Caribbean Treasure Island
The Caribbean isle of St. Kitts is blooming with the arrival of Christophe Harbour
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“St. Kitts is like a drumstick, and we’re at the little end.”
So says Buddy Darby, the man behind the Caribbean island’s ambitious luxury property development, Christophe Harbour. It’s an accurate description of this tiny isle—just 18 miles from chunky top to skinny bottom—where Darby saw an opportunity not to be missed. “I came down here in 1997 after Thanksgiving and I went, ‘Holy moly.’ There aren’t many unspoiled places in the world where I can impact security, landscaping, and architecture over 2,500 acres.”
Christophe Harbour's beach
At the time, Darby was just wrapping up another residential project on Kiawah Island in his native South Carolina and was loathe to lose the dream team of architects, marketing pros, and designers he’d assembled over the years. “We could finish each other’s sentences. They knew my quality levels and we’d done a lot of great projects together,” he explains. When he saw the site on the southeastern peninsula of St. Kitts in all its unspoiled green glory, he instantly envisaged the luxury residential resort community it could become, and he had the right people on speed dial to help make it happen.
Today, the results of his vision are plain for all to see in the custom-designed villas, grand estates, and cozy cottages dotted across the development’s many hills and sandy beaches. For potential buyers, the only headache is deciding exactly what and where to buy. There are options to move into a custom-built property, buy through fractional ownership, or build a bespoke dream home. The most impatient of customers will likely opt for the former, where $4 million will buy you the likes of 8 Mariner’s Call, which sits pretty on Sandy Bank Bay and offers 180-degree ocean views, four enormous bedrooms, and a pool.
All properties are built with the island’s precious natural environment in mind and must be approved by the Christophe Harbour Design Review Board. There will be no high-rises or eyesores here, thank you very much, even for those building from scratch. With Darby at the helm and architect John Haley behind much of the design, this is destined to be an environmentally sensitive site.
At Salt Plage, for example, Haley upcycled material from an old sugar mill and salt warehouse to create an achingly cool beach bar. Meanwhile, his airy Pavilion beach club for Christophe Harbour members, filled with colonial-style ceiling fans and polished woods, resembles a giant palm frond from above and is a perfect fit for the tropical surroundings. “The guy is incredibly talented,” says Darby of the architect. “I gave him the seed of an idea for these places and he ran with it.”