Much loved by those who know the Caribbean well, the island of St Lucia has just a handful of high end resorts, and likewise a handful of high-end property developments, but Freedom Bay, where work is just beginning, is looking like a gamechanger in terms of both. Set to make the most of the natural charms of the island, the resort should be up and running by the end of next year.
St Lucia’s mixture of British and French charm, alongside its natural beauty and manageable size (just 27 miles long and 14 miles wide) currently attracts both devoted holidaymakers and second home owners. Its natural beauty is dramatic, and the island is crammed with character, while visitors feel at home and happy to explore themselves. And there is so much to see, from the tattered old French capital of Soufrie to the smelly but impressive walk-in volcano, the endless beautiful coastline, sandy beaches and the stunning interior of the rainforest.
Rodney Bay in the north of the island offers an eclectic range of bars and restaurants, including The Edge, where the charismatic Swedish chef Bobo’s ‘Eurobbean’ fusion food stuns diners with its enthusiasm, to Big Chef, which does a wicked line in steaks. The resorts of Cap Maison and Cotton Bay are nearby, as are countless private villas.
So far the south of the island has been less developed, and there is certainly less there currently for those looking towards the luxury end, and it is to the south that the team behind Freedom Bay selected the site for its project – directly at the foot of The Pitons. Recognisable the world over, The Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and even more beautiful in real life than they are on film or postcards. Surrounded by a long white sand beach, lapped by the cobult blue Caribbean, Freedom Bay has a naturally peaceful, and visually stunning secluded location. It will also be the first ever Six Senses hotel in the Caribbean offering 53 detached one and two-bedroom hotel villas, plus an exclusive private residential estate of 48 three and four bedroom super luxury villas and 62 various sized apartments, all with concierge service.
The hotel is likely to be run along similar lines to the luxury eco resorts that Six Senses has already developed. With everything developed as part of the eco-sensitivities the company employs in all its projects, Freedom Bay will also be the last name in luxury for the island. A champagne bar in a circular design will float out on the water, reachable by a walkway over the sea below the Pitons themselves. The spa will incorporate the natural water running through the estate, as well as the extraordinary properties of volcanic mud. The restaurants will champion local produce – an organic garden has been planned just behind the Benny’s, a tiny local restaurant already built into the foot of petit piton which is firmly staying put.
Three-and four-bedroom villas will have balconies, infinity pools and nearly 4,000sq ft of interior space, with another 3,000sq ft of exterior space. Appliances will be state-of-the-art and Freedom Bay are looking at the Greenest possible options from the moment of the groundbreaking. State of the art plans will harness cutting edge technologies to ensure the project is as environmentally friendly as possible.
A fitness centre, watersports, diving and sailing will all be available, something we may have all heard before, but rarely on a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The first phase including the hotel will be complete at the end of next year, 2013. The Six Senses brand has plans to expand all further over the world but choosing St Lucia over so many other potential locations says volumes about how this luxury brand feels about the island and its potential.
The property offering is split into two sections: The Hotel and the Private Residential Estate and investors are being encouraged to look at fractions being released in the first phase of the project. For early investor first release purchasers the developer’s offer is a guaranteed 6% income during the construction period and 8% guaranteed income for three years once the hotel is operational. Once the guarantee period is over the purchaser and the hotel split the income from the villa on a 50/50 basis.
Early investors have the choice of 29 detached one and two-bedroom and one three bedroom villa, each with their own pool. The early investment launch also includes the release of only ten plots within the private residential estate, where purchasers can build their own three or four bedroom villa. Investors also benefit from an 8% guaranteed rental income for the first three years from opening and 50% of hotel villa occupancy income thereafter.
Prices for a one week fraction of a one bedroom hotel villa start at £17,500, rising to a one week fraction of a three bedroom hotel villa at £35,000. Investors have the option of renting their week through the hotel or using their week to stay in the hotel. Whole ownership hotel villas start from £660,000 for a one bedroom villa and rise to £975,000 for a two bedroom villa.
Land plot prices start from US$500,000 and residential estate buyers can effectively buy this plot and then build a property at cost – likely to be around £2m in total for a four bedroom villa. These properties are being released on a phased basis and there are just ten of these land plots available at the current time with more to come later. Owners of private residences will be able to rent out their property on a 50-50 basis with the hotel, or keep it as a private residence.
For further information please contact Koprinka Aksaray, International Sales Manager; Telephone: 0207 718 5573; firstname.lastname@example.org. www.freedombaystlucia.com.