There are two important inquiries to ask your self earlier than reserving a vacation to the Caribbean island of Mustique. Am I wealthy sufficient? And, am I stunning sufficient?
Not less than, that’s the final notion. Which is a pity as a result of, as I discovered on a household journey, not everybody was an oligarch and never each girl was beach-body prepared. For all its popularity as a playground of privilege, the place rock stars and royals come collectively, the island turned out to be extra reasonably priced than I believed, albeit extra in a blow-the-budget quite than budget-friendly approach.
But, with two-bedroom homes accessible from £12,000 per week, rents in contrast favourably with top-end villas within the Mediterranean in peak season.
Our journey was a much-anticipated deal with. My husband and I have been exhausted after a busy yr and this, our break with our kids Clemency, seven, and Wilbur, 4, felt well-deserved. And in addition to, I had a major birthday to rejoice.
We stayed at The Cotton Home, the island’s most important resort. With simply 17 rooms, it felt like being at a home occasion. That’s the purpose. Mustique is famously relaxed. I didn’t put on sneakers for 3 days.
Vibrant enjoyable: TV presenter Kate Silverton took her household on vacation to the Caribbean island of Mustique. Above is the unbelievable Britannia Bay
Like all buildings on the island, The Cotton Home was developed by the late Colin Tennant, later Lord Glenconner. He purchased the 1,400-acre island, simply 3 miles lengthy, in 1958 for £45,000. The story goes that he informed his spouse, Girl Anne, that it could be cheaper to winter there quite than warmth his nation home in Scotland.
Because the land had no operating water, jetty or airstrip, he thought he would possibly develop cotton. All that modified two years later when he gave his good friend, Princess Margaret, a plot of land on her marriage ceremony to Antony Armstrong-Jones. She employed Oliver Messel, the stage designer, to construct a villa, Les Jolies Eaux, and with that the way forward for Mustique was reworked. Out went cotton and in got here celebrities.
From then on, Tennant’s fiefdom would turn into among the many most unique vacation locations on the earth. It’s not straightforward to get there. We flew to St Lucia earlier than boarding an 18-seater Twin Otter for the ultimate leg. Not for the faint-hearted; we felt as if we have been sitting within the pilot’s lap.
Kate stayed at The Cotton Home (pictured), the island’s most important resort. ‘With simply 17 rooms, it felt like being at a home occasion,’ she says
Kate together with her husband and youngsters
To develop the island, Tennant arrange The Mustique Firm, inviting buyers to purchase land and construct their homes, leading to greater than 100 being constructed. Privateness — and the shortage of paparazzi — was the large draw for the wealthy and well-known and through the years their numbers swelled and included Bryan Adams, Mick Jagger, Tommy Hilfiger and David Bowie.
The Prince and Princess of Wales are regulars, as are Robbie Williams, Tom Ford, Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney, Invoice Gates and the Beckhams. It’s the form of place the place for those who flip up at its tennis membership, you discover Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski teaching on the courtroom subsequent door.
At present, Mustique has a inhabitants of some hundred, which rises to greater than a thousand throughout peak season.
One property, The Terraces, a nine-bedroom hilltop villa with intensive grounds and outbuildings, is available on the market for $200 million (the costliest dwelling within the Caribbean). When you can’t stretch to that, it’s accessible to lease for £150,000 per week.
None of this starry historical past was of any curiosity to our kids, in fact. All they needed was sand between their toes and a unending provide of ice cream.
Our days fell right into a sluggish rhythm. Lazy breakfasts of mango and papaya, seashore walks and dips within the resort pool. I wasn’t so certain concerning the ocean. What about sharks? It was solely when Grant arrived, an affable Australian whose job is to assist company uncover the marine life, that I got down to swim across the island with him.
Beneath me, in clear waters, I noticed grouper, angel and parrot fish. But I couldn’t cease scanning the waves for fins.
Grant jogged my memory that I might by no means see a predator coming: ‘Too quick.’ We struck out with regular strokes and shortly have been passing a Balinese-style pavilion, perched over the water. This was the legendary Basil’s Bar, the social hub of the island which dates from 1976 and the place its unique proprietor, Basil Charles, nonetheless charms prospects. We obtained to comprehend it effectively.
Legendary: Above is Basil’s Bar, ‘the social hub of the island which dates from 1976’
‘Mustique deserves that once-in-a-lifetime journey,’ says Kate. Above, the island’s Pink Home store
Grant identified a blue manta ray, then 5 hawksbill turtles placidly chewing on sea grass. My eyes had been opened to the ocean. Ending our swim, almost two hours later, I noticed my husband and youngsters on the jetty to welcome me dwelling. A second of utter elation.
Island life turned out to be a easy affair. Within the day it revolved round our favorite seashores, Macaroni and Gelliceaux Bay. With no vehicles allowed, everybody both walks or takes a golf buggy, referred to as a mule, to succeed in them. Our kids have been each protected and completely satisfied.
Gathering at The Cotton Home jetty, they quickly ganged up with different kids to swim or snorkel, making an attempt to identify angel fish and eels. Then there have been the picnic invites from different company on the island. Cricket on the seashore for the younger ones; kicking again with rum punch for us.
Nightlife was simply as easy. Tuesdays noticed cocktails at The Cotton Home; Wednesdays ‘Soar Up’ (barbecue and reside music) at Basil’s Bar. And all over the place, the laid-back come-in-a-kaftan vibe.
Basil liked to elucidate how the island has gone from jungle and scrub to, effectively, this aspect of paradise. He believes that its primary harbour and touchdown strip will hold the mega-yachts and personal jets away.
Hooray to all that. In case your purpose is to remind your self what household actually means, Mustique deserves that once-in-a-lifetime journey. Although, in our case, we’ll do all we are able to to make it a twice-in-a-lifetime journey.
Keep at The Cotton Home from £2,100 per individual for seven nights, based mostly on two sharing on a B&B foundation. For additional data and reservations, name The Mustique Firm UK Workplace on 020 7201 6831 or go to mustique-island.com.