Quiet, beautiful and packed to the brim with unspoilt havens of tranquillity: a luxury holiday to St Vincent & the Grenadines will transport you to another world.
The white sand beaches dotted across this chain of Caribbean islands offer much-needed relaxation and luxury, but there’s another side to St Vincent & the Grenadines too: one that offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, or even to exercise your adventurous streak.
St Vincent & the Grenadines is a magnet for those who love to spend their time on the water. Sailing is a frequent, joyous pastime here, and you’ll spot white sailing boats bobbing on the water at almost every harbour.
As might be expected from such a sea-faring island chain, luxury holidays to St Vincent & the Grenadines don’t all take place on the main island of St Vincent: many of the smaller islands offer supreme hospitality and wonderfully equipped hotels too. Try Canouan Island for stunning natural beauty, or Petit St Vincent for the ultimate in luxury seclusion. Want to get away from it all? You’ve come to the right place…
Another option is Les Jolies Eaux, on royal favourite Mustique, which features a villa on a private peninsula that was designed for HRH Princess Margaret. Yes, we told you that you’d find luxury here!
There’s a real old-world charm here, too. St Vincent & the Grenadines has managed to not only retain its old-fashioned ambience but has succeeded in keeping it at the forefront. Think dappled shade offered by mango trees, grand colonial buildings in muted pastel, and an overall slow and languid way of life.
Don’t skip over this opportunity to take a step back to a simpler, more relaxing time.
Top resorts in St Vincent & the Grenadines
With more than 40 years of experience hosting guests in the Caribbean, Inspiring Travel company knows exactly what it takes to create a luxury holiday that you’ll remember forever. Here are just a few of the magical resorts and hotels that St Vincent & the Grenadines has to offer…
The aforementioned Canouan Island is home to the Mandarin Oriental Canouan, a hotel that lives up to its internationally famous brand name by offering top-class hospitality in a setting that blends seamlessly into the lush landscape that surrounds it. The Mandarin Oriental boasts ten bars, four restaurants, and opportunities for some of the Caribbean’s best diving along its resident coral reef.
Alternatively, why not check into the Canouan Estate, where sumptuous private villas give way to an infinity pool that looks down over the calm waters of the neighbouring beach? Golfers will be Inspiring Travelhing to try out the 18-hole championship golf course, resplendent in its dramatic natural setting.
Canouan Island itself is tiny, and at just two miles long is a haven for secluded coves and pristine beaches. Don’t leave without checking out its recently restored 17th-century church.
South of Canouan you’ll find the tiny private island of Petit St Vincent, filled to the brim with tranquil beaches and verdant green forests. The cottages on Petit St. Vincent have recently been refurbished to the highest quality, but this is a resort that eschews the trappings of modernity: you won’t find televisions, phones or internet here. Instead, spend your time relaxing at the Hilltop Spa, dining on local cuisine in the exquisite restaurant, or discovering an underwater world via the guidance of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Caribbean Diving Centre.
Bequia Island, found just south of the mainland of St Vincent, is home to the tropically-located Bequia Beach Hotel. Surrounded by greenery and with a secluded beach all of its own, the hotel has been called a “stunning oasis of peace” and the “jewel” of the Grenadines. It reflects the small, relatively undiscovered nature of Bequia itself: intimate, boutique, and the perfect relaxing choice for your luxury holiday to St Vincent & the Grenadines.
Time difference: St Vincent & the Grenadines is 4 hours behind the UK (GMT -4 hours)
Flight duration: The flight time to St Vincent & the Grenadines from the UK is approximately 12 hours, with one stopover (usually in Barbados).
Currency: The Eastern Caribbean Dollar is the currency in St Vincent & the Grenadines, although US dollars are also widely accepted (although only in notes rather than coins).
Language: The official language of St Vincent & the Grenadines is English. You may also find Vincentian Creole being spoken.
Visa Information: British passport holders do not need a visa to enter St Vincent & the Grenadines. Visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office pages for Grenada for the most up to date travel advice.
When is the best time to travel to St Vincent & the Grenadines?
The peak travel season for St Vincent & the Grenadines is between December and April, which is the dry season. Temperatures in this period are usually around 30C, making a holiday here a great idea if you want to soak up some winter or early spring sunshine.
The “shoulder” months of May, June and November are also good times to visit St Vincent & the Grenadines, as there will be fewer travellers outside the height of the peak season. This is likely to lead to a more relaxing holiday, especially if you prefer a quieter vibe.
The hurricane season in this region runs from July to November, with storms most likely in September and October.
St Vincent & the Grenadines is a collection of 32 islands in the Caribbean Sea, found between St Lucia (to the north) and Grenada (to the south). It’s comprised of the main island of St Vincent, along with the smaller islands known as the Grenadines - the most famous of which include Mustique, Carriacou, Bequia, Canouan, Union Island and Petit St Vincent. Some of the islands are uninhabited, whilst others are private.
Flights from the UK will usually land at Argyle International Airport in Kingstown, St Vincent. You are likely to transfer in Barbados for the final, short leg of your journey. At the airport, you will be met by our representatives for your transfer to your hotel.
Regular ferries are the best way to get between the islands; whilst you’re on dry land taxis are your best option.
Turtle sanctuaries, untouched coral reefs, hidden beach coves: there’s a wealth of things to explore in St Vincent & the Grenadines, so be sure to make the most of your time and visit as many of these picturesque islands as possible during your stay.
Here are a few of our favourite options for a luxury holiday that you’ll be reminiscing about for years to come...
Live the island life at Tobago Cays
This small group of islands in the south of the Grenadines could inspire many a tropical postcard. A marine park that’s been categorised as a conservation area since the late ‘80s expect still azure waters, white sand, and rock formations rising from the surrounding sea. Attractions are numerous, and include a bird sanctuary, the wreck of the WW1 gunship, a coral reef, a turtle sanctuary, hiking trails… and the real-life setting for that desert island scene in the first Pirates of the Caribbean film. Tobago Cays is best accessed via water taxi, or as part of an organised day trip.
Visit some of the Caribbean’s best beaches
Of course, we mustn’t forget the beaches after all of this - you’re here for luxury and to relax, after all. Lonely Planet names the best beaches in St Vincent & the Grenadines as Saltwhistle Beach on the uninhabited island of Mayreau and Princess Margaret Beach, named after the region’s most famed royal visitor and found near Port Elizabeth on Bequia.
Climb a fort in Kingstown
Fort Duvernette, found on top of a volcanic rock just offshore in St Vincent & the Grenadines’ capital, is one to explore if you’ve got history buffs in your party. Ascend the 225 steps to reach the top, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the main island’s southern shore.
Food and Drink
There is so much food and drink to enjoy whilst in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The national dish of St Vincent & the Grenadines is roasted breadfruit and fried jackfish, which may need some explanation for those unfamiliar with the region’s cuisine: breadfruit is (unsurprisingly) a fruit, grown on trees, that comes from the same family as the jackfruit, whilst jackfish is better known as a pike.
You’ll find the national dish on plenty of local menus, so make sure you sample it as part of your holiday. Need a drink to accompany it? The local apple juice should provide the perfect compliment.
Aside from the national dish, you’ll also find lots of fresh seafood across the islands, as well as locally-grown staples including bananas, carrots, potatoes, plantain, coconut, ginger and yams. A resurgence in rum-making on St Vincent & the Grenadines means this is a popular local tipple.
There are plenty of option when you are looking to dine well in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Here are a few suggestions for dining during your luxury St Vincent & the Grenadines holidays…
TIDES Bar & Grill
Want to enjoy your evening whilst overlooking a reef-protected lagoon? This stunning setting is brought to you by TIDES Bar & Grill, one of the four restaurants that you’ll find within the Mandarin Oriental. Expect international dishes, made location-appropriate with a whole load of Caribbean flare.
Young Island Resort Restaurant
This island restaurant comes highly recommended and can be accessed via a short ferry ride from Villa Beach on St Vincent. Expect candlelight, a thatched roof, and a whole lot of ambience. Pop by for an a la carte lunch or a prix-fixe five-course dinner that could include duck, freshly caught seafood, beef tenderloin or pork, all complemented with local vegetables. Simple, but stunning.
Basil’s Bar & Restaurant
There’s one of these on Mustique and it’s an island favourite, so it’s unsurprising that Basil's outpost on St Vincent is wildly popular too. Mood lighting and a cosy atmosphere give way to delectable food that spans both US and local Caribbean flavours. Afterwards, head to the bar - which can be considered one of the classiest on the island. There’s also a great lunch buffet for earlier in the day.
Events & Festivals
St Vincent & the Grenadines loves a party, whether that means taking to the streets in true Caribbean carnival fashion or sitting back to listen to some calming Blues as part of a fortnight-long musical celebration. Here are just four of the festivals that you could consider incorporating into your luxury St Vincent & the Grenadines holiday, taking in everything from sailing to feather-strewn parades…
Vincy Mas (June - July)
The most famous festival on St Vincent & the Grenadines has all the hallmarks that you’d expect from a massive Caribbean street party: the costumes are colourful, the music is loud, and you can hear the parades approaching long before you see them. Get ready to enjoy the spectacle.
Mustique Blues Festival (January - February)
This celebration of Blues music has become a staple of the Mustique calendar in the 25 years since its founding. Bringing a “line-up of old friends and new faces” to the island’s famous Basil’s Bar every night for two weeks during peak holiday season, this is one for the music fans. It makes the quick hop over to the island of Bequia towards the middle of its run, too.
Bequia Easter Regatta (Easter)
Both amateurs and professionals gather for this five-day regatta, which sees numerous boats take to the water over Easter. It’s a spectacle to behold, with the white sails sharp against the blue sea: you won’t want to miss this if you’ve got a passion for sailing.
Nine Days Festival (December)
Beating the British chill and heading to St Vincent & the Grenadines in December? If so, you might be in time to catch the Nine Days Festival, a celebration that sees steel drum music welcome the dawn, and fetes take over the streets in the run-up to Christmas Day. This is a unique festival, the likes of which you’ll find nowhere else in the world.
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