Bequia – Grenadines, Lesser Antilles

The Grenadines’s Most Popular Watering Spot and a Quiet Hillside Plantation

Tiny Bequia is the largest and northernmost of the Grenadines and once enjoyed the distinction of being the region’s best whaling station, back in the days of Moby-Dick. Today it maintains its seafaring heritage, and most of its 5,000 inhabitants are employed as fishermen, sailors, or master boat builders.

Nothing much happens on the island except on Thursday night, when the Frangipani hotel’s open-air barbecue is the place to be. Live steel-drum music and a table groaning with island specialties make for a popular event, drawing a mix of hotel guests, locals, and the yacht set.

The latter use this casual and raffish gingerbread guesthouse as their communications and nerve center, a conven­ient hub located right on wonderfully pictur­esque Admiralty Bay, where their craft are moored.

The small Frangi, as locals call it, exudes the ambience of an old West Indies wicker-decked inn. It was built almost a cen­tury ago as the home of a sea captain who disappeared with his crew in the Bermuda Triangle while his schooner sailed on.

If it’s the promise of island serenity that’s drawn you here, head for Spring on Bequia, a hillside plantation perfect for those whose ideal vacation is spent lounging in a balcony hammock, listening to cows mooing and palm fronds rustling while catching up on your reading—and maybe turning your head occa­sionally to catch the glorious views.

Spring’s famous Sunday curry lunch brings locals and visitors from all over the island, but the rest of the time this bucolic, 250-year-old working plantation provides a glorious state of suspended animation for island purists who like to hide out amid the cooling breezes and the music of crickets and tree frogs.

Ten simple guest rooms nestle in a profusion of frangipani and scarlet cordia, and it’s a short, pleasant stroll to the deserted beach at Spring Bay and a 1-mile walk to Admiralty Bay. In the evenings, informal candlelit dinners at Spring feature ingredients fresh from the grounds or just netted in the nearby waters.

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