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“It's hard to ruin paradise but this hotel manages it.”

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Canouan Estate Villas & Residences
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Canouan
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“It's hard to ruin paradise but this hotel manages it.”
Reviewed February 5, 2012

We were staying on nearby Mustique and then Bequia and decided to visit Canouan for the day, thinking that we could come to the hotel for lunch. (We knew of others who had done this before). In short, this turned out to be a mistake and a pretty depressing experience.
Upon arrival at the main gate, we were greeted by staff who informed us that the resort was partly closed and undergoing major renovations and, as such, was not welcoming non-residents. Anywhere else in the world, this wouldn't have been a major issue. We would have gone elsewhere but there really didn't seem anywhere else to go as the resort occupies a huge chunk of the island: there is little else.
Given that the hotel was at least partly open, I failed to see where else we were supposed to go or why they couldn't find us some lunch. Nevertheless, I was spoken to rudely by a number of staff members.
There then followed a farcical half an hour or so in the baking heat when I insisted upon speaking to a manager and one refused to make themselves available. In the end, we were begrudgingly granted entry on the basis of a $150 US pp fee. Fine, but this set the tone for day.
After the ludicrous stand-off, the staff were generally pleasant but something is obviously badly wrong at management level. The staff seem poorly motivated and there is a terrible atmosphere around the resort. At one point in the empty restaurant a manager screamed so unpleasantly and unnecessarily at the poor waitress that we were made to feel very uncomfortable. He had not noticed that we were there but looked sheepish when he saw us. Frankly, nobody should be spoken to in the workplace like this. If this is an example of how the management of this hotel regard their staff, it is hardly surprising that the atmosphere is so poor.
Upon being driven around the resort, it was evident that this is a hotel on the slide. Many of the villas were boarded up and the entire place had a deserted feel. We were told that the hotel was far from full even in the week before Christmas.
There exists a glimmer of hope for the hotel and the island in the form of new investment and development. I hope that this is a success but, for now, it means a good deal of building work and a hotel that is half shut and soulless.
As we returned to the dock to wait for our boat we could not find one of the local people who had a good word to say about the hotel, which apparently is renowned for treating the local people and staff poorly.
Raw natural beauty is in abundance in Canouan. What is lacking is good old fashioned hospitality and a well cared for, motivated work force. A huge shame.
In spite of the fabulous weather and the beauty of this island, the Canouan Resort left us cold.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank JFF79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
traveler8444, Front Office Manager at Canouan Estate Villas & Residences, responded to this review, February 18, 2012
Thank you very much for your recent review. I am sorry that we have not lived up to your expectations and that you got to spend only a few hours in beautiful Canouan Island. I would be more than happy to get in contact with you directly and hopefully be able to welcome you back to truly experience our resort at least for one night.

With regards to the poor service received at the gate I can only apologize as this is not the level of service that we strive to offer at the Canouan Resort. Also please note that we require advance bookings for all non residents wishing to visit the hotel or to use its facilities. This is our standard security policy. I must also inform you that December 2011 was a soft opening period (after our annual closing for hurricane season) when we were applying the final touches for a large group due to arrive at the end of the month.
I hope that we can welcome you back one day and look forward to showing you our true level of hospitality service.

Best regards,

Andrei Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
bristol
Level Contributor
164 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2012

We were blown away with this resort. We have stayed at many high end resorts but found the attention to detail fantastic. On arrival we were given cold drinks towels and given a short guide to what we were seeing form the car. The check in was qucik and very easy. Given two buggys to get around the island. The breakfast was good, little bit the same each morning, but ok. The restaurants were fine. Alittle of a wait on first visit to Italian, but this the Grenadines.
My husband fish each day in the bay and bought our dinner back for the chef to cook. I enjoyed the peace of the views from our pool side villa overlooking the bay and the gold course. My husband enjoyed the gold but must of all the staff were very kind and very willing to make our stay comfortable. We had a celebration dinner in the grounds, the attention to detail was fab. The food was outstanding and we both enjoyed the evening. But also we wanted to witness the little village which is out side the ground of the resort. We knew from the security staff there would be a village cricket match on Sunday morning. The resort lay on a car with a ice box of water and soft drinks. We stayed watching the very village style cricket for 4 hours giving all the drinks to the locals. We had a ball!!
Only downside is we had to leave this Haven and return to the Uk.
Well done for your professional service and care.

