Local meets luxury on the ‘spice island’
‘What can I say? Grenada is an incredibly pretty island and some of the scenery is nothing short of stunning. I loved the atmosphere and people – like most of the Caribbean; it’s both super-friendly and laidback.
What really stands out is how the island has remained largely uncommercialised. It’s very much about local small-scale experiences and boutique hotels. There’s brilliant snorkelling and the diving is exceptional – visit the unusual Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park, one of the world’s first, if you can. And while the beaches are every bit as beautiful as you’d expect, there are fantastic inland attractions too such as waterfalls, rainforests, spice plantations, rum factories, and atmospheric capital St George’s.
It has some lovely properties such the all-suite, family-run Spice Island Beach Resort on Grand Anse beach, owned by well-known local hotelier Sir Royston Hopkins. I loved the whitewashed hacienda-style buildings and Sunday barbecues. Another favourite is peaceful, family-run Calabash which does wonderful extras such as breakfast on your terrace, fruit served on the beach, and canapés delivered to your room each evening. The Gary Rhodes restaurant is also superb (the only one outside of the UK) as is the open-air Heaven and Earth spa. I’d also recommend Mount Cinnamon, creation of British entrepreneur Peter de Savary, a hilltop resort with 21 villas and suites overlooking Grand Anse beach. Their Savvy’s restaurant is very good, and many ingredients are from their own gardens and local plantations.
In fact, local produce is a big deal here. You’ll find chefs using saffron, cinnamon, all-spice and many more; think nutmeg ice-cream and delicately spiced crab. If you’re hungry, try their national dish, oil down, a hearty stew with meat, root vegetables and dumplings. It’s this emphasis on both local and luxury which makes Grenada feel so special.’
Flight time: 10 hours
Capital: St George’s
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar
Time difference: GMT -4