Photo: Dontsu/Shutterstock

Grenada Offers a Chocolate-Centric Vacation Unlike Any Other

Grenada Food + Drink
by Anne Carney Jun 29, 2023

Grenada is more than just a paradise for beach lovers, nature aficionados, and people who want to fully immerse in island life. Spice Island, as Grenada is known, is also a world-class food destination. And a big part of Grenada’s food culture revolves around chocolate. It’s a thriving powerhouse of cacao cultivation, and producers on the island craft some of the globe’s most mouth-watering chocolate. This rich legacy can be experienced year-round, but is perhaps best embodied annually during the week-long chocolate festival in May.

The moment I set foot on Grenadian soil for the festival, I started off in style to my accommodations at the scenic Mount Cinnamon Beach and Hotel that’s perched above the spellbinding Grans Anse beach. Bursting with anticipation to get my toes in the sand, I dropped my bags and headed down to the beach. I launched my Caribbean adventure by first paddleboarding and swimming at Mt. Cinnamon beach, immersing myself in the tranquility of the warm, crystal-clear sea.

grenada chocolate festival

Photo: Anne Carney

During the rest of my stay and time at the festival, an array of events were presented: interactive chocolate-making workshops, bean-to-bar tastings, immersive farm-to-table experiences, and insightful cacao plantation tours. A culinary cacao dinner hosted by True Blue Bay Resort showcased the versatility of chocolate as a key ingredient through a multitude of dishes from appetizer to dessert. Later, the Chocolate and Rum Extravaganza put the spotlight on Grenada’s street food with everything from chocolate-rum glazed jerk chicken to cocoa-infused stew and chocolate rum balls. Gourmet dishes at Savvy’s Restaurant at Mount Cinnamon Resort demonstrated chocolate’s versatile role in fine dining.

Of course, it wasn’t solely about eating all chocolate all the time, even during the festival. One highlight was the Under-the-Counter Grenada Rum experience at the picturesque Annandale waterfall. Amid captivating views, I immersed myself in a lively game of dominoes, created my own rum blends, felt the rhythm with a local drumming workshop, and savored the delightful taste of Westerhall Rum.

However, even rum has a connection to chocolate here. During a rum and chocolate masterclass at Silversands Resort, representatives from Renegade Rum and Tri Island Chocolate took me on a flavor pairing journey while delving into the fascinating processes of rum distillation and chocolate making.

In short, I saw first-hand how food, and cacao in particular, is engrained into many facets of daily life in Grenada. Whether you plan your trip for the festival or not, cacao should always be a centerpiece of your trip.

Susatinable cacao, for both the environment and the community

Grenada is committed to sustainable and fair-trade cocoa cultivation practices. During the festival, local farms and markets were well represented by companies like Crayfish Bay Organics, Tri Island Chocolates, and Grenada Chocolate Company.

A tour is one of the best ways to achieve an inside view of the journey that cacao takes to make sustainable food products, from growing the tree to crafting chocolate. For this, add Tri Island Chocolate Adventure onto your itinerary. Here, you can dive deep into the intricate process behind making a bar, and there’s a truffle-making class taught by expert chocolatiers for a hands-on experience. No visit is complete without a memorable tasting of locally distilled rums paired with the velvety chocolate truffles.

However, before a single bean makes it to the kitchen, it all starts on Grenada’s cacao plantations. Touring the land that cacao is grown on was a true highlight of my time at the Grenada Chocolate Festival. Crayfish Bay Organics and Tri Island are award-winning favorites and a true testament to Grenada’s commitment to sustainable farming and fair trade. In the case of the latter, combining tours of the chocolate making factory and of the estate through the company’s Roots-to-Bar Experience offers a full picture of what it takes to get just a single bite of chocolate.

Tri Island Chocolate: Beaulieu, Grenada, Spice Basket, St George’s, Grenada

Cacao outside of the chocolate bar

yoga in grenada

Photo: Anne Carney

Cacao can be just as much a part of wellness as it is a sweet treat. During the festival, I attended a chocolate yoga session at the boutique resort True Blue Bay. Delectable dark chocolate came along with mindful eating meditation, and an Ayurvedic self-massage was enhanced with whipped cocoa butter. After, I learned how to make chocolate body scrub and foot soak using local Grenadian ingredients.

Cacao- and chocolate-filled wellness can be found year-round through the spa treatments that True Blue Bay offers. Soaks, facials, and body scrubs all incorporate the ingredient in various ways. The full Chocolate Package from the spa includes three treatments from a choice of five: chocolate facial, cocoa bath soak, chocolate body wrap, cocoa butter pedicure, and mocha body scrub.

True Blue Bay spa: Old Mill Road True Blue Bay, St George’s, Grenada

A tasteful break in Grenada’s abundant nature

beach on grenada

Photo: Anne Carney

Picture this: standing on a paddleboard, meandering across the Caribbean Sea’s sparkling blue waters from Mt. Cinnamon Beach. It’s a surreal blend of serenity and exhilaration that welcomes both first-timers and seasoned pros. As early as the sun rises, you can set-sail for adventure. Let the rhythm of the waves become your melody as you kayak along the famed Grand Anse Beach, presenting a new perspective of the island. The mornings and late evenings are particularly glassy and calm for kayaking. Conveniently, you can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and other equipment right from the beach. From St. John’s wharf, take a sunset boat cruise to circle the island, see St. George and Martins Bay, and find lesser-visited beaches and alluring snorkeling spots.

annandale waterfall in grenada

Photo: Frogfish

Grenada’s allure is not confined to its stunning waters. This island is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts with its myriad of rugged trails. Each path reveals breathtaking panoramic views. For a standout Grenadian adventure, take a horseback ride through the leafy canopies of Grand Etang National Park to see dense foliage, tumbling waterfalls, and hidden mountain lakes. At the gorgeous Annandale Falls, you can hike, and take a dip or turn on the tree-swing.

St. George’s quaint local shops and galleries are overflowing with handcrafted trinkets and souvenirs to take a piece of Grenada’s vibrant culture back home with you after all of the adventuring, or head to the Saturday Spice Market for the souvenir of bringing the flavors of Grenada back home with you.

Where to stay on Grenada

We hope you love the spaces we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

Mount Cinnamon Hotel

mount cinnamon hotel

Photo: Expedia

From dreamy views of the sparkling Caribbean Sea to the colorful villas, this hotel captures the essence of a Caribbean retreat. The private verandas offer a serene setting for relaxation, while a variety of amenities, activities, and rentals enhance each stay. With its private beach, a dive center, and the hip beach club Savvy’s, Mount Cinnamon serves up a blend of relaxation and adventure.

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Bay House

bay house grenada

Photo: Expedia

Nestled in the hillside, the Bay House hotel has rooms with a charming mix of modern flair and traditional vibes. But the real show-stopper is the hotel’s infinity pool and rooftop terrace, which offer panoramic views of the bustling city and tranquil harbor.

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