Hunter Davies: Why Grenada is his favourite island
May 8th 2018
For the past ten years Hunter Davies told himself that his favourite island in the Caribbean is Bequia. But after a friend pointed out that he was overlooking another important travel destination, Grenada, he decided it was time to pay the island nation another visit.
After visiting some old friends, Davies goes on to mention that during his last visit 20 years ago, there was a small American medical school on the island with just 800 students, mainly from the U.S.
Nowadays, St George’s University is highly rated and one of the biggest universities in the Caribbean. The students now come from all over the world, not just the United States, and the campus is a town in itself, with a total of 7,500 students.
Medicine is still one of the most popular careers, but the university now offers courses in social sciences and business studies as well. There are also 1,300 staff employed by the university, directly or indirectly, making it the biggest business on the island – it contributes 25% of the island’s economy.
The best things about Grenada still remain the same as 20 years ago – the tropical rainforest and the capital, St George’s. Other Caribbean islands, such as Barbados, have lost their rainforests and plantations. Thanks to the conservation efforts by the Grenadian government, in Grenada the rainforest is still there, carefully protected on hills rising to almost 3,000ft. It is easy to get to as well, as the island is just 21 miles long.
St George’s has the most attractive harbour in all the West Indies. Many harbour towns on other Caribbean islands are spoiled by warehouses, dirty docks and new buildings that obscure the waterfront. In St George’s the horseshoe harbour setting is still intact with colonial buildings, a fort, churches, cafes and restaurants, all with the scenery of the green hills in the background.
The grandest beach is Grand Anse, which is two miles long and easy to walk along, and where Kimpton Kawana Bay is also scheduled to open next year. According to Davies, these are all signs of Grenada’s continuing development and attractiveness to tourists and investors. Other Travel experts seem to agree, with Grenada being honoured as "Destination of the Year" and labelled as one of the best places to travel in 2018.
After this new visit, Davies concludes Grenada is his favourite big island in the West Indies, while Bequia remains his favourite small one.