I would like to take a holiday on Mustique but travel agents don't seem to know much about it and I have heard that potential guests are vetted before they arrive. Can you advise me on how to book, the best time to go and what there is to do?
Mustique is a privately owned island in the West Indies that is home to 65 luxurious villas. The only way to book a rental house is through the Mustique Company. Most owners ( including Mick Jagger) do rent their houses out but as you have found it is all very discreet; no one advertises. However, as long as you can afford it, and are not a paparazzi, there will be no problem in booking.
Prices and pictures of villas for rent can be found on www.mustique-island.com. The easiest route to get to the island is to fly from Barbados and get Mustique airport to arrange a transfer flight on Mustique Airways, SVG or another small charter company. The airport gives a full list of everyone entering the island to the Mustique Company, whose office is only yards away from immigration, and a Mustique Company representative greets all arriving renters. Thereby, paparazzi who turn up are put straight onto the next departing plane - which is why Mustique is so popular with the famous. Although you might have read about it you've never seen snatched photographs. The island is one of the few places where privacy can be guaranteed.
The two hotel options are Cotton House (a Leading Small Hotel of the World), which is owned by the Mustique Company, and Firefly ( www.firefly-mustique.com), which is owned by Stan and Elizabeth Clayton but licensed by Mustique. Once arrived, there are a variety of beaches ideal for windsurfing, picnicking and swimming; sunset drinks at Firefly's piano bar or Basil's Bar; and the popular lunches at Beach Bar of Cotton House where burgers and fried conch are top notch. In high season, Wednesday nights are jump-up night at Basil's with barbecue dinners and a live reggae band.
During the time around Christmas and New Year's there's a shortage of houses, so a 50 per cent premium is charged on a two-week minimum stay. Easter is family-oriented with 10K runs, Easter egg hunts and Easter bonnet competitions. But Mustique is increasingly becoming an all year round destination and August and September are particularly popular because prices are low and villas can be taken a week at a time. Plus Mustique lies east of the hurricane belt, so it rarely gets hit.
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