Serene and Peaceful: Petite St Vincent
No airport, no phones, no formal check-in, no keys, no television…PSV is best described by what it is not: A place to go in order to remain connected to this wonderfully connected 24/7 world we’ve created for ourselves. Nope, PSV is about one thing and one thing only: Tranquility. And in today’s world that can be hard to find-then again, so can PSV. Getting there requires a flight to Barbados, then an island hopper to Union Island, followed by a quick boat trip. Not to worry though, once you arrive on this 113-acre privately owned hideaway in the Caribbean chain of islands called the Grenadines, you will be greeted with a Pina Colada, and the travel will seem worth it. PSV is completely surrounded by secluded white sand beaches, clear turquoise water and shallow reefs.
Its 22 cottages are scattered over the island’s hills, cliff tops and beaches. The only way around the boutique island is by golf cart or by walking. The cottages, built with native stone quarried from the island, are spacious and open with terracotta floors and wood ceilings. If you want service, just raise the yellow flag outside your cottage and place your order next to it – an attendant will bring you whatever your heart desires within half an hour. For honeymooners who want undisturbed privacy, simply raise the red flag. If you need to ask if your Blackberry still works here, you’ve chosen the wrong island for your vacation.
The shallow reefs surrounding PSV are home to colored fish and large turtles. Complimentary snorkel equipment is available for all guests in addition to the small sailing fleet of Hobie Cats, Sunfish, windsurfers and glass bottom kayaks at the dock house. The speedboat Jahash or Jambalaya, a new sailboat, are available to charter for a day of snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing or exploring nearby islands.
There is also a lighted tennis court surrounded by fragrant flowers and bushes where guests can play during the cooler hours of the day. Or pamper yourself with a facial or Swedish massage.
Meals are served in your cottage or the main pavilion looking out on the harbor where guests can socialize. The cuisine includes fresh seafood and meats from the resort’s Boston butcher. If you would like, the staff can prepare a gourmet picnic meal complete with china and linens for you and your guest.
Rates: $585 to $910 per night, including food. There are also honeymoon packages and summer rates of approximately $3900 double occupancy for a week. Children welcome.
Tel: (954) 963-7401
Tel: (800) 654-9326
Fax: (954) 963-7402
The Boutique Experience: The House
If trendy travel is what you seek, try “The House,” located on the west coast of Barbados. The destination is perfect for youthful and young celebrities (like Alicia Keys) that prefer boutique hotels over boutique islands such as PSV. The House blends chic design and minimalist grace with the essence of the Caribbean. Upon arrival you are given a complimentary half-hour massage and assigned your Personal Ambassador, who will make sure that your stay is all you desire.
All 31 rooms, overlooking sand and sea, include air conditioning, bath tub and shower with a variety of Molton Brown products. Each suite also boasts 100% Egyptian cotton linen, feather bed, pillows and duvet, cable television, a tea kettle, hairdryer, mini-fridge, Espresso Machine, candles and a personal safe.
The hotel sits on a stretch of sandy coast with complimentary beach services including fruit, cool towels, spritzers, massage, and drink service—perfect for soaking up the sun with that someone special. Water sports are complimentary and there is a fitness room and swimming pool on the property.
Rates: $1700 per night during the high season, $600 per night during the low season. Special wedding and honeymoon packages are available.
Tel: (246) 432-5525
Fax: (246) 432-5255
Loud and Raucous: ‘Jump Up’ on Kadooment Day
When in Barbados, do as the Bajans. And if you are there in the end of July / beginning of August, that means Crop Over festival. These summer months are when the country celebrates its cultural heritage with festivals throughout the island. The festival’s roots can be traced to the 1780’s, when Barbados was the world’s leading producer of sugar. As the sugar industry waned, so did the festival, and it was eventually terminated in the 1940’s. But Crop Over was revived in 1974 and has been going strong ever since. During the five-week-long festival travelers can experience a myriad of Barbadian traditions, including folk concerts and art exhibitions.
Cohobblopot is one of the festival’s must-attend events. This carnival regularly features the most popular calypso performers and bands playing to packed audiences. Calypso is a huge part of Crop Over and the many performers compete for titles such as Party Monarch, the Road March Monarch and Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch. The semifinals for this competition are held on the East Coast Road, where performers showcase their talents on a stage backed by the Atlantic Ocean. Fans bring picnics and sit on the hillsides to watch. The finals, where the titles are decided, are staged in the National Stadium.
The grand finale of Crop Over is the Grand Kadooment. This parade features costumed bands marching to calypso music, while the revelers in the street have nothing to worry about but having a good time. The parade makes its way from the National Stadium to Spring Garden, where the party continues with more music, great food and fantastic drinks. For some, the celebration isn’t complete without a swim at the nearby beach.
Barbados: Quick Guide
1. If you travel in August don’t miss “Crop Over Festival” and Kadooment Day—the biggest party day of the year
2. Barbados has maximum daily temperatures of 75 to 85 F year around.
3. Barbados achieved its independence from the British in 1966.
4. The 21 by 14 mile island has a population of approximately 254,000.
5. The island’s west coast is marked by the calm Caribbean sea and endless beaches,
while the east coast boasts Atlantic surf and rugged cliffs.
1. Daphne’s–just like the famous London established, except it’s located on the beach next to The House.
2. If you decide to venture out, talk to your concierge about local restaurants where you can try the national dish of Barbados: Flying Fish.