Finding Paradise

“In the cottages, there’s no WiFi, there’s no TV. There’s minimal technology – only a Bose sound dock for music and a Nespresso coffee machine. That’s it,” General Manager Matthew Semark explains upon arrival at Petit St. Vincent Private Island, a 115-acre tropical oasis in the southern tip of The Grenadines.

Free of telephones and room keys, each of the 22 one-bedroom cottages and two-bedroom beach villas rely instead on a flag pole system to communicate with staff, writes assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s Travel Courier cover story.

“When guests are relaxing inside the cottage they raise up the red flag, that signals do not disturb, so nobody comes to the cottage. Whenever they head out for any meals and activities, they lower it back down and the housekeeping team will pop in and tidy up,” he says. “Need anything else, breakfast, lunch, dinner, more rosé, they raise up the yellow flag and that signals the butler team that is circling the island all day from about 6:00 a.m. in the morning until the last guest is in bed.”

Early the next morning after catching the sunrise, it’s time to put the system to the test. I fill out the room service form, place it in the pigeon hole and hoist up the yellow flag. Some thirty minutes later I’m devouring Eggs Benedict from a secluded cliffside patio to the sound of crashing waves with a few hungry onlookers – birds, that is, there’s truly not a soul in sight.

“This is paradise,” I think, telling myself in all likelihood there wasn’t an earth-shatteringly important email waiting in my inbox.

The allure of being disconnected and getting away from it all is what draws in celebrities and repeat customers alike to the boutique beach resort. This digital detox feels miles away from the modern amenities at the Mandarin Oriental on Canouan, another of the 32 islands and cays that make up St. Vincent and The Grenadines (SVG).

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.