Tag Archives: Grenada

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

Grenada St George

Grenada’s Authentic Island Adventures

 

If beachfront high-rises, duty free malls and cruise ship mega- ports aren’t your thing, Grenada is for you. On this lush and laid- back island, the old ways linger. Trading sloops dock at stone wharfs overshadowed by a historic fort; locals gather to haggle at village markets; and nutmeg and cinnamon groves fill the air with fragrant scents. Get your taste of old-school Caribbean traditions and step back to a simpler time with these unique island activities.

A Free Market Encounter

Open-air markets were once the commercial and social hubs of Caribbean islands, and the tradition lives on in St. George’s Market Square. Gone are the days when ladies donned starched dresses and big hats, and even the vendors dressed up in their best. But the free market vibe hasn’t changed, as farmers, artisans and traders hawk their wares from open-air stalls or invite passers by to linger in the shade of the market’s roofed pavilions.

Grenada Market

Fresh fruits and local spices are displayed on vendor’s tables at St. George’s Market Square. In addition to commerce, the square is a center for socializing and island gossip. Photo: Debbie Snow

Located at the foot of Young Street in St. George’s, the market is open every day except Sunday, but it’s Saturday morning that is the most vibrant. Locals gossip as they pick up charcoal for coal pots, and stock up on callaloo and root vegetables. A machete- wielding vendor slices the tops off coconuts and adds a straw for sipping the sweet nectar inside. Island visitors amble about, sampling both familiar and exotic fruits, and seeking out aromatic spices and attention getting hot sauces. Spices come right from the farm, unpackaged and unprocessed, or ground and bagged for easy packing. Not to be missed are the nutmeg syrups and jams, and cinnamon sticks the size of sausage.

A Growing Attraction

For an authentic dose of farm life on Grenada, head to Belmont Estate, which is an hour’s drive north from the capital to the parish of St. Patrick. This 400-acre working farm has been in operation since the 1660’s. In 1944, the property was bought by Norbert and Lyris Nyack, the first Grenadians of East Indian decent to own a plantation on the island. Today the farm is run by their grand niece, Shadel Nyack Compton. She has created an agri- tourism program that allows visitors to experience a working plantation while also supporting sustainable local agriculture.

Grenada Belmont Estate

Grenada’s Belmonte Estate is a working farm and spice orchard that welcomes visitors and provides a glimpse of traditional island agricultural practices. Photo: Debbie Snow

The gardens are planted with local fruits and spices, and guests can tour the grounds, greenhouses, herb and vanilla gardens and an on-site goat dairy. After the garden tour visitors head to the onsite restaurant where a buffet of local dishes is served in traditional coal pots. Ladies assemble tables on the stairs below the restaurant to sell jams, spices and sauces. Another favorite is the cocoa tour, which begins with the harvest, sorting, fermentation and drying of cacao beans on wooden trays, and ends with hot chocolate drink. Most guests then head directly to the chocolate store to purchase bars of chocolate in various concentrations as well as brownies, cupcakes and other chocolate confections.

A Liquid Legacy

The majority of Grenada’s sugarcane crop is distilled into rum right on the island. And just about all of the rum production from the River Antoine Rum Distillery is slated for local consumption. One reason is because the alcohol content is too high to export and patrons of local rum shops have developed a taste for this potent elixir. Located in the northern parish of St. Patrick River Antoine is the oldest remaining water-powered distillery in the Caribbean, and the only one on the island that starts the process from fresh crushed cane rather than molasses.

Rum Distillery Grenada

At the River Antoine Rum Distillery, a water wheel crushes the cane used to create a traditional style of extremely potent rum that is a favorite with island residents. Photo: Debbie Snow

A visit here is a step back in time, as the process and equipment hasn’t changed during the distillery’s 250 years in operation. A tour through the works gives a glimpse of what happens after the harvest, as the crushing, the heating, the distilling and the bottling are all done the same way as when the facility began operation in 1785. After the tour, the tasting takes place. Only the brave sample the first bottle, as just a whiff of its high level of alcohol makes eyes water. After a taste of this firewater, the less strong rums go down smooth. River Antoine produces a limited number of the light stuff, and even chocolate rum for those who wish to bring some home.

