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Travel Log | Calabash Grenada: Stylish on the South Coast of the Spice Island | caribbeantravel.com

Calabash Grenada: Stylish on the South Coast of the Spice Island

Melanie Reffes

2020-06-01T14:36:22-04:00 en-US Jun 01, 2020

Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel is the gold standard on The Spice Island

Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Owned and managed by the Garbutt family since 1987, Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, a Relais & Châteaux property, is the gold standard on The Spice Island. On a small cove in Prickly Bay, Calabash Grenada, as it’s known, sits on a small beach called Lance Aux Epines, about a 10-minute drive from the more popular Grand Anse Beach. Spread out over 8 acres, the resort on the south coast enjoys a 60% repeat visitor rate with staff knowing guests by name rather than by room number. “Family is one of life’s greatest treasures; a philosophy the whole Calabash family passionately believes in, “said Adele Garbutt, director, “the team is one large extended family and when you arrive, you'll immediately feel part of it.” Resort owner Leo Garbutt was named Caribbean Hotelier of the Year by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) during Caribbean Travel Marketplace held this past January in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Named after the calabash gourd that grows on the island, the hotel invites with an infinity-edge swimming pool, spa, floodlit tennis courts, dive centre, watersports, 2 restaurants and a trio of bars to write home about.  With 30 suites and 5 Estate Homes, or villas, the hotel is a ten-minute drive from the Maurice Bishop International Airport and 20 minutes from the picturesque capital city of St. George’s with its must-see Spice Market.

Reopening on October 3, the resort welcomes couples and families. “Calabash is a very tranquil environment with lots of space for physical distancing, “adds Adele Garbutt, “with 8 acres of land and only 30 suites, Calabash naturally lends itself to social distancing, however, we will continually to do all we can to ensure the latest guidelines are followed.” www.calabashhotel.com/

Infinity-edge swimming pool Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Sweet suites

Stylish in a horseshoe shape around 8 acres of fragrant gardens, 30 suites are spacious in various categories from Junior Suites with high ceilings and balconies saluting the gardens and the sea to Superior Suites with picturesque balconies where breakfast is served, Deluxe Suites with French Doors separating the lounge areas from the bedroom and Pool Suites come with a private pool and freestanding bathtub on the deck. Worth the splurge, Penthouse Suite is the signature suite impeccably designed as the ultimate escape for couples on a mission to relax. All suites are stocked with Elemis skincare products and outfitted with ceiling fans, air conditioning and gratis Wi-Fi. The recipient of AAA’s ‘Best of Housekeeping’ award for 2020, the resort is working with several agencies and with Relais & Châteaux to ensure the latest guidelines are followed. “Suites will have 2 days between guests checking out and the next guests checking in to facilitate deep cleaning and disinfecting,” adds Adele Garbutt, “we’ll offer complimentary sanitizer in our suites for guests to use. “A variety of packages offer complimentary suite upgrades, candlelit dinner on the beach, chocolate truffles, bottle of Prosecco, massages, and gifts for kids. For the more adventurous, packages also encourage island hopping between Grenada and Barbados and Grenada and Saint Lucia. https://calabashhotel.com/offers

Penthouse Suite is impeccably designed Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Lavish living in the Pool Suite Living Room Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Viva villas  

West of the hotel, 5 multi-bedroom Estate Villas sit pretty on a private peninsula. The Amber Belair invites with direct beach access, infinity pool and a chic contemporary design. Also impressive with 5 bedrooms, Caribali Villa is palatial with Balinese-inspired cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, top notch kitchen, TV room, and sunny pool deck with infinity edge pool gussied up with natural river stones. Rounding out the 5-bedroom villa selection, Hummingbird Villa comes with a big kitchen, breakfast room, covered patio and gazebo ideal for outside dining.

Caribali Villa with 5-bedrooms Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel 

With 3 bedrooms and en suite bathrooms, Swallow Villa is sophisticated and spacious with a computer equipped office, big kitchen, living and dining areas, master bath with a whirlpool for two, mirrored walls and a dressing room. French doors lead to the covered patio, pool deck, pool gazebo and uber-private blue tiled pool in its own pavilion. With the pool the big ticket, the aptly named 2-bedroom Pool House Villa with a king-size infinity edge pool and spacious deck welcomes with a large galley kitchen and breakfast bar. The upper level bedroom is comfy with a four poster bed while the ground floor bedroom has twin beds ideal for kids. For those who covet sand-between-their-toes, the beach is a seashell away from the villas.

