“Casual elegance” is how Matt Semark describes the Petit St Vincent. A little slice of paradise in the Caribbean, the hotel is intimate and peaceful – the perfect place for a couples getaway or a honeymoon. We caught up with General Manager Matt to discuss his time there and what the hotel has on offer for Turquoise Holidays customers.
How long have you been General Manager at the hotel?
At PSV two & a half years
If you could sum up the hotel in three words, what would they be?
Private, Tranquil & Unpretentious
The accommodation at the hotel looks stunning; could you tell us a bit about the style of the property, and where that inspiration came from?
The Original Structures were built in the 60’s from natural volcanic stone quarried from the island, they were strategically designed and placed around the island to utilise the natural contours for privacy and to maximise the wonderful panoramic views that are on offer. Only 22 Cottages were ever built to ensure the guest experience is always peaceful and extremely personalised.
We renovated the entire island in 2011, enhancing the infrastructure, furnishings and amenities on offer as well as delicately updating the overall look. The resort and guest cottages were modernised with a contemporary finish, all new furniture was sourced using natural materials. During the process we also built a new spa & wellness complex and a beach front restaurant with cocktail bar.
The general style of the resort combines the usually touches that one would expect of a luxury resort, efficient, professional yet unobtrusive service; however we lean towards a more casual approached but still with a touch of elegance.
Do you get to know the guests that come and stay with you at the hotel?
My Wife and I meet all the guests on arrival and welcome them to the resort; we also assist with the check in, which is an informal tour of the island finishing at their cottage. During the guest’s stay, we are always at hand to help arrange activities, special dinners and any other special requests to help ensure each guest’s experience is unique, personalised and memorable.
Which is your favourite restaurant? Do you have a favourite dish?
Although lounging around for lunch at our new beach bar, with a chilled glass of Chateau Minuty couldn’t be more blissful, the evening menus in our Main Pavilion Restaurant are my preferred choice due to our Executive Chef delighting us with exciting new recipes each evening, showing off his culinary flare. The Coconut Crusted Mahi-Mahi Fillet with Caribbean Vine Spinach, Roast Tomato & Rosemary Confit is delicious and certainly one of my favourite dishes along with the Chef’s Pan Seared Foie Gras with Apple Compote and Lavosh Crisp Bread.
Do you tend to have a lot of repeat guests coming back to the hotel every year?
Yes, our repeat rate is over 55% at present and growing steadily.
Which is your favourite excursion on offer to the guests at the hotel?
I would say the day sailing cruise on our traditional Grenadines Sloop, ‘Beauty’, would be my choice. Our skipper Jeff, spoils his guests with sailing charters to the local marine reserve, the Tobago Cays, where he has a few secret snorkelling spots where you’ll forget the time of day mesmerised by the abundance of pristine corals and plentiful tropical fish, elegant rays and groups of giant sea turtles. Whilst you’re enjoying this rich aquatic realm Jeff will be preparing a delicious BBQ Lobster lunch and other delicious treats on the boat as well as arranging a glass of chilled wine ready for your return to the boat
Finally – would you say the hotel is more suited to couples, or families? Or both?
I would say both, due to the size of our private island and the limited number of accommodation, even when we are full our guests still feel as though the island is uninhabited. There are so many areas both on and off island that guests can tuck away and have tranquil private experiences; there is never a feeling of invading on anyone else’s privacy.