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“A little slice of paradise”

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Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Charlestown
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 June 2008

If your idea of paradise is an action-packed, all-inclusive, compulsory-fun-times Club Med resort, then read no further.

However, if you're looking for a chilled-out and perfectly secluded barefoot retreat with powdery white-sand and crystal-clear water then maybe, just maybe, Tamarind is for you.

My wife and I spent weeks searching the internet for a quiet, mellow Caribbean vacation spot. Eventually, we found Canouan Island. Now, there are two accomodation options here -Raffles and Tamarind. We visited Raffles for a couple of hours and, while certain aspects of it are quite lush, it is also quite large (you need your golf buggy to get around) and, for us, kinda soulless. Not our cup of tea.

Tamarind, however, was just the ticket and we loved our eight days there. The beach is gorgeous, the food delicious, the service just the right combination of relaxed and attentive (a special shout out to my man Floyd on the beach!)

Tamarind is small but perfectly formed. The rooms are lovely (we were lucky enough to be upgraded to an upstairs suite). The beach is superb, the drinks are strong and the food is great (the owners are italian, so the seafood is complemented by pasta and pizza. One bummer -we were there outside lobster season).

What else?

We didn't bother with the meal plan (you'd only find it valuable if you eat three meals a day including a three course dinner).

Definitely go sailing down to the Tobago Cays -we went out on Jambalaya, a gorgeous 75-foot wooden schooner and snorkelled the reef, plus the turtles off one of the beaches.

Enjoy!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank memehuffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 May 2008

We have just returned from a week at the Tamarind Beach and wished we could have stayed for a month. The hotel is on one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen with powdery white sand and turquose sea that never seems to have any seaweed or rocks to hurt your feet..one of my pet peeves!
There are three 2-story buildings that have a Britttish colonial feel, done in dark wood and shutters. We had a suite on the second floor with airy high ceilings and a lovely porch with comfortable chaises, chairs and table. And the decore was lovely in the rooms with cane furniture that fit the mood. Also , they had fabulous pillows on the bed and I am very picky about that!
The hotel is Italian-managed and the food was just great. They always have fresh fish that's beautifully prepared but also have a half a dozen pasta dishes every day as well as fantastic pizza! They also were happy to prepare anything special we asked for. The service was just perfect. Everyone has a smile and can't do enough for you but without being intrusive.
It's very quiet with nothing much to do (although they have kayaks, windsurf boards and the usual if you are into that) which was exactly what we wanted...swim, read, drink , relax.....heaven!

Stayed: April 2008
5  Thank AndreaNewyork_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2008

