Cooper Island with Ginger Island in the background
Situated between Salt and Ginger Islands, the shores of Cooper Island are a marvelous place to explore and the Beach Club is truly a breath of fresh air. The relatively small and intimate resort is located on the north side of the island overlooking Manchioneel Bay, while the remainder of the island is privately owned.
Unlike many other resorts, this one is very laid back, relaxed and utterly charming. It's not uncomfortably "proper", as some resorts tend to be. All the staff I've met have been, friendly, attentive, relatively quick and always polite. It's also an eco-friendly place and for that, they get huge bonus points.
In the principal photo, you can see all the sailboats moored in Manchioneel Bay, from just a couple of hundred yards inside Quart-a-Nancy Point (on the left), and nearly all the way over to Cistern Point. There are 30 mooring balls (maintained by Moor-Seacure) available, which tend to fill up rather quickly. You may pay mooring fees at the Beach Club if planning to stay overnight.
Anchoring in the sea grass beds is not permitted. If you are going to anchor, please find a spot that has a clear, sandy bottom. Otherwise, if no mooring balls are available, you will have to resort to plan B, and move on to another anchorage. So plan to get here early if you want a mooring.
Cooper Island Beach Club
View of the Restaurant & Outdoor Lounge
The restaurant is wonderful. I love their roti, the salads are fabulous and I think their burgers are pretty darned good too. I am not a fish eater, but I have friends who swear by their Mahi sandwiches and conch fritters.
One thing that impresses me is that many of the furnishings used throughout the resort were made from repurposed teak, reclaimed from various sources, including several old fishing boats that had been scrapped. They look lovely!
Sea Grape Boutique
Cooper Island Guest Rooms
The ladies will enjoy the Sea Grape Boutique. They have typical beach wear, t-shirts, shorts, jewelry and souvenirs. Items are a little pricey, but they have some very nice things. It's worth a look see.
Above are two of the private guest cottages which are very nice, well appointed, up-to-date and the bathrooms are lovely. Oh, and they offer free Wi-Fi too. Other cottages are sparsely sprinkled throughout Manchioneel Bay, at varying elevations.
Sail Caribbean Divers
Cistern Point, Cooper Island
For SCUBA divers and snorkeling aficianados, Sail Caribbean Divers
operates a small shop here (above) and if you plan ahead, you can join them on a few dives or a snorkel trip. Call them on VHF channel 16.
There are lots of places to dive and snorkel in the immediate area and many of them are right off the island. You can also get your tanks refilled here between 9:00 am & 4:00 pm. You'll need to bring your "C" card for refills.
You'll find great snorkeling between Cistern Point and Cistern Point Rock (shown above from the west side of the island) and the folks at the Beach Club have kindly provided a line here to tie off your dinghy. You can also see Carvel Bay in the photo below, which makes a nice daytime
anchorage, given the right sea conditions.
Carvel Bay, Cooper Island
Markhoe Bay, Cooper Island
Another nice daytime anchorage is Markhoe Bay, (seen in the picture above) and Haulover Bay (not pictured) is quite interesting too.
There are several places to kick back and relax along the beach at Manchioneel Bay, with great views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel, Salt Island and Tortola.
If there are any photographers amongst you, you can get some great shots here. I have never had my camera with me at the appropriate time to do so, but trust me, there are some great sunsets here.
View of Markoe Point and Markoe Bay
View of Manchioneel Bay Beach, Cooper Island
I don't get many opportunities to play hooky. On one one such occasion, I had the good fortune to tag along with friends, Arjan and Nicola Stouff, owners of BVI Yacht Charters. We enjoyed a lovely lunch together ... in the middle of the week, no less! Then we just hung out on the beach and had fun until it was time to go back to Tortola
Arjan and Nicola Stouff
Phone (284) 495-9804 or visit their website here.