Bitter End Yacht Club is one of those ‘love at first sight’ places.  Assuming, of course, you get to see it at all.  It’s not exactly easy to get to. In fact, unless you are a sailor tooling around the lesser-known British Virgin Islands (we were not), it can be quite a challenge.  For us, it entailed hopping off a small cruise ship anchored in North Sound Virgin Gorda, taking the tender to Leverick Bay, grabbing a taxi for a 10-minute ride over the steep hill to Gun Creek and, finally, catching the shuttle boat to Bitter End.

When you do get there, you’ll be arriving at a place with an amazing history of both innovation and resilience. The club was born in the late 60s, as a jetty, a handful of simple cottages and a small bar. The original model was a kind of family retreat with enough income from guests to keep it viable. However, it was around that time that the popularity of yachting and bareboat charters began to take off.

From that point the club never looked back, growing steadily and earning a reputation as one of the BVI’s top sailing stops. Until 2017, that is, when Hurricane Irma totally destroyed the place. There literally was nothing left, but with the support of the local community, bolstered by fans and past guests around the world, Bitter End was rebuilt, reopening in December 2021.

The reimagined Bitter End is a lovely place in a stunningly beautiful location.  The beach bar (the focus of this review) is built around a bar fashioned from a converted boat.  It’s bright, open and designed to catch the ocean breeze. The vista over the North Sound, with views of the other British Virgin Islands, is sublime.

Seating is mainly at or around the bar, along with some covered areas and comfortable loungers on the sand of the almost perfect little beach that fronts the resort.

It’s an upscale place for sure, with most guests being well-to-do yachters (many of whom are multiple repeat visitors). But in spite of that, it’s an incredibly welcoming place without a hint of pretension. Staff are friendly, fun and easy going. The bartenders certainly know their stuff and the pace is slow.  It doesn’t take long to slide into the funky, laid-back vibe of the place.

What will you have?

Beer: There’s a mix of favourites like Carib, Corona, Coors Light, Heineken and Red Stripe and local brews, such as a lager and IPA from Leatherback Brewery in St. Croix.  They even have draft.

Rum/Cocktails: Cocktails are mainly rum-based and include daiquiris, mojitos, the Sailor’s rum punch and, of course, the local specialty Painkiller. Rums (and other spirits) are generally middle or top shelf.

Food: The bar sampler menu features an eclectic lineup of items along the lines of avacado dip, falafel, mahi mahi ceviche, conch fritters and small pizzas. Based on what we had, the quality is excellent.


The obvious drawback of the place is access, or more specifically, lack thereof. It’s only reachable by boat.  For visitors like us who arrive via a cruise or tour, that kind of limits the amount of time you can spend there – which is a bit of a bummer.


So, is it worth the trouble to visit the Bitter End (especially for non-yachters)?  The answer is unequivocally “yes”, at least if stylish, comfortable, friendly beach bars in truly spectacular locations are your thing.

IC 2024