Featured

Finding Bequia – The Network Journal

“You’re going to Bequia?” friends had asked, “to write about it?” The implication being, they’d hoped to keep their vacation paradise in the Caribbean a secret. I, with a slight sense of guilt, was flying there to, well, “out” their idyll.

Bequia, from the air, gleams like an emerald drop in the variegated blue and green necklace of the remote archipelago Saint Vincent and Grenadines. All seven square miles of it is home to 5,000 people of African, Scottish and Island Carib descent. It’s off the beaten track just enough to stave off hordes of tourists, but idyllic enough to beckon adventurous spirits.

Enter Bengt Mortstedt, the jovial Swedish-born former lawyer, and self-proclaimed “accidental hotelier.” In the early 1990s he and his family were beguiled by Bequia while on a sailing vacation through the Grenadines. “It was unspoiled, a rugged beauty,” he said. While walking the milelong Friendship Beach, a few years later, he spotted a For Sale sign in front of an old, closed B&B. The rest is history. On New Year’s Eve 2009 his creation, the Bequia Beach Hotel, was born on nine acres fronting the sea.

The luxury hotel is refreshingly unpretentious: a modern take on colonial Caribbean architecture, known for its playful colors and relaxed charm. Mortstedt’s model for the hotel riffs on the ‘50s, imbuing the property with the nostalgia of seaside resorts of yesteryear. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the collection of retro-style travel posters created by California’s Kerne Erickson, placed throughout the property, speaks volumes on the realization of Mortstedt’s vision.

Each of the 58 guest rooms, suites and private villas displays its own personality while they’re united in designs that include four-poster beds cocooned in white voile canopies, vintage rattan furniture, contemporary bathrooms and spacious terraces. The panoramic view from my 700-square-foot Beachfront Suite embraced the beach: palms and thatched umbrellas anchored in the sand, while the island of Mustique rested on the horizon.

Interconnecting paths meander around gardens flush with flowers, shrubs and old growth trees tended by Matthew, master gardener. On Wednesdays, guests can follow him and his green thumbs on a horticulture tour. A section of the garden slopes up a hillside where one of the property’s three restaurants, Blue Tropic, serves Italian food. Further up the hill is perched a selection of varied accommodations whose views are spectacular. The largest of these is the 4,860-square-foot Estate Villa replete with its own kitchen, infinity pool, two master bedrooms and two twin bedrooms. A butler and a chef at your service, if you please.

A second infinity pool, hillside, is available for all hotel guests, but each morning at 7, I chose to swim in the spacious pool a stone’s throw from the beach. The first morning it rained cats and dogs but the pool water was warm and I was willing. Within minutes the sun emerged revealing a rainbow arching over the hills. Perfection.

Mortstedt and his son, Philip, have extended their reach to another area of Bequia, Princess Margaret Beach, where Jack’s Beach Bar draws customers to curated cocktails and seafood well suited to any princess and her prince. While I lunched on fresh fish and Grenadine greens, kids and adults alike frolicked in the sea below.

The nine-seater Bequia Air VIP Transfer that flew me from Barbados to Bequia is owned by the hotel, so too the Star of the Sea, a luxury 114-foot yacht that guests can rent for private charters along the Grenadines highway of islands. One sunny morning, I joined a group on board and cruised serenely along the Tobago Cays. Near our yacht, a pod of orcas breached in unison until out of view. We snorkeled and swam with the turtles on a tiny Robinson Caruso-like island The yacht staff produced a sumptuous lunch and plied us with unlimited drinks as we wended our way back home into the sunset.

In no small measure, part of the comfort and charm of Bequia Beach Hotel is due to the 240-member staff. Their genuine caring is a gift to each guest. Most come from the island, some from neighboring shores and others from farther away, including five chefs who trained in Europe. After spending a couple of days exploring Bequia, I discovered that almost every member of the staff is a friend or a relative of almost everyone else on the entire island.

That observation came by way of a friend who has lived on the island for many years. Walking through the bustling town of Port Elizabeth, with its fruit vendors, souvenir shops and arts and crafts kiosks was remarkable. Not a minute would go by when she wasn’t hugging someone, or another was offering her a new recipe or inviting her to a party. She’d introduce me and mention the Bequia Beach Hotel and immediately the response would be, “Oh, my cousin” so and so or “My brother” so and so works there. Driving up and down the hills of the narrow roads we’d encounter sheep, goats, chickens and tortoises, malnourished dogs, and again, her pals. This time the cars would casually stop in the middle of the road for a chat session. Relaxed has taken on a new meaning here.