Valentine's Day In The Caribbean On Beach

10 Romantic Caribbean Escapes

 

Don’t settle for the same old flowers and candy routine this Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself and that special someone to a romantic interlude in the Caribbean. These premiere properties are offering special packages that are sure to fan the flame.

Suite Love

Rekindle romance in a Love Nest Suite at Sandals on Barbados. These private enclaves of intimacy provide all the elements, from four-poster beds to balcony soak tubs with ocean views. Personal butler service brings indulgences right to the room, but should you wish to venture out, all the amenities of Sandals Barbados await. For Valentine’s week, the resort will offer special couple’s nights presentations such as a chocolate themed buffet. 

Barbados Sandals Resort

A swim-up suite at Sandals Barbados includes a private veranda with a soak tub that blends indoor and outdoor spaces, while still providing the ultimate in privacy. Photo: Sandals

Wine and Dine

If the way to the heart really is the stomach, there’s love aplenty at Nassau’s Graycliff Hotel. This historic and casually elegant five-star property serves up a three-night Romance Package that begins with a chilled bottle of champagne and a sampler of Graycliff chocolates. Later, you’ll be indulged with a four-course chef’s tasting menu and wine. Another night is highlighted by a Caipirinha and dinner at the Churrascaria Humidor. There is also a culinary lesson with an executive chef, a chocolate and spirits tasting and a day at the Blue Lagoon Beach.

Nassau Graycliff Chocolatier

Signature chocolate creations from Graycliff Chocolatier. This historic Nassau hotel combines five-star service with a casually elegant atmosphere. Photo: Graycliff

Stay Together, Play Together

Sugar Beach’s Sweet As Sugar package starts off with champagne and a long-stemmed rose at a luxury villa. But this isn’t your usual boudoir-centric getaway. Over the course of four days you and your special someone will bond over an introductory dive in the crystal waters of St. Lucia’s national marine reserve, hike up Gros Piton, and experience the Sulphur Seduction tour, which includes a visit to an active volcano and a soak in therapeutic mineral springs. There’s also relaxation in the mix, including a sunset cruise, breakfast in bed and a romantic candlelit dinner served beachside or in a garden setting. 

St. Lucia Sugar Beach Viceroy

A hillside villa at St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach takes in expansive views of the Caribbean Sea. Native fruit trees grow on the landscaped grounds. Photo: Sugar Beach

Spice It Up

Escape to Grenada, the island of spices, where your private luxury suite opens to spectacular Grand Anse Beach. You don’t actually have to be newlyweds to enjoy the Spice Up Your Honeymoon package at Spice Island Beach Resort, which welcomes you with tropical flowers, fresh fruit, chocolate truffles, and champagne on ice. Dine on your private patio or take in spectacular ocean views and the sounds of a steel band at Oliver’s. Relax with a couple’s massage at Janissa’s Spa and leave with a basket of spice scented body oils. Cap off a memorable day at the beach with a sunset sail along the island’s scenic Caribbean coast. 

Grenada Spice Island Resort

Spice Island Beach Resort is Grenada’s premier all-inclusive property. The resort occupies a prime location on Grand Anse Beach. Photo: Dehoog/Spice Island

Let Love Linger

Why settle for a day of romance when you can stretch a Valentine’s Day treat to a full week of togetherness. An ideal way to keep that special feeling going is with the Sea of Love package at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa on Anguilla, where luxury accommodations are set against a dazzling crescent of white sand on Rendezvous Bay. Couples can begin the day with al fresco offerings at Café Med or enjoy in-room breakfasts. There’s golf and beach time, but food often takes center stage, as the package includes select meals at three additional signature restaurants, plus cooking classes, private beachside dining and a chef’s table experience. Also in the mix are massages and spa packages, and a day’s use of a rental car to explore the island. 

