Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Best Hotel Ever - in SVG.

This was a vacation, a holiday.

Usually, I'd tell you this is NOT a vacation, this is a trip. I'm traveling, not being a tourist. Because, oh yes, there is a difference and it's very important to me to distinguish between those two concepts, ideas and modes of moving about. 

Usually, I want to see everything and do everything and meet everyone and so on, you get the idea. This time, whenever anybody asked me what my plan was for SVG, my answer was a heartfelt "nothing" and a blissful smile. The past months have been a little bit rough for me, which is why I booked this trip vacation in the first place. I felt like I just needed to not-be-here* for a bit and when the internet told me there was a cheap flight to St Vincent, I just booked. Same with the hotel. Thank you and Skyscanner. 

*The lady at the immigration counter asked me what the purpose of my visit to St Vincent was and I told her "To not be in Trinidad."

The need to just relax and be able to not. do. anything. at. all. was why I chose to stay in a hotel and not with a CouchSurfer. I wanted to be able to wake up in the morning, say "nope, not yet," turn around and continue sleeping for however long. Stay in bed reading or crocheting all day? Sign me up! Of course, that's not what ended up happening (once a traveler, always a traveler), but it could have and that is good. That's how I needed it to be. 

So, the hotel. A wonderful little place. It's called Paradise Beach Hotel and it is perfect. The name does it justice! If you're looking for a 5* all-inclusive resort, this is not the place to go. But if you're looking for a comfortable place right on the water, close to town, with incredible service personnel, delicious food, soft mattresses and the fluffiest towels ever - then this is it. 

I took these pictures with my phone before it died (a non-battery-related temporary death... really more like a coma... anyway) which is why they're not that great, but you get the general idea of what I'm showing you. Imagine these pics to be brighter, sunnier and less stormy-looking with a much bluer sea and you'll - sort of - see what I saw. The phone didn't see it that way, maybe that's what brought on the coma.

The hotel is literally right on the beach: when you step off the terrace your feet are in the black and yellow sand and five to seven more steps (depending on how long or not your legs are) get you into the water. Across the bay is Young Island and there's a tiny little (free) ferry that goes constantly back and forth between the shores so you can either swim across (if you think yourself strong enough, because there's a surprise current in the middle of the bay/channel) or take the boat and not even get wet. The water is not turquoise, because the sand is naturally dark, but it's so clean that when you stand neckdeep in it you can see your toes perfectly clearly. It's also quite sheltered, so you can swim around close to the shore or between the sailboats without any waves pushing and pulling you underwater. This might sound strange to people who don't spend a lot of time in/on/around the sea, but the water is also saltier than in Trinidad. Not by much, but you can tell yourself it adds to our bodies' natural buoyancy! 

My room itself was quite small, but exactly what I'd wanted. Big shower with perfect (warm) water pressure, the fluffiest towels I've had wrapped around myself in YEARS, a lockable minibar - on makes it a fridge, off makes it a safebox -, and an A/C unit positioned in a way that it cooled down the room without you having to sit in icy wind and getting a cold from it (or worse) wherefore (fancy word) I could do something I haven't been able to do in I don't even know hoooow long: sleep under the duvet, all curled up and snug!

I didn't book a room with a balcony, because when I wanted to be outside to read or crochet (I did both those things a lot), all I had to do was go onto the terrace with all the comfy chairs and chaises, pick one and then relax in the sun or shade. I also didn't book a room with oceanview, because when I wanted to see the ocean, all I had to do was go downstairs and walk along the beach or swim in the bay or sit on the veranda and just look out. You can have all those things, to be sure, but in a place like that, they're not necessary. 

Now, I mentioned how great the location is, how great the room was, how great the staff is, how great the beach is and how much I enjoyed my stay in the best hotel ever in St Vincent. 

What's missing now is: AAAAAALL THE THINGS!!! (as in, activities)

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