Petit St. Vincent, The Grenadines
Upon arrival, you’re greeted by the island manager in a light blue buggy. (Images courtesy Mike Toy Photography)
Snuggled between larger islands on 115 acres in the Grenadines, the southernmost part of the Lesser Antilles, Petit St. Vincent (weeklong romance packages start at $6,750, 784-458-8801) is an idyllic private island that delivers a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon experience. With just twenty-two cottages on a relatively unspoiled island (no phones, TVs, or Wi-Fi either), it might feel a bit like the set of Cast Away at times, but the upscale amenities mean you’ll feel as though you’ve been stranded together in paradise. From the full day of travel it takes to get there, to the one-of-a-kind island experiences, this destination blends exhilarating adventure with romantic luxury.
The Adventure Begins
Take all of those direct-flight destinations off the table—this is an island for the adventurous traveler. First, you’ll fly to Miami, then to Barbados. From there, you’ll board a small propeller plane to Union Island, the closest airport to PSV. Once on Union, the charm sets in as you pass friendly islanders and colorful storefronts. A two-story boat transports you to your destination—a small island panorama of paradise. As you dock, Matt Semark, the island’s manager, will personally welcome you with a cold piña colada as you duck into a sky-blue dune buggy–type vehicle exclusive to PSV—the only mode of transportation on the island—to arrive at your cottage.
Begin this honeymoon adventure with a chartered half-day cruise aboard Beauty, a handmade, 40-foot sailboat operated by resident and captain Jeff Stevens. Pull on flippers, mask up, and find some of the best snorkeling imaginable. The water is so clear that you can see all around you, catching glimpses of schools of angel fish, trumpet fish, and yes, even barracuda. After the current carries you back to the boat, you’ll cruise northeast to the Tobago Cays, a nationally protected marine park comprising five small islands with waters that are home to rare indigenous coral, friendly sea turtles you can swim with, and hard-to-find iguanas. Looking for something a bit more laid back? Enjoy a couples massage at the spa, where treehouse-type bungalows are much more Swiss Family Robinson than standard resort-style. At the spa, don’t miss a cup of calming ginger tea, made daily on the island.
A quaint flagpole system is the island’s mode of communication. Yellow and red flags signal to staff members, who survey the grounds every thirty minutes, that you have left a request in your bamboo mailbox or that you wish to be left alone. Plan in advance, though, because even though it’s a fun, alternative system, with no phones in the rooms and an emphasis on understated service, last-minute hankerings will have to wait. The spacious, multi-room cottages are built from native island blue stone and wood, and almost invisibly dot the island’s cliffs and hillsides. And, unlike other Caribbean resorts, the island is so private that you’ll never feel iffy about opening your sliding glass walls for a soothing, open-air feel.
TIP: Even though it’s cozy, easy, and equipped with unreal views of the Caribbean Sea, don’t eat every meal in your cottage. Venture out on the island for the weekly beach barbecue, complete with the requisite steel drum band.