Inside the Shifting Fortunes of a Caribbean VIP Destination

Has Mustique lost its lustre?

Mustique, seen from above.
Jean-Marc LECERF/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

For decades, the island of Mustique — located within Saint Vincent and the Grenadines — was a deeply desirable spot for a host of world-famous personalities. Princess Margaret was one of the island’s most high-profile admirers, as was Mick Jagger, and it’s still a choice destination for some — including Boris Johnson, whose travel plans there last year sparked a minor scandal.

In recent years, however, Mustique’s star has dwindled somewhat compared to that of nearby Bequia, which has its own celebrity admirers — including Bob Dylan. What’s behind this relative shift in popularity among idyllic VIP destinations?

In a new article for Air Mail, Mark Ellwood explored the recent histories of both islands to get a better understanding of their dynamic. The current and former residents Ellwood spoke about two substantial shifts in the general mood of the island — an increased focus on establishing business relationships while there, and a more constrained vibe relative to the more freewheeling one of bygone years. (Hint: “naked limbo dancers” came up in one story about the island.)

This, in turn, led more people considering getting an island home to make way for Bequia rather than Mustique. Charter company founder Magnus Lewin told Air Mail, “It’s a cool, fun crowd here, and you’re seeing a lot of houses being built that are quite eccentric.” With all that in mind, it’s not hard to see the attraction.


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