Think the Caribbean is saturated with fancy hotels? Think again. The small but perfectly formed island of Grenada is home to a new place, Silversands, which marries a warm welcome with elegant luxury and a majorly Instagrammable pool. Adam Hyman checks in
It’s the hot air that slaps you in the face when you step o the plane that awakens your senses to the fact you’ve arrived in the Caribbean. It’s like walking into a sauna… or descending to the Central Line.
Let’s face it, if you’re London based and you want some sun in the winter months, you’re looking at a long-haul ight. The Canary Islands don’t really deliver, plus they still lack the hospitality so many now crave (the time is ripe for someone to make one of the islands a real destination with a cosy boutique hotel and some decent restaurants). And Dubai – despite the guaranteed winter sun – isn’t really for me. There’s always Asia, but my annual January work trip to New York always means I look to the Caribbean for some winter sun.
For the past few years, Mexico has been the destination of choice, with visits to Hotel Esencia and the Rosewood Mayakoba. But to start the new decade, I fancied a change of scenery and had heard a lot about a new hotel called Silversands that had opened on the tiny island of Grenada.
Despite it only being a four-hour flight from New York and a 10- hour flight from London (and only four hours’ time difference), it’s still tricky to y to Grenada directly. From London, it means a quick pit stop on the island of St. Lucia
– and although there are direct flights from JFK, they’re expensive, so we ended up flying via Barbados to make the airfare a lot more affordable.
The beauty of Caribbean airports is that they’re basically a small shed, so as soon as we’re through passport control at Maurice Bishop International Airport, we’re outside in the warm Caribbean sun, where our Silversands driver greets us in one of their two Teslas.
A few years ago, an S-Class Mercedes, a 7-series BMW or a chunky American SUV would have likely been the car of choice of a 5-star hotel, but the Tesla is a subtle nod to the hotel’s commitment to sustainability (despite having to y someone in from Miami to have it serviced). Silversands is only a short drive from the airport – all of about 15 minutes – but guests need not worry about any noise from planes.
As the Tesla sweeps down into the entrance to Silversands, we’re greeted with a modern exterior of the hotel that has Egyptian art carefully placed around – a reference to the owner’s Egyptian heritage.
Like most new hotels located by the sea, Silversands has its lobby perched above a vast pool (the longest in the Caribbean) with views that stretch out to the sea. Even architects keep in mind what’s good for the ‘gram these days.
Every room at the 43-bedroom hotel overlooks the Grand Anse Beach, but the real jewel in the crown of Silversands is its five four-bedroom beachfront villas. Each villa has a central living space with a dining room, lounge and large kitchen (if you fancy cooking for yourself one night or hiring a private chef) with the four bedrooms located off the main space in their own individual buildings.
Each villa has its own pool bigger than most hotel pools – and the beauty of the villas is that they are located on the beach front, so you can put down your glass of Whispering Angel next to the sun lounger and walk all of a few yards to cool off in the Caribbean sea. You could see families being very happy here or groups for a birthday celebration or even an extremely civilised stag or hen do.
But what really stood out for me with these villas is that you don’t feel like you’re in a hotel. Don’t get me wrong – I love hotels but you feel so beautifully isolated here, despite having 24/7 access to room service. This is so often what you crave from a beach holiday, especially after a busy week in Manhattan. You could go for a whole week without having to see anybody if that’s what you wanted – no need to change out of your Aspesi trunks or care about the state of your hair. A rather underrated holiday bonus.
Even though I’d have happily stayed cocooned in our little compound, we did venture up to the main part of the hotel each morning to hit the gym and then have a leisurely breakfast before heading back to the villa to lie in the sun. The hotel has two restaurants – Asiatique and the Grenadian Grill – giving residents a choice. If you’re there for a week, there’s also a handful of places to visit further down the beach for lunch and dinner – we’re big fans of the Coconut Beach restaurant next door to the hotel, an ideal lunch spot for some fresh sh and a few Carib beers that sets you back about £20 for two.
If you’re up for visiting a Caribbean island that isn’t as well known as the likes of Barbados or Antigua, Grenada now has a world- class offering to put it on the map.
Adam Hyman was a guest of Silversands. silversandsgrenada.com
This article was first published in Issue 22 of the CODE Quarterly magazine. To read the digital version, please click here