Joanna Booth tests beds across Grenada to find the right stay for every client.
Grenada is a small island, even by Caribbean standards – it’s barely bigger than Birmingham. However – and no offence intended, Birmingham – it’s a whole lot prettier. Low rise, low key and incredibly lush, this green gem is the Caribbean at its boutique best.
But Grenada hasn’t let its small size be a limit when it comes to accommodation, particularly with new and reimagined properties including the much-anticipated Silversands. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the Spice Island knows how important variety is.
Best for… Stylish sybarites
Why: With the longest infinity pool in the Caribbean, a Cuban cigar bar and palatial villas that can accommodate clients who travel with staff or security personnel, Silversands is a game-changer for the very top end of the market in Grenada. Sleek, minimalist and ultra-sophisticated, this is a hotel aimed at the international jet-set rather than Caribbean die-hards.
In addition to the four-bedroom villas with private pools set on the edge of Grand Anse beach, there are 43 rooms and suites in two sea-facing main buildings. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the large spaces light and airy in the day, and give gorgeous views of the grenadine-pink tinged sunsets in the evening.
“The owner’s 700-piece art collection is displayed throughout the hotel – look out for 70 decorative boats, each worth $40,000.”
The look is muted but high-spec, with pale wood and a neutral palette – except for the owner’s 700-piece art collection which is displayed throughout the hotel. Look out for 70 decorative boats all designed by different artists, each worth $40,000.
Dining is fittingly high-end. Guests can enjoy local spices given a Thai twist under the lofty ceiling of evening-only Asiatique, where there’s a 1,000-bottle wine cellar. Or there’s the breezy poolside Grenadian Grill, with craft cocktails and gussied-up versions of island dishes.
The superlative spa features a striking pool shaded by a louvred roof, expert therapists and an extensive gym.
Book it: B&B rates from £771 per room per night, including airport transfers.
Best for… Secluded sophistication
Why: Tucked into the bend of a bay on its own pretty, diminutive beach, Calabash is an elegant haven where guests enjoy the finer things in life in a relaxed atmosphere.
Tranquil suites with a faintly nautical air sit in a curve of cottages around the croquet lawn. Days start in relaxed fashion, with all guests treated to complimentary in-suite – or on-beach – breakfast. Thoughtful touches abound at this family-owned and run hotel, from the handy book pocket in the in-pool loungers allowing for hands-free reading to the sunset canapés delivered each evening to your door.
“Days start in relaxed fashion, with all guests treated to complimentary in-suite – or on-beach – breakfast.”
While the vibe is relaxed, there’s plenty to do, with an on-site gym, tennis courts and dive centre, and complimentary non-motorised water sports, including sailing lessons.
With its vine-shaded terrace, the Rhodes restaurant is one of the prettiest on the island, and the menu, overseen by celebrity chef Gary Rhodes, features food that is just as good-looking consisting of Caribbean flavours alongside European favourites. Just steps from the sea, the newly renovated Beach Club serves finger-licking dishes including a renowned lobster mac and cheese.
Book it: From £525 per night in a Junior Suite, including breakfast. calabashhotel.com
Best for… Consummate Caribbean
Where: Spice Island Beach Resort
Why: The island’s original luxury hotel bagged one of the best spots on sprawling Grand Anse beach, where a sprinkling of sea grape and almond trees gives a sense of privacy, despite being steps from the sea. Repeat business from the UK is high, as guests return year after year to enjoy quintessentially Caribbean luxury, welcomed by staff who remember their names and serve afternoon tea in the bandstand.
Although the hotel has bags of old-fashioned charm, it has stayed up to date with regular renovations and modern touches including a new yoga pavilion and Alexa in all the rooms.
“Guests return year after year to enjoy quintessentially Caribbean luxury, welcomed by staff who remember their names.”
The 64 suites are set along the beach and back on to the lush gardens, with options featuring private pools and terraces. For my money, the best value are the less pricy Seagrape Beach Suites – spacious, and right on the sand, with the Caribbean standing in for a private pool.
Spice Island is an all-inclusive resort, with the room rate including lengthy tasting menus nightly at Oliver’s, lunches at the Sea and Surf Terrace, afternoon tea, kids’ menus, wines, cocktails, and an in-room mini bar. Tennis, cycling and golf come as part of the package, plus a kids’ club for three to 12-year-olds.
Book it: From £925 per room per night on an all-inclusive basis. spiceislandbeachresort.com
Best for… Local living
Where: True Blue Bay
Why: From the colourful chattel house-style hotel shop selling Grenadian products to the local street-food night every Wednesday, True Blue Bay is the place to stay if clients really want to feel part of their destination. There’s even a new kids’ club where guests’ children will mix with those of hotel staff, offering three complimentary hours of childcare per day for under-12s.
Family-owned and run, this sociable and friendly resort is popular with guests who like to stay active. There are on-site cooking classes, and rum and chocolate tastings, a yoga studio, and – a benefit of its harbourside location – one of the island’s best dive centres and a yacht charter outfit on site.
“There’s a new kids’ club where guests’ children will mix with those of hotel staff, offering three complimentary hours of childcare per day.”
There are two pools, a tiny man-made beach and twice-daily shuttles to Grand Anse beach. Despite the lack of a true beach, this is a wonderful spot for children, with play areas around the hotel, the option to upgrade to all-inclusive, and villas and suites with kitchens. Newly constructed Cocoa Pod rooms are sustainable, with rainwater harvesting and solar power.
Book it: From £185 per room per night, including breakfast.
Best for… Grand groups
Where: Mount Hartman Bay Estate
Why: This former boutique hotel has been lovingly updated and rebranded for private hire – an unforgettable escape for large families or groups. Set across three hectares of quiet bay, opposite a nature reserve, the main building’s idiosyncratic white curves look like Gaudi took Hobbiton and remade it into a Bond villain’s lair. Inside, furnishings are a Caribbean take on country house chic.
“The main building’s idiosyncratic white curves look like Gaudi took Hobbiton and remade it into a Bond villain’s lair.”
There’s a folly tower overlooking the swimming pool, two further properties – a crisp new beach house and a villa – and the whole lot comes with two manmade beaches, two boats, kayaks and a fire pit. Mount Hartman offers agents 20% commission, and the estate can be hired as a whole – 16 bedrooms across the three properties – or separately for four, eight or 12-key stays. All-inclusive meal plans are available.
Book it: From £2,325 for the four-bed beach house per night to £8,370 for the whole 16-bedroom estate.
Best of the rest
Choose Mount Cinnamon for convivial charm. This established hotel snaking up the hillside at one end of Grand Anse beach has a prime spot on the sand, with cabanas and a lively bar.If the walk uphill to the rooms and suites is too much, golf carts are on hand – the payoff is stupendous views. There’s a friendly buzz in the restaurant and around the small courtyard pool. From £225 including breakfast.
Opt for Laluna for relaxed rejuvenation. There’s a jungle feel to this resort, with hippy-luxe cottages tucked among the trees featuring open-air bathrooms, a shady Balinese spa and a large yoga space, all set back from a narrow but pretty beach. A new development of private-hire villas on the hill overlooking the hotel has a very different feel – sleek, modern and minimalist. From £347 room-only.
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