Press Coverage

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Why we all love the Caribbean: Local Life, Golden sands

The Sunday Telegraph, UK

22 Oct 2017 By Fred Mawer

To partake in local life, head to the friendly and unspoilt Bequia in St Vincent and the Grenadines. It has a quant little capital (Port Elizabeth) overlooking a picturesque natural harbour (Admiralty Bay, a popular stopover with yachties), and a good smattering of laid-back bars and decent restaurants. Stay at colonial-chic Bequia Beach Hotel on Friendship Bay, one of several golden-sand beaches.

The 30 most idyllic islands on Earth

The Telegraph Online

20 Oct 2017 By Chris Leadbeater

The Caribbean at its most refined. Much like a pop star who only needs one name, Bequia largely disguises the fact that is part of the wider country of St Vincent and the Grenadines, distilling its essence into high-end resorts and a Caribbean take on the Côte d’Azur. Princess Margaret visited often.

Who you’ll meet: Supermodels slumbering behind sunglasses.

Turns out I am a Caribbean kind of girl after all...

Sunday Telegraph, UK

08 Oct 2017 By Kate Humble

“Have you ever been to Beckway?” a friend asked. “I think it might be exactly the sort of place you are looking for.” I had never been to Beckway, I was entirely ignorant of its existence. “It’s in the Caribbean…” I pulled a face.

‘It’s very small, not remotely flashy and very relaxed. Nothing like the more touristy islands you are imagining. Google it.” And so I did.

It seemed from the outset that we had found a Caribbean island that felt no compunction to present itself as a carefully fabricated “holiday paradise”, but more “take us as you find us”.

We had, we realised, stumbled on a rare gem, a tiny tropical island that far from surrendering itself to the fickle demands of tourism, has quietly, resolutely hung on to its identity. It is that fact, I think, that ultimately made it such a relaxing and restorative place to be.

Move over, Mustique - Bequia is in the run-up to becoming the new best Caribbean destination

Spearswms.com

04 Aug 2017 By RASIKA SITTAMPARAM

I am on a mission to find out why Bequia is better than the others in the vicinity, or why it is quickly becoming one of the best destinations in the Caribbean. And I’m slowly but very surely charmed, just from a few conversations with the laidback locals.

Discovering the Caribbean on board the Bequia Beach Hotel's classic Benetti

Boatinternational.com

29 Jun 2017 By Sophia Wilson

Less than five minutes away by taxi – though be aware that taxis come in the form of open back pick-up trucks – lies Friendship Bay, home to the colonial styled Bequia Beach Hotel. Set in nine acres of lush tropical gardens, it is the only privately owned and managed hotel to have been built in the West Indies for more than 10 years and is filled with unique touches, from vintage suitcases to a reception desk styled from half a hot air balloon basket. Perched at the top of the property is the Estate Villa, with a private infinity pool and wraparound terrace overlooking the resort’s own glorious stretch of sand. Complete with butler service and a private maid, it’s a perfect land based hideaway.

After 32 islands, I've found my Caribbean champion: Biographer Hunter Davies falls for Bequia's old-fashioned charm

Mail on Sunday, UK

03 Jun 2017 By Hunter Davies

Bequia is my favourite island in the Caribbean – and that’s saying something as, over the years, I’ve visited 32 of them. One of Bequia’s many attractions is that it always feels like the West Indies in the olden days, with real West Indians going quietly and calmly about their real West Indian lives. It’s a small island, about five miles long, and with only 5,000 inhabitants, but it feels bigger thanks to its winding roads, hidden tracks, wooded hills, marvellous beaches and a spectacular harbour filled with yachts.

Best of both

BOAT International

01 Jun 2017 By Sophia Wilson

Are luxury hotels and superyachts a match made in heaven? Sophia Wilson discovers why one Caribbean hotelier has added a classic Benetti to his menu.
I am fortunate enough to be exploring this stunning part of the island chain of the Grenadines on board 34 metre Star of the Sea. The experience is part of a new venture by the yacht’s Swedish owner Bengt Mortstedt to allow guests to combine a stay at his Bequia Beach Hotel with a trip on board the beautifully maintained classic Benetti. “From the hotel’s perspective, it gives guests the chance to experience a taste of the superyacht lifestyle,” says Mortstedt, who has recently moved the yacht across from the Mediterranean. “I also thought it would be a good opportunity to promote the yacht because we are the only superyacht that is based here in the Grenadines.” The new three day trip, combined with a hotel visit, allows guests to take in Mustique, the Tobago Cays Marine Park and Union Island, as well as saving plenty of time to explore Bequia.

