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“Amazing - best place on the island!”
Review of The Sweet Retreat

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The Sweet Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Lower Bay B&B and Inns
Richmond,
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing - best place on the island!”
Reviewed August 11, 2011

My husband and I traveled to Sweet Retreat for our honeymoon in June. This trip, island and hotel were perfect for us!

Bequia is a great island to visit if you don't want to be inundated with tourism. It’s a very simple, beautiful island. There are a few small beaches scattered across the island – Sweet Retreat was by far in the best location to access the beach AND the beach at Sweet Retreat was the best quality beach on the island. They have snorkel gear available – which we used every day to experience the small reef right at our beach. Since we went at the beginning of rainy season, we essentially had the beach to ourselves for our entire stay.

The hotel itself was very charming, clean and the views were spectacular. Robert and Shelby went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable and special. We ate every meal with one exception at Sweet Retreat – Shelby’s cooking is phenomenal (she’s traveled the world and picked up culinary expertise along the way) – each meal was better than the last!

The one ‘problem’ we had amidst our entire stay was the mosquitos. They were relentless. Robert and Shelby helped arm us with repellants and we finally mastered a technique to keep them at bay while we slept (close all doors and windows and ensure the mosquito net is tightly tucked before nodding off) (and, yes, these rooms have mosquito nets and no A/C – which we were fine with, but, definitely a detail every traveler should know).

My husband and I enjoy traveling and have visited several countries. Bequia is a unique slice of heaven and the Sweet Retreat is the best place on the island to soak it all in!

GO to Bequia/Sweet Retreat IF: you want to get away from it all (there are no tv’s at Sweet Retreat), you want to relax (there’s really no nightlife on Bequia), you want to experience the Caribbean for its natural beauty (I can’t imagine Bequia has changed/progressed much over the past 50 years - and it's stunning!)

DO NOT GO to Bequia/Sweet Retreat IF: you’re traveling with children/elderly (Sweet Retreat is at the top of a small but VERYsteep hill), having no A/C is a deal breaker, you want to go to fancy/familiar restaurants (there are none on the island, but, you won’t need them thanks to Shelby)

If given the opportunity, we will absolutely return to Bequia and wouldn’t even consider staying anywhere other than Sweet Retreat!

Room Tip: All rooms at Sweet Retreat are created equal with stunning views. Be sure to bring your own toiletr...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VirginiaBlair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2011

After extensive internet research on carib islands and thumbing through the pages of many travel magazines in search of the 'ideal' location for a couples getaway, I pulled the trigger and decided to stay at the Sweet Retreat (there was only 1 TripAdvisor review at the time of our booking) for 5 days.

There aren't enough words to describe the hospitality we received from Robert (front of the house) and Shelby (the 'put some southern love' in every bite chef) during our stay. Luckily, we had the entire property to ourselves AND we didn't have the share the best beach on the island with any other travelers, which is just steps away. For the adventurous, take the small boat down to Tobago Cays with BadMan - you'll have a different appreciation for island life!

I am 100% confident that Robert and Shelby will do whatever to make your stay enjoyable, as they did for us. We didn't let them know that we were traveling on our honeymoon...somehow Robert found out and we had a bottle of bubbly with dinner one evening...totally unexpected! Sometimes it's the little things that make the difference.

Pros: Great location, amazing habor views, exceptional service, daily meals for breakfast/lunch/dinner, clean, safe, fair priced, free snorkeling gear, ability to travel easily to the surrouding islands, very laid back/slow way of life

Cons: Limited island restaurants options, no nightlife/crowded bar scene, rainy season in the carib = mosquitos

Thank you Sweet Retreat.....I hope to see you again very soon.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LaPlayaHopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slidell, Louisiana
1 review
Reviewed June 19, 2011

