By Rebecca Burgess
Driving across St Vincent, the first thing that strikes you is the lush green surroundings of this volcanic island. This is much more than just a beach destination, and it’s the perfect island for a bit of exploring. From the stunning waterfalls to the nature trails, not to mention the opportunity to climb the volcano itself, St Vincent offers a whole host of activities in addition to the stunning beaches, superb diving and some of the best sailing waters in the Caribbean.
Buccament Bay is the newest luxury resort on St Vincent, and after hearing about the vast array of facilities on offer I was looking forward to seeing it for myself. Set on a beautiful bay complete with a glorious white sand beach, scattered with sun loungers and day beds, this is the perfect place to take in the beauty and charm of St Vincent. The facilities are nothing short of exceptional, with the Pat Cash Tennis Academy, Liverpool FC Soccer School and Harlequin Performing Arts Academy offering something truly unique for the Caribbean. This hotel is perfect for couples and families alike, with everything you could ever need all in one fabulous destination.
However, it would be a shame to visit St Vincent and The Grenadines and not do a bit of ‘island hopping’. Each island has a completely different vibe, and the accommodation on offer ranges from small boutique bolt holes to high end luxury hotels. Getting around is easy, whether by boat or by a short hop on a plane. I had a fantastic day’s sailing courtesy of Buccament Bay, visiting the islands of Canouan and Bequia to enjoy the secluded beaches and snorkelling in crystal clear waters, followed by the exclusive island of Mustique for a spot of lunch at the world famous Basil’s Bar, which has played host to many an A-list celebrity over the years.
My next stop was the stunning Palm Island, a private island 8 minutes by boat from Union Island. When you touch down in the tiny airport at Union you feel like you are stepping back in time, as your luggage arrives by tractor through a small hatch and you are whisked to the port by golf cart. The island itself is a Robinson Crusoe paradise, the perfect balance between desert island escapism and luxurious accommodation. With just 43 guest rooms scattered throughout the resort, guests have a real feeling of space and privacy while relaxing in this truly idyllic setting. The island has some of the most glorious beaches and clear turquoise water that I have ever seen, but if you can drag yourself off your sun lounger the hotel has bicycles you can borrow to explore the rest of the island and visit the secluded private beaches and nature trails on the other side of the island….avoiding the resident iguanas of course! In addition they offer a variety of land-based activities including a fitness centre, tennis and golf.
The food here was wonderful, and I was spoilt for choice by the menu of fresh meat, fish and lobster. The twice-weekly barbecue proves very popular with everyone who stays here, and there’s always a great atmosphere around the hotel’s two bars in the evening, great for enjoying a cocktail and swapping stories about what you’ve been up to that day. If you’re staying at Palm Island I would thoroughly recommend you take a day’s sail down to the natural marine park at the Tobago Cays. Here you can see the islands where ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ was filmed, swim with turtles and experience some of the best snorkelling and diving in the whole of the Caribbean.
You really do feel a million miles away from the rest of the world in St Vincent and The Grenadines, and, just like the last time I visited, I really didn’t want to leave!