Canouan, Grenadines Sailing Stopover at the Obscure Luxurious $250M Sandy Lane Yacht Club

Ever heard of Canouan? It’s a little known, enigmatic luxury island in the Grenadines where our experience at Sandy Lane Yacht Club was quite unexpected and surreal.  Canouan is supposedly where billionaires go to get away from millionaires. We left Bequia in a BIG hurry when a very rare western swell came in which was caused by a storm coming down from the north.  Boats were rocking and swinging and it wouldn’t be long before we would get hit!

So,  the next island south – hopefully away from the swell – was Canouan.

Canouan Sailing & Cruising Video


About Canouan

“Canouan” comes from the Arawakan word for turtle.  The Arawakan’s were the original island inhabitants.  We were hoping to see some of the red footed tortoises during our stay.

Canouan is one of the Caribbean’s most up and coming luxury destinations. Located in the heart of the Grenadines, less than 20 miles south of Mustique and 110 miles west of Barbados, the 3 square-mile island is surrounded by small bays and coves, secluded white sand beaches and one of the Caribbean’s largest coral reefs, offering incredible diving and snorkeling.

It is said to be the island where billionaires go to get away from millionaires.   Most of the northern part of the island is private resorts – Mandarin Oriental and Canouan Estate Resort with a Jim Fazio designed 18-hole course.    

There is not a lot here for people to visit if you are not on a resort. You do have easy access to Tobago Cays, Union Island, and Mayreau for more exploration.

Sandy Lane Yacht Club

We headed straight to Sandy Lane Yacht Club,  a totally protected luxury marina and resort, to hide for a little while, on the south side of Glossy Bay.  SLYC opened in 2017 with berths for 120 yachts – very modern docks with electronically read power and water poles, plenty of amenities, shops, and restaurants. The $250 million yacht club, previously called Glossy Bay Marina, is backed by billionaire Dermot Desmond (also behind Sandy Lane resort in Barbados) The executive airport is right behind the marina, making it convenient for the jet set, but you do smell the diesel at times if you are staying on board.

We enjoyed the beach and the pool and tried to snorkel the reefs on the east side of the island, but the swell was too rough.

Friendship Bay

We did visit the capital city of Charlestown in Friendship Bay. Beautiful waters, especially by L’Anse Guyac, a nice place usually to anchor by the resort there – also owned by Mandarin Oriental.  In town, we did not find much worthwhile besides the Soho Beach House resort. 

Is Canouan Worth the Visit?

In 10 years, we predict this island will be even more developed by the resorts. We did find our visit worthwhile. If we had more time, we also would have hiked around the island more. If the normal trade winds were blowing, instead of the western swell, we imagine we would have been able to snorkel the large expanse of reefs. Maybe next time….

Learn more about Canouan here.