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Although there are tranquil retreats on St. Croix, and even on St. Thomas, you'll find most of the remote oases on St. John and in the British Virgin Islands.

  • St. John: This is one of the most secluded islands in the Caribbean. More than two-thirds of the land has been preserved as a national park. That means that unlike St. Thomas and St. Croix, St. John's landscape looks much like it did in the 1950s: white-sand beaches and verdant tropical forests. Day-trippers from St. Thomas come over in the morning and usually depart before 5pm. After that, St. John becomes a crowd-free paradise. Caribbean Villas & Resorts (tel. 800/338-0987; www.caribbeanvilla.com) offers some of the best values for those who'd like to rent their own private villa.

  • Sandcastle Hotel (Jost Van Dyke; tel. 284/495-9888; www.soggydollar.com/sandcastlehotel): This little island, reached by ferry from Tortola, is the ultimate escapist's dream. The island offers good hiking trails, uncrowded sandy beaches, and the ruins of an old military fort. People come to the Sandcastle in search of isolation and relaxation, and that's exactly what they get.

  • Anegada Reef Hotel (Anegada; tel. 284/495-8002; www.anegadareef.com): This hotel is located some 32km (20 miles) north of Virgin Gorda's North Sound, on a flat mass of coral and limestone. It's one of the most remote spots in the entire Virgin Islands chain. You may never meet any of the 250 local residents, although you'll occasionally see snorkelers, fishermen, and scuba divers. We recommend this unpolished hotel for devotees of deserted beaches and laid-back getaways. It's the kind of place where, if the bartender isn't around, you make your own cocktails and write down what you had.

  • Guana Island Club (Guana Island; tel. 800/544-8262 or 284/494-2354; www.guana.com): This secluded, hilltop hideaway is the only development on a private, 344-hectare (850-acre) island off the coast of Tortola. The island is known for its six vacant, virgin beaches; rare species of plant and animal life (look for the roseate flamingo); and excellent nature trails.

  • Peter Island Resort (Peter Island; tel. 800/346-4451 or 284/495-2000; www.peterisland.com): This exquisite resort inn sits on a 720-hectare (1,779-acre) private island, which comes complete with five pristine beaches, hiking trails, and gorgeous offshore reefs. Guests also enjoy first-rate watersports facilities, elegant candlelit dining, and secluded beachfront accommodations.

  • Concordia Eco-Tents (St. John): Overlooking Salt Pond Bay, these tent-cottages high up on a secluded hillside are kept cool by the constant trade winds. The resort is quiet and serene: You’re pillowed in hundreds of acres of green national parkland. Got any complaints? 

  • Cooper Island Beach Club (Cooper Island): This escapist’s retreat on remote Cooper Island is smartly designed and very comfortable, with 10 rooms in simple cottages built of reclaimed timber. It’s “fan-ventilated”—that is, no A/C—and don’t expect TV either. Do expect yachties and divers dropping in at the lively bar and restaurant.

  • Sandcastle Hotel (Jost Van Dyke): This funky, unpolished hotel is perfect for devotees of laid-back getaways. The six phone- and TV-free cottages nestled in bougainvillea enjoy panoramic views of an idyllic white-sand beach. When you’re not padding the beach in your bare feet, you can hit the famed beachside bar, the Soggy Dollar, home of the Painkiller cocktail. 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.