Room Tip: pool villa's are fab
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank BristolDawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
traveler8444, Front Office Manager at Canouan Estate Villas & Residences, responded to this review, February 18, 2012
Thank you very much for your great review. I am thrilled that you enjoyed our high levels of service and that you also got to experience the joy and warmth of the people living here. I also appreciate your feedback regarding the restaurants and will pas it on to our F&B team. We look forward to welcoming you back on your next trip to the Caribbean.

Best regards.
Andrei Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
34 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2011

I recently had the pleasure of returning to the Canouan Island Resort for my third visit. I had previously enjoyed this property so much and was curious to return for a third time to see what was happening. Before I get into details, I will say, that I will return again. I thoroughly enjoyed my recent stay.

Being that I am a travel agent specializing in luxury travel I am always seeking new and unusual locations and Canouan is exactly that. The first time I visited Canouan was in January 2002 when the resort was managed by Rosewood and then again in January of 2006 when the property was managed by Raffles. The hotel is now self managed and many of the same staff and services remains in place. The hotel has downsized from its original size however I wouldn’t let that deter you.

The property is currently going through a transition however I would still consider recommending this property even during this transition. The property is huge (it covers ½ of the island of Canouan) and consists of a small hotel and 30 luxury 3-7 bedroom (privately owned) villas located on the hillside (with spectacular views). Many of these villas are available for rent and have available the use of the hotel facilities.

The new boutique hotel is currently under construction and will be located on Godal Beach. The new hotel is partially owned by Sandy Lane (Barbados) and will consist of small number suites and villas within the hotel site. This construction does not affect your stay at the current resort. The new resort is anticipated to open December 2012. I was not aware that any construction was going on except when we took a catamaran out and were able to see what was going on from the water.

Overall, however, the hotel offers an experience which is hard to find elsewhere.
This is a great spot for someone seeking a very low key experience. We were at the resort during spring break week in March and we were three of only 40 or so guests staying at the resort. The resort has a staff of 300+ which remains in tact due to a contractual agreement with the government. It is very quiet resort so I would not recommend this property to someone seeking “action or excitement”. The hotel operates four separate restaurants. Two are always open for lunch and then one rotating restaurant is open for dinner each night which I found to be perfectly acceptable as they change the menus (Italian, Continental, French, and Asian). The quality of the food is very good and on par with any other Caribbean or Mexican luxury resort. They have nightly live entertainment which I found enjoyable and a small casino. For those of you who have been to Canouan, you would be pleasantly surprised to learn that the prices have come down on the food & beverage (which were previously excessive). The hotel now operates its own hydroponic farm which provides excellent fresh vegetables, lettuces, etc.

All of the rooms are very large and nicely appointed with all the necessary amenities including flat screen TV’s, complimentary internet, huge bathrooms, etc. The décor is very nice and simple with cream colored slip covered sofas, dining areas and all have large balconies. Some rooms have private plunge pools. The hotel is a great choice for families since the rooms are very large and the resort itself is very family oriented. While I say that this is a great family resort, I don’t want to scare away couples because this is an excellent romantic destination too. The property is so large that a couple can enjoy private beach areas, etc. The individual rooms scattered within the very spread out resort and a golf cart is provided for each room. Feel free to email me for suggestions on room locations/categories, etc.

The beaches are some of the best beaches I have been to in the Caribbean. They are large and quiet and the water is perfect for a family with small kids. Because the hotel has so few guests, it is a very serene peaceful experience. I will also mention the main beach is raked & cleaned everyday. I have never been to a better maintained beach!

