Why is the location of Christophe Harbour in St Kitts so unique and enjoyable?
Spread over 2,500 acres on St. Kitts’ southeastern peninsula, Christophe Harbour blends sophisticated real estate options, a state-of-the-art superyacht marina and luxury facilities with the stunning natural environment to inspire relaxed island living. As one of the Leeward Islands – a cluster of islands including St Barths, Antigua and St Maarten that have been popular with affluent travellers for many years – St. Kitts is in the heart of the eastern Caribbean’s top cruising waters. However, unlike its busier island neighbors, St. Kitts is still very much a hidden gem. Christophe Harbour’s location on St. Kitts offers a new yachting destination in this popular, often overcrowded, region. One that is authentic, naturally beautiful and convenient as a base from which to explore the surrounding old favorite spots, while offering something refreshingly new to visitors.
What are the services that set the marina apart from any other in the area?
As a superyacht owner, I know what I require from marinas for my yacht, and as a result, I wanted The Marina at Christophe Harbour to be the ultimate superyacht marina and homeport. Every aspect of The Marina at Christophe Harbour has been designed with the superyacht experience in mind – from protected entry and safe inner harbour to fixed concrete piers and alongside berths. Unlike the common stern-to model, The Marina at Christophe Harbour offers alongside mooring and new, technologically advanced docks built to the highest standards. The marina is run by experienced former superyacht captains, who know better than anyone the levels of service required and what owners and crew need. As well as being a designated customs port of entry for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the marina also provides expedited VIP clearance onsite and simple work permit access for crew. Christophe Harbour is clearly buoyed for protected entry and exit with a fully monitored single access point, 24-hour security and certification by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. And of course, the marina is the heartbeat of the larger community. We are building an iconic Customs House inspired by the original wharfside building in the capital of Basseterre, and marina village with upscale boutiques, sundries, and exceptional dining. Visitors also benefit from access to our SALT Plage beach bar and miles of hiking, biking, and jogging opportunities. Soon there will also be the region’s first Park Hyatt hotel (opening 2017) and Tom Fazio golf course (under construction). Add to this, the fact that St. Kitts’ modern international airport and private jet terminal YU Lounge are just 15 minutes away, and Christophe Harbour becomes a new gateway to the Caribbean.
How are the things going to change in the next 5 to 10 years in Christophe Harbour?
This is a long-term project, so the creation of our resort community is going to be continuously evolving and growing over the years. In the near future, we are really looking forward to the completion of the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt. The Park Hyatt St Kitts is going to be a beautiful, 5-star hotel and spa resort on Christophe Harbour’s Banana Bay, looking out towards our sister island, Nevis. It is taking now reservations from March 2017. We are also building a Customs House, which will be home to marina services, customs and immigration, a fitness center and crew lounge, standing prominently as a gateway to St. Kitts, the West Indies and beyond. The surrounding marina village is also underway; it will be a buzzing boardwalk including shops, cafes and exclusive residences. The forthcoming Tom Fazio golf course will be one of the most dramatic courses not only in the Caribbean, but maybe throughout the world as well. And of course, new homes are being built in the unique neighborhoods across Christophe Harbour all the time, naturally helping our community grow and thrive.
We mentioned the new fuel station, how is this so important for charter yachts and captains?
Fuel is one of the main expenses for any yacht owner, so finding a reliable, convenient, high quality and economical place to refuel is something at the top of every captain’s agenda. The onsite tank capacity of Christophe Harbour’s new fuel farm is 50,000 US gallons, which will allow the marina to offer in-slip 40,000 US gallons per day of Sol-supplied ultra-low sulphur diesel up to and in excess of 125 gallons per minute. And this is all tax- and duty-free, meaning we can offer pricing significantly less than other places in the region. For charter yachts, Christophe Harbour just makes sense. St Kitts is in the center of the popular West Indies cruising grounds – around 40nm from St Barths, 48nm from Antigua and 44nm from St Maarten. Our fueling infrastructure also incorporates all of the other transport fueling services, such as jet and helicopter fuelling via partner at the YU Lounge private jet terminal. In a region where a significant proportion of yachting traffic is comprised of charter yachts, these polished superyacht-ready services make us really able to maximize charter readiness and efficiency. From refueling to provisioning and concierge services to expedited guest clearance on landing at the private jet terminal, we offer the complete package. We can streamline the whole process.
There also is a true advantage in purchasing a berth here in Christophe harbour, can you tell us a little more about it?
Unlike traditional leasehold models, The Marina at Christophe Harbour offers berths freehold, so owners actually own the seabed. Berth ownership therefore also offers eligibility for the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program, one of the oldest, most reputable programs of its kind with far-reaching benefits including visa-free travel to more than 120 countries and no residency requirement. And if you want to maximize your investment by offering your berth for rent, our experienced marina team is on hand to ensure your berth is managed to the highest possible standards.
Government of undeveloped islands are usually not welcoming such projects. We understood they welcomed the project, how is this relationship evolving?
Until almost 2005, St. Kitts was completely agricultural, so when I arrived on the island, the government at the time was trying to evolve the economy with an eye on tourism supported by the strength of the neighboring islands of St. Maarten and St. Barths. I worked closely with the government to discuss how we could best serve this process with Christophe Harbour and believe we are delivering a project that has long-term value to the country and its citizens. I see myself as a proud steward of the land and take this very seriously – this isn’t about building a big luxury resort, it is about creating a long-term community that is part of the wider island community, that brings jobs, brings opportunity, gives back and enhances the region. In all of our projects, we create philanthropic foundations to give back to the community, and Christophe Harbour is no different. Here, we’ve set up the Christophe Harbour Foundation, which is funded by a percentage of real estate sales to support a variety of initiatives focused on youth development, cultural and environmental preservation, health and wellness and social responsibility. With Christophe Harbour’s continued success comes the opportunity to do some amazing things within the community via the Foundation.