Like an overloaded computer in need of a reboot, stressed-out executives sometimes just need to disconnect from work.
Celebrities and CEOs have been visiting
in the Grenadines for decades to work on their "not-to-do lists." Owner Lynn Richardson and her late husband, both Americans, turned this 113-acre island into a small resort in 1968. There are just 22 secluded cottages, some with their own private beach access and others on a hill with sweeping ocean views.
There are no scheduled activities. Unlike many Caribbean islands, it has no cruise-ship port, casino, nightclub, golf course or shopping district. There are no crowds at all. The only place you'll see other guests is at the main pavilion, where they serve simple fare made with local ingredients, or at its low-key bar.
Forget watching television in your room or playing on your laptop. There are no TVs or telephones in the rooms. You order room service, for which there's no extra charge, by hoisting a yellow flag in front of your cottage and leaving a note with your request. The red flag indicates "do not disturb."
There are several thatched shelters on the west side of the island, equipped with hammocks and stocked with fresh water. While the beach is cluttered with coral and rocks, the underwater terrain makes for great snorkeling, and equipment is always available. Loungers can use the flagpole system to order lunch, tea and cocktails to their hammocks.
Adventurous guests can dine on Petit St. Richardson, also known as Sandy Isle. It's a sandspit about 15 minutes offshore with nothing but a thatched umbrella and a few pelicans. The islands staff will bring you and your meal there in a little boat. Plan a visit for breakfast or lunch because it lacks lights for dinner.
Petit St. Vincent offers many water activities besides swimming and snorkeling. Guests can borrow kayaks, windsurfing gear, and small sailboats at the islands boat dock. For an extra fee, you can charter a schooner and tour the nearby Tobago Cays or the neighboring island, Carriacou.
On land, you can hike 275 feet to the top of Marni Hill. Along the way, you can rest on teak benches and take in views of the Grenadine islands. There's a tennis court for more ambitious travelers.
If you're struggling to unwind, the island can arrange a massage at your cottage from therapist Lisa Williams, who's based on the neighboring island Petit Martinique. She also teaches yoga and meditation, and tells guests how to bring more balance to their hectic lives through her popular "lifestyle evaluations."
Petit St. Vincent's high season starts in late January and ends in mid-March. This year, a cottage for two costs $1,020 a night until March 13, which includes meals and resort facilities. There's also a 10% service fee, but tips are discouraged.
Rates drop to $860 a night from March 14 to April 11. From May 1 to Aug. 31, the resort offers a package of $4,600 for seven nights, or about $660 a night. Tax and service charges are included in the summer package.
The best way to reach the Grenadines from the U.S. is through Barbados, where you can catch a smaller plane operated by
to Union Island. The resort will arrange the hour-long flight when you make your reservation. Then, there's a 15-minute boat ride from Union Island to Petit St. Vincent.
Inter-island flights don't always run as scheduled, so plan to stay a night in Barbados on either end of your trip. Consider staying at
in Christ Church, which is about five miles from the airport.
The resort will send luggage tags before your visit. Don't forget to attach them to your checked baggage. It's wise to carry an overnight bag that includes your swimsuit in case your luggage is misplaced. Clothing boutiques on the island are expensive and offer limited selection.
There's no cell-phone tower on Petit St. Vincent, but BlackBerry devices can pick up signals from neighboring islands. Guests are strongly discouraged from using cell phones in public. While there's no Internet access in the cottages, you can request to use a computer in the basement of the resort's office. And though it's not publicized, the resort receives the
New York Times
by fax each day. It's available upon request.
Alison Stein Wellner writes about travel, culture and lifestyle from her home in New York City. She blogs about travel for the Huffington Post, and has written for Business Week, Fast Company, Glamour, The Robb Report, Sierra magazine and The Washington Post, among other publications.