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On a recent visit to the Caribbean I found myself fighting burnout and in need of a proper vacation complete with sunshine, relaxing views, and time to spend in nature decompressing and reconnecting with myself. With that goal in mind, I sought out a place to base myself just off the beaten path enough for tranquility while still being in the center of the boundless beauty the region is known for. My search led me to Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort, an intimate all-inclusive resort set on Union Island, one of the best resorts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Why Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort is a Great Caribbean Getaway
- Prime location on secluded cove
- Private beach
- Intimate property with just 4 guest villas
- Some rates are all-inclusive
What Isn’t So Great
- Remote location on Union Island makes it more difficult to get to
- No paved road to the resort
- Only one restaurant on property and no nightlife
Location of Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort
The resort is located in the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, specifically on Union Island. One of the country’s 32 islands that stretch downwards through the Lesser Antilles, Union Island and its main town of Clifton is accessible via ferry from Kingston or charter aircraft with flights from Barbados and Grenada.
Chatham Bay is a secluded cove on the western side of Union Island, once only popular with yachters. The cove is only accessible via a 15-minute water taxi from Clifton or a 15-minute golf cart ride down a bumpy unpaved road. While there isn’t an airport shuttle per se, the staff can arrange to pick you up at the airport or ferry dock.
I flew into the airport in Clifton direct from Barbados. The resort’s staff greeted my aircraft via golf cart and not long after landing we were flying up and over the verdant hills and down towards the ocean. I was told that the unpaved road is a popular trail for turtles after dusk, and indeed, one night I even ventured out to find these magnificent creatures trekking towards the sea.
Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort Guest Rooms
Beyond the secluded location, the 4-star resort’s sprawling property truly couldn’t be more intimate, with just four standalone villas that sit on the hillside and face the ocean.
The villas are all the same room type, featuring thatched roofs, high-beamed ceilings, and king-sized canopy beds. All are non-smoking. The villa I stayed in had artwork of Buddha on the wall, further helping me to get into the zen during my stay.
My villa’s shower had excellent water pressure and a natural design that made me feel like I was bathing outdoors. Cozy bathrobes awaited me after my shower. There is also a hairdryer, though I didn’t see the need to use this when the fresh Caribbean breeze was also abundant.
Each villa includes free wifi, air conditioning, and complimentary coffee/tea. There is a minibar with limited items available, but I’d recommend stopping at one of the convenience stores in Clifton to stock up on any items you want. Once you are on property there are no stores within walking distance, so you’ll have to take a golf cart or water taxi back to town.
My favorite feature of the villa was the private balcony. I sat here every morning of my stay (and most sunsets) to write in my journal, reflect and read. With only a handful of guests staying on the property, my vistas were rarely interrupted by other humans; instead, I could focus on relaxing and taking in the changing colors of the sky and aqua tones of the ocean.
Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort Property
Though there are just a few guest rooms, the public areas here are sprawling, making the property seem much larger compared to the number of guests it serves. Guests at the property check in at the main building, an open-air house that contains the front desk, bar, and restaurant all with breezy beachfront views.
The property also features a large outdoor pool that sits just steps from the beach. It’s not quite an infinity pool, but it is heated to a pleasant temperature and has incredible views of Chatham Bay Beach and the yachts that float offshore. Using the swimming pool to cool off from the heat of the day and enjoy a frozen daiquiri from the poolside bar was one of the most relaxing parts of my stay.
The resort is home to just one restaurant and a fantastic restaurant at that. Prices are a bit steep, but the food is really fresh and made to order using many local ingredients. Continental breakfast is included in most room rates. Dishes are Caribbean and Italian-inspired. For an extra charge, staff will take you out on the water to fish or hunt lobster and the chef will prepare these items fresh for your dinner.
It’s important to note that the restaurant closes at 10 p.m. nightly. The resort is really quiet, so if nightlife is what you’re after, this isn’t the best place for you. For me, I really appreciated how tranquil the setting was to truly relax and enjoy the access to nature.
Other dining options include a few local restaurants spread along the beach. Room service is also available though additional charges apply. Again, since there’s no coffee shop or snack bar onsite, I’d recommend bringing snacks along from Clifton to supplement the offerings found at the in-room minibar.
Activities at Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort
What makes this property such an incredible place to stay is its private location on a secluded cove. Access to such a private beach area and the abundance of outdoor activities make the property truly unrivaled. The resort has rentals to cover all your needs and the concierge service is really helpful in planning the best things to do.
Every day of my stay I enjoyed snorkeling on the house reef, a popular feature pointed out in many of the guest reviews. I didn’t bring snorkeling equipment along, so I was really appreciative that the concierge set me up with a snorkel kit to use during my entire stay.
Kayaking is another fantastic outdoor activity to enjoy in Chatham Bay. Union Island has really unique topography and the cliffsides are fascinating to see from out on the water.
For those who wish to explore more of their surroundings, the concierge can arrange a multitude of day trips to visit nearby hotspots like Mayreau, Canouan Island, or Palm Island Resort. I elected to take a boat tour of the Tobago Cays Marine Park. On the tour, I got to swim with sea turtles, snorkel coral reefs, enjoy an authentic Caribbean barbeque, and see some of the filming locations from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean up close.
The town of Clifton in Union Island is also worth visiting at least once. I’d recommend enjoying lunch or dinner here to mix up your food experience and get a sense of the local flavors.
Of course, relaxing should be one of the top activities on any itinerary to the Caribbean. Chatham Bay is the perfect place to do just that. The beach area has sun loungers with shade that serve this purpose perfectly.
Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort Details
Tenuta Chatham Bay Resort is located on the western side of Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Check-in starts from 3 p.m. and flexible check-out times run up to 12 p.m. The property accepts credit cards and USD. Check your hotel booking for cancellation policies ahead of time.