A long weekend in Grenada | Fun at Mount Cinnamon resort and beach club
After a very busy run up to the end of school term (yes, schools break up much earlier here that in the UK) we packed our bags and headed to the Caribbean island of Grenada for a long and very relaxing weekend that turned out to be one of the best family holidays we've ever had and was a truly magical experience for all five of us.
Flying to Grenada from Barbados is easy - just a short trip of less than an hour with the Caribbean airline, Liat (not famed for it's reliability - more on that later). And as we had an evening flight, Bridgetown Airport was blissfully empty, making the whole experience of travelling with children, almost stress free. Luckily all of our electronic devices were fully charged and did the job of keeping our three entertained for the short flight across the Caribbean Sea which (just) made up for their disappointment at the lack of on-board entertainment (what can I say? It seems their early memories of flying Easy Jet have been wiped. Either that or we've been in the Caribbean too long).
Mount Cinnamon resort and beach club, where we were to stay, was only a short taxi ride from Grenada airport, and even though we were arriving late - at around 9.30pm - the staff immediately made us feel welcome. Check in was swift and easy and as we marvelled at our surroundings - the open air restaurant lit up with candles and fairy lights and the view of the mountains, the capital city of St George's and the glistening Caribbean sea below, our bags were loaded onto one of the resort's golf carts and taken up the hill to our apartment.
Larger than we expected, our rooms were sparkling clean with a fresh mediterranean feel. We had a bright modern kitchen that opened out into the living area, where a comfortable double leather sofa bed had been made up for Lila and Oscar, along with a just-the-right size camp bed for Iris. Our spacious bedroom had a huge bed and a dressing area with two huge louvre door wardrobes with more than enough space for the contents of all of our cases. This area lead to a bathroom with rainfall shower similar to the second bathroom opposite the kitchen. And we had glass doors opening our onto a large balcony. All in all, we were very happy to have arrived and even happier to get the very excited and over tired children into bed.
After a very relaxing night's sleep we emerged from our apartment, which overlooked the hotel pool and the sea and mountains beyond, and made our way down the hill to breakfast. This was one of my favourite parts of the day. Being greeted by the exceptional staff, who were consistently friendly, consistently patient and genuinely friendly and warm, to a delicious breakfast served to us in two courses at a table with a view over the resort's lush grounds towards the sea. Not having to think about cooking or seeing to anyone really felt like the ultimate luxury for me. And over four days, we tried everything from the buttermilk pancakes to the fluffy omelettes and full cooked breakfast. And it did not disappoint - even breakfast-reluctant Iris tucked into maple syrup soaked pancakes and was so taken with the tropical fruit platters that the staff kept re-filling her plate.
Our first couple of days at Mount Cinnamon were spent lounging by the pool and luxuriating in the calm of the beach club cabana. A short walk along a footpath through the hotel gardens where the white-washed walls and terracotta roofs of the Mount Cinnamon villas can be seen nestling in the hills above, the beach is all white sand and shady palms. Located on Grand Anse Beach it's the perfect place to float while taking in the stunning view of the mountains across the bay. After fish tacos and cold Carib beers (and child friendly freshly squeezed pineapple juice), we sampled the numerous forms of beach entertainment which included a game of giant chess, table tennis and shuffleboard (more fun than it looks) before piling onto a huge circular beach bed for an afternoon nap.
Finally we managed to drag ourselves away from the beach and on the way back to our suite one of the hotel staff members kindly brought us a bag of delicious ripe mangoes from a tree on the grounds. I say us, but they were basically Iris's mangoes. She held firm to the bag all the way up the hill. Silky flesh, tart yet sweet, they were delectably juicy, so yes, I did manage to steal one!
After showers and another short snooze, we headed to the hotel restaurant where we had more local fish - delicious seared yellow fin tuna with a mild chickpea curry and tahini dressing for Iris and I and mahi mahi for Alex (the other two had sausages and chips) - so good we repeated it again the next night. The prosecco wasn't great (too sweet) but with a view over the sea and the twinkling lights of the city, it was hard to complain - so we made plans for our big trip up into the rainforest instead. And dreamed of all the adventures we'd have.