Resembling a backdrop from the Hollywood fantasy blockbuster Jurassic World, St. Lucia’s Val des Pitons is like no other place I have ever seen. Cradled between two towering peaks—Gros and Petite Pitons—lies Sugar Beach, a luxury Viceroy resort owned by British entrepreneur Roger Myers, who was once financier to the Rolling Stones and the late David Bowie. He also quite literally resurrected the pub scene in England as co-founder of Punch Taverns (among many other endeavors). Today, Myers lives in St. Lucia and his sole focus is the development and evolution of Sugar Beach.
Cool, fun, and relaxing are typical words used to describe the resort, but it is so much more. When I stepped out onto my villa’s private terrace, the dramatic scenery of Pitons and sparkling blue crystal Caribbean waters took my breath away—the experience was transcendent.
Encountering this remarkable vista, either by boat or land, causes much the same reaction—celebrities included. Oprah Winfrey calls this a bucket-list destination, Bill Gates likes to walk on the sugary white sand and pop in for a bit of tennis, and Richard Branson moored his yacht between the peaks and was inspired to climb one of the awe-inspiring Pitons.
When Myers first set eyes on the property—formerly the Jalousie Plantation Hotel—his word to describe the landscape was “mystic.” The UNESCO World Heritage-listed setting, with its lush tropical rainforest, warm Caribbean waters, and breathtaking sunsets, gave him the idea to create a Caribbean utopia of sorts. He purchased the property in 2005 and over the next several years renovated it into a world-class resort.
The result is a collection of 78 gleaming-white Colonial Caribbean hotel rooms and 47 villas set within the steep hillside. (Three-wheeled tuk-tuks take you from your room to the beach, pool, and restaurants.) All amenities are impeccable, including a treehouse spa made by a Rastafarian craftsman using 900-year-old Carib Indian techniques; five-star dining options helmed by chef Jacques Chrétien, who has worked in Michelin-rated restaurants in Europe; beautiful pools; and personal butlers assigned to guests during their stay.
Years into this resort endeavor, Myers has set yet another goal: to build exclusive Beachfront Residences designed by London-based, award-winning architects Michaelis Boyd Associates. A departure from the Colonial Caribbean-style found throughout the rest of the resort, the houses are ultra-sophisticated in design and blend into the natural beauty of the landscape. The nearly 8,000-square-foot villas offer 180-degree views of the ocean and Pitons. “The dwellings are a modern interpretation of the Caribbean house but with expansive glazed sections to maximize views of the sea, the jungle, and the Pitons,” notes architect Alex Michaelis.
The architects wanted to the give the illusion of a “floating home.” Water surrounds each house on all sides. Upon arrival, a dock stretches across a reflecting pool to the front door, where views of the ocean greet you. Other water features include additional reflecting pools off the master bedroom, rain chains, and a 1,780-square-foot cantilevered infinity pool jutting out over the Caribbean Sea. A waterslide takes you to a lower plunge pool and Jacuzzi, a sunset yoga deck overlooks the beach, and a full outdoor kitchen and bar make for easy entertaining.
The architectural firm focuses on sustainable and environmentally sound solutions such as a highly insulated structure and solar arrays, notes Michaelis. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors connect the living and dining rooms with the exterior terraces and pool areas. Each five-bedroom dwelling with en suite bathrooms offers private terraces and outdoor showers. Baths also have serene soaking tubs and rainforest showers. Rafters have been left exposed, creating light-filled, double-height living areas. Sleek custom-built Italian kitchens offer the latest in amenities and are tailored to owners’ desires.
Priced between $8.25 million and $15 million, the Beachfront Residences include fully furnished interiors and décor selected by Michaelis Boyd and curated to owners’ personal tastes. Other perks are individual residence management and oversight, a dedicated maintenance team, security, and housekeeping services. You can even request a fully stocked fridge with your favorite foods and libations before arrival, making your experience truly turnkey. Sugar Beach Residences owners also have access to all of the resort’s facilities, making for the perfect getaway in one of the most breathtaking settings in the Caribbean.
For more information visit viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/sugarbeach