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Small is Beautiful

St. Vincent, Grenada

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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.

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