Grenada is home to tranquil beaches and decadent cuisine. The tiny Caribbean destination is home to one of the world’s finest all-inclusive beach resorts. This stunning getaway also happens to be Black-owned. The Hopkin family hails from Grenada, working for years to keep the celebrated hotel all in the family. From smaller garden suites to sprawling rooms with pools, saunas, and outdoor terraces, the rooms are second only to the hotel’s amenities. Guests here pay one rate and receive all meals and excursions as part of their room fee.
Travel Noire sat down with Janelle Hopkin, President and Managing Director at Spice Island Beach Resort, to learn more about how they are redefining luxury for the Black traveler.
TN: What can guests expect at Spice Island Beach Resort?
JH: There is a simple fact about luxury: everyone can feel the difference. At Spice, we cater to those for whom the difference matters. Our guests are discerning, love being pampered, and appreciate the finer things in life. Our brand culture is rooted in the philosophy of connection through service. With its intimate sense of place, Spice provides more than a change of scenery, artfully blending elite all-inclusive with an island lifestyle to curate an unpretentious luxury experience. Relaxed, yet not completely casual, Spice is simple and sophisticated. [We fuse] the Caribbean’s essence of ease with outstanding service, authentic cuisine,
and experiences that incorporate our local Grenadian culture. The ultimate Caribbean escape is where guests can reset, recharge, and relax.
TN: Why was it important for the hotel to launch environmental initiatives? Can you share more about the impact you’ve seen them have thus far?
JH: Our environmental initiatives center around our desire to exist in harmony with our pristine surroundings. The resort sits just footsteps away from the white sands of one of Grenada’s best beaches, Grand Anse Beach. [We] desire to protect the natural beauty of our island home for generations to come. The external structures blend harmoniously into the surrounding environs, capturing the tranquillity of the setting while creating an indoor/outdoor connection throughout the property.
As a Green Globe-certified property, we take pride in our sustainability initiatives across the property. From our desalinization plant (converting salt water into freshwater), use of solar energy, natural composting, and growing our organic herbs and vegetables. This approach is now more than ever in keeping with the current brand positioning of the destination Pure Grenada.
TN: Can you share more about the Founder, Sir Royston Hopkin, and his legacy in finding the hotel? How does the hotel honor his legacy today?
JH: Sir Royston’s passion for hospitality was fostered at an early age. He grew up working in minor roles in his parent’s small bed and breakfast property, Ross Point Inn. Years later, recognizing the potential of the then Spice Island Inn, he became a shareholder and member of the board of directors in 1969. By 1975, he was appointed Deputy Chairman and Deputy Managing Director. In 1987, he became a majority shareholder, and under his skillful stewardship, the property grew from 28 to 58 rooms. In 2000, the property underwent a 6-million-dollar transformation, and the Spice Island Beach Resort was born. Ten rooms were added, bringing the total number of rooms to 66, and other amenities were added, like the spa and restaurants. Today, the resort boasts 64 luxury suites, 20 of which have their own enclosed residential-sized swimming pools.
Sir Royston’s legacy is his unwavering pursuit of service excellence. The resort has won every major industry award and accolade, regionally and internationally. The resort is the island’s only AAA 5 Diamond, Six Star all-inclusive luxury resort. Though he left us in 2021, his legacy has been passed down to his daughter, Janelle, who now serves as President & Managing Director. She has set her sights on making Spice the definitive 21st-century Caribbean Luxury Experience.
TN: What makes this resort different from the other resorts in the area?
JH: There is a palpable sense of character and personality that permeates the resort. Its small size is perfect for curating bespoke experiences that are tailor-made for each guest. The influence of local family ownership is felt throughout the resort and is reflected in the warm and welcoming style of service.
TN: What are some must-do experiences travelers should have when in Grenada?
JH: Grenada has a wealth of beautiful natural and historic sites, from organic chocolate-making estates to spice plantations and historic forts; a tour of the island is a must. Our crystal clear waters make it a diver’s haven, and visiting the world’s first underwater sculpture park is also a must-do.
TN: What can visitors expect from Spice Island in 2024 and beyond?
JH: As we evolve and transform, we are on a path to create the ultimate luxury retreat – and the Caribbean’s best place to reset, recharge, and relax. We offer unique, bespoke experiences shaped by our local Grenadian culture, authentic cuisine, and superior amenities.
TN: Why are Black-owned accommodations so important in the travel space?
JH: Representation is always important. In the Caribbean, we are fortunate to live in societies with a predominant Afro-heritage; however, when local entrepreneurs can build a successful hotel brand that can compete on a global scale, it hopefully encourages the younger generation of Caribbean youth to strive for greatness in their chosen paths and the knowledge that there is no limit to what they can achieve.
This article has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.