Hotel Built on Old Sugar Mill Plantation with Internationally Acclaimed Restaurant
The Sugar Mill Hotel’s restaurant is housed in the ruins of a 17th-century rum distillery. Candlelight bounces off the stone walls of the open-side dining room, and the outdoor terrace is surrounded by lush, tropical gardens. Owned by Bon Appetit columnists Jefferson and Jinx Morgan, this restaurant was named one of the 12 most romantic restaurants in the world by Concierge.com. It’s just one of the highlights of the beachfront hotel, which itself was voted one of the top 10 hotels in the Caribbean by a Condé Nast Traveler readers’ poll.
Made up of quaint cottages, the hotel cascades down a hill to a secluded beach. Guests can rent complimentary snorkeling gear to explore the Caribbean waters, which feature two natural reefs. You can also take a dip at the hotel’s pool, which was built on the site of the estate's original oxen treadmill. The pool is surrounded by shady hammocks and private, covered-wagon cabanas. And for dazzling sunset views, head to the nearby gazebo bar and order a classic rum punch.
From each private balcony of the deluxe studios, you can get a view of other islands. There’s a small kitchenette area with a wet bar in each room, and air conditioning keeps the bedrooms cool. In the morning, stop for breakfast at the Bar and Terrace to dig into piña colada pancakes and fried plantains; lunch is served at the beachfront Islands restaurant.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands: “Boating Capital of the World” with Historic Rum-Making Culture
Situated in the Caribbean 60 miles east of Puerto Rico, Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands. It is covered with steep green hills, narrow winding roads, and secluded white-sand beaches.
Though snorkeling is a popular pastime here, the main attraction on the water is boating. The coastline is dotted with more than 50 bays and anchorages, and its marinas and shore facilities are the most extensive in the Caribbean basin.
To escape the heat, head to Sage Mountain, a scenic hiking spot with traces of primeval rainforest. It’s fanned to a cool temperature by the island's gentle trade winds and the choreographed wing flaps of tropical birds.
Tortola is also home to the BVI's governmental and commercial centers, and its capital: Road Town. Eight miles (12.3 km) from the hotel, this Main Street is lined with art galleries and jewelry shops housed in pastel-colored buildings. Just west you can find the Callwood Distillery, which has been in operation for 400 years and still makes rum from pure sugar juice.
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