Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines: Solitude Is the Ultimate Luxury
Upon arriving at this private island resort, a vintage Mini Moke whisks you to your bungalow, where a staffer explains the system: If you need anything at all — breakfast in bed, some daiquiris, a massage — slide a note into a mailbox and raise a yellow flag; within minutes, one of the many attendants cruising the 115-acre island will notice it and fetch whatever you need. If privacy is what you want, raise the red flag — as long as it flies, no one will bother you. That staffer could just be the last person you see for days.
People have been heading to Petit St. Vincent to disappear since it opened in 1968. Located in the southeast corner of the Caribbean, about 40 miles south of St. Vincent, the resort has 22 one- and two-bedroom cottages (from $1,100). The simple structures are made from stone quarried on the island and have a mod, Connery-era James Bond vibe. Some are on the beach, others perched atop rocky cliffs or tucked into the hills, but all offer almost total seclusion. There are hammocks but no WiFi, televisions, or phones — almost nothing to distract from the sounds of birdcalls, crashing surf, and trade winds that blow across the Atlantic and over the islands. (The hotel's office has cell service, though.)
The island has two miles of sandy white beaches, as well as a network of trails through lush mountains. And you don't have to be a hermit to enjoy yourself: There are two open-air yoga pavilions and a hillside spa nestled among the trees. Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques, runs a scuba center. Kayaks, Hobie Cats, and fishing gear are available free of charge, and a 49-foot sloop is on hand to take you snorkeling among turtles off the protected, impossibly bright reefs at nearby Tobago Cays Marine Park.
If room service gets old, take your meals at the bar or two restaurants. As for entertainment, once a week the property sets up a movie screen on the beach and shows a classic Hollywood film. Guests sit in canvas director's chairs, sip cocktails, and munch on buttered popcorn as the screen luffs gently in the breeze. This is what passes for nightlife on Petit St. Vincent.
Distance from Airport: From Barbados, fly 55 minutes to Union Island, then take a 20-minute boat ride.
Best Time to Go: November–March