Just off the equator, the heat is on in the tiny island of Grenada. Lush with rainforests, extended beaches, and a bustling city center, Grenada stands out as a tropical destination with culture and character. As JetBlue expands its direct flight service to daily flights from New York’s JFK to Grenada on June 16, 2017, we took the five hour direct flight to check out the crowning jewel of the island, Spice Island Beach Resort.
A superlative of luxury in the Caribbean, Spice Island Beach Resort is riding high from its most recent achievement in 2017, receiving the coveted AAA Five Diamond rating, one of seven resorts in the Caribbean with that distinction. As the sole independent property in Caribbean operating as a AAA Five Diamond property, the hotel sparkles with pride as affordable off-season rates help budget luxury seekers vacation in style. The newly-minted honor is evident throughout the complex with its eager and hospitable staff and world-class dining experiences. Founder and owner Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, along with his family, have made their distinct mark on the resort since 1961, treating each guest like family with a consistent warm, Grenadan smile.
Budget Level: Upscale all-inclusive luxury. The hotel is most affordable during the summer season: May through August, with double occupancy rooms starting at $752. It may seem pricey, but this includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, 24-hour room service, top-shelf open bar, open mini bar, and non-motorized boat, and snorkeling gear.
Lodging Type: Medium-size independent resort (64 suites)
What You Need to Know
Set on the southern tip of the popular Grand Anse Beach, Spice Island Beach Resort sets its own relaxed vibe on the Caribbean Sea with lush tropical gardens, clean lines, and newly-refreshed suites. The suite classes range in price in accordance to their access to the beach, making affordable opportunities for those willing to take on the task of walking 20 seconds to the beach as opposed to having it at your doorstep.
Sir Royston and his family are the hosts throughout your stay and they set a welcoming, low-key energy that sets this resort apart. From weekly cocktail hours, barbecues, and steel-drum band nights, the Roystons know how to throw a party -- even occasionally hosting resort guests for a sunset toast at their stunning estate off the grounds. The island attracts a predominantly British crowd, though recently added flight routes have begun to bring more Americans.
Who Will Love It
Those looking for the pinnacle of beachfront luxury without the fuss of a large, teaming resort will have found their paradise. Those who doubt that the words luxury and all-inclusive can be used in the same sentence will be wowed with the six-course dinners that are never repeated within three weeks, the Molton Brown amenities, and the full-bottle mini bars that come standard in each suite.
Who Might Not
If you want a high-energy Caribbean escape where a day might include zip-lining, clubbing, and pool-side games, Spice Island Beach Resort isn’t for you. The property prides itself on its relaxed, laid-back atmosphere where activities are second to enjoying the cool breeze of the ocean.
Oliver's Restaurant might fall second to the stunning oceanfront expanse, but there’s no comparison to the extensive menu offerings nightly at the open-air fine dining retreat. Tables line the edge of the restaurant as the sound of the waves set the atmosphere for a nightly six-course extended dining experience. Instagram-worthy dishes wow with presentation and then deliver with complex flavor pairings of the island's coveted spice haven. Be sure to pace yourself throughout the night as each course builds in richness and portions are always aplenty.
With your room reservation, you’ll get all meals, including 24-hour room service, afternoon tea, fresh fruit delivered to your suite daily, non-motorized water sports, complimentary golf green fees, tennis, bicycles, a supervised children’s activity room, and excellent high-speed wifi that has the bandwidth for excellent quality streaming and wifi calls.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
Extras like airport transfers and snorkeling tours are not part of the all-inclusive rate. For the best lay of the land, be sure to opt in to a locally-led taxi tour (Mandoo’s tour ranks at the top for good reason) where you’ll get to visit the highlights of the island including waterfalls, a chocolate factory, and the bustling downtown of St. Georges.
How to Get a Deal
For the most affordable getaway, look to the summer months from May through September. Rates can start from $750 for two adults in one suite, all-inclusive, to the winter months when the price per suite can more than double nearing $1,700 for the same room.
In the Neighborhood
Once you’ve arrived at the resort, you’re all set to camp out as there’s little to explore and see within walking distance of the property. If picking up a few local goods is on your list, ask the concierge to arrange a 15-minute cab ride into St. Georges.
Spice Island Beach Resort is only 10 minutes from Grenada’s airport. The resort does provide airport transfers for a small fee.
The Bottom Line
Spice Island Beach Resort offers incredible value with unsurpassed luxury, providing smart and custom service that could only be found under the guise of an independently owned property.