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Raffles opens new Canouan Island resort

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 23 November 2004

Raffles Resort Canouan Island held its official grand opening Monday. Located in the heart of the Grenadines on the exclusive island of Canouan, the new resort is Singapore-based Raffles International’s first venture in the Caribbean.

“Experienced travelers will quickly recognize Raffles Resort Canouan Island as the premier luxury Caribbean destination,” said General Manager Louis Sailer. “Raffles is truly distinctive. There is nothing in the Caribbean like the RafflesAmrita Spa and new Trump International Golf Club. Raffles is one of the very few five-star resorts in the Caribbean that not only accepts children, but caters to their needs and requirements.”

Raffles offers 156 Mediterranean villa-style accommodations ranging from luxury suites with private pools overlooking the Caribbean Sea to spacious guest rooms with garden views. With four restaurants and two bars, the dining options are just as varied - from the casual beachside Godhals Beach Bar & Grill to the more formal La Varenne, which sits high atop a hill overlooking the resort and serves Raffles’ own private-label caviar.

One of the resort’s lead attractions is the new RafflesAmrita Spa, which is designed unlike any other spa in the Caribbean. Nine individual treatment palapas are scattered up a lush hillside over Godhals Beach, each housed in its own private thatched roof palapa with one side completely open to the breezes of the Caribbean Sea. Two additional palapas, which sit over the water and are reachable only by boat, will open in early 2005. Each suite reflects a specific color found in the waters surrounding Canouan, and features custom-made Murano glass from Italy, Asian day beds and private Jacuzzis.

The new Jim Fazio-designed, 18-hole Trump International Golf Club also stands out as a Caribbean first. The par 72 course features sweeping views of the sea from every hole, but the most scenic and challenging holes are #12-15, located on top of the island’s highest ridge.

Additional resort amenities include the Trump Club Privee, a European-style gaming casino; Sugar Palm Club, an award-winning kids program with age-appropriate activities and recreation centers for ages four through teens; complimentary snorkeling and other water sports; a fitness center and boxing ring overlooking the golf course; and a 17th century Anglican church, brought to the island in the 19th century stone by stone – a picturesque venue for weddings and special events.

“We are very excited to bring the Raffles brand of luxury and impeccable service to the Caribbean,” said Mr Markland Blaiklock, Managing Director, Raffles Hotels & Resorts. “A unique team of partners worked together to create this amazing luxury destination – Canouan Resorts Development, Donald J. Trump, The Moorings and Raffles International – which are among the most respected in the luxury travel industry. We are confident that Canouan Island will be the Caribbean’s most sought-after elite destination.”

Unspoiled and virtually undiscovered, Canouan Island is located in the heart of the Grenadines, less than eight miles south of Mustique and 110 miles west of Barbados. The three square-mile island is rimmed with small bays and coves, secluded white beaches and one of the world’s largest coral reefs, offering incredible diving and snorkeling. The Grenadines have long been considered one of the most pristine sailing grounds in the world. The Moorings, one of the top yacht charter companies, established a base on Canouan last year, which has already become their third largest in the Caribbean.

This winter, Donald J. Trump will also begin selling Trump Island Villas, private residential villas and estate lots on Canouan Island that begin at $1 million.

American Airlines and American Eagle now offer daily service to Canouan Island via San Juan. Several airlines also offer flights from major North American cities to Barbados - including Air Canada, Air Jamaica, American, BWIA, Continental, Delta and US Airways - and Raffles Resort will arrange air transfers to Canouan. Private charters are available from several neighboring Caribbean islands. Raffles will also offer its own private executive jet with club seating for eight passengers to transport clients from any of the Caribbean islands, beginning in the near future.

Special opening rates begin at $558 USD for a garden-view room and $998 for a one-bedroom suite Jan. 7 – Feb. 13, 2005, with free upgrades at the time of booking when available. Regular rates begin at $675 from Jan. 7 – April 3, $475 from April 4 – May 30, and $385 from May 31 – Nov. 10. Rates are based on single or double occupancy and include daily continental breakfast, non-motorized water sports, tennis, use of the fitness center and one golf cart per unit. Children under 12 stay free with their parents.

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