Home / Caribbean Hotel / This Caribbean Island You’ve Never Heard Of Has Luxury Hotels, Stunning Blue Waters, and Some of the Best Snorkeling in the World

This Caribbean Island You’ve Never Heard Of Has Luxury Hotels, Stunning Blue Waters, and Some of the Best Snorkeling in the World

/
/
/
23 Views


Blank, baffled stares. It is really what I was achieved with when I told people I was heading to Canouan, a petite, 3-sq.-mile island — just a person of 32 within the string of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “Where’s that?” my buddies, even the most very well-traveled ones, would question. I pulled up a map on my cell phone, dragging my finger along the Caribbean Sea, pinching the display in and out, sooner or later pointing to a dilemma-mark-shaped speck surrounded by Barbados, St. Lucia, and Grenada. I waited for a glimmer of detection. “Under no circumstances read of it,” they’d say. The truth of the matter is, I hadn’t both.

Canouan is one thing of an enigma in the Caribbean: Just a 45-moment flight from beloved Barbados, it has managed to continue being a key, conserve for a privy couple of — an in-the-know group who arrives to moor their million-dollar yachts (Robert Downey, Jr.) or dodge the paparazzi (George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio). It really is even been touted as a “area wherever billionaires go to escape millionaires.”

Infinity pool at Mandarin Oriental Canouan

Infinity pool at Mandarin Oriental Canouan

Alisha Prakash

Not very long in the past, while, the island was without functioning drinking water or paved streets, and it tallied extra turtles than human residents. Now, there’s a runway for private jets, a flurry of new luxury lodges and villas, and a multimillion-dollar marina for mega yachts. Nonetheless, arriving here even now feels like unearthing some thing new.

Mandarin Oriental on Canouan island

Mandarin Oriental on Canouan island

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Canouan

From the airplane, Canouan mimics lots of other Caribbean islands: turquoise waters, interrupted only by emerald-environmentally friendly hills and slick, masted sailboats — just about every tropical spot cliché is on whole exhibit from previously mentioned. Up close, as the island quietly unfurls, streets reveal locals accumulating on the streets of a compact, lively village and unfettered ocean sights at every single bend. There are no packs of cruise travellers, no tawdry tchotchke retailers, no overdeveloped swathes crammed with motels and places to eat. In its place, listed here, website traffic suggests breaking to allow turtles move (Canouan is the Carib term for “island of turtles”), and the mother nature is so unspoiled you come to feel as if you happen to be a single of the 1st to stop by. Even much better, it all sits just below the hurricane belt, steering very clear of storms that traditionally hammer the region, so you can find no terrible time to visit.

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental stay experience

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental remain practical experience

Alisha Prakash

The allure is evident, so its pleasantly hushed profile is, then, most likely because of to its reasonably distant deal with, just one that can be attained via non-public constitution, while ferry and commercial flight company — the latter halting on quite a few other islands — are also alternatives. (Mandarin Oriental’s own jet also tends to make the 20- to 25-minute soar from hubs like St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, and Grenada.)

We flew from New York to Barbados, wherever a devoted crew whisked us to our personal charter on SVG Air, seeking immediately after our baggage and pandemic paperwork. 20 minutes just after touching the tarmac, we arrived at the Mandarin Oriental, a lovely, gated resort that rebooted the Pink Sands Club in 2018.

Mandarin Oriental on Canouan island

Mandarin Oriental on Canouan island

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Canouan

Sitting down on a 1,200-acre estate, the beachfront property will not need to encourage itself as a luxe hideout: The 26 suites and 13 villas, all of which confront the beach front and have individual butlers, are proof ample. Suites are a lot more than roomy, commencing at 1,300 sq. ft, with marble bathrooms and a terrace or backyard mere measures from the sand — a watch only designed much better with a glass of refreshing watermelon juice in hand. And when chic, taken off-from-the-earth accommodations are customary in the Caribbean, the Mandarin’s multistory hillside villas are in a league of their own: Personal infinity swimming pools, outdoor patios, elevators (in some), and additional than 5,000 square feet of place are normal in every single plush perch.

