It's not just Prince William and his in-laws, the Middleton family who choose the island of Mustique to spend their winter holiday. For a half a century, this tiny island in the Grenadines has been drawing the rich and famous with its reputation as a luxurious beach refuge away from prying eyes. The Middletons, Will and Kate are only some of the celebrities who come to what is touted as "a private island sanctuary for those who are tired of the usual holiday destinations."
Mustique is a secluded piece of paradise where the paparazzi are entirely unwelcomed.
While pictures of the bikini-clad pregnant Duchess of Cambridge (A.K.A. Kate Middleton, A.K.A. Princess Catherine) have been published by an Italian news agency, one has to understand that those pictures could not have been taken easily. It is rare that photos of any vacationing celeb on Mustique can be found.
This is an island that is not particularly easy to get to and once there, it's easy to hide away from others. Located in the Caribbean just 18 miles from St. Vincent, there is only a small airstrip which handles private planes, charters and the regional Grenadine Airways. Most visitors come as we did, by boat. And while the island has nine beaches from which to choose, there is really only one area to come ashore and any new arrivals are acknowledged immediately by those who manage the island.
The 14-hundred acre island refuge is privately managed by the Mustique Company, which is owned by the island residents themselves. Those residents include Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfiger. Visitors are always welcomed, but it’s important to residents and guests alike to maintain the air of privacy and exclusivity that Mustique exudes.
The entire island has just 74 villas which can be rented, as well as one small hotel called the Cotton House and a guesthouse called the Firefly. Guests get booked in early and prices are not cheap.
For those coming by boat, moorings can be found on the leeward side near the one truly public area of Mustique. Here you can find a few small shops to restock boats and buy essentials from tanning lotion to clothes. Of course, remember who normally would shop there. Prada swimsuit anyone? Gucci sandals?
For dining, there is just one real restaurant on the island. The reality is, that is enough.
Basil’s Beach Bar is the center of most social activity on Mustique and on any given night, the place is packed. That is especially the case during the so called “season” between December and February.
Located near the mooring area, it stretches out over the water on pilings with bright flags flying and music playing. Internationally known for its food and its parties, it is owned by Basil Charles who has become a celebrity in his own right for both his flamboyant personality and his efforts to help preserve the island.
Basil is the consummate host and the unofficial welcoming committee for the island. He greets one and all and will happily regale you with tales of how the island has changed over the years. He came to Mustique when he was 17 years old as a bartender and now owns the restaurant where he worked.
It's not likely that Prince William and Kate would be spotted here, but it's a place where William's aunt, Princess Margaret frequented during her days on Mustique.
If you visit:
The official website - Mustique Island Company
The Cotton House
The Cotton House was originally an 18th century cotton warehouse and sugar mill. It is recognized as one of the most exclusive and romantic inns of the Caribbean. It includes 17 distinctive accommodations as well as a spa.
Firefly Guest House
Firefly is a three story, tree house-like villa, perched on a hill with panoramic views, and offers five unique guests rooms.