To celebrate our anniversary, we wanted a very quiet, restful spot to spend our week and we certainly chose well. The beginning of our journey was rocky to say the least missing the connection to San Juan to make the only flight of the day to Canouan (we were traveling on Friday, AA doesn't fly in again until Sunday). We called the hotel who investigated for us and told us to get to Barbados and then we could fly from there on Saturday morning rather than losing 2 whole days. FYI, everyone on the island said it's much easier and more reliable to fly to Barbados from the US then take Liat into Canouan as there are frequent delays/missed connections in San Juan. We were extremely impressed with Oscar at the hotel as he made several phone calls to us while he was researching our options for arriving asap! Once we finally made it to the hotel, we were greeted with a very warm welcome, fruit punches and a room upgrade! We had booked a standard room but were given a suite which was one of the highlights of the week! Another couple on the beach had also been upgraded, it seems that if there's a suite available when you arrive, they upgrade which I find very nice as so few hotels do this anymore. The suite was absolutely beautiful with huge tub, lovely bed, one and a half baths and huge patio which was literally 3 steps down to the sand! The room was always nice and cool (sometimes even cold) with A/C in both the bedroom and living room. After seeing one of the standard rooms, also nice but very small compared to ours with only a corner shower and no tub, we'd definitely pay the extra for a suite next time.
The beach was nice with plenty of lounges and thatch umbrellas but we were a bit disappointed at the amount of sea grass washing in. We know it's just a fact of nature, but we hadn't seen any mention of it and didn't expect it. The beach staff shoveled it up every morning and commented that in the winter they have to do this several times a day. There's not too much in the sea when you go out for a swim, it just seems to wash up in massive clumps. The beach staff were so kind and very helpful, bringing fresh towels and fresh coconuts with a straw for an afternoon treat!
We found reviews of the meal plan to be a bit mixed so on arrival we asked about the details and limitations and found there are none! For breakfast, lunch and dinner you can order anything you like whether it's just a sandwich or 3 appetizers, soup, salad, entree and dessert (never did that, just an example!)!! If you're on budget for meals, you can eat and spend less than the meal plan, but if you want to really have great food the whole time, we would suggest the meal plan. Of course the most delicious menu items were the most expensive (the BEST lobster salad ever for lunch $32.00, considered an appetizer), grilled lobster for lunch or dinner $41.00, most appetizers $18, etc. This definitely made the plan worth it to us.
Both restaurants were nice, but we chose the Palapa all but one night. The food there was more more "Caribbean" and if there's anything you want to alter on the menu, they gladly do it, even sometimes suggest changes (adding lobster to the nightly risotto, delicious). Of all the places we've been in the Caribbean, this is definitely the best, most consistently good food we've ever found. We never had a single complaint or disappointment with the food or the wonderful servers. And the reviews are correct, several of the islands wealthy dine here, even the Raffles manager. I can't imagine better food anywhere in the Caribbean.
We chartered a boat one day to take us to the Tobago Cays and Mayreau which was really nice, we went privately on the Quest rather than the party-boat style catamaran with the group trips. The day was beautiful and the Cays were incredible, definitely recommend this. We also took the island tour and really enjoyed it, too, went through the Raffles and while the beach did look a bit prettier than ours, not really worth it to us to have to take a golf cart from our room to the beach. On next visit, we might, however, stay most of the week at Tamarind and maybe 2 nights at the Raffles just for the luxury part.
Overall, we loved the Tamarind, can't complain about anything! Would definitely return!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank SJ*HL*S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2008

Canouan is a nice little island with some beautiful beaches. The hotel is OK if you stay day or two, as most guests arriving on yachts do.

However, staying 5 days there was slightly boring, especially because of the lack of facilities and activities around (be sure to do power boat trip around nearby islands!), never changing restaurant menu and other overpriced things. For instance, the hotel charges US$5 per 15 minutes to use Internet on their 10 years old PC, seems ridiculous as I can't recall a 4 star* hotel which wouldn't offer internet for free and via WiFi. For comparison, on Union Island it is EC$5 per 30 minutes (5 times cheaper).

They have complimentary transfer to airport (5minutes) and this isn't surprise as there are no other means to get to the hotel, but they want to charge US$20+ for a 5 minute ride to another beach and then come half an hour later to collect you. On the hotel beach it gets boring very quickly as it's not the nicest beach and full of yachts. They couldn't provide a complimentary water in minibar as better hotels do and it is much cheaper to buy water in a small local store nearby (you can't drink from tap).

On a positive note, the staff (local people) are very nice and helpful. It is a shame overall experience is spoiled by the bad management.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank vizit0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2007

We stayed for a week at the Tamarind in Canouan. Our stay was FABULOUS and for us there are really only great things to say about the Tamarind. This will probably be a long review because I really want to give additional information to people considering the awesome Tamarind!

When we arrived on Canouan after a 20 minute flight from St. Lucia, we deplaned and went through the small immigration and customs areas. There were only about 7 total passengers on the flight over, so getting through the “airport” (it’s really an airstrip with a small one-story building) was very easy.

The driver from the Tamarind was there in no time, but the mosquitoes had already started to attack! Luckily we had bug spray ready. Then, it was only about a 5-10 minute drive to the Tamarind. The drive takes you through the main “town” which is only a police station, a bank and a grocery store, it seems.

Upon arrival to the Tamarind, we were greeted with a fruity non-alcoholic drink in their lovely “reception” area and then swept off to our rooms. The staff were so friendly and accommodating, making us feel genuinely welcome and even appreciated. Stand-out staff members were Merrick and Randy, one of the wine stewards and one of the beach valets, respectively. They were both so eager to talk with us and see to our needs and desires.

