ISSUE 9  |  Instagram Escapes

Paradise Found: Guana Island in the BVI

March 02, 2015 12:00 PM

BY Julie Carlson

I’ve been following NYC-based Yolanda Edwards’s Instagram feed (@yolandaedwards) for a while now; she’s the creative director at Conde Nast Traveler, so I figured I’d discover some good insider-y travel tips along the way (her husband, photographer Matthew Hranek (@wmbrownproject) is another good one to follow). Best find so far: Guana Island, a serene and perfectly private retreat in the British Virgin Islands.

Guana is an 850-acre private island with seven beaches and a handful of cottages and villas for rent. Since 1975, the island has been owned and operated by Henry and Gloria Jarecki (they bought it from another adventurous couple, Beth and Louise Bigelow of Massachusetts, who took ownership of the island in the 1930s and lived in a tent before building six stone cottages for their friends and fellow artists to visit). It’s laid-back, but not too laid-back: “Rooms have no TVs or telephones and cell phones may not be used within the sight or earshot of other guests. Guests who wear a bathing suit to breakfast or lunch are requested to wear a cover-up as well. In the evenings, dress is smart casual (slacks, sport shirts, dresses, skirts, or pants).” Sounds perfect. 

Above: A cottage with a view, via @wmbrownproject.

Above: The cottage porch, via @yolandaedwards.

Above: “Not sure what you call the room where guests have cocktail hour at 6:30, play games after dinner, read during the occasional tropical storm, and meet up with new friends to discuss the night tarpon fishing, but this is where that–and more–happens,” via @yolandaedwards

Above: The library at the Guana Island Club. Photograph via Guana Island.

Above: Another corner of the library. Photograph via Guana Island.

Above: The simple spa, outfitted with Red Flower products and a Frette robe. Photograph by Rima Suqi for Insider’s Guide to Spas.

Above: A feathery piece of coral at the beach bar, via @yolandaedwards.

Above: A whitewashed-stucco-walled bathroom. Photograph via Guana Island.

Above: Rooms are furnished with a mix of unfancy furniture. Photograph via Guana Island.

Above: A sitting area. Photograph via Guana Island.

Above: A whitewashed villa for rent. Photograph via Guana Island. For more details, go to Guana Island.

Take a look at Yolanda Edwards and Matthew Hranek’s weekend escape in Upstate Style: A New York Prefab by Way of Austria. And peruse our Travel Guides for more vacation ideas. Thinking of renting a house? See Greatest Hits: 33 Top Rental Houses Featured on Remodelista.