Accommodations are extremely limited -- so limited, in fact, that it leaves us wondering what lodgers would do in the event of a sudden and unexpected influx of new business. The island's finest accommodations are within the Tropical Mansions Suites (www.tropicalmansion.com; tel. 664/491-8767; fax 664/491-8275), in the hamlet of Sweeney's and with its own outdoor pool and an airy, somewhat sterile and decent-looking restaurant (the Tropical Mansion Restaurant; daily 7:30am-9:30pm). Built in 1999 as a kind of 18-unit neo-Palladian motel, it's identified by a soaring front portico, a modern no-nonsense kind of efficiency, and a series of breezeways and arcades that surround an ornamental pool. A double room with breakfast costs $140 to $190 per night and includes free Wi-Fi. American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted. In the restaurant, lunch main courses cost $10 to $20 each, and dinner main courses cost $20 to $35 each. Creole-style fried fish, especially snapper, is a specialty.
Grand View Bed & Breakfast, Baker Hill (http://mnigrandview.com; tel. 664/491-2284; fax 664/491-7858), is for those who'd rather have a homelike place to stay. One of the island's best hosts, Theresa Silcott, will also prepare you a great dinner if you make a reservation. Overlooking Little Bay, the B&B has six units (including three suites), which are simple but well maintained and comfortable. In lieu of air-conditioning, you get fresh mountain air. Each of these spacious rooms comes with TV and phone. Double rooms with private bath cost $65, with suites going for $95 and including free Wi-Fi.
Gingerbread Hill, P.O. Box 246, St. Peter's (www.volcano-island.com; tel. 664/491-5812), is a four-room, tranquil mountainside retreat that evokes a hippie compound of the late 1960s. Each member of the Lea family pitches in, doing his or her own thing, from conducting tours to making fresh bread. On the grounds are hydroponic gardens, and you can enjoy the luxuriant growth of bananas, oranges, papaya, and mangoes. Even fresh eggs come from the family's chickens. This is the most eco-friendly lodging on island. You can stay here most comfortably in one of the villas, each imaginatively decorated, or else in two comfortable units. Some of the accommodations have a fridge and kitchenette. Double rates are $65 in a one-room apartment, $65 in the cottage, or $125 in a suite or villa, each with free Wi-Fi. No credit cards are accepted, and bikes and laundry facilities are available.
Renting A House On Montserrat
Montserrat real estate, thanks to the recent volcanic explosions, has disappointed more real estate investors than virtually any other island in the Caribbean. But what that means for you is now you can select from a pool of affordable buildings (at least 100) of all sizes, shapes, and degrees of comfort and maintenance that can be rented for anywhere from a few days to a season or more. We firmly believe that if you're tempted to rent a house for a Caribbean holiday, you should stay for the first time on island within a conventional hotel, and then -- for a second- or third-time holiday -- consider renting from a reputable agent. Two of the best agencies are Trade Winds Real Estate, P.O. Box 365, Olveston (tel. 664/491-2004; fax 664/491-6229; www.tradewindsmontserrat.com); and Montserrat Enterprises, Ltd., P.O. Box 58, Old Towne (tel. 664/491-2004; fax 664/491-6229; www.montserratenterprises.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.