Hey all, I recently got back from Scrub Island where my wife & and I celebrated our 10th anniversary in Scrub Island. I wanted to post my review on the resort, and walk through our vacation 2-7 April 2016 for anyone interested in activities we did while there. I want to thank all the input from Insiders (IAHFLYER especially) for their input in helping me decide what to do while on this vacation. I'll start with a general overview, then my daily reviews, followed by general advice for the resort.
Overall, the stay at Scrub was excellent. The staff was very friendly, though I would say on island time x2. The resort was beautiful, quiet, and relaxing. The resort was in no way crowded, I assume because it was the off season The accommodations were superb, clean, and elegant. The food was outstanding, and priced as I would expect. The drinks were tasty, but extremely overpriced and weak, and probably the most disappointing part of the trip. I wasn't treated as a platinum member throughout the trip, as I would expect, which was another disappointing point. Otherwise, the trip was outstanding.
First - I'm a platinum member, and stayed 5 nights on points, using the buy 4, get 1 free night deal for 180K points. I used delta points to fly into St. Thomas and ferry to Tortola, (unlike recommended flight into Tortola thru San Juan). I did this to save ~$500 in travel expenses, and in my opinion, it was worth the money. We flew into St. Thomas from Atlanta, caught a 10 min cab to the ferry ($20 for 2 of us) an immediate ferry to Road Town, Tortola, ~1.5hrs ($96 for 2 of us). Here, we grabbed a late lunch at Pusser's right next to the ferry, as we were starving after 10 hrs of travel, followed by a 25 min cab to Trellis Bay ($35 for 2 of us), and from there the free 10 min ferry to Scrub Island. ***My advice, if you go this route - when you get into St. Thomas, grab a bite to eat either at the ferry, or find a place in town to eat. It's a long ferry ride if you're hungry. Don't let the rush of the ferry & cab workers get you on the ferry quickly before you're ready.
Upon arrival to scrub island we were greeted with a rum punch, and escorted to the front desk. Our room wasn't ready yet (at 5pm?) so we walked around the pools, restaurants, and gift shop for 30 minutes till it was ready, not a great start when all we wanted to do was get cleaned up from a long trip in. We weren't greeted as platinum members, offered points or gift for the stay, nor given the 'platinum' discount card that you were supposed to get upon arrival that everyone else had on the island. Not a huge deal, but I would expect attention to detail at a resort of this caliber.
We got a room in building 17, 1st floor. It was elegant, clean and spacious. View was of the marina, and beautiful. A nice dinner at Tierra Tierra, and it was bedtime.
Day 1: We ate a great breakfast at Caravela (crunchy French Toast & an Omelette), then headed to North Beach. Literally chilled on the beach all day, with a drink or two from the bar. The beach was totally relaxing. the 6 hours there, we only had 1 instance where the staff came by to check if we wanted anything. That's something we experienced the whole time, very little 'service' to refill drinks or get food. We followed with a tasty dinner at Caravela. My meal was delicious, Wife's steak came out well done rather than Medium Rare - returned for a new one, and it came out Rare. Ate it that way because she was so hungry. **Advice - on North Beach, get a tiki-hut on the far end of the beach, it'll keep you out of the sun, and is a bit more private.
Day 2: Late breakfast at Caravela, then the morning poolside, and the afternoon at North beach (this time near the pool looking out on ocean, underneath umbrellas. Followed with dinner at the Last Resort - a quick ferry ride to Trellis followed by one to the Last Resort, for a wonderful dinner and live music. Evening drinks back on Scrub at Tiera Tiera.
Day 3: Quick breakfast from the deli, then a reserved excursion through Dive BVI. $125/person got us on the catamaran at 9am with drinks/snacks included. A boat ride to the Indians for 1hr snorkeling. Lunch at Willy T's, ride to Jost Van **** with drinks at Soggy Dollar, then back to Scrub. We met several awesome guests from Scrub during this trip, and had a blast (most of whom were staying on points). Grabbed dinner with them late evening at Pussers on Marina Cay (through free ferry), which was delicious. This day was by far, the best day we had on BVI. It wasn't relaxing, but it was very fun.
Day 4: Breakfast from the Deli, then kayak to honeymoon beach. In my opinion, the kayak ride was fun, but don't bother with the beach. Not much there to do. We chilled at Pavilian Beach for a bit, then back up by the pool. Lunch, we ferry'ed to Trellis Bay, then got a $20, 15min cab up to Brandywine for lunch. Highly Recommend doing this - it was delicious! On our way back, we stopped by Marina Cay for some gift shopping (not many gifts to get for kids there), then went back to Scrub for a pizza dinner from the Deli. We chilled at Tierra Tierra for drinks, then called it an evening for an early morning departure.
Overall, the stay was great. I would highly recommend the following:
-Dive BVI excursion
-Lunch at Brandywine
-Late dinner at Last Resort
My recommendations to Scrub Island:
1) Get Scrub Island branded gifts that are appropriate for children (shirts, hats, trinkets, etc) as most people there had kids at home to buy souvenirs for.
2) Speed things up a bit. 25 minutes to wait for drinks after being seated, not suitable.
3) Recognize Platinum members upon arrival.
4) make drink prices reasonable. $14 for a weak frozen drink is insane.
5) Make more frequent checks on guests poolside and beach side for service.
6) The island is beautiful, however clean up the landscape some on the road to the beach. Landscape around utilities to make things look nicer.
So sorry to read of your lack of service and attention from the Staff. On both of our two visits to Scrub Island we did not have any issues at all with the service or attention while at the pool. Although we had a 1BR Villa with a full kitchen and ate most of our meals on the balcony (only way to go if you can) we did grab a sandwich a time or two from the Deli and also bought a few items for meals there as well, again no issues at all.
I am wondering if the problem you experienced was due to a change in Management at the resort as I know the GM we had running the place on both or visits is no longer at the resort. The previous GM was always visible to and talking with the guests, did you happen to run into the new GM?
Good report and great to learn of the savings you found by not flying into Tortola as we did, yet I do love the nice view from the nine seat C402 Cape Air utilized to Beef Island Airport on Tortola from San Juan. Just an AV Geek thing as you know!!
I actually did run into the GM on the last evening there, forgot to put in that there was a GM reception at Carvavela bar. Spoke with the GM on a few things, mainly the lack of souvenirs for kids, as that was the last half of that day. He was a nice young man, who stated he had only been in the position for a month or so, and was eager for feedback, which I took as a positive sign! If I had more time to discuss, I would have been happy to go through some more recommendations ;-)
I sure wish I coulda done Cape Air flight from San Juan - woulda been tons of fun. even better - next time, I'll rent a plan from Continental US, and fly into Beef Island myself! Oh, if I only could afford to fly anymore..
LOL, I had thought of that only having my friend who is a G550 and G280 Corporate driver abscond with one of their four planes and I'd do the radio work as well as all FMC entries. The nerve of him telling me if we did that we'd have to fly home commercially since he'd be in jail and the plane would be back at IAH.
Good that you got to visit with the new GM, you might send him an email as a follow up to your visit as I'm certainly you can get his email addy easily.