An Insider's Guide to Mustique

Contributed By Victoria Hawbecker

From the moment the wheels touch down on Mustique, you feel the stress of everyday life washes away. At only 3 miles long by 1.5 miles wide, this Caribbean gem is fringed by palm trees and white sand beaches.

Its interior has lush vegetation spread over a series of hills, valleys, and flatlands.  There are no traffic lights, street signs, litter, visible power lines, or mass tourism. Instead, you’ll find pure natural beauty with the most interesting collection of villas in the Caribbean. With a repeat guest rate of over 85%, it’s safe to say that there is something magical about this paradise.

Pierre Vincent Marais and his wife Isabelle holiday with friends at Gelliceaux House, their home on the island of Mustique in the Grenadines, February 1989. (Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images)
Pierre Vincent Marais and his wife Isabelle holiday with friends at Gelliceaux House, their home on the island of Mustique in the Grenadines, February 1989. (Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images)

Since the 1960s, Mustique has been an exclusive sanctuary for royalty, rockstars, celebrities, and heads of industry to relax in anonymity. Privacy and the tight security provided by the island are important to many of its guests.  However, the island can provide many social opportunities as well, including the weekly island-wide cocktail party, the tennis club, beaches, restaurants, and the occasional impromptu villa party. Choose the type of experience you desire and your travel advisor can help make it happen.

Best Time to Go to Mustique

A year-round destination, Mustique sits below the hurricane belt and has a warm climate with an average temperature range of 75 to 85 degrees throughout the year. The island is the most active during Thanksgiving, Spring Break, summer school holidays and the Festive holiday period.  There is also the legendary Mustique Blues Festival in late January and early February, when top international musicians come to play at Basil’s Bar.

Who Should Go

leave your dinner jacket and stilettos at home, escape the hustle and bustle of daily life

For those who appreciate the cachet of St. Barth’s but not desire a destination a little less traveled, Mustique is the perfect destination. Leave your dinner jacket and stilettos at home, escape the hustle and bustle of daily life to connect with nature in a luxurious way. Guests such as honeymooners, groups of couples or friends, families of all sizes, destination weddings or those celebrating a special occasion will delight in what the island has to offer.

How to get to Mustique

The island is part of the West Indies nation of St. Vincent & the Grenadines. It is about 100 miles west of Barbados. Fly to St. Lucia or Barbados (in high and mid-season) and then take a charter flight to Mustique. Flight times are 25 minutes from St. Lucia and 30 minutes from Barbados. Several new flight routes on Caribbean Air, Air Canada, and American Airlines to the new international airport in St. Vincent bring even more access to the region. To preserve the serenity of Mustique, private jets are not permitted to land on the island. Instead, it’s recommended to land on Canouan or St. Vincent and then take a charter flight to the island, which is about an 8-minute flight. You will be greeted by a staff member at the airport and whisked away to your villa or the hotel.

What to do in Mustique?

Exploring Mustique's shoreline is the perfect way to pass an afternoon
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Where to Stay on Mustique

French, Moroccan, Chinese, colonial plantation, Balinese, gingerbread, Roman, Georgian and contemporary – there is something for everyone.

To get true Mustique experience, renting a villa is highly suggested. The island has over 100 villas that are privately owned and managed by the Mustique Company. Most are available to rent for a week at a time and even shorter stays in the off-season. Each villa has its own unique style of architecture and interior design. From French, Moroccan, Chinese, colonial plantation, Balinese, gingerbread, Roman, Georgian, and contemporary – there is truly something for everyone. The villas range in size from two to eleven bedrooms and most of them have their own private pools.

Mustique's lush landscape, evident on the grounds of Clonsilla villa, will have you never wanting to leave
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All villas are staffed with a chef, housekeeper, butler, and gardener trained to treat you like a celebrity, even if you’re not! Some villas are located on the beachfront or have a short path to the beach while others are perched on the hillside, which offers breathtaking panoramic views and gentle breezes. No matter which location you choose, you are never far from the gorgeous beaches, village, dining options, and recreational activities on the island.

Unsure which villa is right for you? Here are some of my top suggestions!

