All-inclusive beach resort in the Caribbean? Been there, got the T-shirt, right? Wrong. We tracked down a boutique gem that’s raising standards to a whole new level.
At WGSN, we don’t do the same old, same old. We’ve always got our eye on the new and the next, especially when it comes to travel. It’s no surprise then that we fell for Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada, which unlike other more popular, tourist-heavy Caribbean islands, feels much more raw and authentic, packed with interior design inspiration (and complete with heavenly beaches).
Where: Grand Anse Beach, St George’s, Grenada, W.I.
What: Stay, Spa, Eat & Drink
Three reasons we loved it…
Local Fruit. Local Flavour.
Grenada is well known for its nutmeg and chocolate, but there’s a whole smorgasbord of other fruits and spices that even the best stocked Wholefoods won’t have heard of. Breadfruit ice cream, nutmeg syrup, soursop juice and sorrel cocktails all have to be tried, and savoured. The local rum, so strong it can’t be exported, maybe less so.
The majority of herbs and spices peppering the dishes at Spice Island Beach Resort are grown in the hotel’s organic gardens, with nearly everything else sourced from local markets. Nearly everything, because now and again they will break the rules if a guest wants them to. Mind you, rumour has it that although they supplied the imported strawberries a particular British Royal wanted, they were only allowed them in their room – you will never see fruit from outside the island on the menu, no matter which family you were born into.
All-inclusives have a bad reputation with the creative set – in many cases well founded. What’s interesting about the same buffet meal every day, and a plastic wristband that gives you a bad tan line, right? However, it might be time to rethink that belief. There are a growing number of boutique hotels offering all-inclusive with flair, and when they get it right, they get it really right. At Spice Island that means a la carte menus for every meal, with light and vegetarian options. (Plus, if you don’t like anything on the daily changing menu, they’ll whip up your choice of dish.) With only 64 rooms, and no plans to expand that number, the staff also know everyone by name and there is always a free lounger on the beach and by the pool.
Family-run, with a huge emphasis on making everyone feel like they’re at home (albeit a home where everything’s perfect and even the leaves on the trees aren’t out of place), the attention to personal detail here is exceptional.
When Europeans think about the Caribbean, they usually think St Lucia, Barbados and the Bahamas. Grenada isn’t exactly undiscovered, but it’s not top of the list. The result means a little less glitz than the other islands, and a whole heap more authenticity.
The interior of the island is a great place to hike, or stumble upon rum distilleries and chocolate plantations. The edges, meanwhile, are a mix of rainforest, little towns and beaches. The most beautiful of these, without question, is Grand Anse, where the Spice Island suites trickle out onto the sand, and on a ‘rough’ day you might see a 5cm-high wave. In a world where the word ‘luxury’ is thrown around with wanton abandon, this place deserves the superlative.
Images courtesy of Spice Island Beach Resort and the Grenada Tourism Authority
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