Accommodations at Petit St. Vincent include a collection of beach bungalows with modern furnishings.
// © 2014 Petit St. Vincent
Feature image (above): Atlantic Beach is just one sandy shore accessible to guests of the 115-acre private-island resort.
// © 2014 Petit St. Vincent
Petit St. Vincent, a small luxury resort in the Grenadines, is the perfect place to get away from it all.
There is no in-room Internet service or television, and cell phones are pretty much useless at this sand-encircled, 115-acre boutique resort on a private Grenadine island. Your world is blissfully confined to spectacular sunrises and sunsets, sprawling ocean views from your room and exquisite food. And let’s not forget that fruity drink you can get at Goatie’s, a new beach bar overlooking the aquamarine harbor and with Petite Martinique in the distance.
The resort, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has 22 cottages. Half are scattered about on bluffs, and the rest are located on the Atlantic beach below. You can play tennis, kayak or hike around the island. But your biggest daily decision could be which beach to hit — the wave-roiled Atlantic side or the calmer Caribbean option, a two-mile stretch of powdery sand. Both are good choices and never feel crowded, even in high season.
Want room service for meals, afternoon tea, a cocktail or a lift to the beach? Raise the yellow flag in front of your cottage or at your private palapas by shady beach groves; curl a request form into the bamboo tube below the flag; and a staffer will pick it up. Seeking privacy? Raise the red flag, which is the resort’s “do not disturb” signal.
My bluff-top cottage had unfettered views of the Atlantic and Sail Rock on the far horizon, the clear sight of which is said to signal a sunny day. Other features include a huge porch with hammock, lounge chairs and table and a mini-bar stocked with water, juice and local Hairoun beer.
The spacious interior has original stonewalls bathed by light from sliding glass doors and louvered windows. High-end amenities include Nespresso coffee machines, Italian 300-count linen, Mascioni towels and Bulgari toiletries. There is air conditioning, but leaving the windows open to invite in the constant sea breeze and comforting cadence of crashing waves below is a lovely, natural sleep aid.
The food at Petit St. Vincent is exquisite. Produce comes from the chef’s garden, with offerings such as lobster, snapper and swordfish. The resort also hosts regular barbecues as well as private beachside dinners with your own chef and waiter for the ultimate in romance.
The serenity of the place has kept generations of families returning for years since the late Hazen Richardson II opened this island resort in 1968. Bought in 2009 by Robin Paterson and Philip Stevenson, Petit St. Vincent retains the flavor and serenity of the original resort although many improvements were made, including adding the beach bar and outside dining area at the main building, renovating rooms and adding a treetop Balinese-managed luxury spa.
Coming up: By the end of 2014, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of legendary Jacques Cousteau, is opening a dive center on the island.
Guest loyalty is a huge factor in everything affecting the resort and the island, according to general manager Matt Semark. The new owners considered building residential homes on the island, but the project was abandoned when the owners asked guests for their opinion. It was thumbed down. Returning guests were also initially worried about the renovations Paterson and Stevenson made to their beloved destination.
“They spent some time stomping around to make sure we hadn’t destroyed their island,” Semark said. “We’d ask them nervously, ‘Is it OK?’ And they said it was.”