We’d decided on our last Caribbean visit (2 weeks on Carriacou + 1 week on Grenada) to seek out Bequia (pron. Bekway) to explore it and some of the other islands in the Grenadines archipelago, before returning for another stint on Grenada. Our latest trip was planned around 25 days in May '12. We rarely, if ever, stay in hotels, preferring to self cater, mainly for the flexibility it allows. So, after much research (including TripAdvisor) we decided to stay at Bequia’s Sugarapple Inn, in Friendship Bay, which lies to the SE on the island’s tropical Atlantic side.
Well, we couldn’t have chosen better. The position is wonderful with views across the bay and out towards some of the smaller uninhabited Grenadine islands with Mustique looming on the horizon. The Sugarapple apartment was excellent; spotlessly clean and well equipped with the usual (cable) TV, free wi-fi, iPod dock facilities, a locking/coded safe and a hairdryer in the bathroom. All of the furniture was clean and in very good condition. Lots of drawer and cupboard space meant stowing our gear wasn’t a problem, though we've learned to travel light. There were nice touches too; fresh flowers appeared during our stay and sometimes there was a perfect sugar apple on the dining table – for us to try - delicious, by the way..
On our arrival the bed was beautifully decorated with flowers and, even more importantly, proved to be very comfortable. The mozzy nets were spotless and in good repair; this we’ve found is a good indicator as to the degree of care and attention proprietors expend on their properties. My only observation is that frame nets are more convenient than the centrally draped type, which, when tucked in, often results in a bit of struggle to get in and out of – Sugarapple has the latter, but I wouldn’t level it as a criticism, just a personal preference. In fact we discovered that despite the ubiquitous mozzies, a good spray with BOP before retiring and with Baygon tabs plugged in, it wasn’t necessary to use the nets at all. When we did get bitten it was likely to be from daytime visits to the local supermarket where we’ve found, in the past, that mozzies and ‘nippers’ lurk in the dark corners, at a time when you’re least likely to have sprayed up with repellent. (Top Tips: 1: spray the interior of your rental car with insect killer before using; the blighters often lurk there, especially in older vehicles. 2: Only use insect repellents with 50% DEET. NB: pump packs are better value than sprays. Of course < 50% is less effective and without it all other remedies are utterly useless - even citronella [oil] only lasts for about an hour and candles and coils are useless out of doors: believe me!)
Our Sugarapple apartment’s light and airy kitchen/dining area had large storm shutters, which opened fully on two sides giving a wonderful panoramic view and allowed the breeze (sometimes a forceful wind) to cool us down. The kitchen featured the main amenities, sufficient pots & pans and utensils, fridge, a gas cooker but oddly it lacked a microwave, which would’ve proved useful from time to time. A minor problem (there had to be one or two) was the temperamental A/C, which turned off if any attempt was made to change the programming. However, this was easily resolved by resetting the trip in the electrics wall panel.
The apartments’ management is first class and the daily maid service is, in a word, faultless. Cilla, the manager, is charming, knowledgable and helpful as is her assistant, Ronelle, who proved invaluable when SVG decided to abandon us on the island, announcing that they were not flying direct to Grenada for the rest of May, this despite us having booked and paid for tickets! But that’s another story.
Sugarapple’s grounds and gardens are beautiful; colourful, green and very well maintained (strimmed to within an inch of its life, in fact) and dominated by a mighty, fruit laden mango tree. There’s a small, well maintained swimming pool (untried) and a covered BBQing area, which tends to be used during the ‘on’ season – we were staying in the ‘off’ or green season – for ‘green’ read rain. NB: There’s a convenient path leading, via a gate, to the Bequia Beach Hotel and its excellent restaurant and bar. This is also the quickest (4 mins.) route to Friendship Bay’s beach, the sea, where swimming is safe and for local boatmen to take you on excursions to Mustique, Petite Nevis, Quatre Island, Moonhole etc.
In short, then, Sugarapple can be highly recommended, based on our personal experience, which I’m pleased to say is not inconsiderable having travelled around the Caribbean every year for the last 12 or so years or so. There’s absolutely no doubt that we’ll return.