First off, we travelled during just before the start of the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe, which meant that we arrived here just as peak hysteria was starting across the world. Having spent a week on Grenada we travelled to Carriacou by ferry. the purpose of our trip was scuba diving. Almost as soon as we got there our holiday company contacted us telling us not to dive and to prepare to travel straight back to Grenada for an early flight home. Thankfully, that did not transpire and we had most of our week there.
The first night there were 2 other rooms occupied, but after that we were the only occupants of the hotel, due to cancellations and lots of people bailing out of Carriacou to try and travel home asap. We were told on arrival that the restauarant was going to be shut for the whole of our stay, albeit was open for breakfast. We were booked B&B.
Room - bed very comfortable and shower was lovely and hot. Bathroom was very nicely fitted out, although the rainwater shower could have been more powerful. One night the water stopped in the middle of the night, so I had to improvise by wandering around the deserted hotel (no staff there either), finding a broken bucket and going into the sea and using that to fill the toilet cistern and flush it. The problem was fixed the following day. We were told that they have to have water supply delivered so that had probably been the reason.
We were in a room on the top floor (P8) and the ceiling seemed to be the roof of the hotel. It was always very hot when we came back, but the AC was good, and the room also had a ceiling fan which was more comfortable to leave on overnight than the AC. The only thing that we could have done with was a means to hang up drying costumes, towels etc, and a couple more plug sockets.
Our nemesis was the safe. It's a modern safe with a digital display which is on the upper shelf of the wardrobe. This means that you can't see the numbers/characters on the display from the floor (I am 5'9 so relatively tall), and had to pull the suitcase bench across to see it. Then if you have ANY fingernails at all you will inevitably press the number above the one you want and the safe then starts to wail at you. We eventually sussed it out and I was OIC of the safe for the week having the smaller fingers, and worked out where the numbers were without being able to see them in the end. Boom!
Hotel - difficult to really comment due to the circumstances at the time. It's right on the beach and has some sun loungers to use. Reception open 9-4 but as far as we saw, no staff on site overnight.
We were diving with Deefer Diving (see separate review). The Mermaid is at the far end of the main street to the dive shop, but it was only a 5 minute walk or 10 minute amble to get there each day. Carriacou is very relaxed and not really very touristy. We loved this but I guess it isn't for everyone. Our experience was very much affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Grenada/Cariacou was far safer from the virus than the rest of the world so our timing from that point of view was excellent, but it meant that the fears of it reaching the island resulted in, partway through our stay, all restaurants shutting and only being allowed to provide takeaways. Due to the lack of tourists most places had shut anyway which meant that it was tricker than I would imagine is normal to find somewhere to eat.
The Kayak Cafe run by Sally was great. It's very close to the dive shop and gives a discount to people diving with Deefer Dive. She also said that if we needed her to she would open in the evening for us.
Snaggs beach bar and restaurant was brilliant. He opened just for us one evening (with advance notice from that morning) and went and caught fish an hour before we arrived. He made us a lovely soup and that and his fish and sides were delicious. The place looks off-putting from the street as it looks like a gas tank, but inside it opens onto the beach and is great.
The Butterfly/Excelsior which is right next to the hotel, looks inauspicious, and is a small bar with a kitchen. They do fabulous rotis and we were told the pizza is great too. We arrived there one evening thinking we were going to go hungry just as they were shutting as there was literally no one else about. She agreed to open up again and cook some Lambi (Conch) and chips for us which was delicious.
For a couple of lunches we ate at a place right on the beach immediately next door to the customs pier. I can't give you a name as it didn't have one on it anywhere. It is a bar with a kitchen serving takeaways through a little hatch. Loads of locals use it (always a good sign). We had Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork from there which come with slaw, noodles and pasta salad and are absolutely fabulous. You get a good helping so we (2 normally greedy people) shared one betweeen two. This place isn't open in the evening, or at least wasn't when we were there.
Our week was cut short at day 5. We were told at about 9.30pm that we had to be on the 6am ferry the next morning otherwise we wouldn't be able to get off the island, due to new travel restrictions. As tempting as it would be to be stranded on Carriacou we had to leave early.