This month we spoke to Senior Marketing Manager, Becky, about our Resort of the Month for March, Sandals Grenada. Read what Becky thought about her recent visit to this innovative resort, including travelling in a pandemic, what you can expect when you stay in a Rondoval suite, the people and culture of Grenada outside of a resort and much more.
Travelling during a pandemic
I, like many of you, was a bit apprehensive about travelling again for the first time since 2019. My excitement for sun, sea and escapism far outweighed my worries but they did still linger in the back of my mind. What if my Pre-travel PCR test showed a positive result? What if I tested positive once I arrived in resort? I tried to rationalise my thoughts and get my paper work in order. To travel to Grenada I needed to by fully vaccinated, and I needed proof of this. I had two options, either download the NHS app and generate my ‘COVID pass’ or ring 119 and ask them to send me a letter for proof of vaccination. I did the former and its important to note the COVID-pass is only valid for 30 days so make sure you download it within your window of travelling to and from your destination. I then needed to arrange a fit-to-fly PCR test. I’m comfortable with taking PCR and lateral flow tests but this one made me really anxious, so much riding on a negative result. I used ExpressTest and had a really positive experience. I booked in advance online, ensuring it was within the 72 hour window (3 days) before travel. It was very quick and easy, as I received my negative test results within 48 hours and I was overjoyed and relieved. Then I had to complete the online Travel Health Declaration Form that is required by the Ministry of Health Grenada. Once done I printed everything to make it easier when checking in for my flight.
I flew from London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic and the check-in process was swift. All documents were checked and then we simply dropped our bags and were on our way.
A warm welcome
As soon as I reached the plane door it hit me, that warm Caribbean air. That bright sunshine I haven’t felt on my skin for almost 2 years (UK sun is just not the same). It smelt of holiday and it felt glorious. Down the steps to the tarmac, a short walk into the terminal and we were asked upon entry where we were staying. As soon as I mentioned Sandals Resorts, my partner and I were whisked into another, much shorter, queue and were fast tracked through security. The reason we received this excellent service was because Sandals were administering their own antigen test on arrival in resort (as part of the all-inclusive package). And this meant we didn’t have to queue and wait to take a test at the airport much to my relief. Straight out of terminal and we were greeted by a Sandals representative who labelled our bags and loaded us on to a minibus. We were in resort within minutes (in case you’re not already aware Sandals Grenada is less than a 5-minute drive from the airport), glass of bubbly in hand and a cool towel to freshen up, I could get used to this. First impressions have always been really important to me, and Grenada did not disappoint, the grounds are absolutely stunning; well-manicured gardens, relaxing water features, inviting pools and the most picturesque beach, it really was the most welcomed view. The staff on arrival were helpful and friendly, once we had identified what luggage was ours, they took us to an air-conditioned conference room where we had the quickest and most efficient antigen test. We simply signed our names and off we went to check in to our room and let our holiday commence.
A suite fit for a queen
We were fortunate enough to be staying in an incredible Rondoval suite, equipped with a full bar, a private pool and the services of the resort’s attentive butlers. The room was far bigger than I had imagined from the pictures online. The bed could have slept four people, everything was sanitised, spotless and well designed. There were complimentary Red Lane Spa amenities in the bathroom for us to use, his and hers basins and the biggest bathtub I’ve ever seen! The butlers talked us through all we needed to know, handed us a mobile phone, and left us to settle in. Our Rondoval was located just behind the main South Seas pool which was perfect for us. In the daytime our butler would arrange loungers for us by the pool, with a cool box filled with our favourite beverages. They would ask us if we wanted lunch by the pool and if so, they would facilitate this. We enjoyed a change of scenery so chose to eat at one of the many restaurants available. In the afternoons we would go back to our Rondoval, it’s the kind of room you want to spend time in. Our butlers always left a snack in our room for our return, and a bottle of sparkling wine on ice. We made the most of our private pool and jacuzzi, because really when else are you going to experience luxury like that.
The food really was one of my highlights in Grenada. Every meal we had was delicious, well presented and the flavours were exceptional. The beauty of staying at a Sandals resort is that you can eat as much as you want, whenever you want, at any of the restaurants. Don’t be afraid to ask for two starters if you can’t decide on one. It sounds indulgent but that’s what holidaying at Sandals is all about. The sushi served at Soy was some of the best sushi I have ever tasted, and I’ve eaten at a lot of expensive restaurants in London, but truly nothing compared to Soy. The crispy shrimp rolls were my absolute favourite, and the raw cuts of fresh fish were mouth-watering. We dined in Soy 3 times on our 11-night stay and every time I tried a new sushi dish, and I was never disappointed. If you’re a lover of Italian cuisine, Cucina Romana does an incredible ox tail gnocchi and the freshest carbonara. Butch’s Steakhouse is the ideal setting for a romantic evening, it serves fresh cuts of prime beef, I went for the filet steak and it was cooked to perfection. The sides are what makes this experience so great, lobster mac and cheese, truffle fries, creamed spinach, need I go on!! But it wasn’t just the indulgent dinners that made it clear Sandals is a step above any other all-inclusive, it was the service. Warm and friendly waiters welcomed you and they made you feel completely at ease and well looked after. You could sit and relax in a restaurant all evening if you wanted, or you could pop in for a quick bite to eat and head to the bar. Whatever you want your experience to be, the staff are there to make that happen for you.
I fully recommend no matter which Sandals Resort you stay at, it’s always worth venturing out of resort and exploring the island. Sandals provides excursions through its Island Routes Adventure Tours, so if there is something in particular you want to see or experience, they’re the best people to speak to. Each resort has an Island Routes desk, and the staff are on hand to give advice and plan trips for you to make the most out of your holiday and destination. We wanted to head into the capital town of St. George's whilst in Grenada, but we didn’t want an escorted tour. Island Routes organised a taxi for us into town and it was simply charged to our room. The driver was professional and friendly and arranged a place to meet to bring us back to resort when we were finished exploring. He even offered up some recommendations of things to see and do when we were in town. The people of Grenada are friendly and helpful, we felt safe and enjoyed exploring and seeing what the locals get up to. We had a delicious seafood lunch at one of the restaurants right on the waterfront called Sails – worth a visit if you have the time, even just to have a glass of wine and try some fresh fish caught daily.
To get the most out of our all-inclusive experience we made sure we embarked on the complimentary excursions that were available right from resort. Firstly, we went on one of their twice-a-day snorkelling trips, organised by the water sports team. They provide the snorkels, mask and fins and take you out by boat to a nearby snorkelling hot spot. The water sports team snorkel with you to point out the marine life and ensure you’re kept safe. It was a great experience and we saw an array of brightly coloured fish and even got a glimpse of a turtle in the distance. The other excursion we took advantage of was the daily boat tour which cruised down the coastline to St. George's. It was an informative 45-minute ride with some breath-taking scenery and it felt great to feel the sea-air in your face.
If you’re after something a bit more energetic there are paddle boards, hobie cats, kayaks and a whole host of other water sports available and all included in your stay. Prefer to stay on dry land, they hold daily beach volleyball and morning yoga overlooking the sea – what a way to start your day.