Island of Spice

Annette Allmond on 26 February 2009
In need of a little winter sunshine we headed off for the Caribbean island of Grenada. It is one of the most southerly of the islands and there are a number of airlines including BA/Virgin & Monarch who fly there. We chose Virgin and although the flight touches down in Tobago this wasn’t a problem. On arrival we were met by a stretch limo to whisk us to our hotel, La Source. Although the airport is only a 5–10 minute drive away you are not aware of the aircraft overhead the hotel, and in fact if you do see one it is quite good fun!

At the hotel we were greeted with cold flannels and a most welcome rum punch before being taken to our room. Be aware that some of the rooms are located up a steep hill so would not be suitable for someone with walking difficulties. You would need one of the lower floors which would be fine. All rooms are of a similar standard in size and layout and have 4 poster beds – high off the ground!

La Source is known as the ‘ultimate head rest’ and is located on Pink Gin Beach. It’s not a huge resort, has 100 guest rooms, is set in wonderful beautifully kept gardens and is surrounded by the sea.

After being taken to our room we quickly changed for a long awaited dip. The water was so warm and you dry so quickly when you get out – ooh wish I was there now! There are 3 pools to choose from. Before going back to the room to change ready for dinner we managed another quick cocktail!

There are four restaurants and three bars to choose from. Our favourite was the piano bar followed by dinner in Oscars, the restaurant on the beach. The view over to St Georges is quite something. The food in all of the restaurants was of a very high standard and the hotel caters for all dietary needs including a gluten free menu. Even if we didn’t need it, we took afternoon tea most days at the café deli, which was an array of sandwiches and scones with jam & cream - yummy. This is in the piazza right next to the gym and outdoor table tennis; perhaps they were trying to tell us something! Needless to say we never saw the inside of the gym although I believe it was very good and of course was totally air conditioned.

Included in the cost of your holiday is a daily complimentary spa treatment in the Oasis Spa. These range from full body massages to feet and hand massages. This can be a welcome break from the sun, but beware, don’t underestimate the powerful sun - the salt scrub can be quite painful if you are a little bit burnt! We did go out and about to see some of the island. It is very inexpensive to hire a driver for the day and the people are some of the friendliest I have experienced in the Caribbean. It really is a lovely island. It has a varied history including being badly damaged by a hurricane in September 2004, however this has been put back right on track and apart from some of the older buildings still showing signs of damage, they have recovered remarkably well. The spice market in St Georges is a must, the different aromas are wonderful and it is so colourful.

The most popular area in Grenada, for hiking and trekking, is in the rainforest around the Grand Etang Lake, in the central part of the island. The views are wonderful and there are several waterfalls, hot springs and plantations meandering through the hills. Grand Etang is a crater lake surrounded by a lush tropical forest and is part of the nature reserve. A series of trails has been marked, and hiking them is well worth the effort, although we didn’t! Needless to say after a day’s island tour, we headed back to the hotel for a nice cold beer before a shower followed by dinner!

Unfortunately, we only had a week here and it was time to leave. If travelling with Virgin, La Source has the optional check in chill out service, which is fantastic and means you are not hanging around in the airport for hours on end and enables you to continue your holiday ‘till virtually the last minute!