Tag Archives: Grenada

Anguilla Quintessence Hotel Lobby

The Best New Caribbean Hotels of 2018

 

A Caribbean getaway looks better than ever, thanks to a new crop of premium properties that will open their doors to guests in 2018. From intimate, upscale retreats to hip and sophisticated boutique hotels in the heart of the action, these beachfront resorts will set new standards, and provide exciting and enticing vacation options.

Quintessence Hotel, Long Bay, Anguilla

The New Year kicked off with the long-anticipated opening of the mansion-like Quintessence Hotel on Anguilla’s Long Bay. The project has been 10 years in the making and is the vision of Geoffrey and Keenie Fieger, who are 30-year residents. This lavish boutique getaway was created for the discerning guests who desire unrivaled luxury, privacy and personalized pampering. The property includes just nine suites and villas overlooking the white sand beaches of the bay. The vision of “The Q” was to create a guest experience that leaves them feeling as if they are being hosted in a grand tropical home.

Anguilla Quintessence

A bedroom at the Quintessence Hotel rewards guests with generous living spaces, and incorporates floor-to-ceiling windows and doors that blend indoor and outdoor spaces. Photo: Quintessence Hotel

Rooms and public areas feature handcrafted fixtures and custom artwork throughout, including a priceless collection of Haitian paintings and sculpture collected over decades by the owners. The grounds include a tennis court, life-size chessboard, yoga pavilion and outdoor massage pagoda set into the lush foliage. The Aidan Spa offers a full menu of treatments with a focus on health and wellness. In keeping with this ethos, a strict non-smoking policy is adhered to throughout the property. Five-star dining is offered at Julians, a tropical French bistro, where Executive Chef Dominique Thevenet offers a menu that blends locally sourced tropical dishes with traditional French cuisine. Meals are complemented by a fine wine cellar and hand-selected liquors and cocktails. Around-the-clock butler and concierge service caters to the needs of every guest. For more info see www.qhotelanguilla.com

Silversands, Grenada

Set to open in March of 2018, Silversands Grenada is the first major project added to the shores of Grand Anse Beach in 25 years. The resort stretches across two main buildings and offers 43 suites, including three one-bedroom suites and a 1,647 square-foot penthouse with two private terraces and grand views of the sea. In addition, nine residential villas will be scattered on the surrounding landscape. Sleek and modern in design, the resort will feature a 100-meter infinity pool, which stretches from the center of the resort to the shores of Grand Anse Bay, and will claim the title of longest pool in the Caribbean.

Grenada Silversands

At the Silversands, whites and muted earth tones work with a sleek, minimalist design to create a sense of casual elegance. Rooms overlook Grenada’s Grand Anse Beach. Photo: Silversands

Within the resort itself, a rotating art exhibit will showcase Grenadian art alongside pieces from the resort owner’s personal collection. Guests will also be able to enjoy a relaxing sanctuary at the Silversands Spa, which incorporates a sauna, hammam, temperature-controlled pool and a fitness center. Two restaurants will showcase the island’s fresh produce and line-caught fish. The Beach Club offers globally inspired bites, freshly caught seafood and craft beers, rums and wines from around the world. The Thai restaurant brings in the vibrant flavors of the east, while also incorporating the spices the island is known for. More about the resort at www.silversandsgrenada.com

Serafina Beach Hotel, Condado, Puerto Rico

Another premier resort set to open in March of 2018 is the Serafina Beach Resort, which is located in San Juan’s popular and happening Condado district. This is the first lifestyle hotel concept created by the owner of the global restaurant brand, Serafina Restaurant Group. The atrium-style lobby is designed to serve as a communal gathering space, with dramatic ceilings, hanging chairs, full-size art murals by local artists, striking effervescent light fixtures and a cascading sleek staircase.

San Juan Condado

The white sands and turquoise waters of San Juan’s Condado Beach are reflected in the room décor of the Serafina Beach Hotel, which is Puerto Rico’s newest contemporary resort. Photo: Serafina Beach Hotel

The resort has a minimalist décor enhanced with a bohemian and youthful attitude. A palette of sea foam green, turquoise blue, grey and white evoke a sense of causal tropical appeal, and complement the seaside setting. This mid-sized resort offers 96 contemporary guestrooms with oversized floor to ceiling windows that allow for grand views of the Atlantic Ocean or the adjacent Laguna del Condado. Three food and beverage venues include the signature eMare, serving Italian cuisine with a touch of Puerto Rico, the energetic PiñaCo Bar and the By the Pool, where poolside cabanas frame the seductive infinity pool. For additional information visit www.serafinabeachhotel.com

Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua

One of the most impressive new developments in the Caribbean is the $100 million Hodges Bay project, which is set to open in mid 2018 along the secluded north shore of Antigua. The ultra-luxe property consists of 79 guest accommodations, which include four-bedroom villas and oceanfront junior suites, some of which will have outdoor Jacuzzis and fully equipped designer kitchens. All villa guests will enjoy a dedicated concierge service, with options that include a pre- stocked pantry, daily grocery shopping and washed and folded laundry. Beach and pool ambassadors are on hand to provide services such as another application of sunscreen to preparing a private gourmet meal in your villa.

Antigua Hodges Bay Resort

An ocean view junior suite at Antigua’s Hodges Bay Resort & Spa provides views of the Caribbean from a private terrace. Guests enjoy on-call ambassador services. Photo: Hodges Bay

Hodges Bay will offer three restaurants and six bars, including a swim-up bar at the infinity pool and a rooftop bar offering stunning views of the lush island surroundings. Active guests can enjoy unlimited water sports, fitness classes and local tours. After a day of outings and activities, guests can relax and refresh with some downtime at the resort’s new spa. This oasis of calm and rejuvenation includes five treatment rooms, a hydro-pool and a relaxation area for settling in before treatments. Pilates and yoga classes are offered daily, and families can find age-appropriate amenities for youngsters at the Flying Fish Club and the Connect Teen Lounge. Adults may prefer to secure a spot under a poolside cabana. For additional information visit www.eleganthotels.com/hodges-bay

Rosewood Baha Mar, Cable Beach, Nassau

Rosewood will be the third resort to open in the long awaited multi-property oasis of Baha Mar. Look for it in the early summer of 2018. Set on the white sands of Nassau’s Cable Beach, this property will provide a sanctuary of exclusivity with restaurants, spa, private pools and villas. Rosewood Baha Mar will offer 190 beach-view accommodations, including deluxe guestrooms and one, two and three-bedroom suites along with five luxurious four-bedroom beachfront villas. Bahamian refinement and sophistication are evoked with elegant British colonial architecture and design, and each room will be appointed with Bahamian art and decor.

Baha Mar Nassau

The décor at the Rosewood Baha Mar draws design inspirations from Bahamian Colonial traditions and a color pallet that reflects the sands and waters of island landscapes. Photo: Rosewood

All guestrooms will have private balconies and outdoor living spaces. Four on-site signature dining venues include Commonwealth, a farm-to-table restaurant with a Rum Room for ceremonial Bahamian dinners; an al fresco Pool Grille serving cocktails and fresh seafood; the nautical-themed Bar Riva featuring craft cocktails and small plates; and the Library offering Bahamian-style tea and unique gin and tonic varieties. Guests can also visit the Tea & Gardenia Boutique, which offers a curated selection of global teas, hand-cut flowers and specialty resort wear from Island Company Clothing. The Sense® Spa embraces the Rosewood philosophy by providing a menu of specialized treatments that reflect on the local culture and environment, combining unparalleled personalized treatments with Bahamian wellness traditions and indigenous island ingredients. For more information visit www.rosewoodhotels.com

Miami Art Basel

Where You Should Go in 2018

 

If you’re tired of hearing “you should have been there,” then maybe it’s time to start showing up. To help you plan those memory-making moments, we’ve put together a short list of epic and must-do events for 2018 that are taking place at locations all across the tropics.

January

Forget standing in the cold to watch the ball drop. Instead, head to the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgins for the legendary Old Year’s Night Party of Foxy’s Bar. For a slice of authentic Mexican culture, plan a visit to the Colonial era city of Merida for the month long Merida Fest, which encompasses a long list of art exhibits, concerts, theater performances and street celebrations. If good food is your thing, reserve the week of January 10-14 for the Cayman Cookout, when celebrity chefs descend onto the island to showcase a savory array of culinary masterpieces.

Cayman Cookout

A group of celebrity chefs participating in the Cayman Cookout take a break from the kitchen to pose barefoot on the sands of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. Photo: Rebecca Davidson/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

February

There are carnival celebrations all over the Caribbean, but the big event takes place on the island of Trinidad, where Calypso singers, costumes and steel drum bands hit the streets, and travelers can get in on lavish nightly parties. Spend President’s Day weekend ogling the world’s largest collection of yachts and pleasure boats at the Miami Boat Show. On February 11, head to Oahu’s Chinatown, where fireworks and processions welcome in the Chinese New Year. Get a jump on the baseball season at the Caribbean Series Championship, which will bring teams from across the Caribbean to Mexico for a round robin playoff.

Trinidad Carnival

Colorful costumes and elaborate masks are hallmarks of Trinidad’s annual Carnival, which showcases some of the world’s best Calypsonians and steel drum orchestras. Photo: iStock

March

Reserve your place on the boat for a rare chance to swim with humpback whales as they migrate through the waters of the Silver Banks in the Dominican Republic. Join the locals at Anguilla’s Festival del Mar, where you can finish off a day of boat races and fishing tournaments with a dinner of grilled lobster, then dance the night away to live music. Montserrat is the only place outside of Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is an official national holiday, and the island’s weeklong festival highlights Montserrat’s blended African and Irish heritage.

Montserrat St Patricks Day

The traditions of Africa and Ireland merge on the island of Montserrat, which is the only country outside Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. Photo: Abi Kamalei/Montserrat Tourism Board

April

Come to the Big Island of Hawaii the first week of April to enjoy the sensuous rhythms of the hula dance during the Merrie Monarch Festival, which is the site of the Hawaiian Hula Olympics. Thousands gather in the Colombian town of Vallenato to watch folk music legends compete for the title of Accordion King during the Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata. Nelson’s Dockyard is the center of both racing action and shore side parties during Antigua’s annual Sailing Week, which kicks off on the 28th, and attracts gleaming racing yachts from around the world. For a different take on the maritime life, join locals at the National Family Island Regatta, which draws hometown crews from around the Bahamas.

Bahamas Island Regatta

Island sloops fill the waters of Elizabeth Harbour during the annual Family Island Regatta, which draws sailing teams from across the Bahamas. Photo: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

May

Start the month off at Hawaii’s largest May Day and Lei Day celebration, when Oahu’s Queen Kapiolani Park becomes the site of lei making contests, hula performances, concerts and a gathering of craft and food vendors. On nearby Waikiki Beach, there are more contests and free outrigger canoe rides. The month also holds a number of notable musical happenings. More than 50 bands converge on the Palm Beach waterfront for four days of live music at SunFest. A broad sampling of authentic Caribbean musical traditions is showcased during Grenada’s Pure Music Festival. For smoother sounds, head to St. Lucia for the Jazz Festival, which showcases a mix of local, regional and international talents.

