It may be just 21 miles long and 12 miles wide, but Grenada’s sheer variety of attractions gives you a taste of all things Caribbean.
Head inland from the 40 white-sand beaches and you’ll find a tangle of rainforest that surges across the mountainous interior shrouding lakes and waterfalls. Nudging up to its edges, rum factories and spice plantations thrive.
In fact, there are more spices grown per square mile here than anywhere else on the planet, hence the island is referred to as Spice Island. The tropical heat lifts the fragrance of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cocoa from the plantations, sweetening the air.
Meanwhile, the waters that lap Grenada’s shores are perfect for swimming and kayaking, sailing, snorkelling and diving.
When it comes to accommodation, just like the island itself, small is beautiful. Although there are several large resorts, more intimate properties are the norm, making Grenada an ideal destination for weddings and honeymoons.
With that in mind, Cosmos has included Grenada in its Dream Weddings brochure for 2010.
Cosmos long-haul product manager Alison Pritchard says: “To mark the launch, we are offering free weddings at a variety of hotels, including the Calabash, for couples who book a 14-night stay.”
Where to stay
The beachfront Calabash is an all-suite hotel offering informal, affordable luxury. Breakfast is cooked on your private terrace, early evening canapés are delivered to your door, and each of the 30 suites has a whirlpool bath, private pool or both.
Interiors are sumptuously furnished and decorated in neutral colours with splashes of pastel shades. The new Heaven and Earth Spa, built on the cliff side, features a wooden yoga deck shaded by trees and has great sea views.
Despite its faded appearance and slightly dated rooms, the Rex Grenadian is a great choice for the budget-conscious. At this 212-room property, the staff are friendly, the water sports excellent, and the beach is one of the island’s best.
Set on the bay of the same name, True Blue Bay has 38 rooms, and has its own boardwalk and marina. Ideal for diving and yachting enthusiasts, charters and dives can be arranged.
Mount Cinnamon is a chic, contemporary, boutique resort of 21 villas with bright and stylish interiors. All overlook Grand Anse beach.
La Source, an all-inclusive resort for the health-conscious, treats guests to one spa treatment a day, golf and complimentary tennis coaching. All of its 100 rooms are colonial-style and TV-free.
With its long arc of ivory-white sand and crystal blue waters, Grand Anse Bay is the most popular bronzing spot on the island.
Those who like a beach with a jungle backdrop and fewer people will find La Sagesse Bay a treasure. See the island from the water aboard a high-speed rigid inflatable with Grenada Seafaris. Clients can also visit the Underwater Sculpture Park for aspot of snorkelling above the seaweed-clad statues.
Alternatively, suggest they head there by kayak with S and S Glassbottom Kayaking Tours.
Those who like trekking are spoilt for choice with a series of rainforest trails leading to waterfalls, including the Seven Sisters, and through Grand Etang Forest Reserve, home of the Mona Monkeys.
Chocolate fans can sample the raw beans and the finished article on a cocoa tour at the pristine Belmont Estate, which has just added a first-class restaurant and gift shop to entice visitors.
A tour and taste test at the neighbouring River Antoine Rum Distillery will leave you weak at the knees. At 75% proof, this rum is better described as Grenadian fire water.
Wednesdays at the Dodgy Dock bar on True Blue Bay is a highlight. A wooden-deck dance floor stretches out across the water, lit by strings of fairy lights. Grenadians and visitors mingle and boogie into the night.
Fish Friday at Gouyave – known to many as the city that never sleeps – heralds the start of the weekend. Streets in the fishing village are closed to traffic, and seafood stalls set up to sell steamed, grilled or fried fish. Steel bands strike up at sunset and the rum punch flows.
Recommend the Rhodes Restaurant at the Calabash to foodies and romantics. It’s set on a beautiful terrace illuminated by lanterns and draped in bougainvillea.
The menu, created by Gary Rhodes and inspired by seasonal, local produce, is exceptional.
Cosmos Distant Dreams offers seven nights at the Rex Grenadian starting at £759, room only, and £999 all-inclusive. Seven nights’ bed and breakfast at True Blue Bay costs from £955 and at the Calabash from £1,329. Clients who travel between December 21 and March 30 2010, excluding Christmas and new year, will receive one free meal per couple per night at Rhodes Restaurant. Prices include flights with Monarch from Gatwick and transfers. cosmosholidays.co.uk, 0871 423 8518
Caribtours is offering seven nights’ all-inclusive for the price of five at La Source sports resort, from £1,546 per person (a saving of £354), and seven nights’ room only at the Mount Cinnamon resort from £1,495 per person in the Hacienda Suite. Prices include return flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick, private transfers, and are based on travel between November 1 and December 16. caribtours.co.uk, 020 7751 0660
- Getting there: Monarch and Virgin offer weekly flights to the island from Gatwick with routes that service both Grenada and Tobago. British Airways flies weekly year-round, and twice-weekly from the end of October to the end of March via Antigua.
- Flight time: London to Grenada: Nine hours, 30 minutes.
- Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar.
- Time difference: GMT – 4 hours.
- Official language: English.
- Weather: A satisfyingly balmy, year-round average of 23C. The dry season runs from January to June, and the rainy season is at its height from July to October.
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