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Magnificent Mustique August 15, 2014

When I was offered the opportunity recently to travel to St Vincent and the Grenadines, I jumped at the chance to revisit one of my favourite parts of the Caribbean. My first stop was the idyllic island of Mustique, the chosen holiday destination for royalty, rock stars and, more recently, Cheryl Cole, who chose the island for her nuptials.

As you touch down at Mustique airport you have a real feeling of going back in time, and relaxation instantly washes over you.  The island is tiny - just 3 miles long by 1.5 miles wide - and the accommodation consists predominantly of private villas (Mick Jagger, Tommy Hilfiger and the Cartier family all have residences here), along with the famous Cotton House, the only luxury hotel on the island and my home for the next few nights.

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After a short plane ride from Barbados, we whizzed through tiny Mustique airport upon arrival, and took the island’s preferred method of transport to our accommodation: the Moscow Mule, which is a large motorised golf cart that's great fun to drive around the sleepy roads of Mustique. We were greeted at the Cotton House with a refreshing cocktail and a cold towel before being shown to our rooms. The hotel was once an 18th century stone and coral warehouse, and the 17 luxurious, individually decorated and designed rooms are scattered across the extensive gardens, each offering something different to suit every taste.

Welcome

After a quick dip in my private plunge pool, it was time to join the resident sommelier for a spot of wine tasting up at the Residence, the hotel's beautiful two bedroom villa with a private pool. This was fantastic fun, and confirmed that I am definitely an ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) girl. Dinner was a relaxed affair in the Great Room with a large choice of delicious options, but we were particularly tempted by the fresh lobster – a must when you're in this part of the world.

Wine Tasting

Following a blissful night's sleep, aided by the hotel’s scented candles and extensive pillow menu, it was time to explore the island, so we jumped back in our Mules and headed into the tiny 'town', which consists of the Sweetie Pie Bakery, the Pink Shop, the Purple Shop, which sells gorgeous high end beachwear and souvenirs, and the infamous Basil’s Bar, the only bar on the island and a hive of activity in the evenings, a place where tourists, yachties, villa owners and locals all congregate to drink, party and share stories.

Sweetie Pie

We then whizzed by the cricket grounds, equestrian school (horseback riding on the beach is amazing!), and the church, where the congregation was singing gospel songs that were so touching that a couple of people in our group shed a tear.

We ended our tour at the now famous Macaroni Beach, the rumoured wedding location for the new Mrs Fernandez Versini and quite possible the best beach on the whole of the island. Here we whiled away a few hours enjoying the sun and surf, before the staff at Cotton House arrived with a scrumptious picnic of sandwiches, salads and fizz.  We then returned to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon of sailing and kayaking before a heavenly massage at the hotel's impressive ESPA spa, and enjoyed one last night on this lovely island before we sadly had to depart. One thing's for sure though, I'll be back!

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Perfect for a family getaway

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Half Moon

Jamaica

You’ll be following in some very famous royal footsteps when you check in at this iconic hotel - the Queen, Prince Charles and, most recently, Prince Harry have all enjoyed Half Moon’s legendary Jamaican hospitality.

With 400 acres to explore, the best way to get around Half Moon is by bike - the pedal-back brakes take a bit of getting used to but they’re great fun once you’ve got the hang of it.

At over 60 years old, Half Moon might be getting on a bit, but she still likes to look her best - the Sugar Mill Restaurant and lobby area were refurbished last year and the Oleander section of the resort is now receiving a full makeover.

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