I am neither rich, nor famous. That said, I am not going to lie to you. I like going to places where I can pretend for a few minutes that I am (I will not speak for the family). When presented with the opportunity to stay at the Cotton House, a family friendly boutique hotel on the private island of Mustique in the Caribbean, I was elated. I was filled with delusions of being invited by Kate and William to impromptu villa parties on the hill and attending beach bashes on the famed Macaroni Beach hosted by Mick Jagger. In the end, the closest I came to hanging out with royalty (real or rock) was having lunch with Mick’s dog Guinness who would orbit my daughter’s high chair waiting for scraps of food to fall (subsequent Google searches have revealed that the dog’s name could actually be Star, Jagger or none of the above). That aside, five wonderful days with the kids were spent snorkeling, visiting deserted island beaches by mule (golf cart), going for ice cream at the ferry dock, watching movies under the stars, visiting the famed Basil’s Restaurant and Bar (using the hotel babysitting service), and admiring the 74 stunning island villas…..albeit from the road. Take a look:
what: The Cotton House– kid friendly boutique hotel on the private Island of Mustique
where: St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean
tripadvisor rating: 4.5 out of 5
getting there: daily flights from connecting islands of Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada, Martinique, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico and Trinidad
what’s to love: 17 beautiful suites, cottages and villas (many have plunge pools equipped with child safety alarms ) situated on 13 stunning acres, calm beach with nice snorkeling, beautiful food with exemplary service, mule (golf cart) rentals to tour the island beaches and get a glimpse of some of the stunning island villas, babysitting ($11/hour) allowing you to spend an evening at the famed island beach bar Basil’s.
especially for kids: exceptional extras provided for the kids including offers to wash baby bottles and prepare special food, a welcome treat in the room, special kid’s movie night under the stars complete with snacks, and some interesting bit of nature such as the many tortoises that call Mustique home
room options: Grenadine and Duplex Suites are excellent for a families
rates from: $515/night – children 3 and under stay free, 4-12 years are $120/day. You can add a half board option for $100 per adult that includes breakfast and dinner. If you plan outside of high season you can take advantage of periodic deals such as pay for 5 – stay 7.
editor’s note #1: The airport runway on Mustique is sloped. This is important to know so you don’t become convinced that “this is the end” when the plane appears to be coming in at too steep of an angle.
editor’s note #2: The Mustique Company (owners of the island) hosts a weekly soiree for villa and hotel guests in the Cotton House great room. Get a babysitter, put on something a little fancy to see and be seen. My husband convinced me that I shouldn’t bring heels on this trip and I still haven’t forgiven him (as I tried to tuck my Havianas clad toes under a slip cover).
editor’s note #3: If you are wondering how we can afford to visit such places being that we are neither rich nor famous, we employ a two pronged strategy. We travel in shoulder season, not high season, when the weather is usual great but rates can be half what they are in peak times (we are careful to avoid June-November Caribbean hurricane months). We also tend to work our way up to luxury on our trips, starting with modest but stylish accommodations and finishing with a few days in paradise. We never do it the other way around. That just leaves you feeling depressed and pouting like a spoiled child because the hotels doesn’t have Frette linens.