There are arrivals and there are entrances. At Little Dix Bay, Rosewood’s paradise-in-a-cove tucked on the southern leg of the British Virgin Islands’ Virgin Gorda, every guest arrives via the resort’s private boat. Like any grand entry, it has a dramatic effect: When you first sail into view of the resort, rum punch in hand, wind tousling your hair, an instant transformation takes place. Maybe you didn’t feel the release of vacation on the flight over, and it’s likely you didn’t quite sense the impending nirvana when passing through customs, but this — this moment — is when the worries of real life instantly fall away. This is when you realize that the next few days are going to be filled with nothing less than absolute magic.
That instant — and the countless other captivating moments to come during any stay at Rosewood Little Dix Bay — has been luring guests for nearly 60 years. First opened in 1964 by Laurence S. Rockefeller, the legendary resort has long been the benchmark for what it means to truly get away: golden sand between your toes, lazy afternoons in the shade of a palm tree, and al fresco meals just steps from the shores. Twenty-first century upgrades — like the four-bedroom hilltop villas that Exclusive Resorts Members call home — only elevate the Robinson Crusoe–like spectacle of it all. Here, every minute counts, and napping on the beach is 100 percent a worthy diversion (just don’t forget the sunscreen!). To make the most of your next visit, pair just the right amount of activity — and inactivity.
Spend the Day at Wilderness Beach
Rockefeller gave Little Dix Bay’s half-mile stretch of sand this moniker for its totally unspoiled landscapes. And not much has changed since: Palapa umbrellas and padded loungers still line the palm-fringed waters, which are home to colorful fish and friendly sea turtles. Go snorkeling, hop in a kayak, or simply catch some rays on the swim-up floating sundecks.
Hit the Court
No, we don’t always insist on working out while on vacation — but at Rosewood Little Dix Bay, court culture is big. The resort’s Tennis Center is a hub of social activity, where weekly tennis and pickleball match-ups, round robins, and mixers bring guests together for some friendly competition (and maybe a post-match rum punch or two). Resident pros are also at the ready to give private lessons for all ages and skill levels.
Go Island Hopping
Charter Vision, Little Dix Bay’s luxury catamaran, for a full- or half-day sail to some of the British Virgin Islands top spots, including the legendary Baths National Park, a collection of massive granite boulders dotting the clear waters and white-sand beaches. Soak in the secret rock pools, then sail away to one of several beaches accessible only via boat. End the day with a stop at the Bitter End Yacht Club for sunset cocktails.
Eat on Theme
Weekly theme nights at Rosewood Little Dix Bay’s three restaurants keep taste buds constantly engaged, and none is more popular than La Noche Mexicana at Reef House. Here, Chef José Luis Galván serves up Baja fish tacos in handmade corn tortillas, pan-seared wahoo in chilmole sauce, and other delicacies from his native Mexico. For more culinary explorations, head to the Sugar Mill for seafood night (don’t miss the paella) or Pavilion for cuts night (tomahawk steaks are a favorite).
Borrow a Moke
Landlubbers can explore Virgin Gorda on four wheels via one of Little Dix Bay’s Mokes, cheerful little electric vehicles made for zipping around your paradisical surrounds. Dash from the secret caves of the Baths to the Savannah Bay Overlook, then explore the 260-acre Gorda Peak National Park — home to the island’s highest summit — and the abandoned 19th-century ruins of Copper Mine Point National Park.
See Where Your Next Meal Was Grown
Juicy mangos and giant cauliflower heads, plump pineapples, and blossoming microgreens — many of the mouthwatering ingredients you’ll find at Little Dix Bay’s restaurants come straight from the resort’s sustainable farm. Take a tour of the grounds (you can even snip or pull a few ripe treats along the way) then have dinner at the Sugar Mill to taste how they all come together in dishes like a roasted pepper butternut squash gnocchi and charred kale salad with beets, avocado, chickpeas, and radishes.
Head to one of the resort’s highest points to reach an elevated state of relaxation at the Sense Spa. Here, centuries of healing practices come together, blending African ancestral traditions and native island ingredients in therapies like the Plumeria Crown Healing massage and body mask. Post-treatment Zen awaits at the cliffside pool where you can soak in the views of Sir Francis Drake Channel.
Select photos courtesy of Jackie Caradonio