Chase away the winter blues in Grenada

Story and Photos by Phyllis Steinberg

There is a law in Grenada that says no hotel can be taller than a Coconut Palm. That’s why you won’t see a lot of tall buildings obstructing the beautiful landscape of the country. Arriving on this island, the most Southern of the Windward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, I saw lush green mountains and beautiful beaches.

The aroma of fragrant spices such as nutmeg, cocoa and cinnamon filled the air and the temperature was in the 80’s, (year round temperatures are 75 to 87) tempered by the cooling trade winds.

This was my second visit to Grenada, like many other tourists, my first was by cruise ship a few years ago. Intrigued by its beautiful harbor, accented with dozens of sail boats and lavish yachts. I had enjoyed shopping in quaint shops and stores surrounding the harbor then and knew that someday I would return. What’s not to like? I needed a vacation and this lush Caribbean get-away would boost my mood.

A friend told me that the Spice Island Beach Resort was the most beautiful place to stay in Grenada; with just 66 guest suites, it would be quiet I decided to give it a try and am glad I did.

The Spice Island Beach Resort is located on the Grand Anse Beach, and its two miles of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water in St. George’s. This elegant resort also offers magnificent views of the harbor and its cruise ships. They feature a fully inclusive concept which includes all meals, afternoon tea, premium brand liquors, wines and a full range of watersports.

The resort’s facilities include a newly built spa offering therapeutic massages and treatments and a beauty salon providing a range of services. The fully equipped fitness center, tennis courts and bicycles will help work off all those great meals. The business center, we’ve all come to depend on, allows guests to keep in touch with their offices or homes while on vacation. Watersports included paddle boats, canoes, sail boats and more.

The beautiful beach was dotted with comfy chaise lounge chairs with padded cushions. Some were placed under a tree. Others were spread out for sun-worshippers in direct sunlight. The chairs were also included in the all-inclusive rate.

My spacious beachfront villa was just steps from the clear blue water. And featured pleasant island décor, lots of cool marble and a large bath with a whirlpool tub for two plus separate shower. The main sleeping area had a desk and television. What more could a guest want? Surely, this was paradise with a capital “P”.

The delicious meals did not have to take second place to the accommodations. Every evening a new tasting adventure awaited guests. Menus included everything from eggplant caviar to rack of lamb and veal dishes, delicious fresh locally caught fish and fabulous desserts, all prepared with a Caribbean flair.

The resort features a wonderful Sunday luncheon ”Barbecue on the Beach” buffet while a steel band entertains. There is also nightly entertainment.

The island of Grenada produces an abundance of wonderful spices including cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa, all used in its wonderful cuisine. Fruits also are grown on the island and used to make mouth-watering desserts such as; Lemon Tortes, Mango Cakes, Rum and Raisin Cakes, Spicy Gingerbread Cakes, Pineapple Bars and Mango Mousse.

Michael Carroll, Executive Chef at the Spice Island Resort, uses these local pungent varieties to create savory soups such as pumpkin and squash, special stews and in bases for fish and chicken dishes.

I have been to many all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean islands, but the Spice Island Beach Resort achieves a higher standard in cuisine than most of the so-called “all-inclusive” resorts. But don’t expect speedy service. The wait staff is friendly and eager to please, but the service is slower than normally experienced in a full-service resort.

The surroundings at the Spice Island Resort are clearly enough of a vacation for any guest, but there are many other attractions on the island.

Snorkel trips sponsored by area yachtsmen, will take visitors out into the bay for a morning or all day trip of snorkeling. The island is an excellent dive site with many species of fish and coral reefs.

I also enjoyed a visit to nutmeg processing plant, where the spice is produced. Visitors can see a chocolate factory and rum distillery.

The Belmont Estate is a nice place to have a Plantation buffet while you relax in a covered porch.

Have fun and be sure to bring home spices from the Craft and Spice Market They are cheap and fun to cook with when you get back home. They make great gifts and the savory aroma of your cooking will be a pleasant reminder of your Caribbean vacation in Grenada.

For more information.

Spice Island Beach Resort
Grand Anse Beach, P.O. Box 6
St. George’s, Grenada, W.I.
Phone: (800) 223 9815 (473) 444-4258/4423/4789 FAX: (473) 444-4807
E-mail: spiceisl@caribsurf.com
www.spicebeachresort.com

Check the “Passion in Paradise ” package for honeymooners or anyone renewing their passion.

Editors note: Air Jamaica flies to Grenada via Montego Bay from various locations on the east coast and Chicago. www.airjamaica.com. I stayed at the Spice Island Beach Resort a few years back and it was wonderful.

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