ROOMS: There are only about 40 rooms at the Tamarind, beautifully done in lovely wood, from the floor to the walls to the doors which lead to the beach. All of the rooms are beachfront, with no more than 20 steps to the beach. The bathrooms are fine (I wished for a little more counter space, but it was really fine). The “king” sized bed was really two twins pushed together, which weren’t the most comfortable beds, but they were adequate. There was a refrigerator in the room, which was nice, as in addition to some items they stocked in there, we were able to store some of our own drinks to keep them cool. There was also a TV in our room, which we did not ever turn on, but they said that all of the rooms did not have a TV.

We had a basic room and the air conditioner did a fine job cooling down our room. In fact, we left the A/C off during the day, and kept the shutters open (it was still screened to keep out the bugs / mosquitoes). The rooms on the lower floor don’t really get a breeze and at least during our stay, the A/C was a necessity at night to sleep. The patios for the regular rooms have two directors chairs and a small table, but we didn’t spend much time there. It always seemed hot and mosquitoey.

We did ask to see a suite, and it was quite lovely, with a microwave and a coffee maker (in addition to a mini-fridge) in the living room, as well as a separate bedroom. The living area had a day bed and a coffee table, and the suite had a larger balcony with much more comfortable chairs and lounges. If you needed to spend a great deal of time in your room, this would be a great place, and it seemed breezier on the second floor, where the suites are. My only concern would be whether or not the A/C unit, positioned in the living room would adequately cool the bedroom.

BEACH AREA: There were several wooden chaises for guests of the Tamarind on the beach, which is just steps away from your room. Each morning, Randy, the beach area valet, would give us towels and see to our needs throughout the day. It seemed like most days we were the only ones on the beach, unless someone from one of the yachts in the bay came to shore. We were told that yacht guests had to pay a fee to use the beach facilities which is only fair. The Tamarind is right by the Moorings, a yacht-rental company, so the ocean in front of the Tamarind is occupied by a great deal of boats and yachts, but they are moored out far enough that you can swim in the ocean and have a lot of space without worrying about the boats. If you put on fins and a snorkel, you could swim out into the boat area, but there was really not too much to see that way, so mostly we would wade out to where we could just float and play. The Tamarind has the best swimming beach I’ve ever been on. The sand was so soft, and there weren’t many rocks or other things to step on at ALL. The current was never strong and the water was very nice this time of year. We spent a great deal of time swimming and floating in the ocean here. The hotel does have some floats you can use, but we also brought along our own.

RESTAURANTS/FOOD: The Tamarind had very good food, whether you eat at the beach snack place, the Pirates Cove Bar, or the Palapa Restaurant. (Well, it was all coming from the same kitchen, so it was consistently good.) The pizza and pasta were always very good, and the daily seafood items were nice as well. The prices are a bit high, but not so high that it made getting the all-inclusive food plan (which was $90 per day + 25% VAT and doesn’t include any alcohol or service charges) worth it. In fact, we often shared entrees or meals to cut costs. We ate most meals at the Palapa restaurant, which is open-air and just beautiful. The service was great, and though they seemed to forget things here and there, it really didn’t matter. They also knew our preferences after one or two meals, which was nice. We missed the lunch window (12pm – 2pm) at Palapa once or twice, so we just ordered snacks from the snack place on the beach. You can also order items from the Pirates bar menu, once they open for the evening.

GIFT SHOP / OTHER SHOPPING: The Tamarind has a very small gift shop, with just a few items that you can purchase as souvenirs, or some necessities. Make sure to bring enough sunscreen, though, as they charged $30 (USD!) for an average-sized container. You cannot charge items to your room here, so you will need cash (USD or Eastern Carribean money) or a credit card (and don’t forget to let your credit card company know you are going to be in the Grenadines / Caribbean).

We did walk to town (5-10 minutes walk) to go to main grocery store (no bigger than a small convenience store by US standards), to pick up snacks, water and beer so that we didn’t have to go to the bar / snack place every time we wanted something. There is only a limited selection of food here, and no “shopping” as far as gifts, etc.

Canouan is not the place for partying, as there is no shopping / night life to speak of. It is the place for peace, serenity and beauty. There is a small gathering at the Tamarind bar each night, but it’s still not crowded or rowdy.

