Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Spicy Holiday

The spice isle of Grenada is my holiday gift to my readers.

Grenada is an island nation that includes the southern Greandines in the southeastern caribbean sea. As in most caribbean destinations, homosexual relations remain illegal. However, after questioning whether to allow entry to gay cruise ships in 2007 the tourist ministry has said "we will continue to welcome all visitors and we will work, along with our population, to ensure that their time and ours will be enjoyable. Grenada respects the rights of all persons of all persuasions and lifestyles." While attitudes are slowly changing it is best to keep things discreet if you're traveling with your lover. Be careful about public displays of affection.

Patrick Levine, owner of Patrick's Restaurant in the quaint capitol of St. georges, seems to be the "go to" guy for information in addition to the delectable island cuisine he prepares in the kitchen of his home-based eatery. He notes that the "down-low" is alive and well on the island. "The life in Grenada is very discreet. People usually want to do their thing, but they keep it between their private selves." Levine is happy to serve as a "gay hotline" for tourists. He will find someone decent for you to hang out with.

There are no gay bars or clubs, but most regular clubs are gay-friendly. The island isn't overrun with Sandals Resots and large "themed" restaurants.

The spice trade is very significant to Grenada. That's why it is known as the "Spice Island Of The Caribbean." The island has beautiful beaches, lush rainforests and breathtaking waterfalls, particularly Concord Falls. You may want to tour the Dougaldston Estate to see how various spices are processed and packaged.

Accomodations are top rate. The Spice Island Beach Resort (473-444-4258) offers luxurious bungalows with private pools. You'll be steps away from the beach, plus you'll have internet access and a full-scale spa.

The newly opened Bel Air Plantation (473-444-6305) offers furnished villas overlooking a picturesque cove, where many yachts anchor. The latuna Resort (866-4-LALUNA) is a favorite among young Hollywood types who appreciate the discreet management. The resorts guests cottages lie uphill from a scheduled beach. Both Laluna and Bel Air say they are welcoming of gay & lesbian clientele.

If you want upscale dining you can visit Belmont Estate in St. Patrick for an eclectic buffet and gorgeous view of tropical forests; also take the guided tour of the plantation museum and gardens. For a five-course dinner and indigenous seafood you should visit LaBelle Creole at Grand Anse Beach.

Out Traveler has more information on this exciting destination.

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