Luxury Mega Yacht Charters: St Martin to The Grenadines – Teeing Off in the Caribbean

Luxury Mega Yacht Charters: St Martin to The Grenadines – Teeing Off in the Caribbean




Vacationers visit the Caribbean every year to experience a true tropical getaway. Every island has its own rare history, heritage and culture, but the one thing all the islands have in shared is their natural beauty, surrounded by vivid blue ocean waters, pristine beaches and breathtaking tropical landscapes. Perhaps one of the ultimate ways to experience the varied of the Caribbean is by taking an island-hopping golf vacation aboard a luxury mega yacht charter. Using Antigua as a jumping-off point, golfers can choose to either travel north to Anguilla or south to The Grenadines. Tim Nelson will be happy to assist in planning a rare Caribbean adventure.

From Anguilla to The Grenadines, the Caribbean has become known for its championship golf courses. Although you can bring your own clubs and equipment, most courses have everything you will need, including lessons and complete service golf shops. Tee times should be made in improvement, especially at the more popular, upscale courses. Plan on spending anywhere from US$45 to well over US$200 per round depending on the location and course. Following are some rare island golfing options.

Anguilla

The low coral island of Anguilla sits at the top of the Leeward Island chain. It is a serene, far away place of magnificent soft, undeveloped, dazzlingly white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and some exclusive hotels and estates all surrounded by the most turquoise blue sea possible. There are no towns- just a scattering of houses and business places. The interior is dry, dusty and covered in scrubby vegetation. The allurement for the luxury mega yacht charterer is the coast and the pure relaxation and escapism that come from the island’s seclusion in addition as the friendliness of its people.

An 18-hole Greg Norman Championship Golf Course being developed at Rendezvous Bay is scheduled to open in the fall of 2006. The Temenos Golf Club is being constructed in conjunction with a 5-star St. Regis Hotel and Spa, and approximately 50-100 multimillion dollar residential estates. The complete course will be open to the public, but in order for persons to become members of the golf club, they will be required to be a home-owner. One of the newest owners is Tiger Woods. According to Anguilla’s Chief Minister, Osbourne B. Fleming, “The availability of golfing facilities will increase the allurement of Anguilla for meaningful segments of the market- those interested in small meetings, incentives or group travel.” One can only hope that this large extent development will not ruin the allurement of this island – the peacefulness and serenity of its deserted beaches.

Saint Martin/Sint Maarten

Shared by the French and the Dutch, the busy island of St. Martin/St. Maarten is one of the most developed in this part of the Caribbean. With fabulous beaches, lots of tourist facilities, and a huge duty-free shopping area, it is a Mecca for the luxury mega yacht charterer. The daily stream of luxury yachts entering and leaving the harbors – one bigger than the other- is mind boggling. With the limited choice for golf on St. Maarten, the luxury mega yacht charterer should use time exploring this shopper’s and sun seeker’s haven. The French side excels in gourmet restaurants offering everything from delectable local seafood to fine French cuisine. Shopping is a fusion of French chic and open-air markets featuring souvenir T-shirts, in addition as a large number of local island spices, flowers, fruits and vegetables. The Dutch side is a gambler’s delight with many large Casinos, resorts, and fast-food chains. In addition, the best nightlife in terms of bars and nightclubs are located on the Dutch side. For party-goers, there is something happening every night. The only place to play golf is at the Mullet Bay Resort in St. Maarten. Designed by Joseph Lee, palm-lined fairways offer beautiful views of the lagoon. Green fees run about US$93 for 18-holes, with cart rentals additional. If you are a serious golfer, you are better off island-hopping to nearby St. Kitts to test your skills.

St. Kitts/Nevis

The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, which together form one nation, are rare in the Eastern Caribbean for their exceptional preservation of West Indian culture and attitudes. Nowhere else in the vicinity will you find such perfect examples of colonial architecture, gorgeous plantation inns, ramshackle sugar mills and great hospitality. The discerning luxury mega yacht charterer will find deserted beaches, lush vegetation, exotic animals and many historical sites to analyze, in addition as magnificent accommodations for the luxury cruiser.

