Of all the getaways in the Caribbean, perhaps none conjures as much glamour as Mustique island.
Sure, St. Barts attracts the rich and Turks & Caicos draws the famous. But Mustique beats them all by serving as a second home getaway to the coolest kids in class - rock stars and royalty.
Who doesn’t want to see Mick Jagger or David Bowie hanging at Basil’s Beach Bar? Or for that matter, Prince William (Mustique first garnered its golden glow in the 60s, when resident Princess Margaret made it a jet-set getaway).
Unless you rent one of their villas (Bryan Adam’s home, Point Lookout, goes for $14,000 a week – and that’s low season), the only way to stay on Mustique is to get a room at the Cotton House. At $615 per night, that was a little out of our budget.
(The island’s other accommodation, Firefly, is even more dear: nightly rates in the 5-room all-inclusive guest house start at $850. But with its own champagne club – drink all eight champagne cocktails and get a polo shirt! – it sounds a little looser than most upscale resorts).
We could swing a daytrip, however. For $85, FantaSea tours would take us from St. Vincent to Mustique for the day, bring us snorkeling and then drop us off in Bequia (which was our next destination anyway). Plus we could drink as much rum punch as we wanted. Sold!
We had great weather for our sail over, although we took some Dramamine, just in case. Our companions were a British group of seniors on tour with Saga. The first part of the tour resembled an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, as we viewed celebrity villas from the sea.
Tommy Hilfiger’s multi-villa compound seemed the most glam, until we realized that Jagger’s property included several homes, including one that he gave to his ex-wife Jerry Hall.
We docked at Basil’s, and hopped into an open air taxi to take a tour of the island. Honestly, Mustique’s interior was not very impressive. The manicured grounds looked more like a Florida country club than a beautiful wild Caribbean island (minus the private airstrip).
The island is managed by the Mustique Company, which also controls the water and electric supply, and collects taxes. Our taxi driver told us that the company was generously paternalistic: all children of Company employees attend classes on the island until they reach high school age, at which point, they receive a free boarding school education in St. Vincent’s as well as a guaranteed job on Mustique when they graduate.
Then we turned on to Macaroni Beach and I understood the appeal. Gorgeous white sand, roaring surf and utter privacy. A couple canoodling on Macaroni looked nervous when our group approached, and I wondered if they were celebs enjoying a paparazzi-free getaway.
After a quick snorkel around the bay, we ended up at Basil’s where we shared a club sandwich and chatted up some fellow barflys, all of them sailors rather than singers. A couple from South Africa detailed their cruise around the world, which made Don and I yearn for a yacht.
At the end of the day, we trundled back to Bequia – which, with its steeper mountains, lusher foilage and Grenadine views, seemed like a better deal. So we checked into our $95 per night resort feeling pretty good. We may never have the bucks to become Basil’s regulars, but we were still able to find a beachfront haven – without breaking the bank.
Want more Grenadines? Read about our Tobago Cays daysail on the Friendship Rose here
Interested in other celeb hotspots? Read my Turks & Caicos trip report here.