Happy Easter folks! Here’s another update from our Bequia island paradise.
This is our second newsletter of the year, with the busy tourist season continuing to surprise & delight everyone on the island.
From our personal perspective, we are pleased to report a record season for “The Lookout” and this is despite the temporary suspension of the Air Canada Rouge flights from Toronto direct to the neighbouring island of St. Vincent. A sprinkling of Canadians have still found a way down to paradise by using the nearby hub of Barbados or by hopping across to Miami or New York and taking the direct flights from there down to St. Vincent. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
We have spoken to many other business owners on Bequia and there is a general feeling that the winter 21/22 season has been at around 60-70% of pre-pandemic levels. However, as the world opens up to travel once again, bookings to the island are flooding in and we are back to pre-covid habits where advanced bookings (9-12 months before travel) are necessary in order to secure the best accommodation. Several weeks of The Lookout’s 22/23 calendars have already been sold and we have even taken one booking for 2024 – now that’s planning in advance! This is not a sales pitch in any way, shape, or form, but if you do want to stay with us for the upcoming 22/23 winter season then we’d suggest that you contact us sooner rather than later.
To enhance the already happy & positive atmosphere, it's also been so lovely to see live music returning to venues around the island. Music has always been the heartbeat of Bequia and provides a beautiful soundtrack for visitors as they dine, drink, & dance al fresco.
Three venues our guests have particularly enjoyed this season have been the Firefly Estate in Spring, The Porthole at the end of the Belmont Walkway, and Sailor’s Café in Ocar. The latter has jam sessions every Wednesday night with various musicians joining Elfic the singing chef – but only once he has finished cooking for his diners of course! The Porthole restaurant has been lovingly refurbished and offers wonderful, inexpensive cuisine and “open mic” nights on a Saturday. Disappointingly, Sugar Reef has been closed during this season, but the Firefly in the next bay along has picked up the baton, providing a fine dining experience and the odd, impromptu live music night. A fab venue, with a lovely atmosphere.
SO GREAT TO SEE LIVE MUSIC RETURNING TO BEQUIA
Your hosts at The Lookout, Chris & Louise, have been busy looking after guests and juggling their workload between their boutique apartments in Lower Bay and “The Sail House” on Mount Pleasant, where they reside as Estate Managers. In a bid to continually improve at The Lookout, we have added several handrails around external stair areas, installed more lighting, and painted white lines on the edges of steps to ensure the environment is as safe as possible for our guests. The unique Sail House always provides interesting challenges for us, not least the bi-annual cleaning of the rooves. This involves the delicate use of a power wash, plenty of elbow grease, and an essential head for heights!
ROOF CLEANING AT THE SAIL HOUSE
As you’d expect, it’s not all work and no play out here. We have also been privileged to be invited to parties at private villas, beach BBQ’s, and to a friend’s wedding at The Liming Hotel near Bequia’s tiny airport. This event to celebrate Chris & Claire’s union was really special, with the bride & groom walking barefoot down the sand and into the wedding reception. The party continued long into the night at their villa located nearby.
CHRIS & CLAIRE'S WEDDING AT THE LIMING HOTEL
Some sad news to report since our last update is the loss of our beach buddy, Jack (or Randy Andy as we preferred to call him). This beautiful dog was abandoned by his owner during Covid and we have had to step in a couple of times to ensure he was fed, wormed, and treated for fleas & ticks. He seemed to be in his prime when he was struck down with suspected tick fever. His decline was rapid and heart-wrenching. We buried him in a special spot behind the “Lion’s Den” on Princess Margaret Beach and will be erecting a memorial plaque at the grave. He was less than 3 years old.
This kind of event encourages us to re-double our efforts to promote “Pack for a Purpose” that we pioneered in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines a few years ago. This simple scheme facilitates visitors to leave a little space in their luggage to bring in essential supplies for the schools, hospitals & clinics, and for the stray animals too. We work with six organisations to prioritise what items are required and to ensure they are distributed where they are needed most. Read the link here to find out more and please help if you can on your next visit https://thelookoutbequia.com/pack-for-a-purpose.php
We absolutely love the country of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and want to inspire our guests to maximise their stay on their visit to paradise. We have had an overwhelming reaction to our recent blog which demonstrates that there is so much to see, do, & stimulate, despite the tiny dimensions of the island. Have a read here https://thelookoutbequia.com/blog-post.php?p=63
Naturally, in order to recommend & inspire, it’s essential that we personally experience events, bars, restaurants, boat trips, hikes etc. This “consumer research” is a tough assignment, but someone has to do it! Our new favourite day trip from Bequia is to take a boat up the leeward coast of St. Vincent. This incorporates a relaxed sail, incredible scenery, a bit of hiking, refreshing waterfalls, cold beer & rum punch, plus a tasty fresh fish lunch on the beach. The views of the La Soufriere volcano are also breath-taking. What's not to love?! And here’s the best part. St. Vincent offers a truly authentic experience, the Caribbean of 30 years ago, and it's off any tourist radar. On our trip in March, we had the Dark View waterfalls all to ourselves! We took the Trimaran “Gusto” who also offer day trips from Bequia to the idyllic Tobago Cays and the private island of Mustique.
