Petit St Vincent is a private island resort whose appeal has endured over decades to make it a Grenadines grande-dame: a place to lunch on lobster and sip champagne at sunset; to enjoy a beachfront barbecue and dance to live reggae; a chance to dive coral reefs, sail pristine Caribbean waters and picnic on a deserted cay. It’s a resort where you can laze on your palm-shaded hammock, dip in the turquoise-clear sea or saunter up to the spa for a Balinese massage. Petit St Vincent is all these rolled into one top-notch hotel with timeless appeal that’s going nowhere.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of prosecco or (for GoldSmith members) champagne on arrival.
12 noon; earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability. Arrival and departure times tend to be set by the schedule for your boat transfers to and from Union Island.
Double rooms from £1200.16 ($1,499), including tax at 11 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 10% per room per night on check-out and an additional resort fee of $74.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include all meals (even those afloat on an excursion) and non-alcoholic beverages, butler room service, use of non-motorised watersports equipment and group activities such as yoga and rum tasting. Minimum seven-night stay from 20 Dec–4 Jan.
Seafood lovers, take note: in lobster season, between November and April, you can enjoy unlimited hand-caught lobster at no extra charge. Island buy-outs, where you, friends and family can have Petit St Vincent to yourselves, are yours to book in October.
The hotel closes annually in August and reopens for November. October is available for buy-outs only.
At the hotel
Restaurants, bars, dive centre, watersports centre, yoga pavilions and classes, spa, fitness trail, personal training, hiking trails, tennis courts. In rooms: bluetooth speaker, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, kettle, bottled water and Bulgari bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All villas enjoy the luxury of privacy and are spaced well apart. For a short hop to the bar and restaurant on Telescope Hill, it’s villas 20–22; for the sound of waves to lull you to sleep, you want beach-side villas 12–15, but our pick is villas one to five, which are up on the bluff and offer breeze-tickled sea views in the most serene of settings.
You’ll have no need of a pool with the sun-warmed Caribbean Sea at hand.
The hillside spa is a polished-wood sanctuary surrounded by forest with four open-air salas and a relaxation lounge. Its menu of facials, massages and scrubs is rooted in Balinese techniques and treatments incorporate aromatherapy oils and natural botanicals.
A high ratio of swimwear for beach days and watersports, plus plenty of sarongs, kurtas or kimonos to take you from cottage to palapa and back via the beach restaurant for lunch.
WiFi is restricted to reception, so you can give social media a holiday, too. Guests with limited mobility, able to travel to the island, can request a step-free villa and call on the chauffeured Mini Mokes to get around.
Very welcome. Cots can be added to all villas; in one-bedroom villas, sofas can be converted into extra beds in the living room. Or you can book a two-bedroom stay. Both restaurants have a children’s menu and babysitting is available (from US$15 an hour).
All ages are catered for at this inclusive island resort.
Two-bedroom villas are the clear choice for families, although one-bedroom villas come with sofa beds in the living room that convert to beds long enough for all but towering teens.
There’s no formal crèche or kids’ club at PSV.
Alongside snorkelling, dinghy sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing, the dive centre has kids courses for children aged five and up. Kids movie nights, cookery classes and treasure hunts pop up from time to time.
The sea is your pool and West Beach is broad and sandy but unsupervised.
Both restaurants have a children’s menu and the kitchen team is happy to adapt dishes for those with special requirements. Highchairs are provided.
Book a babysitter with at least 24 hours’ notice from US$15 an hour.
Whether Petit St Vincent is right for your family is perhaps a question of parenting style: little Smiths are made welcome at the resort alongside their elders; if structured child-centric activities are your preference, this hotel may not be for you.
The hotel strives to balance barefoot luxury with sustainable practices. Its water supply comes from a high-spec desalination system and the hotel has a bottling plant, allowing it to reuse glass bottles. Metal and glass waste is crushed into sand-grain-small particles; plant waste is composted and put to use in the island’s 350 sq m kitchen garden, which supplies much of the produce used at the hotel’s two restaurants, and accommodates 40 chickens, supplying the resort with fresh eggs. Around 90 per cent of the hotel’s fish supply is caught locally. The resort is engaged in marine conservation, too, using foraged fragments to rear coral in its nursery before transplanting juvenile specimens to populate island reefs. A children’s scholarship fund supports the education of employees’ children.
By the beach, at any of the outdoor tables you can dine with your toes in the sand. Come evening, the romance of dining at candlelit, linened tables with sea views framed by forest foliage is hard to beat at the hilltop Pavilion restaurant.
