Don't expect to find too many hotels and resorts on the beach here. The most popular lodgings are often nestled safely away in the main urban areas on the three most populous islands in the chain: Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. While nearly every popular hotel in the Virgin Islands is confined to Tortola, Virgin Gorda is the preferred choice for many a package tourist, and for those with a particular affinity for the resort lifestyle. Jost Van Dyke has a few nice options as British Virgin Island villas go, but only a few hotels and resorts have sprung up nearby the island's famous bars and harbors. For the most part though, the rentals that you find in the BVI are basic and unassuming.
For those not island hopping or taking a sailing tour of the region, Tortola Island is the best choice for getting inexpensive lodgings. Mostly sleepy inns and middle-of-the-road hotels throughout the island's interior, the west end holds the largest Virgin Island resort – the Long Bay Beach Resort – and a smattering of other luxury accommodations. The BVI's reputation as a former pirate hangout plays a large part in the decor of many a hotel in the Virgin Islands, and Tortola is no different than the rest. Peg-legged ghosts clomp down the halls of the Jolly Roger Inn, an affordable and laid-back hotel resting in the west end's harbor, while the Treasure Isle Hotel"s open-air bar makes it a great place to stop for a drink if you want to remain in the capital. Since over 90% of the beaches are on the northern coast of the island, make sure to take this into account when choosing a hotel.
Virgin Gorda is, on average, home to the highest quality accommodations. Whether you want a resort or the finest in British Virgin Island villas, this is the island to choose. Even in the off season the Virgin Island resorts are packed, so beware - you'll have to make preparations well ahead of time. Nail Bay, Saba Rock and the Bitter End Yacht Club are the best that Virgin Island resorts have to offer. Nail bay offers empty beaches and a close proximity to the expansive national park, while the other two keep the North Sound region the island's most popular place to stay. Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals Ltd owns the majority of properties on the island, and can probably best hook you up with a place to stay.
The southern shores of Jost Van Dyke remain one of the best areas to find British Virgin Island Villas. Mingle with the yachting crowd and pub crawlers while you stay on the Sandy Ground Estates. To get further from the tourist crowds, stay in seclusion at the Sandcastle Hotel, virtually isolated amongst the bougainvillea of White Bay. Not the most exciting hotel in the Virgin Islands, the Sandcastle guarantees rampant isolation for those wishing to avoid the drunken nonsense that characterizes the rest of the island.