We have been here perhaps eight or nine times since the late 80's with our last visit being in the winter of 2008. Each visit was a magical experience: a perfect blend of remoteness, exclusivity, luxury, excellent food, impeccable and friendly service, all in a beautiful Caribbean setting with great beaches, snorkeling and water sports (for those who must have these activities).In short, PSV was our special place when we wanted to shut out the world and be together.
Now the place had been sold. Haze and Lynne Richardson were the owners and managers since the very beginning. Sadly, Haze died several years ago and Lynne, after managing PSV by herself for a few years had decided to sell.
So the question for us was whether the new owners were able to put their own stamp on PSV while continuing its tradition as a top level Carribean resort. After all, it is a trek to get here (fly to Barbados then fly to Union island then take a 20 minute boat ride to PSV), the cost is high and the Richardsons would be a tough act to follow. Better to remember PSV as it was than to see it when it became second rate.
We needn't have worried. We were pleasantly surprised even delighted with the improvements made by the new owners and the care that was taken to preserve what was best about the resort.
First, the cottages-22 in total- have been completely repainted and refurbished. The dark mahogany decor
has been changed to a more contemporary grey, twin double beds have been replaced with kings with new bedding, bathrooms have been upgraded and there is now a small refrigerator stocked with wine, champaign and soft drinks. All soft drinks and bottled water in the cottages are on the house. There is also a Bose IPod station and -wonder of wonders- air conditioning!
Built on the hillside overlooking the boat anchorage is a full service spa which offers a wide variety of treatments.
Also new is an informal beach restaurant built near the site of the old barbecue area and which serves both PSV guests as well as the yachting clientele for lunch and dinner. The main dining room is open for dinner only and offers three course dinners: salad/ appetizer, entree, and desert. The entrees are meat(or chicken), fish, and vegetarian. Gone is the wonderful lunch buffet.
But it's important to dwell on the things about PSV that have not changed: the wonderful sense of seclusion In the luxurious cottages, the pristine beaches, the beautiful surroundings and the thoughtful and impeccable service. We had breakfast delivered to our cottage every morning. The eggs are fresh- PSV raises its own chickens. Afternoon tea was a must. We had dinner served in our cottage one night. The staff was great as always and seemed even more cheerful than we remembered and this was a positive sign.
So...To us PSV has been improved greatly under the new ownership and may be worth a return visit by and by. I say this because, while many positive changes have been made to keep this resort in the top rank, the food sadly is not up to par with the quality and excusivity this resort wants to achieve. To begin, the menu at the beachside restaurant got boring after several days. While it may be fine for the transient yacht people, it became monotonous for those of us who were staying here for a week or longer and had no other recourse for lunch. Bring back the salad bar!
But it was the main dining room- supposedly the resort's centerpiece- where reality fell short of expectations. The dinners here were boring, uninspired and occasionally peculiar. The fish offering one night was lobster fettuccine which came to our table with just a few tidbits of lobster mixed in with a large quantity of pasta. This was surprising considering that lobster tails were offered every day for lunch and dinner at the beach side restaurant. On our last night, we were looking forward to enjoying a bottle of quality red wine with a nice meat dish, perhaps beef tenderloin or rack of lamb. The meat choice that evening? Grilled liver.
For a resort that aspires to be top notch, the food did not measure up.
Which brings up another issue: we know wines and their pricing and we thought PSV's wine list was expensive to the point just bordering on price gauging. Why do resorts do this? It only makes their guests feel like captive victims. I suppose management's stock answer would be the high cost of transportation. To which we would respond "fewer French and more labels from Chile and Argentina."
One puzzle about PSV that several other guests brought up was that we never saw the managers around this small island. Manager Matt met us dockside when we arrived but we never ran into him after that nor Executive Assistant Manager Anie the entire week we were there.
Hopefully, they we're out looking for a new chef.
Bottom line: Still outstanding although the food is disappointing. And yet the positives are so compelling. We will be watching reviews from other guests in the future to learn if there has been improvement.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Petit St Vincent is a luxurious private island paradise, tucked away in the Grenadine islands of the West Indies, a tropical barefoot hideaway offering guests the rare chance to unplug from the normal day to day urban technological clutch.Aside from offering opulent comforts, ultimate privacy and an understated yet attentive service, there exists a conspicuous and deliberate absence of connectivity to the outside world: no TV’s, phones or internet in the beach front villas and elevated bluff cottages, encouraging you to unwind, relax and enjoy each other’s company without any unwanted distractions. With 115 acres of natural tropical woodlands and just 22 guest cottages, seclusion is guaranteed. Each beautifully designed guest cottage is decorated in marine shades and tangled driftwood furnishings reflecting the island’s uncluttered vibe. This elegant but unpretentious boutique island resort is surrounded by clear turquoise waters, rich tropical reefs and 2 miles of stunning white-sand beaches. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Petit St. Vincent Hotel Petit St.Vincent
- Petit Hotel St Vincent
- Petit St. Vincent Resort St. Vincent And The Grenadines, Caribbean