To escape the winter sun we decided to book a trip to the Mandarin Oriental Canouan.
We flew via Barbados, met at the airport and escorted through customs. When our bags were retrieved we were taken to a private jet for our 25 minute flight to Canouan. Sadly, there were a few clouds so the view wasn’t as good as it potentially it could have been.
Arrival, was hassle free a few checks and a form to complete and we then were off in a Mercedes to the hotel. About 15 minutes later we were being met in reception by some lovely staff. Karen, Alson our Butler and indeed the GM Duarte.
As a large party was arriving the next day, to ensure we had no inconvenience the hotel upgraded us from a Penthouse suite to an amazing Lagoon Villa.
The villa was simply beautiful! Wow we were blown away! However, during our stay we did ask if we could be shown all the room types - a 1 bed oceanfront suite, a 2 bed oceanfront suite, a Penthouse and the Patio villas. I don’t think I have ever seen such lovely rooms, they were all stunning. The attention to detail in this property is exceptional. If we had been offered any of the room types we would have been delighted. We think it’s the nicest hotel we have ever stayed in- and we have stayed in a few!!
The staff help to make this property special. It seems rude to highlight a few names when really all we met were a credit to M&O. However, Alson and Chrystal, our butlers were always just checking up ensuring you were happy, making any arrangements for trips etc. Then around 5 they would arrive with something tasty from the kitchen just to keep you going until dinner. Jeremiah and Nadine made our days at the pool such a pleasure. Keon was on hand to make lovely cocktails, helping keeping us cool.
Mehmet, Ozge, Talat, Cem , Serken and Gokce were a few of our lovely friends who were from the Mandarin Hotel, Bodrum- we would not have had such a wonderful time without them! Absolute fabulous service and simply couldn’t do enough for us.
Others I need to mention would be Sam at the beach, Jennifer and Abigail the restaurant managers and all the smiling reception ladies who are so welcoming, day or night.
This really is a special place. If you are even considering a reservation then I’d urge you to do it - you really won’t be disappointed...it’s heaven on earth!
Proof of this is we booked to return before leaving! Enjoy and thank you again to all the staff for a wonderful break.
What an exceptional property to stay at. Right on the beach with incredible views. We flew from London Gatwick and arrived too late to catch a connecting flight with a scheduled service to Canouan so stayed the night at the Hilton Barbados. We considered the resorts private jet but at £7k return for a 25 minute flight, we decided to pass.
Scheduled flight the next day was fine, only 45 minutes and we were greeted on arrival and whisked off to the hotel. Lovely greeting and shown to our room. We had booked one of the penthouse suites for 8 days. The room was beautiful. Large veranda hanging over the beach. Full kitchen, dining room, huge lounge, dressing room, guest loo, master bedroom and en-suite bathroom. All beautifully decorated, comfortable and exceptionally well maintained by housekeeping throughout our stay.
Staff are all extremely friendly and helpful. Huge apologies when they couldn’t get something....the hotel ran out of avocados for a couple of days, but otherwise we were looked after very well. The staff really are very friendly but professional at the same time. All details of our stay had been communicated to staff who needed to know and we were greeted by our names all the time. Not too stuffy, just warm, friendly and very professional.
The resort is right on the beach, you really couldn’t get any closer. It was fairly windy during our stay so mostly used the pool. Again, great service and never ran out of sun loungers. One day we were at the pool and a group of around 15 people form the marina came on a day use which spoiled the atmosphere. They were loud and took over the place. I would question whether its a good policy of the hotel to allow large groups from outside. There were a few hotel guests at the pool on the day who were less than impressed.
We stayed after the Christmas/New Year busy period so the resort was fairly quiet. The hotel rotates the various restaurants when the resort is not full. We were aware of this before we arrived, while staying there we had a schedule of what was open and when and didn’t feel that not having all restaurants open all the time detracted from the enjoyment of the facilities.
The food on the whole was of a good standard. I ate mostly seafood while there and the fish, especially the baracuda and fresh tuna, was always delicious. The prawn tacos at the pool were also delicious. Breakfast was always very good with a lovely varied menu of international and local dishes. The one evening in Asianne restaurant, we arrived to find it was a ‘street market’ buffet. Nice idea but had we known in advance, probably would have opted to eat at one of the other options for the evening. I didn’t think the food was very good, the lobster was completely dry and overcooked and we both commented on the cost of the buffet being pretty outrageous for what it was. We fed this back to our butler so hopefully this got back to the decision makers.
The staff pride themselves on the service they deliver and there really is an attention to detail here which is fine tuned, always available but unobtrusive. One mention needs to go to housekeeping. On the first evening I made a special request for stocking of bathroom supplies and this seamlessly happened throughout our stay.
The night before we were due to depart, we got a call form our butler asking if we would mind leaving half an hour early for our scheduled transfer to Barbados. We were delighted to when they told us that the private jet was leaving with a couple of spare seats and would we like to take that instead of the scheduled propellor service at no extra cost. Would we ever! Nice way to end the holiday.
