So I have been dropping hints and sneak peeks about this beautiful island on my social media for weeks. (If you’re not already following me on Instagram you can find all my sunny adventures over here!) Ever since my visit to the re-opened Cooper Island Beach Club this very special eco-resort island location has been on my mind a lot! I knew that it was time to sit down, write a post and tell you a bit more!
Eco-resorts and sustainable tourism are exciting travel concepts that are becoming more and more popular. As we all start thinking more consciously about the environment and we make changes to our lifestyle, we want those changes reflected in everything we do from the cruelty free make-up that we buy, the recycling we do and now the vacations that we take. Once seemingly exclusive to yoga retreats deep in the jungle, now more and more resorts are making the effort to go eco-friendly, and Cooper Island is the perfect example of what happens when luxury meets sustainable!
On the pristine white sand shores of Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island in the beautiful British Virgin Islands, Cooper Island Beach Club is only accessible by boat. And I just so happened to find someone willing to take me over and explore.
Comprised of a restaurant, a rum bar, a coffee shop, a gift shop, a micro-brewery and ten adorable beach front cottages. There is so much to explore on the property. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours relaxing. So that’s exactly what we did – starting with a quick iced coffee at the Coffee Box!
Once we were sufficiently fueled I really wanted to explore the gift shop. CIBC has a beautifully curated shop selling everything from rash guards to keepsakes, and it has a great selection of high-end ladies and gents resort-wear. I don’t often get a chance to shop in the BVI so an opportunity to browse some of the gorgeous clothes at CIBC could not be turned down!
Next, with the sun most definitely over the yardarm it was time for a cheeky cocktail and a peruse of the lunch menu. They were offering taco specials the day we went so the whole table ordered the same thing – but we made sure to save space for dessert!
The lunch menu had some simple classics on there, salads, burgers, sandwiches and the like. But the dinner menu on their website had me salivating, so I need to find a way to get back and sample it!
Just outside the restaurant area is the outdoor lounge, with comfy seating and huge parasol umbrellas providing the perfect shady spot to sit and take in the view. There are wooden games that you can borrow and you’re right on the beach should you feel like going for a paddle. I didn’t have time for that though – I was keen to find out more about their micro-brewery, so I headed back to the Coffee Box to find out more!
Cooper Island Beach Club really makes an impressive effort to reduce their impact on the environment at every turn. Not content with producing all their own power and water, they decided to try their hand at making their own beers. Starting back in 2016 they launched their first three brews, a lager, an amber ale and best bitter. These were so successful that they added to the line in 2017 with a wheat beer, a pilsner and an IPA. Outside beers aren’t served at CIBC which helps to reduce the amount of waste that they produce. But you won’t miss them as the CIBC draft beers are delicious! Drink them by the glass or buy yourself a full Growler for $45 and refill it for only $25.
And speaking of waste, do you know what else you won’t find on Cooper Island? Single-use plastic… no plastic cups (only reusable ones) and none of those pesky plastic straws! Bravo Cooper Island!
The Cooper Island micro-brewery was custom built to be as power and water efficient as possible. Since all their power and water is produced on-island, this was key. For every 500L of beer produced only 570L of water is used and this includes the clean down process. For now the Cooper Island beers are only available at CIBC but I heard rumors that they may be coming to other bars soon, so we should watch this space. Cooper Island are committed to more than just saving energy though, $1 from every IPA sold is donated to BVI Sea Turtle conservation.
Lastly before we left we just had to visit the Rum Bar (purely for scientific purposes, you understand!) Cooper Island hosts different rums from all over the world, and has amassed quite the collection. Our friendly bartender was more than happy to talk us through the selection and make recommendations, which was so helpful when there were so many to choose from! I really enjoyed the infusions that they make in-house, but everything we sampled was super tasty.
Getting here: Cooper Island offers round-trip boat transfers for guests staying overnight in their rooms. For those sailing over there are 30 mooring balls available in Manchioneel Bay which operate on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved in advance. Lastly if you wish to come over for the day from one of the sister-islands, dive companies like Sail Caribbean Divers and Dive BVI sometimes offer day-trips from Tortola and Virgin Gorda, contact them to find out more.
Tragically I have never stayed on Cooper Island past sunset which is something I plan on rectifying just as soon as I can! There is a spot in the lounge that is just waiting for me, where I can sit and watch the sun go down. The rooms look beautiful so I think a staycation might be in order! (Hint, hint husband…) Next time I might have to do a little more of the water-based activities available, like snorkeling Cistern point or a spot of diving with Sail Caribbean divers who provide dive tours from Cooper Island.
Until next time Cooper Island Beach Club…
PS. Find out more about where to eat, drink and stay in the BVI with my BVI restaurant guide here.