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Spicy Grenada

The Spice Island is also home to the new luxurious adults-only all-inclusive Sandals LaSource Resort



As we step out of the taxi at the Spice Market, self-appointed tour guide Jemmie Campbell greets us like long-lost friends.

He's also anxious to know if my wife and I are having a magical time in this southern Caribbean paradise of Grenada.

We are.

After quickly establishing we are Canadian, he thanks us for supporting the liberation of Grenada, sending aid after hurricanes and opening branches of Scotiabank and CIBC on the island.

Before we know it we're following Jemmie, who most certainly has the gift of gab, through this fragrant market.

Nutmeg is grated into our palms, cinnamon sticks are waved under our noses and puffs of vanilla are released into the air.

Jemmie is one of the enterprising older guys who hangs outside the market hoping to land impromptu guiding gigs.

After 10 minutes of being entertained by Jemmie, we want to explore the rest of the market on our own and offer to pay him for his service.

Fifteen Eastern Caribbean dollars, the equivalent of about $8 Canadian, seems fair.

Of course, Jemmie wants more.

After all, he has a family to feed in the mountains, where he lives, and they have to wash their clothes in the river.

Jemmie's ensemble of green tracksuit jacket and oversized khaki pants isn't high fashion, but it doesn't look like they've been laundered in the river either.

He finally accepts the money and we go our separate ways after hand shakes and well wishes.

A half-hour later, Jemmie's tracked us down in another store a block away.

One of the bills I paid him with was inadvertently Turkish lira from our last trip.

I apologize, replace it with the correct currency and Jemmie tries again, unsuccessfully, to negotiate more.

A foray to the Spice Market in downtown St. Georges, Grenada's colourful and gritty oceanfront capital, is a must.

After all, Grenada is known as the Spice Island where nutmeg is king.

We haven't come just for the spices though.

The luxury adults-only all-inclusive resort chain Sandals has opened a stunning 225-room property in Grenada and we simply have to stay there.

Our room at Sandals LaSource Grenada isn't a room at all but a standalone Rondoval, a conical villa with palm-thatched roof, sumptuous bedroom and bathroom and outdoor shower, plunge pool and hot tub on a completely private patio.

Is it too much information to reveal we skinny dipped every day, sipped champagne in our circular double-lounge chair and made endless plans for further pampering?

When we bump into public relations manager Raelene Lazarus, she reinforces the resort "is the sexiest Sandals in the chain."

Other room categories include outdoor 'love tubs' for soaking behind billowy curtains, more private plunge pools, infinity pools that jut out from balconies and swim-up rooms fronted by yet more pools.

While myriad of Sandals' other resorts have already won World's Leading All-Inclusive Company and Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand trophies, the ante has been upped at Sandals LaSource Grenada.

We eat nutmeg ice cream at Cafe de Paris after having a scents couples massage, featuring nutmeg, of course, over the water in a pavilion at the end of the pier.

We dine on lamb shank at Le Jardinier; the catch-of-the-day at beachfront Neptune's; gnocchi at Cucina Romana; sushi at Soy; and surf-and-turf at Butch's Chophouse, the first steakhouse in the Sandals chain named after company founder Butch Stewart.

The excursions on the Sandals boats to La Luna Reef and the Underwater Sculpture Park to snorkel showcase a plethora of sea life and the famous underwater statues, respectively.

The multi-talented Jeff Dumont, who not only works at the Sandals water sports centre, but is a beekeeper and calypso musician using the apt stage name Da Stinger, takes us out for a private catamaran tour.

The half-day Grenada Sampler excursion with Island Routes includes more time in St. George's; history and great views from Fort Frederick; a stop at waterfalls in the Grand Etang Rainforest where cliff jumpers and Mona monkeys entertain; and more spice stops.

Caribbean Airlines and Air Canada fly non-stop twice-a-week from Toronto to Grenada.

Air Canada also packages with Sandals for all-inclusive vacations.


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