Almost two years after it was devastated by Hurricane Irma, the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands is coming back, starting with the building of a new quarterdeck that will overlook the marina (see the rendering above). The resort, one of the most popular in the British Virgin Islands, has been closed since the hurricane in September, 2017. Since then, the owners have removed damage from more than 100 buildings and cleaned up and restored more than 64 acres.
Now they say they want to reopen the Bitter End with a nautical village, yacht management programs, a casual beachfront restaurant and bar, private event space and even an epicurean market for visiting cruisers and charter boat operators. They also are restoring more than a mile of shoreline to its natural state.
Located on the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, the Bitter End has been a favorite destination for cruising and charter boats and their owners ever since it opened in 1969. You could rent rooms in bungalows that climbed up the hillside from the marina and pool; the views from the balconies were incredible. I’ve stayed there many times over the years, always wanting to come back for more. I’ve also anchored out in North Sound and taken the dinghy in for lunch or dinner at the waterfront restaurant, which always was a treat.
The marina village will be rebuilt first, and it’s expected to open for the 2019-2020 season. It will have a two-story, open-air marina complex with a lounge, views of North Sound, Wi-Fi, upgraded bathing facilities and more.
“We have a unique opportunity to return to our roots by welcoming back the sailing, yachting and watersports communities first,” said Richard Hokin, managing owner of the Bitter End Yacht Club. “Bitter End launched in the 1960s as a hangout for adventurous sailors, and has evolved over the last 50 years to become the world’s favorite playground for those who have a passion for playing in, on, and around the water.”
Plans call for a new watersports center to be built north of the marina, featuring a Club Fleet for visitors and guests, with Hobie Waves, Lasers, 420s, Sunfish, kayaks and standup paddleboards. For the rebuilding, the architects, Simplemente Madera, are focusing on simple, elegant and organic designs that work in harmony with the natural environment.
After the hurricane, the Bitter End Foundation launched the Bitter End Irma Relief Fund, which raised more than $1 million to support the local community. The owners also started a new lifestyle brand, Bitter End Provisions, to sell gear, accessories and clothing in airports, yacht clubs and marinas around the world. Read more: