Small is Beautiful
St. Vincent, Grenada
The small island of St. Vincent is the largest island in the
Grenadines group, lying to the north of Grenada and its outlying islands. Like
most small Caribbean nations, it’s a pretty relaxed and easygoing place, though
fiercely proud of its independence. There is a pleasant, homely atmosphere on
the island which guarantees a warm welcome to any guests. You needn’t worry,
however, about receiving a warm welcome from Soufriére, the island’s resident
volcano. Although it still looms over the island, this volcano – not to
confused with the Soufriére on nearby Guadeloupe – is thoroughly dormant, and
hasn’t erupted since 1902. You’re very unlikely to be singed by hot lava during
the course of your vacation. The locals act as if
the once-mighty mountain is no longer really there.
This downhome way of doing things is particularly well reflected
in one of St. Vincent’s best-loved resorts: the Grand View Beach Hotel. This
isn’t a branch of some huge multinational chain: the Grand View is family-owned
and run, and, according to the management, is likely to stay that way. It’s
perfectly positioned on the southern tip of the island, where a fantastic and
virtually constant sea breeze keeps temperatures perfect. What else is perfect
is the way the resort is run: the place isn’t just clean – the staff works
constantly to keep it in an awesome state that can only be defined as being
beyond spotless. Not only that, but they find the time to be some of the nicest
people you’ll meet in the whole Caribbean.
The accommodation on offer isn’t quite on the level you would
expect from a super-luxurious resort. But what the Grand View Beach Hotel does,
it does well. Each room is airy and spacious – this is one resort where you
won’t find yourself crammed in a corner next to the garbage, no matter how
little you’re paying. All the standard hotel room amenities are on offer,
coupled with the truly excellent, personalized service that is the hotel’s
trademark. Deluxe and Luxury rooms both feature private balconies or terraces
which enjoy views of the famous ‘grand view’ for which the resort is named. If
you want to splash out a little, or you have something special to celebrate,
you might consider booking the Grand View Beach Hotel’s Honeymoon Suite – a
truly luxurious set of rooms that would be the perfect setting for any newlywed
couple’s perfect vacation. Be warned, however, that the Grand View Beach Hotel
has a very loyal following of guests who come back year after year – if you are
thinking of visiting at a peak period you would be well advised to book quite a
long way in advance!
Of course, you won’t want to spend your whole vacation in your
room. For those with an adventurous streak, the Grand View Beach Hotel offers a
range of activities that you might not expect from an establishment of its
size. There are tennis courts and a fully-equipped gym for those who wish to
use their vacation to stay in shape. Scuba and snorkeling facilities are also
available. This area of the Caribbean is one of the most popular with divers of
all types, and the hotel offers a range of training and excursions in
collaboration with local dive firms. In addition, the southern tip of St.
Vincent is probably the best spot on the island for dive-based activities. So
you shouldn’t have to travel far in search of some great underwater fun!
Dining and relaxation are top priorities at the Grand View Beach
Hotel. You can enjoy afternoon tea everyday – a legacy of British rule, which
only ended in 1979 – or relax with a slightly stronger beverage than Earl Grey
or Assam at the Sundowner bar or the swim-up bar in the hotel’s pool.
Possibly the only option that’s a little limited is dining. The
Grand View Beach Hotel’s own restaurant – the Grand View Grill – is truly
excellent. Serving a variety of seafoods, pizza, pasta dishes, salads and other
delicacies, it’s a popular dining spot for residents and vacationers from all
over the island. It’s also the location of breakfast and lunch for Grand View
Beach Hotel guests. However, it’s the only restaurant in the resort. This
needn’t be a problem: you could eat well at the Grand View Grill every night of
your stay. However, if you’re looking for just a little more variety in your
dining experience, you may have to stray just a little further afield. There
are several great places to eat in Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent, which
is just a short taxi ride from the Grand View Beach Hotel.
It may be a little too cozy and quiet for some, but for the
majority of vacationers the Grand View Beach Hotel
really does underline the maxim: small is beautiful.