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“Just Short of Expectations”

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Peter Island Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Peter Island
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Just Short of Expectations”
Reviewed 13 November 2008

My girlfriend and I stayed at Peter Island for 5 days / 4 nights during the second week of November 2008. Overall, the experience was quite nice, but somehow fell just a bit shy of expectations.

Most of what has been said on previous reviews is quite accurate. The island itself is incredibly beautiful and Deadman's Beach is absolutely spectacular; probably one of the best in the Caribbean. We stayed in a 2nd floor Beachfront Suite which was very nice. The bathroom especially was very well done with dual showerheads and a very nice 2-person jacuzzi. The view from the balcony could not have been better.

In talking about the room, yes, there were a few bugs (roaches, ants, mosquitos) but that is to be expected on a tropical island. The trick is to not leave food laying out and it will minimize this problem. Anyway, a few quick sprays of the Raid they supply takes care of the roaches. Any ants and mosquitos in the room, you basically just deal with. No bid deal. Maid service was actually quite good and each day the room was thoroughly cleaned and new towels supplied. Each night there was a turndown service and a couple bottles of water were left.

The spa was fantastic. We had a deep tissue couples massage in the seaside bohio which was really great. This spa far surpassed a very expensive spa here in Manhattan which we go to on rare occassions. I could not have been happier with the atmosphere or the quality of the staff. Definitely worth every penny.

The Sunset at the Loop was ok, without being spectacular. The view is amazing, and the resort itself can only do so much, the rest is up to Mother Nature. In the end, if more than 2-3 couples go, you get pretty crowded into the van which drives you up there. We had 5 total, plus the driver and, to be honest, it wasn't very luxurious sitting on the small side-seats in the van getting bounced around on the road up there. Not complaining, as it was well worth it, but it is definitely not the epitome of luxury they would have you believe.

The staff, as a whole was very nice and attentive, sometimes a little too much so. Generally, they smile and are usually quite pleasant, with only the occassional person making you feel as though they are being inconvenienced by doing their job. The problem is, they just don't have that luxury "polish" to their level of service. You can tell that they are genuinely trying but sometimes just come off as being a bit "clumsy or unfinished" with their demeanor. It's difficult to properly explain what I mean, it really just depends upon your expecations. In the end, the level of services was definitely much better than I have seen in any other Caribbean resort, so they should definitely be priased for that.

During the Monday "manager's reception," we met the Keanan, the Peter Island Resort Villa Manager. He was really a great guy and was definitely on top of his job. He offered to take us on a tour of the Falcon's Nest Villa the next day, which we promptly took him up on. He picked us up for a private tour just after breakfast on Tuesday and drove us to the Villa, and gave us a 30-45 minute private tour. He really had nothing to gain by doing so and I'm sure there were other things he could have been attending to, so I really take my hat off to him spending his time with us. He was extremely knowledgeable about the villas, and I must say I was very impressed with what they have done there. It's quite spectacular and, short of renting out the entiretly of Necker Island, this is the way to go "all-out" in the Caribbean.

So overall, things were really quite nice there. No major complaints, no service disasters, no major problems with the rooms. As I have said, the beach was gorgeous, the spa rivaled anything I have experinced before, the beachfront junior suite was well done, if not perfectly brand new (they just partially renovated the ocean view rooms this year, FYI), and overall the staff was above average for a Caribbean resort. Rather than go on an on about what we did and what all of the great options are, I will just refer you to many of the previous reviews which I think more than adequately describe the best Peter Island has to offer.

Now, the downsides. Again, nothing terrible, just the little things that put it at a high 3 / low 4-star rating for me.

I. The food. Not spectacular. Maybe my expecatations were too high, but it just wasn't that great. The "fresh" fish was anything but. I have found out that most resorts there won't serve local fish as they eat smaller fish which feed off the coral and can pass some sort of disease onto humans. The fish must be brought in from elsewhere and you just won't get something truely spectacular. The breakfast at Tradewinds was really quite good and even the lunch at Deadmans Grill was a solid half-step above typical bar & grill type of food. The problem was the dinners. As it turns out, only one of Tradewinds or Deadman's is open on any given night. Two of the nights we were there, they had buffets (once at Tradewinds and once at Deadman's) which were definitely not gourmet affairs. It wasn't terrible, but it just wasn't quite as good as I had expected based on the reviews here and the resort's own description.

Not having a choice of which restaurant to go to is actually a bit of a pain. 3 nights we were there, we were essentially "forced" to go to Tradewinds since Deadman's was closed. This didn't bother us much, as we probably would have chosen to go there anyway, but I can see how this could be a problem for some people. I will say that the two al-a-carte evenings at Tradewinds were quite good, but just not comparable to what you will get at a high-end restaurant in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. I guess I wasn't really expecting that it would be, but I suppose I was hoping for something a little better than it was.

