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Home > Destinations > Grenada > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Grenada - Trip Reports

La Source

Flight from UK: BA 777 'direct' but via Tobago where there is a 40 minute stop in both directions; its a 20 minute flight from Grenada to Tobago. The 777 was quite comfortable - the seats had 'ears' which make sleeping easier, and TV screens on the back of seat in front with a wide choice of films.

The transfer to the hotel is in a stretch limousine - which can actually do a shuttle backwards and forwards because the hotel is about 5 mins drive from the airport. Its actually on the same peninsula and separated from the airport by a (steep) hill. Aircraft noise is minimal tho - most of the traffic is fairly small aircraft (the 777 comes in twice a week) and none of it is routed over the resort.

The hotel was all we expected and more. For the energetically inclined there are activities on offer from 7.00 am until 6.00 pm (including aerobics, archery, fencing, tennis,golf) plus watersports. For the less active, there is almost non-stop food and drink, and the spa. When we arrived, we'd already been given an appointment with the nurse (who has to check you are fit for all the treatments - this seemed to be just taking your blood pressure) and appointments for a massage and foot massage for the following day. I was unable to persuade my husband to partake of any of the spa offerings, but I had a free treatment every day we were there. The longest takes about an hour so its not a huge commitment, and I was able to book the times I wanted very easily. I've not much experience of spa treatments but the ones I had seemed to be competently administered - I particularly enjoyed the foot massage. I had a 'salt loofah scrub' early on which I think has helped my skin not to peel post sunning!

We had a 'free upgrade' to a luxury oceanfront room - I don't know exactly what the differences are but in our case it meant we had a room on the 'ground' floor immediately facing the beach. Be warned - many of the rooms could be a long uphill climb and/or a lot of stairs (and there are no lifts). All the rooms face the sea, and even the 'ground floor' ones do not have direct access from their 'patio/balcony' onto the beach (which improves security, but does mean you have a walk to the beach and back). The rooms on the top floors (the hotel consists of two or three separate buildings) must have wonderful views. The room was big, as was the bathroom. It was furnished with a large double bed, plenty of wardrobe/drawer space, a couple of chairs and a table (plus chairs and table on the (small) balcony), and enough light to read by. The bathroom was also large and had a hair drier. Another word of warning - the base of the bath was very slippery and there was no rubber mat. As the bath was set in to a wide marble surround, getting in and out of it could be a slightly dangerous business. The shower was over the bath. There was air-conditioning (noisy) and although there was a ceiling fan, you don't really have the option of not using the a/c as the windows don't have insect-mesh over them, so you really have to keep them closed all the time.

The food was excellent. Buffet breakfast with the usual array of hot and cold foods; eggs cooked to order but other hot stuff kept warm. Lunch was a buffet in the terrace dining room - 2 or 3 hot dishes and an enormous array of salads. Dinner was usually a more formal affair in the upper dining room - 2 evenings a week they have it down on the terrace - once was a barbecue and one was a caribbean buffet (I think!). The service was also excellent - your wine and water glasses never allowed to be empty for long! The only slightly disappointing aspect was the desserts which mostly looked better than they tasted, but you soon learn which things are better avoided! There was cold water, iced tea and (hot) coffee available all day (and quite possibly all night) in the Terrace Bar (by the pool); a further nice touch was that there were regular 'patrols' of the beach by someone carrying a tray of cold fruit drinks. There was also an insulated pot of cold water put out on a table on the beach, so you didn't need to stir yourself to walk to the bar unless you wanted alcohol (and I think the 'beach boy' would fetch other drinks for you). The 'piano bar' near the dining room was the one which didn't shut until the last guest went to bed - it was very small and had the atmosphere of a 'gentlemen's club' with sofas and armchairs. We didn't stay for any of the musical entertainment offered there but I cant imagine that many people did as it was so small!

