Go! Destination MarketingCaribbean Connection


Toucan Hill

Mustique Made Easy
By Arlene Winnick

When BeautifulPlaces, the international villa company, expanded into the Caribbean, they sent me to Mustique to experience the island and select villas for the company’s rental portfolio.  Here’s what I discovered: Mustique will surprise you!

I always thought Mustique was a private playground for European celebrities and royalty (just ask Kate Middleton) who hid out in their pricey villas.  My recent visit proved just how wrong I was.

After arriving in Barbados I was escorted to a private terminal for my flight to Mustique aboard a plane operated by The Mustique Company – yes, they send the plane for you.

My fellow travelers sensed this was my first visit and their first question was, “What villa are you staying in?”

“Toucan Hill,” I replied.

“Oh you’ll love it, we had drinks there – best views on the islands.  Be sure to go to the cocktail party hosted by The Mustique Company – you’ll meet everyone…and of course don’t miss Jump Up Night at the infamous Basil’s Bar.”

I soon realized that Mustique is more like a private country club and when you rent a home you are automatically welcomed into the club.  I was greeted at the airport by Patricia, Toucan Hill’s charming house manager who whisked me to the dramatic hilltop Moorish-style villa and made me feel right at home.  All of the rooms are spacious suites with handcrafted furniture from Morocco, India and Africa….and my patio with its incredible views and cool breeze was my personal sanctuary.

The next day Patricia gave me a tour of the 1,400 acre island in a “mule,” a luxury golf cart that comes with each villa.  The pristine island remains wildly beautiful with nine white-sand beaches, rocky headlands and a vast marine conservation area.  The Mustique Company oversees the island like a five-star resort with more than 100 villas; the Cotton House (a small hotel); three restaurants (the casual Beach Café; the elegant Veranda and the clubby Firefly).    Definitely dine out one night at Firefly.  It truly is a social event where I met a number of fascinating guests and owners from all over the globe.

Though many guests never leave their villa (and who can blame them), I wanted to check out the island’s many activities.  I’d recommend the two mile “fitness trail” followed by a treatment at the spa.  My friends went to the equestrian center and were soon galloping along the beach. For those who like watersports, there’s a dive shop or you can rent a boat and explore  the neighboring islands, which I will do on my next trip.

Dining at Toucan Hill was remarkable and surprising (the villa boasts more than 30 sets of china) – one evening we dined poolside surrounded by 100 candles; the next in the formal Pavilion; and then al fresco under the moonlight. We even had a Moroccan-themed party with the staff in costumes.  Be sure to request a picnic on Macaroni Beach!

I spent the next few days touring villas – so many difference styles, settings and atmosphere  from the over the top contemporary Hummingbird; Frangipani , a classic colonial; and Blackstone, with its Balinese stylings; to Plantation House a sprawling family home; and Point Lookout, the ultimate two-beach  house.  It was so hard to choose, I loved them all.

To view our Mustique portfolio, go to www.beautiful-places.com or call 1-800-495-9661 to talk to a villa consultant.