> Destinations > Grenada > Trip Reports > Trip Report
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"
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
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
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
Thanks to Dave for this trip report ...