Grenada Pure Music Festival

Local talents share the stage with international performers during the Pure Music Festival, which raises funds for a foundation that promotes young musical talent in Grenada. Photo: Grenada Tourism Authority

June

Go native during the Heiva i Tahiti festival, which celebrates the traditions of Polynesia, with performances and parties on a number of the islands in Tahiti. Earn bragging rights by traveling to the Mexican island of Isla Mujeres to swim with huge but harmless whale sharks. For faster action, make your way to Ensenada, Mexico for the annual running of the Baja 500 Off-road Race. Looking for something a bit more sophisticated? You’ll find it among the chic and beautiful people who descend on Jamaica for Caribbean Fashion Week.

Bora Bora Heiva Festival

A traditional choir performs on the island of Bora Bora during the annual Heiva i Tahiti festival, which takes place on islands across much of French Polynesia. Photo: Mikito411/Flickr

July

Grove to roots rhythms during Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest, which draws reggae and dancehall fans from around the world. Different musical traditions are on display during the Festival del Merengue de Santo Domingo, in the capital of the Dominican Republic, which showcases this homegrown musical genre with dance performances and concerts. Take in a savory combination of good food and live art performances at the Haleiwa Arts Festival, which brings more than 140 visual artists to the island of Oahu. Grab a mask and snorkel and head for the Florida Keys for the Sportsman’s Lobster Season, where everyone has a chance to bag some tasty crustaceans.

Florida Keys Lobstering

Spiny lobster are the prize catch during Florida’s annual Sportsman Season, which takes place on the last weekend in July, and draws thousands to the waters of the Florida Keys. Photo: Reel Bliss/Flickr

August

Barbados’s Crop Over festivities stretch through most of the summer, but the can’t miss event is August’s Grand Kadooment, which is a day-long street procession and carnival featuring elaborate costumes, music and libations. On the other side of the globe, adventurous travelers head to the island of Tonga for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with humpback whales in clear blue waters. The old ways are honored during Belize’s Costa Maya Festival, when persons of Mayan heritage from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico gather on Ambergris Caye for a weekend of traditional dances, pageants, food, and songs. The Dormition of Virgin Mary is one of Greece’s most anticipated public holidays, and a time of festivities and feasts. Many consider the best place to celebrate the day is on the island of Ikaria, at the colorful village of Christos Raches.

Tonga Whales

From July to October, humpback whales migrate to the coastal waters of Tonga’s Vavau Island group, providing a unique opportunity for swimming encounters. Photo: Kirkland/Tourism Tonga

September

The islands of Hawaii celebrate their cultural roots during Aloha Week, which includes parades, traditional dance performances, island music and block parties. As the Caribbean heads into the fall, hatchling sea turtles emerge from nests and take to the sea. One of the prime places to witness this phenomenon is with a stay at Jamaica’s Goldeneye Resort, where more than 10,000 tiny turtles scramble across the sands of Golden Beach. In Male, the capital of the Maldives, the Hindu festival of Kuda Eid culminates in processions and a day of group feasting, dances and athletic competitions. September 15, not May 5, is Mexico’s true Independence Day. On this national holiday, thousands converge on the small town of Dolores Hidalgo, for a reenactment of “El Grito de Dolores,” the day in 1810 when bells rang to signal the start of the revolution.

Jamaica Sea Turtle

Fresh from the nest, a newly hatched sea turtle inches across the golden sands of a Jamaican beach. Visitors to the island can witness this phenomenon during the month of September. Photo: iStock

October

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is the Pacific Rim’s premier epicurean event. This seven-day festival features a roster of more than 80 international master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. More eclectic flavors are showcased during the Blue Food Festival on the island of Tobago, which focuses on recipes based on a local staple, the dasheen root. Spectators converge on the island of Kona to watch the world’s elite endurance athletes compete in the Iron Man World Championships.

Hawaii Food And Wine Festival

Fireworks light the sky over the Ko Olina Lagoon during the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, which brings more than 100 master chefs to the islands of Hawaii. Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority

November

In recent years, Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead ceremonies has evolved into a massive costume party that takes place in Mexico City. Less boisterous but equally colorful is Trinidad’s Diwali Festival of Lights. Catch the on file action and take part in the post game parties during the World Rugby Classic, hosted in Bermuda. When costumed swashbucklers swarm ashore on Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, it marks the start of Pirates Week festivities. More sophisticated indulgences await during the Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival.

Cayman Islands Pirates

Swashbuckling action on the decks of the Cayman Valhalla sailing ship is just part of the fun during the Pirates Week Festival of the Cayman Islands. Photo: Juan José Marroquín/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

December

The world’s best wave riders gather on Oahu’s north shore to compete in the Billabong Pipe Maters surf competition. In Miami, unique creations and avant-garde visions are the focus of Art Basel. Adventurous travelers make their way to the highlands of Guatemala, where the indigenous K’iche’ Maya people gather in the village of Chichicastenango to honor Santo Tomás with days of colorful rituals and dances. On the Bahamian island of New Providence, dance and drum troops march through the streets of Nassau during the all night Junkanoo.

Oahu Billabong Pipeline

World Champion surfer Kelly Slater catches a wave during the Billabong Pipe Masters, which brings the world’s best wave riders to the island of Oahu each December. Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority

Barbados Saint Peter Bay Resort

Top Caribbean Summer Vacation Specials

 

This summer, why not flip the script and head south to the Caribbean, where the water’s warm and clear, the crowds are light and some of the best hotels are offering special deals and pricing. Here’s the lowdown on some of the best summer values in the islands.

