24-Hour Room Service: Petit St Vincent, The Grenadines
Saturday 14 January 2006
Today, luxury hotels seem to be rated by the size of the plasma-screen TVs, the speed of the WiFi, and the softness of the pillows. This isn't the case at the Caribbean resort of Petit St Vincent. Here, the luxury is the setting and the seclusion.
The diminutive island resort in the Grenadines, (less than a third of the size of Hyde Park) promises no TVs, telephones or even air conditioning, which made me rather anxious as I approached on a stormy boat-ride with my mother in tow. However, there was little time to worry as we were whisked from boat to jetty to private cottage by golf cart, cocktails in hand.
There are just 22 guest cottages sprinkled over the island; ours was on a beautiful stretch of the Atlantic, with its own beachfront, decked patio and garden. Others are burrowed into the hills with dazzling views of the southern Caribbean.
Each room features floor-to-ceiling sliding windows and natural ventilation from the sea air, which flows through slatted wooden shutters.
We woke each morning to an unsurpassable view: sea dappled the colours of a peacock's tail, tropical flora and fauna, and some mornings, the owners' six labradors. With views like this, there was no need for technological distraction.
Petit St Vincent, St Vincent and the Grenadines (00 1 954 963 7401; www.psvresort.com). The island is the most southerly of St Vincent's Grenadines, forming part of the Windward archipelago.
Time from international airport: You'll need some rest and relaxation after the journey. The easiest route is via Barbados, from where PSV is an hour's flight to neighbouring Union Island, and a 30-minute private boat-ride from there; there is no airport on the island. The hotel can arrange flights to and from Union Island and boat transfers are included in the room rate.
ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY?
Cottages have a large airy bedroom, sitting room, two bathrooms and an outside dining area. If the short walk from your cottage to meals on the pavilion seems a little taxing, a golf cart will pick you up; or you can have it delivered to your terrace. Literature is provided in each bedroom (ours had books to identify the constellations and local fauna).
The most you'll have to do is decide which stretch of beach - Caribbean, Atlantic or "West End" - to relax on, but there's a fitness trail and tennis court if all that lying around seems too sybaritic, and massages can be arranged.
Keeping in touch: Room service is communicated by bamboo flagpoles outside each cottage, and beside the beach palapas, so when you want lunch, cocktails or a lift, you fill out a form, stick it in a tube and hoist the yellow flag. And if you don't want to be disturbed, the red flag. Maps are provided to navigate the island.
Freebies: Everything but alcohol and motorised water-sports is included. Rancé toiletries, mosquito coils, fabric wash and stamps are also thrown in.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Cottages from $740 (£411), full board. British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com) flies from Gatwick to Barbados from £621 and Grenadine Airlines (00 1 784 4584380; www.mustique.com) from there to Union Island.
I'm not paying that: Young Island, (00 1 800 223 1108; www.youngisland.com), off the coast of St Vincent (northern Grenadines), is where the cast and crew of Pirates of the Caribbean stayed. Cottages from $175 (£97), room only.
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