Category Archives for "China"

Must see locations, events and places to travel and enjoy in China.

Little Dix Bay and The Baths – Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Lesser Antilles (British West Indies)

Superb Style, Splendid Isolation, and Some Really Big Boulders

For decades, word of mouth celebrated the 500-acre resort of Little Dix Bay and the exquisite location it commanded on a perfect half-mile crescent of white-sand beach on Virgin Gorda, the “Fat Virgin.”

Together with its sister property, Caneel Bay, Little Dix was created by Laurance Rockefeller in the 1960s for his blue-blood circle of old-money friends and family. Despite a change in ownership, it remains a classic, still known for its laid-back luxury, relaxed pampering, and a low-key, unpretentious ambience.

The native stone and hardwood cottages nestle amid the lush but impeccably manicured grounds, a veritable Garden of Eden maintained by no less than twenty full-time gardeners. Even breakfast is romantic in the dining area—four intercon­nected, open-sided, thatch-roofed pavilions sitting right on the hotel’s marvelous beach. Dinners are both genial and exciting, the work of an ambitious and sophisticated kitchen the Rockefellers would have been proud of.

About a mile south is the island’s most noted natural site, The Baths, where huge, time-sculpted granite boulders—some as big as small houses—create spellbinding pools, shallow coves, and interconnected grottoes that are heaven for snorkelers, swimmers, and those who merely appreciate natural beauty.

Stacked along the beach in jumbled piles, these prehistoric rocks are most impressive when approached by sea. The site is on every visitor’s list, so to avoid the boatloads of in-and-out tourists and cruise ship passengers, come early or late, or wander along the less-visited coastline on either side, where the massive boulders continue.

  • a couple of years ago
  • China

Guana Island – British Virgin Islands, Lesser Antilles (British West Indies)

Your Own Private Wildlife Preserve

For latent hermits or people who want nature all to themselves, Guana’s 850 virginal acres will never feel crowded, even with an occasional full house of thirty guests. It’s the Galapagos of the Caribbean, a wildlife sanctuary that’s said to have the richest variety of flora and fauna of any island its size in the region.

A hundred species of birds—roseate flamingos, black-necked stilts, herons, egrets, and the endangered masked booby—make Guana a paradise for bird-watchers. In the 18th century, Guana was dominated by a sug­arcane and cotton plantation owned by two American Quaker families, and today that classic simplicity is still evident in the stylish but restrained accommodations at the island’s only lodge.

The panoramic sweep from the whitewashed ridge-top cottages is spectac­ular. Reached only by boat, the hilly island, with its twenty nature trails and seven beaches, is virtually private and for guests’ use alone (yacht “drop-ins” are discouraged); two of the beaches are accessible only by the hotel’s private launch. Why not invite twenty-nine friends and rent the whole island?

  • a couple of years ago
  • China

The Southshore Beaches – Bermuda (British Overseas Territory)

Pink Sand and Turquoise Waters

This time the tourist literature doesn’t exaggerate: The sand of Bermuda’s beaches – especially in the late-afternoon sun – really is rosy pink, the result of granules of crushed coral washed ashore from the island’s band of protective reefs.

Though it’s known as an island, Bermuda is actually a fishhook ­shaped archipelago made up of seven major islands and about 143 smaller ones, intercon­nected by bridges and causeways. That’s a lot of blushing pink coastline.

Of the world’s resort islands, Bermuda enjoys the highest rate of return visitors, many of whom come back, at least in part, to bask on the dozens of small, hidden beaches they didn’t have time for on their last trip. Typically, southshore beaches are more scenic than those on the north side.

Postcard-per­fect Horseshoe Bay is one of the most popular and the most photographed— which means lots of cooler-toting families and teenage beach-blanket parties. Lovely as it is, on weekends you’re better off going to nearby Elbow Beach. For utter serenity from sunrise to sunset, search out Warwick Long Bay—lengthy, soft, and truly pink. Really.

  • a couple of years ago
  • China
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