Airline: Virgin airlines
Holiday provider: Expedia
Grenada located in the Caribbean and dubbed the ‘spice island’ due to its numerous nutmeg plantations and various other spices. The capital of Grenada is St George’s, were its name represents the Georgian buildings and the 18th century Fort George.
We have been to this country 3 times and each time it never disappoints. This was however the start of our traveller’s story and all rookie mistakes were experienced here. We have only stayed in Grenada once; on the other 2 occasions we visited as part of our cruise.
It was a group holiday for 3 weeks to attend a family wedding. It was something that we had to arrange in 4 months and as we’ve always been very organised creatures, this was a shock.
We departed from Gatwick following a McDonalds classic breakfast and were wowed by the experience of Virgin. 2 meals and a choco-ice to round of the journey, we were very impressed.
Having family who worked at the airport we were whisked through customs and a family member then drove us to our hotel.
The hotel experience
Upon arriving at the Gem Beach resort, we quickly realised we would need to depart the said resort asap. It was an absolute disgrace and complete waste of money.
Now being a church girl, I was very well accustomed to hotel living, travelling to depths and breadths of the UK attending church conferences and gospel events. Therefore 3* chain hotels such as the Premier Travel Inn had set a standard of what is required.
Apparently, this does not extend to Grenada and a 3* hotel in the UK is not the same as a 3* hotel in the Caribbean.
It was a 2-bedroom apartment with self-catering services. It was tired, dirty and wood-chipped. The rooms were full of mosquitoes and the air-con barely worked. The pots and pans were just eww. We were stuck, and no-one could sleep or eat that night.
We hastily contacted Expedia to make a formal complaint and explain that we could not stay there. To ensure she kept our money the hotel owner transferred us to the other hotel she also owned on the same piece of land.
The Kalinago a 4* Beach Resort was partially finished and therefore still had issues with leaking baths and broken showers, but in comparison, it was a massive upgrade. This room was large and clean with a balcony view to the pool and sea. The floors had a marble effect and the bathroom was well presented.
Situated on the ABC beach it is well off the beaten track, but we were given contact details for a bus driver who also became our personal chauffeurs for the whole period.
We had planned for self-catering and therefore was on a room-only basis. It’s a good thing too as the restaurant was deadly and caused us all to have food poisoning the one time we did tried it.
We would walk the journey to our supermarket – up the hill, round pass the police station and a lot further, then once finished the shopping call the driver to pick us up. Meals were therefore whatever we made.
‘The Creole Shack’ – We would visit our ‘now’ favourite place to eat in the Caribbean ‘The Creole Shack’ regularly and whenever we dock on a ship this is the only place we go – fill our bellies and head back.
Located on the top floor of a supermarket this shack is probably mainly meant for locals. I cannot even remember how we came to learn about it. There is no air-con and ceiling fans just circulate warm air, it’s a canteen style setup up with nothing glamourous or spectacular, but even with it’s plastic cutlery and cheap napkins I wouldn’t eat anywhere else.
From Oxtail to chicken, fish to pork you name it they have it. Rice, potatoes, pastas, coleslaw, potato salad, veggies and salad leaves – there is everything you can ever want to eat. The queues are lengthy, so don’t go here in a rush, but totally worth the wait and the price. Chump charge for the amount you eat. ENJOY!
KFC – This is never usually an option for me being a vegetarian, but in Grenada they do fish with Biscuits (a dry dumpling like ball of goodness). If you want to experience the 11 secret herbs and spices of KFC without having to eat chicken, then… you’re welcome!
The weather like most Caribbean islands is hot. It has spells of rain, but you can see it coming from the distances and within 5 mins it has cleared with no evidence of it having arrived to begin with.
Places of interest/activities
We created our own day tour with a private driver. It covered the Grand Etang Lake, Belmont estate where we had lunch, Lake Antoine, Seven Sisters Falls and River Antoine Estate Rum Distillery where you’ll find the best most lethal rum in the Caribbean. Men if you want to put hair on that chest – this one will do the job. Ranked as the strongest rum and 4th strongest liqueur in the world at 90% alcohol, just a shot will wipe you out.
Make sure you wander through St George’s town centre and visit the market places and then spend a day on Grand Anse beach. You’ll just love it!