Live Like a Princess: If you are a fan of “The Crown,” you’ll be interested to know Princess Margaret was gifted 10 acres on the island as a wedding present by founder Lord Glenconner. Her villa, Les Jolies Eaux, although no longer owned by her family, gives you the opportunity to experience what her surroundings were like on the island.

Once Princess Margaret's villa, Les Jolies Eaux will have you feeling like royalty, too

An Epicurean’s Paradise: The three-bedroom L’Ansecoy villa is owned by the proprietor of New York’s famous Le Bernardin. The villa’s chef has spent time honing her skills at the restaurant and serves meals that will delight any globetrotting foodie. The villa has a spacious ocean-side deck with ocean views and is perfect for entertaining.

Beach Bums: The six-bedroom exquisite Sunrise is placed on its own secluded beach.  It is also a short walk from the island’s famous Macaroni Beach.

Crowd Pleasers: Yemanja, which can be rented as a five or eight-bedroom villa, is set on 7 acres of gardens and has a hilltop location with stunning sea views.  The separate children’s corners make this a great choice for multi-generational travel.  For something smaller consider the three-bedroom Macaroni Beach House, which is perched above the beach of the same name.  The beach can be reached via the villa’s private Nature Trail. The two-bedroom Blue Waters is an Oliver Messel gem on the beachfront that is also very popular.

Best for a Large Group Celebration: Owned by Tommy Hilfiger, Palm Beach is an eight-bedroom, masterpiece located on 6 acres of beachfront.  It has been featured in many magazines and is a great choice for celebrating a special occasion.

Relax poolside at Tommy Hilfiger's villa, Palm Beach

Movie Buffs: If you love having family movie nights, the elegant four-bedroom Coccoloba has a 12-person screening room with stadium seating that makes for a fun evening of entertainment.

Modern Design: Hummingbird is a dramatic contemporary six-bedroom villa spread out on 8 acres of hillside on the southern portion of the island.  It has spectacular sunsets!

Loved by Celebrities: The six-bedroom Taliesin was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.  Spread out over three terraces the villa has a game room and entertainment room making it popular for parties.  It can also offer strict privacy, which celebrities often desire. Featured in Architectural Digest, the six-bedroom classic Plantation House, is the perfect hideaway on the island’s southern-most tip.

The Cotton House Hotel offers guests views you'll want to wake up to over and over again

The newly renovated Cotton House Hotel is an alternative to the villas especially for couples and small families.  It is a charming fifteen-room boutique hotel that was formerly a cotton warehouse.  It is set on the beachfront and has all the modern amenities one would expect.

How to Get Around on Mustique

The official way to get around the island is by Kawasaki mule, a golf cart that drives like an ATV. Each villa provides at least one as the island has very few cars.

Mustique Dining

You will have the opportunity to order groceries and have your villa stocked prior to your arrival. There are a small fish market and grocery store on the island. If you choose to dine in your villa, you can pick from sample menus created by your personal villa chef or ask them to make what you wish. If you meet people and spontaneously want to have a dinner party, your staff will make it happen.

There's no shortage of locally-grown goods to taste on the island

Beach picnics are a way of life on Mustique so be sure to have your staff arrange one. They’ll set a beach palapa with china, silverware, and floral arrangements at one of the twenty-two beachfront spots on the island.  Each villa’s staff will claim to have the best rum punch on the island.  Get ready to do a taste test!

There are several options for dining outside of your villa, including:

  1. Beach Café at The Cotton House: A relaxed, casual restaurant on Endeavour Bay
  2. Verandah Restaurant at The Cotton House: A sophisticated dining experience
  3. Basil’s Beach Bar & Restaurant: Meet the legendary owner, Basil Charles, while enjoying local cuisine in a lively atmosphere.  Go on a Wednesday night for the famous “Jump Up” party with live music or for “Sunset Jazz” every Sunday night.
  4. Firefly: Popular with island regulars Firefly is famous for its sunsets over Britannia Bay and is the home to the Mustique Martini Club.  Try all of the different flavors!
  5. The View or “Lisa’s”: Tucked away in the local village this sunset favorite is also known for the best breadfruit and salted cod on the island.  It is only served on Fridays.  Ask your butler to pre-order to guarantee availability.

Ready for your secluded island getaway? Contact Victoria for an expertly planned Mustique vacation.

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