Mandalay Estate in beautiful Mustique Island
My journey began when I entered the plane that was to take me to Mustique Island, but not before stopping in Barbados to meet other travelers alike who not only were going to share with me the beauty of Mandalay Estate, but who became dear friends on this fascinating journey.
From the very first time my eyes laid on this beautiful terrain of mountainous hill tops surrounded by the most clear and turquoise water I’ve ever seen, I knew I was in for a fabulous treat.
Mustique, a small remotely private island was once the secret place for pirates to hide their ships and treasures, and later, became the place for sugar plantations, however, the plantations were abandoned and the island was left uninhibited. In 1958, Colin Tennant, Scotland’s third Baron Glenconner, purchased the undeveloped island for $67,000; and in 1960, a 10-acre plot of land was given to Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s sister, as a generous gift on her wedding day by Lord Glenconner himself; soon thereafter, Mustique became the social escapades of royalty, celebrities and jet-setters alike.
As I exited the twin engine aircraft on the island’s small grass-lined airstrip, I was excited to see what laid ahead. Climbing into a golf cart, the only means of guest transportation, we were taken to the hilltop to what used to be David Bowie’s home, now a rental villa overlooking stunning views of Britannia Bay. As we were pulling into the villa, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful and meticulous landscape surrounding the property, lovely Koi fish ponds were embracing the entrance to this mystical oasis. We were each taken to our rooms and shortly thereafter our luggage was delivered by their diligent and friendly staff. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was definitely in paradise! After unpacking and unwinding for a few minutes, we were taken for a tour of Mandalay Estate, once again, I felt I was transported to another part of the world. Throughout the home, one can appreciate many authentic Balinese and Japanese styles, bamboo vaulted ceilings, alfresco dining, colorful living rooms, carved columns, games & study room, waterfalls, several garden decks and a card room decorated with mussel shells, and even a performance stage for added entertainment. It seemed everywhere you looked was extraordinary. That night, we all met for cocktails on the Tea Deck and had a delicious meal, one of many culinary delights I experienced throughout my stay.
For the next six days, we had breakfast at our leisure, plates full of mangos, papayas and many other delicious Caribbean fruits; if we wanted our eggs poached, we got them; Fried? But of Course! Perhaps today I was craving quiche? Whatever we wanted we got it, all made and prepared by our own private Chef who created the most delicious meals, and served graciously by our friendly butler who always displayed pleasant manners, and a friendly smile. I remember hearing the ever so familiar sound of a drum, still lingering in the horizon today, announcing our meal was served; “royalty treatment throughout.”
As we were eager to explore the island, our guide was gracious to take us to the many beautiful beaches throughout, while enjoying the uniqueness that each of these spot offered. Lagoon beach and Endeavour beach were fantastic, however, my favorite was Macaroni Beach, famous and preferred by many for its calm waters and seclusion. It is the ideal place for swimmers, for those who enjoy snorkeling and diving since there is a reef about a quarter of a mile offshore and of course for sun lovers like myself Imagine laying out capturing the rays of the hot sun, turquoise waters and white sand, while enjoying a glass of chilled champagne, “Will you pinch me?” I asked one of my traveling friends “I want to make sure I am not just dreaming this”.
From having fabulous lunches on the beach, to cocktail nights and lobster grilled barbecues, our days were filled with excitement and new experiences, then came the time to visit the Cotton House, yet another pleasant surprise. It was on a Tuesday night, all dressed up and heading to this establishment, recognized as one of the most exclusive and romantic inns of the Caribbean, we entered the Great Room for the weekly cocktail party, a tradition attended by many villa owners and resort guests. Mingling with the guests, we met a few interesting people who shared with us the on-going feeling of peace and tranquility that this island brings to their lives every time they visit.
As all things must come to an end, at least for now, we packed our bags heading back to the airport, before we said our “Goodbyes” and “See you soon” to each of our traveler friends. So here it is to you, Mustique Island, with your beautiful majestic palm trees, white sandy beaches, friendly people and the most beautiful turquoise waters, a place that I will surely recommend for those who seek simple sophistication, tranquility and mystic outcomes. “Mandalay sleeps 14 (including the Writer’s Cottage) and rental costs to hire the Estate are from $36,800.
If you would like further information, feel free to visit their site at www.mandalayestate.com