|A Smaller Private Island Within the Resort, can be used for very intimate dining settings.|
Philip Stephenson stopped by our offices the other day to tell us about a little purchase he’s made: Petit St. Vincent Resort in the Grenadines. This private island retreat has 22 cottages spread throughout, all ranging from 900 to 1,300 square feet in size. The resort, which opened in 1969 and had its heyday in the late ’70s through the mid-’90s, always had a strong repeat guest factor, which dwindled as it fell in to the need of a healthy upgrade.
Stephenson and partner Robin Paterson, operating under the corporate name Freedom Resorts Ltd., now plan to give the island getaway the TLC it needs and to reopen it in November to compete with the Caribbean’s other top-notch properties (think Le Toiny on St. Barth, Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands and Jumby Bay on Antigua).
This means cottages are currently being completely gutted (save for the lovely stone walls in each) and refitted with air conditioning and up-to-date bathrooms. Custom-made sisal carpeting is being placed on the floors in each cottage, which will now also sport furniture imported from Bali, mini-bars and Nespresso espresso machines and lavish bedding. Celebrities, take note: Cottages are discreetly placed so they’re barely visible from the water.
What they will not have are televisions, and guests will have to request a password for wireless Internet. Stephenson, who was formerly in the oil business, told us this move is being made so that couples and families can spend their time on Petit St. Vincent reconnecting, instead of attached to a television or computer. In addition, BlackBerries do work on the island.
Other new amenities will include a casual beach bar and restaurant that serve not only guests but A-listers who pull up in their yachts, and a three- or four-room spa, which will be managed by a spa director from Bali. A husband and wife general manager team, Matt Semark and Ani Ardiani, will join this month; Semark hails from the Karma Jimbaran Resort in Bali. A new executive chef will also be named, with the goal of upgrading the level of cuisine that’s been served in the past and giving it more of a local seafood flair.
If you’ve been to Petit St. Vincent before, fret not: Stephenson assures us he’s intent on preserving the natural beauty of the island. He’s also preserving the impressive, huge, curved bar that’s been an icon at the resort since it opened. Good to know: Past management did not work with luxury travel advisors, however, it’s Stephenson’s intent to work closely with this market.
Getting There: Fly to Barbados and take a 50-minute flight to Union Island, where Petit St. Vincent management will pick you up and take you for a quick sail over to the resort.
Luxury travel advisors can reach out to Janine Cifelli ([email protected]), the resort’s North American sales and marketing representative, for more information.