Chase away the winter blues in Grenada
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.
When I arrived on this island in the Eastern Caribbean in the most Southern of the Windward Islands, 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.
What's not to like? I needed a vacation and this Caribbean get-away seemed to match my mood.
This was my second visit to the island of Grenada. My first was by cruise ship a few years ago. I was intrigued by its beautiful harbor, accented with dozens of sail boats and lavish yachts. I also enjoyed shopping in its quaint shops and stores surrounding the harbor on my first visit and knew that someday soon I would return.
Return I did. A friend told me that the Spice Island Beach Resort was the most beautiful place to stay in Grenada, so I decided to give it a try. I'm 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. The resort has a fully inclusive concept which includes all meals, afternoon tea, premium brand liquors, wines and a full range of watersports.
The resort's facilities included a spa, fitness center, tennis courts and a business center. The watersports included in the price of the vacation 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 beachfront villa was just steps from the beach. It included a whirlpool bath for two, and a separate shower, with a desk, television and sitting area. What more could a guest want? Surely, this was paradise with a capital "P".
The delicious meals didn't take second place to the accommodations. Every evening a new tasting adventure awaited guests. The 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 has a wonderful Sunday luncheon buffet, where they barbecue on the beach while a steel band entertains. There is also nightly entertainment.
The island of Grenada which produces an abundance of wonderful spices including cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa, uses these spices 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 the wonderful spices of the island to create savory soups such as pumpkin and squash and also uses them in 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 are 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.
There are many snorkel trips sponsored by area yachtsmen, that 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. There is a also a chocolate factory and a rum distillery.
The Belmont Estate is a nice place to have a Plantation buffet while you relax in a covered porch.
It is also fun to shop at the Craft and Spice Market. Be sure to bring home some wonderful spices. They are cheap and fun to cook with when you get home. The savory aroma of your cooking will be a pleasant reminder of your Caribbean vacation in Grenada.