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Reviewed 9 April 2018

What truly sets a hotel apart is love. The Calabash Hotel in Grenada is excellent by any measure, but it's the love of the Garbutt family for the hotel, the island nation, their carefully chosen staff and their guests that places the Calabash head and shoulders above the competition.

After a long day's flying, escaping from cold and damp British weather in early April, it was delightful to be greeted by a posse of family and staff members, to be shown to a cool and beautifully decorated suite, and within a few minutes, to be relaxing on the verandah with a rum punch, watching a hummingbird inspecting the hibiscus and a pair of geckos doing circuits on a palm tree in the tropical warmth, the gentle sound of waves breaking on the beach beyond the immaculate gardens.

I took a junior pool suite, which has a plunge pool in a secluded courtyard, where one can work on one's all-over tan if so minded. There's also an outside bathtub, in case you fancy the decadence of reading in a soapy bath, wafted by the Caribbean breeze.

It's terribly easy to overeat here - breakfast is served with a smile either on your private terrace or on the beach, where you can sit in the shade of an almond tree, watching the yachts in Prickly Bay over the top of your copy of The Calabash Times. Try the creamy home-made yoghurt. The Beach Bar has a superb lunch menu: grilled or pan-roasted catch of the day (grouper, mahi mahi), lobster tacos, battered butterfish burger; even lion fish is featured occasionally - it's delicious and a menace to reefs, so eat as much of it as you can! There's a genteel afternoon tea if you're not already stuffed, canapés appear at your room at 6pm, and then dinner in the Rhodes restaurant, showcasing more local specialities...even smoked barracuda..with an excellent wine list, accompanied by the evening's varied musical entertainment and the whistling of the tree frogs. You mustn't leave without trying something with callaloo in it. Google it :). If, like me, you can't visit a place without sampling the national dish, go and seek out Oildown - an unctuous one-pot stew with a coconut base, featuring dumplings, dasheen (the tuber of [spoiler alert] the callaloo plant) and breadfruit. It's filling: jumping in the pool straight afterwards is inadvisable if you plan to resurface in a hurry. Oh, and what an array of cocktails!

To compensate for culinary indulgence, the hotel has a main pool, a fitness centre and water sports are available on the beach. There are kayaks for hire and Scuba-Tech organises snorkelling and diving trips, as well as a sunset cruise. There is also, of course, a Spa, where a variety of soothing massages and treatments is available.

It seemed to me that every member of staff knew my name within 24 hours. I'm not sure how they did it, but I was impressed. Everyone smiles and laughs. Nothing is too much trouble. Even after-sun lotion (sunburnt neck after snorkelling trip) was made to appear promptly by the lovely Reservations Manager, Raquel Antoine.

It's testament to the success of the Calabash that people keep coming back. I was privileged to meet Mr & Mrs Harrison, who have been coming for 24 consecutive years. People staying elsewhere on the island come to dine at the Calabash because the food is so good. And, of course, one can't help falling in love with Grenada. It's not just that the rum is still painstakingly made using 200-year-old technology, it's also that the island has some places of outstanding natural beauty (mountains, rainforest, waterfalls, boulder-strewn rivers, mangroves, clean beaches and crystal clear waters); some fascinating places to visit (nutmeg plant, chocolate factory, the market in St George's); beautiful flora and fauna; and, above all, very welcoming people.

I was only at the Calabash for a week, but by the end of it, I felt as if I had made new friends. You may be as cynical as you like about it, but that's how it felt in the moment. So there. Would I go back? Certainly. Would I recommend the Calabash? Unhesitatingly, unreservedly and with enthusiasm.

Room tip: All the rooms face the gardens and bay. The lower floor suites have plunge pools.
Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Roger C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZackSamuel, Manager at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2018

Roger,

Wow. what a fantastic review. We are very pleased that you enjoyed yourself so much, and honored that you would take the time out to write such a detailed and glowing review. I will be sure to share this with the staff and let them know that their work is most certainly appreciated and that we must keep up the good efforts in order to continue to do this review justice!

You mention many great aspects of a stay here at Calabash, and I think that you have set the expectations quite well for any future guests reading your lovely review. We all hope to be able to pamper you again in the not too distant future, and we wish you the very best until that time.

Regards from sunny Grenada,

Zack

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Reviewed 9 April 2018

Just back from a wonderful two week stay at this charming hotel with my parents as part of a special birthday celebration. From the moment of arrival until our departure we were looked after impeccably by the fantastic staff & owner's family who were always smiling, friendly & willing to help.

It's hard to add more accolades to all the other great reviews on here. This small hotel is immaculate, from the beautiful landscaped gardens to the spotless rooms and the crisp white table cloths in the restaurant.

The quality of the food was very high with a wide choice and daily specials. The lobster taco at the beach restaurant is a must for lunch! Breakfast was served on our terrace overlooking the gardens each morning, as were the evening sundowners and canapés.

It would be easy to never leave this tranquil paradise, but Grenada is a beautiful lush country and it would be a shame not to go out and see it. The hotel organised us a full day island tour with a very informative and friendly driver. It's also easy to organise a taxi to the capital St George's which is about 20 minutes away and is well worth a visit.

All in all we had a wonderful relaxing stay at Calabash and would definitely like to return some day.

Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 866RichardW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZackSamuel, Manager at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2018

Richard,

It was a genuine pleasure to have your whole family stay with us, and we are so honored that you would choose to spend this important holiday in our little slice of heaven. Your thoughts on your stay are fantastic to read, and it is great that you were able to take the time out to see the whole island as well as totally relax while staying with us. I will be sure to let everyone know how much you enjoyed our hotel, and we will all hope to see you back someday as well.

Regards from Sunny Grenada,

Zack

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Reviewed 3 April 2018

We have just enjoyed our second stay at this beautiful hotel. There are very few hotels which call you back for a repeat visit but the Calabash certainly does. Our Pool suite was spacious with the most comfortable bed. We loved breakfast being served on our terrace, beautifully cooked and with lovely views over the garden toward the sea. There is a sense of space and calm, always easy to find a bed with shade by the beach or pool. Meals at the beach or Rhodes restaurant in the evening were excellent. Loved the Mojito cocktails! Thank you Leslie Ann. Also very much enjoyed the fresh lobster, beautifully cooked.
The sea was gorgeous to swim in, calm and easy to avoid the sea grass for a timid swimmer like myself.
Again we thoroughly enjoyed a very relaxing and well fed holiday and look forward to returning next year.

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank aandjm2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZackSamuel, Manager at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2018

aandjm2015,

We are so pleased that you returned and found the hotel as lovely and relaxing as your first visit! It is great when you return because you can get to relax right away, so we all look forward to pampering you again next year.

Warmest regards form Grenada,

Zack

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Reviewed 27 March 2018 via mobile

Visited the restaurant with friends. The service was impeccable and food was flavourful.
The servers were prompt in refilling our glasses and eager to refill our glasses.
The live musician and ambiance made this a memorable dinner.

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank pennilicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZackSamuel, Manager at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Tricia,

I am overjoyed to read your comments on the service and ambiance. We do hope that you will be back, and we look forward to providing the same level of service and charm you remember.

Kindest regards,

Zack

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Reviewed 23 March 2018

From the time we stepped off the aircraft an were whisked away to the Jet Center for private customs and immigration, to our arrival at this Relais gem, only to be welcomed by the owner, Leo Garbutt and his wonderful staff, this was a fantastic vacation. It was our first time in Grenada and it will not be our last.

We have enjoyed may Relais & Chateaux properties and this ranks among the finest. Our first impression was of the staff. We used to think the nicest people we've met were in Bermuda, that has now changed. What a fantastic group of Relais-quality professionals.

The strongest impression we came away with was the care and maintenance for the facilities. Not a single surface needed paint. Not a hint of mold was to be seen. In a tropical climate, the complete absence of a spider web, a spec of dirt, or rotted wood was mind-boggling. Of course, a staff of 130+ for 40 or so suites is impressive.

Our suite was beautiful. The furnishings were very up to date. Our living room was comfortable with TV and mini bar. Our bedroom was large, the bed and linens were just to our liking. The bathroom was perfect with plenty of room around the two sinks. There was a huge shower stall and plenty of towels. Looking out the rear, sliding-glass door you saw our private pool and outdoor soaking tub under a loggia. I spent time there reading each day, looking up at the bright blue sky, reading until our daily canapés arrived promptly at 6PM on our front porch along with our evening drink.

Our days were relaxing under the massive shade trees on the beach (something we've never experienced before) and splashing around in the pool. Lunch was at the beach club with a menu worthy of the finest Relais & Chateaux restaurants. The gym had everything you could want. Our time at the spa was luxurious and well worth the time.

Each morning we awoke to find the table on our porch facing the beach across the expansive lawn, set with crisp linens. Our breakfast each morning was chosen the night before and the menu was ample, the food was delicious.

The main restaurant, Rhodes was so enjoyable that we only left the property once to dine during our 7-night stay. Each night there were specials and the menu was extensive with many local seafood, meat and poultry dishes. We truly enjoyed great wines each night. This was haute cuisine at its finest. Dining under the trellis each night with a gentle breeze and flawless service was exactly what we wanted. Michael and his staff were second to none.

Grenada is a lush, tropical paradise. We spent time in St. Georges, the main town with marina and forts. We rented a car and drove up through the mountains and spend the afternoon at a 300-year old estate. Our tour was an education on how they grew all the spices, fruits, nuts and of course the chocolate! Everyone we met on the island was most interested in how we liked the island and when we would return.

Our go-to hotel on St. Martin was badly damaged in Hurricane Irma. Thus we searched for a Relais property in the Caribbean. Leo and his family are now our family and we will return often.

Most of the delightful guests at the hotel were from England and returned annually, some for decades. I urge our American readers to visit Grenada which has a great airport and a gem of a resort in the Calabash.

Room tip: All the first-floor suites have a private pool and soaking tub.
Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank CharlesB692
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZackSamuel, Manager at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Charles,

This was a FANTASTIC review as you seemed to cover all the bases of your stay! It is truly amazing to read just how much you enjoyed your stay with us, and we are so pleased to read all of your thoughts! We thoroughly enjoyed having you stay with us as you were fantastic guests, and you really seemed to make the most of your time on our lovely island.
The staff all look forward to seeing you return, and it is great to hear that you are already planning on it!

We will be eagerly anticipating seeing you again, so until next time we wish you the very best!

Regards from sunny Grenada and the entire Calabash family,

Zack

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