Hard to believe it’s been 60 years since Mustique began a transformation that turned it from a barren spot in the Grenadines to a private island frequented by the jet-set. Its laid back chic has very much remained intact since Scotsman Colin Tenant purchased it in 1958 and enticed the likes of Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger. Even the pandemic hasn’t changed it much. Mustique has worked hard to remain Covid-free, with a stringent pre- and post-arrival testing policy, as well as social distancing for the first 48 hours. After you test negative on the island, you can go maskless, while respecting social distance.
Cigars can be puffed on the veranda outside the impressive Great Room Bar. The space is filled with the photographs and mementos of a mythical past, when it was a playground for the glitterati, who would party all night at the legendary Basil’s Bar on Britannia Bay.
Today, the vibe is more serene, though you may spot a royal or a rock star at the newly renovated Basil’s, at the Cotton House or at Firefly’s, another small hotel.
This unspoiled nature preserve, reached by short flight from St. Lucia or Barbados, covers 2.2 square miles and comprises nine different beaches to comb. The days move at a leisurely pace with activities that include beach picnics, tennis, snorkeling, horseback riding, hiking and more. Golfers can shuttle over to neighboring Canouan and play the Grenadines Estate Golf Club.
“Mustique is like no other island in the world,” says Tatiana Copeland, who built Toucan Hill, a fantastical Moroccan palace, atop the island’s tallest peak. It is one of dozens of fully staffed private residences in a range of sizes, styles and prices that are available for rent. Otherwise you can book one of the Cotton House Hotel’s 15 suites and cottages set among the estate’s 13 acres on the shores of Endeavour Bay, where fine dining is available at Veranda restaurant or barefoot beach fare can be had at the Beach Café. There’s even a full-service spa. Firefly’s offers a handful of rooms to rent as well.
“I want you to be able to really disconnect from the rest of the world,” Copeland says, summing up the island’s sense of escape. “What’s the point of coming to Mustique otherwise?”