I've been to most of the islands of the Caribbean, and many other islands besides: Maldives, Indonesia, South Pacific, Greece, Hawaii, etc. I've stayed at boutique hotels, Aman and Aman-esque hotels, and rented my share of villas, including several in Mustique.
This place beats them all.
This isn't particularly surprising, as this hotel is the pet, personal project of Lane Pettigrew, of Mustique and high-end Caribbean resort fame. Words fail -- and the pictures here don't come close to doing the place justice.
This a villa "hotel" -- a small group of extremely beautifully designed (with personality) villas (some one bedroom villas), centered around a magnificent great house. The food is excellent, the service impeccable (but not cloying or snooty) and the surroundings breathtaking. As it is the brain child of Mr. Pettigrew, expect some unexpected touches. Like a, shall we say, eclectic free-range menagerie and a beach bar that's -- well, I'm not going to ruin the surprise for you.
Guanaja is verdant and utterly unspoiled. There is a single, short road that bisects the island. All transportation, really, is by boat. The diving is great, plenty of healthy corals and some pelagics. As some of the coral heads are shallow, it is also good for snorkeling. The hotel will arrange for diving (and there is plenty suitable for experts, technical diving). Snorkeling should be fantastic right off one of the resorts many powdery white sand beaches (after 3-4 hours of diving my interest in snorkeling was non-existent, but I could see the coral heads from my veranda).
Did I mention the wine cellar?
Spending a week at La Giralda was like spending a week at Gatsby's house, without the necessity of dressing for dinner.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on a south facing 50-acre peninsula with 1/2 mile of white sand beaches, La Giralda is perfect for families, couples, weddings, honeymoons, reunions, diving, fishing, adventure or simple peace & quiet. Made for memories, La Giralda guests enjoy fresh gourmet island inspired meals, a unique and completely unspoiled location with graceful service and pure tranquility in luxury accommodation. Our private, secure peninsula is surrounded by clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches, a picture perfect calm water bay with two resident dolphins and framed by rising hills with a lush tropical rainforest. We feature all the benefits of an upscale island boutique hotel: impeccable personal service, a gourmet restaurant located in the elegant Casa Grande, a cocktail bar with living room, the Golden Parrot beach bar, a colorful botanical garden, private fishing jetty, beach beds and private hammock gardens. See you soon! ... more less