Thursday, 20 June 2013

Mustique Travel and Holiday Report - Part 4 Cotton House

The Cotton House Hotel is a special place. Why? It is not that easy to explain but I will have a try. Descriptions such a relaxed and informal come to mind but equally so does elegant and luxury which is weird as the first two rarely link seamlessly with the the last! Maybe because it only has 17 rooms, but on the other hand they are in a huge acreage which has a big and beautiful spa. Like all hotels it has a pool and beach….but where have all the people gone. I hope you are getting my drift.

The rooms vary greatly. The entry level are called ‘cottages’ and are pretty enough for anyone. The next up are the Grenadine Suites which are in a block of four with the ground level rooms having plunge pools. We stayed once on the first floor and, whilst modern and gorgeous made me jealous of not having the pool below our balcony. None of the rooms have a sea view and look over the extensive manicured grounds instead.

The sea view rooms are in the Coutenout House. There are 5 rooms here and they are all different in design and layout. We have stayed in three. They are all on one level and all have decking and plunge pools except for one. This is the Tower Room which is, as you may imagine, in a little tower above the other four. This room has a fabulous view, its own veranda overlooking the beach and is very private. Great for honeymooners!

 Out of the other rooms we have two favourites.  The Orchid Room is tucked to one side and is very peaceful. It has a separate lounge (unlike the others) and a very attractive glass ceilinged bathroom. Star watching whilst soaking is a great experience. This room is well sound insulated from the others, has a nice little pool and great for skinny dipping if you had the desire to do so! The bed is FANTASTIC. The best I have ever slept in.

Finally we stayed in the Sunset Room. Probably named after the superb views of the beach and the sunsets you get out there. It has a big deck and pool which is stuck out towards the bay which stops it being overlooked whilst allowing any sea breezes to blow through. We loved it there even though there is a hatch from bathroom to bedroom so you can see the view from the loo. Unfortunately the same works in reverse and can result in your partner yelling at you!

Finally there are some duplex suites which are large, spacious and usually two storied. They too have plunge pools and also have two bedrooms which make them good for children. They are lovely but we still prefer the Coutenout rooms. At the top of a little hill next to reception they have a 2 bedroom villa. This is pretty good realty because it is private and secluded yet you can enjoy all the services and amenities the hotel has to offer whilst living a villa lifestyle. Nope, still Coutenout for us!

The hotel has its own little beach. On it they have top quality wooden sun loungers with a towel covered mattress and sun umbrellas. There is a beach attendant/drink getter a few paces onto the grass. On the grass they have lounge settees sheltered under the trees so you can flop out and read or sleep if you want. On one side of the beach is a pier and water sports centre which has got just about anything you can imagine and also runs diving trips. Snorkel stuff and sail boats are free to guests.

At the other end of the beach is a bar/cafĂ© and it is here they serve lunch. It is not that cheap but the food is usually pretty good and the portions huge. Very often we shared one meal between us but, if you didn’t then be prepared to spend around US$65 (including a drink) between the two of you. The staff are lovely and the sea breeze cooling. Like most places in the Caribbean you do get the occasional bird showing too much interest in your food so they lend you little water pistols to discourage them! P.s. a thrill for me was I could get a pizza without cheese there!

 It is usually shut in the evenings which is a bit of a shame although they try to hold their barbecue night there when the can. This meal is not to be missed but don’t get mad when they weigh your choice of meat in front of you as it is not to charge you extra for a big lobster. Or, like I had, Lobster, Prawn, Steak and Lamb! My own interpretation of ‘Surf and Turf’.

Dinners are served in their ‘fine dining’ Veranda  restaurant that circles around the Great House where reception and the main bar and lounge is. As you can imagine this is not cheap but most hotel rates you get do include breakfast and dinner. Some people  complain about the variety of the food as the printed menu rarely changes but what I think they forget is the the chefs are willing to adapt any dish to your own taste. Bearing in mind there is always at least four different kinds of meat as well a two fish that isn't at all bad.

Then you have two other sources of food. The ‘all day dining’ menu in your room has kiddies and adult food like spaghetti Bolognese, BLT  and fish fingers which is good eating on your  patio under the stars. Also they have a good Tapas menu in the lounge/bar. Unfortunately I only found out about it on our last day as the menu is behind the cocktail list which I never looked at. So is it Michelin standard? Of course it isn't. Is it good Caribbean standard? Yes I think it is.

What about the rest of the hotel? As you can gather I think the pool, beach and spa areas are great. The grounds are extensive and contain plenty of relaxation and exercise areas from running trails (did not use) and tennis (what on holiday?!). Everything is well groomed and maintained although there was a very short spell when power and water was lost.

 We loved it all but it appeals perhaps to only certain types of holidaymaker. I think you have to be comfortable enough with your partner to spend time in each other’s company. The island is ‘laid back’ and not that  regular a haunt of celebrities, chavs and royals. We met nice people but, apart from Basil’s or Lisa’s bar there were not many places to go and have a wild time. However, if you want beauty, relaxation, peace and laid back enjoyment we find it unbeatable.

And these other local holidaymakers seemed to be enjoying their honeymoon to the Cotton House too!

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