independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Exclusive island a sanctuary for the rich and famous

THE turquoise waters and soft white sands of Mustique have provided sanctuary for a select few for more than five decades.

The small Caribbean island, a former sugar plantation that is part of St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the West Indies, has long been a haven for the rich and famous - a place they can relax in comfort away from the stares of the hoi polloi.

In 1958 by Colin Tennant, the 3rd Baron Glenconner, bought the 1,400-acre island for $67,500 to create a luxurious private retreat.

Three years later he gave a 10-acre plot as a wedding gift to Princess Margaret, on which she built a magnificent villa, Les Jolies Eaux.

Over the last 50 years celebrities such as Mick Jagger and Bryan Adams have rubbed shoulders with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and heads of industry, the arts and society figures.

Mustique is now owned by the Mustique Company, a group of shareholder home owners from 17 countries, which preserves and runs the island.

It has 100 private residences, 74 of which are available for rent, the 17-room Cotton House boutique hotel and a five-bedroom guesthouse, according to the Mustique island website.

Facilities include a health spa, diving sites, a golf club, an equestrian centre and a tennis club.

A wildly beautiful island, with rocky headlands and nine white beaches, Mustique is surrounded by a marine conservation area, is awash with bird life and does not have a single traffic light or power line in sight.

But for all its privacy and exclusivity, it would seem it could not keep out the prying eyes of the paparazzi - a problem that is sure to infuriate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Press Association

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