What began in the 1950s as a primitive and ramshackle sailors’ stop is now the liveliest of the B.V.I. resorts, a full-service sailing complex that opens onto the North Sound’s gorgeous deepwater harbor, accessible only by boat. You almost expect a Somerset Maugham heroine to come waltzing through the lobby, a British Empire outpost of Balinese teak and whirring fans. Accommodations have a breezy-casual rustic elegance, with lots of burnished wood and old clocks and a vintage-yacht look. You can stay in hillside chalets (North Sound Suites) or in the resort’s original cottages along the beachfront—either way, you’ll have your own private patio or veranda to admire the views. True to its roots as a self-sustaining survivor, the Bitter End is an eco pioneer, generating its own electricity (much through solar power) and collecting and desalinating its own water.
There are activities aplenty at Bitter End, from movie screenings in the Sand Palace to sailing school lesson to Champagne cruises to snorkeling excursions. The resort has more shops than the rest of Virgin Gorda combined, practically. The pool is big and beautiful, enveloped in checkerboard tiles and coconut palms. The open-air Clubhouse Steak & Seafood Grille has front-row North Sound views, with high beamed ceilings hung with international nautical flags and Moroccan lamps; it’s filled with happy chatter through breakfast, lunch, and dinner.