STAY, EAT, DO: SANDALS GRENADA

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Whether we want to admit it or not, we all wish for a bout of indulgence and pampering on Valentine’s Day. To curb the overwhelming commercial pressure attached to it, I always refer to the 14th February as Love Day and extend my appreciation to family and friends. But if you’re a self-confessed hopeless romantic who likes to turn up the heat on V-Day, this blog review, made possible by Sandals Grenada is definitely for you! STAY Sandals Grenada, located on the southern tip of the island, is spread across 17 acres and offers all-inclusive romantic luxury. When it officially opened in 2014, the rooms featuring large soaking tubs, sky pools and cascading waterfalls were the talk of the town! Boasting  257 rooms nestled within three villages (Pink Gin, South Seas and Italian Village) along with the addition of Lagoon Nature Reserve Suites, the resort always feels like you’re entering a different world on our stunning island.  We stayed in South Seas Village and loved the ability to roll out of the king-sized bed and take on step into the private plunge pool with an infinity edge. Not to mention the neat mini hot tub which got our affection at sunset. Here’s a list of my favourite things about our villa category: If I had a nautical themed apartment - It would look exactly like our room in South Seas Village. I loved the calming blue palette and nautical fixtures, but most of all, although immensely romantic, the large separate living room, bathroom and patio gave us plenty of breathing space.  Double-vanity bathroom - Sharing is caring. But let’s face it, a gal needs room for make-up and hair stuff. With the bomb back-lit mirrors in the bathroom, sharing wasn’t on the cards! More than one way to wash -…

Silversands Grenada Photo Diary

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'There is an unmatched level of hospitality that runs through the DNA of Grenadians, and it is amplified in every aspect of the Silversands experience' This month in a mad hatter themed cocktail, Silversands celebrated its first anniversary of ushering in a new way for luxury travellers to experience Grenada. The sleek and modern design offers a refined luxury experience radiating with the warmth and originality of true Grenadian life. It boasts 43 suites, nine hillside and beachfront villas, a stunning spa, chic beachfront club, a Thai restaurant and a 100-meter infinity pool – the longest in the Caribbean. The architecture and interiors by AW2, Reda Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux blend authenticity, nature, luxury, and modernity in a stunning display of clean lines against the undulating sands of Grand Anse beach. You can read my review for House of Coco magazine online and in print. Photography by Terel Moore. Each One-Bedroom Suite has unparalleled floor-to-ceiling views of Grand Anse Beach. I thoroughly enjoyed a cup of tea on this spacious balcony with an oversized day bed. The most impressive aspect of a stay is the Intelligent guest room connectivity with personal device pairing, ceiling to floor electronically controlled mosquito nets and large bathtub that overlooks the ocean views. Silversand Grenada’s sleek, modern design is anchored by a stunning 100 m (330 ft) infinity pool — the longest in the Caribbean. The pool leads to Grand Anse Beach, one of the top beaches in the world, with its two miles soft white sand, clear waters and calm breezes. The Grenadian Grill and GG Lounge has a relaxed ambience by day and refined dinner experience by night. Chef Mark B has added his infamous touch to the menu which features Mediterranean style cuisine and authentic Grenadian dishes. Dwell a little longer to…

