Nicola reports from Grenada in the Caribbean…5.06.18 | Nicola
My love of the Caribbean is well known amongst my friends and family and having visited a number of Islands I was very excited to be heading to the beautiful Island of Grenada, also affectionately known as Spice Island due to its abundance of nutmeg plantations. Having made a short cruise stop there a number of years ago, I knew it was a beautiful Island but just how beautiful……….well I was about to discover that.
We left a cold winter’s morning in London and our direct flight to Grenada, with a short touchdown in St Lucia, had us arriving in glorious sunshine. We were met with a warm welcome and ready for a short (10 minutes) transfer to our home for the next 2 nights, the stunning Spice Island Resort. If first impressions were anything to go by, then we were in for a treat! This beautiful resort is set on a perfect spot on Grand Anse beach. As soon as we stepped out of the car we were met with the most amazing view of the Caribbean Sea. After a quick check-in with refreshing cold flannels and welcoming cocktails we were taken to our suites, all located short walk from reception and the pool area.
As soon as I walked through the door I knew this would be a truly special experience. From the luxurious bathroom with tub looking out to the beach, to the gigantic (and oh-so-comfortable bed), to the living area and right out onto the patio with direct access to the beach; this suite was just simply stunning. A couple of hours relaxing in the sun on my day bed and it was time for quick change as we headed off for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, Oliver’s. The setting for the restaurant is outstanding with the hotel maximising its prime position on one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen! But the view was not it’s only selling point, nor was the sumptuous food we were presented with, but what really made the evening special was the excellent customer service. They very quickly learnt your name as well as your favourite tipple, which they ensured was continually topped up, but what came across in abundance was their love for the resort and their pride in being a part of the ‘family’. They really did make a beautiful resort all the more special.
The next morning was spent relaxing around the pool looking out to the Caribbean Sea with a freshly made cocktail in hand. The cold harsh winter I’d left behind the day before felt a million miles away. A tour of the hotel allowed us to view the different suites Spice Island has to offer, ranging from their Seagrape Beach Suite through to stunning pool suites, set back a little further but all with their own private entrance & pool. Later that day we were able to experience the stunning onsite spa,with the most relaxing neck and back massage I have ever had! We ended the day by once again dining at Oliver’s and then enjoying a few cocktails in the Surf & Terrace bar whilst enjoying a local band.
The following morning, I was given a very special treat of having breakfast on my private terrace before heading off for a day of resorts visits. The island of Grenada is quite small in comparison to its neighbours, but as everyone knows……..great things come in small packages and Grenada was not about to disappoint. Our first stop was the beautiful Mount Cinnamon Resort, further along Anse beach and set a little up in to the hill offering the most spectacular panoramic views from their beautifully designed suites & villas. From here we continued on the coastal road to visit Laluna Resort, nestled into a private hillside on one of Grenada’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. Although it is only 10 minutes from the capital, St Georges, it feels like your own Caribbean hideaway with its Balinese decor, semi open bathrooms, and either amazing views or steps from the beach and with a big focus on health wellness and relaxation in their Asian spa it really is something very special.
Our next stop was to be our home for the next two nights and a complete change in hotel style. The beautiful Calabash is an exclusive family owned hotel with 30 suites arranged around the lovely gardens, facing out towards the secluded white sandy beach of Prickly Bay. From the moment we arrived it became obvious how much they pride themselves on delivering superb personal service and a unique experiences for all their guests – and this was before we had even stepped foot in their suites. All of their suites are simply stunning, with stylish decoration, amazing bathrooms and with either a terrace or balcony all sea facing. This evening we had a very relaxed diner at the Beach Club with a steel band entertaining us as we moved from the table round a campfire set up on the beach.
The emphasis at Calabash is on understated elegance and service combined with Caribbean informality, they like their guests to feel very relaxed from the moment they arrive and one of their unique experiences is the cooked to order breakfasts served on your suite’s patio, or if you prefer on the beach; the perfect way to start a relaxed day. After breakfast we headed off for a tour of this amazing island. Whilst it has plenty to offer with its rum and chocolate factories (both got my vote) we decided we would head in to the rain forest with a stop on route in the capital, which offered the most stunning panoramic views of the bay below. It is so clear to see why Grenada is called the ‘spice island,’ everywhere you look, you can see spices; nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric and cloves to name just a few and as we went further into the rainforest we were able to see first-hand these spices being farmed.
Grenada is also renowned for its stunning waterfalls and we were about to embark on its most famous one – Concorde Waterfalls. Tucked away in the rainforest, cascades of water tumble down rugged cliffs to gush into pristine swimming pools. Young men will jump the falls for a fee and are literally heart-stopping but amazing at the same time. With our driver/guide enthralling us with tales of days of old when pirates would hide their stash along the shores we stopped for a cold beer and in a small fishing town before carrying on around the enchanting island. Our next stop was to be Grand Etang Lake, created from a crater from an extinct volcano where legend has it a mermaid is living in the depths of the lake that lure men to their watery grave.
After a very enjoyable day we made our way back to Calabash as the sun began to set over St George. This evening we were treated to a fabulous meal in the renowned Rhodes Restaurant – personally opened by Gary Rhodes and only 1 of 3 of his restaurants outside the UK. We had heard so much about the food here that expectations were so high but her were not to be disappointed, the food here alone is enough to entice anyone to visit Grenada and the banana crumble was simply to die for.
After a long leisurely breakfast in the beach club and a last dip in the pool soaking up the sunshine, unfortunately it was time to pack up and head home. Although it was only a short visit to Grenada the memory of this wonderful and captivating island will last a lifetime and I am already planning my next visit – if only to sample that banana crumble once more!