Vacationers visit the Caribbean every year to experience a true tropical getaway. Every island has its own unique history, heritage and culture, but the one thing all the islands have in common 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 diversity 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 unique 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 full service golf shops. Tee times should be made in advance, 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 unique island golfing options.
The low coral island of Anguilla sits at the top of the Leeward Island chain. It is a serene, remote 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 attraction for the luxury mega yacht charterer is the coast and the pure relaxation and escapism that come from the island’s seclusion as well 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 entire 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 appeal of Anguilla for key segments of the market- those interested in small meetings, incentives or group travel.” One can only hope that this large scale development will not ruin the appeal of this island – the tranquility 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 spend 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, as well as a host 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 extra. If you are a serious golfer, you are better off island-hopping to nearby St. Kitts to test your skills.
The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, which together form one nation, are unique in the Eastern Caribbean for their remarkable preservation of West Indian culture and attitudes. Nowhere else in the region 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 explore, as well 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 dormant 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 as well 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 through 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 constant change in club selection Cartagena Private Islands