Where to Stay in Carriacou
It is no secret that Bunny is a huge fan of the tiny Grenadian island of Carriacou. Carriacou is a gorgeous, unspoiled, quiet, practically crime-free and affordable holiday paradise that the wider public has never heard of.
Although the main island of Grenada is growing in popularity day-by-day, relatively few people make their way to its much smaller sister island Carriacou as it requires an additional ferry ride, or a short flight, from the main island. There are no luxury hotels, all-inclusive establishments or fancy expat enclaves in Carriacou. And better that way, Bunny says.
Your best bet for accommodation is to rent one of the excellent villas or apartments available on the island. Luckily for you, Bunny has tested a number of them and is willing to share her favourite places to stay in Carriacou.
Luxury Hilltop Apartment: Castaways Carriacou
Castaways Apartment is the newest addition to the Carriacou accommodation scene. It is exactly what the island has been lacking: a contemporary luxury apartment with all the modern conveniences.
The spacious two-storey apartment is stylish and well thought through. The upper level contains an open plan (fully equipped) kitchen, dining room and living room. Downstairs has a bedroom with a view, a beautiful bathroom and a spacious, walk-in wardrobe with a vanity area. There is also a large terrace right off the bedroom with a patio set.
The bedroom has an air-conditioner, but Bunny was comfortable most nights simply leaving the screened patio door open. There is a lovely breeze that also keeps away mosquitos, which is a great advantage in Carriacou.
Castaways is located on a hilltop, so the views are absolutely lovely to all directions. There are three different terraces at Castaways, each offering a unique beautiful view to the turquoise Caribbean Sea and outlying islands. You can admire the gorgeous White Island, check out the Grenadian coastline in the distance, keep an eye on the sailboats in Tyrell Bay or take in the stunning sunsets from different spots on the property. Observing and comparing sunrises and sunsets on the terraces was one of Bunny’s favourite things to do at Castaways.
There is plenty to keep you occupied in the apartment from the impressive DVD collection to various board games. The Wi-Fi is fast and reliable as well. It feels like every single detail has been thought of at Castaways. Kudos to the owners, Bunny says.
The friendly owners, Liz and Martin, live in the same house but the Castaways apartment is totally separate. You can benefit from the owners’ assistance and recommendations for your holiday, but you can also stay totally private if you wish.
Castaways is a 5-minute drive, or a 15-minute walk, from Tyrell Bay where you can find the island’s best grocery store, a number of restaurants, bars and shops, or have a dip in calm sea. This is also where the ferries from Grenada arrive and depart.
Castaways is a rare find in Carriacou: a spacious, modern apartment with a stylish interior, all the modern conveniences and unparalleled 360-degree hilltop views.
Eco-Friendly Option with a View to Kill: Seaclusion Suites
Seaclusion Suites has amazing views and the kind of peace and quiet that is hard to find these days. The owners, Bob and Marie, have lived in Carriacou for more than 20 years and are excellent hosts. They have great suggestions and recommendations for things to do and see on the island.
There are two suites to choose from at Seaclusions, each with a small, fully-equipped kitchen, bathroom, comfortable beds with a direct view to the sea and lovely sun terraces.
The best thing at Seaclusions is the amazing view towards Sandy Island, Maboya and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. You can easily spend hours on your terrace, staring at that incredible view, with a delicious cocktail in hand, Bunny says.
Three local beaches are within a 5- to 10-minute walk from Seaclusion Suites, and the iconic Paradise Beach a bit further away. Bob maintains a great footpath down to the beach and has good advice about the best snorkelling spots, which are both plentiful and within walking distance. If you feel adventurous, you can rent a kayak from a nearby beach and paddle to Sandy Island for a day.
There is no air-conditioning at Seaclusion Suites, but you benefit from a lovely breeze on most days. At night, you can enjoy a lovely symphony of frogs, birds and crickets from the open windows. A small fan is at hand for those nights when the breeze dies down.
All electricity at Seaclusions is solar-powered and water is collected from rain water, so you are encouraged to save water during your stay. There is a separate water-filtering system for drinking water which is provided free of charge for guests.
Guests can also purchase soft drinks, cocktails, beer and wine at very reasonable prices. A limited food menu is also available and believe Bunny when she says that Marie is a superb cook!
The Wi-Fi connection at Seaclusions is excellent, one of the fastest Bunny experienced in Carriacou. You will also have access to a mobile phone that you can use for local calls during your stay.
Seaclusions is a wonderful place where you come to relax and enjoy the amazing view and old-fashioned Caribbean charm while staying in eco-friendly accommodation fully in harmony with the surrounding nature.
For Special Occasions: Las Tortugas Villa
Bunny thinks Las Tortugas probably has the best location on the island: the views towards Sandy and Union Islands are unbeatable and the famous Paradise Beach is literally just steps away.
The whitewashed hillside villa is beautifully decorated, with colourful Mexican touches around the property. It is fully equipped for an indulgent Caribbean holiday. The villa even comes with staff, with the friendly Godfrey checking on you every day to make sure your holiday is progressing without a hitch.
The infinity pool with heavenly views is a definite highlight of the villa. Bunny loved to laze in and around the pool, enjoying the view and total privacy that Las Tortugas offers. The expansive terrace around the house affords the same dreamy view of the turquoise Caribbean Sea, complete with BBQ, comfy sitting area and large dining room table.
