from Atlanta, Georgia
Submitted on 05-11-2016
This was a special trip for me, as I had planned this trip one year in advance to celebrate our honeymoon and wanted to do it completely on points and miles. After flying ATL-SJU first class on Delta Skymiles (60,000 per person/roundtrip), we connected in SJU to EIS (Tortola) via Seaborne Airlines (codeshare with American Airlines). Upon arrival to Tortola, we were quickly escorted through Passport Control and Customs before exiting the airport to a free shuttle organized by the hotel to the Tre...
This was a special trip for me, as I had planned this trip one year in advance to celebrate our honeymoon and wanted to do it completely on points and miles. After flying ATL-SJU first class on Delta Skymiles (60,000 per person/roundtrip), we connected in SJU to EIS (Tortola) via Seaborne Airlines (codeshare with American Airlines). Upon arrival to Tortola, we were quickly escorted through Passport Control and Customs before exiting the airport to a free shuttle organized by the hotel to the Trellis Bay dock (2-minutes) where the Scrub Island Ferry was waiting to take us the short one mile (10-minutes) trip direct to the Scrub Island Marina. It was at this point that my wife and me met the first Scrub Island employee, Kurt, that would mark this trip as something more unique and special than the rest of our travels. When you think of island life, you should think of Kurt's normal business day. This guy spends probably 10 hours a day commuting between Trellis Bay, Marina Cay, and Scrub Island on the Scrub Island Ferry (either the Cat Blue or Scrub Island One). When we first boarded, he took our luggage, greeted us and welcomed us to our first experience at this private island Marriott, and asked the both of us what our welcome drink of choice would be upon arrival at the Marina. I said I would have a fruit punch with rum and my wife said she would have only a virgin fruit punch -- he paused -- he looks up from his notepad -- raises his eyebrow -- we all laugh and my wife changes her order in favor of alcohol. This sounds silly, but that carefree experience was the first opportunity we were able to relax on this honeymoon after the stresses of a normal work week and prepping for our wedding the prior weekend. Thank you, Kurt of the Cat Blue, for the welcome! Next, we arrive at check-in at Scrub to find we were upgraded (on an award stay) by our courteous Resort Host Neil, who escorted us to our full one bedroom suite with perfect views of the Marina, Big Camanoe, Marina Cay, and Beef Island -- not to mention, we had a top floor balcony and full kitchen suite complete with Wolf and Sub Zero appliances! The resort even had a bottle of champagne chilled for us and two glasses on the dining table for us to really kick off the 8-night, 9-day stay. Every morning, we spent a good hour at Caravela for some delicious breakfast options (think Cinnamon Waffles and Pancakes, Omelets, Eggs Benedict, Smoked Salmon Bagels, delicious coffee) with our favorite waitress in the entire resort Latoya. Latoya was always charming, had a great sense of humor, and even humored us while we attempted to match her huge personality! After being very full for breakfast, we would move down to Pavilion Beach in the morning but not before stopping by the Towel/Recreation Sports Shack to chat it up with our favorite day guy Alison. When you visit, you should be able to easily identify Alison by his bright smile, white polo over a long sleeve sailing shirt, and his awesome shades. If you read this, Alison, try to tell me that I did not hit the description spot on! After spending a few hours on the beach, we would migrate to the lower pool and basically be one-on-one with the working bartender at the swim-up bar to get drinks all day and food from Tierra! Tierra! After a long day at the beach/pool, our typical day would end with a nap in the room and dinner at Tierra! Tierra! or a fresh pizza/sandwich from the onsite grocery store and deli. It was always a pleasure to run into our housekeeping staff Juliett, who provided a very prompt turn-down service each night leaving postcards and other factoids about the island, as well as that big smile. Make sure to tip the housekeeping, as they really are best-in-class at their job. We spent one afternoon at the Ixora Spa onsite and made reservations for the 90-minute couple's massage with Spa Director Raj and Martha -- best massage we have ever had and the scenery at the spa (perched on a hill overlooking the Gulf) was literally the best views of the entire trip -- and we did the touristy Virgin Gorda Baths! Now, for the fun part, we spent a total of 435,000 Marriott Rewards points through the Marriott Flight and Hotel Package #1, which gets us 7-nights plus 120,000 Delta Skymiles and then redeemed an additional 45,000 Marriott Rewards points for Night #8. I highly recommend this method for redeeming points, as many bloggers regard this as the most valuable option for booking awards. For perspective, I have over 3 million lifetime Marriott Rewards points, am a Marriott Platinum Elite, with over 150 nights butt-in-bed this year alone since January 1 --- my points is, I have been to plenty of Marriott properties across the world and have experienced many of the Autograph Collection sites, but Scrub Island is the most luxurious, out-of-this-world experience that points can buy. Honestly, it is the best resort property in the British Virgin Islands --- and the newest, as many of the other popular sites are tired and in need of real renovations. To close this review out, our favorite employee at Scrub Island is hands down and no questions asked, Dale (look for the iconic orange polo). Between hospitality and his keen attention to the food and beverage operations at Scrub, Dale called us by our names each time and knew our favorite wine (Monkey Bay!) to serve. Dale should not be a Marriott employee, but a Hotel Manager or Resort Owner -- this guy went above and beyond to make our stay special and to provide tips to our vacationing strategy, so that we could enjoy the BVI like we were rich and famous. Dale makes Scrub Island a truly 5-star resort and 5-star experience. Job well done, Scrub Island. We will surely be back and we will be bringing tons of friends to experience a villa during our next stay!