Children: it was the UK half-term while we were there and there were about half a dozen children in the hotel. I suppose the older ones might have found enough to entertain themselves, but I felt quite sorry for the really young ones. There is no children's pool (the swimming pool is 4 ft deep throughout) and the beach shelves too steeply to allow small children to play in the sea. Although there are sun shades and palm trees along the beach, it would be difficult to keep small children out of the sun. It is not really a suitable place for children.

Watersports: Waterskiing, windsurfing and sailing available; theoretically novices at one time and intermediates at another (same applied to the other activities but in practice it didn't seem to matter, and 'intermediate' just meant 'have tried it before'). The sea was quite rough most of the time we were there, with a brisk wind, and a strongish current. It was actually too rough for waterskiing quite a lot of the time, although people still tried. In comparison with other places we have tried waterskiing (Mark Warner resorts in the Med) the 'quality' was poor - they did not have a pontoon so no way absolute beginners could be held steady as they waited for the pull; they also just had one person in the boat - Mark Warner insisted on having one person driving the boat and another watching the skier.

There was an area roped off for swimming which had a small amount of coral and was worth snorkeling in (except on the days when the sea was so rough that playing in the waves and trying to body surf was a better option). The current was quite strong and we heard no warnings about it although a yellow flag was flying all the time we were there.

And on to the diving: We had not planned this as a diving holiday and, as it turned out, this was just as well as I had a chest problem and my husband had blocked sinuses, so we would have been unable to dive anyway. And having seen the diving operation, I don't think we would have wanted to!

First, what we could see: Divers have to get completely kitted up at the diving shop and then walk around the swimming pool and across the sandy beach to the sea. The beach shelves quite steeply, and getting in and out through the surf, even without diving kit on, was sometimes quite tricky (I got knocked over going in snorkeling one day). Then the divers had to swim out to the boat where they removed their fins only and climbed in. On return, they had to put fins on again and swim to shore, and then walk back to the dive shop. It all looked quite hard work - I must say I prefer to embark from a jetty and to have the gear (especially tanks) carried for me!

We saw some evidence of training going on - one couple did some sort of rescue exercise off the beach, and we occasionally came across people studying manuals and dive tables in secluded corners!

Secondly - what we learned from talking to a couple who were there to dive: Apparently La Source is now marketing itself as a place to have a diving holiday, and advertising in diving magazines. This couple had booked it specifically for diving and expected to get at least 2 dives a day with the possibility of more. When they turned up they were annoyed to find that they weren't even guaranteed one dive a day. They could try to book for a morning dive (up to three days in advance I think) but then they could only go on the afternoon dive if there was space available - they couldn't book that as well. They said that the main problem was lack of staff - only one qualified instructor and 2 (possibly 3) dive masters. So although the resort had 2 boats, they could only use one at a time, with a maximum of 12 divers. They reported that people with very limited experience were being allowed to go on the Bianca C dive, and that one chap, who had not dived for some years, and asked for a checkout in the pool so that he could familiarize himself with the equipment, was told he couldn't do that but had to go out on the boat. As we left, another guest who had just arrived, was complaining to the manager that he was a dive master who had booked this holiday to do some relaxing diving, but had been told he couldn't even have a check-out dive for 2 days! Finally, apparently the maximum visibility was about 10-15 metres - not what we are used to in the Caribbean!

Weather: the rainy season was apparently starting early. There were always clouds over the hills beyond St Georges (which we could see across the bay) and it tended to be rather cloudy. We also had rain - one day it rained all day, other days it was showers - sometimes very heavy! Something which always amazes me about Caribbean hotels is how unprepared they seem to be for rain; puddles gather so you have to slosh your way about, and there are no covered ways to get around the place. However, maybe as its always warm they think it doesn't matter if you get wet!

The above sounds rather negative and I don't want to finish on a sour note; overall we enjoyed the holiday tremendously and would recommend the resort to anyone who wants a relaxing time with lots of opportunities to be as active or as lazy as you want.

Thanks to Rita for this trip report ...
June 2000

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