My Fav Cafe: Mocha Spoke

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 “Always take a risk once you know you can handle the consequences. It’s important to know the potential pitfalls but don't spend too long thinking about it” - Marc De Caul There are a few things I miss about #LondonLife, like vibrant business hubs and spaces for innovation and creativity with fast broadband. People and social interactions inspire me, so working in a space where there is a constant flow of humankind stimulates idea generation.  I’ve finally reached the fulfilling phase of consulting and coffee shops have become my preferred spot for client consultations. My go-to in Grenada is Mocha Spoke, and I’ve probably had most if not all of my meetings at this location and. I’m so grateful to the team for being so accommodating and not turning the tables on me. This month saw the celebrations of International Men’s Day and National Entrepreneurship Day in the US, so in a show of appreciation, I’d like to shine some light on Marc De Caul owner of Mocha Spoke.  A sit down with Marc… Kiki: So tell me Marc, how has your upbringing shaped you into the man you are today?  Marc: I come from a family of hardworking people, and that’s the only way of life I’ve ever known. My grandfather travelled from St. Vincent to Grenada and built Deco Industries, which offered services in textiles, wholesale, printing and gas stations. He is well into his eighties, and he is still working to grow and diversify the business. My parents, who are also business owners, are approaching retirement, and instead of thinking about hobbies they are working on the next big project. This level of ambition and grit has undoubtedly rubbed off on me.  Kiki: Right so the prospect of you owning your own business was inevitable!   Marc:  Indeed!…

The Story Behind Sunhunters

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“If you can dream it, we want to do it, and we want to be the best at it. We want to be among the reasons for choosing Grenada as your destination of choice" CHERISSE Four years ago (unless it involved a tractor of some sort) you wouldn’t find me deep within the lush interior of Grenada’s mountainous terrain on the road less travelled. There are two reasons, the first being the fact that I couldn’t get to them and the second is that no matter how grown I think I am, my mother would ban me from all off-the-beaten-path adventures if she knew.  That was until Sun Hunters introduced Dune Buggy Adventure Tours and most recently Bareback Jeep Tours to Grenada. Now, these roads are travelled more often because of the conviction of 32-year-old Managing Director Cherisse David-Hamid, a Grenadian, Wife and Mother of two. A total gamechanger and as they put it ‘adventurers to remember’, Sun Hunters allows you to see a side of Grenada that can only be accessed in a neat Polaris RZR utility recreational vehicle or a Jeep Wrangler.  I’ve personally experienced the Dune Buggy Annandale Waterfall and Forest Adventure and the Bareback Jeep River Lime, and I highly recommend them. From the orientation to tour, the immediate thrill, excitement and passion expressed by the office team to the certified tour guides filters down to every guest who returns to base with the same huge smile they left with. The customer service exceeds expectations; the tours are carefully and uniquely curated, and the real value is in being immersed in what makes us the proudest about Grenada, our verdant, unspoilt tropical paradise.   What makes me even more proud is that it is a business run by a Grenadian family and birthed from the desire to…

CEDROS BAY: CLEAN CARIBBEAN BEAUTY

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“Cedros Bay is the Caribbean's first All-Natural, Vegan, Cruelty-Free Skincare Line made with 100% Organic Coconut Oil. It's 100% Caribbean and even has recyclable packaging”   Sugar, honey I know, the Island girl glow is all you want. Well, I got the ice tea (see what I did there)! All puns aside, let’s get straight to the point on how you can get your natural glow in moisture-sucking conditions. Cue the new Cedros Bay range from Coconut Growers Association (CGA) Limited, Trinidadian manufacturers who have utilised coconut trees far beyond their ability to shade for over 80 years.  This year CGA Limited decided the world needed to know how to look like a glowing Caribbean goddess. Which led to the launch of All-Natural, Vegan and Cruelty-Free Skincare Line Cedros Bay.  I like to keep it real in this space so when I was gifted the full range of products; I used it every Sunday for four months so I can confirm that my sensitive skin loved it as much as I loved the Island Bags packaging.  My favourite product by far is the Coconut Body Scrub! The sugar crystals buff away dead skin cells and the Virgin Coconut oil leave my skin looking and feeling smooth and hydrated. After the scrub, I lather with the Coconut Body Lotion, which includes shea butter, papaya seed and avocado oil which makes me feel, smell and look like the things Caribbean dreams are made of. To be honest, I spend more time sniffing the Coconut Coffee Body Scrub, which puts me in a spa state of mind during my self-care Sunday session. I got the most out of my Coconut Lip Balm while I was in the UK as the sweet Almond oil treated any chapped textures that developed and the Lemon oil…

