My Life In Travel: Peter de Savary, entrepreneur

'I don't travel without Monty, my chihuahua'

First holiday memory?

A one-month holiday in 1953 at the Islander Hotel overlooking St George's Harbour in Grenada. I grew up in Venezuela, so it was one of the closest places to go for a holiday: right in the southern end of the Caribbean. I'll always remember the smell of the nutmeg, the beach, the water, the fishing. It's where I first learnt to handle a boat. I always thought: I must go back, and now I have a couple of substantial projects in Grenada [the Mount Cinnamon resort hotel and the Port Louis development].

Best holiday?

When I was the British challenger for the Americas Cup in 1983 in Newport, Rhode Island: a five-month period of training, building up a team, getting the boat ready, and then ultimately the races themselves. It was a fantastic period of my life that I can never forget.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I have to be absolutely honest, even though it's slightly self-serving: Babbacombe in South Devon. I love going there, and that's why I bought The Cary Arms [now a luxury boutique hotel]. It's just a magical, unspoilt bit of coast, with wonderful green vegetation. The water is very clear; in summer you see dolphins – three, maybe four, times a week. The only thing that's wrong with it is that it's not the temperature of the Caribbean.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Don't be dozy when you travel; you need to be alert. Usually, you're travelling in strange places and there are all sorts of things that can be hazards – from what you eat, to driving, to being in helicopters and planes.

Ideal travelling companion?

I have an ideal travelling companion, and I don't travel without him: Monty, a long-haired Chihuahua dog. I can't fly British Airways and Virgin any more because they won't accept him [in the cabin] on their flights. Everybody else allows him to travel with me. I find him very soothing and very good fun.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Adrenalin junkie. When I arrive somewhere, even if I've been there before many times, I get a sense of enthusiasm, and my energy levels soar. There's a sense of the unknown, a sense of adventure, and a little bit of apprehension about what's going to happen.

Greatest travel luxury?

To go on a private plane and avoid all of the hassles of normal travel at an airport, both departing and arriving.

Where has seduced you?

Grenada: unlike much of the Caribbean, the climate is agreeable 52 weeks of the year, because you're so far towards the equator that the temperature and humidity vary only marginally. It is a mountainous island, with rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, wild monkeys, fabulous wild flowers, and it's a spice island. It is seductive, there's no question.

Better to travel or arrive?

My general philosophy in life is that it's always better to travel, as arriving can be an anticlimax.

Worst travel experience?

I had a dreadful plane crash with my entire family some years ago. We fell into the sea, the pilot was killed, we were all trapped under the water. It's a complete and utter miracle we survived.

Worst hotel?

In Lagos, Nigeria – I don't really recommend any of the hotels there, but certainly the one I stayed in was my worst experience of a hotel. I didn't like the rats in the dining room.

Best hotel?

Obviously one of mine: I think in terms of experience, Vanderbilt Hall [in Newport, Rhode Island] is straight out of central casting. It's a Vanderbilt mansion, and we give guests the Vanderbilt lifestyle in 33 suites.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

My favourite swim is on Grand Anse beach in Grenada – two miles of white sand, a handful of seaweed and not a rock in sight. It beats any pool.

My favourite walk is along the banks of the River Windrush in Oxfordshire, through the water meadows, seeing beautiful Cotswold houses.

My favourite ride was when I recently rode an electric bike for the first time. What an amazing thing: you can go up to 20mph, it'll take you along without pedalling, or it helps you pedal.

And my favourite drive is through the Pyrenees, preferably in a vintage car.

Best meal abroad?

When I get to Grenada, the first thing that I eat is West Indian grouper, with rice and peas and some fried plantain, butter and lemon. It feels healthy and delicious.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I like to see what's in immediate walking distance – it's amazing what you discover.

Dream trip?

I very much want to go to the Galápagos Islands. I've never had the opportunity or the time to do it, but it's on my agenda.

Favourite city?

It has to be Paris. It's a wonderful city: I love the architecture, I love the fact that they keep the buildings clean, not black and dirty. I also like the fact that it's spread out. Different areas have interesting things in them.

Where next?

If I knew where next was, I would hang up my boots and call it a day. The fact that I don't know where next is the whole excitement and adventure of life. It'll be a new thing, and a whole new chapter in my life.

For more information on Peter de Savary's Mount Cinnamon resort hotel and Port Louis in Grenada, see mountcinnamongrenada hotel. com or portlouis grenada.com

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum