‘Pioneering’ and ‘ground-breaking’ are two words not normally associated with the Caribbean, but after a fairly quiet five years, there’s definitely a buzz about the islands this autumn, with the launch of two super-prime developments and one island enjoying the fruits of improved infrastructure.
First of the developments is The Villas at Beachlands, Barbados, a collection of just four villas set right on what is probably the most opulent stretch of beach in the Caribbean: the world-famous 'Platinum Coast'. Beachlands lies conveniently between all the action at Holetown, with its designer stores and restaurants, and the prestigious Sandy Lane hotel.The villas are priced at US$28m and are focussed around the soaring open-plan Great Room with panoramic views over the Caribbean Sea.
This stretch of coastline ticks all the classic Caribbean boxes, with its golden beaches, palm trees and rum shacks. Just as importantly, the island is also stable, both politically and economically, and between restaurants like The Cliff and Daphne’s, the polo season at Apes Hill and other events such as Holder's Festival, there’s enough activity to easily fill up a winter here.
Ground-breaking in terms of putting the island on the top-end map is the launch of Silversands in Grenada. Known as the Spice Island for its exports of nutmeg and mace, Grenada is, by Barbados standards, largely untouched by tourism – especially at the high end.
The new five-star hotel on Grand Anse – a two-mile long white-sand beach – will include nine villas with prices from US$5m to $11m. The island was selected by the Egyptian developer, Naguib Sawairis, specifically because of its under-developed nature: Silversands is about having every earthly comfort on your doorstep while at the same time being able to take part in the daily life of the island, be it picking up a snapper at the local fish market for supper or hiking among the hibiscus and wild orchids (the island exhibits every year at the Chelsea Flower Show) to the Seven Sisters waterfall.
Antigua is another island to watch this winter. Having been off the radar of most top-end travellers and buyers for about 10 years, Antigua has pulled through and upped its game.This is due in no small measure to the government proving adept at attracting inward investment and introducing a Citizenship by Investment programme open to anyone spending at least US$400,000 in approved real estate.
But the story doesn’t end there. Last year, the new international airport terminal opened and with it the ability to process more passengers as well as attracting new services from JFK and Milan, among others. Access is obviously a critical point for buyers in the Caribbean and with the new terminal, Antigua is now the largest gateway to the eastern Caribbean.
Pearns Point, a low-rise hotel, apartment and cottage development on a peninsula by Jolly Harbour, is setting a new benchmark for residential propert in Antigua. Plots of up to two acres are available for custom homes with Ondine de Rothschild among those who have already purchased.