St. Vincent & the Grenadines
L’Ance Guyac Beach Club
L'Ance Guyac Bay, Canouan
During the day, L’Anse Guyac beach is a semicircle of tropical paradise: powder-fine white sand, crystal-clear azure water, a handful of palapas over navy-cushioned lounge chairs. But at night is when it really comes into its own. Torches light the narrow stone path down to the beach, where the sound of the water lapping is the perfect soundtrack for a predinner cocktail in the tented lounge on the sand. Try the L’Anse Guyac twist, created by local bartender Emmanuel May—fresh ginger, mint leaves, lime, and orange, with bitters, sugar syrup, Grenadine syrup, and Captain Bligh rum—it’s bright and not too sweet, with just a little kick. After drinks, move up to the open dining area. The highlight of chef Omar Bernardini’s menu is fresh seafood: There’s a jumbo crab appetizer with guacamole and locally grown mango; fresh-caught tuna tataki with sesame, wakame, and wasabi mayo; and a Catalan-style lobster with red onions, tomato, and mustard citronette. The standout is the Thai-inspired Rice Khao Sapparot, with prawns, pineapple, and yellow curry—the sweetness of the pineapple is the perfect complement to the heat of the curry.
Canouan’s a small island, and while there are plenty of places you can walk, there’s just one proper hiking trail, but we loved it so much, we felt it deserved its own entry. If you’re staying at the Mandarin Oriental, you can go with a guide—the trail is easy to follow, but it’s worth going with someone who can point out the flowers, reptiles, and more you might miss along the way. The trail starts just behind the old casino (a remnant of the island’s short-lived Trump era) and winds up a steep single track through thick forest—you’ll want a good stick for support; there are plenty to choose from at the trailhead—to the top of Mount Royal, the highest point on the island. On the way up you’ll spot orchids, turtles, and giant, tree-climbing hermit crabs. At the top, take a right toward the Mount Royal summit, and decide how far up the jagged boulder you’re willing to scale. You’ve got a stunning view north toward Mustique—but free one hand to take a picture at your own risk. Once you’ve clambered down off the rock (there is no…
Tamarind Beach Hotel
The big draw at the Tamarind Beach Hotel is the beach—glittering, talc-soft white sand with the bright blue of the Caribbean Sea on one side and lush, palm-tree-dotted tropical gardens on the other. The sheltered bay is a popular mooring for smaller sailboats (mega yachts post up on the southern tip of the island, where a new deep-water marina has been built off of Glossy Bay), and the hotel has a well-stocked deli for reprovisioning. For land-based overnight guests, there are thirty-one rooms and eight beachfront suites. The bedrooms are breezy and comfortable with hardwood floors, walnut-and-white-paneled walls, comfortable beds, and a balcony or patio opening onto the beach. There are two restaurants, a beach bar, and a spa, as well as kayaks, windsurfers, paddleboards, and snorkel gear. The hotel also enjoys reciprocity with the Canouan Estate, should guests wish to play the golf course or visit the restaurants there.
Mandarin Oriental Canouan
Carenage Bay, Canouan
Located on a picture-perfect stretch of Godahl’s beach on the Atlantic side of the island, the Mandarin Oriental takes full advantage of the sweeping views out over the water. The hotel’s twenty-six colonial-style suites and thirteen villas all face the ocean; ground floor suites have individual access to the beach, and those on the upper level have balconies overlooking it. The rooms are done in a palette of creams with dark woods and fuchsia accents, and each is equipped with every luxury you could wish for (walk-in closet, indoor and outdoor lounge areas, Nespresso machine, Acqua di Parma toiletries, blackout shades, yoga mat, beach bag, your own personal butler) as well as a quite a few you’ve never thought of, like an iPad that controls nearly everything in the room. The pink lounge chairs on the beach and by the infinity pool are perfect for a morning of doing nothing. Then grab lunch at the pool bar—the conch ceviche or the shrimp tacos is the way to go. The hotel is on the Canouan Estate, with access to five different beaches (some on the Atlantic and some on the…
Carenage Bay, Canouan
With dark wood tables, navy-and-white upholstered chairs, and beautifully painted murals on the walls, Tides is a graceful, comfortable space even when the windowed French doors aren’t open to the view of the beach and sea beyond. There are also two private dining rooms you can book for a special occasion. The menu offers a selection of meat and fish, and many of the ingredients are grown on the island or sourced from nearby St. Vincent. A variety of small plates feature fresh seafood and local specialties, like a conch chowder with purple potatoes and a spice-dusted crispy fried jackfish—a small, strong-flavored fish that you eat whole—with creole sauce and plantain crisps. There are excellent steakhouse options (porterhouse, tomahawk, filet mignon, or lamb chop, with five sauces to choose from), but vegetarians hardly suffer: The wild mushroom and squash risotto with blue cheese and basil oil is something to be remembered.
Carenage Bay, Canouan
Asianne’s light, airy dining room is elegantly done with cream-colored walls and navy-and-yellow upholstery to play up the island vibe. But before you take your seat, head over to the huge open kitchen, and take a moment to ogle it: It’s a work of art. With a black-and-white checkerboard floor, stainless-steel-and-cream cabinetry and worktops, cream subway-tiled walls, a wood-burning stove, and a giant tandoor oven, this is the place for dinner and a show. Chef Nonky Tejapermana has put together a menu that showcases local ingredients and Eastern flavors: a tender, five-spice-roasted duck salad with just the right amount of heat; three types of slow-cooked curry; crispy pork belly in Sichuan chili sauce. You won’t have room, but order dessert anyway—the pandan panna cotta with lemon-honey-marinated fresh local mango and Grenadines pineapple sorbet is not to be missed.