The Caribbean bathes Grenada’s west coast, while the rougher, colder waters of the Atlantic lap against the east. In the southwest is Grand Anse Beach, considered the reigning beauty queen, but also the less populated Morne Rouge, which is perhaps even nicer, in part because of its seclusion and lower density of beach vendors, who tend to approach high-end-hotel guests sunbathing along Grand Anse. Some beaches along the southeast coast have strips of black sand, a faint echo of the island’s volcanic origins, while in the north is Levera Beach, a wild, dangerous beauty, as it’s where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, creating strong currents. Still, like any femme fatale, it’s great to look at, and many locals picnic here. Families will feel comfortable at the moderately crowded but still pretty Magazine Beach, right beside the Aquarium Restaurant. When I visited, I was informed that the day before, a local girl had thrown a mermaid-themed birthday party there.
In 1783, when the French yielded control of Grenada to the British, the Brits’ first move was to change the capital city’s name from Port Louis to St. George’s. Today, Peter de Savary, a completely Francophile Brit, has decided to honor the island’s original colonial settlers, whose influence can still be heard in the locals’ French Patois language, with his new marina’s name. Though Port Louis is still largely a construction site, it doesn’t require much imagination to see the potential of its harbor-side location, a stone’s throw from the historic Carenage area of downtown St. George’s. The project is by far de Savary’s most ambitious, though. The sailing aficionado hopes the final outcome will restore Grenada to the yachting capital it was in the ’70s. Plans for Port Louis include a large marina that can hold megayachts, several Amalfi-style apartments and villas, a luxury hotel, a clublike residence for hotel and Mount Cinnamon guests only and a collection of duty-free high-end boutiques and restaurants; Florida-based Caroline Lilly has already rented a plot, while Ricardo Marreti, of the restaurant Ricardo’s on London’s Fulham Road, plans to open a restaurant as well as a boutique hotel. The timeline for everything is about three years, and it should be interesting to see how de Savary’s vision ultimately pans out.
It’s easy to see why many think St. George’s, Grenada’s capital, is one of the Caribbean’s most scenic harbor towns. Along its hilly streets, you’ll see footprints of both French and British colonialism, with red-roofed houses standing beside stone Georgian government buildings. You’ll also find a reminder of Ivan’s destruction in the still-roofless 18th-century Anglican church on Young Street. Other attractions are two historically strategic forts (former lookout points that today make for really great looking) and the touristy but interesting Market Square, where local farmers and fishers sell their produce.
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