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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
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
  • Get to the point
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

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power