The Palms, Turks & Caicos

Whether it’s a couple’s escape or a family trip, this top-rated resort delivers all the ingredients needed for a premier beach vacation. With just 72 spacious suites, the property has an intimate feel, but it also delivers a full range of upscale amenities, including gourmet dining, a world-class spa and a stunning infinity pool overlooking Grace Bay. This summer, guests can experience the total luxury of the Palms for less, as the resort is bringing back its “A Taste of the Good Life” offer for stays before August 31, 2017. With this all-inclusive package, you can choose a pool view, one-bedroom suite from $1,099 per night, double occupancy or the garden view junior suite, double occupancy from $799 per night. The offer requires a four-night minimum stay, and rates include three meals per day, unlimited beverages by the glass, daily afternoon tea, airport transfers, kids club activities, butler service, and more. www.thepalmstc.com

The Palms Turks And Caicos

The serpentine shaped infinity pool at The Palms is the ideal spot to cool off with poolside Wi-Fi, sun pods with umbrellas and a hot tub island.  Photo: The Palms

Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

This iconic property has been an international favorite since it first came on the scene in 1950. The resort’s 48 suites and cottages are finished in a white and Wedgewood blue décor, which complements the tropical greens of the surrounding landscape and the turquoise sea. Guests indulge in spa treatments near the waters edge, relax on the resort’s private 700-foot beach and enjoy the sounds of nature in the garden-like setting. For summer months and into fall, guests enjoy free nights when staying at least three nights before October 31, 2017. The longer you stay, the more free nights you earn and the more beach time you receive. Stay 4 nights and pay for three, stay 7 nights for the price of five, or stretch your vacation to stay for 14 nights and pay for 10. Call 855-441-2044, www.jamaicainn.com

Jamaica Ocho Rios

Though conveniently located in the heart of the Ocho Rios resort area, the Jamaica Inn remains a quiet oasis of upscale luxury, with a private beach and manicured grounds. Photo: David Massey/Jamaica Inn

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Puerto Rico

Beach time and city life come together at this landmark property, which sits in the heart of San Juan’s Condado district. The vibe is sophisticated yet family-friendly. Everyone will enjoy the expansive double-level pool with it gushing fountains and swim up bar. There’s a game room for the youngsters, while adults can try their luck at the casino or gather in the Red Coral Lounge to hear local bands. All the action of the Condado strip is within walking distance, and the culture, history and authentic Puerto Rican cuisines of Old San Juan are just a short ride away. In addition to lower summer rates, the hotel is offering up to $100 in resort credits for stays booked before September 5, 2017 for stays up to October 14, 2017. Use promotions code: SUM, www.marriottsanjuan.com

San Juan Marriott

The beachfront pool deck is the centerpiece of the San Juan Marriott Resort. Just steps away are the La Vista Beachside Grill and the La Isla Beach Bar. Photo: Dan Ham/San Juan Marriott

Port Ferdinand, Barbados

This new marina development port of call is located on the historical northwest coast of the Barbados Riviera. Located at Six Men’s Beach in St. Peter, near the picturesque seaside town of Speightstown. The resort’s one to three- bedroom contemporary homes are elegantly furnished and feature fully equipped kitchens and over-sized balconies with water views. The pool and marina are focal points, with fine dining on outdoor tables near the water’s edge. Guests enjoy a meet and greet at the airport, daily breakfast and complimentary use of paddleboards, kayaks and snorkeling equipment, with the added bonus of a guided snorkeling and swimming trip with the turtles. During the summer sale, travelers can take 45 percent off all accommodations. Reservations must booked by June 30, 2017 for stays up until December 14, 2017. Use book code: PFSS17, www.portferdinand.com

Barbados Port Ferdinand

The marina at Port Ferdinand is one of the most advanced boating facilities in the southern Caribbean, with 120 boat slips and a floating wave attenuation system to ensure calm water. Photo: Port Ferdinand

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

It’s not just a hotel room; it’s an immersive experience. Each of Jade Mountain’s 24 hillside sanctuaries opens to a private terrace and a personal plunge pool, where sweeping views take in the famous Piton peaks and Anse Chastanet Bay. Unique artwork and individual decors are enlivened by a rainbow palette of colors, while tropical woods and furnishings add an eclectic flair. This one-of-a-kind experience can now be enjoyed for less with Jade Mountain’s “Summer Sanctuary” offer. When you stay four nights, you’ll pay for three and if you book at 7 nights stay you’ll pay for five. The offer is valid for the Sky Jacuzzi suites and the Star and Moon infinity pool sanctuaries. Call 800-223-1108, http://www.jademountain.com/promotions.html

Jade Mountain St. Lucia

Suites at Jade Mountain Resort have just three walls, as the forth is open to allow for unobstructed views of the sea and the Pitons. Photo: Lou Metzger/Jade Mountain

Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada

Experience true Grenadian hospitality at this elegant family run- resort, which occupies a prime position on Grande Anse, the island’s best beach. Suites are set in tropical gardens that offer privacy and seclusion. The property is a luxury all-inclusive where gourmet dining, cocktails and afternoon tea is taken care of. The onsite spa offers pampering, and when activity calls, there are complimentary water spots such as Hobie cats, snorkeling and kayaking. Tennis, cycling and golf greens fees are also included. Guests can save with the “Spice Isle Getaway” summer offer, which provides free nights. For stays before October 31, 2017, guests can book a minimum of 7 nights in any category and pay for 6 nights, book 14 nights and pay for 12 or book 21 nights and pay for 18. www.spiceislandbeachresort.com

Grenada Spice Island Resort

The Spice Island Resort is Grenada’s premier all-inclusive beach resort. It is home to the Janissa’s Spa, which is ranking among the finest spas in the Caribbean. Photo: Dehoog/Spice Island Resort

