Grenada’s Diverse Digs & Dining Delights
In the second part of his report on a recent media fam trip to Grenada, Open Jaw’s Ottawa correspondent Peter Johansen reviews select accommodation and dining options he enjoyed as a guest of the Grenada Tourism Authority.
Got a celebrity client seeking a luxe getaway? Grenada’s got you covered. Is it environmentally-conscious comfort they’re after? Got that covered, too. Family resort? Health-and-wellness retreat? No problem. Here are four special spots to recommend for a get-away to the enchanting “Spice Island.”
Silversands Grenada – Intimate Luxury
Opened a year ago by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, Silversands is for the elite client seeking a modern take on luxury. How elite? Daily rates range from US$800 for an entry-level room in low season to US$16,000 for a four-bedroom beachfront villa over the Christmas period. But as Grenada’s only member of the Leading Hotels of the World, it’s the preserve of the rich and famous, and with agent commissions of 10%, you can hope you have a few such clients in your Rolodex. In all, guests can choose from 43 rooms and suites or nine villas.
Silversands infinity pool
The setting is spectacular, fronting Grand Anse Beach, the island’s pristine two-kilometre strand of white-sand beach -- though the sea-averse can opt instead for the property’s most-photographed spot, an infinity pool that’s the longest pool in the Caribbean at 100 metres. The property’s sleek, vaguely Mid-East architecture, by Finnish firm AW2, has won awards in both Caribbean and world hotel design competitions.
Interiors are elegantly minimalist, but no expense is spared. My ocean-view room featured drapes and mosquito netting around the king-size bed, controlled by the touch of a button. The mini-bar was stocked with full half-bottles of top-shelf liquor (think Patron tequila or The Botanist gin), complete with Spiegelau stemware. My balcony was large enough for table and chairs on one end, a chaise lounge on the other. In the marble-walled bathroom were bespoke Blaise Mautin toiletries (including two kinds of shower gel and soaps, perfumed separately for men and women), and a bathtub with an ocean view.
True Blue Bay Resort – A ‘Climate Smart’ Boutique
True Blue Bay Resort is for those clients who are ecologically attuned. Recognized for its sustainability efforts, the property recycles its kitchen waste as pig food and fertilizer. Water heaters are solar powered. Waste water irrigates the extensive gardens. Bath amenities are in refillable containers. Fresh produce is locally sourced. Wooden furniture is ethically produced. Even regular beach cleanups are organized for staff and guests. And those air conditioners, light bulbs and fans in guest rooms? They’re low-energy models.
True Blue tower suite
But what about the rooms? Mine was a spacious Tower Suite. Not as in a high-rise tower—nothing here is more than a couple of storeys -- but as in the small second balcony I reached by a spiral staircase from the main porch of my second-floor suite. From that tower, I enjoyed a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea and the resort’s marina. Inside the 720-square-foot room: a king-size bed, full kitchen with dining table for six, and a bathroom with whirlpool tub and shower.
The grounds are lovely, with paths snaking through lush vegetation of tropical trees and flamboyant shrubs. Facilities are scattered around the grounds: two swimming pools, a dive shop and yacht charters, a gym, yoga studio and spa, a wharf-side bar, even a small museum of Amerindian artifacts. Kid-focused amenities include a playground and activities as hair braiding and kayak lessons, and there’s scheduled complimentary shuttle service to Grand Anse beach.
View across Prickly Bay
Buffet breakfast, complete with omelette station, is included. My one regret: I didn’t have time to take the free Thursday afternoon cooking classes offered by Esther and Omega, a lively duo who demonstrate homestyle recipes using local produce. Advisors, on the other hand, won’t regret the 10% commission or the affordability, starting at US$138 per night.
Mount Cinnamon Resort – An Upscale Family Choice
Mount Cinnamon Resort is ideal for families, with on-site activities that include a swimming pool, tennis and volleyball courts, kayaks and paddle boards, even a Montessori kids club -- and, Grand Anse beach for all things water. The restaurant has a kids’ menu, and the resort is just 15 minutes from the airport, so youngsters don’t have time to become persnickety before they settle in.
Mount Cinnamon bartender
The entry-level rooms, dubbed Cinnamon Suites, are the resort’s most recent addition. They’re 500 square feet, and feature king beds, seating area and patio. The colour scheme gives an airy lightness to the space, a feeling enhanced by the floor-to-ceiling windows looking across the bay to St. George. For families, there are two-bedroom garden suites and villas. The former lacks an ocean view, but has a full kitchen, good closet space and two bathrooms. The latter, facing the water, boasts a washer/dryer among its amenities.
