Grab a Windies windfall

With cricket fans ready to descend for the World Cup, West Indies property is a great catch, says Chris Partridge

The Cricket World Cup goes to the West Indies in 2007 - and the desperate need for rooms for the legions of fans makes now the best time ever to invest in the area. According to some estimates, the host countries expect to benefit to the tune of £300m over the next three years from the event. To ensure there are enough rooms to cope with the crowds, island governments are offering tax breaks to developers to encourage them to complete their schemes before the competition starts, and owners of rental properties can expect to get top dollar when the time comes. Or, of course, they can stay there themselves and gloat about the money they save.

The Cricket World Cup goes to the West Indies in 2007 - and the desperate need for rooms for the legions of fans makes now the best time ever to invest in the area. According to some estimates, the host countries expect to benefit to the tune of £300m over the next three years from the event. To ensure there are enough rooms to cope with the crowds, island governments are offering tax breaks to developers to encourage them to complete their schemes before the competition starts, and owners of rental properties can expect to get top dollar when the time comes. Or, of course, they can stay there themselves and gloat about the money they save.

The competition will start with an opening match in Jamaica, which is also hosting the Windies side. India will be based in Trinidad and Tobago, and Australia in St Kitts and Nevis. St Lucia has pulled out the plum booking, however: hosting the England team. This means the island is likely to be overrun with the Barmy Army, the 15,000 fans who have made bar-owners round the world rich overnight.

"It will bring tremendous benefits to the island," says Ernest Hilaire of the St Lucia government team that put together the proposal to host the tournament. "There will be direct benefits in the form of new developments, roads and so on, and we are offering special incentives to developers to increase the number of beds."

These include a tax holiday on rental income for a period and duty-free import of construction materials, Hilaire explains. These benefits make now the best time to invest in the West Indies for the foreseeable future.

One of the most unusual new developments under construction on St Lucia is Calabash Cove, a place designed to relax in after the stress of the match. Built on the side of a steep hill covered with exotic trees such as flamboyants and calabashes, 23 villas are dotted around a hotel and spa.

Everything is designed to relax. The villas are made of local hardwoods by local craftsmen, featuring ornate carving and a Roman pool.The hotel will have a top-class restaurant and a range of facilities designed to iron out the stresses of modern life, including treatment rooms and a Watsu pool, a library and music room. But the one thing that will really relax the residents is the total ban on children.

Ownership in Calabash Cove is by "fractions", which differs from timeshare in that a fraction is a tenth of the property, not a licence to use the place for a specified time. The owners agree which five weeks each will have, rotating so each has a crack at the high-season slots. One fraction costs from about £60,000 for a semi-detached cottage, with a 75-year government lease which may be renewable.

Cricket fans who like sailing might prefer The Landings, a marina resort on Rodney Bay. The low-rise apartment blocks employ a Mexican/Caribbean style of architecture, with arcades on the ground floor and big verandas above. All will have a mooring on a new lagoon dredged out of the sand.

Prices at The Landings start at about £250,000 for a one-bed apartment, rising to £600,000 for a three-bed unit overlooking the bay. A major inducement is a temporary waiving of the import duty on yachts, currently standing at 50 per cent, so a buyer who brings in a £500,000 boat will save £250,000 in tax - effectively getting the flat free. For details about The Landings telephone 0800 0835560. For Calabash Cove ring 0800 0835056.

Not all the Barmy Army will be looking for accommodation at that sort of level, of course. For fans whose priorities read: 1 tickets, 2 beer - with a bed for the night a long way down the list - a group of St Lucia entrepreneurs is planning a tent village close to the new ground at Beausejour.

These will be no ordinary tents, however. They will be proper rooms, with twin beds, storage unit and electric light. A palapa roof and a veranda with swinging hammock will give a lazy tropical ambience. The main square of the village will have bars, food stalls and a carnival tent with steel bands, limbo dancing and all-night partying. The group is looking for investors, especially as they hope to take the concept to all the World Cup islands. Their contact is Oliver Gobat (001 758 450 8847).

The final will take place in Barbados, possibly the most expensive Caribbean destination, and here The Village, in St James, is under construction. The extraordinary building rises up the hill in a way that is supposed to recall a Greek hillside village, with terraces pointing in all directions to maximise privacy. All the usual luxuries are provided, including infinity-edge pool, bar, cinema room and fitness centre. A one-bed flat costs about £200,000 and a four-bed unit £735,000. The agent is Savills (020-7022 0055).

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor