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Bitter End Yacht Club Reopens After 4 Years

Between a Category 5 hurricane and the COVID-19 pandemic, it's been an arduous return journey for the Bitter End Yacht Club.

Bitter End Yacht Club
In addition to the dining and drinking spots that are now rebuilt, the Bitter End Yacht Club has reconstructed docks at its 25-slip marina. Courtesy Bitter End Yacht Club

Lauren Hokin, whose family has owned the Bitter End Yacht Club for more than a half-century, calls the time between 2017’s Hurricane Irma and this month’s official reopening “a heavy lift.”

First, the Category 5 storm destroyed the entire place—a mile of waterfront and 65 acres. Then, the pandemic shut down the British Virgin Islands’ borders. Just getting the debris off and construction supplies to Virgin Gorda—let alone doing the actual rebuilding—became a marathon that’s only now finishing its first leg.

But the place is very much worth it.

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“The breeze is still blowing,” Hokin says. “The reefs are still beautiful. The water is still every shade of blue that’s imaginable.”

And now that phase one of reconstruction is complete, she adds, boaters will once again be able to experience the kinds of amenities that have brought them to North Sound for decades.

Bitter End Yacht Club
The Bitter End Yacht Club is still working on rebuilding shoreside accommodations like these, but two of the marina lofts are built. They are reportedly the first overwater bungalows in the BVI. Courtesy Bitter End Yacht Club

“We built this really beautiful, very cozy and cool village that occupies not a ton of our waterfront but probably 4 or 5 acres,” she says. “It’s got all the amenities you want if you come visit by boat.”

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Those amenities include a clubhouse for formal dining, a Sail Bar, the Quarterdeck Club with light bites, a pizza-and-wine bar, and Reef Sampler, a Down East boat that transferred materials from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, to North Sound during the property’s original construction. Reef Sampler sank during Irma but has since been raised and turned into a beach bar.

“There’s one killer table in the bow with a banquette,” Hokin says. “One lucky party a night will get to have dinner looking out at the setting sun on the beach. It will be very cool.”

What’s Ready

In addition to the dining and drinking spots that are now rebuilt, the Bitter End Yacht Club has reconstructed docks at its 25-slip marina. There also are 70 mooring balls, with about 15 of them available for reservations. The marina building has Wi-Fi up and running, and the provisions market has been elevated from what yachtsmen will remember. The new market has all the basics plus prepared foods from the resort’s restaurants, along with wine and spirits—pretty much anything boaters need for a daysail. The Reeftique Boutique now carries resortwear along with the Bitter End Yacht Club’s branded line of clothes and souvenirs, and the Sand Palace outdoor movie theater is back. Also ready is the watersports fleet of kayaks, paddleboards and more.

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