by Matt Alderton | July 26, 2018
Asian hotelier Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is betting big on the Caribbean. First, it announced plans last month to develop a new luxury resort in the Cayman Islands: the 100-room Mandarin Oriental, Grand Cayman, which is scheduled to open in 2021. And now, it has officially opened its first-ever property in the region -- Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, in St. Vincent and The Grenadines.

A small island in the Grenadines archipelago -- which is seeing a flurry of development thanks to fresh airlift from its new airport, the recently-completed Argyle International Airport -- Canouan for years has been a popular destination for high-net-worth travelers. So much so that locals often call it the place "where billionaires go to get away from millionaires." In 2016, it welcomed the $120 million Pink Sands Club, which previously was managed independently by The Leading Hotels of the World. Mandarin Oriental assumed management of the property last fall and officially rebranded it this week after implementing new Mandarin Oriental service standards, systems and processes, as well as several new design and branding elements.

Located on Godahl Beach, which is protected by the Caribbean's largest natural living coral reef, Mandarin Oriental, Canouan offers 26 ocean-facing one- and two-bedroom suites; and seven brand-new three- or four-bedroom "Patio Villas" that have private pools and outdoor patios. There also are four restaurants, a Fazio-designed golf course that is the only 18-hole golf course in St. Vincent and The Grenadines, and a spa with a fitness center and seven hillside treatment suites.

The entire resort is available for buyouts.

"Our debut in the Caribbean is an exciting opportunity to introduce Mandarin Oriental's gracious hospitality to this beautiful part of the world," said Jan Goessing, executive vice president, operations director, The Americas, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. "Mandarin Oriental, Canouan is a showcase of the best of what our brand represents, from the resort's residential inspired décor to world-class spa facilities and exciting culinary offerings."

Mandarin Oriental isn't the only company bullish about the Caribbean. Across the region, hoteliers continue to invest in it with new properties that will be ideal for incentives. Head to NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com to see three coming attractions worth considering for incentive groups.