Behind the Lens: Terel Moore Photography

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There aren’t any words to describe how our work unfolds with magic and purpose. Me and Terel put our best foot forward; we seek to show you the best of our culture and heritage and the best of ourselves" - Kiki There’s never been a time in my life when I’ve not had an unbreakable creative bond. In my earlier years, the creatives were my parents, for I was the baby backstage at hair shows, and on the set of fashion shoots mimicking their flamboyant flair with hair on those poor training dolls. When I started to explore styling and art direction independently, I’ve always been fortunate to find everlasting loyalty in photographers who shared a similar vision. From British/Jamaican photographer Jerome Williams, British/Lucian photographer Frederique Rapier to Swedish/Brazilian photographer Erika Lager, we not only created together but formed meaningful friendships that I cherish to this day.  I am beyond grateful to have found that in Grenada with photographer Terel Moore. To say Terel, gets me, is an understatement. There aren’t any words to describe how our work unfolds with magic and purpose. What we capture is not only fuelled by our passion but a common desire to express how fascinated and impressed we are by the beauty of our homeland, Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. When we work, we put our best foot forward; we seek to show you the best of our culture and heritage and the best of ourselves. Our ability to share heartwarming stories, the character of our people and the enchantment of this place we get to call home peacefully and respectfully every single shoot is rare. I’m honoured to finally publish my conversation with the photographer behind the lens, Terel Moore. And feature our very first shoot at La Sagesse Hotel, Restaurant and Beach…

Buju Banton: Long Walk to Freedom Tour – Grenada

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'No matter how many years pass, Buju's timeless contributions will always be relevant in our hearts and minds' Perhaps #FreeBuju, a campaign spanning seven years powered by the people led to the early release of incarcerated Jamaican Reggae/Dancehall Singer Buju Banton. Whatever it was, we have longed for his return. We’ve yearned to be in the presence of a lyrical genius who writes and performs hair and hand-raising music. You see, they don’t make tunes like that anymore, the ones where you can still catch a vibe on the millionth playback. Buju made many, and to this day can fire up a crowd in any Caribbean fete, christening, wedding, dancehall, concert and even funeral! You can guarantee that a Buju track will result in a “Pull up!” from the selector (DJ), and a resounding roar in agreement from the crowd.  The day the Buju Banton - Long Walk to Freedom Tour in Grenada by Sunshine Promotions was announced, it brought me back to 2007 when I visited Grenada for the first time without my parents. Picture this, I was perched on concrete bleachers, in a rural countryside stadium between two Ganja farmers (Rastas smoking marijuana). Everything beyond the stage was pitch black, but the stars shone brightly. That was until Buju sauntered on-stage like a true champion head-to-toe in a white satin suit. Figuratively and literally he was the star of the show, and he did not disappoint on his return this month.  If you came here looking for a critical concert review, you wouldn’t get it, because I was starstruck and transfixed on his every move the moment he skanked on stage. He gave a performance worth every penny put towards the airline tickets of those who flew in. His swag and bold bravado were ever-present in each song,…

Sandals Grenada: Red Lane Spa

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“With active ingredients like guava, raw sugarcane, wild yam, passion flower and seaweed the Red Lane Spa experience and Red Lane Products were designed with island living in mind! There’s even a range called Spice, inspired by the enchantment and warmth of Grenada and infused with the scent of nutmeg, clove and ylang-ylang.” As a certified spa junkie and firm believer in the importance of a consistent skincare regime, I wish someone told me (before I sealed every single one of my products with masking tape) there’s a huge chance they wouldn’t result in the flawless effect I was so used to when used in a humid Caribbean climate. Cue… my Flawless Facial at Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa, where I discovered Red Lane Spa and Red Lane Products. Ninety glorious minutes at the hands of a fantastic therapist originally from Jamaica, my face, head, back and shoulders regained its radiance. My mind transcended to my favourite majestic place in the West Indies and my body fully rejuvenated by a medley of products and methods inspired by the best remedies and traditions found in the tropics. What’s more, Grenadian residents and Caricom passport holders pay 50% of the regular USD treatment price, which in my view is excellent for such a quality service, and highly trained and skilled spa therapist that has worked throughout the region. Since my transition to the tropics, I’ve battled with finding the right facial skincare. I have an abundance of natural blends of coconut oil based body products, but with oily/combination skin, I’ve been faced with hot and sweaty challenges (no pun intended). Before my treatment, I had a sniff and sample fest with the testers and with active ingredients like ginger, guava, raw sugarcane, wild yam, lemongrass, passion flower and seaweed they certainly complimented…

Stay: Castaway Carriacou

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"Without even realising it, we had been infected by something on Carriacou – not Ziko, dengue or any other mosquito-borne illness, but rather a realisation that life could be very different from the materialistic, fast-paced lifestyle we had grown used to in England" The Islands Issue of House of Coco Magazine is about to drop! As the mags dedicated Caribbean Reporter, I’m uber proud of the inspiring editorials dedicated to island life and travellers who desire connections to culture, people and lifestyle. It’s filled with fifty shades of beautiful blue, romanticising you with the Editors pursuit to remind us all why it's vital to ‘switch off from the world and escape’ and ‘take time away to recharge your batteries’. Words I lived by during a weekend getaway at a self-catered apartment aptly named Castaway in Carriacou. Funnily enough, The Islands Issue includes my travel feature, ‘Why Souls and Hearts are Stolen on the Island of Carriacou’, highlighting the story of a British couple who fell in love with this 13 sq mile island, also known as the ‘Land of Reefs’ for its stunning coral colonies. The irony of it all is that’s precisely what happened when fellow Brits Liz and Martin and owners of Castaway Carriacou visited in 2016. Castaway Carriacou is a brand new fully furnished 2-level, one-bedroom apartment nestled on a hilltop in Hermitage, offering 360 views of Tyrell Bay. Liz and Martin are incredibly hospitable and take pride in giving you a hotel concierge-style greeting with luggage assistance, recommendations and total privacy once your keys are handed over. Magical is the word that best describes waking up to that soothing sunrise and drifting off under a fiery sunset over the stunning views of Saline Island and White Island. You can blame Liz and a bit of Pinterest…

Laluna Resort Grenada: For Lovers and Dreamers

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“The absence of luxury is a luxury within itself.” I don’t need any excuse to saunter around Laluna, Grenada’s most romantic resort, but seen as its Valentine’s Day and you’ve virtually twisted my arm. I’ll be there, stuck in time overlooking the majestic Portici Beach succumbing to a soul-stealing sunset. Laluna is the epitome of barefoot beach chic and luxury lax living, and it’s my all-time favourite place and one of the most hypnotic locations in Grenada. Dear I say, it’s the ultimate destination for dreamers, lovers, intimate weddings and honeymooners in the Caribbean. It offers total peace and tranquillity with fertility statues stationed around the resort warning off children on the loose while welcoming couples looking to rekindle love and romance. Here are a few reasons why you should celebrate love at Laluna! Cosy Cottages: A blend of Balinese, Caribbean and Italian influences characterise the rich palette, which does an excellent job at placing you into a deep slumber. Each cottage faces far-reaching views of the ocean, and the wet room is no exception. An extremely addictive outside shower and plunge pool ensure you are constantly immersed in paradise. Imagine washing your worries away while gazing at the ocean. Just one sleep is all it takes to devote hours to lounging in bed and staring into space. What Laluna’s cottages offer is the absolute necessities any humans needing rest requires, and that’s long pillows, a four-poster bed with linen draping, ocean views, warm showers and cushions, lots and lots of comfy cushions. A Taste of Italian in Grenada: It’s certainly a treat that one of the owners is Italian so you can enjoy the authentic taste of Italy at Laluna’s beachfront restaurant. Under thatched-roof, dreamy candlelight, the finest Italian ingredients, and the allure of their illuminated pool at night, you’ll fall…

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