1. Recommendations for unwinding from the flight and a lazy first day?
International travel can be stressful, but traveling to and from Grenada is easy. The island’s small international airport welcomes flights from the US, Canada, Europe, and across the Caribbean on a daily basis, and the airport staff is welcoming and accommodating. To make things even easier, Laluna Resort offers an airport transfer package that can help you glide through private Immigration and Customs processing and private transportation of your party and luggage direct to the resort.
Grenada runs on “island time”, and it won’t be long until you start to unwind and feel at home on the Isle of Spice. To help you immediately slip into “island time” pick up one of the Grenada’s signature drinks – a rum punch with a sprinkling of freshly ground, locally grown nutmeg – and heed the call of the Caribbean Sea. Spend the day soaking up the sun, relaxing on our white sand beach and taking dips in the warm water.
2. Best way to completely re-charge body and soul?
To help you feel full revitalized, I recommend starting the day off with a yoga session at our beachfront yoga pavilion. Whether you are experienced at yoga or a beginner, there is nothing quite like listening to the birds chirp in the trees, the waves lap the shore and the soft breeze rustle the palm leaves as you find your center and restore your personal balance. As an extra special treat, I also like to enjoy a massage by an expert masseuse. If you’re traveling with a loved one, a couple’s massage can be a great way to enjoy a relaxing hour together.If you are in need of extra pampering, the four-handed Indonesian massage at Laluna’s Asian spa will really show you what relaxation is all about. After years of traveling, we came to truly appreciate the spa techniques of Indonesia, which is why we hire our masseuses from Bali in order to give our guests the ultimate, authentic experience.
Of course, in my opinion, one of the best ways to connect with the island and recharge your batteries is by getting out on the ocean. Grenada is flanked by both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, each of which offers a different experience. Whether you head out for a sunset cruise for a couple of hours or for a full day at sea sailing around the island, being out on the water, taking in the different colors of the sea, is truly calming and restorative.
3. The must see sites to explore on the island?
Visiting Grenada offers travellers a chance to experience an island un-marred by overpopulation or abundant tourism. Grenada is still a hidden gem in the Caribbean, and even the most popular locations remain pure and authentic. There are so many things that I could list as must-sees, but I’ll try to narrow it down. For those that enjoy hiking, I highly recommend a trip to Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve. Up in the mountains, the air is cooler and wildlife is abundant. If you go early enough and bring some mangoes or bananas, you may have the chance to feed the wild mona monkeys that inhabit the forest. There are many beautiful waterfalls within a close drive of the forest. Local favorites include Seven Sisters, a series of seven falls that can be jumped with the aid of a guide, and Royal Mount Carmel Falls, which include a natural rock series that creates a sort of water slide for brave explorers to slide down. For snorkelers or divers, a must-see is the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park. The sunken statues are fun to explore, and they also help rejuvenate the local reef. Finally, a trip downtown is a must. In the open-air spice market, you can find an abundance of locally grown produce to try, including French Cashews, water lemons, a variety of mangoes, sour sop, sugar apple and more. We come by the name of “the Spice Isle” honestly, so don’t miss out on the locally produced nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric. For history buffs, Fort George and Fort Frederick are both nearby and are interesting to explore.
4. Any personal favourite hidden gems to visit?
Of course, I would have to say Laluna. We are off the beaten path, and our quiet, secluded beach is the perfect place to spend an uninterrupted day relaxing on the beach. That aside, one of the most magical experiences you will ever have is if you are able to visit the north side of the island during sea turtle egg laying season. There is a fantastic conservation group that works on the island to carefully monitor the laying and hatching of local sea turtles each year. As a part of their efforts, they lead small tours each night down to the beach to observe the turtle’s ritual. Being able to observe a giant sea turtle come ashore the same beach she was hatched on to lay her eggs under the moonlight is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For those looking for a fun adventure, we recommend heading to Hog Island on a Sunday to ‘lime’ (the local term for hanging out with the locals). Grab a Grenadian rum punch from Roger’s Bar, a beachside shack, and get your hips moving to the live music that gets everyone dancing barefoot on the sand.
5. Advice for a day at sea?
For a truly authentic experience, you can’t go wrong by chartering a locally built wooden schooner. These ships were initially built for inter-Caribbean cargo shipments and they are now used for activities around the island. Don’t let their history fool you – they have been re-imagined to provide a luxurious day at sea, and their crew have sourced the best locally prepared fare and beverages to make for an unforgettable day. Try sailing for a day, with stops to snorkel in calm waters and take in the local sea life. If you are lucky, you may even sail through a school of flying fish or even encounter a pod of playful dolphins.
6. Dining recommendations for an unforgettable meal?
There are a few not-to-be missed restaurants on the island. Grenada is lucky to have attracted chefs from across the globe who were drawn to the island’s beauty and abundance. At Laluna, we focus on the cuisine of my home – the Calabria region of Italy – made unique with a Caribbean twist and ingredients. We have paid special attention to building our wine cellar, and are known to have many unique bottles from small vintners previously unknown to our guests. A short walk down the beach from Laluna is another favourite: the Beach House. Their menu focuses on continental and Caribbean cuisine and they utilize local ingredients, such as spiny lobster and callaloo, to their full advantage. For a unique experience, nothing beats Patrick’s in-home restaurant on the way into St George’s. There is no menu; the cook will prepare 20 dishes for you and other guests based on what is fresh, local and delicious. You will get to experience the true flavors of Grenada and can pick out the melding of Indian, French and Caribbean influences.
7. And, if one week in Grenada just simply isn’t enough?
One week in Grenada is hardly enough, something I recognized early on when I made it my home. While I have always enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, meeting new guests at Laluna, I also wanted to help those interested in a longer-term solution to their need for an island escape. With that in mind, we created the Laluna Villa Estate adjacent to our resort. Built on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, these villas combine Caribbean cool with European luxury in the most stunning setting imaginable. Each five-bedroom home features indoor and outdoor living and dining and an infinity edge pool. Villa owners get all the benefits of access to Laluna Resort with the bonus of the full privacy offered by ownership of a private property in the exclusive villa community. As a benefit to villa owners, Laluna provides full villa management, including the utilization of the villa as an income source with managed vacation rental opportunities.
For more information, visit www.laluna.com