Shoot for the moon

It is an understatement to say that William Anderson is excited about the future of Half Moon Bay, Antigua. With experience in directing luxury resorts in thirty countries, a career in the luxury hospitality business spanning another thirty years, as well as overseeing over $450 million in real estate sales, one would do well to take note: “Half Moon Bay is incomparable.” 

Incomparable and exclusive. The planned resort alone aims to set a new standard for ultra-luxury. For the lucky few, there is the option to redefine and recharge your lifestyle: ten unrivalled estates of land are available for purchase.

Anderson’s project will see the building of a new Rosewood Resort, in collaboration with Replay Destinations, scheduled for opening in 2021, with 47 pavilion-style suites, each taking advantage of an ocean view. The development is set in a good 132 acres of unparalleled topography of dramatic rock exposure. In fact, so sure of the singularity of the location, Anderson commissioned research into comparable sites. He reiterates: “There is nothing quite like this.”

For a gentleman with a clear passion for travel, an enjoyment of new country, new challenge, and the ability to bring luxury to every corner of the world, a return to Antigua indicates the irresistibility of this site. “It has to be seen to be believed… the best of the best in real estate have been in awe of the landscape.”

There is a personal element. “I raised my children in Antigua, at nearby Jumby Bay, and we regularly visited Half Moon Bay.” However, what comes across most about Anderson’s return is his appreciation of this once in a lifetime site and opportunity.

“Opportunity,” he says, “to redefine luxury.” I point out that he has already redefined luxury and that this was more a case of redefining redefined luxury.

He laughs, “Exactly. I was at the forefront of redefining luxury. In 1992, I was the first to charge $1,000 a night—people thought I should be committed.”

Boredom is unacceptable and bespoke services are paramount. “It isn’t enough to say that Half Moon Bay is one of the best beaches in the world. Our clients aren’t looking to spend all day at the beach.”

He discusses the evolving ideals of luxury. “Back then luxury was something else and we had a different demographic. There hasn’t been anything new since 2005 and this was an opportunity to provide for the new demographic which is multi-generational. Our first buyer is a young, active man with a young family. Ultra-luxury must reflect this.”

“Antigua, for example, is a world-class kitesurfing destination. Understanding what the discerning high-net-worth traveller and his family require means not just accommodating for a prestigious pro-kite surfer it also means providing the same level of service through a kitesurfing school for their children.”

The conversation moves to the design of the development described as ‘ultra-modern’. Anderson clarifies: “It has to be authentic and genuine. Luxury is not about covering things in gold. There is no point building in such a beautiful location unless it is a delicate imprint. Think coral stone that sinks into the landscape.”

For the job, Anderson has brought in the Amsterdam-based Studio Piet Boon and he repeats their statement of ‘authenticity and functionality’. “For me, what really sold Piet’s vision was his work in Antwerp (‘The Jane’ restaurant). He took this site and created something ultra-modern and contemporary without betraying its history.”

Talking about history, these ten estates are a rarity. Nothing of their like has come to the market in decades. Anderson, therefore, is not the only one with the opportunity of a lifetime.

A 125,000 square foot plot –formerly belonging to Bunny Mellon, the Listerine heiress – is the star lot, not without reason. However, in consideration of the other nine, it is certainly not an Old Kent Road—Mayfair comparison. It is all prime real estate.

Anderson finishes by considering the investment potential of the site: “We just need to look at the price appreciation in Jumby Bay and that is a larger site. This is much more exclusive –ten plots – there is nothing in comparison. One buyer has already seen price appreciation.”

Additionally, Rosewood and Replay Destinations will work with buyers and encourage investment value through a rental programme. “two of our early buyers have expressed interest in having their homes in the rental programme and it was clear this was a factor in their decision making.”

We discuss any limitations on buying the land. “The few limitations in place are of the kind that increases value. We have relatively tight design values, such as nothing above one storey to protect the view.”

“What we are not saying it that has to be in coral stone or that you have to use the same designers. Although, one buyer is interested in Piet’s design despite his wife being an interior designer!”

Unique, exclusive, and authentic. Other opportunities may be style over substance, but Anderson is offering both. No wonder. He currently manages what may be the most beautiful and exclusive land in the world this year.

Igraine Brabon

New to the writing team this year, Igraine (or Iggy for short) is making her name in the world of journalism, and we’re glad to have her on board with us. Iggy loves to travel the world in pursuit of the finest wine and the most Michelin of meals. The only thing she loves more is writing about it for our discerning readership.

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