Following a four-year closure and a complete rebuild inspired by its sense of place and storied history, Bitter End Yacht Club, a 64-acre island outpost located on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands is finally set to reopen its doors, docks, nautical village and overwater villas!
For over 50 years, Bitter End has catered to seafarers and watersports enthusiasts from around the globe. This winter, Bitter End once again claimed its rightful place as the world’s premiere place to play in, on, and around the water.
Founded in 1969 and built by sailors for sailors, Bitter End has been privately owned and operated by the Hokin family since 1973. Set along a mile of pristine shoreline, Bitter End has garnered a well-earned reputation as one of the best anchorages in the Caribbean. In fact, Bitter End’s location has been highly regarded among sailors since the days when Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins convened battle armadas there in the late 1500s (it was the very last landfall for both noted seafarers).
Over the years, Bitter End evolved from a quirky island outpost (built originally with a helping hand from Robin Lee Graham of Dove fame) into a world class destination and watersports mecca. Throughout its evolution, it was always known for its elegant, laidback and communal style, equally as welcoming to celebrities as it was to liveaboards. World-class sailors and resort guests alike were always comfortable mingling at what was hailed by The New York Times as a “rollicking nautical village.”
Then the hurricane season of 2017 came calling. In her 50 years, Bitter End had weathered countless significant hurricanes: Klaus, Hugo, Marilyn, Luis, and Bertha, to name a handful. However, no 10 storms combined would have amounted to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma, which was then closely followed by Hurricane Maria. Of the property’s nearly 100 structures, none were left unscathed. Rebuilding from scratch was the only option.
Devastated by the loss but undeterred by the circumstances, the Hokin family hunkered down to reimagine a property full of history that would be bolstered by a battalion of loyal guests. The mandate was clear: to recreate a property for like-minded adventurers who appreciate the wonder, character, and passion of the retreat the Hokins originally built for their own family. To this day, the family and their crew remain passionate stewards of the original Bitter End experience, and they are staunchly committed to protecting the exquisite stage Mother Nature has built for it.
To that end, Bitter End 2.0, as the Hokin Family likes to call it, is set to finally reopen this December. Returning guests will be greeted by a new nautical village, anchored by buildings that, while built to the highest standards of modern construction, recall past landmarks, including the Clubhouse Restaurant, the Quarterdeck Marina, the Watersports Center, and the Reeftique Boutique. “We have taken everything that we’ve learned over five decades and incorporated it into the redesign to purposefully pay homage to our history. At the same time, we are elevating Bitter End’s amenities and hospitality offerings to create a world-class experience that will delight travelers for generations to come," explained Richard Hokin, patriarch of the family.
The waterfront plaza, connecting all the key village buildings and fronting the North Sound anchorage, is sure to become the central feature where guests will congregate. “The village is an incarnation of Bitter End’s roots as a yachting destination and sailor’s hangout. Its beach, seawall, and plaza are dotted with seating areas designed for settling down with a cold drink and conversation, a favorite book, or simply taking in the beautiful expanse of North Sound,” shared family member Lauren Hokin.
Upon its reopening Bitter End has returned to its roots by catering primarily to the robust Virgin Island’s charter and private yacht industries, as well as the local B.V.I. villa communities. Over 70 mooring balls and 25 marina slips will once again greet visiting sailors. Plus, the all-new Quarterdeck Marina, a two-story, open-air venue featuring an upstairs lounge and wraparound terrace, waterfront views, and enhanced amenities like marina-wide WIFI and upgraded bathing facilities⏤ creature comforts that will make even the most sea-worn sailor feel right at home.
For those looking to satisfy a sailor’s appetite or quench a captain’s thirst, The Bitter End Village will offer several distinct dining experiences including a new twist on the iconic Clubhouse, and a reinterpretation of the B.V.I.’s original waterfront bar. The village will be rounded out with a few new offerings, including an open-kitchen pizza and wine concept, and a sunken vessel turned into the coolest beach bar in the Caribbean. The culinary offerings at each of these eateries will be supported by Bitter End Farms, an on-property producer of fruits, vegetables, herbs and other produce. A “farm-and-sea-to-table” culinary philosophy will celebrate local fisherman, farmers and flavors of the Caribbean.
For yachts heading to points North, South, East, or West, the all-new Bitter End Market will stock everything they need to provision the galley for a day, a week, or an extended offshore voyage. “Thoughtful provisioning is key to a happy crew and successful voyage,” said Lauren. “We’re excited to introduce garden-grown produce, fresh-caught seafood, and an array of prepared dishes, topped off by Chef Winston’s world-famous key lime pie and fresh baked goods, made daily in Bitter End’s kitchens.”
The rebirth of Bitter End would not be complete without a premiere watersports facility and watersports fleet. Bitter End sits at the confluence of North and Eustatia Sounds, two natural watersports playgrounds. As the location is perfect for sailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, diving and so much more, it is only natural that Bitter End will once again feature a fleet commensurate with the desires of visitors wanting to try their hands at those activities.
Remaining true to Bitter End’s legacy, Bitter End’s quarters are spot-on for those called to the ocean. Cantilevered over the Caribbean Sea, the all-new Marina Lofts are built for those who desire to sleep at the water’s edge. Inspired by vintage sail lofts—Bitter End will boast the only over-the-water bungalows in the BVI. For guests who are interested in being the first to stay at Bitter End 2.0, be sure to get in line as there will only be a pair of lofts at the start.
For more information or to make a reservation visit: www.beyc.com