At some point 15 years ago when I first stayed here, Young Island became my fountain of youth, a good-luck stop whenever I found myself in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (which was often). As I swing in a hammock beneath a thatched palm overhang, getting sleepy, I trick myself once again into thinking that, when in reality I'm actually losing years. Or rather, perhaps I just lose track of time. Days move so slowly that I do silly things to fill them, like make a sport of going to the end of the road in St. Vincent to a town called Fancy. But that's tomorrow. Now I'm keeping myself young on this 35-acre private-island playground of hibiscuses, palm trees and frangipanis by swimming out to Coconuts, a bamboo floating bar just offshore. I dip into the warm Caribbean sea and make it to the bar stool, where I order a Coconut Delight, an elixir served in a coconut shell. I sip and float.
The next morning I catch the resort's water taxi from Young Island to the mainland of St. Vincent, perhaps a three-minute shuttle. On the other side, a driver waits to take me to the end of the road. It's a long ride, but the journey keeps me entertained: Buried in a green tangle of foliage is a spring where, during the full moon, the driver says, water is effervescent and is drunk for its youth-inducing qualities. We pass by banana fi elds and mango, guava and papaya trees; we stop for a dip in the Owia Salt Ponds and then bump off the paved road to dirt, and to Fancy, where it's wild Caribbean: A goat and a donkey are taking a siesta in the road.
When the driver drops me at the St. Vincent dock, it's past dark. I pick up a phone at a booth, and it starts to ring immediately. Security picks up and dispatches a water taxi to come for me. I see the boat, with its single light bulb, speed toward me. There's something romantically outdated about this method. When I reach Young Island again, I climb the more than 60 stone steps to my cottage perched on a hill. A couple minutes later, the lights on Young Island all seem to go out -- as if now that I'm home safe, it's bedtime. I fall asleep to the gentle chorus of tree frogs, feeling younger.
Rates from $448. youngisland.com
-- Christine Richard
Photo: Lori Barbely