Saint Peter’s Bay, Barbados

This all suite-hotel delivers traditional Barbadian architecture and hospitality. Floor plans include outdoor spaces with grand views of the sea and beach. The 57 villas include family-friendly three- and four-bedroom beachfront suites with fully equipped kitchens. The hotel has a lagoon-style pool and breezy gazebo restaurant. Guests can enjoy paddleboard, kayaks and snorkeling equipment, or participate in daily yoga and Pilates classes. There is a complimentary taxi service to the sister property of Port Ferdinand, with pool and beach service at both resorts. During the summer sale promotion, guests can save 20 percent on all accommodations. This offer is valid for stays through December 14, 2017 when booked by June 30, 2017. Use booking code: SPBSS17, www.stpetersbaybarbados.com

St Peters Bay Patio Barbados

Residences at St. Peter’s Bay Resort open to spacious terraces providing sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea. Each is furnished with hot tubs and al fresco dining areas. Photo: St. Peter’s Bay

Grenada Spice Mas

Spice Mas Grenada

 

In August, the island of Grenada will come alive as islanders and visitors take to the streets for a week of parades, musical competitions and pageantry known as Spice Mas.

WHAT: Spice Mas Carnival Week

WHERE: Grenada

WHEN: August 9-15, 2017

DETAILS: Highlights of this weeklong celebration include the march of the Jab-Jab Devil Mas and Ole Mas bands, the crowning of the Calypso Monarch and the Carnival Queen, the J’ouvert Pageant, Panorama steel band competition and the Monday Night Mas.

INFO: www.spicemasgrenada.com

St Kitts Kittian Hill

Where to go now in the Caribbean

 

Caribbean travelers are always keen to find that next great new place, but most also want to experience of a bit of local flavor. These three islands offer up traditional culture, natural beauty and some of the finest and newest resorts in the region. See what’s trending on these authentic Caribbean isles and make sure they are on your radar.

Grenada

Spices in the air, waterfalls cascading from rainforest slopes, colorful island sloops lining a Colonial era harbor. These are the visions conjured by the slogan “Pure Grenada,” which is this three-island nation’s new statement of cultural identity. The fertile volcanic soils still sustain a thriving agricultural economy, but Grenada also nurtures a growing tourism infrastructure that is proving equally rich and rewarding for both hosts and guests. On the hillside overlooking Grand Anse Beach, Kimpton Kawana Bay has broken ground and is slated to open in 2019. A 375-acre resort and residential development at Levera Beach Resort includes the boutique Turtle Beach Hotel, which will open in late 2017. In addition, the landmark Mount Cinnamon property is undergoing a renovation and expansion that will add another section of villas.

Grenada Levera Beach

On the secluded north shore of Grenada, the Turtle Beach Hotel overlooks the pristine sands of Levera Beach and a pair of private islands accessible to hotel guests. Photo: Joshua Yetman/Grenada Tourism Authority

Stunning beaches and natural beauty aren’t the only assets drawing visitors to Grenada. The islands are steeped in tradition, which manifests in a year-round roster of festivals and cultural events. With a deep connection to food and locally grown produce, the Chocolate Festival celebrates the island’s agricultural tourism. Traditional crops such as allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg now take a back seat to the production of cacao, and chocolate may have its place on the national flag one day. Sister isle Carriacou maintains a line up of festivities rooted in local tradition. The annual Carriacou Carnival includes dancing in the street, parades and competitions that include rhyme and humor. The island also hosts the Maroon & Music Festival, honoring African origins depicted through drumming and singing.

Grenada Spices

Grenada is known as the Spice Island, famous for its groves of nutmeg and cinnamon. In recent years, chocolate has become a sweet addition to the agricultural scene. Photo: Joshua Yetman/Grenada Tourism Authority

St. Kitts

It’s been just over a decade since the government of St. Kitts made a conscious decision to transition the local economy from an agricultural base to hospitality. Today a quarter of the population is involved in tourism, and new residential and resort properties are opening each year. A key focus of this planned growth is preserving the elements that have made St. Kitts such a desirable destination. This is an island known for its green landscapes, uncrowded beaches, historic sites and plantation inns. With infrastructure on the rise, and construction prevalent on the once vacant hillsides, the government has taken measures to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the island. More than a quarter of the island is set aside in nature preserves, and marine parks line the shores.

St Kitts Peninsula

On the southern coast of St. Kitts, a long peninsula known for pristine beaches and secluded bays is now home to the marina village of Christophe Harbour and soon, the Park Hyatt hotel. Photo: St. Kitts Tourism

Of the several new resort and residential projects underway, the island’s new favorite is Kittitian Hill, which sits on 400 acres of organic farmland that stretches from the slopes of Mount Liamuiga to the beach. Here, guests of Belle Monte Farm are housed in a collection of authentic West Indian cottages and farm houses, and dine at The Kitchen Restaurant, where cuisines are derived from the on-site organic gardens. The Kittitian Hill project continues to expand with new villas and programs created to immerse guests in the local culture and agriculture scene in a setting that resembles a traditional village. Another ongoing project is the marina village of Christophe Harbour, where the shores are lined with restaurants, bars, shops and home sites. The once vacant peninsula will have its first full-service hotel when the Park Hyatt opens in the summer of 2017. Also on the horizon and slated for 2017 with a price tag of $180 million is the Koi Resort & Residences, a multi-use resort development with 295 villas and suites located adjacent to the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. Two smaller projects include the Imperial Bay Beach & Golf Residences adjacent to the Koi, and the Silver Reef Resort, another residential plan with one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

St Kitts Salt Plage

On the southern coast of St. Kitts, Salt Plage is new spot at Christophe Harbor. Patrons can enjoy craft cocktails while relaxing in day beds or hammocks suspended over the water. Photo: Debbie Snow

Guadeloupe

With loads of scenic beauty and a unique French Creole mix of cultures, Guadeloupe has long appealed to Canadian and European tourists. Today, thanks to additional air service, these islands are also attracting a growing U.S. market. But the international influx hasn’t changed the character of the destination, and this gem of the French West Indies remains true to its roots. In addition to the culture, the landscape delivers a wealth of natural attractions. The white sand beaches, coral reefs and seaside villages of Grande-Terre stand in stark contrast to Basse-Terre, where shores are lined in dark volcanic sands and backed by towering mountains laced with hiking trails and waterfalls. Also in the mix is a collection of unspoiled out islands, where life moves at a slower pace. Guadeloupe is noted for its French Creole culture and delicious Creole-based cuisine. Visitors will find an abundance of seafood dishes accented with local fruit and vegetables.

