ABOARD ROYAL CLIPPER-I jumped ship in Grenada.
The Royal Clipper offered some very appealing shore excursions, but I had already seen the nutmeg and cocoa production operations there on a previous visit. And the eco-trek to Bamboo Falls seemed too challenging for my gimpy knee.
So Bill and I did our own thing. We took a taxi from Grenada’s cruise terminal to LaLuna, a 16-cottage resort overlooking Morne Rouge Bay, the next beach over from Grand Anse when coming from the capital, St. George’s. The resort’s Italian owner built the cottages 15 years ago as an adults-only retreat.
Each has a king-size bed, indoor/outdoor shower and small plunge pools. Use of kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats and paddleboards is free as are Pilates and yoga classes offered in a very Zen outdoor pavilion.
The big news is LaLuna Villas just up the cliff from the cottages. These five-bedroom, five-bath, 8,000-square-foot villas are still being sold, so far to English owners, including racecar driver Louis Hamilton. When the owners are away, the villas are rented to guests. Families mostly. Each has an infinity-edge pool, full kitchen and a private jetty at prestigious Port Louis Marina for one’s yacht.
Since we had our own yacht for a week, the Royal Clipper, we didn’t need to check in. We came just for lunch in the LaLuna restaurant, specializing in Italian cuisine with a Caribbean twist. I had a tasty gazpacho, then octopus salad. Bill downed a salad Nicoise before moving on to a cheeseburger. He had beer, of course, this time the local Grenada brew, Stag. My cocktail, the resort’s signature LaLuna Mist, was a vision in blue thanks to Curacao liqueur. Picture worthy.
The restaurant is open to all, not just resort guests, as is the resort’s Bali-inspired spa, making LaLuna a destination for cruise passengers who plan ahead to do their own excursion.
We were booked for a couple’s Balinese massage, an hour of bliss that worked out the kinks in our muscles and joints ($237 U.S.) We were so relaxed, I think I dozed off for a bit and heard Bill snore from the adjoining room.
We could have stayed on the Royal Clipper and had massages, too. The spa on board has a menu of massages, each around 80 euros for an hour. Massage therapist Bernie Marichell said the traditional massage is the most requested, but the Hawaiian, incorporating the fragrances of frangipani, ylang-ylang and orange blossoms, is gaining in popularity. In addition to the one-hour massage, you can book the full Hawaiian spa ritual, two hours and fifteen minutes including a peel, wrap and massage for 150 euros.
The Royal Clipper spa has one unusual feature, though, that not many spas can match. Its Captain Nemo Spa is underwater. That is, it’s on a low deck below the water line with portholes looking out under the aqua Caribbean. There’s a fitness room, too, so while you are lifting weights or running on a treadmill you can gaze at the shifting shades of the sea and any marine life that happens to be swimming by at the time.
Article and photos by Katherine Rodeghier