BEQUIA: A HIDDEN TREASURE

HarpersBazaar.co.uk

17 May 2017 By Loren Lazic-Duffy

I feel I've been let in on a secret, having been invited to a secluded, untarnished land. Bequia, one of the jewelled Grenadines lying 15 kilometres south of Saint Vincent, is a place that feels it should be said no louder than a whisper. It's a secret I'm relieved I haven't promised to keep, as these seven square miles of lush, green island deserve to be seen. A mission supported by the Bequia Beach Hotel owner Bengt Mortstedt who, having brought in his own nine-seater private jet, can now personally transport guests from Barbados to Bequia with lavish ease.

The Beauty of Bequia

Good Things, UK

01 May 2017 By Georgina Wilson-Powell

Bequia is everything nearby Mustique is not, although both are part of the Grenadines. Visiting the former is like stepping back in time to when the islands weren't the holiday homes of the super-rich or the winter playgrounds of the European jet set. Here, flat bed trucks and minivans act as taxis, you're just as likely to be greeted at the tiny airport by a pig as by someone holding a sign, and life ebbs and flows like the people slowly moving around the diminutive island, constantly pacing the steep hills and soft bays - always smiling,.

Great escape: Bequia Beach, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Country Life, UK

20 Apr 2017 By Emma McCall

As we wind our way across the island, goats trot alongside the open pick-up and reggae music and laughter float in the air above the colourful houses on the road from Port Elizabeth. Here on Bequia (pronounced Beck-way), you are stepping into the unspoilt Caribbean of old—a Barbados of 30 years ago.

Our destination, Bequia Beach Hotel and its sparkly new yacht, appears before us. Sympathetically built across sloped tropical gardens, owner Bengt Mortstedt’s exclusive hideaway runs down onto the white-sand beach. The Swedish businessman sourced the vintage furnishings for the 56 rooms—classic villas, cottages, ocean- and beach-front suites, penthouses and a staffed estate villa—all positioned between lantern walkways, lending a village feel rather than that of a resort. The style is one of colonial elegance and touches such as reception desks made from hot-air-balloon baskets are charming.

A Star Turn

Boat International

01 Apr 2017

With its new 34m Benetti motor yacht Star of the Sea, Bequia Beach Hotel is offering guests day trips to the surrounding islands or three or seven day itineraries around St Vincent & the Grenadines.

Valentine's Day hotels that'll set your hearts aflutter

You & Your Wedding

01 Feb 2017 By Hollie Bond

A caribbean island + Valentine’s Day = recipe for romance, and Bequia Beach Hotel in St. Vincent is upping the love ante with its Valentine’s package. Enjoy lazy days on the beach in Friendship Bay, before relaxing with a couple’s massage in the sanctuary of the spa pavilion. The package also includes a chef’s dinner for two at the Blue Tropic Restaurant as well as a boat trip to exclusive Mustique. Where do we sign up?

En pärla i klassiska Karibien (Swedish)

Gods & Gårdar, Sweden

01 Jan 2017 By Pia Mattsson

Det finns ställen dit tiden inte hittar. Små smultronställen med en klocka utan visare. En sådan plats är Bequia – en paradisoas i den karibiska övärlden.

Läget var fantastiskt och platsen paradislik på den bästa ön i Karibien, säger Bengt. Där och då bestämde jag mig för att köpa tomten. Här skulle jag bygga ett strandhus till min familj.

Men det blev aldrig någon strandvilla. För en entreprenör och visionär blir det lätt så. I stället blev det mer mark, ett eget bygg- bolag med lokal arbetskraft och i slutändan Bequia Beach Hotel.

Hot Hotels and Villas: St Vincent and The Grenadines

The Telegraph, UK

06 Dec 2016 By Nigel Tisdall

Only five miles by two, Bequia is a delightful, topsy-turvy island with an old-school vibe where it’s easy to slip into a mellow mood, lunching on fresh snapper, sailing down to the Tobago Cays, taking the local ferry across to mighty St Vincent.

