We pride ourselves on having one of the most knowledgeable teams in the business, so we’re often sending our Travel Specialists off around the world to get first-hand experience of the hotels and resorts in our portfolio. As it turns out, our Travel Specialists aren’t the only well-travelled ones at Inspiring HQ – our CEO Mal Barritt recently returned from a trip to the beautiful Caribbean island of Canouan, where he paid a visit to Mandarin Oriental’s first Caribbean outpost…
I’d heard lots of good things about Mandarin Oriental’s first Caribbean property, so I couldn’t wait to get to experience it for myself. The entire resort experience is exceptional, and I can’t wait to return.
Getting to Canouan, and specifically the Mandarin Oriental, is much easier than I thought. A flight to Barbados, with a private jet waiting for you on arrival ensures a very smooth transition to the island. Flight time from Barbados to Canouan is no more than 30 minutes, so there wasn’t too long to wait before setting foot in paradise. Upon arrival at Canouan my luxury transfer was waiting for me, and ten minutes later I was at the hotel’s front door - easy.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a glass of champagne or, of course, a traditional rum punch. A seamless check in process means you’ll be on your way to enjoying the marvellous suites or villa accommodation in no time.
The resort is fairly boutique, with 13 villas and 26 suites. The Canouan Estate is adjacent to the Mandarin Oriental resort and also boasts an exceptional range of private villas; Estate guests also receive full access to the Mandarin Oriental facilities. I stayed in a Lagoon Villa, which was incredibly spacious and beautiful. Guests will find that a maid is on hand for your every need – Cristal was amazing throughout my stay. I was lucky enough to be able to take a little look around at the other accommodation types in-resort. The Patio Villas, whilst a little bit further behind the resort, offer the most spectacular views. Each of the villas offers lots of contemporary luxury and are beautifully designed, with everything you would need for that perfect relaxing stay.
There are also plenty of eating options, whether you head to one of the restaurants or simply choose to relax at the pool bar. Tides Bar & Grill is fabulous, and I would really recommend the barracuda – a first for me, though it certainly won’t be the last!
After dining to your heart’s content, there’s nothing better than a bit of ‘me time’. Luckily, Mandarin Oriental Canouan’s spa is truly amazing – the menu offers every treatment you could possibly desire, and you get to be pampered whilst taking in the breathtaking views in front of you – heaven.
The resort also offers an excellent golf course, where professional coaching is offered to guests looking to polish their swing. In addition to golf, the resort boasts three floodlit tennis courts, again where a professional coach can be on hand to brush up on everything from volleys to serves.
For the kids, the facilities are amazing. Having travelled the world and seen many kids’ clubs, this has to be the best I’ve come across; indoor and outdoor activities are aplenty, along with a fantastic pool arrangement and park.
For guests here who are looking to wander a little further than the resort, I would recommend a trip to Shenanigans Restaurant & Beach Club for a light lunch, or perhaps a cocktail to watch the beautiful sun set, enjoying plenty of that famous laidback Caribbean atmosphere along the way. Shenanigans is a new bar/restaurant at the harbour and I have no doubt it will become the place to be seen in Canouan – you heard it here first!
In all, a fabulous trip to a truly spectacular place – one I highly recommend and can’t wait to return to.
Inspired by Mal’s blog? Browse our website to discover more about Mandarin Oriental Canouan, and get in touch with our Travel Specialists for a bespoke quote and itinerary.