Guadeloupe Waterfall

The Cascade Aux Ecrevisse is one of Guadeloupe’s most popular waterfalls. It can be reached by an easy ten-minute walk along a well-maintained pathway. Photo: Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board

At the center of island culture are the markets. The largest in the heart of Pointe-a-Pitre is filled with vendors offering spices, seafood and mounds of fruits, vegetables and locally made condiments. Also noteworthy are the markets at Sainte-Anne, and new to the scene is the Friday night market at Gosier, which includes artwork from local artists, baked goods as well as produce and spices. A favorite place to stay in Gosier is Auberge de la Vieille Tour, a charming seaside resort with a touch of Creole décor over French colonial architecture. On the hillside overlooking the ocean, La Toubana Hotel & Spa has added ocean view suites, two with their own pools. Guadeloupe’s new focus comes in the form of eco loges. Two new projects offer up alternatives to typical hotels and serve as environmentally sound stays. Aqua Lodge is a floating hotel equipped with solar panels and Tendacayou is a retreat and spa in the rainforest on Basse- Terre.

Guadeloupe Creole Lobster

On the islands of Guadeloupe, the blending of Creole flavors and French flair creates a savory range of cuisines, often featuring fresh seafood and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Photo: Shutterstock

British Virgin Islands Peter Island

The Caribbean’s Best Beachfront Resorts

 

There’s nothing more enticing that a pristine Caribbean beach, with towering palms waving in the trade winds. And for the ultimate in beachfront bliss, this scene should be paired with adjacent accommodations that provide unlimited access to the sands, along with ultimate comfort and stellar service. These select resorts deliver all this, and more.

Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla

This Moroccan-themed enclave overlooks the white sands and turquoise waters of Maundays Bay Beach. Bone-white Moorish villas adorned with parapets, domes and turrets nestle into gardens of bougainvillea and hibiscus that add splashes of bright color to the ever-present views of cerulean seas and creamy sand. The resort exudes a Zen feel, and delivers a high level service to match the scenery. Begin each day with a walk on a long crescent of powder-fine sand, spend the day relaxing on your private terrace to the sound of lapping surf, or relax seaside under an umbrella, with attendants to deliver chilled towels and refreshing fruit. For a change of scenery, stroll to the end of the beach for a swim or snorkel where the water is the clearest and calmest on the island.

Cap Juluca

The iconic white-walled villas of Anguilla’s Belmond Cap Juluca overlook the sands of Maundays Bay, which has been named as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Photo: Belmond Cap Juluca

Grace Bay Club, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

Grace Bay is one of the most photographed beaches in the Caribbean, and the Grace Bay Club occupies a prime location on this 12-mile stretch of powder-fine sand. The resort offers expansive villas ideal for a family, while all rooms and suites in the hotel building are reserved for adults. A signature pool overlooking the beach is also reserved for mature guests. When it comes time to leave your private space there is plenty room to spread out on the property’s 1,000 feet of beach frontage. Find your spot with canopied daybed just steps from the turquoise water and let the beach attendant cater to your every whim.

Grace Bay Club

Villas and suites at the Grace Bay Club include private patios and balconies that deliver water views and easy accesses to a 12-mile- long beach. Photo: Grace Bay Club

Peter Island Resort & Spa, British Virgin Islands

This private island resort offers not one but five world-class beaches, each with its own atmosphere and charm. The iconic coconut palm-lined sands of White Bay Beach are said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Guests can reserve a private tiki hut and arrange for a picnic to be delivered. Deadman’s Beach is the island’s longest and liveliest stretch of sand, home to the Deadman’s Bar & Grill, and lined with water toys such as kayaks, paddleboards and sailboats, all available for guests to enjoy. Those seeking a bit more privacy can move to nearby Little Deadman’s Beach, or follow the path to intimate Honeymoon Beach, which features a single thatch- roofed shelter for one couple to enjoy. On the island’s windward side, surf-washed Big Reef Beach is a favorite for walks and solitude.

Peter Island Beachfront Rooms

Beachfront rooms at the Peter Island Resort & Spa are just steps away from Deadman’s Beach, which is the island’s hub for water sports fun. Photo: Peter Island Resort

The Buccaneer, St. Croix, USVI

The distinctive pink great house of this iconic resort perches on a hillside overlooking 340 landscaped acres and three beaches, each with a distinct personality. The palm-shaded sands and calm waters of Mermaid Beach create the perfect setting for waterfront recreation. This strand is home to the Mermaid Restaurant and the resort’s water sports center, where guests can swim, kayak, take scuba lessons or join in a game of beach volleyball. Nearby Grotto Beach offers a quieter take on beach time, whether relaxing at the waterfront pool and grill, or enjoying a book in the shade. For the ultimate in seclusion, guests can follow a walking path to intimate Whistle Beach, which remains in a natural state.

St. Corix Buccaneer

The Buccaneer resort takes in three beaches. Shown here is Mermaid Beach, which is a favorite for water sports and beach games. Photo: Buccaneer

Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada

Grande Anse is the grande dame of beaches on this green and scenic island. Spice Island sits near the far end of this strand, securing a bit more privacy for the guests. Suites and bungalows are just steps from the water. Opt for one of the beachfront bungalows where you can watch the water ebb and flow along the golden sands from your double hammock or your ensuite tub, or sit under your private umbrella, with toes in the sand as you relax, read and renew to the sound of the sea. Early mornings and late afternoons bring out the beachcombers, and impromptu social gatherings along the two miles of creamy white sand that surround the calm bay.

Spice Island Grenada

Enjoy Grande Anse beach, just steps from your beachfront suite.  Photo: Spice Island Beach Resort

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

This eco-lux complex sprawls across 483 acres of a former coconut plantation, and encompasses stands of pristine maritime forests. Beach lovers delight in the uninterrupted two-mile stretch of café au lait colored sands, which are backed by coconut palms and dotted with chaises and umbrellas. The setting is natural, but beach attendants are on call to deliver any desired indulgence or refreshment. The grounds adjacent to the beach are laced with hiking trails, and framed by the Espritu Santo River State Preserve, where manatees often gather. The resort is committed to environmental sustainability, and employs a special “green team” that is dedicated to protecting indigenous plants and trees.

Puerto Rico St Regis

Guests at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort have exclusive access to a two-mile stretch of beach adjacent to a nature preserve. Photo: St. Regis

Caneel Bay, St. John, USVI

With accommodations spread out over 170 acres, there’s plenty of natural serenity to go around, which is exactly what founder Laurance Rockefeller intended when he established Caneel Bay, and donated more than 5,000 adjacent acres to the Virgin Islands National Park Service. With seven secluded beaches, there’s one for every day of the week, and every mood. Families gravitate to Caneel and Little Caneel, where youngsters can enjoy water sports, with snacks not far off. The small sandy cove at Turtle Bay promises sea turtle sightings, while Hawksnest is a favorite snorkeling beach, with gentle waves and sea grape shading. Both Scott Beach and Paradise Beach are popular for taking in the sunset in a tranquil setting, while remote Honeymoon Beach delivers intimate solitude.

St John Caneel Bay

On the island of St. John, Caneel Bay Resort offers guests seven different beaches —one for every day of the week. Shown here is Scott Beach. Photo: Caneel Bay

 

 

Grenada Chocolate Festival

Chocolate in the Tropics

 

Travel doesn’t get much sweeter than this. During the month of May, the island of Grenada will once again celebrate its heritage with a 10-day series of cultural and agro-tourism events centered around the cocoa bean and all things chocolate.

WHAT: Grenada’s fourth annual Chocolate Festival

WHERE: St. George’s and other locations on Grenada

WHEN: May 12-21, 2017

DETAILS: Highlights of this year’s festival include chocolate themed breakfasts and lunches, “bean to bar” tours, seminars on cocoa farming and processing, a cocoa inspired art and fashion showcase, lectures and workshops on the history and benefits of cocoa and chocolate, and a chocolate themed bonfire and beach party.

INFO: www.grenadachocolatefest.com

Pure Grenada Music Festival

Grenada Prepares for Pure Music

 

 

In May, Grenada’s most talented local bands and performers will gather at a spectacular seaside venue to share the stage with international artists in a three-day celebration that honors all genres of musical performance and innovation.

WHAT: Pure Grenada Music Festival

WHERE: St. George’s, Grenada W.I.

WHEN: May 5-7, 2017

DETAILS: Performances will take place at Festival Village, which is located on the green at Port Louis, in the heart of the island’s capital, St. George’s. The festival will feature food, drink and performances by more that a dozen local and international performers. Headliners include Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica and Third World. Three-day passes for the event are US$70.

INFO: grenadamusicfestival.com

Grenada St George

Uncorked Beer and Wine Festival Returns to Grenada

 

Good food and live music will be paired with tempting selections of beer and wine as Grenada kicks off a summer series of special events that highlight the culinary creativity and musical talents of the island.

WHAT: 2nd Annual Uncorked Beer & Wine Festival

WHERE: Quarantine Point, St. George’s, Grenada

WHEN: April 30, 2017

DETAILS: This one-day event showcases wines and beers from more than twenty regional breweries and international vineyards. A number of the island’s premier restaurants will be offering sample menus, and demonstrations will cover topics from food and wine pairing tips to tutorials on how to evaluate, store and serve wines and beers. Tickets are $25.

INFO: http://www.grenadagrenadines.com/plan/events/uncorked-beer-wine-festival/

Bermuda Tuckers Point

Top Eco-friendly Caribbean Resorts

 

Going on a Caribbean vacation shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure. And when you stay at a resort that displays the Green Globe seal, you are not only indulging yourself, but also casting a vote for eco- friendly and sustainable business practices. This international organization grants its blessings only to companies and organizations that are committed to making positive contributions to people and the planet, demonstrate a long-term commitment to sustainable practices, and pass a detailed audit. Here are seven prime resorts that pass muster.

Blue Horizons Garden Resort, Grenada

The owners of Blue Horizons went green to earn gold. The six-acre resort is tucked away on a hillside above Grand Anse Beach, with grounds and gardens planted with 9,500 indigenous plants and trees to create more than 250 new green spaces. This tree- planting initiative created a refuge for 27 species of tropical birds. The property operates on rainwater collection, solar water heating and gravity-fed water storage tanks. While recycling is high on the list, the staff also works to reduce initial consumption through the reusing of existing packaging when purchasing consumables, and an emphasis on sustainable seafood and local produce. This commitment to conservation has earned the resort Green Globe Certification for five years running, resulting in a coveted Gold membership status.

