Please note our writers visited St Vincent and the Grenadines prior to the coronavirus pandemic
This 32-island nation is real get-away-from-it-all territory, from lush, mountainous St Vincent to the magical Grenadine islands. Several private islands have a single hotel such as Petit St Vincent and Palm Island, but the most exclusive, with villas and a few hotels, is Mustique, offering privacy, luxury and a country-club atmosphere for the rich and famous. To partake in local life, head for friendly little Bequia. Its villagey capital, Port Elizabeth, is set at the back of pretty, yacht-filled Admiralty Bay, and the island has excellent beaches, some good restaurants and laid-back bars.
St Vincent and the Grenadines has just been announced as an air bridge partner for Britain, meaning tourists can visit without quarantine at either end or any restrictions. So wherever you choose to stay, your time can be spent soaking up the glorious scenery and making full use of everything on offer. Be sure to make a trip to the Tobago Cays, a cluster of uninhabited islands in a coral reef lagoon offering fantastic snorkelling and swimming with turtles.
This luxurious, all-suite resort is situated on Canouan, between the larger islands of St Vincent and Grenada. Tranquility abounds and the vibe is relaxed and unhurried. Bright pink tones contrast beautifully with the blue sky, sea and pools, while dining areas have a contemporary Caribbean-with-a-hint-of-LA vibe, particularly Romeo restaurant's bright yellow banquettes, white tables and navy blue chairs. Four more restaurants are scattered around the Canouan Estate, which hotel guests are invited to use, and you're expertly looked after by a personal butler from the moment you arrive. Facilities include gorgeous Godhal Beach, a much-Instagrammed infinity pool, three tennis courts, a kids' club and a beautiful spa. There are 26 suites and seven luxurious hillside villas to choose from.
The little island of Bequia is one of the Caribbean's unspoiled pearls and if you want an upmarket hotel with a full range of facilities, this is the only option as most of the other properties are private homes. The hotel sits directly behind Friendship Bay beach, a 500-yard arc of soft golden sand backed by palms and seagrapes, with a cluster of fishing boats at one end. Fleshing out the retro-chic style are fetching 1950s poster-style prints of Miami, Cuba and the hotel in bedrooms, prettily painted wooden cabanas by the main swimming pool, and wrought-iron lime green benches in the grounds. It ticks all the key boxes: fabulous beach, lovely grounds, comfy bedrooms and good food.
Mustique sits in The Grenadines island chain between Bequia and Canouan. The Cotton House is located on the northern end of the island, close to Endeavour Bay, and occupies the site of a former sugar mill and cotton warehouse. Spread around six separate buildings, the choice of cottages, rooms and suites is complex, but all come decorated in light and uplifting hues and feature four-poster beds and verandas. At the heart of the hotel is the elegant Great Room – juggle your dates to be here for the terrific complimentary cocktail party held on its wooden decks every Tuesday night, attended by virtually everyone on the island. All meals are à la carte, served al fresco in the Veranda Restaurant with lawn and sea views. There’s a private pool, and the beach is just a stroll away.
This spacious all-inclusive resort is pretty much a private island, located just a 10-minute complimentary boat transfer from Union Island. It’s surprisingly large, with five beaches, four walking trails and a handful of inland lagoons. The hotel’s overall style is beach-chic, and though the standard Palm View Rooms are a little dated, most have plenty of space, a partial sea view and are just steps from the beach. Superior Beachfront Rooms are a firm favourite with guests and offer direct access to the beach. The hotel has two restaurants; the beachside Royal Palm Restaurant and Sunset Grill, plus a small yet intimate spa, refreshing pool with a small waterfall, and plenty of non-motorised water sports to try for free.
It’s hard to find fault with the private island location of this pristine resort, the southernmost island in St Vincent and the Grenadines. PSV, as it’s known locally, is ruggedly chic, high-end, yet incredibly low-key. The main restaurant and reception have a hilltop feel, while the beach restaurant and private hammocks are more in keeping with the relaxed, seafront location. Rooms here are really made for lingering. While no two of the 21 cottages and villas are identical, each has walls made up entirely of sliding glass doors so that you can completely let the outside in. Butlers are at your service and the spa has some talented therapists. In line with the resort’s ethos, there is no Wi-Fi in the rooms and access is only available in the small area near reception.
This hotel looks absolutely gorgeous, with its gingerbread-style pale-blue cottages overlooking lawns dotted by palms and hammocks. It’s situated on the delightful little Grenadines island of Bequia, looking out over yacht-filled Admiralty Bay. Directly in front of the hotel lies a protected sandy beach. The charming waterfront Belmont Walkway runs from here alongside the bay, past enticing bars, cafés and restaurants, to Port Elizabeth, Bequia's gently bustling capital. A fresh, contemporary style seeps through the 22 rooms, suites and villas, with the majority of accommodation in stand-alone cottages. There's an irregular-shaped pool behind the informal, open-air bar-restaurant, and kayaks and snorkelling equipment are available to use without charge.
Contributions by Fred Mawer, Amanda Statham, Nigel Tisdall and Penny Walker