We walked the Boardwalk in Admiralty Harbour, where the ice-cream parlor was at full scoop, and white sail boats bobbed in the bay. Climbed high in the hills to the more residential area of Mount Pleasant where the views are nothing short of spectacular. Coming back down to sea level, Lower Bay offers a popular beach where grabbing a fresh tuna sandwich, a cold beer and a plunge in the waves at Da Reef Restaurant and Bar is a Bequia ritual. Nearby is Dawn’s, where at sundown we ate at the tiny restaurant owned by a petite woman named, not surprisingly, Dawn. Her smile and home-cooked food were equally enticing.

Despite expensive expat villas dotting the landscape, Bequia is by no means a wealthy island: hand-to-mouth existence for many. Whaling was an industry for years, with the Whaling Museum being a testament to that practice. Unfortunately it is still allowed, but is carefully controlled.

New enterprises are offering means of employment for the Vincentians, as citizens of Bequia are called. I met two young people in Port Elizabeth who are determined to help individuals learn new skills and nurture latent talents. Jessica Jaja is the manager of Bequia Threadworks, which offers free training in sewing, textiles and fashion design. Its aim is to create a stable economy sourcing sustainable materials. The store on Back Street sells clothes that are made onsite. Off the main drag of Port Elizabeth and behind the local bookstore is The Hub Collective run by Colin Peters. With similar purpose as Threadworks, the Hub, also a non-profit organization, provides creative, entrepreneurial and self-development opportunities for all ages. Their gallery sells original, handmade crafts and art.

Back at the Bequia Beach Hotel, for my last evening, I sipped a cocktail at the open-air bar, dined on lobster with a family from Surrey, England, and listened to a band of local musicians perform late into the night. There’s magic on the island, strangers become friends, Bequia’s breezes burn into your memory and tourists will continue to come. Sorry, friends at home, I can’t keep Bequia your secret anymore.

(SOURCE: TNS)

(Article written by Carol Ann Davidson)



Source link

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Advertisement

Advertisement Small

Follow Me

Collaboratively harness market-driven processes whereas resource-leveling internal or "organic" sources. Competently formulate.

View More Job Search Results

Calendar

January 2020
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Pages

Recent Comments

    RSS Meks Blog

    • Top 3 proven methods to monetize your WordPress site or blog December 17, 2019
      Eager to learn how to monetize your WordPress site or blog in an easy way? Read our guide and learn all about it! The post Top 3 proven methods to monetize your WordPress site or blog appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Top 8 WordPress audio player plugins to enhance your podcast or music November 15, 2019
      What are the top WordPress audio player plugins to choose from for your next music or podcast project? Take your pick from our suggestions! The post Top 8 WordPress audio player plugins to enhance your podcast or music appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How to add Instagram photo feed to your WordPress site (in 5 minutes!) October 1, 2019
      How (and why) to add Instagram to WordPress and see more benefits from that match? We give you all the details and tools to do it successfully yourself! The post How to add Instagram photo feed to your WordPress site (in 5 minutes!) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 15 best headline & blog title generator tools to easily boost your SEO September 12, 2019
      Ready to increase traffic to your website today? Use these headline generator tools and improve your click-through-rates! The post 15 best headline & blog title generator tools to easily boost your SEO appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How to create a Facebook Page for your blog (plus PRO tips) September 4, 2019
      Wondering how to create a Facebook Page for your blog knowing that you really do need one? Follow our in depth guide and learn how to create and manage attractive and successful Facebook Page! The post How to create a Facebook Page for your blog (plus PRO tips) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Beginners guide on how to redirect a page in WordPress August 29, 2019
      Whether you’re trying to redirect a page in WordPress or just want to discover and understand why it’s important, use this guide to help you get ahead of it and learn all there is to it. The post Beginners guide on how to redirect a page in WordPress appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • The best Facebook Groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and rankings August 21, 2019
      Are you tired of searching for the best Facebook groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and learn about the tricks from the trade? The post The best Facebook Groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and rankings appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Useful rank tracking plugin and tools recommendation to improve your WordPress website SEO August 15, 2019
      Are you looking for a reliable rank tracking plugin to track your rankings on search engines and improve SEO strategy? Here is our top recommendation! The post Useful rank tracking plugin and tools recommendation to improve your WordPress website SEO appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 6 reasons why you should never use WordPress nulled themes August 7, 2019
      What are WordPress nulled themes and should you use them, are they really that bad as people say or it’s just to scare you away from using the good stuff for free? In this article, we’re explaining in details why you should never ever use these kinds of themes. The post 6 reasons why you […]
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Top 6 WordPress Portfolio plugins (hand-picked by designers) July 31, 2019
      Wondering what type of WordPress Portfolio plugins to use to showcase your work? Read our recommendation and choose between these top eight I present to you today. The post Top 6 WordPress Portfolio plugins (hand-picked by designers) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic

    Text

    Distinctively utilize long-term high-impact total linkage whereas high-payoff experiences. Appropriately communicate 24/365.

    Archives