Canouan, St Vincent & Grenadines • by Stefano Bajona, Founder

Canouan: unspoiled and hidden place of excellence

You certainly know the Caribbean's wonders but I can assure you that nothing comes close to the charm that this Grenadines' pearl emanates. After tasting it, I am sure you will be "Canouan Sick"

The Caribbean, in the collective imagination, evokes places that have an ancient history characterized by the legendary pirates who attacked and plundered the precious sailing ships along the maritime trade routes of the New Continent. But it is also a hidden place to evoke the perfect holiday. Over the years, many islands have competed for the title of the most exclusive destination in the Caribbean and Canouan, located in the archipelago of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has certainly earned the podium.

La si può raggiungere con voli di linea, atterrando a Barbados per poi proseguire con un jet privato.

It can be reached landing in Barbados with scheduled flights and then taking off -for a scenic flight- onboard a private jet.

And this is how we reached the magical island of turtles that, undisturbed,  walk along the 8 square kilometers on which this corner of paradise extends.

Upon arrival, the intense colors that characterize the landscape are striking and, after a quick and comfortable landing, we are greeted by Jennifer -our butler- who takes us to the Mandarin Oriental, the resort chosen for this stay. Before reaching the resort, we cross the Charleston village, preserved in its entirety to allow the natives to maintain their habits, but enriched with useful infrastructures to improve their quality of life: the school is an example. Donated by those who have recently taken over a portion of the island, it allows the young students of the village to undertake their studies without having to travel to other islands. It is amazing to be able to see an example of integrated and environmentally friendly development that, at the same time, has allowed the island to evolve with top-level resorts and villas that make Canouan one of the favorite destinations for those looking for unspoiled places but, at the same time, excellent services.

Discover Mandarin Canouan

The full staff welcomes us in the riot of colour that characterize their uniforms and with magical smiles that convey a sincere joy of being part of your wonderful experience.


The view enjoyed from the Mandarin terrace highlights the magnificence of the sea colors around the atoll, already savored on the way to the property. What is striking is the glare of the beautiful Godhal Beach sand which outlines the most visible portion of the resort.

The contrast of the pink of the few parasols, arranged on the beach like graceful oleander bushes, completes the perfect color scheme of the view.


We finish our cocktail inebriated by this snapshot, the first of a long series. The extensive photographic reportage helps us to return to that magical atmosphere from time to time.

Discover the Suites and the Ocean Villas

5 are the beaches where you can decide to explore: just ask to the butler and, even without too much notice, you can spend a Robinsoe Crusoe style day at Manhault beach where, magically, once you get off the golf cart, you will find comfortable sunbeds and the inevitable pink parasols set up just for you. You can therefore enjoy a long bath in solitude and sip a fresh rosé while waiting for lunch, ordered à la carte.

Peculiar, walking around the island, is the slow and discreet walk of the turtles that make their way along the paths; therefore, pay attention while driving the buggy because obstacles are always lurking….

Se poi vi recate alla 9° del magnifico golf course a 18 buche, progettato da Jim Fazio, che si estende sul pendio del Mount Royal, rimarrete stupiti di quante di loro si aggirino indisturbate anche sul green, oltre che sui vialetti ben curati che attraversano i 1.200 acri della lussureggiante vegetazione dell’isola. Qui è d’obbligo brindare, al tramonto, con una coppa di champagne, mentre si dominano, dall’altezza di questo punto, entrambi i lati dell’isola, potendo scorgere parte delle 32, tra isole e atolli, che compongono l’arcipelago.

If you then reach the 9th of the magnificent 18-hole golf course, designed by Jim Fazio, which extends on the slope of Mount Royal, you will be amazed at how many of them wander undisturbed even on the green, as well as on the well-kept paths they cross into the 1,200 acres of the island’s lush greenery. Here, at sunset, it is a must to toast, with a glass of champagne, while dominating both sides of the island. You will be able to enjoy the view of a portion of the 32 islands that are part of the archipelago.

Sunset cheers

In the mood to do some exercise, after the indolence of the first day, we decided to reach by paddle board Shell Beach: a beach named thanks to the fragments of white coral and shells that the waves have collected in this small bay creating an amazing visual effect. Promptly equipped with shoes – since it would be impractical to walk barefoot – we relaxed in the shade of the palm trees and allowed ourselves a light lunch. We decide, then, to return by land asking Jennifer for a ride on the golf cart, to allow us few moments of relaxation in the magnificent Penthouse but only after having visited the well-equipped Pirates of Canouan Kids & Teens Club.

Nothing is really missing here, not even for the children.

