A week in the sun and getting some vitamin D can do wonders for your body and mind. There is a lot of it in the Caribbean. And the lesser-explored island of Grenada, the luxury resort of Silversands promises to give you more than just a healthy glow.
Silversands is located in an idyllic secluded spot on Grenada’s Grand Anse Beach. The resort’s location on the southwestern tip of the island means that it not only benefits from the consistently warm temperatures of the Caribbean Sea (as opposed to the contrastingly cool North Atlantic waters on the eastern side), but it also benefits from the best sunsets on the island.
Come early evening, as the sky turns amber, the beach is lined with silhouettes of newlywed couples and families sipping frozen Daiquiris before slipping away for dinner. Grand Anse Beach, a blissful stretch of sugar white sand, is also home to a number of excellent beach bars with Umbrella’s, Esther’s Bar and Coconut Beach all less than a fifteen minute walk from the hotel. You’ll find a mix of local specialties like saltfish fritters and oil fluff (an aromatic Grenadean stew made with breadfruit, local herbs and coconut milk that’s worth a try), as well as elevated beach-style dishes including local spiny lobster with herb butter or marinated chicken burgers with mango chutney. It’s worth noting that Coconut Beach hosts an excellent barbecue on Sundays, complete with live music and very good rum punch.
A free hotel transfer is always a nice bonus. Bonus points if the car has legroom and air conditioning. Silversands meets its guests with a Tesla. As the car opens the doors like a bird of prey to the hotel’s gleaming reception desk, I can’t help but hear the Bond theme tune humming in the back of my head. This is travel at its most glamorous.
It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design of Silversands. Every inch is an impeccable blend of convenience and style. Blackout curtains, bathroom lighting and even the four-poster muslin curtains that slide around the king-size beds are controlled by sleek knobs built flush against the wall. Cupboards, drawers and the well-stocked minibar are enclosed behind soothing sandwood panels that automatically light up in a warm tungsten glow when opened.
The crown jewel of the property is undoubtedly the spectacular swimming pool. It is the longest in the Caribbean and stretches for an impressive hundred meters, all the way from the marble lobby to the ocean (a few lengths and you are approaching the strength of an Olympian). Framed by an avenue of palm trees, the view of the endless glittering turquoise sea is only interrupted by the occasional luxury catamaran or superyacht.
“It’s always like this,” says Marlena (Silversands Business Development Director) as I look out at the ocean in a hypnotic trance during our hotel tour. I joke about jet lag and the long flight, but honestly I’m impressed. I’ve never seen water like this before. It is perpetually calm and clear and reminds me of the kind of place I imagined as a child when someone said “think of paradise”. Only this doesn’t appear in my imagination.
I’m impressed. I’ve never seen water like this before. It is perpetually calm and clear and reminds me of the kind of place I imagined as a child when someone said “think of paradise”. Only this doesn’t appear in my imagination.
The rooms at Silversands have an understated luxury. They all have the same sleek design with neutral tones, king-size beds and marble-paved bathrooms with rain showers and bathtubs almost big enough for swimming. The ocean view rooms undoubtedly have the best views, but the garden has a certain charm. Ground floor rooms with a private path leading directly to the beach.
The penthouse suites (all with ocean views) extend to luxurious living space and elevated spa-style bathrooms. But if you really want to take a breather, or are traveling as a family or group, Silversands villas are The One. There are nine villas to choose from with three or four bedrooms. Although the word bedroom may be too modest. Each bedroom has its own entrance, private bathroom, outdoor seating area and those without ocean views make up for this with a heated plunge pool. “There isn’t really a bad room,” Marlena confirms.
Naturally, Silversands has thought of everything (and I mean everything) that its guests could need. The kitchen is stocked with fresh fruit, delicious snacks and all the basics, plus any specific requests guests may have upon arrival. There are board games for children, the latest Sonos sound system (which can be easily controlled from your mobile via the Silversands app). Everything can be arranged, from dinners with a private chef to personalized yoga sessions.
Food and drink
There are two main restaurants in Silversands, The Grenadian Grill and Asiatique. The Grenadese Grill is open for lunch and dinner and serves a Mediterranean-inspired menu with a Mexican twist. There’s something for everyone here, from the Grenadian Grill burger to grilled catch of the day. The lobster tostada is particularly good and should be ordered at least once. A very juicy plump lobster tail laced with chili butter and chipotle mayo arrives atop a corn tostada, next to a pleasantly spicy avocado-lime salsa. If your sunbed is too nice to leave, you can order the entire menu directly in the relaxing shade of your parasol.
