Days Out at Cooper Island, our Eco-friendly Beach Resort

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! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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. 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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! 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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. 

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

 Cooper Island Beach Club, a luxury eco-resort in the British Virgin Islands

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.

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Oil Nut Bay: The Perfect Way to Spend the Day

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

I have been wanting to write this post for the longest time. After the hurricane in September 2017, Oil Nut Bay was one of the first resorts to get back on it’s feet, working hard to re-open at least some of their facilities, in just 3 short months. Best of all, since Oil Nut Bay reopened their restaurant, beach club and marina in December they have thrown open the doors and are now accepting reservations at the Beach Club Restaurant for outside guests, so it really is the perfect time to visit. 

 

I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed a good few girls days over there in the past few months; some birthday lunches, some friends visiting – basically any excuse for an Oil Nut Bay day is okay by me. To tell the truth, the staff are probably quite sick of me by now, but they are far too polite to mention it!

 

Located on the Eastern most tip of Virgin Gorda in the beautiful British Virgin Islands and accessible only by boat or helicopter, Oil Nut Bay is a private piece of paradise tucked away. This little jewel is just hard enough to get to, to make it all the sweeter when you do make the effort. Oil Nut Bay really defines luxury island travel and must be one of the most beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean. 

 

So, if you want to come over and experience it for yourselves, how do you go about it? The first step is to email the lovely people at ONB in order to make your reservation. Contact them at info@oilnutbay.com. Book your table and discuss with them the suitable boat times. Lunch is served from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Usually I like to get the the 10:30 am boat over and the 4:15 pm boat back, so that I have the whole day to enjoy the pool, the beach and the water sports equipment. (I sound really active don’t I? Really I’m just talking about the kayaks. Although there are Hobie cats if you’re feeling a little more adventurous!) Then you need to get yourselves over to Virgin Gorda, or more specifically to Gun Creek (in the North Sound), which is where their boat departs from. Once you’re on the boat their friendly and helpful staff will take care of everything else. 

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

From the moment you arrive the service is second-to-none, you’re met at the dock and whisked by golf buggy over to the restaurant and pool area. Once you get there it’s time to claim your lounger or your cabana and almost certainly time for a cocktail! The cocktail list is pretty fab, I’m partial to their nicely spicy Bloody Mary’s, or their Pineapple Pimms Cup which contains rum soaked pieces of pineapple that really pack a punch! The Cucumberade is also fantastic if you want a non-alcoholic cocktail, really refreshing (and if you ask nicely you can add vodka…)  

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

The tiered pool set-up is really beautiful, with three swimming pools surrounded by palm trees and pristine gardens, and that’s usually where you’ll find me. Stretched out like a lizard in the sunshine, it’s such a lovely place to relax and let go of the weekly stresses! A quick dip in the pool to cool off and it’s nearly time for lunch. 

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

The lunch menu at Oil Nut Bay features casual classics done well, with a real emphasis on big flavours. You’ll find burgers, pizzas, salads and other standard fare but they have managed to elevate them and make them really special. Like the ‘Off the Cliff Burger’ made of Wagyu Beef, topped with truffle cheese on their brioche bun. Or the decadent lobster burger, which marries together local lobster with tiger shrimp in a delicious burger patty, also served on their black sesame brioche bun. Personally I always seem to go for the ceviche (so fresh and delicious) and their lobster salad, with some skinny fries for the table (obviously). Or sometimes I’ll split a pizza (the Oil Nut Bay pizza is my fave with caramelized onion, wild mushrooms and sausage) and a salad with a friend, for the perfect balance of naughty and nice! 

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

After lunch it is most definitely time for a trip to the swim up bar or maybe a walk on the beach? The long stretch of white sandy beach is just perfect for a stroll to walk off those lunch calories. Your day at Oil Nut Bay can be as action-packed or as relaxed as you want to make it (I’ll leave it to you to guess which one I usually go for…) The whole resort is the perfect private island paradise playground. 

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend longer than just a day at Oil Nut Bay you’ll be pleased to hear that many of their suites and villas re-opened at the beginning of March. You can find out more about their beautiful accommodations here. Contact them to book your stay, you’ll be glad that you did! I’m always so sad when it is time to leave… 

A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean. A sneak peek inside Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and beautiful beach resorts in the Caribbean.

 

 

PS. Read more about my recommendations for where to dine when visiting the British Virgin Islands here, it features some of our most delicious locations to eat and drink.

 

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