In spite of this staying the Mandarin’s first Caribbean outpost, the lodge acknowledges its origins with signature bursts of pink, from the umbrellas dotting the beach front to the loungers by the stunning infinity pool that seemingly drops into the ocean.

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental stay experience

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental continue to be working experience

Alisha Prakash

The resort’s luxurious credentials count toward its food items, far too, whether or not you pick to fuel up at 1 of the high-quality-dining establishments, in your suite, or instantly on the beach front for a personal torchlit meal, toes in the sand and all. (Purchase the saltfish and coconut dough boy for breakfast.) The hotel can even prepare a castaway-model picnic on a secluded beach front for a pretty Robinson Crusoe-esque encounter.

Canouan Estate (a shorty dinghy trip away) also has two tasty eating places — L’Ance Guyac and Shell Seaside — and Soho Beach Household, also new on the island, and Shenanigans are terrific for those people who want to undertaking off the estate. No make a difference where by you try to eat, while, kick off the night with a sundowner at Turtles, a cocktail bar that seems like it was yanked from the Hamptons.

Mandarin Oriental on Canouan island

Mandarin Oriental on Canouan island

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Canouan

And then you will find the spa: Not succumbing to environmental limitations, the procedure cabanas are all tucked instantly from a mountain overseeing the drinking water. The property also recently debuted two overwater villas with an out of doors balcony, steam shower, and glass flooring so company can gaze at the cerulean waters as they drift off all through a massage, facial, or system scrub.

There is certainly lots to have interaction active vacationers, also, like a round of golfing at the Jim Fazio–designed system adopted by sunset cocktails on the 13th hole, or using out a catamaran, stand-up paddleboard, or kayak.

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental stay experience

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental stay knowledge

Alisha Prakash

A person morning, I opted for the short — albeit deceivingly steep — climb up Mount Royal with Kezzy, the Mandarin’s nature guideline. Pumping my arms and hoisting my knees high to maintain the momentum going, I pulled my way to the 877-foot summit — the best position on the island — pausing to recognize the tortoises and soldier crabs with whom we shared the trail, till a hummingbird flitting in between branches commandeered my gaze down. Achieving the peak quickly erased my memory of the work it took to get there: Stunning sights, such as neighboring Mustique, Union Island, and Petit St. Vincent, unravel in each individual route. I requested Kezzy, who tackles the path pretty much every working day, no matter whether he tires of the see. “By no means,” he claimed.

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental stay experience

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental continue to be knowledge

Alisha Prakash

This appears to be a theme on the island. An additional morning, we sailed out to Tobago Cays, cradling five uninhabited islands and a safeguarded coral reef with some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. Someplace between swimming alongside a trio of environmentally friendly turtles and spotting a university of stingrays and sea urchin, I considered to myself, this is too fantastic to be accurate. Afterwards that afternoon, as we bobbed back towards the resort on our catamaran, our guideline, unprompted, shared: “I love the h2o. Each day is distinctive — it does not get outdated.”

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental stay experience

Canouan Island and Mandarin Oriental remain experience

Alisha Prakash

Nevertheless couple actions exist over and above the gates of the Mandarin, there is no want for a jammed itinerary. Most days, I identified myself moseying to the sand in entrance of my suite extra than a dozen moments a working day, dipping my toes in for a minute, viewing the waves slow dance in the night breeze. In the afternoon, I would linger on a lounger with a guide, ending each individual chapter with a dip in the ocean.

On my ultimate day, I snapped a person final photograph of the ocean, translucent under the midday sun, and texted it to a pal with the caption, “We have to occur back again.” Soon after all, I’m not just one to retain a magic formula.



Resource hyperlink

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar