Scrub Island (British Virgin Islands)
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (August 2013)|
Scrub Island of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean is a part of the Lesser Antilles, a group of islands that are young volcanic or coral islands. It is home to the Scrub Island Resort Marina and Spa.
Scrub Island Resort encompasses Marina Village and is home to all-ocean view guest rooms and suites - villas that are tucked into more private areas of the island, a 24-hour fitness center, boutique, gourmet market and dive shop. There is a marina for yachts as well as swimming pools and restaurants. Most of the island is uninhabited, allowing for quiet, relaxation and exploration. 
Average temperature ranges from 80 to 92° F. Currency is U.S. dollars.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina is a luxury private island resort built in 2010 and was the first resort development to be built in the British Virgin Islands in more than 15 years. It features 52 guest accommodations as well as a collection of two-, three- and four-bedroom villas, Ixora Spa, world-class restaurants, three private beaches and a 55-slip marina.
Scrub Island is fringed by three pristine beaches that shelve gently into the Caribbean Sea. It features protected coves, nature trails and stunning scenery. Extreme care has been taken into every aspect of development to ensure protection of the island’s natural ecosystem. In fact, the island is virtually vehicle-free with resort shuttles serving as the primary form of transportation.
Scrub Island Resort accommodations consist of 26 guest rooms; 26, one- and two-bedroom suites; and a collection of hillside villas. All offer dramatic views of the Caribbean Sea. Interiors evoke a West Indies feel, furnished in tropical woods with white accents and island touches. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Ocean view guest rooms – each 357-sq.-ft. room has its own private balcony or terrace offering marina and ocean views. King-size beds have premium Italian Fili d’Oro sheets with plush down bedding, plasma televisions, bathrooms with separate showers and tubs, and L’Occitane amenities.
One-bedroom ocean view suites – measuring approximately 960 sq. ft. and featuring covered verandas, the suites offer one-and-a-half baths, separate living spaces with plush chairs, sleeper sofas, 50-in. flat panel televisions, and washer and dryers. Gourmet kitchens have SubZero and Wolf stainless-steel appliances and granite counters. Natural stone flooring, timeless teak furniture and wood-beamed ceilings complement the interiors.
Two-bedroom ocean view suites – similar to one-bedroom suites, except measuring 1,614 sq. ft. and offering two bedrooms, each with a king-size bed, full bathroom and its own balcony/patio.
Hillside villas – offering 3,000 to 6,000 sq. ft of space, villas range from two to four bedrooms and offer expansive views of the Caribbean Sea. They feature large balconies and terraces as well as SubZero, Wolf and Viking appliances, enclosed rain showers and infinity-edged pools. Can accommodate up to 10 guests. Private chefs and attendants are available upon request.
Scrub Island Resort’s marina offers 55 slips available for lease or transient docking, including five for mega yachts up to 170 feet. Sailing enthusiasts appreciate the area’s fair weather, constant gentle winds, and easy access to more than 60 additional nearby islands.
Scrub Island is the closest destination to the North Drop, known as the “honey spot” for tuna and world-record Blue Marlin fishing. Guests can book full or half-day fishing excursions complete with boat, guide and equipment. A variety of watercraft is available for group and private charters.
The shallows surrounding Scrub Island, as well as many nearby coves, bays, reefs and inlets, are ideal for snorkelers and divers. Snorkeling and diving trips may be arranged with Dive BVI located on property. Sightseeing charters may also be set up by resort hosts.
Named for the native tropical shrub, the Ixora Spa is perched on a hillside overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, offering a haven to relax, refresh and re-energize. As a testament to the island’s namesake, signature scrubs are a requisite for spa goers seeking a true experience that embraces its cliff-side sense of place. This 3,000-sq.-ft. facility has spectacular treatment rooms offering breathtaking views unlike any other. The highly trained therapists deliver masterful experiences enticing the senses while rejuvenating the mind and refreshing the body. Featuring antioxidant rich products crafted with natural botanicals and anti-aging formulations, the treatments of the Ixora Spa leave guest’s minds peaceful, muscles relaxed and skin beautiful. Services include massage, facials, and hydrotherapy baths. Privai and L’isola are featured product lines.
Restaurants and Dining
Guests may choose from a selection of venues and take advantage of private chef services and in-room dining.
Caravela – overlooking the marina and pool, the resort’s fine-dining restaurant specializing in steaks and seafood and serves breakfast and dinner.
Tierra! Tierra! – an outdoor grille with panoramic views of Tortola and the surrounding area open for lunch and dinner.
The Gourmet Market & Café – serves coffee, pastries, sandwiches, gourmet snack items and an assortment of wines, beer and other beverages.
One Shoe Beach Bar & Grill – located on North Beach and offers a private pool. Dining service is available and may be delivered directly to the beach.
