Staying with a family in their home will allow you a unique insight into the lifestyles and culture of Grenadian people.
It is a safe way to meet people and make friends easily during your holiday. Staying with your hosts will be in a sense like having personal guides and through them you will get to see parts of Grenada and be involved with traditional (and new) activities you might not get to see otherwise on a typical vacation as a tourist. Grenada is a community-oriented place where ‘everyone knows everyone’ and you will see family life at first hand.
As a guest in any of our homes you will be treated like a member of the family and be included in the day-to-day life of the people in the home and the community. This makes it different from staying in a hostel or guesthouse. We try to match our guests with our hosts as far as possible so it is useful to us to know your interests and hobbies and ages of children, if any, so that you and your hosts may share common interests.
For those wanting more private accommodation, we have self-catering apartments, whole houses and beautiful villas with all amenities, all of which are suitable for groups/families. We have properties in and around St.George’s, and in the countryside. We also have homes in Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Most of the homes offer short-term rentals, but some offer accommodation for a few months or up to a year.
For the business traveller, we have some accommodations that are very suitable, in terms of proximity to the airport and the capital, with telephone, and access to a computer with a broadband connection.
Our aim is to bring people together to learn from one another and share their experiences to mutual benefit. We will also provide opportunities for learning in specific areas such as traditional arts and crafts, cooking, dance etc. which can provide a particular focus of interest during your stay. Contact us for details of group rates for homestays, courses and vacation packages.
The Caribbean has traditionally been an expensive destination for travellers – a homestay is an inexpensive way to visit the Caribbean – ideal for travellers with a family or on a budget. It is also great for single visitors, providing a safe and friendly environment in which to meet people easily. Grenadian people are gracious and charming, with a great sense of fun, and extremely hospitable especially when operating within their own environment instead of a hotel setting. No ‘trained smiles’ here! It also allows Grenadian people to earn an income without changing their lifestyle or location.
The Homestays Grenada ‘office’
When you call or email you are most likely to be in contact with me, Elizabeth. I was born in the U.K. and grew up in Dorset. My dad’s English, and my mum’s from Grenada (Miss Grenada 1955!). I work out of our family home office, so you might hear my two kids in the background, Kala, 16, the fashionista, cook and singer, and Kamau, 9, the animal lover and gaming fan. We’ve just left Grenada to spend some time in the U.K. but still very much in touch with our hosts and what’s happening in Grenada!
After I finished my degree in Psychology and African and Asian Studies, in the U.K., I worked in the tourism industry in Grenada for quite a few years. in early 2000, I came up with the idea of offering homestays in family homes in Grenada. I’d been so struck by the natural hospitality and warmth of the people and thought it was a perfect place to introduce the idea. With help, I sourced host families who were keen to connect with international visitors and who we knew would show genuine care and true Grenadian hospitality. It began with friends, and then friends of friends, and before we knew it, more and more hosts came on board. Grenada is such a small place that a person’s reputation goes before them, and we pick our hosts for their friendliness and ability to share Grenadian culture with our visitors, above all.
When you write to us, the more information you can provide about your background, including your age and nationality, and interests, the easier it is for us to suggest a place that will give you an experience as closely matched to your needs as possible – or even beyond, which tends to happen more often than not! If you are travelling with children, we try to match you with families that have children of similar ages. Let us know if you would prefer meals in a family home or if you would like a self-catering option.
You can contact us using Skype – our user name is homestays.grenada.
Hurricane Ivan devastated Grenada in September 2004. It has bounced back fairly well, but there are areas that still need help. We are supporting a school of 35 pupils in St.George’s that lost everything in the hurricane. If you can help in any way, through donations of books, computers or other equipment, or even offering your time at the school during your stay, please let us know. Maybe you could just bring one book with you when you visit. Little things make a big difference. A recent article in an Irish newspaper mentioned Homestays Grenada in the context of ‘helping communities when you travel’.
A recent testimonial
“Jean is a great host, one of those people who is effortlessly charming. I had a lot of fun with her and especially enjoyed going to Christmas lunch at her sister-in-law’s. That was a great opportunity to meet a whole new group of Grenadians who weren’t directly involved in tourism. It’s always easy to chat with waiters, taxi drivers, etc. when you are travelling, but it’s very hard to talk to people who aren’t in the business of serving tourists. I’ll certainly recommend Homestays Grenada to anyone else who’s heading to the island.”
Martin Zibauer, editor of Cottage Life, U.S.A., December 2008
A good article from Tourism Concern about why this kind of tourism is the way forward!
If you would like to discover more about the reality of tourism in the Caribbean – read this book!
This review is from: Last Resorts: The Cost of Tourism in the Caribbean (Second Edition) (Paperback)
“Last Resorts” by Polly Pattullo is an excellent history and analysis of the Caribbean tourist industry. Ms. Pattullo examines the myriad social, environmental, economic and cultural changes that tourism has produced in the region. Along the way, the reader gains insight into how the promotion of the Caribbean as a place of carefree escapism may be endangering the region’s future unless vast inequities both within and without the Caribbean are addressed in a meaningful way.
Ms. Pattullo explains that mass tourism emerged as an economic development strategy that was defined by the Caribbean’s dependent relationship with the colonial powers of the 20th century and especially the United States. When air travel opened tourism to the middle classes in the 1960s, post-colonial governments turned to Western corporations to develop destinations that might attract foreign capital and thereby prop up local economies. However, the islands have gradually become ever more dependent on outside forces as airlines, cruise ship operators, and hotel chains have come to exercise near-monopolistic control over tourist itineraries. In order to maintain their privileged positions in the struggle for market share, most Caribbean governments have found it necessary to concede the majority of tourist revenues to the procurement of foreign goods and services.
For example, Ms. Pattullo discusses how top jobs in the tourism sector tend to go to foreigners while locals get mostly dead-end jobs; many are resentful about earning poor wages despite working in a highly profitable industry. As street vendors and other freelancers seek to aggressively sell drugs and their bodies to tourists, more destinations have chosen to offer all-inclusive experiences that shut the dangers of the outside world away. Yet the coccoon-like world of the all-inclusives only serves to reinforce privilege, depriving locals of their own beaches and insulating visitors from the discomfort of viewing the socio-economic deprivation that often surrounds them.
Ms. Pattullo addresses that most pernicious of all tourism, the cruise ship industry which largely treats the Caribbean as a parking lot and waste dump for its 20 million annual passengers and where island culture is experienced in its most sanitized and commodified form. Most passengers spend little time onshore but frequently purchase goods at duty-free shops that are aligned with the ships, providing little revenues for the islands — who, for their part, have found it impossible to impose reasonable rates of taxation on the industry for fear of being dropped from itineraries.
Whereas the path of corporate-controlled mass tourism is leading towards the Disneyification of island culture and the degradation of its environment, Ms. Pattullo believes that the Caribbean can secure a better future by embracing the principle of sustainability. The author contends that the region must begin to celebrate and preserve its unique history, culture and natural environment by implementing sustainable development strategies that are designed to empower local governments, businesses and people. To that end, she cites many examples of successful alternatives to the typical mass tourism model of sand and sun, including: eco-tourism, health spas, music festivals, living history, art and architectural appreciation, and other alternative vacation experiences. Indeed, it seems that the ideas advocated by the author might go a long way towards helping this remarkable part of the world both retain its uniqueness and gain a measure of the long-overdue success that it so richly deserves.