Naturally, all this does not come cheap. Bunny thinks Las Tortugas is best suited for a special family occasion or for two couples travelling together. There are two equally beautiful master bedrooms, with air-conditioning, full bathrooms and plenty of space. An additional, alcove-type sleeping space in the living room provides room for two more people if needed.
The villa’s open plan kitchen is fully equipped and a perfect setting for cooking family meals. Alternatively, if you feel too lazy to cook yourself, you can take the well-maintained steps down to Paradise Beach to grab a bite in one of the beach restaurants. Just don’t eat too much to be able to walk back up the stairs, Bunny says.
Back at the villa, you can enjoy the recreation area downstairs which has a pool table, games and books for your entertainment. The villa also has well-functioning Wi-Fi, direct TV and DVD player. If you’re travelling with kids, they will not get bored here, Bunny says.
Las Tortugas is a perfect choice for a special family occasion or an indulgent Caribbean getaway for two couples. It does not come cheap, but is worth every penny, Bunny says.
Great Value: Oyster Shell Apartment in Tyrell Bay
Bunny had the pleasure of staying in Oyster Shell Apartment for a full month last autumn. It was a perfect choice for a long-term stay in Carriacou as it provides excellent value, particularly if you negotiate a discount.
The location is ideal for an active holiday. You are steps away from Tyrell Bay beach which is a great place for swimming and people-watching. Many businesses, including grocery shops, restaurants, bars and dive shops are located on the beach. Plus, the minibus route goes right past the apartment.
Oyster Shell itself has all the conveniences you need for a self-catering holiday. Bunny cooked many of her meals during her month-long stay at Oyster Shell. The kitchen is fully equipped and functional. A big fridge and freezer make it easy to plan meals and the best grocery shop on the island is a short walk away. Very handy, Bunny says.
In addition, there is a possibility to use a washing machine behind the building for free. If you’re lucky, Kathleen, who sells eggs at the back of the property, will even help you do your laundry. There is a housekeeping service once a week (the apartment was sparkling clean!) and you get plenty of fresh linen, towels and even some toiletries during your stay.
The shower has hot water (but the kitchen doesn’t) that you switch on a few minutes before you step in. It works well, Bunny says, but the shower head is a water-saving model so be prepared for showers that are a light mist.
The air-conditioning in the apartment is a bit loud but you quickly get used to that. There is not much breeze in Tyrell Bay so the air-con is a must - even Bunny used it although she is usually not a fan.
The Oyster Shell has a nice balcony overlooking Tyrell Bay. You can watch gorgeous sunsets here - although it gets a bit hot in the late afternoons when the sun shines directly into the apartment.
There is also Wi-Fi in the flat. It worked OK, some days better than others, but most of the time Bunny was able to work online normally.
If you want a comfortable flat in a central location, with excellent beach access and grocery shops and restaurants just around the corner, you cannot do better than Oyster Shell Apartment in Tyrell Bay.
Best Hotel on the Island: Mermaid Beach Hotel
The Mermaid Beach Hotel in Carriacou is the best small hotel on the island. It has clean, contemporary rooms and a great location - and affordable prices.
The hotel is located, surprise-surprise, right on the beach. Hillsborough Beach might not be the nicest beach on the island (check out Bunny’s blog post on Carriacou Beaches), but it has soft pepper sand, clear water and great views towards Union Island. And there's a cool swing on the beach for those all-important Instagram photos…
The Mermaid Beach Hotel is small, with only 22 rooms in total. Bunny felt like the only guest when she stayed there. Having visited during the hurricane season, it is quite possible that she was, in fact, the lone traveller there.
The Mermaid offers three room types: standard (with two single beds or a king), sea view and suite. Bunny stayed in the cheapest option which was more than adequate. If you'd prefer a sea view, it's best to pay the small difference and upgrade.
All rooms have air-conditioning, ceiling fans, satellite TV, safety deposit box and refrigerator to cool down those Carib beers. The free Wi-Fi worked well throughout the hotel.
The bathrooms are not large, but they are modern and clean, with plenty of towels and abundant hot water. Some toiletries are also provided.
There are several grocery shops and restaurants within walking distance from the hotel. However, please note that the main ferry dock was recently moved from Hillsborough to Tyrell Bay, so you will need to grab a taxi or use one of the local minibuses to catch the ferry.
The Callaloo restaurant at Mermaid Beach Hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is not Bunny’s top choice for restaurants on the island but it is conveniently located and has some (limited) vegetarian options and a pleasant terrace with sea views.
The best hotel on the island, Mermaid Beach Hotel is a solid choice for anyone who prefers a comfortable stay in a modern hotel, with easy access to the beach and restaurants.
Pick Your View...
From left to right: Castaways, Oyster Shell, Las Tortugas, Mermaid Beach Hotel and Seaclusion Suites
Getting to Carriacou requires a little bit of extra effort but visitors are generously rewarded for their trouble. Carriacou is the kind of authentic, beautiful Caribbean getaway that travel trailblazers are always looking for. Beat the crowds and get to Carriacou while it remains the unspoiled paradise it currently is, Bunny says.
It doesn’t really matter where you stay, but if you follow Bunny’s recommendations above, you can be sure that your accommodation will be more than up to scratch.