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Private Caribbean island tops luxury list of world's most unique lodges

Petit St. Vincent resort has received National Geographic's approval for sustainability and excellence.

Earlier this year National Geographic set out to identify remarkable resorts around the world that excel in "sustainability, authenticity and excellence." The 25th lodge to make the cut is a private resort island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the southern Caribbean.

Petit St. Vincent joined the collection of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, it announced Monday. The resort, which dates to the 1960s and is privately owned, has 22 one- and two-bedroom cottages on the island, which is just 115 acres.

To get there, you have to fly from Barbados to Union Island, also part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and then take a resort-run boat to the island.

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There are few paved roads and plenty of beaches at this hideaway that's all about escape. There's no TV, no texting, no calling.

Guests communicate with staff using flags: a yellow flag means you would like room service or transportation, a red flag indicates you want to be left alone.

Activities on the island include kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, paddleboarding, snorkling and scuba diving.

Environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau opened a dive center on the island last year and also works with the resort to protect marine life in the area.

For those who want to sample life at Petit St. Vincent, the resort offers seven nights for the price of five nights through July 31. Weeklong stays for two people, which include meals and activities, cost $5,500 to $8,000.

(You also can rent the entire island during the month of August for $15,000 a night.)

As it does with all lodges on the list, National Geographic sent experts to experience and evaluate the resort firsthand. It ranks properties based on their authentic character, guest experiences it offered and commitment to conservation.

Other resorts on the list include the Brando in Tetiaroa, French Polynesia; Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in Aguas Calientes, Peru; and the Sabi Sabi Earlth Lodge in South Africa.

The lone U.S. property to make the list is the Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Mont.

Info: Petit St. Vicent, (800) 654-9326

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