After more than 80 hurricane-free years, Canouan Island in the Grenadines found itself in the unusual path of Hurricane Ivan last week. The new Raffles Resort Canouan Island, which held its soft opening this summer, weathered the storm with surprisingly little damage. “We were very fortunate to have escaped this powerful hurricane with no injuries and little structural damage to the resort,” said Louis Sailer, general manager of Raffles Resort Canouan Island. “Because we are intent on maintaining Raffles’ high standards of service and attention to detail, Raffles Resort will be closed temporarily and reopen by November 1. If our work is completed sooner, we will reopen at that time. But we want to ensure every last detail is perfect as we prepare for our grand opening celebration on November 20.”
Raffles will fully refund any deposits made on reservations for dates prior to the resort’s reopening or offer to hold deposits for a future booking and add one night complimentary to the stay.
According to Sailer, at the new RafflesAmrita Spa, the meditation room and nine individual treatment suites scattered along a hillside overlooking the Caribbean Sea were unharmed. However, three treatment rooms (one hillside and two over-water rooms) as well as the main reception area will be rebuilt. The reception area will be completed in October, and the over-water rooms are expected to be completed by February.
The resort’s golf course is playable, though the clubhouse received water and wind damage and will be repaired. Several of the guest villas sustained minor exterior damage to the patio roofs, and all other villas were unharmed.
“With the exception of the spa and golf clubhouse, the resort mostly needs a good cleaning - removing sand, leaves, seaweed and a few downed trees, and replanting selected landscaping areas,” said Sailer.
The resort staff began monitoring the hurricane two days in advance, which allowed for a swift and orderly evacuation. Raffles’ Villa Monte Carlo served as a shelter and restaurant for the remaining resort guests and staff, as well as guests of the Moorings and other island personnel. Electricity and phone service resumed Wednesday morning, and the airport reopened Wednesday afternoon.