Bel Air Plantation: Grenada's newest gem

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ST. DAVID'S HARBOUR, Grenada -- It's interesting and edifying to visit a property on the eve of its opening for business. Such was the case with Bel Air Plantation which, when I saw it in late June, was readying to accept its first guests.

Although an unrelenting, pounding rain had delayed the installation of the concrete roadways connecting the resort's villas and cottages, the 11 units that stood ready for guests shone like pastel jewels on the hillside.

Bel Air did celebrate its opening last month, and construction on the roadways is well under way.

Susan Fisher, owner and manager of Bel Air, is a patient woman who knows what she wants, which was evident in the finished portions of the resort.

When Fisher purchased the 18-acre property in 1995, the site was a tropical jungle. She said she had three men with machetes clear out the land to see exactly what was there. "I wanted the privacy of a home with the conveniences of a hotel," she said.

Accommodations now comprise one- and two-bedroom villas and cottages painted in colorful pastels.

"I felt we had to set ourselves apart from other hotel offerings," said Fisher. "I wanted traditional Caribbean buildings that reflected local architecture but with modern amenities."

All units have verandas that span the length of the structures. The larger villas have full kitchens and the one-bedroom cottages have kitchenettes.

Bel Air's Water's Edge restaurant served some of the best meals I'd sampled in the Caribbean.

A reception and guest building are now open; a market/deli and cafe open later this month.

To contact reporter Claudette Covey, send e-mail to [email protected].

Room Key: Bel Air Plantation
Address:
St. David's Harbour, Grenada
Web: www.belairplantation.com
Phone: (473) 444-6305
No. of Rooms: 11 villas and cottages opened this year; another six suites and three cottages will open early in 2004. The resort will be able to accommodate a total of 50 guests.
Location: The southeastern corner of Grenada, 25 minutes from Point Salines International Airport.
Rates: From $250 to $450 per room, per night, double, through November; from $300 to $575 from December to April.
Commission: 10%
Noteworthy: Comfortable accommodations, fabulous food and a jewel of a setting.
Not Worthy: Roadways connecting guest units to other resort facilities are still a work-in-progress. Expect a lot of mud when it's raining.

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