AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO MUSTIQUE
The local catchphrase is “What happens in Mustique, stays in Mustique” but we wanted to give you the inside scoop on the private island’s most interesting quirks to pique your interest for this secluded Caribbean paradise…
The island keeps things local with its own fleet of 18-seater Twin Otter aircrafts which run daily connections from Saint Lucia. The swift 30-minute flight provides guests with stunning views of the Grenadine archipelago when you’re flying 3500-feet above the ocean with everything in perfect view.
During high season, additional connecting flights are also available from Barbados. Adding to their impressive level of hospitality, they’ll coordinate charter flights as close to international arrival times as possible to make sure you get maximum time on the island.
The most common mode of transport once you’ve landed are small buggies known as mules which can be hired for exploring. The roads are all very narrow and uneven with a lot of dirt roads which adds to the authentic island experience.
Choose from Cotton House hotel or the island’s portfolio of private villas complete with on- site staff. Hummingbird is a highlight—a three-floor contemporary villa with six spacious en- suite bedrooms, a guest cottage and plenty of social space. Alternatively, live like royalty at Princess Margaret’s former holiday home, Les Jolies Eaux.
The Cotton House
You won’t need to spend hours researching and booking restaurants as there’s a small but accommodating range of options. As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth anyway. From the thirst-quenching smoothies at the Ice Cream Parlour to the sophisticated a la carte menu at The Veranda Restaurant, you’ll find something for every occasion.
For casual dining, the Beach Café situated on Endeavour Bay, 10-feet away from the beach and Cotton House jetty. The bar and cafe have a laid-back atmosphere with beautiful ocean scenery, perfect for long leisurely lunches under the shade of the palm trees. Tuck into fresh local seafood and don’t miss the BBQ every Saturday, which coaxes residents from the privacy of their villas.
In the evening, head to Basil’s landmark bar. Sunday is the most unmissable night of the week, with live sunset jazz that gets people on their feet dancing. After you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a table to dine on freshly grilled lobster or handmade pizzas.
For the ultimate off-piste experience, head to Lagoon Beach for a bespoke picnic prepared by a chef from your villa or hotel. There’s a number of picnic huts so you can catch some shade from the midday sun, while volleyball nets are set up nearby. All the huts are located 20-feet away from the ocean and depending on the hut you are visiting, only five minutes away from Gelliceux which was best known for Princess Margaret’s beach.
The island trades in US dollars and Eastern Caribbean dollars. There are no cash machines on the island so make sure you bring enough with you, but should you need any extra, visit the ‘human cash machine’ Beverly Fields who has worked at Mustique’s on-site office for 37 years and keeps a limited supply.
Environment and sustainability
Driving around Mustique is nothing like driving around a normal town. You’ll find yourself stopping for the island’s ubiquitous tortoises crossing the road more than you will for pedestrians. Early morning and early afternoon are the best times to see them as they tend to hide away in the evenings.
Such is the respect the residents have for these animals, amongst other species, that they have a specially formed Environmental Programme and Committee to protect the Mustique Conservation Area. Lobster fishing is restricted to preserve their numbers, turtle hatchlings are nurtured and plastic usage is kept to a minimum.
Many people who live in the residential areas of Mustique and the surrounding islands of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines are either employed by the company, or a member of their family is. Not only does this ensure that local economy remains central to the island’s history, but it also maintains the welcoming sense of community. The Mustique Company also have an office on Saint Vincent which employs 75 people, meaning any issues while you’re there are resolved efficiently within the same time zone.
Jeanette Cadet, Mustique ambassador, is originally from Saint Vincent but has resided on the island for the last 36 years. She features on one of our exclusive shorts, Bulldog Mustique Mystique, in an image shot by the acclaimed photographer Slim Aarons and remembers the day the photograph was taken very vividly.