Framed in tranquil gardens, this Swedish-owned four-star resort sits beside the gentle waters of Friendship Bay, with 60 rooms furnished with a nostalgia for the grand old days of travel – the most spacious are the Penthouse Suite Hideaway and the four-bedroom Estate Villa. This winter, the hotel will be running the popular Jack’s Beach Bar on the island’s best sands, Princess Margaret Beach.

Beq-where? Estella Shardlow hops from Barbados to Bequia to find a Caribbean island where sun and chill rule

Escapism, UK

08 Nov 2016 By Estella Shardlow

Unlike celeb-packed neighbour Mustique, it has remained thoroughly under the radar. Millionaires reside in its remote pastel-coloured villas and bring their yachts into its bays, but there is none of the ‘scene’ of Barbados, none of the luxury brands – nor a single set of traffic lights, for that matter. Wi-fi aside, locals agree the place hasn’t really changed for 50 years.

Once the rum punch started flowing at Bequia Beach’s veranda restaurant Bagatelle, dinner culminated with guests kicking off their sandals and dancing barefoot on the sand

Retro-Chic Bequia

Sunday Times, UK

11 Sep 2016

The 58-suite Bequia Beach Hotel, with a pool, a spa, a bar, a restaurant and, of course, a beach, is charmingly retro, its interiors unsullied by minimalist design concepts. The result, as with all the best hotels, is that you feel you're at a friend's house, rather than in a holiday facility.

Hotel News

Food & Travel, UK

01 Jul 2016

For a touch of the real Caribbean, look no further than the sleepy island of Bequia, which is just a short flight from Barbados. Relatively undiscovered, calm, lazy days here are guaranteed. The hotel skirts the white sands and coral reefs of Friendship Beach on the east coast, where tropical gardens and lush green hillsides frame it to perfection

A luxurious Caribbean time capsule where they have got the past perfect: Inside the Bequia hotel that keeps you young

Mail on Sunday, UK

18 Jun 2016 By Tristan Davies

"This is the kind of hotel where the rich, famous and we lesser mortals can drift in and out incognito"

Bengt, you see, has created a perfect time capsule. By the time you have checked in to one of the 1930s colonial-style rooms with 1950s-style posters, and followed 1960s-style wooden signs to the bar and ordered your first Dark ’n’ Stormy, you’re already feeling 20 years younger.

It’s not just the decor, agreeable though it is. Everything here exudes old-style charisma, a Pathé newsreel picture of how the Caribbean used to be before the big bucks and giant cruise liners steamed in.

Going solo... but not for long: Finding solace and friendships on a Caribbean odyssey

Mail on Sunday, UK

27 Mar 2016 By Hunter Davies

I then moved on to Bequia in the Grenadines, my favourite island in all the Caribbean, and stayed at the Bequia Beach Hotel. There I agreed to give a public talk, all proceeds to charity, about my exciting life as a writer.

I was introduced by Bengt, the owner of the hotel, and also Sir James Mitchell, a former prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who remarked to the audience that all three of us had lost our wives in the past year. Statistically, women live longer than men and, as a generalisation, wives are younger than their husbands, so it was an unusual coincidence.

Yet the three of us were from different lands and cultures – Bengt is from Sweden, James from the West Indies and I’m British. Oh, the bonding we three chaps were able to do afterwards over dinner.

Where to travel in 2016: Caribbean Calm

Daily Mail, UK

02 Jan 2016 By Mark Palmer

The little island of Bequia is part of the Grenadines, but has its own take on life. Relaxed, unpretentious and something of a throwback to the Caribbean of old, long before the likes of Simon Cowell started hanging out in glitzy Barbados.

Port Elizabeth, the capital, is a magnet for yachties and from this season you can walk all the way from the town past Princess Margaret beach to Lower Bay, one of the world’s most perfect beaches. HOW TO DO IT: Just Bequia (justbequia.co.uk) offers seven nights at the Bequia Beach Hotel

The 21 hottest hideaways

Sunday Times, UK

04 Oct 2015 By Chris Haslam

Some say “be-queer”, others say “bekwia”, but the right way to pronounce the name of the hippest island in the Caribbean is “bek-way”. Old-money Mustique lies to the south, new-money Canouan even further so, but there’s a bit of a no-money vibe to sleepy Bequia, which remains one of the least developed islands in the Caribbean, or did until the Swedish entrepreneur Bengt Mortstedt set out to build the kind of hotel he wanted to stay in. The result is Bequia Beach Hotel, one of the finest boutique establishments in the Caribbean — 60 rooms of laid-back retro chic in tropical gardens beside the beach at Friendship Bay.