We stayed for 5 nights at the Sweet Retreat. The owners/staff were over accomadating. Whether we wanted to just hang out on the hotel deck and sun or in the covered open air dining/ bar area in a hammock enjoying the sound of the surf and the Carribean sea breeze we were content. The owners provided continental breakfast(included) (awesome local fresh fruit, coffee, and muffins) and lunch & dinner if you like. The food was better than most places on the island.
They also filled us in on all of the island sights and attractions. The local people were friendly and we felt very safe. It's like no experience that we have ever had.
If you appreciate staff that can anticipate your needs then you'll love this place!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DKG0003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 9, 2011

Let me start by saying the service was amazing and so was the food. Robert and Shelby (the owners) are amazing and extremely helpful; they helped us with taxis, boat characters, restaurants, shopping—everything!!!! The photos on the websites are actually of the hotel and the view from your room looks like the photo-only better, we stayed in the green room and it looked exactly like the photos—how refreshing! The website states, it is steps away from the beach and it is, and the beach is lovely with great snorkeling. We looked at many places online and we saw many of them in person (they didn’t look like the photo on websites) we are SOOOOOO glad we stayed at the Sweet Retreat. We will be staying there again...and again!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Green Room
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CarmenBrandon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gulfport, Mississippi
1 review
Reviewed June 6, 2011

If you are looking for a great location with beautiful views this is the place for you. Not only that but the food is excellent and the host and hostess go out of their way to insure you comfort. I will definatly be going back here in the future. Thank you so much Robert and Shelby for an unforgetable vacation you are the best.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank terpa5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
121 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2011

I had always wanted to visit Bequia ever since hearing about from my boss at work. In 2010 I had traveled to Guadeloupe with The Daughter and The Teenager and then returned to Copenhagen with them. In February. Dumb. In 2011 we all traveled to Martinique for a couple of weeks, again in February, but I decided that I would stay on for a month and “do” the Caribbean away from the madding crowd and naturally Bequia would be on my “hit” list. Where to stay? My requirements are simple: a livable place very close to the beach. When I saw the picture of The Sweet Retreat on their (original) site - I was sold. The price was right and it looked to be about a minute from the best beach on the island.

After visiting Dominica and spending some time on St. Vincent (where I ’phoned the hotel and moved my stay up by a day with no problem) I took the hour long ferry ride from Kingston. I immediately knew I would like the island even before checking in as, because I had managed to get an enormous blister on the back of my foot from hiking in Dominica, I REALLY needed an pair of sandals with an open back. The woman at the office through which I booked the hotel (it’s easier to book directly) suggested the shop next door to their quay-side location or a man who made sandals at the T-shirt market. The shop next door wanted EC$90 for a pair of made in China rubber sandals while the “Sandalman” offered to make me a pair of handmade leather sandals in two hours for EC$200. No contest. I explored the local bars and restaurants and three hours later (OK - it’s the Caribbean) I had my sandals and 5 minutes later after an EC$20 cab ride (all cab fares seem to be regulated ) I arrived at the hotel which is on a slight incline above Lower Bay. Robert who is a soft spoken, knowledgeable Englishman gave me a hand lugging my baggage up to the deck. There I met his partner, Shelby, a Mississippian who it turned out had been an ICU nurse at the hospital I was born in in New Orleans - NOT at the same time mind you.

The hotel has four rooms - that’s it. Because of their desire to be able to render a perfect service they do not allow any more than two guests to occupy a single room. That’s it. So at the most there will be a total of eight guests. I was then shown to my room which consisted of an enormous bed with mosquito net (which I didn’t need because I never saw a mosquito in during my five day stay), desk, chair, safe and more than ample bathroom with a shower large enough to waltz in. The furnishings had obviously been chosen with care to reflect the relaxed ambiance they wanted to impart to guests. They have been working on getting things “right” for three years - and they did.

