You’ve probably never heard of Bequia, a jewel box of an island that’s arguably the Caribbean’s best kept secret. I first learned about the idyllic isle from legendary acting teacher Sandy Meisner who trained Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Grace Kelly among many other stars. Whenever Sandy spoke about visiting his house in this small tropical oasis (seven square miles) where he got away from it all, his eyes would light up.
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So many years later this sleepy island in the northern Grenadines with beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and picturesque countryside remains mostly undeveloped, utterly authentic and sublimely serene. It’s still under the radar and that makes it so delightfully alluring. If this sounds like your type of paradise – Becquia beckons you.
Tucked away on a beach, The Liming which debuted in December, part of the Inverlochy Castle Management International Company, offers the top toes in the sand luxury accommodations on the island. The intimate resort features a collection of 13 stand alone villas ranging from one to five bedrooms. Each contains generous indoor/outdoor living spaces that include your own private infinity pool and various lounging areas with table, chairs and sun loungers so you can loll about choosing views of the ocean or your garden in your own heavenly haven. Spacious interiors are airy with beachy chic décor using blue, beige and white hues that blend with the surroundings. And the large glass windows bring the outside in. The azure blue water, creamy white sand, swaying palms and daffodil yellow villa exteriors look like a picture postcard.
Dining occurs in the main open-air pavilion, steps from the sea, which also houses a bar, pool and daybeds. The impressive restaurant became a local favorite soon after it opened and is regarded as the best on the island. Award winning chef Muskateen Sultan who hails from Mauritius serves up delectable fare from the freshest seafood to creative takes on Caribbean classics.
Some of his many standout dishes included just caught tuna sashimi accompanied by cucumber, pickled red onion, apple and avocado with a lemon and ginger sauce, tastiest king prawn salad perfectly complemented by green mango, papaya, carrots, coriander and peanuts with a soy and lime dressing, exquisite rack of lamb with smoked eggplant and roast tomato plus addictive desserts like rum and ginger cake with caramelized plantains. Every meal was superb.
The term ‘liming’ refers to the art of doing nothing. It includes food, drink, conversation with laughter and any activity as long as you don’t have a higher purpose than just hanging out and chilling. (much needed for a fast paced New York gal like yours truly ) There’s no shortage of spots to ‘lime’ here amid nature’s splendor. For me, lazing on the pristine beach, floating on the shimmering sea, indulging in an aromatic oil massage in my cozy villa, sipping rum cocktails paired with golden sunsets and turning off while basking in the serene and quiet ambiance, was supremely relaxing and rejuvenating.
For those who want to go further afield, the resort arranges driving tours around the green hilly island where you can take in: the beautiful yacht filled harbor Admiralty Bay; scenic lookout Mount Peggy; a turtle sanctuary where a retired fisherman nurtures baby hawksbills; and the tiny town of Port Elizabeth whose quaint waterfront is lined with a book store, craft shops and a string of brightly colored cafes, eateries and bars offering cool jazz, blues and Caribbean music in the evening.
For aqua enthusiasts, the staff can organize boat excursions for snorkeling the reefs, fishing trips and to neighbor Mustique known as ‘ Celebrity Island ’ where the rich and famous such as Mick Jagger, own pricey villas. One morning I hopped aboard a stylish catamaran and cruised the scenic coastline before a thirty-minute ride to Mustique. While there I marveled at the perfectly manicured landscape and meandered about, stopping for a rum punch in famed ‘Basil’s Bar’ (a favorite haunt of the glitterati) before the return boat ride.
Back in Bequia, I took a dip in my private pool at my lovely villa gazing at the vast expanse of the blue Caribbean from my tranquil, secluded hideaway and smiled. This is liming.