There’s no place in the world quite like Mustique. From the moment you step off of the restored Twin Otter plane and walk through the bamboo airport, you enter a place where time seems to stand still, leaving the formality of everyday life behind you. They say you only need to bring a linen shirt, a sarong, and some flip-flops to Mustique, and it’s really true. This is not the spot for diamonds and couture — here, even British royalty wears shorts and lets their hair down. The atmosphere is very relaxed and intimate, almost as if the island is a private club. And in a way, it is.
The small island is located in the Grenadines and is privately owned. All guests on Mustique must be approved by the Mustique Company, ensuring privacy and safety, and there are no pesky paparazzi for miles. Mustique is dotted with an incredible collection of villas and fringed with lush palm trees, pristine white-sand beaches, and gorgeous azure water. The weather in Mustique is beautiful year-round. It’s typically a balmy 75-85 degrees, so there’s not really a low season on the island. Our Mustique travel guide will show you how to feel like a local the second you step off the plane into paradise.
Where to Stay on Mustique
Most visitors choose to stay at one of its gorgeous villas. There is a dizzying array of décor and styles on Mustique, from classic villas designed by Mustique’s legendary architect Oliver Messel to contemporary minimalist masterpieces and Balinese-inspired mansions. The smallest villas on Mustique have two bedrooms, while the largest can sleep 16 people and have amenities such as a poolside palapa, yoga pavilion, massage room, music rehearsal room, or private tennis court. There are over 80 villas on Mustique to choose from, so it’s best to liaise with the villa rental team to find the perfect one for you.
You’ll spend much, if not most, of your time at your villa. The villas are all fully serviced — usually with a live-in butler, chef, gardener, housekeeper, and at the larger estates, property managers — who take care of your every need. It feels like you are in the world’s most exclusive mini hotel. The island’s chefs are superb, each with their own specialities, and everyone thinks their chef is the best. The island is famous for its decadent dinner parties, and upon arrival you’ll quickly make friends who will invite you to their villa for dinner. Your butler will be your point person on the island, handling everything from making spa reservations, driving you to activities in the island’s ubiquitous mules (a souped-up golf cart), setting up a beach picnic, and serving your meals.
If you are traveling as a couple or as a small group wanting a bit more privacy, check into The Cotton House, the island’s 17-bedroom boutique hotel. It’s the heart of the island and has two must-visit restaurants. It has a prime location on Endeavour Bay next to the spa, Beach Café, watersports center, and a stunning beach. The Cotton House is located on the site of a former cotton warehouse and sugar mill, and the design reflects its historic character with an updated colonial-meets-contemporary design.
The rooms are awash in pastels, gauzy fabrics, and tropical touches that sit alongside antique furniture and brightly painted shutters. The Residence is the hotel’s largest suite — the two-bedroom penthouse sits on a hilltop and has a private pool and a personal maid and butler. There are also two-bedroom duplex suites with a plunge pool on the first floor and a terrace with gorgeous views on the second floor, as well as single-bedroom rooms and suites, some with verandas and plunge pools. You can order a delicious dinner from Veranda restaurant to enjoy in your room if you like.
The Best Restaurants in Mustique
With an incredible chef at your disposal to create a custom menu for every meal, you’ll dine most frequently at your villa. But don’t worry, you won’t get bored dining at home. The chefs are creative and craft delicious dishes across all types of cuisine. In addition, your butler will set up restaurant-worthy tablescapes at different places in your villa and provide superb service during each course. Dining under the stars in the privacy of your villa is a wonderful experience, and will be one of the most memorable moments of your trip. It’s customary to give your staff a night or two off during your stay. Your choices are limited to just a few places, but that’s part of the charm of Mustique.
No visit to Mustique is complete without a visit to Basil’s Bar. This iconic spot is the heart of the island where everyone — and we mean everyone — comes to have a good time. It has wild dance parties every Wednesday night at the Jump Up party, a busy happy hour on Thursday nights, and is perfect for a relaxed lunch or dinner. In fact, you might find yourself coming here every day—you’ll never get bored of Basil’s.
It’s known for its burgers and flatbread pizzas, as well as grilled spiny lobster tail and delicious jerk chicken tacos. The bar, originally opened in 1976. It has since served everyone from rock stars to royalty — Prince William is such a fan that Basil was invited to his wedding. In 2018, the bar underwent a refresh with chic decor from world-renowned designer Philippe Starck. Each night feels different, thanks to the variety of live music, DJs, and themed parties. And the can’t-miss legendary Mustique Blues Festival takes place every year from late January into early February.