As the name suggests, the food at Asiatique is inspired by the flavors of Southeast Asia. It is a twist on Thai classics with local ingredients. Think crispy fish with local callaloo leaf and kafir lime, and Thai green curry with chicken, sweet potatoes and breadfruit. For the second year in a row, Asiatique is also home to fourth-generation sushi master Yukio Kimijima.
My husband and I were lucky enough to get a seat (only four available at a time) to experience the fourteen course Omakase menu. Each plate seems to surpass the last, with our cries of ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ reaching their peak over a plate of toro (luxuriously fatty tuna belly) with salmon roe. Granted, the decibels might have something to do with the third round of Mai Tais (whoever makes the cocktails deserves an award). But more than just a good meal, this is a feast for all the senses and a rare opportunity to experience and taste such skills.
You can also have breakfast at Asiatique, with the best seating on the expansive veranda overlooking the gardens and pool. Beyond the obvious temptations (fresh buttery croissants, pain au raisins and banana bread still warm from the oven), Silversands manages to make even the ‘sensible options’ seem inviting. Two days later I develop a healthy addiction to their Cocoa Bali Jar. I’m told it’s made from a virtuous combination of oats, banana and almond butter. Except it tastes like Banoffee pie to me. Even the spinach I dutifully add to my omelette every morning seems to have more spice than it does at home.
You can happily spend all day and night (it is open 24 hours) at the Silversands spa. By combining age-old healing traditions and modern science, this is where the real magic happens. There is a sauna, a hammam, an ice cave – and for the thrill seekers – an ice bucket shower. For those who prefer quiet downtime, there’s plenty of room to flop. Under a rather striking installation of hanging lamps lies a warm relaxation pool surrounded by palm trees and soft sunbeds.
The treatment menu at Silversands is extensive and the spa has partnered with cult beauty brand 111SKIN, the skin care program originally designed for astronauts to halt the accelerated aging process that takes place in space. I have a mental black book of glossy celebrities who swear by the Celestial Black Diamond facial and book one immediately. Despite only going to the gym twice during my stay, I emerge from my facial with cheekbones that I absolutely didn’t have before and a glow that reminds me of the time at home when I accidentally ordered four kilos of salmon and had it every day ate a week.
Hungry for more, I book the spa again, this time for a signature Silversands massage. The 360 approach at Silversands means that every centimeter of the body is cared for. After a salty foot scrub, I climb onto a silky soft, cotton-draped massage bed. I learned that the bed is made of rose quartz sand. Quartz is said to align the spine and can help manage everything from back pain to insomnia. It’s heated and feels wonderful and I sink into a deep state of relaxation while my therapist works wonders on my shoulders.
About an hour later I am aware of a dripping sensation on my forehead. It’s not unpleasant and I stay somewhere between sleeping and staying awake, enjoying the slightly spicy aroma of cinnamon and cloves. The oil flow becomes more intense and ends with a deep head massage. I just experienced my first Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic healing practice designed to detoxify the body and calm the central nervous system. As I float to my lounger, still dizzy with zen, and enjoy my post-treatment cinnamon and ginger tea and chocolate chip cookies (raw and refined sugar free, spirit), I feel wonderful.
Grenada is also called the ‘spice island’ because of the rich cultivation of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Grenada is a wealth of activities for those who enjoy a culinary adventure. In addition to the spice markets (you’ll find one just off Grande Anse Beach and a larger one in St George’s Market Square), the island is home to four rum distilleries and even has its own chocolate factory. Guided tours can easily be arranged by the Silversands team, but having spent most of the last three days horizontally I inquire at reception if there are ‘any good walks?’ Twenty minutes later I receive a WhatsApp with our pick-up time.
We reach the top well in time (thanks to the extra plate of fried plantain and crispy bacon for breakfast) and reach the highest surrounding peak of Grand Etang Lake in just under forty minutes. The view from the top is spectacular. Located in the crater of a now extinct volcano, the lake has an otherworldly majesty. Along the way we pass an abundance of flora and fauna. I see clove, cocoa and cinnamon trees for the first time. The photos don’t do it justice, but I feel an elation that surely only comes with climbing a mountain (or at least a very steep hill).
Increased luxury with a touch of adventure.
Double rooms available from €710 on a B&B basis. silversandscollection.com