ACTIVITIES: You can charter a boat through the hotel, but we already had the best boat in the Grenadines (the Jambalaya) chartered for a day sail to the Tobago Cays, which is a must do! The Tobago Cays are said to have the best snorkeling, prettiest water, arguably in the world. We had contacted Captain Jeff Stevens of the Jambalaya (his boat) ahead of time and arranged it all. The Jambalaya and Captain Jeff are typically based in Petit St Vincent, and he will come anywhere in the Grenadines to take you for a sail on his beautiful double-masted schooner. This wooden boat was built by him about 5 years ago, and it is a great experience, we HIGHLY recommend it. You can check out his website at windwardschooner.com and see more about the boat and Captain Jeff. Other activities are kayaks, canoes, pedal-powered boats and other floatation devices which are available to guests at no charge.

You can also arrange to go for a day trip to the Raffles resort (which is huge and seems to take up about half the island) for a pretty high cost (over $100 per person), or you can just take a $25 driving tour around the island which we did, and it was fun. You can see all of the island (and a great deal of the Raffles Resort) in about an hour.

ONE TIP: We experienced some issues with our electronics that we plugged in at the Tamarind. I would recommend that in addition to having the proper converter, you bring a surge protector, to avoid any damage to your electronics.

OVERALL: We wondered whether or not we would wish we’d stayed at the Raffles resort, but the price there was about 3X what we paid for the Tamarind. As it turns out, the Tamarind was MUCH more our style, smaller and comfortable. It was a great stay, we have absolutely no complaints and plan to return as soon as we are able.

LEAVING CANOUAN: There is a $16 USD departure tax to leave this island (common in the Grenadines) so just be prepared for that one little thing. Otherwise, getting back on your flight back home is relatively easy – except for being sad that you are leaving!

We highly recommend the Tamarind!!! If you would like to ask me any questions about our stay, about the Tamarind or Canouan, I would be happy to help!

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with friends
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23  Thank DallasTraveler06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2007

The Tamarind Beach Hotel and Canouan Island is truly a world away from your everyday world. Tropical in every sense. Not comercialized nor touched by crowds of tourists like many other islands. A place to feel the warm Trade Wind on your face, see the azure waters of the Grenadines, fall asleep to the call of tree frogs and feel like you are one of few that will ever see such a place.

I recently spent 3 weeks on Canouan at the Tamarind Beach Hotel. Not my first time to the island. I had sailed through the Grenadines on a previous sailing charter and had also chartered a boat through the small Moorings Charter Base in the Tamarind complex. While waiting for my charter to start I spent a night at the Tamarind and new that this place and this island was a special retreat to come back to in order to get away from the Corporate stress.

Canouan Island is far enough away but not that difiicult to get to. American Airlines runs daily flights out of San Juan as does SVG Air out of Barbados (---). No direct flights out of major cities in the US and Europe but why would you want that if you are trying to get away. You really can't do the real Caribbean if you are stepping off a 737 and you are at your final destination.

Accomondations at the Tamarind are very comfortable. Staff and Management are willing to meet any need you have. Laundry service, on-site masseuse, water toys (sunfish, windsurfers, paddle boats, snorkel equip, beach towels, etc), water/sunset views to most every room and a few steps from a palm-lined sandy beach. Drink and food service to your lounge on the beach. No pool at the Tamarind but with such a large beach and calm, warm Caribbean water at your feet, I really never missed it. Thankfully, I didn't see any jet ski's or para-gliders.

Signing up for excursions can keep you busy. Day snorkel trips to the nearby Tobago Keys, Dive trips from the small PADI Dive center on the docks, a boat excursion to nearby Bequia island for shopping, a guided hike to the Peak of Canouan Island for incredible views, gambling at the Trump Gaming Room in the nearby 5-star Raffles Resort [or do other activities at the Raffles resort for the day or evening such as fitness, spa, sit by the pool, restuarant, golf (the Raffles Resort and the Tamarind Beach Hotel are linked by ownership)] or have a Tamarind driver drop you off at one of the islands secluded beach for a few hours or the day (just let him know when you want to be picked-up). Point is, do as much or as little as you want with no hassel and no rush. You truly can make the vacation or holiday what you want it to be.

