Emma McCall explores a Caribbean world away.

As we wind our way across the island, goats trot alongside the open pick-up and reggae music and laughter float in the air above the colourful houses on the road from Port Elizabeth. Here on Bequia (pronounced Beck-way), you are stepping into the unspoilt Caribbean of old—a Barbados of 30 years ago.

Our destination, Bequia Beach Hotel and its sparkly new yacht, appears before us. Sympathetically built across sloped tropical gardens, owner Bengt Mortstedt’s exclusive hideaway runs down onto the white-sand beach. The Swedish businessman sourced the vintage furnishings for the 56 rooms—classic villas, cottages, ocean- and beach-front suites, penthouses and a staffed estate villa—all positioned between lantern walkways, lending a village feel rather than that of a resort. The style is one of colonial elegance and touches such as reception desks made from hot-air-balloon baskets are charming.

Bequia Beach

This attention to detail is particularly clear in the fine cuisine on offer. At Bagatelle, you can enjoy alfresco dining on the beach. Blue Tropic is nestled on the hill, with breathtaking views. Both boast internationally acclaimed chefs. Beach yoga or a spell in the spa are both on offer, but in order to truly relax, I highly recommend attending a Caribbean barbecue—listening to the band with a Blue Ocean cocktail in hand, you’ll forget that you’ve ever had a care in the world.

Bequia BeachDON’T MISS

  • Take the hotel’s recently launched private-plane transfer—it’s a 25-minute flight from Barbados
  • Be sure to charter the hotel’s Benetti super-yacht—The Star of the Sea is 115ft of grandeur. Visit the neighbouring islands, then drop anchor and dive into the crystal-clear waters to spot sea turtles and manta rays
  • Don’t miss a traditional lobster barbecue beneath the stars on Petit Rameau island, Tobago Cays
  • Take a taxi to Spring Top for 360˚ views across to St Vincent and Mustique
  • Soak up the colourful sights on a walk from Port Elizabeth, ending at Jack’s Bar for the famous fried chicken

From £1,585 per person, based on two adults sharing a Classic Pool and Sea View Room for seven nights, including breakfast, return economy British Airways flights and private transfers in June 2017. Book with ITC Luxury Travel (01244 355600; www.itcluxurytravel.co.uk)