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The view from the top sure is sweet: just ask any mountaineer or successful career person. I may not have scaled a mountain or made CEO, but standing on the highest point of the golf course at Raffles Canouan resort on Canouan Island — surely the Earth’s most spectacular 13th hole — I'm getting a glimpse of what it’s like to be at the top of the world.
My husband, Adam, and I arrived the day before in the Grenadines—a sprinkling of islands in the southern Caribbean that trail like the tail of a stingray from the main island of St. Vincent—and we’re keen to get our bearings. So we requisition an electric golf cart and make our way to this quiet, impeccably groomed stretch of lawn where we are rewarded with a sweeping 360-degree view of the island chain. Behind us is Mount Royal, the island’s highest peak. The Atlantic Ocean is to one side, the Caribbean Sea to the other, and in the distance, the islands of Mayreau, Petit Martinique and Mustique sparkle in the late afternoon sun.
Canouan means turtle island in Arawakan (an indigenous Caribbean language) and shortly after checking into our ocean-view “Personality Suite,” we’ve already encountered several of the resident tortoises, lumbering happily around on the stretch of lawn below our terrace. The Raffles Canouan is the only high-end accommodation on this eight-kilometre-long island. It’s situated in the heart of the Grenadine chain, once solely inhabited by fishermen and subsistence farmers. It may lie just southwest of Barbados, but Canouan has none of the nation’s bustle and urbanity. Rather, well-heeled travelers from everywhere come here to decompress.