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 is 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 has security gates, through the public is welcome to visit the three restaurants and shops. 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.