Experts’ Choice 2018: Grenada wins Best Caribbean Destination

The inaugural Experts' Choice Award for Best Caribbean Destination goes to Grenada.

April 12, 2018

by Michael Carl Budd

by 8

Working from lists of must-visit destinations for 2018 from leading travel media as well as our proprietary algorithm that serves up the best accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, we have compiled our own best-ofs for this year. Grenada, with “uncrowded beaches, preserved rain forests, and a lively local culture and cuisine,” (Travel + Leisure) takes the inaugural award for Best Caribbean Destination.

Lying at the southern end of the Hurricane Belt, Grenada is relatively sheltered from the storms that ravage its neighbors to the north. It escaped last year’s brutal hurricane season unscathed. Its location makes it a more reliable plan-ahead destination. For now, it’s also safer from the hordes of tourists that make other Caribbean destinations feel overcrowded.



Another major draw: Grenada’s family of gorgeous vacation properties is being joined by several highly anticipated new resorts. Silversands debuts this year, shaking up the Grand Anse Beach scene with its suites, villas, and the longest pool in the Caribbean. The Kimpton Kawana Bay is due to open in 2019.

In its list of best places to travel in 2018, Travel + Leisure highlights the recent renovation of one our favorites, Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel.  Post-refresh Calabash earned entry into Relais & Châteaux, one of only five Caribbean resorts to join the exclusive fellowship of luxury hotels.

And of course, there are our perennial favorites: the incomparable Maca Bana 88, a hillside cottage colony; and Spice Island Beach Resort 91, a sanctuary on Grand Anse Beach with personalized service and incredible amenities. Laluna Hotel, a 16-villa resort tucked away on a hillside in Morne Rouge, is also spectacular — called a “glittery, hedonistic niche” by Frommer’s.


Spice Island Beach Resort

With an eco-tourist, family-friendly vibe, Blue Horizons Garden Resort 80 charms with the simple, relaxed aesthetic of its 32 suites and studios, all with kitchenettes.  And then there’s Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club 80, which Condé Nast Traveler calls “so infused with the full spectrum of sea and sky that it seems to have sprung fully formed from its surroundings.”

Grenada’s resorts offer a variety of dining experiences.  Many holiday-makers stick to these convenient and, by all accounts, excellent dining options.  Atop our Experts’ Choice list is The Aquarium Restaurant 91, connected to Maca Bana and known for its seafood and West Indian barbecue served right on Magazine Beach.


The Aquarium Restaurant

A Lonely Planet favorite, Coconut Beach 85 is an independent, family-run place serving up French and Creole seafood in an old beach house. If you’re after an Italian flare when it comes to the fruits of the sea, Laluna 72‘s restaurant is rightly proud of its imported Italian ingredients and its imported Sicilian chef.  If you’re thirstier than hungry, there’s also the celebrated River Antoine Rum Distillery, which claims to be the oldest, continuously operational distillery in the Caribbean.

While Grenada’s cuisine delights the taste buds, its beaches are a feast for the eyes.  Writer Audre Lorde, visiting in the 1980s, described seeing schoolchildren on Grand Anse Beach 84 “trying to decide between the lure of coco palm adventure to one side and the delicious morning sea on the other.”  In the decades that’ve passed, a lot has changed — developments, an increase in tourism — but the white-sand beach is still a favorite.


Grand Anse Beach

Off the beach, there’s much more to commend Grenada. The picturesque capital, St. George’s, earns comparisons with oil paintings. TripExpert’s top-rated attractions can all be found here. Fort George 87, a centuries-old French-built structure is an iconic element in the city’s skyline.  There’s bustling Market Square 81, busiest on Friday and Saturday mornings with exquisite fruits and spices on offer alongside souvenirs and crafts.


Fort George

And finally, active adventurers will love the over 30 diving sites off the coast including the famed Underwater Sculptures 72, a submarine gallery created by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor.

Or, if you’d like to be on the water instead of under it, you can go tubing right through the rainforest on the Balthazar River.  Hike to gorgeous waterfalls — Concord Falls 78 and Annandale Falls 75 are the experts’ favorites.


River tubing through the rainforest

Whatever brings you to Grenada, you’re sure to discover an island unlike any other.  Experts’ agree that Grenada is a unique experience, not yet overdeveloped and have been spared from many of the disastrous storms that’ve struck the Caribbean in recent history, not to mention its distinctive culture, cuisine, and natural beauty.  Start planning your trip to this Experts’ Choice Best Caribbean Destination with our help.

© Tripexpert Inc.