Beach attire is fine by the sea; the only dress code that applies is at the pavilion restaurant by night, where the ‘smart casual’ brief means Mr Smith should pack a collared shirt and trousers and Mrs Smith will want threads fit for a night out.
Island-grown salad and vegetables and fresh, locally caught fish inform the daily-changing three-course menu at the main pavilion restaurant. Although this self-billed ‘alfresco fine dining’ eatery will always have a choice of meat, fish and vegetarian options, dishes are shaped by the seasons and chef’s creativity, with everything from jerk chicken to Trinidadian curry, pan-roasted kingfish and wok-fried lobster with noodles on the menu. Be sure to leave room for desserts such as hazelnut praline crêpes or passionfruit cheesecake. For a sea-soundtracked lunch or dinner at parasol- or thatch-shaded tables, the hotel’s shoreside restaurant is an all-day eatery where the outdoor grill is lit around noon and Black Angus burgers and steaks, New Zealand lamb, yellowfin tuna, poke bowls and baked lobster are served until late.
Goatie’s Beach Bar is named after a hotel employee who has worked at the resort for 50 years and helped to build the original bar in the Sixties. This wooden, open-air bar serving champagne, fine wines, cocktails and beers has beachfront views that face the setting sun, with an adjacent thatch-shaded lounge area of low sofas and drinks tables. On Tuesday nights, your sunset rum punch is accompanied by live reggae music.
The beach restaurant is open 11am until late; the Pavilion restaurant opens for breakfast, 6.30am–11.30am; lunch is 12.30pm–2.30pm; afternoon tea is served from 3pm until 6.30pm, and dinner between 7pm and 11pm.
Every villa has a flagpole, allowing you to signal food and drink orders to hotel butlers, who discreetly circle the island by golf buggy every 20 minutes, checking for yellow flags, from 6.30am until 10pm.
Petit St Vincent is a private island in the southerly Grenadines, a short hop from Petite Martinique and Carriacou.
From Grantley Adams International on Barbados (BGI), the hotel can book the 55-minute flight with Mustique Airways to Union Island (US$700 return) and onward transfers. For seamless transfers, you’ll need to land at BGI no later than 3.45pm and, on the return leg, leave BGI no earlier than 2pm.
The only kind of sleepers on PSV are slumbering peacefully in beds or hammocks.
Chauffered Mini Moke cars are the wheels of choice at this motor-free resort.
From Union Island, it’s a 15-minute boat trip to Petit St Vincent and the hotel can arrange private transfers from US$35 return.
Worth getting out of bed for
This tranquil isle has warm turquoise waters and crowd-free sands in abundance – yours to enjoy from your oceanfront villa or a thatched palapa on West End Beach. Work out on the fitness trail set up at staged posts beneath the island canopy, stroll the island’s hiking trails, enjoy a tennis match, or unwind with some poses in either of the open-air yoga pavilions. Balinese-based spa treatments at the hotel’s hillside spa are a canny use of time. The hotel has the kit to get you snorkelling, dinghy sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing or kayaking and can arrange kitesurfing tuition on nearby Union Island. The Grenadines archipelago offers incredible Scuba diving with nearby Tobago Cays designated a Marine Park. The hotel’s Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Center is one of only two worldwide (the other is here) – a mark of how impressed Jean-Michel (son of Jacques) was with the marine life around PSV. Book a day’s yacht charter on the island sloop, Beauty, and go island hopping around the Tobago Cays, with stops to fish, dive or snorkel and enjoy a barbecue on board with the day’s catch. As well as casting your line from a yacht, you can try deep-sea fishing for mahi mahi, barracuda and bonito from one of the hotel’s motorboats.
This all-inclusive island hotel has your culinary needs covered, but can arrange a castaway picnic for two on a desert-island beach should you fancy a change of scene.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beach hotel in the Grenadines and unpacked their rum and snorkels, a full account of their private-island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Petit St Vincent…
Petit St Vincent is a mischievous siren with a proven track record in charming yachtsmen ashore. Both sets of owners (original and incumbent) share tales of having been so captivated by her sand-fringed beauty when first spying her from offshore, that in each case a love affair began – the (tropical) fruits of which are yours to enjoy. The original Sixties stone villas have been updated with finessed furnishings, Italian linen and luxury tech, but are otherwise unchanged – their powder-sand surrounds and turquoise ocean views, a happy constant. There’s an old-fashioned charm to service here, too. Cocktails with the manager and a sociable beach barbecue are weekly events. And staff could not be friendlier nor more professional: everything from food allergies to spa treatments, to drinks served to your hammock is deftly taken care of, and day trips sailing the Tobago Cays or picnicking on a desert island, seamlessly arranged, further elevating this stellar stay’s already standout credentials.