Palm Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Photo: Palm Island Resort
Photo: Palm Island Resort

The temperature is dropping. The golden leaves are now dry and crunchy on the ground. Plus frost is covering the grass and, frustratingly, your windshield every morning. It isn’t even winter yet, but you’re ready to escape the cold weather. You might need to take a trip to the Caribbean a little earlier this year.

This time, your sights are set on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The long archipelago has volcanic islands, sparkling blue water, and hidden resorts. After flying to St. Lucia, board a smaller plane to Union Island, one of the southernmost islands in the Grenadines. From there, it’s a quick 10-minute boat ride to Palm Island. The 135-acre island was originally called Prune Island and was known as a wildlife haven for turtles, geckos, crabs, and birds. The animals remained, probably even multiplied, when hundreds of coconut trees were planted on the swampy, deserted island in the 1960s. They now have to share the tiny island with a picture-perfect resort.

The Palm Island Resort was built in 1966 by the American couple who planted the palm trees. They created the ideal island escape. When you arrive at the main dock, on the western side of the island, you’re handed a welcome cocktail and given a tour. The center of Palm Island is filled with nature trails, a buddha and turtle sanctuary, and a greenhouse. Five beaches and secluded hammocks line the coast. The tables at the two restaurants have water views. While the 43 rooms are surrounded by hibiscus, croton, and ixora.

Photo: Palm Island Resort
Photo: Palm Island Resort

You’re staying in an island loft, just steps from the beach. The room is perched on stilts. It features a woven rattan ceiling, bamboo furniture, and louvered windows to catch the sea breeze. A deep soaking tub is the focal point of the bathroom. The queen-sized bed faces the terrace. You don’t even have to get out of bed to enjoy the panoramic view in front of you. Since the temperature only fluctuates between 84 and 88 degrees during the day, you can keep the doors open to listen to the waves, the blowing palm fronds, and the occasional laughing gull in the distance.

Your plan for the next few days? Slightly more than nothing. Eat a late breakfast—usually banana pancakes and star fruit—when you finally wake up. Go hiking on the Cactus Hill Trail, in the center of the island, for views of Carriacou, Petit St. Vincent, and Canouan. Follow the Point Lookout Trail, on the southeast tip, as bananaquits guide the way. Or take the Iguana Trail, where iguanas will pose for photos. Cool off under the waterfall in the pool. Slip away to the Tranquility Body & Soul Spa for a detox wrap to eliminate toxins. Spend the afternoon snorkeling with spiny frogfish, patrolling reef sharks, and huge groups of eagle rays. Bet on the not-so-fast crab race. Your $2 wager benefits local charities. Board the Pink Lady to watch the sun set with champagne from the water. Then relax with flickering lamplight and an ocean soundtrack during dinner. The homemade clam chowder rivals what you eat back home.

Actually, this is the first time you’ve even thought about home. The warm temperatures, the white-sand beaches, and the beautiful views made you forget all about the impending winter weather. At least you found the perfect Caribbean escape for when it really becomes unbearable. Maybe you should book a return trip in February. Just in case.

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