Basseterre is home to a new duty-free shopping district. A race track and casino are under construction. They are sure to be a fun-filled landside distraction for the cruiser on a luxury mega yacht charter. There are three golf courses located on these tiny islands. The 2-year old Frigate Bay Golf Course is a challenging par 72 operated by the Royal St. Kitts Marriott Beach Resort. It is bordered on the south by the Caribbean Sea and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, with views of a idle volcano island. Designed by five-time British Open winner, Peter Thompson, the course is dotted with many water hazards and is swept by sea winds from all directions, which adds to the challenge. The Golden Rock Golf Club is a smaller, less luxurious facility offering 9 holes. On Nevis, the Four Seasons has a 5-star resort on beautiful Pinney’s Beach. The course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., is continually named by Conde Nast Traveler readers as one of their favorite resorts worldwide. The course offers splendid views of Nevis in addition as St. Kitts across the Caribbean. Almost every hole has a backdrop of Mt. Nevis or a view of blue ocean and emerald islands. The course dips and twists by foothills. Palm trees and tropical flowers line the fairways, wild monkeys chatter on the mango trees, and goats graze in the bunkers. The course is swept by sea winds, which necessitates the continued change in club selection

Antigua

With 365 white sandy beaches, and a turquoise coastline complete of bays, coves and natural harbors, Antigua is one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations for the luxury mega yacht charterer. This is especially true in April when the international yachting set descend on the island for Race Week and partying vies with sailing. Antigua is well-equipped to cater to the mega yacht cruiser with numerous luxury amenities, facilities and yachting sets.

There are two locations to play golf on Antigua. nearby to the Jolly Harbour Marina, and surrounded by excellent shopping and beaches, Karl Litton designed the par 71, 18-hole Jolly Harbour Golf Club. This championship golf course is located in a lush tropical parkland. With easterly trade winds, the challenging course winds its way around seven lakes. 18 holes cost US$ 40.00 and a golf pro is obtainable for lessons. A second course is located at the Cedar Valley Golf Club just east of St. John. The 18-hole par 70 championship course was designed by the late Richard Aldridge and is renowned for its panoramic views of the island’s coastline. Green fees are US$35 for 18 holes; cart rentals are an additional US$30. Cedar Valley hosts all of the major Antigua golf tournaments and has welcomed the British Pro-Am in addition.

Guadeloupe

The butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe is one of the larger islands of the Lesser Antilles. It is not only different but very complicate. The western wing of Basse-Terre is dominated by large mountain ranges, thick rainforests, the Caribbean’s tallest waterfalls, and black sand beaches. The eastern wing of Grande-Terre is utterly flat by contrast, with rural sugar cane fields and white sand beaches. As part of the French West Indies, Guadeloupe has much to offer the luxury mega yacht charterer. St. Francois is a posh harbour town located in Grand-Terre. Its anchorage is very popular with the luxury mega yacht charterer. It does not have much of a beachfront, but it makes up for it with its beautiful marina, where a boardwalk lined with chic boutiques, cafes and restaurants draws affluent clientele. The major land activity happens next door to the marina at the 18-hole golf course – Guadeloupe’s only links. Robert Trent Jones, designed this golf course, teased by trade winds, over twenty years ago. The course spreads its 18-holes over nearly 200 acres lined with royal palm trees. The course is marked by artificial lakes, numerous flat lying areas and well designed bunkers. The greatest challenge is the regularly shifting trade winds.

Martinique

Landing on the island of Martinique, Christopher Columbus declared,”…it is the most charming country in the world.” The island is a breathtaking mix of little French villages, lush tropical rain forests, exotic flowers, towering mountains and idle volcanoes, and black and white sand beaches. Its hillside banana plantations, pavement cafes, boulangeries, Parisian shops and street markets are a tropical France.

