in other parts of the world. It utilizes various healing modalities to prevent disease and promote longevity.
Another must for a stay on Peter Island is Sunset Loop. Just before dusk we were taken to the overlook at Sunset Loop and greeted by colorful Adirondack chairs facing St. John and Norman Island and sipped chilled Veuve Clicquot and light hors d’oeuvres. The anticipation of nature’s show was the highlight. The contrast of passing clouds as the sun retreated created a spectacular show of color and left me in awe as we lingered until darkness surrounded us.