By Jochem Kaan
Photos by Martin Fine, Neil Rabinowitz, Thierry Ameller
With the launch of the 73 metre Laurel back in 2006, Seattle-based Delta Marine added a true lady to their fleet of superyachts. With her royal blue hull reflecting an image of elegance and nobility, Laurel gracefully ruled the waves of the world's oceans. For 5 years, her owners kept her completely private. However, when the veil of secrecy was recently lifted, the yard offered us a first look inside, when they invited our editors on board in Fort Lauderdale.
With features undeniably classic, her pleasant lines prefer class over loudness yet are certainly bound to turn some heads. Her stylish exterior look has a colour palette to match, adding white and moon dust to her high gloss blue hull.
Upon boarding, the main aft deck feels welcoming with a spacious outdoor seating, consisting of two symmetrically placed arrangements of chairs, sofa's and coffee tables. Combined with plump navy blue cushions, the wicker furnishings form a suitable impression of the warmth and cosiness that Laurel offers aplenty. With Donald Starkey being responsible for exterior styling, interior space planning as well as interior design, Laurel has a remarkable overall sense of consistency in style and functionality.
The main saloon is situated around an octagonal carpet, providing the base for the arrangement of furnishing which is designed in an refined, understated classical style where colour and texture effortlessly seem to blend, creating an atmosphere of calm and class.
The palettes of colours and materials consist of a selection of refined choices, where all details work together in successfully creating the overall sense of finesse. Soft, shapely sofas and chairs, all large and inviting, show this space to be one of gentle conversation and time spent relaxing in good company.
Moving into the main dining room, the overall atmosphere slightly shifts from intimate to more grand, without losing an ounce of warmth. The colour palette of gentle, neutral golden tones is continued as this room unfolds as an impeccable setting centered around the large dining table. Amply spacious and with large windows on either side, this area retains a sense of privacy yet offers plenty of views outside.
Centrally placed, the main staircase forms an essential element in Laurel's design, both in form and function. From here, guests can reach each level, from lower deck to sun deck, either by staircase of elevator. Beautifully crafted colourful pieces of glass artwork set the tone. Subsequently, the area gives access to the owner's quarters which take up a considerable part of the vessel's central main deck area.
Delightfully private courtesy of the suite's separate lobby and study areas, which form a buffer between the main deck public areas and the master stateroom, the owner's suite offers Laurel's signature style in a more informal rendition. Artwork add splashes of playful colour, contrasting the golden tones with the brightest of blues, pinks and yellows.
Ensuring privacy and an ultimate luxury, the Master stateroom offers two outside terraces, port and starboard side respectively. Romantic views, a pleasant breeze and ample privacy outside are only a few steps away, enjoying either sun or shade.
The lush bathroom, offering two separate shower areas and an interior style hinting at Art Deco, tastefully applies large surfaces of cream marble combined with accents of gold and an unobtrusive lighting scheme. On either side, his and hers walk in wardrobes can be found, completing the Master Suite's image of an highly elegant retreat. Being abundantly appointed, like every room onboard, the area's layout is as visually elegant as it is thoughtful with regards to function. Perfect crew service can be applied without disturbing the Owners.
Forward of the master suite, the main deck has been reserved for crew purposes, for both work and leisure. Light and spacious, this area consists of a large crew mess, recreation room and two of the vessel's available crew cabins. With an impressively sized crew of 25, the remainder of crew cabins can be found fore of the lower deck and on the tank deck. The latter is also where the crew galley is located. When we ask Captain Clarke about this unusual layout, he comments; “Everyone wins with the placement of the Crew mess forward of the Master cabin on main deck. The position of the Master cabin just forward of amidships provides comfort in head sea conditions and eliminates noise from Bow thruster and anchor windless operations. The crew also win as they gain a full width crew mess and recreation room on main deck that provides direct access to the bosuns locker and foredeck.”
Laurel offers her elegance and perfect comfort to an company of up to 14 guests, including the owners. Guest cabins are configured into five doubles (including one with an extra available Pullman) and one twin, all situated on the lower deck and equally spacious. Each guest suite offers a unique colour scheme, ensuring every cabin to be special and unique. With large en suite bathrooms, two offering luxurious bathtubs and four fitted with big shower areas, guests are provided with ample comfort in style. The lower guest deck corridor is grand and stylish, connecting each guest cabin with the main staircase in a setting of colourful artwork and mirror walls.
The upper deck is designed for elegant guest entertainment, providing ample space and privacy. With a large, informal sky lounge located adjacent the remarkably spacious aft deck, informal and classy dining and entertaining is what this area is all about. Set in a lighter variation of Laurel's signature style, the sky lounge feels as part of the exterior areas without losing a sense of privacy.
A cosy library, perfect for reading and enjoying the company of smaller parties of guests. The library is easily convertible into a fully equipped media room, with an enhanced sound system for the ultimate audio-visual experience.
Moving out onto the upper aft deck, Laurel sets a whole new level with regards to space and comfort. A grand and perfectly private al fresco dining area, additional outdoor seating and large fixed sofas provide everything needed for ample dinner parties in style. For the young at heart, a water slide is available from this very deck.
From the upper aft deck, the sun deck can be easily reached, offering superb possibilities for relaxing. With the aft sundeck area and Jacuzzi, the latter adjacent to the vessel's very own charming herb garden, and sunbeds and loungers aplenty, guests are invited to enjoy sun, shade and all that Laurel has to offer.
Dramatic views can be taken in from the romantic observation lounge, from where an outside bar and several additional outdoor seating areas offer plenty of shade and remarkable vista views. For those wishing to maintain their physical fitness, the fully equipped gym is always available.
Since her delivery, Laurel has travelled over 115,000 nautical miles, circumventing the globe. With much being very special about her, standing out is the way a superyacht this size feels so remarkably warm and intimate, making guests feel at home with a well-balanced combination of public and intimate spaces.
Laurel is currently for sale with Fraser Yachts, and she is available for charter with Burgess.
London, United kingdom
Seattle, WA, United States
Donald Starkey Designs
Jumeira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates