As I lay there, covered only by a towel awaiting my first ever massage, I had to confess to some feelings of apprehension. I needn’t have worried, however, and over the next two weeks I happily sampled every other “treatment” offered, from reflexology and aromatherapy to seaweed wraps and salt and oil loofah rubs. We were at La Source, a wonderful, small all-inclusive resort situated on Pink Gin Beach on the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada. It may sound a bit like a West Indian health farm, but it is far removed from that. Certainly the aim is to revitalise and relax both body and mind but there is no question of existing on carrot juice and the odd lettuce leaf. The food is excellent and with an extremely attentive staff your glass is rarely empty. If you prefer to eat, drink and laze in the sun, with perhaps the odd massage now and again, you can. The record is apparently held by one guest who gained 20 pounds over the course of two weeks! For the more active there is a full complement of sports and instruction from tennis and golf to archery, fencing and the whole range of water sports. Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi classes are also held, while for those preferring a vigorous workout as a stress antidote, there is a well equipped gym and all forms of aerobics and stretch classes. Above all, the staff at the hotel, like all the local people, were some of the most delightful and charming you would be likely to encounter and contributed greatly to the warm and informal atmosphere of the resort.
It was a week before we had any inclination to venture outside the resort’s grounds. When we did, we found Grenada to be one of the most beautiful of the Caribbean islands, with mountains rising to over 2,000 feet covered by a lush rain forest. The island is known as the Spice Island because so many spices grow there, particularly nutmeg, where it is the world’s number one producer. For the more active there are hikes into the mountains to some wonderful waterfalls or catamaran trips to the Grenadines. Others may prefer to visit the bustling market in the capital Georgetown, tour a rum distillery (their rum is 70 per cent alcohol!), or have lunch in one of the old plantation houses. Wherever you go, you will meet very friendly and charming people.
Grenada has not been developed as much as many of the other Caribbean islands and has so far escaped (dare I say it?) the ravages of mass tourism. The memories of steel bands, barbecues and rum punches around the pool under the stars, and not forgetting the massages, will remain with us. We hope to return.