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Married or Single -- Grenada is Paradise

 

Evelyn Hannon

Journeywoman recently visited the Caribbean Island of Grenada to test its female-friendliness. It's such a lovely corner of the world and under the right circumstances it is alarmingly romantic. I travelled there with a group of travel writers and decided to look at this little piece of paradise from two different angles -- wedding and honeymoon destination or a getaway for a single female looking for some rest, relaxation and fun in the sun.

I divided my time between the Spice Island Beach Resort, an elegant boutique hideaway and then went on to La Source, a first-class, all inclusive holiday experience. Each stay was three days. The first at Spice Island was so romantic I contemplated marrying one of the other travel writers whom I had just met that morning. The second spot, La Source was so full of endless activity and new people to meet I gave my original wedding plan up as a bad idea.

 

A tiny bit of history and geography...

Grenada is a lush tropical paradise, part of a tri-island nation (the other two islands are Cariaccou and Petite Martinique) located in the blue-green waters of the Caribbean Sea. It is set 12 degrees north of the equator; the average temperature is 80 degrees F tempered by cooling Trade Winds. On a map you can find the island of Grenada just northwest of Trinidad and Tobago. Christopher Columbus sailed by it but didn't stop while on his famous voyage of 1492. Soon after enough Spaniards arrived to leave their mark; later came both the French and British colonization. Today, visitors to this independent island will detect these three foreign influences in Grenada's food, culture and language.

You will often hear Grenada referred to as the Spice Isle. According to our island guide, 'there are more spices here per square mile than any other place on the planet. Cloves, cinnamon. ginger, tumeric, cocoa, nutmeg and mace grow in abundance. In fact, nutmeg is the country's biggest export producing one third of the world's supply.' That probably accounts for the exotic scent in the air. I noticed it soon after I arrived. Granada smells different from any other place I've ever been.

 

Spice Island Beach Resort...

Spice Island Beach resort on Grande Anse Bay is a study in absolute elegance and personalized service. All meals, entertainment, golf green fees, tennis and cycling are included in your stay. Janissa's Spa dispenses relaxation for tired bodies and the 1600 hundred feet of white sand beach provides warm pleasure to bare feet. I appreciated the complimentary access to the internet off the lobby and high speed access in every room.

When we were there most of the guests at the resort were coupled; though there were a few three generation families enjoying a holiday as well. Many of these were from Britain with the youngsters quiet as little mice so they never detracted from the hush and plush of the resort's ambience.

 

Fusing international and local cuisine...

At Spice Island Beach Resort meals are served at Oliver's, an open-air dining room overlooking the beach affording a panoramic view of of St. George's, the island's capital. Menus feature fusion delights, a combination of continental cuisine paired with island specialties and Grenadian spices. I won't soon forget the appetizer of honey and cinnamon baked pumpkin, the entree of grilled fillet of kingfish with lime and ginger dressing, the tartlet of cheese and callaloo, (a local leafy green vegetable a little like spinach) as well as a wedge of traditional fried polenta. For dessert there were two favorites -- cocoa tea parfait in a chocolate cup or the richly flavoured ice creams made right on the premises: nutmeg, guava and avocado. I choose to sample a bit of each and didn't for one minute regret it.

 

My private pool...

There are 64-suites on the property, one more exquisite than the next. Each is situated in amongst the resort's tropical flora and fauna. My assigned suite hidden behind an unassuming white door opened onto a little piece of heaven. Picture a small open-air patio with pool, lounge chairs and bamboo tables just for my personal use. At day's end it became a private spot to lie back, close my eyes and listen to a natural symphony of ocean waves, tree frogs and crickets. Picture that and tell me you're not interested.

 

Service and space superb...

Up a few stairs were glass doors leading to my actual living space where a large four posted bed held center stage. The fridge was stocked with complimentary alcoholic goodies including the island's very potent rum. The marble bathroom with a whirlpool tub for two offered up Molton Brown amenities, and the finest Frette robes to slip into after bathing.

Each late afternoon as the sun was preparing to set the doorbell rang and a waiter delivered elegant canapes -- once shrimp mousse, another time chicken medallions with Ranch dressing. His parting words as he left the suite were always the same, 'I hope you enjoy this snack, M'lady. Clearly, a single woman had to adore this attentive service and luxurious space but honestly, to me it screamed, 'HONEYMOON.'

 

Wedding packages...

A few inquiries at the front desk about weddings confirmed my own thoughts. Last year over twenty couples were married or renewed their vows at Spice Island Beach Resort. Imagine a wedding without any hassles. The hotel staff takes care of everything prior to your stay on the island. Since the period of residency is three full working days before an application can be made for the licenses, the bride and groom have plenty of time to put finishing touches on their plans once they arrive.

The wedding staff accompanies the couple to the registry, they walk you around the property to choose the exact spot you'd like to tie the knot. Will it be on the beach as the sun goes down? Do you want to be in the gazebo or the garden? Would you like a traditional fruit wedding cake or banana or coconut gateau? Your wish is their desire. What type of bouquet should the florist provide? Do you want to match the flowers you carry with the flowers in a floral arch?

The resort will even provide a Best Man or Maid of Honor if you need them. Still not enough? Spice Island's chosen photographer presents you with an album containing the 36 best shots of your wedding along with a disc filled to the brim with 100 photos taken that day. And once the festivities are over, the couple receives a romantic sunset cruise of the coastline and harbour and, at their leisure the newly weds are treated to a couples massage with oils infused with the fabulous spices of Grenada.

Think about it ladies. I did. A lot.

For further information about the resort's wedding packages see: www.spicebeachresort.com or email: weddings@spicebeachresort.com.

Soon it was time to stop dreaming about romance and weddings. I put on my solo traveller hat and headed off to LaSource, where is is easy to be a single Journeywoman on holiday. Click here.


More about my next stop, LaSource.

 

 

 

 

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