This upscale haven, 18 miles (29 km) southeast of St. Vincent, is 3 miles (5 km) by 1¼ miles (2 km) at its widest point. The island is hilly and has several green valleys, each with a sparkling white-sand beach facing an aquamarine sea. The permanent population is about 300. Back in the 1960s, Britain's Princess Margaret put this small, private island on the map after the owner, the late Colin Tennant (Lord Glenconner), presented her with a 10-acre plot of land as a wedding gift. Tennant had bought the entire 1,400-acre island in 1958 for $67,500 (the equivalent of about $450,000 today). The Mustique Company—which Tennant formed in 1968 to develop the copra, sea-island cotton, and sugarcane estate into the glamorous hideaway it has become—now manages the privately owned villas, provides housing for all island employees, and operates Mustique Villa Rentals. Arrangements must be made about a year in advance to rent one of the luxury villas that now pepper the northern half of the island.
Sooner or later, stargazers see the resident glitterati at Basil's Bar, the island's social center. Proprietor Basil Charles also runs a boutique crammed with clothes and accessories from Bali. A pair of cotton-candy-color, gingerbread-style buildings, the centerpiece of the tiny village, house a gift shop and clothing boutique. There's also an antiques shop with fabulous objets d'art and a deli–grocery stocked with Brie and champagne.
The Mustique Blues Festival, held during the first two weeks of February, features artists from North America, Europe, and the Caribbean; shows occur nightly at Basil's Bar. The festival is quite a draw.