By Maarten Janssen
Every once in a while, life can take you on journeys that are as unexpected as they are divine, offering experiences that simply seem too good to be true. Having been a guest on a wide variety of superyachts, I always have “Could it get any better than this?” lingering in the back of my mind. With something bigger, better and more beautiful seemingly around every corner, one is eventually bound to discover the absolute pinnacle of luxury and freedom. Imagine reaching this pinnacle, and then crank it up a few notches. That is in essence, Calivigny Island.
Located a stone’s throw away from the island off Grenada's south coast, the extremely charming and completely private Calivigny Island is a thick slice of paradise that probably tops the most luxurious experience you've ever had, setting a brand new standard for living the good life. I spent a couple of days on the private island in December, as one of the island’s only two guests.
Staged in a setting of crisp white sandy beaches, rich tropical gardens and crystal clear Caribbean waters, a majestic beach house forms the main residence of the island. Built in a delightful blend of Balinese and French Colonial styles, a total of 10 grand suites supply guests with the most sumptuous accommodation they could ever imagine.
The sheer size of this architectural masterpiece leaves absolutely no doubt whatsoever that this is the place to be, whether you're visiting by yourself, or bring with you a company of guests, the size of which greatly surpasses what you might be able to welcome on even the largest of superyachts.
Each and every one of your invitees will be cared for by the highly qualified staff of 26, making sure every whim is taken care of. Huge suites, large en-suite bathrooms and extraordinary views are just a small pick from the long list of first class amenities each suite has to offer, all in a grand, warm and welcoming, romantic Oriental atmosphere with furnishings custom designed by leading and highly acclaimed designers, Oscar de la Renta and Richard Frinier.
Arriving on the island, my bags are quickly moved to my two story suite, located in the main house. My suite measured a staggering 150m2, featuring marble floors, a vaulted Balinese style ceiling, huge balconies overlooking the swimming pool and terrace below, a circular stair case with an ornate wrought iron banister, two bathrooms and plush carpets.
It was just one of the 10 suites in the main house guests can choose to stay in, starting at 100m2, up to the 400m2 owner’s suite, taking up the entire east wing of the 8,000 m2 main house.
Taking a short stroll along the beach, one is marvelled by picture perfect panoramic views, with crystal clear waters gently brushing the shores of this divine island. A short walk down the white sandy beach, another new luxurious villa can be found, set in a more contemporary and informal style, both inside and out.
Whether you want just that bit of extra privacy, spend some time by yourself or simply want a change of scenery, this villa is one of many gems found on the crown of Calivigny Island. Known as Overhang Residence, it houses 9 suites, most of which open out onto the brand new seafront promenade.
With an additional collection of comfortable, intimate beachfront villas currently in the final stages of construction, an additional 30 guests can be offered sumptuous accommodation, making possibilities for vacations with an extended group of friends, events and celebrations virtually endless. On Calivigny Island, nothing is too much, to make sure you feel totally pampered and completely relaxed, making the hassles of daily life seem light-years away. This sensation instantly started when we arrived on Grenada Island, where we were met by the island’s private limousine and taken to the Secret Harbour Marina, owned by the owners of Calivigny. From here the final destination is just an enjoyable 5 minute boat trip away.
Spending five divine days on this big slice of paradise, simply exploring the island seemed the best way to start taking in all that Calivigny Island has to offer. This can be easily done by foot, as the Island's 81 acres make it large enough to fit a sizeable company of guests in perfect comfort, without making you feel completely overwhelmed with sheer size. As for activities, 6 sandy white beaches and various swimming pools are highly tempting, and possibilities for snorkelling and playing tennis on the main mansion's tennis court, jet skiing, jogging or biking on one of the island's various tracks are just some of countless activities to be done on and around the island.
Add to this all things nearby Grenada and the various small surrounding islands have to offer... Want to spend the day having a picnic on one of them? Or do you prefer getting a massage from the trained hands of the Island's very own massage therapist? Why not do both... And so much more.
A perfect island comes with perfect cuisine, and the private chef and his team were there to ensure just that. Lavish meals, stunningly themed settings and impeccable service perfectly frame a stay on Calivigny Island. Impeccable is standard for every aspect of your stay, from activities and surroundings, to amenities and service. Here, the sky is not the limit but simply a stepping stone for things much better, the perfect location for any occasion one might have in mind; from private vacations, to corporate events, to wedding celebrations and family reunions.
Additionally, there are various possibilities to further complement a stay on Calivigny Island. For instance, by adding the owner’s 53 metre sailing yacht Atmosphere as an extra addition to your stay, you can add accommodation for another 12 guests. Atmosphere will have to be chartered as an extra, as is the case with the 26 metre Spherefish, but the 44 ft Hinckly, the 27 ft Boston whaler, the 38 ft Munson Landing Craft, VideoRay RVO submarine, and a range of personal watercraft are all part of the Calivigny package.
In terms of luxury and privacy, Calivigny easily equals that found on the best of superyachts. In terms of space, the island surpasses any experience one might have on a superyacht, and by having the fleet of boats available for guests to use, guests still have the option to discover new places every day. After just 4 nights, we reluctantly left the wonders of Calivigny behind us, as we caught our overnight flight back to a cold and dreary Europe, and stepped back into everyday reality.
The island has a weekly rate of US$980,000 for the whole island. This includes food and drinks, but excludes some exclusive items such as fine wines. Atmosphere can be chartered at an additional charge of €210,000 per week, and Spherefish is available at an additional € 60,000