It’s unlikely you have heard of Petit St Vincent, but you ought to have. This exclusive James-Bond-style private island – think Daz-white beaches, paisley turquoise and blue seas and a scattering of hand-crafted bungalows – is part of the southern Caribbean’s Grenadine island chain. Accessible only by a tiny propeller plane, then a speed boat, even the journey there makes you feel like you’re on a secret mission. But once you’ve arrived, your assignment is all but done. From there on out, your job is simple: just unwind. Be it by snorkelling, sleeping in your bungalow’s hammock or relaxing on your private beach.
Petit St Vincent, or PSV as it’s more commonly known, is located on the southern tip of the Grenadines (a string of 32 idyllic archipelagos). To get there you’ll have to fly from London to Barbados then hop on a propeller plane to take a 50-minute ride to Union Island, which is followed by a 25-minute boat journey. Opposite the island is the equally enchanting-looking Petit Martinique, known for boat building and home to around 900 inhabitants. If you feel like checking it out, PSV’s staff will be happy to ship passengers to and surrounding islands to explore.
PSV is made up of 22 bungalows (six two-bed and 16 one-bed), all of which were hand-crafted by the original founders back in the 60s. The West Indian-inspired cottages, which resemble something you might find in the Lake District, are spread generously across the 115-acre island. Some sit at the top of bluffs wrapped in colourful flowers and shrubbery, while others are placed lower down and have their own private beaches. But each bungalow, made from bluebitch stone from the island’s quarry, has been cleverly designed to merge into the surrounding landscape.
Inside, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors treat you to views of the ocean from almost every corner – even the shower. Cottages are open-plan, airy and but not overly pompous.
The interior design is a mixture of natural colours representing the environment – think green, cream and subtle blues. Cottages are air conditioned and come with king-sized beds, Bose iPod docking stations, Nespresso coffee machines, Italian linens and freshly-baked cookies that are delivered daily.
Outside you’ll find a sprawling wooden deck and hammock – ideal for unwinding with a book. PSV is a semi digital detox (there’s one spot near the bar in the main building where you can log on to upload emergency IG pictures) so you don’t have wifi or a TV in your bungalow. Instead, nature and the sound of the sea swishing against the shore is your entertainment.
But perhaps PSV’s biggest selling point is its exceptional room service, which is unique in itself. To order breakfast, you must pop a form (found in your bungalow) into a bamboo pigeon hole outside your accommodation then raise the yellow flag. Staff members drive around the island in Mini Mokes looking for orders – be it extra towels, breakfast orders or re-fills of the mini-bar.
The staff at PSV seem to be there whenever you need them, wherever you are. Service is something that’s not taken lightly (PSV has three staff to every one guest) to ensure the guest experience surpasses anything else you’d find in the Caribbean – and it does. You can have your lunch, or
And for those more inclined to stay active on holiday, despite only being the size of 50-odd football pitches, PSV will keep you busy. It has a dive centre run by Jean-Michel Cousteau (Jacques Cousteau’s son), free to use kayaks, snorkelling, deep sea fishing, kite surfing and regular trips operated to Tobago Cays where you can go swimming with sea turtles.
The island also has its own luxury spa and regular yoga classes, which you can book onto in the main reception. Then there are tennis courts and a walking trail, plus Boris-bike that are dotted around the island and are the best way to get from A to B.
Food and drink 5/5
The island has two restaurants, which aren’t hard to miss. The main restaurant, located above a long, curved staircase, has an á la carte menu that changes daily and caters to romantic or family dinners. Guests are able to dine inside or out on the terrace overlooking the sea. With a 4500-bottle wine cellar and a variety of local rums from surrounding islands, you won’t be short of a tipple. But alcoholic beverages do come at extra cost (soft drinks and food is included in the price).
On the shore, opposite Petit Martinique Island, there’s a more casual beach bar – with rattan sun loungers, sunken sofas and postcard-worthy views – which caters to sandy-footed guests. Perfect if you’re looking to tuck into a no-nonsense burger or pizza. They also sell fresh seafood and cracking piña coladas.
Breakfast is perhaps the most impressive meal of the day on PSV. Delivered to your room at a time or your choosing (you can eat in the restaurant too if you’d prefer), the selection is wide-ranging – from chickpea, spinach and quinoa wraps, to local fish stew and continental classics like croissants. It ticks all the boxes, and so could you if you were hungry enough. So long as you make sure you fill out your multiple choice-style breakfast form the night before. If you forget, head down to the main restaurant.
PSV is unadulterated island luxury offered up in a non-pretentious way. Ideal for honeymooners or those with money and penchant for tranquillity. The vibe is friendly and laidback, and the service is as good as you’ll find anywhere in the world. It’s the type of island you’d imagine celebrities go to switch off and hideaway. It offers guests a remote getaway without having to sacrifice indulgences, like good food and wine. But perhaps one of the biggest selling points, which is potentially why the resort gets so much repeat custom, is the space and freedom it offers – you can go an entire stay without seeing another soul.
- Don’t forget to order breakfast to your room the night before
- Shut your windows and doors to prevent insects biting you in the night
- Make sure you wear shoes to hike up Marni Hill
- Keep a bike parked outside your bungalow to get around the island quicker
- Try a drink of Sunset rum at Goatie’s bar
Rates at Petit St. Vincent start from $1,200 (£870) per room per night. This rate includes three meals daily, all non-alcoholic beverages, the use of non-motorized water sports and all facilities at the resort.
For more information visit:www.petitstvincent.com
Virgin Atlantic flies daily from London Gatwick direct to Barbados with return fares from £528 per person, including complimentary food, drink and inflight entertainment. For further information visit: www.virginatlantic.com or call 0344 8747 747. This fare is available for selected departures during 2019. Prices given are correct as of today and are subject to change.