Most sun worshipping luxury mega yacht charterers head directly to Southern Martinique where the island’s only white sand beaches are located. There is very little obtainable in the small hamlet of Les Trois-Ilets other than the Golf Country Club de la Martinique. This is home to the par 71, 18-hole Robert Trent Jones course with an English-speaking pro, a pro shop, bar and restaurant. The view of the turquoise Caribbean waters by the palm trees makes every hole truly breathtaking. Normal green fees are EUR46; an electric cart is an additional EUR46, and pull carts are EUR6.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia, lying between Martinique to the north and St. Vincent in the south, is a glorious mix of honey and volcanic sand beaches, translucent blue waters, sheltering reefs swarming with tropical fish, lush interior rainforests, and a thriving culture of literature, theater, music and dance. Jungle biking and hiking are popular sports with over 12 miles of trails appropriate for all abilities. Expect to see 18th century colonial ruins, swimming holes, and hundreds of fruit trees. To cure any aches and pains, a dip in Sulfur Springs, described by the locals as, “the only excursion-in volcano in the world”, presumably has restorative powers.

St. Lucia has become the perfect destination for the luxury mega yacht charterer looking for the truly rare golf getaway. There are several golfing options on St. Lucia. The St. Lucia Golf and Country Club is located at the northern end of the island. It is currently the only 18-hole course on the island. The semi private club welcomes the public and offers panoramic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It accommodates players of all skill levels, from novice to specialized. It is also the only course on the island that offers a driving range, complete service pro shop and a golf academy.

Currently under construction, Jack Nicklaus is bringing his first identifying characteristics course to the Eastern Caribbean Islands. The $100 million project at Cap Estates will provide St. Lucia two complete-length 18-hole courses. The Sandals St. Lucia Golf and Resort is an all-inclusive golf different to the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club. Sandals has a 9-hole par 33 golf course. Those not staying at the resort are welcome to play for US$30 for 9 holes and US$45 for 18 holes. Finally, on the southwest shore is the Jalouise Hilton Resort, which also has a 9-hole par 3 course for those looking for just a taste of golf. Guests not staying at the hotel can play the course with the buy of a US$75 a day pass to the resort.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

located about 100 miles west of Barbados and nestled between St. Lucia to the north and Grenada to the south, St. Vincent and its 32 sister islands and cays known collectively as the Grenadines, are nevertheless untouched by the overt hand of tourism. There are no neon lights, no high rise buildings, no traffic jams, no fast-food joints, no crowds, and no noise. Only a handful of the islands are populated. Although some of the islands are reachable by plane, most arrive by sea either under sail on their own private vessels or on luxury mega yacht charters. Several of the anchorages in the islands of St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, and Union Island are particularly obtainable to the mega yacht.

The islands’ volcanic features and underwater topography are ideal for diving and snorkeling, in addition as underwater photography. For the more adventurous luxury mega yacht charterer, the small, crescent-shaped island of Canouan, located in the middle of the Grenadine island chain, has some of the Caribbean’s best and most private reef protected white sand beaches. A luxury resort has been developed on the island, complete with holiday villas, a casino and the Grenadines’ only golf course. The 18-hole course is located in the lush green hills of this tiny island.

The beauty of playing golf on Canouan is the island is largely set up to cater to the needs of its luxury seeking holiday visitors. Every luxury imaginable is offered for those that can provide it. A luxury mega yacht charter to the Caribbean is an unforgettable experience, especially if combined with a rare golf outing. Caribbean golf courses are highly attractive because of their landscaping, tropical surroundings, and dramatically ocean views. They are also often a challenge because of the ever-present trade winds. Whether traveling north from Antigua to Anguilla or south to The Grenadines, an island-hopping golf vacation aboard a luxury mega yacht charter offers the ultimate vacation experience. Contact Gail Hartman for details on smaller yachts.




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