Veranda restaurant is located in the main building at The Cotton House. It serves a West Indies-inspired menu in a charming outdoor setting. The restaurant wraps around the Great Room, the hotel’s legendary bar, and has an eclectic décor with mismatched prints, cane chairs, and seashell accents. The menu features delightfully innovative dishes such as green jerk shrimp with pineapple and apple; fresh tomato gazpacho with compressed watermelon; or the catch of the day with the famous Cotton House smoked butter sauce. It has a particularly impressive wine list, with standout bottles including Château Mouton Rothschild, Romanée-Conti, Ornellaia, and Opus 1. After dinner, head to the Great Room for a nightcap. It has an extensive menu of Caribbean rums and cocktails, and a cigar menu.
The Beach Café
The Beach Café is located on Endeavor beach and is a central hub for the island. It’s perfect for enjoying al fresco lunches and dinners with your toes in the sand. You can order food and drinks to your beach chair, too. The eclectic menu mixes fan favorites like pizzas, club sandwiches, and burgers, fresh salads, and a sushi bar. There are also Caribbean specialties like local roti and the day’s fresh catch. To finish your meal or cool down on a hot afternoon, head to the Ice Cream Parlour. Children (and adults!) can craft their own sundaes and milkshakes.
Every Friday, The Beach Bar is home to the island’s Happy Hour and a Half. It’s the perfect spot to gather to kick off the weekend and meet other island guests. On Saturday nights, the café hosts Cook on the Sand, where the chefs cook dinner over a beach bonfire.
This local spot is super casual but serves up delicious Caribbean food in a uniquely scenic environment. As the name suggests, the view is gorgeous. The View is located on a hilltop and overlooks the yachts docked in Britannia Bay, and you can see Basil’s Bar in the distance. The menu is for casual dining, with fresh fish, barbecue, and other Caribbean fare — we’re fans of the conch fritters. It’s a great place for relaxing with an afternoon snack and a cocktail. However, it’s not our pick for a full meal.
What to do in Mustique
Mustique is the perfect place for an ultra-relaxing vacation. You’ll spend your days lounging poolside at your villa, exploring the different beaches, or cruising around the island aboard an elegant yacht. If you’re looking for a place with a ton of activities, this is not the place for you. But, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
Mustique has several incredible beaches with powdery, soft sand, and crystal-clear turquoise water. The northern beaches, Macaroni and Simplicity, have more robust swells and are better for bodyboarding and surfing. The other main beaches, Lagoon, Gelliceaux, and Endeavour Bay, are more tranquil spots with gentle, if any, waves. All of the beaches have picnic areas, which must be reserved in advance. But remember, in Mustique, a picnic is not just a picnic. It’s a glamorous, catered affair. Think: lounging in the warm water while your butler tops off your glass of rosé. It’s really that fabulous.
If you picnic at Gelliceaux Bay, you can head down a narrow and rocky path that will take you to a private beach accessible only by this path or by boat.
The weather in Mustique is sublime year-round, so you’ll always be able to take advantage of its watersports. The Watersports Center is located on Endeavour Beach near The Cotton House. Here, you can rent paddleboards, glass-bottomed kayaks, and snorkeling gear. The center also has PADI-certified dive instructors who can take you on a shore dive at the coral reef restoration project or out into the ocean for a deeper dive. Your butler can also arrange to drop off equipment at your favorite beach.
The island has a robust tennis program. It has six floodlit courts overseen by a wonderful coach, Richard Schaffer, who gives private lessons and runs group courses. Every day, there are daily drop-in games where you can meet new people. In high season, there are seasonal camps and tournaments.
The Equestrian Center
If you ride, Mustique has plenty to offer. There’s a pony camp for children, a beautiful stable, and plenty of trails around the island you can explore on horseback.
How to Get to Mustique
The Mustique Company must approve all guests before they are allowed to step foot on the island. This tight security is one reason why royalty, celebrities, and the ultra-rich feel so at home and safe on Mustique. People leave their doors open and unlocked, children run around the island in complete safety, and there’s no pesky paparazzi to worry about.
Once approved, you’ll need to fly to St. Lucia and catch one of the daily flights operated by The Mustique Company on its charming, restored 18-seat Twin Otter planes. The St. Lucia airport has a dedicated staff to greet you and make your transfer as seamless as possible. Private jets and helicopters are not allowed, which is part of the island’s charm. You may also arrange for a private charter from Barbados if that better suits your travel arrangements. The experienced pilots will navigate the difficult landing with ease, and once you arrive in the quaint bamboo airport, you’ll be embraced by the magic of Mustique and leave your worries behind.
The History of Mustique
It’s difficult to imagine today, but when Colin Tennant purchased Mustique in 1958 for a mere £45,000, it was completely undeveloped. In less than two decades, he transformed it into a glamorous hideaway for the rich and famous. In 1960, he gave Princess Margaret a plot of land as a wedding present — a very savvy marketing move. She built a stunning villa, Les Jolies Eaux. With royalty in residence, socialites, rock stars, and the ultra-wealthy soon followed, creating a laid-back and carefree paradise. There are only 120 plots on Mustique’s 2.2 square miles. This limited development ensures the island remains a tranquil escape with plenty of greenery.