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Touring private paradise retreats.

Perhaps you have a favorite Caribbean island or hotel where you usually go on vacation. And although it may be convenient or relatively inexpensive to get there and stay for a week, perhaps it's time for a change. A different island, a different resort--one with luxe accommodations, fine dining and excellent service. Smaller Caribbean islands fit the bill, offering luxury resorts and hotels. Weekly rates, and special golf, tennis or honeymoon packages can make the same stay less expensive with more activities. After all, it's your vacation--a rare event for most busy businesspeople--and the appropriate time to splurge on yourself.


Just north of South America, Petit St. Vincent island is one of the pearls in the string of islands known as the Grenadines. On this tiny isle is the privately owned Petit St. Vincent Resort, which has 22 secluded and exclusive stone cottages. To reach the resort, guests fly to Union Island (south of St. Vincent) and take a 25-minute ride on PSV's private ferry.

Only one cottage is visible from PSV's cream-colored beach. The others are concealed by rolling hills and sumptuous foliage, making the resort popular with CEOs, actors and politicians, who flock here when they want to shut out the world.

Each spacious cottage has a living room, oversized bathroom, private sun deck and hammock. The flagpole outside is the ultimate beck-and-call feature. Hoist the yellow flag for room service, and a steward appears almost immediately. Guests are served three meals a day, prepared with local fruits, vegetables and fish.

There's snorkeling and windsurfing equipment. For those who want to venture off island, sunfishing and Hobie cat trips are easily arranged, as are guided sailing trips to Grenada, Tobago Keys, Union and Mustique. With year-round temperatures hovering between 70 [degrees] and 80 [degrees] F, and no telephones or televisions, PSV is perfect for social people who want an anti-social vacation. The summer rate is $430 per day. (Petit St. Vincent Resort, The Grenadines, St. Vincent, W.I. Reservations can be made through the Leading Hotels of the World; 800-223-6800.)


Nestled on 55 acres of colorful, tropical flora on the northeast corner of the volcanic island of St. Lucia is the posh and distinctive Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort. Surrounded by banana trees, tall peaks and the Caribbean Sea, this dreamy paradise with its 114 luxury villas is a classy blend of Tahitian geography and Mediterranean architecture.

Secluded, yet near the town of Castries, Windjammer is a memorable experience, especially if you share the Villa Labrelotte--the largest villa in the resort--with family or friends. Sitting regally on the highest peak, the villa offers four separate bedrooms with baths off the four corners of a huge, oblong main room with a skylight. The best bedroom has a private deck with a view and doors opening onto the pool deck. There are several common rooms, a big kitchen and a full staff, which will clean, shop and cook all your meals. For an extra fee, chef service is available at all the villas. At $450 a day (off-season), Villa Labrelotte's prices may seem steep, but divide the price by four to six people, and the ultimate luxury villa in the ideal vacation spot has manageable rates. Smaller villas range from one to three bedrooms ($160 to $360 per day), and many have private plunge pools.

Windjammer has four restaurants, a beach barbecue bistro and three bars. Having breakfast at the Coral Reef Restaurant with its view of the beach is the best way to start the morning. Afterwards you can lounge on the shore or at one of Windjammer's two pools (there are two kiddie pools, too). Its beach front restaurant Jammer's, is known for its international cuisine and local seafood. For the rest of the day you can choose between windsurfing, water-skiing, sunfish sailing or snorkeling. Evenings are a great time to play tennis, which is free, and the resort also covers the cost of green fees and transportation to a nearby golf course. (Labrelotte Bay, P.O. Box 1504, Castries, St. Lucia, W.I. For reservations, call 800-743-9609.)


Casually elegant best describes the Four Seasons. Secluded in the shadow of Mt. Nevis, the resort sits along the pristine sands of Pinney's Beach amid tall, swaying coconut palms. You can't get there on a direct flight, but you can jet to its sister island, St. Kitts, and take a 30-minute ferry ride across the channel in the resort's private, high-speed yacht.

Designed to blend into the landscape, the resort is made up of 12, two-story plantation-style cottages. The centerpiece of the property is the Great House, an airy pavilion of oak and marble that houses the registration desk, library, bar, shops and two restaurants. The Dining Room, an elegant and romantic setting featuring a stone fireplace amid high rafter ceilings, offers exceptional island fare. The more casual Grill Room is where breakfast is served, and in the busy season, also lunch and dinner. On the lower level are two elegant ballrooms and the lively Tap Room--a game room and tavern featuring superb, live entertainment nightly.

But, it is the 196 deluxe rooms and suites that make the Four Seasons. Spectacular views from a large, screened veranda attend every room. The rooms themselves are large and luxurious, ranging from 550to 2,200 square feet. They offer every comfort, including a king-sized bed, air conditioner, built-in bar with refrigerator and room safe. Each room also has a huge master bathroom with lighted, glass-enclosed shower and adjoining tub. There are also one- and two-bedroom ocean suites with patios, several executive suites with verandas, and two presidential suites, which include a living and dining room and service pantry. Besides golf, there are 10 tennis courts and a complete health club.

During the off-season from May to mid-November, daily rates start at $250 double occupancy, plus a 10% service charge (on room, food and beverage) that includes gratuities; up to two children under age 18 can stay in their parents' room for free. (P.O. Box 565, Charlestown, Nevis, W.I. For reservations, call 800-332-3442.)
COPYRIGHT 1993 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Caribbean Travel Guide
Author:Whigam-Desir, Marjorie
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:May 1, 1993
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