The Liming Bequia
So there we all stood, too early to think on a dark cold Friday morning at Gatwick North in anticipation of what the next few days may bring. We gathered some of the best: Elegant, Carrier, Simply Caribbean, Audley & Caribtours and thanks to Alison & Ilona at Virgin Atlantic, we were ushered through security to their impressive Club lounge pre our nine hour flight to St Lucia on route to Bequia!
The crew could not have been nicer, Matthew – Chief Steward looked after us so well, in fact Claire’s trousers came in for particular close attention 🙂 None of the group had met previously but this is travel and in minutes industry conversation flowed together with Oscar nominated movies and no sooner than our first sighting of Declan’s knees, before we knew it we had arrived in St Lucia.
The transfer was seamless, we were escorted through customs where our bags were waiting as was Mickey our pilot with Private plane to take us onward, though it should also be noted that SVG provide internal transfers from both St Lucia and Barbados to Bequia. The Liming and Plantation work closely with SVG to package internal flights from our central office for convenience. A mere thirty minutes later it was hard to imagine touching down to 28 degrees, we were to learn later there was a Mini beast from the east closing in from whence we came!
The Island of Bequia is the second largest Island in The Grenadines at 7 Square miles with a population just under 4,500 is true to everything I’d heard, this was no the authentic Caribbean. We were the only passengers at the airport, we boarded our open air taxi for the 10 minute transfer to Elizabeth Beach and The Plantation. It was notable from first interaction the Bequarians are a genuinely warm and hospitable people, receiving so many waves and welcomes on route during our transfer.
On arrival we were greeted by the beaming staff with a delicious glass of Rum Punch, and cold Water before the group made their way to rooms in the main house – one and two bed beach Villa’s. Rum punch recipes were to be a hot topic throughout our stay
Were we all going to make it through dinner? Well I’m happy to report, all seven strong reported for some local fair… day 1 was drawing to a close, though I’m pleased to report a few sturdy clients managed to say ‘Goodnight Hayley’ a mixture of alcohol and blended rum would be the best way to describe this and for sure was the perfect nightcap before retiring to bed.
Started with breakfast and stories of sleep patterns, local fruit plates a plenty, and adapted Caribbean smoothies were consumed with fresh passion fruit… we would need this prior to our visit to see The Liming within a stone’s throw of the airport. The Liming will be the first five star property on the Island and a welcome addition to Bequia, they say a picture paints a thousand words but nothing replaces touching and feeling a property like this! Our guests eagerly made their way to the site of the restaurant built into the water and the focal point of the resort, apart from its position what struck me first was the colour of the water, I’ve often felt it’s enhanced when looking at Conde Nast images, but it really is bright turquoise and the vistas guests will receive from their vantage point at both the bar and restaurant will be quite special. We were fortunate to be at The Liming as landscaping was taking place giving everyone a great feel and sense for the development. We saw a completed one & two bed Villa and happy to report they are as the website shows a really contemporary light Caribbean design with stunning views of the beach and sea all nine Villas are constructed and fitted with 40 inch Smart TV’s, Portable Bluetooth Bose Speakers, DAB radio, Spirit and Wine Mini bars and those touches on toiletries, slippers and thread count all ready for opening on November 1st
Site inspection complete we were in for a treat as Mikey our pilot was about to embark on a mini Island hopping flight which included Musitique, Canouan, Tabago Keys, North Island & Mayreau. It’s really not until you’re at 1000 feet and in such close proximity that you appreciate both the distance size and beauty of each of the Islands and the place in the Caribbean archipelago.
With our feet back on dry land it was time to explore Port Elizabeth in search of Lobsters, though the group seemed more content with Declan’s drinks service off the beach at Jacks Bar!
Talk about a packed schedule! We were then whisked off to Gingerlily at The Liming for dinner, this wonderful five bedroom residence sits overlooking both sides of The Island at its tip and the views were complimented by the food and wine which given the day we had were a perfect compliment.
All was not over though, this group are built of sturdier stuff and the great beauty of plantation is unlike most other Caribbean Hotels, it is connected by a long promenade of local bars and restaurants. Before arriving in Port Elizabeth, it would have been rude not to celebrate St Patrick’s day, or in this case evening/early morning. Everyone commented on what a superb feature this was to be able to walk out of the hotel and enjoy, and in our case too tempting to resist… what time was that boat ride tomorrow?
We returned to Gingerlily in the morning for breakfast so we could see the Villa in daylight, most remarked about its value between $8-10K per week complete with Media room, pools and of course access to the Liming restaurant from Nov 1st !
It was to The Liming we headed and Pure Pleasure the Speed Boat with Captain Mickey, our next destination the Island’s and a treasure trove of beer and rum punch distributed generously. Now I can’t recall the last time I took a 45 minute Speed boat ride though able seaman Declan recounted his own days on the high seas with his Seaborne shipmates which deflected people’s attention from any weak sea legs within the group. It was a great way to see the Islands and we made a bee line for Tobago Keys where we discovered those wonderful Turtles drifting within the natural coral reef and the five Islands. We clearly all wanted to see Petit Tabac, famous for some great Pirates of the Caribbean scenes, we made anchor as close as we could and the group swam a-shore. It looked closer than it actually was for those not use to swimming … yours truly!! Mickey the gentleman that he is made my return far easier and somewhat less embarrassing.
Then it was on towards North Island and a stop at Mayreau Island which was easy to fall in love with the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines with 1.5 sq miles, we anchored on the stunning white sandy beach and the party decamped to the beach bar whilst I stayed on board to discuss Island geography and all that great insight you can only gleam from two locals… the challenge was it came with a generous serving of Captain’s punch which all seemed like a good idea at the time! I should have remembered we still had a journey to complete. Declan, who was fast becoming the waiter transported some of the packed lunches to the team though it would not be long before we returned to Bequia directly to Plantation past The Liming and views up to Gingerlily.
What better way to finish the day than to watch the sun set on the skyline from Plantation before taking a well-earned power nap, for some of us, prior to our final dinner. There was no escaping the call for dinner as the live band struck up some Bob Marley back catalogue tunes drawing us all to our table. The party wanted to make full use of the open kiln stove for Pizza though disappointing with the exception of Lisa, there were not too many shapes being left on the dancefloor 🙁 In defence it had been a very long day and although we were heading separate ways tomorrow, the team on an Island Tour with Turtles whilst, I went over to St Vincent; which is another experience though I do want to thank Glen Beache the CEO at St Vincent Tourist Board for his time and that of his colleagues bringing me up to speed on developments