Buccament Bay Resort, St Vincent & the Grenadines

LOCATION: Buccament Bay is a new five star resort on the southwest coast of St Vincent, the largest of the 32 Caribbean islands that make up St Vincent & the Grenadines. 
 
FIRST IMPRESSION: The handsome looking resort has been well laid out and well designed, with palm trees and other foliage adding to the laid-back ambience and golf buggies servicing the network of paths. It enjoys a very pretty setting, being fronted by a pleasant stretch of beach that has been widened using sand imported from Guyana, with lush green mountains forming a stunning backdrop.
 
THE FACTS: The resort is the island’s first five star and the first offering from Harlequin Hotels and Resorts, which is also in the process of building resorts in the Dominican Republic, St Lucia and Barbados. The first phase of the development opens on April 3, 2011 with a collection of 70 one, two and four bed villas – the latter a very roomy 2,448 sq feet.  
 
Future additions will include more villas and a Trader Vic’s and Jack’s Steak & Seafood restaurant are set to open on July 1 as part of the waterfront village complex, centred around the two adult pools and children’s pool. The Pearl, a replica of the Black Pearl ship used in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films, parts of which were filmed nearby, will double as a floating restaurant and wedding venue when it enters service in the resort’s marina in early 2012. A 200-bedroom Pat Cash tennis hotel and a casino should enter service in late 2012/early 2013, by which point St Vincent will be able to accommodate direct international flights at Argyle International airport, set to open mid-2012.
 
WHO’S IT FOR: The resort is very family friendly, with its childcare facilities focused around the Little Harlequins club. Active types will love the Liverpool FC Football Academy, Pat Cash Tennis Academy and the Performance Academy, offering top-flight facilities and tuition. These offerings are augmented by a packed programme of excursions, some of which, like the daily sunset cruise and an excursion to the island’s Dark View waterfalls, are included in the all-inclusive package. 
 
WOW: The academies are the stand-out aspect of the resort but the spa and wellness village, designed by eSpa, is also of a high standard, offering an island of calm within the resort. I also appreciated the quality of the food and beverage offering, from the all-day casual dining of the Bay Beach Club to the classier fare in the fine dining restaurant, and the high level of customer service offered by the well-trained staff, who really couldn’t do enough for the guests.
 
Another highlight was swimming with turtles on the excursion to the idyllic Tobago Cays (Full day trip, US $195 per person, including flights to Union Island).
 
HOW MUCH: From £1,924 per person for seven nights all-inclusive, including British Airways flights from Gatwick. kuoni.co.uk

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