We returned a week ago from our second holiday in Grenada and our seventh to the Caribbean. Previously we have stayed all inclusive (last year at Spice Island and the previous year Galley Bay Antigua) but this year decided we would try room only so we could get out on our own and eat in a variety of the places we had been reading about. After checking out the reviews on TripAdvisor we decided on Maca Bana.
On arrival it was a bit of a culture shock, no flash hotel reception with cold drinks and cold towels while we signed in. Instead an obvious working office stacked with all the things needed in a small resort. Check in was swift, friendly and painless. Michaela, the general manager, then walked us to our room. As we are a couple rather than a larger family group we had opted for a one bedroom unit, having seen the photos online we had hoped for Paw Paw and thats what we got.
Our first impression of Maca Bana was how small it was with very little space between the buildings, Paw Paw is the furthest out and the most private. When we reached it again our first impression was how small it was, the kitchen is small (we found it very dark with far to much equipment for two of us), the bedroom is of a good size filled with a huge bed and the bathroom is fine for two people but without the luxury you find at either Spice Island or Gally Bay. What was missing was somewhere to sit inside, we did have some rainy days and found ourselves laying on the bed reading.
The airport is very, very close. I walked to the terminal to use a cash machine and back in 15 minutes. Previous reviewers have stated you cannot hear the planes, wrong you hear them all. They don't disturb you and its certainly less aircraft noise than our home in central London but you can hear them. Whats more disturbing is leaving your room after dark for the first time and seeing flashing red lights everywhere (in London it would have been at least the scene of a murder) its quite a relief to find its only navigation lights at the airport.
I'm trying to write an honest review of Maca Bana and it is not intended to be negative but visitors should realise its not going to be a 5 star resort like Spice. It is however a lovely place for a holiday.
On our first night we walked down and ate at the Aquarium, we loved it. The food was great and the staff wonderful. As we began to relax we started to love our little room and not feel constricted. We did use the infinity pool but it was much easier just to relax in the hot tub with a cold bottle. We did get out and eat at a variety of places (Aquarium, Boots, BB's, Nutmeg, Estuary, Grillmaster etc) and we spent one day on Carriacou.
If I had to list the best things about Maca Bana I would say number one is the staff, by the end of our holiday we had really grown fond of Michaela. She is cheerful, helpful and always there. The young woman from housekeeping who looked after Paw Paw was wonderful, such a lovely person and so efficient. And all the guys doing the gardens and maintenance always cheerful and friendly.
Number two would be the view. The view from Paw Paw is stunning and there is a view 24 hours a day, I could lay in bed and see the lights on the carenage 4 or 5 miles away. Number three the hot tub, lovely spending an hour or so in there as it gets dark watching the lights in town come on before showering and going for dinner.
Number four is having the Aquarium and beach bar on site, good food, lovely staff and being able to charge it!!
Number five would be magazine beach, we often walked along it and found we were the only people there. We happily left our belongings on our loungers and Boss who rents these and his friend with the craft stall made sure everything was safe.
Two negative things would be the hill between Maca Bana and the Aquarium/beach. No problem going down but after a couple of hours in the sun and a couple of cold pints it was a killer!! but then we are a couple in our sixties. And the location, it has the views and beach to die for but there is a price to pay. Nothing is close by (but the airport) you need a car to get anywhere. We made a mistake and only hired a car on our last three days. This meant everytime we needed to shop, go out to eat, visit town we had to take a taxi so everything was 100$ec more than you counted. If/when we return we would take a car from day one.
All in all our holiday was wonderful, once we relaxed and got out of the London frame of mind we enjoyed every minute. I would happily of stayed another two weeks. Maca Bana is not some sort of mystical place as described in some reviews. It is however a beautiful spot to holiday in very comfortable surroundings.
Would I go back? In a flash.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Maca Bana is an intimate boutique hotel comprising 7 artistically designed, solar-powered ‘banas’ with gorgeous ocean views and private massaging hot tubs above our tropical Aquarium Restaurant on Magazine Beach. Laid-back luxury and unrivaled privacy for a sensual & inspiring holiday experience in a warm atmosphere. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maca Bana Hotel St. George`s
- Maca Bana St Georges
- Maca Bana Grenada/Saint George Parish