Food was excellent at Tamarind. Italian flair with an Asian Influence at times. They have a casual setting which is frequented by folks from the sailing charter boats in the Harbour and by the locals or if you prefer, a more formal setting with an excellent chef and a very good selection of wines and a staff trained to help you select.

Aside from the incredible tropical atmosphere and the ability to slow the pace of life down from the everyday, the one thing that still strikes me about the place is the people. The local people (Vincentians) have a great way about them and are some of the friendliest people I have met throughout the Caribbean. The ladies have the most beautiful smiles and the men strong and proud. The management was honest, curteous, dedicated and full of life. The other guests were friendly and outgoing - a great chance to meet people from other countries (I met people from the UK, Scotland, Australia and Italy).

I really don't have a bad word to say about the place. I suppose if you look hard enough you can find fault in every place but in this place you need to look for it. And if you are doing that, maybe it is just better not to go away in the first place.

The Tamarind - I will go back again.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled solo
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23  Thank rgro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2007

My husband and I returned home this morning after 14 nights at The Tamarind and we just couldn't wait to pass on our comments to anyone who is considering staying at this hotel.

We were met promptly from the plane by the hotel driver and driven the short journey to the hotel and were immediately given a nice cold cocktail and a very warm welcome. I will admit that we were very tired on arrival after a very long journey and didn't fully appreciate the beautiful setting until the next day. We were taken to our suite which was outstanding. All the rooms face the gorgeous beach and are very comfortable.

The next morning, we quickly realised what a stunning location this hotel is set in. The beach is perfect. The sand is white and the sea was calm, clear and blue. There are lots of wooden sun loungers set under thatched parasols scattered along the long beach. Each morning, the staff lay out lounger covers and beach towels so that guests can choose where they want to settle. They also rake the beach every day to remove any seaweed that has been washed up overnight. There is a beach bar which opens around 10 am each day where you can get a nice cold drink, ice-cream or cup of tea! You can also order from the lunch menu and your food will be delivered from the main kitchen to you on the beach.

The main restaurant serves wonderful food, beautifully presented in a beachfront location. All our meals were of top quality and extremely tasty.

Everything about this hotel is excellent but we would like to pay a special tribute to the staff. Everyone is so polite and welcoming and do absolutely anything for you to ensure you have a great holiday. We got to know many of them very well and they are efficient, warm, friendly people. We would like to make particular mention of the management. We have never stayed anywhere where the management are so dedicated to ensuring that each guest is made to feel special, welcome and important.

We went on two boat trips island hopping. The first one was on a catamaran. What a brilliant day. The bar on board is open all day and drinks are included in the price of your ticket. We were also treated to a first class inclusive lunch. We went to two gorgeous islands on that trip then to a further 2 islands later in the week on a speedboat trip. Again another perfect day and a whole new experience. The final trip we did was to St Vincent which we visited by air. The hotel arranged our flights and transport. They arranged for a taxi to take us around St Vincent and we had a beautiful tour. Any island that you wish to visit, they will do their utmost to arrange it for you.

The hotel closes on 10th September for 1 month and we were therefore there during the low season just before closure when there were fewer guests. This made no difference to us. The Tamarind is a small, intimate hotel and you are made to feel special no matter how many people are there.

Admitedly the island is remote and has to be reached by flights on a small plane from Barbados in our case. This was a whole new experience and great fun. In our opinion, it is worth the long journey to get there because what awaits you is absolutely fantastic.

We are already planning to return next year and cannot wait. We would recommend this hotel to everyone who wants a relaxed holiday in a peaceful, stunning location.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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16  Thank livvy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club

Address: Grand Bay | Canouan Island, Charlestown, Canouan
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Vincent and the Grenadines > Canouan > Charlestown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Charlestown
Price Range: £224 - £304 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club is a lively beachfront oasis with 40 seaside hideaways, surrounded by tropical gardens, on a long white sand beach. The low-rise property features two thatched-roof restaurants/bars: the "Palapa Restaurant", with a delightful open terrace right at the water edge, offering Italian and West Indian cuisine and the “Pirate's Cove” an informal Bar serving lighter fare. Beach bar, water sports (hydro bikes, windsurf, canoe and sunfish) and massage facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarind Beach Hotel And Yacht Club
Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club Canouan, St. Vincent And The Grenadines

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