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Home > Destinations > Grenada > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Grenada - Trip Reports

Island of Grenada

After two super weeks in Grenada (July 1999) I'm happy to report a general absence of machete weilding muggers. (Plenty of machetes in evidence in the interior, but none that caused anxiety).

Weather was fine for the most part with a few short downpours.

It's a beautiful place with great beaches, nice, people, curteous service, spices, rum... quiet and unspoiled by tourism for the most part. Probably not for those looking for nightclubs and casinos...

We stayed at the Spice Island Beach Resort on Grande Anse and thoroughly appreciated our garden view apartment, with swimming pool and whirlpool jaccuzzi! No-one we spoke to had any complaints there, apart from one comment that it was a bit sedate for teenage children.

The Spice Island restaurant is limited in its menu, but food was always excellent and well presented. We avoided buffet nights.

Entertainment at Spice Island was basic. I found perverse pleasure in the overwrought arrangement of Celine Dion's theme from "Titanic" as rendered by the regular steel band - and also the Wednesday evening reggae band's spirited rendition of the anti-aids anthem "Put A Rubber On Yer Willy" (honestly!).

But it's all courteously and efficiently run, with enough Caribbean laissez faire to make it relaxed and peaceful, but backed up by modern management practice and technology if you need it ("browse the net: $10 per hour").

Grand Anse beach was generally quiet, with some jet skis and a banana boat emerging when a cruise ship was in harbour at St George's. Hawkers sell spices, spice necklaces, woven baskets & hats, T-shirts, sun dresses and wraps. And shells. They are generally polite and take "no" in good humour. "Be happy with your money, man..." was as pithy as it got...

Snorkelling off the beach was good and safe, and there were a number of dive outfits offering training & excursions.

Exploring the island was fairly straightforward - it's not that big and not overly developed. Loads of tours available, although we self-drove a small jeep. The roads can be rough, but they're not unmanageable. If you're into trekking there are advertised routes.

The only town with any concession to tourism is St. Georges, and that's mainly on Market Days, when taxis, buses, spice and fruit are hustled in force.

But the general mood of the island was relaxed and amiable, except for Annadale Waterfalls, inland, where - again, on Cruise days - the hawkers are very pushy and it's all a bit unpleasant. The guys who jump from the rocks to the pool expect contributions from everyone, especially those with cameras - and they're fairly threatening if you haven't paid the price. Unpleasant, but mildly so...

Grenada is very quiet and has little in the way of nightlife - and the gourmet experience hasn't quite reached it yet, but overall food was good, if unadventurous. Good coffee is impossible to find...

The only restaurant deserving a rave review is CICELY'S¹ (Blue Horizons Hotel), with a good menu and an adequate wine list. Delicious meals both times we visited. It's not a beach restaurant - it opens to the garden of the hotel - and it could use some ceiling fans, which wouldn't spoil it's open decor at all, but would help us overweight europeans through the humidity... For company during our first visit we had a one-eyed cat and a lizard eating flies on the post by our table.

A close second would be CANBOULAY. Superb setting on the hill behind Grand Anse, good food and good service (even if too many waiters and waitresses wanted to cover the same tasks...). Canboulay picked us up from our hotel and dropped us off again afterwards - a good thing, because the taxi fares were exorbitant for very short runs ($25EC for a 10 minute one way trip - a fellow guest was charged $40EC for the same journey!)

The one restaurant where we felt we couldn't even leave a tip was The AQUARIUM. Great setting, nice enough food (although another guest at our hotel described it as "ordinary"). But the service was abysmal. We booked and were shown to our table. My seat gave me a view of a collection of stainless steel racks destined for a new freezer. Behind them was darkness. I moved my own place setting to a view of the restaurant and garden. Decor was pleasant (wooden), with a few tacky areas like a "pirate cove". Service was slow. For larger groups it might be OK, but we found that staring at our empty plates for 10-15mins at a time was irritating - and then for courses not to be delivered together.... I received my crab cakes and my wife was told "Soup will be along in a minute." I contemplated my steak for almost 5 minutes before her snapper arrived. I did complain mildly after the meal and the owner CORRECTED me! - "The service isn't slow... the KITCHEN is slow..." Go figure... Even a minor apology would have made me feel better... ah well..

We had breakfast at THE NUTMEG on St George's, which has since closed for renovation (it probably needs it). The orange juice wasn't 'real", but the service was cordial and the view of the Carenage is spectacular.

La Belle Creole served pleasant food, but was host to only 5 customers all evening (off season indeed!).

Carib beer everywhere - very nice!

If, like us, you process your holiday photographs where you are, rather than risk constant x-ray exposure at airports - DON'T use the 1 hour photo in the Grand Anse Shopping Centre (blue cast & dark prints). Use the MODERN PHOTO STUDIO at the Grand Anse roundabout. Print quality is much better. We reprinted two films here so we had a direct comparison. No contest.

If you want a quiet break in a laid back and picturesque tropical environment, Grenada is ideal - we found it preferable to the hustle and bustle of Barbados... but go soon. There is evidence of tourist development everywhere, especially the south west, (a huge, ugly blue thing being built in the grounds of the Renaissance Hotel, a big shopping complex in the field of grazing cows and land crabs at Grand Anse...).

It looks as if it will become a typical Caribbean tourist mecca in a few years time.

Thanks to Dave for this trip report ...
July 1999

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