The kids club at this hotel was one of the best I have experienced to date (I have a 3 year old). The staff at the kids club were fantastic and have been there for years. They interact with the kids and do a lot of outdoor activities including swimming, boating, etc. They have a nice outdoor playground and are very flexible with any specific requests. Officially they state children need to be 4 years old however they gladly took in two 3 year olds and my friends 1 ½ year old and worked with our children’s personal schedules (for eating and napping). It was a nice experience and our kids loved it.

Another appealing aspect of this property is the “over the top” golf course. As an avid golfer I have golfed all over the world. This golf course is, by far, the best in the Caribbean for many reasons. It is very well maintained with the most spectacular views I have every seen on almost every hole. It is many elevation changes. You are almost guaranteed to be the only person on the golf course at any given time. The greens fees are incredibly reasonable for the quality of course. It is managed by Trump golf courses.

All in all I would recommend this property for the right client, a couple or family seeking a luxury resort that is low key, relaxed, very scenic. Canouan can be reached by flying to Barbados and taking a connection (scheduled service) or I would highly recommend for a family of 4 or more arranging private transportation via either Barbados or preferably St Lucia (which is only 70 miles away). Private air transportation runs about $1800 for a flight one way (from Barbados). I am not sure what the cost would be from St. Lucia which is about half the distance than Barbados.

The hotel offers many interesting promotions some of which include all meals or private air charter. The hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and I found that many of the guests seemed to come from Europe. I would also highly recommend this property for clients seeking a villa rental. Please contact me if you would like more details. Please feel free to email me with any questions or if you would like my help recommending the best room locations, etc.

Room Tip: feel free to email me
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank aprotraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2010

We were lucky enough spending Thanksgiving at Canouan Resort, which was our second time within the last years and all I can see that this place is just amazing. This trip might have even better than the previous one since the Resort has downsized the amount of rooms, with more attention to details and higher service levels. The product is really top notch, with the most beautiful suites you can imagine, but what makes that place really unique are the staff members which spoiled us with their kindness and willingness to respond to every request....We will be back, that's for sure!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank traveller20102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2010

My stay here was absolutely amazing in every way.

I had an incredibly spacious room with 2 bathrooms, marvellous sitting room, large dressing room and incredibly comfortable bedroom. Patio doors led directly on to the white sand beach. My colleagues had rooms further up the hills, some with private pools. All the different room types we viewed were wonderful though. We also had a tour of the private villas, which looked even more incredible.

The resort is rather large and hilly but golf buggies were provided for every room so it was easy to get around. The restaurants were all wonderful. The breakfast buffet was immense. You couldn't wish for a better choice and the quality was fantastic too.

Service was great, the spa FANTASTIC, the beach clean - I simply couldn't fault it.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jellyarms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Canouan Estate Villas & Residences

Property: Canouan Estate Villas & Residences
Address: Carenage Bay, VC0450, Canouan
Location: Caribbean > St. Vincent and the Grenadines > Canouan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Canouan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Canouan Estate Villas & Residences 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Canouan Estate showcases a unique collection of stand alone villas and residences on a 1200 acre estate that benefit from access to hotel services offered by the The Pink Sands Club. The collection currently includes 14 Canouan Estate Residences which feature similar styles and views of the lagoon and vary from 2 - 8 Bedrooms, and 3 Canouan Estate Villas, which are larger homes and all feature unique designs. Located on Canouan Island in heart of The Grenadines, it is surrounded by one of the world's largest coral reefs. Foremost features include four restaurants, 8 beaches, Trump International Golf Club (World's Top 10 "Best Golf Courses") and the renowned Sanskrit rooted over-water spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Canouan Resort At Carenage Bay - The Grenadines Hotel Canouan
Raffles Resort Canouan
Raffles Hotel Canouan Island
Canouan Estate Villas & Residences St. Vincent And The Grenadines

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