Grenada November 2013

During November 2013 I was invited on a Grenada board of tourism educational trip to Grenada and I was more than happy to accept their invitation. Grenada is perhaps one of the lesser known islands of the Caribbean but that doesn't mean it lacks any of the natural beauty, elegant hotels and sandy beaches that the region is famous for.

Setting off from Gatwick airport and after a short stop at St Lucia we arrived in Grenada on glorious sunny afternoon. We were greeted by our very friendly and loquacious bus driver Roger who kept us entertained during some of the longer bus journeys whilst on the trip.  For the first two nights of the weeklong visit we stayed in the Coyaba Beach Resort which is situated opposite and a shopping centre and a ten minute drive from St George's, the islands capital.  The hotel has more than adequate facilities including two bars, a swimming pool, conference suite and of course a beach. The three star resort is more suitable for an older couple who want to stay in a compact resort that is easy to navigate and not too extravagant. However the second hotel we stayed in, the Calabash, blends luxury, originality and simplicity very well. The Calabash's suites were spacious and fitted to perfection whilst the option of being able to eat breakfast on your balcony is a very nice touch (although it is also available in the restaurant). Soaking in the morning sun and listening to the sweeping sea waves whilst eating a perfectly poached egg is not a bad start to the day. I would recommend the lobster for dinner too!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the British run Calabash Resort but the next hotel we stayed in also packed a powerful punch. Mount Cinnamon, located on a hill, overlooking the St George's is in blissful location although the walk up hill to your villa could be a struggle for some (lifts are available from reception if you ask). Most villas are two stories high complete with two en-suite bedrooms, relatively large kitchen, living room and balcony facing the sea.  

Whilst staying at the Mount Cinnamon resort we embarked on an island tour visiting numerous interesting places. We stopped off at the bustling St George’s market were we sampled the local spices and street culture. We dined at BB’s famous restaurant by the sea where I had my first taste of barracuda and took in the city from the fort. On route to the fort you have walk through the police stations grounds where President Maurice Bishop was executed during the revolution in 1983.  We also went to the very informative cricket museum which details how to the sport was adopted as Grenada’s national sport by the slaves so is worth a visit even if you are not a cricket fan.  Whilst perhaps the highlight of the trip was having a guided tour around the River Antoine Rum distillery where free samples were given!

We spent our last two nights of the tour in the famous Spice Island Beach resort which is owned by Sir Royston Hopkin and laid out along the quieter, southern end of Grand Anse Beach, Grenada's best beach. The hotel’s service was impeccable; Sir Royston and his family run the hotel flawlessly with well-trained staff whom address you by your surname soon after you've arrived. The 64 rooms are all suites. I stayed in one of the Seagrape Beach Suites, which are lavishly furnished with en-suite luxurious large whirlpool tubs with views of the ocean. Whilst on the terrace there are private hammocks and sun loungers awaiting on the sand facing the sea. Whilst the Royal Collection Pool suites give you your own hot tub and pool but you miss out on the sea views. The buffet breakfasts are excellent, and feature lots of Grenadian things to try, such as nutmeg-flavoured muffins and soursop juice. Whilst the dinners in Oliver’s restaurant are five course very grand affairs.

Grenada is beautiful Tropical Island with a lush green interior, friendly people, good resorts and seemingly endless sunshine and beaches.  If you are looking for holiday with guaranteed sun, good food and weather then the ‘spice island’ provides you with an interesting option for a breakaway.

Simon Holmes