It was too late to go to the beach so I unpacked and ordered dinner from Shelby who does a daily four course dinner for US$25. It was served on the deck with a view over the bay in the twilight. The meat served is obtained from some retired German butchers who used to have a shop in Piccadilly but who retired to St. Vincent and, apparently, became a bit bored so decided to re-start their business. The fish are all local catch made daily. The vegetables are organic, purchased from a woman about 500 meters up the road. The fruit is all local or from their own garden. Fantastic!

Breakfast the next morning (included in the price of the room) was served on the deck and kicked off with a giant helping of fresh fruit bowl and juice followed by bakery goods, which Shelby whips up in the morning, butter and jam and coffee or tea.

After breakfast I walked the one minute it took to get to the pristine white sand beach at the foot of the incline and hopped in. There was virtually no one else on the beach. I could have walked back up to the hotel as Shelby also does lunch if you order it, but as there are three beach restaurants within 300 meters of the beach I preferred to stay there. If I needed a quick drink or a snack there was a “convenience” store located about 40 meters from the beach. You can snorkel the rocks at the end of the beach.

Robert and Shelby were at all times available to give advice, arrange for a brief tour, tell you a bit about the history of the island, etc. Attentive but not unobtrusive.

This is the place you want to be for a quiet, relaxed vacation at a reasonable price.

One last story to give you and idea of the tenor of the island: the bag I use to carry books, snacks and the like when flying had a broken zipper and they advised me of a place to go to get it fixed. The woman wasn’t there but as I was walking in town I ran in to the cabbie I met on the first say. I told him my problem and the man next to him said -”Oh, that’s my wife - she’s shopping with the kids and will be by in a couple of minutes.” She was and I explained my problem. It was after 5 on Friday - closing time - but she promised to fix it anyway. Through a misunderstanding I didn’t pick it up until three says later and the man scolded me because it had been ready the next day AND I had left EC$200 in the bag by mistake. THAT’S the kind of people you will run in to on Bequia!

I was going to add a bunch of photos but instead go to The Sweet Retreat page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bequia-sweet-retreat-hotel/132352130150437
There are LOTS of pictures with explanatory text which gives a great impression of what you can expect.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank StephenCopenhagen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2011

We needed a night on Bequia before picking up a chartered yacht. We found this hotel after an extensive search - it sounded just what we were looking for. Sure enough, it turned out to be the ideal place to stay on Bequia. Robert and Shelby were perfect hosts. From arranging our taxi collection from the airport in St.Vincent to the ferry, and meeting the ferry in Bequia, everything was laid on smoothly and helpfully. On arriving at the hotel we were warmly welcomed. The views of Admiralty, Princess Margaret and Lower Bays were to die for and the accommodation was first class in every respect. The furnishings were comfortable and tasteful, and showed scrupulous attention to detail. Robert is the most charming and articulate host - nothing is too much trouble. And Shelby works wonders in the kitchen, whether its the very special continental breakfast or the four-course dinner, and all this at perfectly reasonable prices. The beach was just a step away with wonderful snorkelling (equipment provided.) Why look anywhere else? Sweet Retreat has got off to a flying start and is setting the standards on Bequia. We were only sad we couldn't stay longer - but we'll be back!

Room Tip: There are hammocks to lounge in!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank graham_barber1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sweet Retreat

Property: The Sweet Retreat
Address: Beach Rd, Lower Bay, Bequia
Location: Caribbean > St. Vincent and the Grenadines > Bequia > Lower Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Lower Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Eco friendly boutique style hotel, tastefully appointed rooms, California king platform beds, private balconies, stunning views great service and dining. owners live on property and we run it personally, a minute from beach. Property was formally CoCo's Place and has undergone an extensive rebuild...but 'that' view is still here! We believe that the price you see should be the price you pay. All prices shown are inclusive of all taxes and service charges, continental breakfast. We also offer complimentary use of snorkeling equipment and beach towels as well as free secure wi-fi, parking and the gift of a Sweet Retreat beach bag. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sweet Retreat Bequia/Lower Bay

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