The vibe here is resort casual, with two restaurants. The more upscale, Savvy’s, is where clients have breakfast and candlelit dinners (sous-vide lamb shank, perhaps, or butternut squash risotto). Its Indian and Caribbean influences are enhanced by veggies grown on site. Lunch is served in the Cabana directly on the beach. It’s possible to work off the calories in the fitness room, relax in the spa, or take in a variety of beach-side yoga classes.
Laluna – Where Wellness & Romance Meet
Laluna is ideal for those seeking wellness, with an added dollop of romance. It is remote, accessed by a serpentine road that leads to commanding hilltop views of the Caribbean Sea in Morne Rouge. It offers a range of services: a Balinese spa, beachfront yoga pavilion, sustainable organic garden, and state-of-the-art gym. Though it fronts a sandy beach, guests can walk through a peaceful grove and tie a ribbon to a wishing tree, find the peace that comes from an array of African totems, or consult the on-site healing counsellor.
Laluna cottage bedroom
A choice of accommodation ranges from rustic beachfront cottages – equipped with such luxuries as a canopy bed, TV and private open-air shower – to spectacular hillside villas boasting three-, four- and five-bedroom configurations. The villas feature barbecue areas, personal heated pools, full kitchens, spacious living rooms, and the privacy that comes from bedrooms squirreled away on as many as four levels.
Beach bar and pool
But though Laluna is small, there’s a beachfront bar with Sunday night entertainment, complimentary watersports (paddleboard, kayak, catamaran), movie nights, a bocce field, and packages for a different kind of well-being -- weddings. Laluna hosts about 10 a year, accommodating up to 80 participants. And whether or not it’s wedding day, guests can order a private candlelight dinner, complete with champagne, served in a secluded corner near the waterfront.
Nice Spice: Grenadian Dining Delights
From street food to elevated cuisine, from local favourites to global influences, I dined a lot during my visit -- and experienced zero disappointment.
The first night, we turn up at Spice Affair. That seems wholly proper, given Grenada’s “Spice Island” sobriquet. But what surprises is the menu: it’s Indian. I soon learn Indians first arrived here in 1857 to ameliorate labour shortages after the British Empire banned slavery. Today, their descendants represent Grenada’s third largest census group. The room is world contemporary, though, with butcher-block tables and stuffed chairs, exposed beams and grey slate floors, and a splendid sculpture of pots and pans. The menu is full of tikka and tandoori, but I opt for goat shorba soup and lamb biryani. Both are delish.
Spice Affair Lamb Biryani
But I’m jonesing for more traditional Caribbean fare. Happily my stay spans a Wednesday, when Street Food Night comes to the Dodgy Dock. Inspired by a monthly food fair in St. Mark’s parish, the self-serve affair features vendors offering everything from tacos to Chinese food.
Dodgy Dock Oil Down
I opt for the stall where Rain’s Kitchen, a popular St. George eatery, dishes out the country’s national dish, oil down. It’s a satisfying mess of goodness: breadfruit, dumplings, callaloo and other veggies, chicken, beef, pork (and probably more) stewed in coconut milk until that milk turns oily.
After that, there’s no room for other Grenadian fare, such as fried breadfruit balls and lambie waters (conch). But I do pack away three flavours of ice cream: nutmeg, cinnamon and sorrel.
Friday brings my much heavier self to bonfire night at the Mount Cinnamon Resort, where almost everything is grilled. I opt for local lobster. Unlike the boiled version, which drains both flavour and nutrients, my grilled crustacean is so tasty that I eschew the usual melted butter. I follow that with mango crème brûlée, then s’mores around the beach bonfire. It’s a family-friendly affair but adults dance with abandon to the rhythms of a steel drum band.
The most deft kitchen -- with prices to match -- is found at the luxe Silversands Resort. At The Grill, calamari are tender and delicately battered. Pumpkin agnolotti are pillowy. Tuna crudo tostados are jammed with flavour. Banana crumble and chocolate marshmallow are just two standout desserts. The most inventive dish I taste, however, combines a round of goat cheese, beet puree and a wedge of peanut brittle. The odd combination of flavours marry perfectly.
Another helping of Grenada, please!