When Nick Jonas planned his early 2019 honeymoon with Priyanka Chopra, he chose a little-known island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines—little known to most Americans, at least. The alluringly named isle of Mustique may be just a few square miles, but it’s quite the beloved destination for Brits, harking back to Princess Margaret’s days (Mick Jagger was and still is another famed English resident) and continuing to host present-day royals.
But as flashy as Mustique’s reputation may sound, there’s no pretense. The incredibly private getaway manages to walk the perfect line between glamour and serenity, all with the sort of easy, chill overtone that is so desirable for a honeymoon. (Or a wedding: Ally Hilfiger was married there, at her dad Tommy’s estate.)
There is hardly a need to make plans while on the island. Even that fact alone would make it a fantasy for those tired of wedding scheduling, appointments, and events. But beyond that, it’s paradise in the purest sense of the word: tall palms bent by the wind, shallow blue lagoons, long stretches of sand, sea turtles gliding through turquoise water, and tortoises crawling on land (don’t be surprised if you see them mating, too!)—even a little church made of bamboo. The clear air is perfumed by abundant flowers, and the sunsets burn in every shade of pink and red.
Where To Stay
The Cotton House luxury boutique hotel is a honeymooner’s dream, with each room, suite, or cottage claiming its own personality and sea view. Outdoor showers, bathtubs, balconies, living rooms, and plunge pools, depending on what you book, all add charm to the gingerbread-meets-tropical style pervading the storied property, which was formerly part of a cotton plantation and still features a refurbished sugar mill turned museum. There’s almost no need to leave. (Worth noting, those who want complete privacy can opt to, like the Jonases, rent one of the 100 opulent villas sprawled across the island, each with a unique vibe and a full staff providing all meals, if desired.)
What To Do
When couples do finally rouse themselves from bed, it’s rewarded. Most simply it could be down to the Cotton House beach, where they might sip rum punch and nibble plantain chips while UB40’s “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You” plays from the beach café bar, or jump off the jetty into Endeavor Bay with snorkels. There are dozens of beaches and coves to explore, and more often than not, there won’t be another soul in sight. Make these explorations via “mule”—the name for the golf-cart–style buggies everyone tools around in—even more memorable with a catered beach picnic, complete with flower petals and bubbly. The same feeling of intimacy is evident on hikes, too, unless it’s the high season (early summer and major holidays). Dramatic vistas are treats at many vantage points, including from Firefly, where martinis are the favorite sundowner. And then there are the underwater delights most common in Brittania Bay’s crystal waters in front of Basil’s Bar.
The iconic beach bar, named after its founder, a friend of Jagger’s who is still spotted frequently, is the place for socializing, not to mention dancing up a storm. A couple nights a week things start jumping with live music, and every January, the Mustique Blues Festival, draws crowds. For more getting to know you and less dancing, there’s the Tuesday night cocktail party at The Cotton House’s Great Room, decked in indelible West Indies decor and a regular affair for everyone on the island.
Really ambitious types could day trip by boat to neighboring island Bequia, but when there’s so much to do—or not to do—on Mustique, it feels unnecessary. After all, between lobster dinners, spa treatments, classic bands, sunset sails, piña coladas, and the magical Caribbean looking like a crystal ball, why be overzealous? For that’s the beauty of Mustique—its easy allure will never go out of style.