Island paradise, please, Captain — and hop to it

Sunday Times, UK

04 Oct 2015 By Martin Hemming

We’ve written a lot about Bequia in Travel. My colleagues have already exhausted the best adjectives. So I’ll just rather prosaically say that it’s great. Don’t miss Princess Margaret Beach, where she probably got drunk, and where we watched a class of adorable primary-school kids having a swimming lesson. And treat yourself to a lobster pizza from Mac’s (from £22). We stayed at the swish Bequia Beach Hotel, where the barbecue-night band did bravely take on Lady in Red.

Drift off to Bequia, the island of clouds

Evening Standard UK

25 Sep 2015 By Amol Rajan

Most people who bother much with the subject know that the idea of a “perfect Caribbean island” is a centuries-old delusion. These glorious places are so varied in their cultures, customs, cuisines and curiosities that they ought never to compete in the same race. For all that, there are islands that answer more or less ideally to the demands of travellers for West Indian sun, sea and all that’s in between. And it is true that the island that might do it best is Bequia.

On a Wednesday night, a fantastic reggae band called Solutions, from St Vincent, created a very Caribbean scene, as genders and generations united on a sandy dancefloor to the sound of Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come — Mortstedt leading the revelry himself.

You should go to Bequia before everyone else does. A long-delayed international airport is due to open on neighbouring St Vincent by the end of this year, potentially altering the course of the sleepy Grenadines. And then when everyone else does go, you can say you went before they did. It has an exquisite climate, outstanding beaches, delicious food, lovely locals, an ideal size, affordability and that Dylan-esque quality of being in a state of becoming.

Put to the test: Barbados vs Bequia! A fortnight of Caribbean luxury to discover which idyllic island is the best

Mail on Sunday, UK

31 May 2015 By Hunter Davies

I said I was never going to Barbados again – 29 consecutive years was quite enough, thank you.

Bequia, the little Grenadine island a short hop away, was my new Caribbean love.

In Bequia, there wasn’t anywhere classy to stay, so over the years I moved around, but now there is the Bequia Beach Hotel on Friendship Bay. It is so artistic, yet efficient, with rooms bigger, and more stylish, than those at Cobblers Cove, yet mostly cheaper. Like Cobblers, it appeals to the discerning. No vulgar TVs in the bedrooms. I should think not.

Hmm, I seem to have made Bequia the winner – by 34 points to 29. From now on, should I just go to Bequia?”

Top 10: The best boutique hotels in the Caribbean

The Telegraph, UK

27 Apr 2015 By Fred Mawer, James Henderson and Nigel Tisdall

Bequia is a pretty, topsy-turvy island with a long tradition of boat-building, whaling and taking it easy. Built by a genial Swedish lawyer and his family, the 60-room Bequia Beach Hotel in Friendship Bay is an easygoing mini-resort with colourful wooden cabanas by the pool, retro travel posters in the bedrooms and a sheltered sandy beach bordered by spacious gardens. If you want a relaxed and modern hotel set on a sunny island with charm and character, look no further.

Bequia: The Caribbean’s best-kept secret

The Independent, UK

01 Jan 2015 By Dan Gledhill

Bengt’s baby is now a sophisticated but charming mini-resort with restaurant, bar, swimming pool, gym and spa tucked into one of the island’s prettiest stretches of coastline, Friendship Bay. So far, so typically Caribbean. But Bequia is far more than just a beautiful island in the sun.

What stands out, you eventually realise, is the absence of billboards for Coca-Cola and the like. Bequia has resisted the Americanisation that blights much of the Caribbean. Port Elizabeth is more bohemian than bling. You can close your eyes and imagine the time Bob Dylan spent here 30 years ago watching his 70ft schooner, Water Pearl, being built by the best of Bequia’s shipwrights. He often sailed it around the island but it eventually sank after hitting a reef off the coast of Panama.

Before I leave the island, Bengt explains to me: “Bequia is one of the few true old-style Caribbean islands left, not commercialised and sparsely developed. Has it changed since I came here? Maybe there are fewer old sailors in the bars. But not much besides.

