Peter Island is a 720 hectare (1,779 acre) private island located in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). It is about 5 miles (8 km) south-west (195 degrees true) from Road Town, Tortola. The island was named after Pieter Adriensen (nicknamed "The Commander") who was the brother of Abraham Adriensen, Patron of Tortola under the Dutch West India Company in the early 17th century. Pieter Adriensen and Joost van Dyk built a fort and slave pens at Great Harbour on Peter Island to facilitate privateering and the nascent trade in slaves from Angola.
In 1978, an avid sailor purchased Peter Island after sailing past it several years before. There, he established the resort that exists today and lived on the island to maintain the resort.
Peter Island is the largest private island in the BVI and the fifth largest of the 60 islands, quays, and exposed reefs that comprise the BVI. It was owned by the Amway Corporation from 1978 until 2001 when full ownership was transferred to the Van Andel family, co-owners of Amway.
The island is predominately undeveloped but contains hiking and biking trails on which to discover the tropical flora and fauna indigenous to Peter Island. The beaches face the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Two of the beaches (Honeymoon and White bay) are for use by guests only. The island's biggest beach is Deadman's Bay, a mile-long crescent beach shaded by palm trees with a beach, bar, and restaurant open to day boaters. Deadman's Bay is said to be named for pirates that were marooned on neighboring Dead Chest island and subsequently drowned swimming to Peter Island, their bodies washed up on shore.
The only hotel, the 52-room Peter Island Resort, ranked in Conde Nast Traveler's "Gold List," and the Travel and Leisure "T+L 500" for 2007, is accessible by boat or helicopter. A 1984 review in the New York Times was critical of the food. It has since twice been named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the "Best Places to Stay in the World".