Grenadines for all?
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
With the exciting announcement that we are soon to get a direct flight from London Heathrow to St Vincent with Virgin Atlantic, this brings a whole new destination to the UK market, that has until now, been quite tricky to visit, in the past as when I travelled to the Grenadines, you had to fly into Barbados. Overnight, before taking an onward flight to St Vincent, the same applied on the return, this isn't as such an issue; however, it increases the stress of missing a flight, if cancelled, of course, adding 2 nights to your holiday.
It's now possible to have a 2 or indeed, 3 centre holiday if you like? Or spend your holiday in one destination.
The Grenadines are made up of 32 emerald-clad volcanic islands makeup St Vincent and the Grenadines which stud the azure waters of the Caribbean, west of Barbados. Known for their untouched beauty, natural landscapes and tranquillity, these south-eastern Windward Islands provided the picture-perfect setting for scenes from the popular Pirates of the Caribbean films. Rainforest eco-adventures, scuba diving and powdery white-sand beaches are just some of the unmissable attractions of this multi-island nation filled with character and charm.
The Grenadines are unspoilt and now sufficiently accessible. On these gorgeous islands, the nightlife is traded in for peace and solitude and dress codes – like the lifestyle – range from informal to barefoot casual.
For this blog post, I will focus on 2 destinations, the island of Bequia, and Young Island, both I have visited within a wider trip of the islands.
Bequia would require an onward flight from St Vincent to the north in the map below.
Bequia Island, found just south of St Vincent's mainland, is home to the tropically-located Bequia Beach Hotel. Surrounded by greenery and with a secluded beach all of its own, the hotel has been called a “stunning oasis of peace” and the “jewel” of the Grenadines. It reflects the small, relatively undiscovered nature of Bequia itself: intimate, boutique, and the perfect relaxing choice for your luxury holiday to St Vincent & the Grenadines.
Just like the island that it inhabits, Bequia Beach Hotel is a stunning oasis of peace. Located on the tranquil island of Bequia, which lies nine miles west of Mustique, it has a unique, magical charm that’s hard to find anywhere else in the Caribbean.
Relatively undiscovered and with only 4,900 inhabitants, Bequia remains unspoiled and retains its old-world charm with no large tourist resorts or shopping malls, earning it the often-used description of the ‘jewel’ in the Grenadines.
This boutique hotel and villas has its own secluded beach area and is surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. Bequia Beach Hotel provides a friendly and relaxing atmosphere and comprises 11 spacious suites, 11 classic pool and ocean view rooms, six villas and a penthouse suite. Each room is tastefully furnished in bespoke, colonial style with elegant, bright interiors and terraces with sun loungers, and most enjoy wonderful views over the pool and the Caribbean Sea. Though it is the most amenity-laden hotel on the island, Bequia Beach Hotel is still delightfully intimate; the rooms, suites and villas are widely distributed amongst beachfront and palm-lined walkways, meaning that every guest can delight in having their own space.
Overlooking pretty Friendship Beach. • air-conditioning • mini-fridge • tea and coffee making facilities • private terrace • TV (available on request) • Wi-Fi • 65m²
The natural environment is important to Bequia Beach. The hotel strives to retain its beauty by undertaking a range of environmentally responsible practices that include growing its own fruit and vegetables, using local products, cleaning the beaches daily and using solar power to generate hot water.
I loved Bequia, the main town Port Elizabeth, is like travelling back to the Caribbean 50+ years ago, it's very safe, the police come to the island every other month! When I was staying on the island I had to visit the bank, this was entertaining; it has no glass in the windows, you also have a small section of dual carriageway, this doesn't actually go anywhere, the people are lovely, welcoming and polite, a fun fact, most of the 4,900 inhabitants are descendants of Scottish pirates, from the 1790s to that end, a lot of the locals are very light-skinned, red-haired. Then you have all the Scottish surnames; it's a fun conversation starter with the locals. I loved the island; a local taxi can be a trailer on the back of a tractor!
If you are after the polished Caribbean its not the location I feel for you, however, if you are looking for an authentic experience with insanely welcoming locals, and the relaxed chilled out life, then Bequia is for you. It also makes for a great stop for a few days if you happen to be staying on a crewed yacht. It's highly recommended.
The next resort is Young Island, its completely different to Bequia, to start with it's located just off the coast of St Vincent, so after your flight, you have a brief boat ride across the bay to Young Island.
This private island just off the coast of St Vincent has watersports, great food and a boutique feel.
British Governor, Sir William Young exchanged his horse for this leafy Grenadines island nearly 300 years ago, and its name has stuck ever since. The eponymous and only hotel here is an exclusive retreat nestled in 13 acres of tropical palms and jasmine – it’s Robinson Crusoe-esque but never feels too remote, as you’re only 200 metres and a three-minute private ferry ride from St Vincent’s southern shoreline. Expect excellent service and a boutique vibe, with a 3:1 staff to guest ratio and just 29 cottages.
Luxury Room with Plunge Pool Luxury Rooms have a separate sitting room and a large private terrace. Selected rooms have private plunge pools. • Air-conditioning (available on request) • king-size bed • ceiling fan • fridge • sitting area • patio • private plunge pool (selected rooms)
These cottages are dotted along the beach or on the hillside and enjoy plenty of natural sunlight, with rustic-chic features like wicker furniture, signature wooden blinds, local artwork and open-air garden showers. For a separate sitting room and a spacious private terrace, we’d recommend upgrading to a Luxury Room – some even come with a plunge pool. Follow the path to cottage #15 for the spa, where you can enjoy a Couples Special package of aromatherapy massages, bubbly and chocolate fondue with local fruit bites.
A stay on Young Island is designed to be restful and romantic, but there’s still plenty to do – head to the beach for complimentary watersports including kayaking and snorkelling. Dining is just as laid-back, in open-air thatched-roof huts near the beach – make a reservation to enjoy everything from freshly caught fish and lobster to local fruit and vegetables, before working your way through six flavours of freshly baked bread including banana, cinnamon and coconut. Enjoy the signature Coconut Delight Cocktail at the swim-up Coconut Bar and a sundowner at the quintessentially Caribbean Captain Bligh Lounge & Bar.
I really enjoyed staying on the island, although it can on occasions be a little nosy from the main island of St Vincent; however, it's just so relaxing. It's also so laid back, I loved the beach, and the staff really made the stay, it's not what I would call polished 5 stars, however, it's for sure worth a stay, again it could be a single centre, or maybe twined with another island, such as Bequia mentioned above.
For more details and any questions, please contact me directly.