Final point on the food, was the need to make reservations each night. It seems sort of strange to have to remember by 1pm to call the restaurant and make reservations each night, when only one restaurant was open. Basically, they just make you call and let them know what time you'll be going to eat. Not a terrible thing to have to do, but just a little bit of an inconvenience at times.

II. The pool. I'm not a big pool user at resorts when there are beautiful beaches a few steps away. Why go to the Caribbean to swim in a pool? Despite this, it is nice to have the option. Unfortunately, the pool at Peter Island was closed for repairs/maintenance the entire time we were there, with bright yellow "caution" tape surrounding the entire area. This being right outside of Tradewinds was more than a slight distraction during meals there. When we arrived on Saturday, we were told it would be open by Sunday afternoon, but it wasn't until we were leaving on Wednesday that the crew of 3-4 workers looked to be finished and had begun filling the pool. Now, I realize that maintenence such as this is necessary, but the resort should do one of two things, 1) let people know in advance when this will be taking place so they can book their stay around it, or 2) refund a portion of the room rate to account for the fact that part of the resort is unavailable for guest enjoyment. It is totally unacceptable to charge a full room rate and then when people show up say, "Oh, and by the way, you won't be able to use the pool or the area around it." They did say that people who wanted a pool could be shuttled to the Spa pool, but given the inconvenience of doing so and the relatively small size of that pool, it was not much consolation. Another downside of doing that is it somewhat detracts from the atmosphere around the Spa which is set aside for those getting treatments. Again, this isn't a major issue for me, but was enough to cause me to think twice about my rating here.

III. Work on the outside of our room. The morning we were to check out, a crew of workers began performing some sort of maintainence outside of our room. They were literally up on ladders and scaffolding at 9:30am sanding, sawing, and painting right outside of our windows both near the bed, the bathroom, and even jumping onto our balcony. The workers were rather loud, not only with their work but talking as well, and their cigarette smoke drifted into our room. I called the front desk to ask them if they could perhaps stop until we checked out, and the work halted for about an hour and then started up again. We ended up with our windows closed and blinds drawn the entire morning. Again, this actually wasn't a major problem for me, but just shows the slight mistakes the management makes at this place. You would never see something like this in a high-end hotel or resort in the U.S. or Europe. I just expected something a little better from the other reviews here and the PIR website.

IV. The staff. Don't get me wrong...the staff was significantly better than any I have encountered in the Caribbean. They are friendly, helpful, and appear eager to please. The only problem is the lack of a certain sophistication I would expect at a place that bills itself as a luxury resort. I understand the desire to keep things low-key and relaxed, but some things were just a little off. For example, one of the food service managers stops by in the middle of each meal and somewhat obtrousively asks how things are going. It certainly doesn't sound strange in writing it as I have, but it definitely gives a somewhat weird vibe that is difficult to explain. Another example is the gentlman (I have know idea who he was or his role there) who stepped up to our dinner table and, while I was in mid-bite with fork in hand, stuck out his hand as if he wanted me to shake it. I politely did so, and he muttered something about my enjoying my meal, but I really have no clue what the point of our interaction was. Again, everyone is very nice and it clearly trying quite hard, it can just feel a little misguided at times.

One other point about the staff, is that, contrary to some other reviews here, they definitely had no idea who we were throughout our stay. At each meal the hostess would ask your last name and room number, somewhat sheepish that she didn't remember it after the 3 previous breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. This doesn't bother me a bit, but I definitely didn't get the feeling of personal service that others have described. Furthermore, don't expect a welcome bottle of Champagne. I never saw one. Perhaps it is just for newlyweds, which we were not, but they seemed to think that is exactly what we were based on a welcome note left in our room made out to Mr. and Mrs. ----. Anyway, this also didn't really bother me as then never explicitly say on the website to expect this. If some people get it as an extra gift, all the better. It is a nice thing for them to do, although it seems somewhat uneven to give or not give this little extra based on some unknown factor.

One final point that I will address that worried me a bit in my research of Peter Island, is the Amway-factor. Yes, this island and resort is owned by the same people who own and run Amway. No, I don't see any decrease in quality and I don't think this fact has any significant impact on the operations at Peter Island. There was never any association at all with Amway visible at Peter Island.

That is about the most even handed, thorough review I can give. For a state of reference, my girlfriend and I are in our mid-20s and travel quite frequently, staying in both local, low-key establishments as well as very high end hotels. I have stayed in very cheap places as a college student and while enlisted in the military, and now have a career which affords me the ability to enjoy the best hotels in the world; in essence, I have pretty much seen it all. Peter Island, while stunningly beautiful, and generally well done, has a few flaws and may not be quite the ultra-luxury stay some people may expect. Overally, I would recommend it, with the caveat that expectations should not be quite so high as some of these reviews would imply.

