We have had several generations of our own family stay at Bellamare, including babies as young as four months, and we look for ways to make Bellamare a child-friendly vacation villa. Many families have stayed at Bellamare and we hope that tradition will continue.
At the House: There are several possible bedroom set-ups at Bellamare that were designed with small children in mind. One bedroom suite is adjacent to, but separate from, the master suite and does not have outside access (no balcony). In addition, the very large master suite includes a custom chair that can easily be converted to a bed for a child. Finally, all the bedroom suites have room for the addition of a crib or pack and play when needed.
For the Children: We also have a number of items to make your stay a bit easier such as a Play Spot foam mat for the littlest ones, games, toys, books, foam corner protectors, booster seats for dining, nightlights, video monitors, sound machines, baby gates, high chair, diaper pail, swim floats and beach toys.
Larger items such as cribs and pack and plays, can be provided by our management company. We do suggest that you travel with a car seat, or request one with your rental car. Strollers are not particularly useful on Virgin Gorda as we do not have sidewalks and it is hilly terrain, but they can be useful when moving through the airports. Please note that there are some exterior stairs and an open pool off the veranda, and that children should—as always—never be left unattended.
Food and Supplies: Most of the grocery stores described in the Food section will carry all the basic supplies needed for babies including diapers, wipes, baby food and formula. They will also have some alternatives to cow’s milk such as soy milks but they do not carry rice milks. In addition, they will have some smaller items such as pacifiers, diaper cream, and sippy cups. It is always a good idea to bring more specialized products, such as all-natural sunscreens or shampoos, on the chance that they will be unavailable on island.
Beaches: Virgin Gorda is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and Mahoe Bay, where Bellamare sits, is one of the finest on Virgin Gorda. Mahoe Bay is protected by two rings of coral reefs and consequently is very accessible for children. Occasionally there is a surge that creates some wave action which can last for a few days but generally it is very calm and shallow, with a gradual incline. As always, children should not be left unattended as there are no lifeguards on duty.
Sun Safety: Ensuring that children do not get too much sun is always a challenge in the Caribbean and while there is ample shade on the verandas surrounding the villa, and the beach has several places where trees provide protection from the sun, sunscreen and hats are a must at all times. We also encourage guests traveling with children to consider bringing rash guards with UV protection for them.
In general, Virgin Gorda is a very family friendly island both in regard to the amenities provided and the attitude of the people who live on the island. Mahoe Bay stands out as one of the most family-centric places to stay.