Our very own tripcentral.ca travel agent, Jairus Maus, travelled to Grenada last month, staying at the Rex Grenadian Hotel. Here’s what he had to say:
GRENADA: The Spice Island
This island is truly an overlooked gem. It reminded me a lot of St. Lucia with its lush mountainous interior. This is the spice island known for production of 40% of the worlds nutmeg, and lots of other spices and tropical fruits.
There are several remarkable beaches, with Grand Anse Beach being the longest (2 miles) of soft golden sand. This stretch of beach has numerous small hotels, restaurants and bars, and architectural controls require that no building can be built higher than three stories, or the nearest, tallest palm tree.
St. Georges, the capital of Grenada and principal port, is one of the most spectacular harbour fronts I’ve seen in the Caribbean. The magnificent natural harbour is full of exotic yachts and the shoreline is edged with nice shops and historic buildings.
The island was devastated by a hurricane in 2005 and so much of what you see is very recently built or restored. The port is a cruise stop, too, so there is a great variety of duty-free and craft shops. The entire island has a very safe and friendly feel.
Flight time from Toronto is approximately 5.5 hours, and all of the hotels that we visited (and most on the island) are within 10 to 30 minutes of the airport. The island is in the Eastern Standard Time zone, but does not account for daylight savings time, so there is a one hour difference from November to April.
Voltage in Grenada is 220, so you will need a converter. There is no local departure tax to pay when leave, so no need to worry about that. If you’re interested in renting a vehicle while in Grenada, they drive on the left. Their local currency is the Eastern Caribbean (EC) Dollar, and US dollars are also accepted most everywhere. You can convert one US or CDN dollar into approximately 2.5 EC.
Grenadian By Rex Resort: all-inclusive & expenses paid
The Rex serves as both an all-inclusive and expenses paid. The all-inclusive option provides breakfast and dinner at the buffet Cinnamon Restaurant, and lunch at the pool buffet.
The one Asian a la carte is not part of the all-inclusive experience, but all-inclusive guests do receive a 40 EC credit toward the restaurant (entrée prices range from 40 to 120 EC). Drinks at the beach bar, pool bar and lobby bar are included, but premium brands of alcohol are NOT part of the all-inclusive price.
The three-story walk-up buildings contain three types of rooms. Hillside standard rooms have a garden view facing the back of property. Sea-view rooms are higher up the hill, facing the Caribbean, which offer amazing views toward St. George’s harbour. Ocean-front rooms are just steps to the shore of the beach.
All rooms are equipped with a coffee maker, hair dryer, bar fridge and TV. Most rooms include a bath tub, but there are a few with stand-up shower only. Most rooms also have king-sized beds.
Overall, the Rex Granadian Hotel offers great value, friendly staff and beautiful beaches. It is a solid all-Inclusive vacation destination.
My personal overall ranking (out of 5):
Beach 4, Rooms 4, Facilities 3, Staff 5
Although the property is fairly flat, the garden-view and sea-view rooms are located atop a steep hill with lots of steps, so this may not be ideal for people with mobility issues. Beach-front rooms would be a better option.
Also remember that because of its southern location, Grenada makes a perfect January destination, as it avoids the chills that sometimes hit Cuba and the Mayan coast at that time of year.
If you’d like to learn more about Grenada, or would like to book your own vacation, please call me, Jairus Maus, at 1-800-665-4981 ext. 7365.