CANOUAN ISLAND, The Grenadines -- The tiny boot-shaped, three-square-mile island of Canouan, population 1,000, halfway down the Grenadines chain, enters the major leagues this summer with the July 15 opening of Raffles Resort Canouan Island.

The 156-room, suite and villa resort marks Raffles International's first Caribbean venture.

The resort is the former Carenage Bay Beach & Golf Club, briefly managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts but closed for the past two years for extensive -- and expensive -- remodeling.

Sources say Raffles spent "more than $30 million" investing in the resort to add amenities such as an 18-hole designer golf course and the 10,000-square-foot Amrita Spa.

Donald Trump also marks his Caribbean debut when the first of his Trump Island Villas on Canouan goes on sale this summer with a starting price of $1 million.

Trump will develop several high-end villas here at the site of the Raffles Resort, where Trump Hotels & Casinos will manage the operations at the resort's European-style casino called Trump Club Privee.

In addition, the Moorings, a top yacht charter firm, established a base on Canouan last year.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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