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Amanda Visits the Spice Island

Filed Under: Blog

Posted on 22nd Sep 2016

I recently spent four nights on the island of Grenada, hosted by the Grenada Tourist Board, and was bowled over by its beauty, hospitality and family friendly beaches and excursions. One of the more “unspoilt” Caribbean islands, Grenada has the infrastructure of Barbados along with the character of St Lucia and arguably one of the region’s best beaches, Grand Anse.

Known as the Spice Island, Grenada is home to nutmeg plantations dotted amongst its hilly interior. Nutmeg and other spices are staples in local cuisine, especially the desserts which combine aromatic spices with home grown chocolate. Apart from sampling the delicious food, there is a great deal to for families do in Grenada and whilst tourism on this small island is growing rapidly, it still manages to maintain a unique authenticity.

I was lucky enough to enjoy some of the island’s highlights including a rain forest walk, visit to a rum distillery and spice market and, my favourite, snorkelling at the underwater sculpture park. The park is a surreal, eerily beautiful collection of underwater sculptures including school children, a cyclist complete with bicycle, a typist and even a replica Jesus. Families take a speedboat to the site and can either snorkel to view the sculptures which are around 20 feet deep or dive if PADI qualified. The local dive guides are very informative and will gladly take your Go-Pro for some close up shots of the sculptures! The rain forest walk is also great for families who love to learn about nature and can be adapted to suit walking abilities and children will love the rich aromas coming from the chocolate and spice museum at the Belmont Estate.

Grenada’s hotels range from small boutique properties to large all-inclusive resorts such as Sandals but the very best option for families looking for a luxury experience with great kids’ facilities is Spice Island. I stayed in a Sea Grape Suite which is beachfront, patio doors opening out onto a terrace with hammock right on Grand Anse Beach. Grand Anse is a public beach but the resort is relatively secluded so there is always a large stretch of perfectly white sand for families to enjoy. The Sea Grape Suites have a king-sized or twin beds with a large seating area and can connect for families needing extra space.

Spice Island takes all-inclusive to another level and nothing is too much trouble here. The all-inclusive offer includes a fully stocked min-bar which is replenished daily, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner and drinks throughout the day (the rum punch is the best I’ve ever tasted). Dinner is a fabulous culinary experience, with a 7-course fine dining menu which changes every day. The resort is owned by Sir Royston Hopkin, who has been knighted for services to tourism, and his family and personal touches are everywhere, with old family recipes using local spices regularly appearing on the menu. Despite the exclusivity of the resort it manages to offer a unique homely feel and families feel like personal guests of Sir Royston. He even invites all the guests to his home once a week for a cocktail party!

Spice Island has a large kids club with daily activities for little ones as well as babysitting and separate children’s menus. For parents there’s a great spa and families can also enjoy a variety of water sports from the beach.

Although the flight to Grenada isn’t direct, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to families because of the very short transfer time. If we compare it to St Lucia, where the flight is 8 hours but with just over 1.5 hours’ transfer time, it’s really no different. The flight touches down in St Lucia and then continues on to Grenada, with a flight time of just 30 minutes and hotel transfers are no longer than 15 minutes. For a warm, family friendly authentic Caribbean experience with more than a dash of luxury, we highly recommend the Spice Island.

Call Amanda on 0207 284 3344 to discuss your Grenada holiday.

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