They plant their “Luxury All-Inclusive” Flag in Grenada
Word by Nina Jankowicz for OCEAN Style Magazine.
Nestled in the Caribbean peninsula lies the tiny and magical island of Grenada. “The Spice Isle,” as it is nicknamed, has a vibrant tourist economy and leads in the worldwide production and export of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. With the opening of Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort and Spa, the fourteenth resort in the Sandals company’s portfolio, tourism on the island is about to get even spicier beginning in December 2013.
Sandals purchased the former LaSource property for $19 million in 2012 with the stated intent of making it a landmark of regional luxury. “Grenada will be something the world has never seen in Caribbean tourism,” said Sandals CEO Adam Stewart. “It will blow your mind. We think we’re a game changer in the Caribbean.” The company is sparing little expense in pursuing its objective, with an investment in upgrades exceeding US$100 million. The 17-acre, 231 room resort, located on Pink Gin Beach near Grenada’s southern tip, will be divided into three villages–Italian, South Seas, and Pink Gin, each with different micro-cultures and amenities, and available at different price points.
The Italian Village sits on a cliff overlooking the beach, and features 48 suites, some of which include butler pantries, infinity edge balcony pools, and split-level, townhouse-style living. Nearby, two exclusive lazy rivers wind around the property for all-day lounging and soaking.
The South Seas Village overlooks the resort on its mountainside, and features Sandals’ signature Rondoval suites, as well as “millionaire” suites, the highest room category, outfitted with private entrances, 65 inch plasma televisions, plunge pools, and indoor/outdoor showers. Guests of the South Seas Village will be able to take advantage of the resort’s coveted, thatched-roof swim-up bar.
The Pink Gin Village offers 70 luxury oceanfront rooms with custom-built contemporary furniture and gorgeous Turkish tile floors, plus 30 luxurious junior suites. Guests can relax at the nearby multi-purpose “Living Room,” an open-air gathering spot outfitted with a bar, piano, as well as billiard and Ping-Pong tables. And of course, the resort’s gorgeous stretch of white sand beach is never more than a few steps away.
No matter which village guests choose for their stay, Sandals LaSource Grenada commits to keeping luxury-lovers well fed and entertained. With nine restaurants planned for the new property, the endeavor to please every palate and “take guests on a gastronomic expedition around the world” right there on the resort. Possible stops on the “gastronomic expedition” include: Soy, a sushi bar; Spices, specializing in Caribbean cuisine; Le’Jardinier, a French eatery; Neptune’s, a Mediterranean beach bar, Kimono’s, a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant; Cafe de Paris, a French-style cafe; Cucina Romana, delighting guests with authentic Italian cuisine; and Dino’s Pizzeria, for a low-key dinner or lunch. The property will also feature Sandals’ first steakhouse, Butch’s Chophouse, named after Sandals founder and Chairman, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart. Butch’s promises to bring the decadence of a New York steakhouse to the all-inclusive Sandals resort. Look out Peter Luger!
In addition to the Italian Village’s lazy rivers, the resort will include three swimming pools, and of course, acres of gorgeous Caribbean coastline. Themed cocktail parties, beach bonfires, and live piano performances will adorn the schedule each night. Many of the packages offered by the resort include a couples massage at the state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor fitness center and spa, while couples can let loose in the evenings at their choice of four luxury lounges. Vacationers can also enjoy Grenada’s natural beauty while strolling around the resort’s waterfalls and reflective pools. And those traveling to Grenada for business will delight in the expansive and technologically sophisticated meeting rooms
The new property doesn’t merely offer vacationers the opportunity to enjoy the idyllic “Spice Island” in the lap of luxury, many hope it will also spur an economic upturn for the island. Grenada’s tourism industry experienced failing returns and shrinking occupancy levels in 2012, due both to dwindling airlift capacity as well as the ongoing effects of the global economic crisis. However, the entry of the Sandals brand to the island has encouraged Grenada’s Hotel and Tourism Association to aggressively pursue more flights, with to the resort’s expanded capacity, the promise of more jobs to Grenadians.
Critics of Sandals’ arrival on the island are not so certain about the resort’s potential impact on Grenada’s economy, due to the all-inclusive nature of the resort. They worry that resort patrons will hardly venture off the property to patronize local craftsmen, spice markets, and restaurants, and due to tax breaks included in Sandals’ deal with the Grenadian Government, that the country will lose out on millions of dollars in tax revenue.
Nonetheless, vacationers from all over the world have already begun to book their next Caribbean holiday at Sandals LaSource. The resort’s amenities and accommodations are outstanding, well-suited we daresay to the natural beauty of Grenada. Hopefully, travelers will also venture off property to ensure they have a fully and well-rounded experience; basking in the comforts and amenities of world-class luxury and rich with the cultural experience that Grenada offers.
Read in OCEAN Style Magazine.