In the end, the red flag, and what it represents, is the real draw. Run it up the bamboo pole outside your villa on Petit St. Vincent, and it sends the signal that you want to be left in peace -- peace being the main attraction for many on this lush, flowering, 113-acre private island in the West Indies. Some 22 stone cottages are scattered among the hills and beaches, and they're perfectly designed to relax in, with terra-cotta floors, peaked hardwood ceilings, and sliding glass doors. Each is equipped with sitting room, bedroom, dressing room, and sundeck -- but no phone and no TV. Instead, you will be reduced to hiking to the summit of Marni Hill to take in the splendid views; walking or jogging along the periphery path; snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing, waterskiing, sailing, kayaking, or fishing from the docks or beaches; playing a little tennis; or simply repairing to your hammock to reflect on life and its intricacies.
When to Go
Petit St. Vincent is just north of the equator and, except during the hurricane season of September and October, enjoys a perfect climate.
American Airlines flies nonstop from JFK to Barbados. Then it's a 55-minute flight to Union Island, where you're met by a motor-launch captain for the 25-minute ride to PSV.
Charters are available for deep-sea fishing, as are day-trip boat rides to picnic at tiny nearby Petit St. Richardson.
The cuisine is Continental and mobile -- you can order room service at your cottage or arrange to dine anywhere on the island.
Doubles start at $585; for more information, call 800-654-9326.