It ‘s a ritual for travelers to the British Virgin Islands.
Land at Beef Island Airport, go through customs, gather your luggage and head to Trellis Bay, where you’d find your ferry or charter, step on your boat and begin your BVI vacation.
But in recent years, Trellis Bay has become more than just a jumping-off point.
It has become a destination in its own right.
And that’s in large part thanks to the Loose Mongoose, a Mecca in the British Virgin Islands, a restaurant and beach bar and town square all in one.
The open-air eatery on the waterfront in Trellis Bay is a marvelous mix of outstanding food, creative cocktails and even a bustling weekend brunch, along with morning coffee for boaters in search of java fuel (or those heading to an early ride on the Anegada ferry).
It’s not new, of course. For years, Loose Mongoose was a haven for boaters, travelers and rum lovers — until the storms of 2017 had their say.
And now, following a dramatic reconstruction project, the Loose Mongoose has a whole new look and a new place in the pantheon of Caribbean beach bars, and a compelling argument for BVI travelers to stay a little longer in Trellis Bay.
Loose Mongoose, which is the sister company of the renowned Anegada Beach Club hotel, is green, too, having been built from recycled hardwoods in true Caribbean style, with a thatched-roof look married with sleek, modern design.
“Loose Mongoose was created to be a multi-faceted gateway to the outer islands, while serving as a unique destination in of itself,” owner Doug Riegels tells Caribbean Journal.
That’s precisely what it’s done: Loose, as it’s affectionately known, has instantly become one of the coolest-looking beach spots in all of the BVI, one that should make anyone heading to another island from Trellis Bay think twice.
Because when you get here, you’re not going anywhere.
Another compelling argument to stick around is what is one of the best rum selections in the BVI — a rum bar-within-a-bar called the “Honor Society” whose collection ranges from sought-after rhum agricoles like Rhum Clement to Cuba’s signature Havana Club 7 to a member of the rum pantheon, the ultra-rare Brugal Papa Andres from the Dominican Republic.
The rum bar itself is nestled into the original structure of Loose, as locals call it; there’s opulent leather furniture, aged teak flooring, historic photos and some other worthy spirits, too.
Then there’s the food, the product of award-winning chefs, with a blend of Caribbean and American food and the sort of service that’s tailor-made for locals, boaters and day trippers.
It all adds up to more than just a place to begin your Journey, more than a restaurant, more than a bar and more than a rum retreat.
“We feel that we have created a genuine arrival and departure location that caters to both tourists and local guests,” Riegels says.
In other words, before you step on that boat, you may want to stick around awhile.
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