Chef Davide Pugliese joined Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina’s culinary team as executive chef in November 2012. Chef Davide oversees the resort’s four restaurants, as well as menus and management of events taking place in the 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and banquet space. In just a short time, Davide has greatly enhanced the culinary experiences at the resort, and is showcasing his expertise with the addition of specialty events such as Caribbean Night, the Old San Juan Cookout featuring a whole carved pig, and, of course, Italian Night.
Originally from Firenze, Italy, Davide worked in New York as a fashion photographer and chef before settling in the British Virgin Islands in 1984. Davide’s transition from fashion photographer to chef took place in the late ‘70s when he says “the Italian restaurant scene in NYC was not what I left in my native Florence.” He began his culinary training with the main goal of making these Italian dishes he couldn’t get at the local restaurants, and also as a memory to his mother who would entertain and cook amazing meals for friends and family back in Florence.
While living in NYC, Chef Davide took a vacation to the BVI where he discovered his passion to pursue an adventurous lifestyle of sailing, diving and being outdoors. He took a job as chef and dive master on a dive boat, and, within a week, met his wife, Cele, who joined the boat as a stewardess.
Davide’s talents have been recognized globally with invitations to cook in his native country, host a dinner at the James Beard House in NYC, and participate in winemakers’ dinners and celebrity chef events throughout the USA and the Caribbean. Prior to Scrub Island Resort, Chef Davide provided his expertise as a consultant executive chef to the exclusive Amangiri, an Aman Resort in Utah, and was consultant executive chef and hospitality manager to Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda.
Meetings and Events
Scrub Island Resort offers 7,000 sq. ft. of function space including 2,100 sq. ft. of indoor contemporary meeting space, the most in the British Virgin Islands. The air-conditioned space, featuring natural stone flooring, accommodates up to 150 people and can be divided into three rooms. Each is equipped with audio-visual and video conference capabilities, DVR/VCR, projection screens, overhead and slide projectors, staging, lighting and wireless microphones. Outdoor function space is available as well. The resort can also arrange excursions for groups.
The resort’s business center is complete with computers, high-speed internet access, fax and copier machines. Complimentary wireless service is offered throughout the property.
Scrub Island is located approximately 74 miles (119 km) east of Puerto Rico (eastern Fajardo, Puerto Rico to Scrub Island), 28 miles (45 km) NE of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 1.66 miles (2.67 km) North of Trellis Bay (Trellis Bay dock and Scrub Island Marina).
Travel to Scrub Island
The most convenient international airport to Scrub Island is San Juan, Puerto Rico. From San Juan, guests can take a connecting flight with American Airlines, Liat, Cape Air, Air Sunshine or Island Birds Air Charters to Beef Island/Tortola (airport code: EIS). Scrub Island is just a seven-minute ride from Tortola via the resort’s private launch. Additional options include flights into St. Thomas with a 45-min. ferry ride to Tortola or St. Martin offering convenient connections. Scrub Island also has two heliports available to guests.
Formed by volcanic activity, Scrub Island is 8,520 feet (2,600 m) long (1.6 miles) and made up of a total 230 acres (0.93 km2) which includes Big Scrub (170 acres) and Little Scrub (60 acres). The mountainous island highest eastern peak reaches a whopping 438 feet (134 m) and the highest western peak reaches 313 feet (95 m).
Earliest inhabitants that paddled up from South America were recorded about 5000 years ago on Scrub Island. At this time, Scrub was presumably connected to Great Camanoe and Marina Cay Island because sea level was significantly lower. The first record of Territory was claimed by the Arawak Indians who had left traces of Arawak pottery around 200BC, and they were preceded by Ciboney Indians who settled in nearby St. Thomas in 300 BC.
The European discovery of the British Virgin Islands is attributed to Christopher Columbus. During his second voyage on November 2, 1493, small islands now known as the Lesser Antilles were discovered, one of which was Scrub Island. For many years after the discovery, the islands were untouched until privateers, pirates and buccaneers used the island as a haven. Concrete evidence also shows buried pirate treasures. During the early 17th century, the Dutch expressed interest in the copper mines that were discovered, but due to the Dutch’s interest in piracy and a Spanish attack, the settlement was economically unsuccessful. In 1672, the British took control. Presently, Scrub Island is occupied by Scrub Island Resort Marina and Spa which first development in the British Virgin Islands in the last 15 years.
2. Oldendrop, C.G.A. (1987) . A Caribbean mission: History of the mission of the Evangelical Brethren on the Caribbean islands of St. Tomas, St. Croix, and St. John. Edited and translated by A.R. Highfield and Vladimir Barac. Ann Arbor: Karoma.
3. Putley, Julian. “A Glimpse of BVI History”. The British Virgin Island Tourism Directory 2007: 9.
4. "Christopher Columbus," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2007
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