EXPLORING THE UNTOUCHED PARADISE OF ST. VINCENT
This month, we also took time to reflect on the events from this time last year. On April 9th, 2021 the La Soufriere volcano on the neighbouring island of St. Vincent erupted for the first time since 1979. Over the following few weeks, the volcano erupted a further 32 times sending plumes of ash up to 20km into the sky, with some of it carrying thousands of miles to the Spanish mainland! Some of the initial ashfall affected Bequia island and, although nowhere near as devastating as in the north of St. Vincent, a massive clean-up operation was required. It was an exhausting and stressful time for us personally and indeed everyone in the country. This event, on top of the covid pandemic, was tough for the wonderful people here who rely so much on tourism to survive. Thankfully the volcano alert level over the past year has moved from red, to orange, to yellow and now, green.
LA SOUFRIERE ON ST. VINCENT ERUPTED IN APRIL 2021 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 42 YEARS
Bequia is generally viewed as a winter sun destination, with most visitors choosing to travel between November & April. However, before moving to the island, we took trips outside of this period and particularly enjoyed visiting in May & June. The weather is usually just perfect. The sun sets later with light nights until 7pm. The sea is like warm bath water and it’s calm & crystal clear. You may also find yourself knee deep in ripe mangos! All businesses remain open and the beaches are even quieter than normal – lazing on a hammock on what feels like your own private stretch of sand is a priceless feeling. And here’s the “cherry on the cake”. Accommodation rates drop significantly at The Lookout between May & November. We’d love to see you on island. Check out our summer pricing and availability calendars here https://thelookoutbequia.com/rates-and-reservations.php
We also welcome longer term stays between May & October 2022 and will offer attractive discounts. Get in touch via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +1 784 527 2377 to find out more. It’s also worth considering using one of our boutique apartments for remote working. Some of our previous guests have experienced this and can highly recommend the lifestyle! In addition, we have recently upgraded to the fastest fibre optic WIFI, with super whizzy speeds provided by the cable that was recently laid beneath the Caribbean Sea.
NOT A BAD SPOT TO SET UP A REMOTE OFFICE!
That’s about it until our next update in a few months.
Just a reminder that booking your place at The Lookout does include a complimentary welcome pack that has all the grocery essentials such as freshly baked bread, milk, cereal, fruit, plus beer & wine too. If you’re lucky, we may even bake some sweet treats for you too! We have two apartments, both with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, plenty of outdoor & indoor space, and fully equipped kitchens. Not to mention, ocean & beach views to die for! As your hosts, we are here to provide advice & guidance and we will always go the extra mile to enhance your island experience. If you can’t sit still on holiday, we’d actively encourage you to join us on various hikes (or even runs) to spectacular viewpoints & locations – all part of The Lookout service.
If you can’t wait until the next e-mail update, then please follow our social media pages below;
You can message us using these platforms or simply drop us an e-mail or WhatsApp, or fill in the contact form on our website;
WhatsApp: +1 784 527 2377
Contact Form: https://thelookoutbequia.com/contact-us.php
And finally, we feel so blessed & privileged to welcome many happy, smiley guests to this rock in the Caribbean Sea. Only a few years ago The Lookout was a run-down dwelling and we put blood, sweat & tears in to creating our boutique apartments. We are a young business (just over 3 years old), so we rely on feedback & reviews so that we can keep on improving and attract others to our little piece of paradise. In only a short period of time, we have built up a loyal following and have more than 30 five-star reviews. So don’t just take our word for it, click the link here to see what people are saying about their stays with us https://thelookoutbequia.com/reviews.php
Sending our best wishes and plenty of sunshine. We are off to watch some of the sailing races at the Bequia Easter Regatta.
We hope to see you in paradise soon!
Chris & Louise
YOUR HOSTS AT THE LOOKOUT BOUTIQUE APARTMENTS, CHRIS & LOUISE