Why Sir Royston Hopkin is an Island Icon

Cruisers visiting Grenada can learn much about the island from this hotelier.

royston hopkin grenada
From high-school dropout to Queen’s honors, Grenada’s leading hotelier Sir Royston Hopkin is a tourism champion.Spice Island Beach Resort/DCJ Photography

At age 17, Royston Hopkin dropped out of high school; 42 years later, in 2005, Queen Elizabeth II knighted the hotelier for his service to tourism in Grenada and the Caribbean.

Hopkin’s success story began with a job at his parents’ guesthouse. At age 20, he was appointed to the Grenada Board of Tourism, and for the past 50-plus years he has worked tirelessly to promote tourism. Today he owns the Spice Island Beach Resort, a property he nurtured and elevated to six-star luxury status.

Though “Spice” is on scenic Grand Anse Beach, Hopkin knows the setting only partly shapes a guest’s experience. The hallmark of his property is award-winning service. And he uses his success for good: While the island of Grenada was spared the devastation of the 2017 hurricane season, Hopkin contributed to the relief efforts on other islands.

He is a beloved local celebrity, not only for his personal successes, but also for his philanthropy, notably the Royston Hopkin scholarship fund.

Your scholarship fund provides tuition and books for needy children. Do you now believe that all children should have an education?

I have never lost the belief that education is empowerment and that all children should have access to an education. I decided on an early business career over secondary education, but that was my choice. Some children do not have that choice. My family and I are fortunate enough to be in a position to help others lift themselves up and live up to their full potential.

You’ve accomplished so much. Do you still have goals?

Remaining at the forefront of the hospitality industry is an ongoing goal that can be achieved, but never completed. What we do that is unique today, someone else will do tomorrow. My goal is to continue challenging myself and my children to be better than we were yesterday.