Laluna Resort, which opened in December on the Caribbean island of Grenada, is the brainchild of Bernardo Bertucci, a former public relations consultant to the Italian fashion industry. His financial backing came from friends at Benetton and Zegna; the design is by Carmelina Santoro and Gabriella Giuntoli, who counts Giorgio Armani among her other clients. Not surprisingly, Laluna has a beautiful high-fashion look. Sixteen brightly colored villas are dotted across a hill. Their interiors are painted warm cinnamon and sienna tones and furnished with hand-carved Balinese wood fourposters and silk pillows. The communal open-air living room is thatched with elephant grass and accessorized with more Indonesian furniture and eclectic finds from other parts of Asia.
Though highly designed, the resort, refreshingly, has no haughty attitude. Instead, this is the sort of simple place that rarely exists in the Caribbean anymore: a place to go just to relax on a small beach in a private cove. There is blissfully little to do, with the exception of lazing in your plunge pool, taking out a Sunfish, or, for the more ambitious guest, touring the 120-square-mile verdant island.
Meals are provided by Sicilian chef Benedetto La Fiura, who, shortly after the hotel opened, was still mastering such unfamiliar rituals as American breakfasts, but was turning out fabulous versions of his native specialties, particularly pastas. The staff, if inexperienced, was winning. As is the place overall. (Best for unobstructed views of the water: villas 8, 9, and 16. Best if you don't want to walk up stairs: villa 1, the only one directly on the beach.) $430-$860. Morne Rouge, Grenada; 800-628-8929, 473-439-0001; www.laluna.com.