Best for Beaches - Barbados and Grenada
More secluded beaches, including Paynes Bay and Paradise Beach, are to the south. The west coast is where most investors buy property. At Royal Westmoreland Golf and Spa Resort (royalwestmoreland.com), prices start at £260,000 for one bedroom apartments to just under £4 million for a 7 bedroom villa. The newest properties here are at Sugar Cane Ridge, where semi-detached three and four bedroom villas cost from £805,000.
Brand new developments include Apes Hill and Port Ferdinand. The former is one of the few places where you can see both west and east coasts and on the 470 acre estate, golf and polo villas start at £645,000. Port Ferdinand is a 16 acre luxury marina development near Port St. Charles. Prices for the 86 two, three and four bedroom homes with private berths start at £1.43 million. "This is no doubt going to be the new address on the west coast" says Christian de Meillac, Knight Frank (knightfrank.com).
Overlooking the beach is Mount Cinnamon (mountcinnamongrenadahotel.com/realestate), where five furnished one, two and three bedroom villas are available from £395,000. 15 more are coming to the market later in the year. Most of the hot spots are in the south of the island with Egmont and Belle Isle on the south eastern coast being the up and coming areas.
Samaan Grove Estate in Canaan is one of the property hotspots in the south.
"Samaan Grove is in one of the Designated Development Areas where non-nationals can get a license to purchase" says Natalie Mahabir of Caribbean Estates (realestatetobago.com).
The rainforest of St. Lucia covers 19,000 acres and here you can see the colourful St. Lucia parrot, exotic flowers and the occasional boa constrictor. Investors looking for a guaranteed return could buy an apartment or villa at Freedom Bay (freedombaystlucia.com), a luxury eco-resort at the foot of the Pitons on the south west coast.
The homes are sold on a fractional or outright basis and the second phase has recently been launched. Prices start from £22,000 for a one week fraction of a one bedroom hotel villa; outright ownership from £880,000.
Fond Bay on the south east coast, Palm View Resort has 230 one-bedroom beach suites and two, three and four bedroom apartments, golf course and beach club. It is also home to St. Lucia's first casino and Health and Wellness Retreat. Crystal Investment and Real Estate (investmentandrealestate.com) is selling the beach suites from £240,000.
"The area around Cap Estate and Rodney Bay in the north west is also very popular" says Glad Taylor of St. Lucia Homes (stlucia-homes.com).
The diving is wonderful off St. Kitts too. "There are many shipwrecks to explore and night diving is excellent - the best time to catch sight of sleeping turtles" says Pauline Bonanni of Select Resorts (selectresorts.co.uk).
Property prices range from £300,000 for a studio beachfront apartment up to £660,000 for a three bedroom house in Basseterre.
The southern tip of St. Kitts, around Frigate Bay, is where most development is, but a more rural, area in the north-west is the new place to be. Here, the 395 acre Kittitian Hill resort is under construction. In an elevated position, it will have villas, cottages, suites, spa, restaurants, shops, cinema and golf course. Fractional ownership of a three bedroom villa starts at around £275,000 up to outright ownership for £2.5 million.
Down in the south, Christophe Harbour (christopheharbour.com) is the largest of the developments. This 2,500 acre resort will have six beaches, super yacht marina, marina village, golf course and Park Hyatt hotel. Prices start from £270,000 for fractional ownership of a four bedroom villa rising to almost £4 million for an oceanfront home.
You can race, learn the ropes or just chill out on a charter and a good number of young men and women from the UK cut their nautical teeth there by crewing for several months before settling down back home.
At Jolly Harbour, prices range from £98,000 for a two bedroom villa needing some modernisation to £3.6 million for a fabulous seven bedroom villa on the beach with boat house and mooring.
At Tamarind Hill, you can buy a three bedroom town house with plunge pool from £725,000 and at The Palms, five three, four and five bedroom villas not far from the beach start from £510,000 through Luxury Locations estate agents (luxurylocations.com)
The British Virgin Islands are a divine place to sail with many islands to visit or sail around (some are private such as Necker, owned by Sir Richard Branson) and plenty of deep water bays to moor in.
On the larger island of Tortola, a three bedroom house could be bought for £500,000.
A new up-market destination is Oil Nut Bay (oilnutbay.com) on Virgin Gorda, a smaller and less populated island. The 300 acre development is on the northern tip, only accessible by boat, with 88 villa plots, restaurant, beach bar and three pools (which are already open) and plans for a children's club, marina, tennis courts, spa and fitness centre. Plots by the marina start at £1.2 million.
"Although Nassau is the capital, the true beauty of the Bahamas can only be found by travelling to the many secluded and unspoilt islands with their crystal waters and white sand beaches" says David Chowen, who is developing Bahama Cays. Here, colonial styled cottages are for sale with either sea views or by the water's edge.
Plots start at around £29,999 and two bedroom furnished cottages from £129,999.
On New Providence Island, a new mega waterside destination is under construction. Baha Mar covers 1,000 acres and will have 307 luxury residential apartments and villas, five hotels, galleries, restaurants and a nightclub, plus an Eco Water Park, three spas and golf course and the largest casino in the Caribbean. Savills (savills.com) is selling one bedroom apartments from £725,000 up to 4-bedroom beach villas for £9.5 million.
On Great Exuma, Roker Point Estates (rokerpointestates.com) is selling 147 plots on two prime sites, both close to the beach, starting at £107,000. A fully furnished two bedroom house including golf cart would cost from £300,000.
There are 33 islands in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to discover. You can hire a boat or take a skippered charter to explore secluded bays, lagoons and harbours to your heart's content.
Bequia and Mustique are the largest populated islands; most of the rest are uninhabited, perfect for finding a private haven for the day.
Alan Whitaker from Grenadine Villas (grenadinevillas.com) says, "Bequia is the place to go, as it has a real buzz going for it". Here, a two bedroom cottage near the beach costs from £180,000 or a five bedroom villa for £650,000.
|This feature appeared in the Spring 2013 edition of A Place in the Sun magazine.