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Mustique is the Caribbean's Best-Kept Secret Steeped in Luxury, Eccentricity and the Finest Dose of Frivolity

Connor Childers | June 6, 2019 | Travel & Recreation

Hummingbird villa, a modern travertine palace, sits on one of Mustique’s highest hills with some of the most stunning views on the island.

The land on Mustique (@‌mustiqueisland), which used to nurture sugar plantations and cattle farms, was purchased in 1958 by Colin Tennant and transformed into the tropical paradise it is today. By gifting a plot to his close friend Princess Margaret, Tennant succeeded in firmly rooting Mustique’s rich culture in regal extravagance. In turn, the princess commissioned renowned theatrical set designer Oliver Messel to create houses for the region, 18 of which were actually built, establishing the eclectic and exuberant spirit of the Caribbean island and attracting some of the most glamorous and elite visitors imaginable.

These days, the entire island is run and operated by The Mustique Company, whose sole purpose is to safeguard the private destination and ensure that its elusive and otherworldly feel remains intact for residents, including Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfiger. That can often mean saying no to people who aren’t used to hearing it.

Want to take your private plane straight to the island? Not possible. Want to purchase acreage to build your dream villa? The island is at capacity. The Mustique Company stops at nothing to preserve the island’s character, which is deeply apparent in every aspect, from the glorious unscathed beaches to the casual swagger one finds at Basil’s Bar while sipping rum punch.

Private beachside lunches are popular among guests on the island.

“Mustique has a glamorous sort of modern history to it,” says Adam Brown, founder of men’s resortwear brand Orlebar Brown (@‌orlebarbrown) and a frequent visitor to the island. “It retains the allure of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s while still staying in the now—creating a special feeling you don’t get on other islands around the world.” To commemorate his appreciation for this special place, Brown partnered with The Mustique Company to create a capsule collection celebrating its 50th anniversary in governance. The collection is comprised of three versions of the brand’s signature Bulldog swim shorts, each plastered with iconic photographic prints from the island’s landscape: the famous gingerbread-style pink and purple house boutiques, an aerial shot of the island and a boldly hued image of beachgoers milling about, by photographer Slim Aarons. The shorts pair perfectly with the island’s anything-goes aesthetic and are a stylish way to bring a piece of paradise home with you.

The true luxury of Mustique, though, lies in its lavish villas. Each has its own on-site household staff, breathtaking views, private pools, guesthouses and a unique interpretation of modern Caribbean style. Take Sienna House, a colorful and expansive Italian-style villa with more than 15,000 square feet of artfully curated interiors with unusual water features and ornate European tiles decorating the floors and walls. In sharp contrast is The Beach House, a rustic bamboo villa carefully camouflaged by trees on a cliff to create the ultimate private getaway. The house’s understated alabaster and bamboo interiors exude a relaxed vacation vibe underscored by the villa’s private access to the breathtaking Gelliceaux Bay. A stay in any of the island’s 80-plus options will spoil you so magnificently, you won’t quite know how else to vacation.

It begins from the moment the tiny propeller plane takes off. A feeling washes over you, taking with it any stress or concern you had upon boarding. It has something to do with the salty tropic air and shimmering swirls of azure and emerald waters below. Even from above, it’s clear this is not a typical island, and you are in for no ordinary experience.


Photography by: The Mustique Company