St Kitts is the new millionaire paradise in the Caribbean, an almost untouched island, with amazing tropical forest and beautiful marina. Christophe Harbour is at the center of this new heaven and features a stunning marina that attract the largest superyachts in the world. Learn more about it with Buddy Darby the man behind this wonderful project:
What attracted you to St Kitts
Buddy Darby: The first time I saw St Kitts I was completely blown away by the physicality of it. It is an island with so many natural bounties – rainforests, volcanoes, pristine beaches, crystal clear seas and an array of wildlife. So much of this island is relatively undeveloped still. To add to this, the people of St Kitts are friendly and welcoming and there is a unique energy here. I was looking for somewhere to build a superyacht marina and community that offered something different, and I knew immediately that this was the place. The market for yachting is already strong in the region but St Kitts offered something new by way of a new destination and the ability to create a brand new marina – not retrofit an existing facility. We are fortunate to have 2,500 acres of untouched land here to develop Christophe Harbour across. I’m proud to be a steward of this land and intend to make sure that all of the things that made me fall in love with St Kitts remain unspoiled.
As an experienced superyacht owner, (56.7m Perini Navi S/Y Andromeda La Dea) what made you search for somewhere other than St Barths and other more popular Caribbean islands?
Buddy Darby: I have always loved the Eastern Caribbean. Anguilla, St Barths and Antigua are places that my family and I always visited by boat. But I knew that there was a gap for something different. Unlike other superyacht hotspots, Christophe Harbour is more than just a superyacht marina. This is a community and a place where you know that everything will be taken care of. As a destination, St Kitts has real soul, something that yacht owners are increasingly searching for in the destinations they visit. We are close enough to old favourites like St Barths, St Maarten and Antigua to be a natural part of Eastern Caribbean itineraries, but we are unique enough to offer something new.
Why build a true and authentic community over a just a resort and spa or another luxurious hotel?
Buddy Darby: From the start, Christophe Harbour was going to be a long-term legacy project, one that has real soul. To do this, to create a real community and not just another luxury resort, you need to take your time. It is easy to follow the cookie-cutter luxury mould, but we want this community to evolve into something truly unique, where everything is a bespoke experience that champions the island and the individual. Christophe Harbour is more than just a place where owners park their boat. We will have a hotel and spa – the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt, which is taking reservations from March 2017 – but we also have beautiful neighbourhoods where people can build homes (we currently have 34 homes built, underway or in design review right now). Phase one of the marina is fully operational, with 24 berths, and we also have the members-only Pavilion beach club with an infinity pool and restaurant, and our award-winning beach bar, SALT Plage, a local favourite. We are also building a landmark 11,000sqft Customs House, which will feature marina services, a customs office for superyacht guests, crew facilities and a fitness centre, a marina village with various retail options and a stunning Tom Fazio championship golf course are underway. Christophe Harbour will evolve with every element that is added, with every yacht that spends time here, every visitor that enjoys and sundowner at SALT Plage and with every member that builds a home here.
Superyacht owners are relatively private, what is your plan to keep St Kitts this natural and untouched?
Buddy Darby: Privacy and staying true to the natural Kittitian surroundings is extremely important to me. Christophe Harbour spans over 2,500 acres, which thankfully means that we can really control the experience and the pace of development, and make sure that all structures across our land stick to strict build guidelines. Since much of St Kitts remains undeveloped, unlike many Caribbean islands, it is so important that the charm that comes with this stays unchanged. We want everywhere to feel private, unique and natural. With a long term project like this, the true value rests in creating a balanced and cohesive community. Everything feels authentic and real and fits well into the carefully conceived masterplan. All built structures must adhere to Christophe Harbour’s design guidelines, which means using natural materials and indigenous landscaping materials, drawing upon the island culture and environment to create structures that are in harmony with the land. Owner privacy is also key, so the superyacht marina community is extremely secure and safe, with only one, controlled access point for the marina.
To attract superyacht owners what does the marina offers that set her a part?
Buddy Darby: Every aspect of The Marina at Christophe Harbour has been designed specifically for superyachts, and it is managed by experienced superyacht captains who really understand what owners and their crew need. Our team are an extension of an owner’s crew on shore so berthing at Christophe Harbour is a full-service experience. We want to give owners piece of mind and make crew lives easier. We have 24 state-of-the-art berths fully operational at the moment for yachts between 45m and 67m. Services include in-slip fuelling, wifi, black water pumpout, daily refuse collection, 24-hour security with single, controlled access point, concierge services and onsite transportation, as well as VIP clearance for yachts and private aircraft and access to nearby private jet terminal, YU Lounge. YU Lounge is a really unique offering: a luxury private jet terminal with exclusive services for owners and charter guests traveling by private or commercial aircraft to St Kitts. We have also just added a state-of-the-art fuel farm, which can fuel yachts up to 91m with ultra-low Sulphur diesel at 125 US gallons a minute. It is also tax and duty exempt, meaning that our fuel costs about ten percent less than the local average. This enables us to help yachts be charter ready and efficient. From refuelling to resupplying and expedited guest clearance on landing, we can streamline the whole process: you can touch down in your private jet, whether you own it or you got it from Jettly, clear customs at YU Lounge with a glass of champagne, be seamlessly transferred to Christophe Harbour and be on board your freshly fuelled yacht, ready to go in just 30 minutes.