Pirates of Canouan Kids & Teens Club

Looking from the suite terrace, you can see the beach boys in charge of water sports in the distance. A special souvenir goes to Kabin, the boy whose greatest fun was to sail the motorboat to accompany guests to snorkel along  the coral bay which, with its 2 kilometers, stands out for being the largest in the Caribbean. Kabin was so enthusiastic about his work that one day, short of passengers, he timidly approached us to inform us on the perfect view of the seabed and the excellent sea conditions; sensing the veiled message and tickled by the vaunted underwater beauties, we joined him with his utmost pleasure. And, indeed, the spectacle of marine forms, already a short distance from the shore, lived up to expectations: corals, gorgonians and interesting morainic formations attract a variety of colorful marine creatures.

We had met Kabin during the excursion to the Royal Mount. We climbed up the slope, following newly marked paths, well known to him. On the way he stopped few times to describe us the flora and fauna.  Incredible to say but along the steep path we encountered some turtles that, with difficulty, were climbing, skidding among foliage and roots, towards the top. As proof of the saying goes they go very far revealing themselves as tireless climbers.

With few stops we reached the top of the Royal Mount (267 meters) and there we realized that the intense climb was worth it. A view perhaps even more impressive than the one we enjoyed from hole 9, if a comparison can be made.

Kabin, like a free climber, jumped to the highest peak, overlooking the sea, from which he took beautiful panoramic photos.

We had the opportunity to appreciate the cuisine of the several many restaurants scattered around the island which, in their diversity, won us over. The quality of the food and the skill in preparing the dishes, essential requirements for qualifying a menu, have fully satisfied us.

Worth to mention is the breakfast, with an a la carte menu that is not very rich but made up of truly unusual and balanced dishes for a perfect petit dejeuneur. In addition to the different infusions and sublime fruit and vegetable extracts (the ‘soursop’ one is a must) you can also spoil yourself with a mimosa cocktail, perfect to start the day.

Actually, ours day began earlier, with a yoga class in the shade of a small pavillion overlooking the sea. A greeting to the sun that, inexplicably, we decided to enjoy, even though we are not early birds, but in Canouan it can be done!

because everything is magical there

The gastronomy at Canouan

We cannot mention the other culinary experiences, including the L’Ance Guyac Beach Club for which we gave ourselves a well-deserved bis. We reached it when at sunset: positioned on Shelona beach you arrive, after a short buggy ride, along a suggestive path lit by torches. The club, with woods and neutral colors, is made up of comfortable areas with sofas overlooking the sea and tables arranged on various levels, giving guests cozy corners. While waiting for our table, we make aquaitance with an Italian family who live in London since some time. Accustomed to the island, they convey us the enthusiasm that led them to buy one of the villas managed by Mandarin.

Enthusiastic about the evening we spent at L’anse Guyac, in which we tasted the excellent Mediterranean cuisine, while enjoying the waves rhythm, we ended the evening at the Mandarin Turtles bar, with our new friends. The barman welcomed us in an environment reminiscent of the Hamptons, with gleaming nautical-themed wooden decorations.

The following day we left for the Tobago Cays: 5 islets that rise in the heart of a protected marine area. On board an equipped catamaran we sailed enjoying a picnic carefully prepared and arranged in large gift boxes wrapped in an elegant pink ribbon.

With our guide we explored the seabed and swam among the sea turtles. The air was clear, the colors strong, characterized by the contrast between the white of the sand and the blue of the sky. It is not a coincidence that the Tobago Cays have been chosen as the film set for some well-known movies.

Cruise at Tobago Cays

Excited by the excursion, we allowed ourselves a meditative break in the beautiful SPA in one of the nine wooden pavillion perched on the hill adjacent to the beach.

Discover the SPA

We ended the day as guests in our friends’ villa. And here we were able to appreciate, in addition to their sincere hospitality, the innovative concept of the recently built villas. With a modern and contemporary design, the architecture of the Patio Villas promotes a total nature involvement through large panoramic windows that open onto the infinity pool and the sea below, allowing you to live in open spaces, naturally ventilated by the sea breeze.

The furnishings are extremely accurate, as are the precious materials used. The colors, with natural tones, convey delicacy and instill a sense of extreme well-being.

The villa, in addition to the 3 bedrooms arranged in the central body, also has an annexe, offering the possibility of receiving guests with discretion. All the services available at Mandarin Resort are also reserved for those staying in the Patio Villas, including butler, golf cart and private chef. That evening we have been delighted with a pan-Asian cuisine from the Asianne restaurant that we had already had the opportunity to taste.

Discover the Patio Villas

Back from Canouan, enriched in body and mind, we promised ourselves to return, perhaps by sea aboard a yacht: the Sandy Lane Yacht Club, the new marina, will certainly be ready to welcome us.

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