TAKE a sneak peak at the island Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger jetted off to.
When F1 driver Lewis Hamilton whisked his then-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger on a romantic £50,000 trip to Grenada in 2008, she fell in love with what she calls “the Grenadian Spirit”.
With its welcoming locals and postcard-perfect scenery of lush green mountains, white sandy beaches and azure ocean, it’s easy to see why the “Isle of Spice” made such an impression on the Pussycat Doll.
And maybe her love affair with this paradise isle will last longer than her relationship with Lewis…
Compared to many of its Caribbean neighbours, Grenada has remained undeveloped and unspoiled.
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Although tourism is the island’s most lucrative industry, you won’t find sprawling hotel resorts or towering condos here.
We stayed at The Grenadian by Rex Resorts, a beachfront property a stone’s throw from Port Salines International Airport, on the southwestern tip of the island.
Set in gorgeous landscaped gardens, The Grenadian has a simple and elegant style, which belies its three-star status.
Whether you’re after a beach holiday or fancy indulging your adventurous side, Grenada has something for everyone.
Grand Anse Beach, a two-mile stretch of white sand on the west of the island, regularly tops “best beach” polls, but it can get crowded when the cruise ships dock in St George’s.
Further south you’ll find the much quieter Magazine Beach, which is not only home to The Grenadian Hotel, but also Devotion 2 Ocean – a family-run company which offers water activities such as waterskiing, scuba diving and boat trips.
Under the sea, you’ll discover even more natural beauty.
There are protected marine parks just teeming with life.
With Devotion 2 Ocean (devotion2ocean.com), you can take a one-day taster course for around £70, or become a certified PADI Open Water Diver.
The course takes place over a minimum of three days and costs about £300.
Make time to explore Grenada’s natural beauty spots further inland too.
Head to Grand Etang Forest Reserve in the centre of the island where you can hike through rainforest and hand-feed Mona monkeys, before cooling off with a relaxing dip under the cascading waters of the breathtaking Concord Waterfalls.
A third of the world’s spices come from Grenada and nutmeg is the country’s unofficial mascot.
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan wiped out much of the agricultural industry.
But the island slowly got back on its feet and the production and export of spices, fruit and vegetables is once again flourishing.
Spend a day touring agricultural estates like the historic Dougaldston Estate in Gouyave – a cocoa and banana plantation where you can see the traditional processing methods. You can also see how another export is made the old-fashioned way at River Antoine Rum Distillery – the oldest rum factory in Grenada.
The best shopping is based around Grand Anse Beach. Trawl the Vendors Market (open 9am-5pm every day) for handmade jewellery, batik hand-printed clothing and other local crafts.
Locally made products like nutmeg syrup and cinnamon soap are an interesting way to sample the island’s famous spices.
If bustling markets aren’t your thing, head to the Belmont Estate (belmontestate.net), a 17th century plantation in the parish of St Patrick.
Stop by their canopied restaurant where all the produce, including meat, goat’s cheese and avocados are farmed on the grounds. There is also an outlet for Grenada Chocolate Factory – the Spice Isle’s answer to Green & Black’s.
Meals in the hotel’s two buffet-style dining rooms, The Cinnamon Restaurant and the poolside Spicers Restaurant, are a relaxed affair offering Grenadian and West Indian cuisine. Opt for the deliciously prepared fish dishes as the steel drum band serenades you.
The hotel’s à la carte option is The Oriental – a Far East-inspired affair.
The Grenadian’s poolside bar is perfectly positioned for some of the best views in the Caribbean.
Sip on a piña colada and enjoy the sunshine.
Outside of the resort, do as the locals.
Woburn, a harbour town on the south of the island, is home to Nimrod’s rum shack.
Go easy on the local white rum – some of it has such a high alcohol content, it’s not allowed to leave the country! Order a cup of fruity rum punch or local Carib Beer instead.
We travelled with Golden Caribbean, staying at three-star Grenadian by Rex Resorts (golden-holidays.co.uk; 0845 085 8080).
Seven nights flying economy with Monarch Airlines and two adults sharing a sea view room at Grenadian by Rex Resorts, room-only, costs from £609 per person or from £860 per person, all-inclusive.
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A bikini for every day of the holiday!
Take a T-shirt as a cover-up, a day dress to throw over your bikini for the bar and a floaty maxi dress for sunset cocktails.
And don’t forget a waterproof camera, for those up-close moments with turtles.