Prop­erty com­ment

The Bri­tish pas­sion for the Caribbean re­mains un­damp­ened by stormy weather, finds Holly Kirk­wood, as new en­ergy in the re­gion presents op­por­tu­ni­ties for buyers

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

WITH the hu­mid­ity of the sum­mer months gone and the rainy sea­son out of the way, De­cem­ber is when the Caribbean is at its ab­so­lute best. As the ocean sparkles and gen­tle breezes waft the palm trees, it’s hard to be­lieve that one of the most de­struc­tive hur­ri­cane sea­sons on record blew through only last year.

A hand­ful of is­lands are still in re­cov­ery from Hur­ri­canes Irma and Maria, but 70% of the area was com­pletely un­touched. As it turns out, the Caribbean isn’t merely open for busi­ness, it’s boom­ing and prop­erty hunters have a choice be­tween best-in-class vil­las in es­tab­lished spots and im­pres­sive new projects in lesser-known des­ti­na­tions.

James Bur­dess, who heads up the re­gion for Sav­ills, is look­ing for­ward to a busy win­ter, say­ing he’s wit­nessed more in­vest­ment across the en­tire Caribbean in the past two years than in a decade. ‘A few things have shifted re­cently to al­low a lot of these is­lands to re­ally de­velop their po­ten­tial,’ he ex­plains. ‘On Bar­ba­dos, for in­stance, the new gov­ern­ment is more open to out­ward in­vest­ment, which helps to get things mov­ing.’

Com­pris­ing only four ul­tra-lux­u­ri­ous beach vil­las, Beach­lands is a great ex­am­ple of the con­fi­dence de­vel­op­ers have in the en­dur­ing ap­peal of the is­land for high-net­worth in­di­vid­u­als; $28 mil­lion (£21.5m) through Sav­ills (020–7016 3740).

A short flight from Bar­ba­dos are the lesser­known Gre­nadines, a string of tiny is­lands blessed with su­gar-sand beaches and un­spoiled ver­dant land­scapes. One of the best known of these is Mus­tique, a pri­vate is­land with a range of wildly eclec­tic lux­ury homes that serve as re­treats for ev­ery­one from rock stars to roy­alty (‘Here’s to the next 50’, COUN­TRY LIFE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL, Oc­to­ber 10). This year, Knight Frank fea­ture a cou­ple

of very fine orig­i­nal Oliver Mes­sel vil­las on their books, from $5.95 mil­lion (£4.57m, 020–7861 1553).

For an old-school Caribbean set­ting in the Gre­nadines, buyers head to Be­quia, which al­ready has es­tab­lished de­vel­op­ments such as the Baie De Su­cre com­mu­nity, where fivebed­room sea-view villa Gingerlily is on the mar­ket at $4 mil­lion (£3.07m) through Ch­ester­tons In­ter­na­tional (020–7201 2071).

How­ever, it’s the is­land’s new­est re­sort, The Lim­ing, which is ex­pected to open it up to a whole new crowd. Billed as a mas­ter­class in bare­foot lux­ury, the ho­tel opened in Novem­ber, promis­ing to com­bine its idyl­lic lo­ca­tion with six-star ameni­ties; one-bed­room vil­las start at $500,000 (£384,000) through Sav­ills (020–7016 3740).

If bare­foot isn’t your thing, try head­ing south-west of the Gre­nadines to gor­geous Grenada, where the ul­tra-smart Sil­ver­sands re­sort opened this year, of­fer­ing a hand­ful of ex­clu­sive vil­las set right on Grand Anse Beach—from $5.6 mil­lion (£3.84m, res­i­[email protected] sil­ver­sands­grenada.com).

For the most part, Bri­tish buyers stick to Bar­ba­dos, St Lu­cia, Mus­tique and An­tigua, but in­ter­est is grow­ing in the more northerly des­ti­na­tions of the Ba­hamas and Turks and Caicos. Ac­cord­ing to Knight Frank’s Ed­ward de Mal­let Mor­gan, the Ba­hamas is rarely beaten on build qual­ity or ameni­ties.

The Al­bany devel­op­ment on New Providence set the bar pretty high when it launched eight years ago and is still a firm favourite with buyers who love golf, sail­ing, fit­ness or sim­ply the chance to en­joy a slice of the good life. A five-bed­room pool villa costs about $6.75 mil­lion (£5.18m) through Sav­ills (020–7016 3740).

Al­ter­na­tively, Four Sea­sons fans might grav­i­tate to­wards the Ocean Club Res­i­dences at the One & Only re­sort on Par­adise Is­land, where a jaw­drop­ping 7,000sq ft pent­house with a 100ft bal­cony and pri­vate lift will set you back a tidy $10 mil­lion (£7.68m) through Dami­anos Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Re­alty (00 1 242 322 2305).

With as many as 700 dif­fer­ent is­lands, cays and tiny islets mak­ing up the Ba­hamas, it’s be­come a com­mon des­ti­na­tion for pri­vateis­land buyers and Lit­tle Pipe Cay in the Ex­u­mas is an ex­cep­tional ex­am­ple.

De­vel­oped by Amer­i­can bil­lion­aire Michael Ding­man, it has five prop­er­ties with topof-the-range fix­tures and fit­tings. Its 38 acres fea­ture four pris­tine beaches, an in­fin­ity pool and moor­ings—$85 mil­lion (£65.26m) through Knight Frank (020–7861 1553).

Due-south of the Ba­hamas, Turks and Caicos is a small Bri­tish Overseas Ter­ri­tory with a grow­ing ap­peal. ‘We have some of the world’s best beaches as well as lux­ury and ul­tra-lux­ury prop­er­ties and re­sorts, plus world-beat­ing wa­ter­sports and fish­ing,’ says Nina Siegen­thaler of Sotheby’s Re­alty.

Mr Bur­dess adds that Sav­ills’s de­ci­sion to open an of­fice there was driven by high de­mand for projects such as the is­lands’ Turks Cay devel­op­ment, which has apart­ments from about $1 mil­lion (£770,000) through Sav­ills (020–7016 2740).

Turks and Caicos also have a rep­u­ta­tion for pri­vacy, twinned with world-class pam­per­ing; lux­u­ri­ous re­sorts such as COMO Par­rot Cay and Aman­yara are ac­cus­tomed to tak­ing in fraz­zled A-listers from New York look­ing for se­ri­ous R&R.

Those who wish to stay a lit­tle longer might seize a rare op­por­tu­nity to buy one of the Aman­yara Tran­quil­ity Vil­las, in a mag­nif­i­cent 10,000sq ft com­plex per­fectly placed for en­joy­ing the leg­endary lo­cal sun­sets— $6.95 mil­lion (£5.34m) through Sotheby’s Re­alty (00 1 649 946 4474).

Fac­ing page: Villa Ta­marindo, Beach­lands, Bar­ba­dos, with Sav­ills. $28m. Above: Oliver Mes­sel villa, Mus­tique, with Knight Frank. From $5.96m

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