With 115 acres of soft rolling hills, sandy white beaches, and lush tropical flora, Petit St. Vincent is perhaps the most private hideaway you can get to with only a short direct flight to Barbados out of Charlotte Douglas. The story of this little island oasis you’ve likely never heard of began in 1962, when the late Hazen K. Richardson II., fresh out of the Air Force, purchased a 77-foot schooner with his flying buddy, Doug Terman.
Together they went into the charter business. Their first customer, H.W. Nichols, expressed interest in purchasing an island, and the following year Haze and Doug sailed the Grenadine chain in search of that perfect place. Anchoring at Petit St. Vincent, then uninhabited, they learned the island was owned by a woman who lived on the neighboring Petit Martinique. A deal was struck, and arrangements were made for Haze, Doug and H.W. to purchase the island and build a small hotel there in the late 60’s.
A Piece of Paradise
Today, as then, Petit St. Vincent offers unparalleled privacy and seclusion. There are, purposefully, no televisions or telephones in the rooms, and no wireless signals. What there is is an incredible natural setting, two miles of white sand beach, a treetop spa, two restaurants and bars, yoga, tennis, sailing, and the Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Center. If you really need it, there is a wireless internet signal near the main office. The opportunity for real vacation and relaxation is like nowhere else we’ve been.The resort has maintained its laid-back, luxurious vibe after celebrating its 50th anniversary season this past year, and the staff to guest ratio remains three-to-one. There are just 22 cottages and villas total, with guests arriving via a chartered boat from the nearby Union Island. While the island is quite large, trees and bushes surround each cottage, hiding neighbors and only allowing the ocean view. True to its unplugged nature, the island uses a flagpole communication system. Each cottage has a red and yellow flag. Raise the red flag and no one will bother you. Raise the yellow flag, and a member of the staff will stop by to see what you need.
Make the Most of the Environs
In addition to simply enjoying all that this incredibly unique place has to offer, Tobago Cay is a 30-minute boat ride away and offers snorkeling on the corals reefs in the crystal clear water. Here, you can observe everything from brightly colored fish, lobsters, blowfish, and many sea turtles. Without any previous experience, you can also learn to scuba dive. Instructors will show you a quick video and lead you through an in-water training with the instructor. Then, you’ll be taken to a coral reef on a “shallow dive,” about 40-50 feet down. There are lobsters, nurse sharks, sting rays, and some of the most incredibly colored fish you’ll ever see.
In the end, with this trip, you’ll feel like you stumbled upon an untouched gem like no other. Petit St. Vincent is a getaway that somehow manages to be convenient from Charlotte while bringing you as far away from your daily, hurried reality as you can get these days. petitstvincent.com