Laluna: Yoga in the hills of Grenada

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The plunge pool at Laluna, a resort on Grenada owned by former fashion marketing manager Bernardo Bertucci.
The plunge pool at Laluna, a resort on Grenada owned by former fashion marketing manager Bernardo Bertucci.

"I don't remember where I left my shoes," said Laluna's owner, Bernardo Bertucci, as he searched for them in his thatched-roof restaurant situated on a secluded Grenadian beach. Bertucci was dressed in shorts and a short-sleeve, button-down shirt. Of the hotel's ambience, he said, "It's not casual. It's simple. The absence of luxury is a luxury in itself."

Bertucci has been on the island for the past 16 years, practicing yoga every day. Before developing Laluna, he lived in New York, where as a marketing manager he introduced iconic Italian fashion brands such as Prada and Giorgio Armani to the U.S. market.

After sailing in the Caribbean one summer, Bertucci made a stop on Grenada. He instantly fell in love with the Spice Island and with Wendy, a yoga instructor who is now his wife of 15 years. Within two years, Bertucci built the property, which includes 16 one- and two-bedroom bungalows, creating rows of orange-and-purple, semidetached suites perched on a hilltop nestled within lush landscaping.

The tops of trees and the turquoise water can be seen from each bungalow's private, wooden sun deck, with the only sounds being the birds chirping. Since the property is for adults only, there is even more serenity. Inside the rooms are four-poster beds with white draping and a part-outdoor bathroom. Gabriella Giuntoli, who has created villas for Giorgio Armani and Sting, designed the original cottage suites. (Last year Laluna unveiled seven, three- to five-bedroom villas for families on another side of the property overlooking the bay.)

In addition to the authentic island-style bungalows, Bertucci built a yoga pavilion with a "million-dollar" view.

Inside the open-air pavilion, daily complimentary yoga for hotel guests is taught by one of three international instructors (Lesley from Australia, Fay from England and Sharon from Grenada). Each instructor specializes in a style of yoga, including hatha vinyasa and qi gong.

A per-class rate is offered for nonguests. Visitors interested in more classes can arrange private sessions, which are available anytime during the week ($100 for one or two people). Laluna also offers yoga retreats, which are led by Wendy.

Guests looking for a wellness program can opt for the hotel's Wellness Sanctuary package. The weeklong retreat can be focused on practices including yoga, Pilates, tai chi or other Eastern philosophies led by visiting masters. The retreats include three to five hours of practice daily. The exercises are guided in the pavilion overlooking the Caribbean Sea and are often split between morning and evening hours. Another offering for those looking to reset is Laluna's Wellbeing Package for Two. This includes accommodations for seven nights, three Balinese massages per person in Laluna's Asian Spa and daily yoga and meditation classes and is $6,085 through April 7.

Laluna's Tatami Massage, which is performed on a mat on the floor with the therapist using her hands and feet to perform the massage, is priced at $95 for a 55-minute session. For the Indonesian Massage Therapy, the spa's Balinese massage therapists, Weni and Dewi, simultaneously stretch, roll, knead and use thumb- and palm-pressure techniques (55 minutes, $175).

Getting to and from the island won't be stressful either. JetBlue offers four nonstop flights from New York JFK to Grenada per week. You'll go home revitalized and recharged. Visit www.laluna.com.

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