St. Vincent: Petit St. Vincent
Part of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World collection, this remote, all-inclusive 115-acre private-island resort at the southern tip of the Grenadine Islands delivers full-on luxury.
Petit St. Vincent (PSV) is legendary within travel circles for its stunning and secluded one- and two-bedroom villas, for the five-star service and food, and for not changing a damned thing in 50 years, including its signature flag system for room service.
Vibe: While the air conditioning and the Balinese spa may be new, the vibe is still strictly 1960s, a delicate balance of luxury and nature, of old-school charm and posh amenities. The lo-fi nature of the place well suits the unstuffy attitude of the guests despite the cost. The cast of characters is well-heeled for sure.
Rooms: The 22 private cottages at Petit St. Vincent have a rustic feel—brick walls, exposed ceilings with fans, wooden lamps, sideboards a bit tacky from the varnish and the humidity. It’s island living with a dash of ritz and a ton of aircon—or not: Two walls of a spacious living room open out onto my private veranda overlooking the ocean. Guests are attended by butlers who drive little mini jeeps around the property, bringing you lunch or fresh towels or bottles of rosé, whatever you want.
F&B: At both the multi-terraced main pavilion and the toes-in-the-sand beach restaurant, I devour melt-in-my-mouth tuna ceviche and beautifully grilled snapper. The kitchen grows as much of its own food as possible. Besides the chef garden, there are eggs from organic chickens and banana, almond, papaya and citrus trees. You can also request a picnic and enjoy it anywhere on the island, beach or bluff, or ask for a little spot on the beach to be set up for a romantic dinner for two.
Extras: The Jean-Michel Cousteau Caribbean Diving Center is a sister branch of the diving legend’s famous scuba program in Fiji. The team opens visitors up to about 20 dive sites, all within a relatively short distance of the main pier.
Off-Site: After a ride on the Petit St. Vincent sailboat the Beauty on a day excursion to nearby Tobago Cays Marine Park, a five-island grouping about an hour’s sail away, I snorkel the reef and then spot a turtle the size of an ottoman. No guff.