Saturday, 12 April 2014

Grenada - Caribbean - What to Wear When You're There

Multi coloured huts by the beach pool at True Blue Bay Hotel
Where? Grenada - A beautiful southern Caribbean Island, northeast of mainland South America. Also known as ‘The Spice Island,' Grenada is one of the world's largest exporters of mace and nutmeg.
It's a great time to visit Grenada as it's still reasonably unspoilt compared to it's surrounding commercialised Caribbean sister islands. 
Why? The Grenadian tourist board kindly invited me to sample all that this magical island has to offer
With? My best friend Lian.
Best time to go?  November to March is peak season or late-July to mid-August for the carnival. Chocolate lovers should visit in August for the annual Chocolate Festival.
Getting there? Virgin Atlantic flies twice weekly from Gatwick to Grenada from £603 per person including taxes. Book at
Thanks to? Rob Bates @Eyes2Market and Cass Helstrip @White Tiger PR, The Grenada Tourism Authority & Virgin Atlantic.

Lian (right) and I party with a soca band at Fish Friday
Grenada Packing and Street Style
There are two main sartorial vibes which dominate the Caribbean fashion scene. Grenada is a renowned university island, which also has an affluent yachting community, so one of the biggest trends to follow is the preppie/boating look. Sitting alongside this trend are the vibrant Afro-Caribbean influences, so bold clashing prints and splashes of colour are also a key look.

For the ladies, expensive floaty kaftans and wide brimmed hats seemed to be the look at chic Port Louis Marina. In the evening elegant maxi dresses, silk print pyjama trousers and camisoles paired with heels or jewelled flats work perfectly. 

For men think Ralph Lauren style polo shirts, smart tailored shorts, white cotton round collar shirts. For the evening it's much the same look, maybe with chinos or linen trousers.

Printed silk shirt - Vintage at  Beyond Retro, Bikini top - Topshop,  Sunglasses - River Island, Neon shorts - Seafolly
Carnival cutout swimsuit - Agent Provocateur
Pink vest - Mint Velvet,  Round sunglasses - River Island,  Print trousers - Mint Velvet,  Heels - KG Kurt Geiger
Fuchsia chiffon utility dress - Philli Wood for Warehouse
Street Style
Planning on partying in Grenada?  There's a whole exciting world of colour and print to explore. If you're heading to Dodgy Dock on a Wednesday night or Bananas on Saturday night (two of the biggest party nights on Grenada) girls should pull out the body-con printed dresses, ready for a spot of wine and lime! (Not the drink... More chat and grind!) And for the boys? Looks like you should be channelling a bit of Kanye or Pharell preppie style. Take a look at some of the cool kids I met on my travels!
Leopard print high waisted hot pants, Rihanna watch out!
Dapper chap at Bananas
Lian throws a mens dress shirt over her bikini and cut-offs for a chic casual look
Me in a yellow Whistles dress and embroidered bag from Thailand
Sir Royston (owner of Spice Island Resort) and his beautiful wife
Sir Royston's daughter Janelle looks stunning in an asymmetric jumpsuit
Girls Aloud - clashing print maxis at Dodgy Dock Bar
Bold prints and body con dresses
Maria from True Blue Bay works neon for the day
Tie-dye bikini's are having a moment
Printed cotton mini dress perfect for the beach
Sunset over the pool at True Blue Bay Resort

After Dark - Eating and Drinking - Grenada

Dodgy Docks Restaurant and Bar (Photo by Arthur Daniel)
Grenada - Bars, Restaurants and Clubs
Grenada is a relatively small island, with a population of 110,000. The university has around 5000 students which means there are bars and clubs open most nights of the week. On Wednesday night the party contingent head to Dodgy Dock at True Blue Bay, on Fridays at Victory Bar and Restaurant dance to Soca and Reggae tunes and on Saturdays people go nuts for Bananas

Fish Fridays is an island incentive which was introduced to drum up community spirit and raise funds for rebuilding the damage, after the devastating effects of hurricane Ivan in 2004. It's about an hour north of St George, if you're nearby it's worth popping down for dinner from 6pm onwards, but if you're in St George already I would recommend the Victory Bar instead. Other bars to check out are Umbrellas and The Owl (especially for the crab racing!)

Me and Lian take to the decks with DJ Roger (from the tourist board) at Dodgy Dock
The view of the marina from Victory Bar - Photo by Joshua Yetman
Lian and I at BB's Crabback
BB's Crabback
Owned by local restaurateur Brian Benjamin, BB's Crabback is a family run restaurant, serving up the best fresh fish dishes on the island. Try the eponymous signature dish, crab with a delicious fiery sauce served in the shell, followed by my favourite, the taste sensation that is crayfish creole. And don’t forget to leave your mark on this quirky little restaurant by adding to the years of graffiti on the walls.

Guests grafitti the walls at BB's Crabback
The Crayfish Creole at BB's Crabback
Seafood crepes are a speciality at the James Bond Style Restaurant Mount Hartman Bay Estate. Due to reopen in October after a huge refurbishment. Watch this space!
Lian, Joel and I hanging out at Dodgy Docks Wednesdays

Grenada - The Caribbean - Where to Stay and Hotels

Welcome champagne and fresh fruit on our private beach area at The Spice Island Beach Resort #bliss
Sleeping - Hotels - Grenada
Over our 8 day trip to the wonderful island of Grenada we were lucky enough to stay in three of Grenada's lovliest hotels, but each hotel was truly individual and had a real personality of it's own.

Entrance to the elegant Spice Island Beach Resort
Spice Island Beach Resort
The stunning Spice Island Beach Resort is owned by much loved and revered Grenadian, Sir Royston Hopkin, who personally greets all guests on arrival and departure. If you're lucky enough to stay the second week in the month all hotel guests are invited to a private cocktail party at Sir Royston's stunning beachside home. In all my years of reviewing luxury resorts, this is the first time I've been invited to the owners house, it's the personal touches like this which sets Spice Island Beach apart from all the rest. We met his lovely family and chatted to Sir Royston on his camomile lawns, drinking champagne and rum cocktails.

Spice Island Beach Resort is the ultimate Caribbean, laid-back, luxury destination. From the stunning Almond Pool Villas to gorgeous beach front apartments, the decor is elegant and understated and the service is flawless; each member of staff knows your name. I asked for some crisps (don't ask!), it wasn't on the menu so the restaurant cooked up some home made plantain chips especially for me.

The spa offers every treatment from manis and pedis to hot stone massage. Spice Island Beach Resort is a beautiful, chic, elegant resort, with impeccable attention to detail. The location is perfect too, a stones throw from the city centre and right on the beach.
Turquoise waters of the pool at Spice Island Beach Resort
The aquamarine sea at Spice Island Beach Resort
Ariel view of True Blue Bay
True Blue Bay Resort
True Blue Bay is a beautiful family run boutique hotel owned by the lovely Ross Fielden and his family. His wife's Mexican roots have influenced the vibrant, multi-coloured bohemian decor, with playful, rainbow interiors and ethnic artwork dotted around the grounds. 

It's all very zen from early morning yoga with Mit Sukha the Haitian instructor, right through to chilled sundowners at Dodgy Dock Restaurant. The vibe is so chilled out, all you want to do is relax, sipping rum cocktails on your balcony, overlooking the picturesque St George’s University and elegant yachts moored on the jetty. True Blue Bay is a wonderfully quirky, beautiful resort bursting with personality, a truly unique experience to those in search of a little Grenadian authenticity. 

Colourful buildings nestle amongst the flora and fauna

Idyllic view from the yoga studio at True Blue Bay  (Photo by Arthur Daniel)
Sunset view from my balcony at True Blue Bay
The picturesque Mount Cinnamon Hotel nestled amongst tropical gardens
With 22 villas and hacienda suites in set in lush tropical gardens, Peter de Savary's Mount Cinnamon Hotel on Grand Anse Beach is a colourful, friendly resort. High on the hillside with stunning vistas over the bay, beachside massages at the chilled Cabana bar and great cocktails at the poolside bar, this hotel is perfect for familys and groups.

Colourful art work and furnishings adorn the beautiful villas and grounds, the location on Grand Anse Beach makes it the perfect setting from which to discover all of the gems Grenada has to offer.

The view from our balcony at Mount Cinnamon
The colourful pool area at Mount Cinnamon Hotel

Grenada - Shopping and Sight Seeing

View of St George's, Grenada's Capital  (Photo by Arthur Daniel)
What to do in Grenada
Grenada is a tropical paradise island with stunning beaches, great diving, lovely restaurants and quaint shops and cafes.

For the more intrepid adventures take a trek through the lush tropical interior of the island to the Royal Mount Carmel Waterfalls, followed by a tour of and dinner at the Belmont Chocolate Estate. Alternatively for those with love of diving visit the Underwater Sculpture Park. If all that seems a little too exhausting, for those in search of a little pampering why not indulge in a champagne afternoon tea and a spa treatment at the beautiful Spice Island Beach Resort.

The Royal Mount Carmel Waterfalls  (Photo by Arthur Daniel)
Stunning secluded beaches in Grenada  (Photo by Arthur Daniel)
Port Louis Marina is lovely for a spot of lunch, shopping and yacht spotting
For those who want to take home a little souvenir home from their trip to Grenada, there are some lovely quirky little boutiques. Head to the lovely clothing boutique Penny's in Port Louis Marina for chic embellished kaftans and pretty jewellery.

Lisa Murrel at Penny's Boutique, Port Louis Marina

Veronica’s Vision
Founded by local artist Jessie Anne Jessamy (pictured above and known to islanders as The Spice Girl), Veronica’s Vision is an artisanal print workshop and boutique housed in an old nutmeg factory building. Prints on clothing, fabrics and homewares are inspired by the island's heritage in the nutmeg and spice industry. Top buy? Lengths of the vibrant coloured block printed fabrics to add colour to your home.

Art Fabrik in St George, a beautiful boutique filled with locally produced art and souvenirs 

Jean Fisher, the beautiful owner of Tikal (across the road from Art Fabrik), came to Grenada on holiday 54 years ago and never left!
The harbour front in St George
The Underwater Sculpture Park, photo by Arthur Daniel