Calabash Beach is perfectly private Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Bring your appetite

Starting with breakfast, the hotel’s impeccable culinary offerings begin with the aptly named ‘unique breakfast’ that is, indeed, unique served right on the beach or on your suite’s private balcony or terrace. Tempting with a delectable menu from fruit yogurt to crêpes with cinnamon and nutmeg; the artful al fresco breakfast is a treat to kick start the rest of the day. For lunch, the island’s plentiful bounty is the star attraction at The Beach Club. Serving tapas from noon – 5 pm, choices are many with standouts like the ginger chilli chicken. Lunch from noon to 3 pm tempts with a variety of options like spicy fish cakes, seared tuna burgers and for those ditching the diet, lobster mac and cheese is a must-try. At tea time, sandwiches and cakes are served and for a light bite before dinner, canapés are delivered to every room at 6pm.

Grenada's plentiful bounty is the star attraction at The Beach Club Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Lunch is a treat at the Beach Club Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

 

Dinner is a grand affair at one of the finest restaurants on the island. Open-air and vine-covered, Rhodes Restaurant is an elegant dining room dimly lit at night by the flicker of torches.  Dinner is served from 7:00pm and the Piano Lounge open for a pre-dinner cocktail or an après-dinner nightcap. A flavor fusion of international dishes and Caribbean recipes, standouts aim to please like a shrimp and callaloo tartlet and snapper drizzled in saffron sauce. For those with a yen to try Asian, seared barracuda with a miso broth and rice noodles is the real deal. Divinely decadent, banana pudding with salted caramel ice cream is perfectly shareable. “Our 2 open air restaurants will operate at lower capacity to ensure tables are spaced at a safe distance, “notes Adele Garbutt, “we will supply guests and staff with face masks and gloves, for everyone's protection and comfort .”

Rhodes Restaurant is among the finest on the island Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Calm vibes

Pampering par excellence is the order of the day at The Spa at Calabash with a body and mind approach to wellness. Open daily from 9:00am, a myriad of holistic options await from hot stone massages and body polishes to facials, manis and pedis. Ideal for those arriving with jet lag, ‘Total Harmony’ marries warm oils and gentle stretching with Asian techniques and an herbal foot bath for head to toe relaxation. For skin as soft as a baby’s bottom, ‘Rose Mud Wrap’ rejuvenates and refreshes.  Prior to arrival, appointments can be booked and questions answered. spa@calabashgrenada.com, www.fresha.com/the-spa-at-calabash-s25brkou/booking?menu=true

The Spa is a divine haven for rejuvenation Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel  

The Spa offers a myriad of rubs, scrubs and massages Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Out and about

The onsite dive centre called Scuba Tech takes underwater explorers to see the some of the finest wrecks in the Caribbean. For snorkelers, Underwater Sculpture Park is a spectacular sight to behold.  Sunset champagne cruises along the calm west coast are couple-pleasers  while for sailors and sailor wannabees, the resort has 2 Hobie Cats and hosts the Calabash Regatta several times each year.  Water babies can also enjoy stand up paddle boards, pedalos and kayaking and for land lubbers, floodlit tennis courts are onsite with private lessons available on request. For those aiming to keep up their exercise regime, the fitness center is open 24 hours. ”We have activities for kids and offer complimentary non-motorized watersports, 2 tennis courts, complimentary yoga sessions and a putting green, so guests can do as little or as much as they want,” said Adele Garbutt.

 

Underwater Sculpture Park is snorkeling nirvana Photo Credit GTA

Say I Do

Weddings and honeymoon stays are easy breezy with packages that curate every detail from soup to nuts and everything in between including a wedding coordinator, transfers to the city to sign documents, license fees, scenic beachside  location and a witness should you forgot to bring one from home. Other perks include Bridal Bouquet and Boutonnière crafted from local blooms, wedding cake and a decorated honeymoon room. Go the distance with extras like a 3-course dinner, steel pan musicians, live bands, and a sunset catamaran sail after the ceremony. Upping the romance ante, additional perks include couples ‘spa treatments, photographer, hair and makeup for the bride and twosome time on a beachfront hammock. Ceremony packages include room upgrades, subject to availability upon arrival.  

 

Hammocks on the beach are popular with honeymooners Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Good neighbors

Guests can make a big impact by participating in the’ Pack for a Purpose ‘program. A non-profit organization that aids communities around the world, travelers can participate by saving just a small amount of space in their luggage and filling it with supplies for local children and families. The hotel supports various groups including The Bel Air Children’s Home for boys and girls, Dorothy Hopkin Centre for the Disabled, Queen Elizabeth Home for Children and the Programme for Adolescent Mothers. “All our guests need to do is travel with items they wish to donate, “said Adele Garbutt, “our concierge will share the donated items with the different children’s homes on the island which is a great way to support the people of Grenada.” www.packforapurpose.org/

The resort gives back to the community via the Pack For a Purpose program Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

Grenada is fondly dubbed The Spice Island Photo Credit Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel

About the Author

Melanie Reffes, Travel Journalist
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