  • Liked — Deadman's Beach
  • Disliked — Food at the resort
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
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10 Thank webberac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
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  • Value
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  • Cleanliness
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (254)
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English first
Houston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2008

Peter Island is one of my favorite places on Earth! My husband
and I went there to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and
were treated like royalty. From the moment we arrived in their
private boat until we left everything was perfect. The staff went
out of their way to always greet us with a smile. We were
upgraded to a beachfront suite just steps from the sand and
sent an expensive bottle of French champagne. The water is
crystal clear and the beach one of the most beautiful you
could find. It was wonderful to be at a resort and not have to fight
crowds for a lounge chair of a seat for lunch right along the
oceanfront. The food was to die for! You would never believe
that a small island in the Caribbean could serve such gourmet
meals. From the coconut crusted French Toast to the
deicious soups and fresh fish every meal was a true delight.
They even have their own brick oven and make homemade
pizzas! The views looking out at the BVI's is absolutely
stunning. Peter Island truly is PARADISE! We highly
recommend it and cannot wait to go back. You will not
be disappointed.

  • Liked — Everything-Very Clean
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank luvapug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
81 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2008

Peter Island Resort was so close to perfect! The property is gorgeous, the people are wonderful... my biggest gripe had nothing to do with the resort. It was the weather! We were there for 6 nights and we had ONE day that was sunny. We got caught in the "outer bands" of hurricanes Hanna and Gustav which made for lots of clouds and rain. We managed to have a great time anyway.
We were soooo looking forward to snorkeling, having read several places about how fantastic it was. But without the sunshine its not the same. Went to White Bay one rainy day and there were tons of little jellyfish in the water (which we were told was very unusual). Yikes! After a few little zaps we got out of the water fast! There were four couples there that day and all of us were huddled under our cabanas eating our lunch, trying to stay out of the rain and the jellyfish. It was pitiful.
We were booked to go on the Virgin Gorda trip but the night before we had monsoonal raining, thunder, lightening, etc. so we cancelled and the next day turned out to be the one sunny day we had the whole trip. Oh well. The snorkeling was great on beaches within close walking distance. We tried to go back to White Bay but the road had been washed out. We had a marvelous day anyway.
There were a few small things that would not keep me from returning, but bothered me nonetheless....
The rooms are definitely not sound-proof. We heard our next-door neighbors talking, we heard their music, etc, and I'm sure they heard us.
BUGS! OMgosh my poor husband was COVERED with bites by the time we left. We used up the bug stuff we brought and then used the stuff PIR provides -- no help. I wonder if its always that bad this time of year or if it was worse than usual because of the rains...
The two restaurants were never open at the same time -- only one or the other was open on any night. So every other night we were forced to dress up whether you wanted to or not. One night they advertised a Caribbean Buffet with entertainment by the Moco Jumbies (the guys on the stilts). Moco Jumbies never showed and no explanation given.
An 18% gratuity was added to everything you ate or drank (in PIR's words "there is an 18% tax and service charge that will be added to your room rate to cover meal gratuities"). Then there was another space on your bill for "additional gratuity". That was tough. Service was great (especially Jennifer - she's wonderful). But after paying $8.00 for a rum & coke, plus the 18%, plus an addl tip cuz your server was so great -- that's one heck of an expensive rum & coke!
But, when all else is said and done, the room was perfect, diving was GREAT (according to hubby). I do believe we will try Peter Island again when its not hurricane season.

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Zoeycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2008

A little late for a review but it has taken me a year to write this properly! ;)
I visited this island on Aug. 1 2007 with my wife as we spent a week at Peter Island Resort. It was for our honeymoon which first began with a 9 day cruise and ended at Peter Island Resort. We LOVED the way we ended this trip as it ended with Peter Island - a magical experience!
This island is hidden from people because no one has ever heard of it. The only way I found it was by simply by searching the Caribbeans and finding an tiny island named after me; Peter - and so I thought...'wouldn't it be great to take my wife to my ISLAND!! When we got to this island, they actually made me feel like it was mine!! They kept on calling me Peter Island.

