When Christopher Columbus came upon the island, his men called it Grenada, as it reminded them of the Andalusian coast of Spain.
The British retained the name Grenada when they took it from the French in 1763, although they changed the pronunciation to Gre-NAY-da. It remains the name of this postage stamp-size nation, an idyll of a Caribbean vacation.
Grenada is a country of miles of beaches in protected coves, a cloud-covered mountain forest in a nature preserve in the island’s center, lovely hotels and villas, good restaurants and, best of all, tranquility.
Maca Bana Villas
Maca Bana stands on a bluff overlooking one of the Caribbean’s best protected harbors that stretches to the capital, St George’s, a couple of miles away. Maca Bana is beautifully landscaped, its gardens and villas demonstrating the owner’s artistic eye.
The occasional green lizard painted on our wall is an example of the playfulness that defines Maca Bana. The owner also provides art lessons for those interested in learning to see the island as an artist does, tuned into colors and shapes in new ways.
At Maca Bana, palms rustle in the trade winds, there is an herb garden, a tree by each villa that reflects the villa’s name, and decorative pools with turtles and falls. The infinity swimming pool overlooks the white sand beach below.
Sampling Grenadian Cuisine
Maca Bana can arrange for a chef from its restaurant to prepare a meal for guests in their villa. Ours arrived at five in the afternoon bearing trays of ingredients that he would cook in our fully equipped kitchen.
We had heard that callaloo (a green leafy vegetable high in iron, similar to spinach) was a local favorite, so we had asked him to use that. . Three hours later we were more than happy, having had a meal of spanakopita, cannelloni, and pork tenderloin, all using callaloo.
Later under a moonlit sky, we soaked and massaged in the Jacuzzi on the deck outside our sitting area. Strong winds kept the air cool but still pleasant enough, especially under the sky lit by a full moon.
The next day we ate at Mi Hacienda, a boutique hotel constructed in the French Colonial style. It stands high on a hill with a commanding view of the harbor. This is the place to watch the sunset over the turquoise sea. The beach is a fifteen-minute walk downhill, and car service is available from the hotel for those less inclined to hike.
Checking into Spice Island Beach Resort
We checked into Royal Ginger, a suite with its own small swimming pool and free-standing sauna big enough for two. The suite is totally private, with a four-poster bed that looks out through sliding glass doors over the swimming pool and onto the secluded patio with its tropical foliage. There is also a sitting room with a settee and chair, a flat screen TV and a refrigerator stocked with soft and alcoholic beverages.
We took the afternoon to nap, play in the calm surf, walk along the beach, read, and take a sauna. We were tempted to switch to a Spice Island Resort suite on the beach but decided to stay put. It was a tough choice, but we preferred the seclusion behind the garden wall to the view of the picture-perfect beach.
The tropical panorama is available at Oliver’s, the hotel’s restaurant, where guests dine amidst palms and almond trees, the sand and sea just yards away.
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