All in all, a beautiful, remote property with excellent service and facilities. While we obviously knew what the rooms cost when we booked and that they were pricey, we were a little taken back by the cost of menus and wine lists. It’s not for the faint hearted. The hotel clearly attracts a clientele for whom the food and beverage prices are immaterial, but knowing in advance certainly would have made us prepared for it. That said, I can definitely see us returning to what is an amazing property in a gorgeous location with outstanding staff.
We have just returned from a simply amazing property. The staff were so friendly and some of the happiest people we have ever met! They all knew our names and were always making sure that we had everything we needed. Nothing was too much trouble and they aimed to please. Our bulter was so lovely but not intrusive. She checked in with us at different times of the day to make sure we were ok. The beachfront Suite was amazing! From the luxurious furnishings, to the smart TV's in the mirrors and the ipads with hundreds of magazines and newspapers to choose from. We had everything we could possibly need in there. As we were on the ground floor we could walk out onto the beach every morning. Lots of little treats were left in our room and we had access to a complimentary minibar. (no wine or spirits available however) Only 6 suites were occupied when we were there so we felt like the only people at the resort and some days we had the whole beach to ourselves! We really appreciated how quiet it was as we crave peace and tranquility when we go away. The beach was beautiful. The water was turquoise, just how we like it. It was windy on the beach and the water was choppy which made it difficult to swim in but we wouldn't consider this to be a issue. We spent most days lazing on the beach enjoying the view.
The food was also lovely (typically expensive for a high end property). We did not go to Asiane as we are not massive fans of Asian food, but we did try the other restaurants. My favourite was a Thanksgiving Meal at Tides Bar and Grill that was included in our package. The Butternut Squash soup was to die for! My husband enjoyed the beef at l'anse Gyac. We did not find much choice at the pool bar during the evening.
While we were there we had a treatment at the Spa which was very relaxing and also experienced rum tasting which certainly made our eyes water! The rum is so strong in St. Vincent!!!
We fell in love with the resort and the staff and rank this very highly in the list of places we have visited (Bora Bora, Seychelles, Maldives...). Although we never visit the same place twice, we may need to return to Canouan one day!
We both had a tear in our eye as we left the property. A sign of a very good holiday! Don't hesitate, just book it!
Finding words to describe this resort is difficult. The service, rooms, food, everything here is 5 star+. We are pretty seasoned travelers, but this place will be hard to top. We were fortunate the first week of december to have wonderful weather. We went with another couple and the guys golfed 2x, while the wives went along for the magnificent views. Spectacular. The spa was so surprising as you are taken up into what i called little tree houses high above the ocean. Having a massage while listening to the waves crashing, along with the sea breeze is far better than listening to some canned ABBA music. Heavenly. Went into “town” twice for dinner. Really enjoyed Foxy Jacks!do not hesitate to book here. The rooms that have direct access to beach are wonderful and huge! The honor bar gives you cokes, beers,water, snacks 1x complimentary and then refills are billed, but there’s plenty the first time around. Lots of complimentary coffee and teas in room. They bring you snacks every night right to your room. Sometimes desserts, fruit, etc. delicious and plentiful. High end aqua de parma bath products replenished daily. they hand you bottles of water everywhere you go, so don’t buy them! I packed snacks and some bath products and didn’t use any of them. Pack light. Enjoy!!!!
What an amazing location for an hotel. We cannot, cannot recommend this hotel highly enough.
The trip started for us in Barbados where we were met by a Mandarin representative and “fast tracked” to the private plane to take you to the island. It’s not a long flight and very soon you are landing on a brand new airstrip next to a mock Venetian harbour. (Money and taste sometime does not mix well).
Through immigration in the non a/c (take note for the return) thatched roofed airport and off we go. Quick 5 mins in the hotel car and we are there.
The island is so small you can get around very easily
Now what happens next is what makes this holiday....we check into a 3 bed villa over looking the hotel (fantastic upgrade ) and find out it’s just us staying for the whole week. Yes just us!!!
Imagine a whole Mandarin Oriental to oneself.
It was great fun at first but by day 5 it would have been nice to see some other guests.
I think the hotel before it became a Mandarin closed in September due to the hurricane season. However if you look at a map it soon becomes apparent it is way way below the hurricane belt.
We had superb weather. A little breeze and lovely and warm.
Our Villa was beautiful, very new and an infinity pool and view to die for. We had a little golf buggy to get around the resort and to pop down to the hotel for food, we also ate in our room and the team cooked and used the little kitchen in the villa.
The beaches are lovely with white/pink sand, and were just magical as we were the only ones using them. Just so weird.
Sundowners on the 13th tee is a must do, as is snorkelling with turtles with the local captain who will tell you all about how the team got conservation on peoples agenda and what a brilliant result.
Food was delicious, service was typical Mandarin.
Was it our best holiday ever? Not sure but definitely top 3 and we will definitely go back. Beats Barbados anytime!