Notes from a Small Island

The Arbuturian, online

01 Jan 2015 By Lucy Shaw

Like a snapshot frozen in time, the island of Bequia is how I imagine the Caribbean used to look before tourism took hold in earnest. Meaning “island of the clouds” in ancient Arawak, Bequia has a rugged beauty and rough around the edges charm that separates it from the pristine perfection of neighbouring Barbados and St Lucia.

After an interminable carousel of trains, planes and automobiles, my home for the next three nights is Bequia Beach Hotel, run by a sandy-haired Swede called Bengt Mortstedt, a local legend known to the islanders as “Mr. Bengt”

My aim was to build an old fashioned beach hotel that doesn’t exist anymore. I want my guests to have the feeling of stepping back in time to a more elegant era of travel. I’m in the industry of imagination – I sell dreams,” says Bengt of his rose-tinted vision.

My spacious room overlooks the ocean. From a distance, the wooden thatched umbrellas lodged in the sand look like the ones you’d find prettifying a Piña Colada. The sea is an urgent shade of aquamarine and the pace of life tortoise slow. So slow in fact, that it forces you to modify your urban impatience. After a day or two the knots begin to loosen and the need to stay connected loses its relevance.

The warm, friendly of gold of the island of Bequia

The Times, UK

27 Dec 2014 By Amanda Linfoot

Looking out to sea from Friendship Bay, on the island of Bequia, Mustique sits squarely on the horizon. This is the Grenadines — not short on fabulous vistas — but this scene is particularly appealing: blue sky, sea twinkling in the sunlight, a holiday island that radiates glamour.

The Bequia Beach Hotel makes a handy base because it’s only five minutes by car from Port Elizabeth. More than that, it’s refreshingly individual. It’s the labour of love of a retired Swedish property developer called Bengt Mortstedt, who fell for tranquil Friendship Bay in 2004 and dreamt of building the sort of hotel he would want to stay at. So forget notions of the identikit resorts that pepper the Caribbean, with their naff, floral soft furnishings: the Bequia Beach Hotel is a triumph of tasteful cream interior design.

Bequia has a warm, friendly heart of gold. Please don’t change. You’re perfect just the way you are.”

Big times on the little islands – To find the coolest parts of the Caribbean, you need to downsize. Vincent Crump grabs a beer by the bay in itty-bitty beautiful Bequia

Sunday Times, UK

12 Oct 2014 By Vincent Crump

I am staying at the island’s standout hotel, Bequia Beach, the only one with resort pretensions, which sunbathes in flower-filled gardens behind Friendship Bay. It has half a mile of superlative sand to itself, a singing waitress named Bridget and suites arrayed with jazz-era posters and mahogany umbrella stands.

It pulls off the unlikely trick of being luxurious but homely, and is possibly the only five-star Caribbean resort where your room comes with a cat. She’s called Diva, and the staff quietly place her water bowl under the steps of whichever guest she takes a fancy to. This week, it’s me

SVG, as habitués know it, has upped its game, from chic stays at Sugar Reef Bequia, Cotton House and Bequia Beach Hotel. Nigel Tisdall checks in

Financial Times, How to Spend it

01 Mar 2014 By Nigel Tisdall

St Vincent and the Grenadines sounds like the sort of colourfully shirted band that played in the days when a party meant taffeta frocks, tombolas and gin and it. In fact, it’s a sprinkling of 32 islands that runs south between St Lucia and Grenada, which for the past half century has been one of those bit-of-a-slog-but-worth-it spots to which the Caribbean cognoscenti like to slip away.

Royalty and rock stars, hippies and done-okay chippies, beachcombers and old salts – plus a winning mix of hairdryer-hot breezes, terrific sailing, ridiculously turquoise waters and friendly “Vincys” – have made SVG, as its habitués know it, a magnet for escapists and eccentrics.

10 islands to love–none in the latest TripAdvisor list

Los Angeles Times

24 Feb 2014 By Christopher Reynolds

#2. Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This is a tiny Caribbean haven, just 7 square miles. I got there on a Windstar cruise 17 years ago and found myself sharing a beach with more goats than people. Yacht people and divers, however, are big fans of the place.

7 Caribbean Islands You’ve Never Heard Of But Should Visit

Huffington Post

20 Jan 2014

Bequia – The Grenadines are mentioned quite a few times on this list and there’s reason why. The islands are popular among yachters, have (mostly) great beaches and are further south than some people might want to schlep for a week getaway.

First up is Bequia, which has the most protected natural harbor in the Caribbean). This tiny island in the Grenadines is a great under-the-radar destination for divers, boaters and beach goers alike (one of the more popular spots is Princess Margaret beach, named after the actual real-life princess).

The Beatles in Bequia: Dancing to the Fab Four on the sands of a Caribbean hideaway

Daily Mail, UK

22 Dec 2013 By Hunter Davies

Bequia is my favourite island in the Caribbean – small but perfectly shaped and perfectly balanced. But in the 20 years since I first started coming here, I have never found the perfect hotel – until now.

I headed for the newly completed Bequia Beach Hotel. And goodness, did my cup overflow. And not just with rum punch, but with delight.

Soon after entering this luxurious and ever-so-tasteful boutique hotel, I was thrilled to join in a whole evening dedicated the The Beatles. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Caribbean: Great boutique hotels in holiday packages

Daily Telegraph, UK

25 Nov 2013 By Lizzie Porter

Here are some of the best soulful, character-filled Caribbean boutique hotels and villas…

What a little charmer! Kicking back in Bequia, the tiny island with a big heart

Daily Mail, UK

15 Nov 2013 By Mark Palmer

After three nights at Sugar Reef we move to the Bequia Beach Hotel on Friendship Bay, where a couple of years ago Swedish lawyer Bengt Mortstedt let his heart rule his head and built a 60-room resort that most people at the time thought was an act of folly.

But guests are returning for a second or third year, staying in plush ocean-view rooms or in cottages spread around the eight-acre site. It’s the only big hotel on the island.

A tale of two Caribbeans: Blissful in Bequia – and Barbados on a holiday of real contrasts

Daily Mail, UK

15 May 2012 By Hunter Davies

Bequia is just 50 minutes from Barbados, but it is a world away. There are two flights a day from Barbados, so it’s clear why Bequia is not quite yet a mass tourist destination.

The big attraction of Bequia is the magnificent harbour and the little town Port Elizabeth, strung out around the bay with loads of bars, cafes, shops and little ginger-bread guesthouses. So much to see and wonder about.

Sunday Times 100 / Tropical Luxury’ – “Better than Mustique

Sunday Times, UK

29 Jan 2012 By Stephen Bleach

Mick Jagger’s favourite haunt is the most exclusive island in the Caribbean, the stuff of tropical dreams. Well, I’ve been to Mustique, and you know what? It’s not all that. Big houses, sure, but Lord, it’s dull. Just across the water, tiny Bequia is loads more fun, with great beaches, friendly people and a little bit of real Caribbean life — Mustique feels more like Surrey. There’s a smart little place to stay, too. The Bequia Beach Hotel is new, but in colonial style, right on Friendship Bay. You don’t need Jagger’s cash to enjoy it, either.

Four of the best small affordable Caribbean Hotels

Daily Telegraph, UK

03 Dec 2011 By Francesca Syz

The Eastern Caribbean island of Bequia (‘island of clouds’) may be only a 20-minute boat ride across the bay from Mustique, but it offers a more authentic slice of Caribbean island life, where real local people live, as do a smattering of discerning expats (Anthony Eden lived here for a few years in the 1950).

The Swedish entrepreneur Bengt Mortstedt has developed Bequia Beach Hotel from two existing hotels, and the result is a property with friendly service offering a contemporary take on colonial Caribbean architecture, influenced by the stage designer Oliver Messel, who built some of the first villas on Mustique. Set within tropical gardens, the hotel sits on one of the island’s loveliest beaches, in the residential neighbourhood of Friendship Bay.

Bequia: is this the perfect Caribbean island?

Daily Telegraph, UK

02 Apr 2011 By Fred Mawer

I have been fortunate enough to visit many Caribbean islands over the years, and every one has had a flaw. Much of Barbados, for example, is overdeveloped; parts of Jamaica can be scary; Cuba is hard work; St Lucia has few good beaches; Antigua’s hotels are mostly isolated; St Barts is too flashy; Anguilla’s interior is scruffy…

Finally, however, I have found an island that’s hard to fault. It’s called Bequia (pronounced bekway), a green and hilly S-shaped outpost of the Grenadines, nine miles south of St Vincent. Here’s why, in my opinion, it’s almost perfect.