Paradise. You do know it when you see it. My first glimpse of Mustique was of massive houses perched on jungle green hillsides from a tiny six-seater plane as we swerved to make the landing on a tiny airstrip. Only three and half by one and a half miles large, the island, which was named for its once thriving mosquito population is one of those rare places that was created by one visionary (an eccentric Scotsman named Colin Tennant, a.k.a Lord Glenconner) and has evolved into an enclave that lives up to its legendary hype.
Yes, Mick Jagger hides out here, and you may bump into Tommy Hilfiger, Pierce Brosnan or Michael Kors picnicking on the beach but this is not a resort where the celebrities come for shopping or eating out in trendy restaurants. The island is run by a homeowner’s association that restricts development and intends to maintain a low-key village feeling. There are only a few boutiques, two hotels, two churches, a small school and one very famous bar, called Basil’s. The island will be limited to only 120 houses, some of the most spectacular of which have been built in recent years. There’s no golf course and no gambling. As one longtimer recalls, “it used to be that two hair driers running at the same time would blow the electrical power.” But, since the first Mustiquers liked to feel that they were living a bit of the Robinson Crusoe fantasy, that was just fine. Now the 10,000-square-foot-houses have gourmet granite kitchens and every known comfort and convenience, but the day’s activities still tend to revolve around beach picnics.
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