The opening of the £100-million Pink Sands Club resort has done much to elevate the perception of the minute Canouan Island, but it’s by no means the only luxurious spot in which to while away a week or two in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Below are five superb resorts and villas in which to enjoy a quintessential Caribbean getaway.
Bequia Beach Hotel
Framed in tranquil gardens, this Swedish-owned four-star resort sits beside the gentle waters of Friendship Bay, with 60 rooms furnished with a nostalgia for the grand old days of travel – the most spacious are the Penthouse Suite Hideaway and the four-bedroom Estate Villa. This winter, the hotel will be running the popular Jack’s Beach Bar on the island’s best sands, Princess Margaret Beach.
Bequia’s renown as a secret escape for the peace-seeking wealthy is epitomised by the many fabulous villas hidden away in its hills. In the lofty peaks of Friendship Heights, six-bedroom Mangwana is a spectacular example designed by Riba-award-winning British architect Jake Edgley. Clinging to a 45-degree slope with astonishing views over the Grenadines island chain, its style is contemporary Moorish, with 16ft doors, an elegant central pool and a walled garden. Every guest room comes with a private balcony.
Don’t be seduced by Mustique’s reputation as a favourite getaway for rock stars and royalty. The key reason for its enduring appeal is that it is a truly beautiful island with dream sands and more to do than you think – horseriding, walking trails, tennis, not to mention some chi-chi shops and an Ila spa. Set beside a sheltered beach bordered with lawns and lily ponds, The Cotton House is a quietly pampering boutique hotel and social hub (don’t miss the Tuesday-night cocktail party) with 17 colonial-style rooms, including nine suites, that work well for both couples and families with young children.
Mustique has more than 100 villas in architectural styles that range from exquisite Oliver Messel gems to overblown Roman palatial to white-on-white minimalist shrine. Designed by the Italian architect Paolo Piva, Hummingbird is one that can’t fail to impress, with its cool looks and master-of-the-universe proportions. Set on a hillside with eight acres of leafy grounds, this open-plan, three-level contemporary residence comes with six bedrooms plus a guest cottage with a private lap pool, a state-of-the-art media room, seven staff including a chef and butler, and three “mules” (four-wheel-drive buggies) for getting around the island.
Petit St Vincent
It’s all about castaway dreams on this 115-acre sanctuary reached by boat from Union Island. Spacious and stone-built, the 22 luxury cottages and two-bedroom beachfront villas come without TV, phone or Wi-Fi and you’ll have to raise a yellow flag to summon the butler. With almost two miles of white-sand beaches, plus a Balinese spa, yoga, watersports and a Jean-Michel Cousteau dive centre, this is a definitive one-stop island, ideal for romance and a complete switch-off from the world.