Johnny Depp’s Pirate Lair
Johnny Depp’s 45-acre island in the Bahamas isn’t the first private island he inhabited. When he was filming “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Depp and the rest of his co-stars stayed on Young Island, a private island just 200 yards from St. Vincent’s southern coast.
According to legend, this little island that’s now a private luxury resort, was traded by a Carib chief to Sir William Young, the British governor, in exchange for a black stallion.
So far, Young Island has managed to stay laid back and hard to reach (thank you very much), but when St. Vincent’s international airport opens next year, Depp and his Hollywood brethren may find exclusivity a tad bit harder to come by.
Still, you have to really want to go there. First, there’s the flight, then the trip to the Young Island dock and then the water taxi (a phone on the dock dispatches the taxi 24/7). But ask anyone, particularly Bill Gates who has been known to rent the whole island, it’s SO worth it.
Vidal Browne, one of two Vincentian owners of the resort, meets each guest at the dock and personally leads them to their own private thatched bungalow. Each of the 29 is beautifully decorated with Brazilian wood and island stone and stocked with a huge bowl of local fruit, homemade breads, French cheese and, if they’re a returning guest, a bottle of Roederer champagne. Although not a standard amenity, Leonard Bernstein even found a grand piano in his bungalow, hauled just for him across the channel.
Browne used to greet visitors with Misty, a colorful parrot left on the island by actress Vivien Leigh, perched on his shoulder, but alas, Misty has gone on to the big cage in the sky.
The island’s mango, almond, nutmeg and palm trees hide the tennis courts, spa and other accoutrements, but they’re all there, nestled among ginger, hibiscus, ferns and frangipani, just waiting for your beck and call.
And if you can somehow manage to can pull yourself away from the gorgeous beach, Coconut Bar and your own two-person hammock, the Young Island water taxi will gladly deposit you back on St. Vincent where you can visit Walillabou Bay (where sets from the movie still stand), the 60-foot Falls of Baleine and the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere. Founded in 1765, this ancient Botanical Garden was started with breadfruit trees left behind by Captain Bligh of the HMS Bounty. And while none of the stars admit it, is it possible they stay young by imbibing of St. Vincent’s secret spring that, during a full moon, offers youth-inducing waters?
Click here for more info about this tropical garden/resort/Johnny Depp hideout.