I will try my best to describe the experience so please bare with me.
ARRIVAL:
The moment we got to this place we were greeted with nothing but smiles. EVERYONE was great!! The first person was Steve who worked the bar and what a warm welcome!! They took us to our room and had already reserved for us supper on the beach; Deadman's grill which was so incredible! From great food to such a cozy atmoshere. The band was playing incredible music singing Bob Marley music with their own twist. My wife was crying when we got there, and as for myself I was speechless!
ROOM:
I had written to the hotel and asked to prepare flowers if possible as it was our honeymoon. They took it the next step, flowers on the bed, in the jacuzzi, on the floor and a bottle of champagne. She cried again!!! I had booked an Oceanfront view room but they upgraded us to a Beachfront Suite. After having experienced this, there is no way I would ever book the Oceanfronts. The Beachfronts are 300$ more per night but SO worth it. You get your own hammocks and WHAT A VIEW FROM THE BALCONY!!! The bathrooms, showers and jacuzzis are an open type of concept but adds a nice touch to the room.
Not only did they upgrade to a beachfront but they gave me, according to all of them, 'the nicest room on the island'. Room 220 - highly recommended also. The corner room on the second floor giving you access to such an incredible view! Bring music if you will be staying at the hotel, they have CD players to set a mood.
ACTIVITIES:
Make sure to snorkel, you can pick up all the equipment from the dive shop free of charge and you can go to all the beaches. I highly recommend the other beach, White Bay (which they can transport you to and bring you a lunch if you plan on staying). Make sure to snorkel at the furthest end towards the rocks as the reefs are beautiful! I also went on an excursion to certain snorkel sights which is booked at the shop for a fee but it was SO worth it. I also took scuba diving lessons and went scuba diving while my wife spent the day at the spa!
Having a ferry available to take you back and forth free of charge, we spent one day at Tortola and went swimming with dolphins, which, if you have never done - it is a must!! Being on our honeymoon, we booked honeymoon beach which is a beach which takes one couple at a time and no other, so you feel complete seclusion from anyone else. We also had our lunch brought to us there, always served with warmth and a smile. Lastly, you have to take the trip to the loop and watch the sunset, something we did on our last night and it was the perfect way to end a perfect trip. It was surreal!
FOOD:
Best food I have ever eaten. Make sure to eat at the tradewinds restaurant. We missed the first breakfast but the moment we tried it the following, we made sure not to miss it again! In terms of diversity, you can eat at the deadman's bar and grill on the beach or at tradewinds located by the lobby overseeing Tortola island and next to the pool. Everything is perfectly placed and they make sure to take care of all the plants and trees, it makes for beautiful walks from one restaurant to the other.

Ever since this experience, my wife has left me in charge of planning our vacations because this one was a huge success!! But I somewhat set the bar quite high!! We fell in love with the concept of being on a secluded island and I recommend this for anyone who wants to be away from the 'party island' as Punta Cana or Varadero. This is really made for the quiet and romantic getaways.
Complaints??? Can't say I have one, but there is something I need to warn you all about....cockroaches.....HUGE!!!! We never saw any but on our second to last night we saw 4 in our room because it rained and I guess they wanted to hide from the rain. My wife was terrified, but they leave a bug spray in the rooms which I emptied out that night! The receptionist, Brad, came and brought us another bottle, isn't that service?
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at p_demian@hotmail.com. I would be more than happy to assist in convincing you to try this island out!

  • Liked — Everything!!
  • Disliked — Cockroaches in the rooms, but can't stop nature from taking its' course!
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank diesel550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2008

This place is "heaven on earth"! We booked a last-minute stay because we were very tempted by other all inclusive resorts and their promotional offers. We are SO HAPPY that we chose Peter Island! It exceeded our expectations in every way! It is incredibly beautiful everywhere you go and I am sure that you cannot book a bad room there. The resort is very well thought out in its layout and the views are maximized everywhere you go. Even the fitness room is ocean front! We had an oceanview room on the top floor (#127)- so the view from our bed was as if we were on a cruise ship. We also had a water view from the shower! - it has a window that opens to the harbor. This resort and the food are FIRST CLASS and I can't imagine that anyone regrets spending their hard-earned money here. There was a nice mix of honeymooners as well as couples celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, etc. You can be as private as you want - or mingle and meet others. We went to the sunset loop twice and brought our own wine/champagne from St. Thomas to make it more affordable. We also went to Honeymoon Beach and White Bay as well - just for special, private time. It is very fun to just stay at Deadman's Bay and use the floats or the windsurf boards or Hobie cats. It is nice to have little huts sprinkled around, too, so that you can read in the shade. We came across two different couples who had been here more than 20 times - and we could see why! You will love it here - we will definitely return! It has been very difficult returning to "reality" after leaving Peter Island.

  • Liked — Best meals I have ever had
  • Disliked — Can't think of anything
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank airlinepilots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Peter Island Resort and Spa

Property: Peter Island Resort and Spa
Address: Road Town | Tortola, 00801 2409, Peter Island
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Peter Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Peter Island
Price range (per night): ₹ 25,068 - ₹ 1,04,806
Hotel Class:5 star — Peter Island Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 53
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Peter Island Hotel Peter Island
Peter Island Resort And Spa British Virgin Islands

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