Anguilla Cuisinart

Beachfront rooms and suites at Anguilla’s CuisinArt resort provide sweeping views of Rendezvous Bay. Fine dining is a hallmark of this upscale property. Photo: Joe Rahm/CuisinArt

If you love Piña Coladas…..

The song may be kitsch, but the setting is not. Puerto Rico’s Caribe Hilton actually is the birthplace of the Piña Colada, but there are many more reasons to visit this landmark property. Occupying a prime beachfront location on Condado Lagoon, and just a short distance away from the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, the Caribe Hilton is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The property has kept up with the times, and offers a full range of modern luxuries. Couples who book a three-night Valentine’s package will enjoy special perks and pricing. 

Puerto Rico San Juan Caribe Hilton

The pool at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. For more than 60 years, this resort has been a favorite with vacationers to the island. Photo: Don Riddle/Caribe Hilton

Natural Attraction

Reconnect with nature and each other at the Caribbean’s premier eco- resort. The Tropical Romance package at Dominica’s Rosalie Bay is a five- night immersion in the island’s natural beauty, and a relaxing indulgence for body and mind. Enjoy healthful, savory cuisines based on locally sourced foods, wander a surf-washed black sand beach and enjoy a private five- course dinner served on the banks of a scenic river. The package also includes a couple’s massage, a day trip to Dominica’s famous Champagne Reef, and a relaxing soak in the hot sulphur springs. Rooms are lavished with fresh flowers daily, and gifted with natural island-related aphrodisiacs at evening turndown.

Dominica Rosalie Bay

A view from the porch at Rosalie Bay. Sitting next to a nature preserve, this upscale eco retreat overlooks a black sand beach and the surf-washed Atlantic. Photo: Rosalie Bay

Love on the Rocks

Perched on a rocky seaside bluff at the entrance to Charlotte Amalie’s harbor, Frenchman’s Reef provides a romantic setting where couples can watch the ships come and go from a private balcony, and take in the lights of St. Thomas at night. The resort’s Ultimate Romance Package is ideal for a Valentine’s getaway, and includes requisite perks such as champagne, couple’s spa treatments and special dining credits. An added attraction of stays at Frenchman’s is immediate access to the quiet sands of Morningstar Beach.

St. Thomas Frenchman's Reef

A view from the hillside terrace at Frenchman’s Reef take in the harbor of Charlotte Amalie and the island of St. Thomas. Photo: Corey Weiner/Frenchman’s Reef

Fragrant Memories

A dozen red roses set the tone when you arrive at Belmond La Samanna, where rooms open to fresh sea breezes and the sapphire blue waters of Long Bay. During the month of February, the resort’s Valentine’s Package provides perks such as a Tijon VIP gift bag, couple’s Swedish massage and a unique dinner experience at La Cave, the resort’s on-site atmospheric wine cellar. For a sensory reminder of their time together on St. Martin, couples are treated to a perfumery tour, where they can create their own handcrafted fragrance.

Belmond La Samanna St. Martin

Whites and warm wood accents complement the blues of the Caribbean at Belmond La Samanna. This St. Martin resort is known for good food and fine wines. Photo: La Samanna

Say I Still Do

Anguilla’s Cap Juluca is a stunningly beautiful setting where it would be hard not to fall in love—or fall in love again. To facilitate romances new and old, the resort is offering several Valentine’s themed specials during the month of February. The Romantic Rendezvous pampers couples in a luxury oceanfront room or suite, and adds in extras such as couple’s massages, daily libations and a special private beachside dinner under the stars. During Valentine’s week, couples can reaffirm their commitments with the I Still Do package, which begins with a beach or lawn ceremony, complete with photographer, bouquet and boutonniere. This is followed by champagne and cake, and the day ends with a private three-course dinner with wine on the beach.

Cap Juluca Anguilla

The distinctive Greco-Moorish architecture of Cap Juluca resort complements the white sands and blue waters of Anguilla’s Maunday’s Bay. Photo: Mark Welland/Cap Juluca