Grenada Blue Horizons

The owners of Grenada’s Blue Horizons resort planted thousands of native trees and bushes to create an attractive and eco- conscious habitat on a hillside above Grand Anse Beach. Photo: Blue Horizons

Rosewood Tucker’s Point, Bermuda

Water is a precious commodity on the island of Bermuda. To keep the fluid flowing in a responsible and sustainable manner, the management of Tucker’s Point invested in a million dollar green initiative that includes a rainwater collection system, solar water heating and a seawater reverse osmosis plant. All water discharges run through a proprietary water treatment plant and then held in a two million gallon pond that is used to irrigate the golf course. The grounds provide a natural habitat for nesting Bermuda bluebirds; the kitchen harvests herbs from onsite gardens; and all kitchen oil is collected and refined for use as alternative fuel around the property. This dedication to sustainable operation earned the resort the Green Globe Certification in 2012, and it remains the only property in Bermuda to hold these credentials.

Bermuda Tuckers Point

Rather than tap Bermuda’s limited municipal water supply, the Tucker’s Point resort operates a reverse osmosis plant that produces up to 50,000 gallons of fresh water a day. Photo: Tucker’s Point

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort’s 14-acre stretch of white sand is among the Caribbean’s top beaches, and the property has been named as one of the most sustainable hotels in the world. Bucuti has earned Green Globe Platinum status, and is on track to become the first carbon neutral resort in the Caribbean. By coupling an on-site photovoltaic solar panel system to the power grid, the resort operates on 47 percent clean energy, and maintains the lowest per-occupied-room electricity usage of all hotels in Aruba. Local sourcing further reduces the property’s carbon footprint, and the use of biodegradable materials practically eliminates the use of plastic. Guests are gifted with reusable water bottles and are invited to participate in the monthly beach cleanup hosted by the resort. Since it began 20 years ago, this program removes on average 500 pounds of waste from Aruba’s beaches each year.

Aruba Bucuti Pool

The luxurious pool deck at Aruba’s Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is proof that going green doesn’t have to mean giving up resort amenities. Photo: Bucuti Beach Resort

Le Guanihani, St. Barts

Long revered for its spectacular natural setting, in 2017 Le Guanihani became the first resort on St. Barts to earn Green Globe Certification. This honor was the result of a five-year program that encompassed a sweeping range of initiatives designed to both limit the property’s environmental impact, and to effect positive changes to the surrounding ecosystems. Among these programs were the switch to low energy lighting, low- carbon products and selective waste sorting. Water produced from reverse osmosis is recycled for irrigation use through a grey water system, and the resort actively offsets carbon emissions. The 18-acre grounds are maintained in a natural condition, and efforts are made to protect indigenous plants and animals. The resort has also pledged to support the 2,500-acre marine park that surrounds the peninsula, and supports local artisanal fishermen.

St Barths Le Guanahani

Set between Marigot Bay and Grand Cul de Sac, the eco-friendly grounds of Le Guanihani spread over 18 tropical acres straddling a peninsula with two beaches. Photo: Le Guanihani

Hermitage Bay, Antigua

From the onset, the grounds of Hermitage Bay were designed to blend into Antigua’s natural surroundings. This began with a non- invasive approach to site clearing that retained the original coastal mangrove ecosystem, and the use of sustainable building materials for each of the resort’s 27 cottage suites. The on-site organic gardens provide much of the herbs, fruits and vegetables used in the kitchen, which also supports local farmers and fishermen to provide guests with an authentic farm-to-plate experience. To reduce electrical demands, each cottage was designed and positioned to take advantage of trade winds, reducing or eliminating the need for air conditioning. Water is distributed by solar energy, and a grey water system sustains the gardens.

Hermitage Bay Antigua

Rooms at Antigua’s Hermitage Bay resort were designed to take advantage of the sites natural airflow, and guests are often able to forgo air conditioning in favor of sea breezes. Photo: Hermitage Bay

Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Situated at the entrance to Old San Juan, with the 17th century San Geronimo Fort just steps away, the Caribe Hilton takes its green initiatives seriously, and incorporates sustainable practices into the everyday operation of the hotel. The extensive recycling program includes plastic, aluminum, paper from the offices, metal hangers, alkaline batteries, frying oil, cell phones, cartons and more. Earth-friendly products are used in cleaning; leftover food goes to a homeless shelter and food waste to a local pig farm. As a member of the Hilton Family Hotels, the group is committed to reducing energy consumption and lowering CO2 emissions. Local initiatives supported by the hotel include beach cleaning, mangrove restoration and tree planting.

San Juan Caribe

The Caribe Hilton has a comprehensive recycling and employs a range of energy saving technologies that don’t compromise the guest experience. Photo: Caribe Hilton

Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

The Green Globe team awarded the Jamaica Inn high marks for their commitment to creating eco-friendly and eco-aware programs that engage both staff and guests. Each year, the resort’s pristine crescent of beach and nearby Oracabessa Beach are the site of the Sea Turtle Recovery Program, which protects hundreds of nesting sites and releases thousands of hatchling hawksbill turtles into the sea. Earth Day brings tree planting throughout the property, with the goal of creating new wildlife habitat. On the conservation front, Jamaica Inn recently added solar panels, a recycling initiative, and an onsite composting system that repurposes food scraps to the garden. Flowers used throughout the hotel are grown at the on-site greenhouse.

Jamaica Inn

Guests at the Jamaica Inn share a pristine beach with seasonal arrivals of nesting sea turtles. A resort sponsored program helps release thousands of hatchlings into the sea. Photo: Jamaica Inn