This week our Digital Marketing Manager Sam Maley, travelled to the Caribbean island Canouan in St Vincent & the Grenadines to sample the re-launch of the brilliant Pink Sands Club, formerly known as Raffles.
Taking a Virgin Atlantic flight from Manchester to Barbados, I was well taken care of with an abundance of complimentary drinks, meals and snacks, great on flight entertainment and very roomy economy class seats. 8 hours and 15 minutes later, I landed at Barbados airport and would shortly be transferred to Canouan on an inter-island charter flight with SVG Air.
I arrived at Canouan after the one-hour plane transfer at a time that by UK standards was growing quite late and I was therefore very grateful for the 4-hour time difference, making the time around 9:30pm locally. We were welcomed to the Caribbean with the warm air and a light breeze. After a swift transfer from the airport to the Pink Sands Club, we were greeted by the extremely friendly staff offering refreshing virgin cocktails and cold towels, before been shown to our suites.
I was given the luxury of having my very own one-bedroom suite. It is truly difficult to describe in writing how luxurious and fantastically presented these suites are; each comes with a huge king sized bed, walk-in wardrobe, living room, a huge assortment of complimentary drinks and snacks, and everything electrical can be centrally controlled from any one of the three iPads in each room. This stretches from adjusting the air conditioning temperature or the level of lighting in the room, to opening and closing the sliding door which houses both the mirror and a built in smart television - all of which can be done from the comfort of your king size bed!
After arriving in the dark the previous evening, it wasn’t until the following morning that I really got to see how beautiful the hotel and its surrounds are. I made good use of the bedside iPad to open the curtains and reveal the truly amazing sea view that sits behind them. From here I quickly got up to stand outside on the terrace and simply enjoy the warm breeze and breath-taking views.
After a morning stroll, breakfast took place in the Lagoon Café, where there is a fantastic range of options from a traditional full English through to pancakes, freshly baked pastries, alongside an abundance of fresh fruit and complimentary smoothies. After a delicious breakfast, our group were invited to tour the facilities and view the different suite and villa types that are available both at Pink Sands Club and the neighbouring Canouan Estate.
We started with tours of the One and Two Bedroom Suites and then moved on to the Penthouse Suite, which takes a central position over the hotel and beach front. Alongside prime positioning, the Penthouse comes with its own dining room, kitchen and a larger bathroom with a standalone bath. The Penthouse balcony commands some of the best views of the entire resort.
After seeing all of the suites on offer, we were taken to one of the Lagoon Villas. The Lagoon Villas are true palaces with huge amounts of space, top technology, breath-taking views and each with an infinity pool and large outside terrace area. Each villa is located in an elevated position on the hillside, meaning their views are second to none, yet they are all still within walking distance of the main hotel complex.
Ending our tour of the Pink Sands properties, we were taken over to a range of the Villas on the Canouan Estate. Unlike the Lagoon Villas at Pink Sands, each Villa is unique and has a different layout and position. One of the finest of these villas is known as Turtle Creek, a five-bedroom luxury mansion located in the heart of the island, very close to the fantastic kids club and in walking distance from the championship golf course. My personal favourite was the Silver Turtle Villa, which boasts a breath-taking infinity pool with views overlooking the centre of the golf course and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.
After our tour of the Suites and Villas, our group was given a couple of hours’ free time which we utilised well by taking a dip in the sea and enjoying the beachside drinks service as the sun went down. The beach is white and immaculate and the sea is very calm considering it lies on the Atlantic rather than the Caribbean side. That evening, we went to the Romeo restaurant for our evening meal, where we enjoyed a brilliant 5 course meal, ranging from freshly made sushi to an assortment of beautifully cooked meats and fish, finishing off with an assortment of small deserts. Throughout the meal, our glasses were topped up by the attentive hotel staff, offering an abundance of fine wines and cocktails.
The following day, after breakfast at the Lagoon Café, our group took a boat ride to Tortuga Cays. Tortuga Cays is a popular anchoring destination and a great spot for swimming and snorkelling, where you’re very likely to spot one of the many native Turtles, alongside a variety of coloured fish in the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
Quickly after arriving back at the Pink Sands Club, I was given the great opportunity to sample the championship golf course and was kindly accompanied by the resident Pink Sands Club Golf Professional, Kevin, who wasted no time in giving me a full tour of the golf course, alongside many tips on how to improve my game. We played the front 9, which balanced a very fun yet challenging play with truly fantastic ocean views. The back 9 in comparison to the front 9 is much more difficult and less forgiving, however, has even more breath-taking views with brilliantly elevated holes.
After playing the front 9, there wasn’t much time until our group gathered together once again. This time, we went up to the 13th hole of the golf course which is in fact the highest point of the entire island, where we were greeted with champagne and canapés. From here, we were in the best position to watch the sun set, as well as observing the huge population of tortoises migrate back to their elevated overnight residences.
Dinner for the evening was served in Juliet, the Pink Sands restaurant which specialises in finely grilled cuts of meat and fish, where we thoroughly enjoyed Foie Gras, Beef Wellington and a luxury sticky toffee pudding dessert.
On our final morning at this beautiful resort I enjoyed an early breakfast, before booking a full body massage at the Pink Sands spa; possibly one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve ever had! The spa even extends into the ocean, where you can have your treatment while looking through a glass floor into the ocean, which strategically draws fish beneath it due to the shelter it creates, making the spa experience truly exceptional.
Not long after my spa treatment it was time to say our goodbyes to the amazing team at Pink Sands and catch our transfer back to the airport. We then jumped on our transfer to Barbados, with the experience was even better this time around due to it being daylight, with some excellent views of the island from the air. Shortly after arriving at Barbados airport and a relaxing stint in the lounge, it was time to catch our flight back to Manchester – and the dream was over!
After experiencing the recently re-developed Pink Sands Club and Canouan Estate first hand, the team at ITC are in a privileged position to be able to share the finer details of what this breath-taking resort can offer. If you’d like to find out more about Pink Sands Club or the Canouan Estate, our team of Travel Specialists are on hand to answer any query that you have.