A fairly late booking resulted in a more than welcome break. However a few niggles perhaps took the shine off what could have been the perfect holiday. Please read on.
We were slow off the mark in making our booking. By the time we booked through our usual providers British Airways or Virgin, their allocated spaces had gone. E mails to the hotel direct were met by a first class attitude. They could not have been more helpful. The hotel reservation staff held a room for us and provided a reference to go back to the airline which then confirmed they had a space for us. This was over and above the call of duty. Top marks to the hotel reservation staff. A big thank you to those concerned.
The customary high standards of BA saw an uneneventual flight to Grenada. It was so nice to be wished a happy stay in Grenada by the immigration staff. Natural friendliness was a constant occurrence throughout our stay in Grenada. We were even being greeted by children on the beach with" I hope you are enjoying your holiday", dispensed with a sincere tone rather than a script. A more than pleasurable impression of our stay on Grenada.
A local taxi, ancient but spotless took as to the hotel. Reception was friendly but failed to inspire. No welcome glass of punch that others described but a twenty minute wait for the porter to take us to a room. No disaster but after the best part of a day travelling, first impressions count!
The room was lovely. Spotlessly clean, well furnished and roomy. Ours was ground floor and less than a minutes walk from the beach. Despite it's ground floor location and proximity to the restaurant, noise was never a problem. House keeping was first class and could not be found wanting in any way. Day-light allowed an explorative tour of the hotel. The gardens were lovely and the hotel was well maintained. The facilities were all high standard with only the pool being average and perhaps a little uninspiring. However we have never believed in travelling half way round the world to visit a swimming pool when the real thing is available on your doorstep! Free internet access at reception was a nice touch.
All the staff were friendly and made us feel most welcome. The hotel gardens are next to the beach, separated by a low wooden fence. For the first time ever we opted to sun bathe in the gardens, free from the usual beach traders and in the knowledge that a bare foot stroll would have us in the sea in seconds. Sun loungers were plentiful with staff more than happy to take loungers on to the beach.
The first week of our stay there was never a problem in finding a lounger. The second week, still do not understood why, some guests were putting their beach towels or books on loungers before breakfast and not bothering to appear till later in the day. Sad, get a life!
The beach is beautiful, spotlessly clean and safe for even the most nervous or inexperienced swimmer. Those traders that did approach on the beach were respectful and left you alone if you asked. All the more reason to buy something as all they are trying to do is earn a living.
The retaurants are well laid out and pleasing to the eye. The formal one, closest to the beach is used for all meals. The less formal, closest to the pool side bar is used for lunch and a less formal evening dining experience. Both, by and large served good quality food. The main (formal) retaurant from a buffet, the less formal poolside restaurant from a menu. Here is our quandary. Why did the less formal dining area with a limited choice menu feel like the better dining experience? Perhaps as result of the attentive eye of a very experienced, weIl hope she forgives us, older head waitress who was always charming and could cover for the sometimes erratic timesales in which the food arrived at the table. This varied from prompt to dead slow. Unforgiveabe in a hotel of this class. The dining experiece, pleasurable or otherwise depended on how early you appeared; partricularly for dinner. On three occaions in the formal restaurant the main course had run out some 45 minures before last dining. Utterly unacceptable in a hotel of this rating. The quality of the front line staff saved the day, much to their credit. However serious questions must be aked higher up the tree.
The social life of the hotel will not inspire party animals and neither did we expect it to. The hotel was perhaps a little quiet when we were there but we met some lovely, interesting people. Although the bars did not have the wow factor, service was good and attentive. The atmosphere was devoid of an unwelcome boozey culture. Entertainment, steel band apart was mediocre to say the least. This did not bother us but it may disappoint others.
Previous reviews have commented on the Mozzies. As Scots used to the dreaded midgies which could give Count Dracula a run for his money, we can confirm that their Carribean cousins are equally as voracious to say the least. Avoid the outer edges of the bars and restaurants in the evenings. Do not wear use scented soaps, perfumes or after shaves and perhaps use inscect repellent. Not a serious issue but worth taking sensible precautions to avoid itching, lumps and bumps.
Grenada itself can only be described as beautiful. St George the capital has character and the island in general is much prettier than we expected. The influence of French and British infused with local cultures makes the place unique in our experience of the Carribean. The island is lush, hilly and despite its relative small size offers surprises. Take the time to explore by car or tour. You will not be disappointed. The cost of dining out appears to be comparable to the UK and there is a choice to suit most palates.
In terms of personal security take the same precautions you would take at home. We were happy to go where and when we wanted. At no stage did we feel uncomfortable.
If you go into town take the 1 dollar bus local buses (highly recommended) or go by tour. Once you start walking you may suddenly find yourselves accompanied by an unofficial guide. Ours was highly interesting, friendly and informative. However a more honest approach right at the start in declaring that he was an unofficial guide, but looking for payment would have resulted in him receiving a more generous tip. Not dishonest or intent on malice but neither do you like to feel that as a tourist you are being taken advantage of.
In summary. did we enjoy our holiday?. Absolutely. Was the hotel excellent, "almost but not quite". We thought the stafff were excellent and did their very best to paper over the cracks. However within the organisation of the hotel some areas were found to be lacking. A closer attention to detail, perhaps minor but essential never the less would have turned our opinion from "almost" to a resounding endorsement.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.