Canouan is a lovely island with spectacular beaches, pleasant walks, and great views almost anywhere. Walk up the hill to the east and see the fabulous windward lagoon, where an outer reef protects the island.
It is also an island of three parts. The local central part has moved from a sleepy backwater of small wooden houses and fields of pigeon peas to a prosperous settlement of big solid houses. This local area surrounds the main anchorage and is warm and welcoming; the people are friendly and provide a variety of services to yachtspeople.
The Canouan Resort Development Company (CRD) owns, has developed, and manages the north of the island. This, the largest part, is gated with guards at the entry points, and locals and visitors alike need permission to enter. CRD built a hotel of about 180 rooms with a giant beach restaurant and pool. Now they have torn it all down and built Mandarin, a boutique hotel of about 25 rooms farther down the shore.
To the southeast, Dermot Desmond owns the big new Sandy Lane Yacht Club and Residences, including a marina that will take boats up to 100 meters long with 5.3 meters draft. This too is gated with guards, but they have two restaurants and shops which you will usually be able to get permission to visit. It seems like a lot of gating for a small island, but that is how it is.
The airport is excellent, with plenty of room for the largest private jet, and it may be the cutest thatched-roof airport building in the world.
Two marine services, run by cousins Marcus and John, provide most things you need. They offer moorings at $50 EC a night (dive and check them, two boats have ended up ashore). They sell ice and water (currently it is good desalinated town water delivered alongside, making Canouan the best place in the Grenadines to top up). They will also take your garbage for a small fee, and either can take you ashore. Call Marcus Marine Services or John’s Marine Services on VHF: 16. Many of their moorings are in front of Soho House. If you anchor inside these, you are too close to the hotel. Marcus’s son Mark normally runs his boat. John is sometimes on his boat, or it will be his assistant Christopher, who is friendly and helpful. You will be happy with either service; both are professional.
If you need a runabout golf cart, of it you have any problems at all, Ask for GAZIMO.
The Tamarind Beach Hotel has been sold and is now called Soho House. They plan to offer day passes to yachts.
Andre’s Sea Grape is just south of the main dock. He has done a great job renovating this building, which is on the beach. It is open every day 0900-2200. You can get lunch and dinner, but you need to make reservations for dinner, They offer good local food, specializing in fresh local seafood, but also offering meat dishes.
Mangrove is a good local restaurant owned by Albert, who also owns Canouan Food Limited. It is quite far down the road, just where the airport road turns up the hill. The beach location is perfect, the prices and food are local, with very inexpensive lunches and moderately priced dinners, including fresh fish and lobster. They open for lunch and dinner every day.