After a surprise win in the UK ‘travel corridor’ lottery last weekend which means we will not be required to self-isolate on returning home from a holiday there, St Vincent and the Grenadines, that string of turquoise-ringed lush green specks in the eastern Caribbean of which celebrity haven Mustique is one, looks more enticing than ever.
Even the compulsory Covid-19 PCR antigen test you'll need to take at an accredited laboratory 72 hours or less before you fly there to make sure you don't have it seems a price well worth paying. But what are the best options for those who truly want to get away from it all when they're there?
There is certainly no shortage of world-class hotels and exquisite villas among St Vincent and its Grenadines but a handful of new options are looking increasingly attractive in the post-Covid-19 era.
Forty miles south of St Vincent, the private island resort of Petit St Vincent has always prided itself on the fact that its 22 villas, which sleep 44, share 88 acres, so that’s two acres per guest. Now, it has just launched ‘PSV Peninsula’, a four-cottage buyout of a peninsula in the eastern part of the island, which between them share a private beach and a spacious private dining area (Caribtours offers seven nights from £4,625 per person based on eight travelling, departing on 3 December, including three meals a day, flights and transfers).
A bit closer to St Vincent on the island of Bequia, Bequia Beach Hotel on Friendship Bay will launch three new private villas in November which are ideal for those looking for a bit more space and exclusivity. Set just above the beach, each villa has four or five bedrooms, a dining and kitchen area, a large outdoor terrace and a pool.
To really travel in style, why not arrive by private jet charter. The hotel owns Bequia Air, a VIP charter flight service that whisks you straight from Barbados to Bequia. Once you’re there, you can also charter the hotel’s yacht, Star of the Sea, for a day or longer (Carrier offers seven nights in one of the new villas costs from £24,880, based on eight travelling, departing on 4 December, including economy flights and return private charter flight from Barbados to Bequia).
If you’d rather go independently, another new villa has just launched on Friendship Bay. Fresh, contemporary, art-filled Friendship House, privately owned by English hotelier Giles Thomas, sleeps up to ten people in five bedrooms, sits within two acres of mature tropical gardens and has a yoga deck and gym. It also comes with use of a 32-ft Contender speedboat. The house is available through on-island villa rental agency The Grenadines Collection from $10,000 per week in the winter season.
Just across the water from Bequia is famously exclusive Mustique, where Lord Colin Tennant gave Princess Margaret a plot of land as a wedding present when she married Lord Snowdon and Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfiger own villas. While the island is famous for its social gatherings, you could easily side step all that at Paraiba, a brand new villa on the secluded southern end of the island, overlooking Lagoon and Gelliceaux beaches.
A series of seven suites scattered among the treetops, Paraiba sits in tropical gardens that spill down the hillside and comes with a tennis court, two swimming pools, a yoga pavilion and games rooms. It also comes with a private chef, a butler, four other staff and three private vehicles (Elegant Resorts offers seven nights from £5,630 per person, based on 14 sharing, departing on 5 December, including flights, transfers and UK lounge passes).
Finally, it’s been said that Canouan Island in the Grenadines is where billionaires go to escape millionaires. If this sounds more your bag, you could consider taking over the Mandarin Oriental Canouan in its entirety. The ‘Slice of Paradise Buyout’ package offers full reign over the resort’s 61 rooms, spread between its villas, suites, four restaurants, bar, spa, fitness centre and glorious sweep of powder-white beach. The price tag on all that is about £60,000 per night and there’s a five-night minimum stay.
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