by Elizabeth Fontaine
Small cafes fill the air with the scent of fresh croissants and pastries, while charming bistros and shops line the streets. The beaches are secluded, the accommodations are lavish. As one of the more convenient islands to enjoy a second home and possibly the most accessible island in the Caribbean, cosmopolitan St. Maarten is a quick direct flight from most major east coast U.S. hubs. Nestled among a constellation of desirable island destinations including neighboring St. Kitts, St. Bart’s, Anguilla and Saba, St. Maarten is a shining star.
Aside from the captivating beauty, weather, and location, there are unique financial benefits to living on St. Maarten. The absence of property, capital gains and import taxes and lower than average closing costs make St. Maarten particularly attractive. Additionally, St. Maarten is one of only two duty-free islands in the Caribbean, making it an appealing option for owning a second home and stocking it with all the favorite toys, tax-free. It is difficult to come up with reasons one wouldn’t jump at the chance to become a part of the new Porto Cupecoy opening this month in St. Maarten’s Simpson Bay.
Described as “quintessentially worldly, luxuriously prestigious and culturally engaging,” Porto Cupecoy is one of the only white glove marina destinations in the Caribbean, offering luxurious homes in a community overlooking a sparkling bay. “Recalling the provincial charm of port towns in comfort, and with privacy of its residents in mind. Designed to appeal to those who seek an island home, it is magnificently situated on the western end of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, the most famous yacht basin in the Caribbean,” explains Michele Warden with the development’s sales team. “The village pairs marvelous water vistas and charm with all the amenities of an exclusive upscale community. You can stroll the boutiques lining the central piazza, enjoy a fabulous dinner at one of our many restaurants, or just peruse the morning paper while sipping an espresso on the waterfront.”
Porto Cupecoy is comprised of 182 one- to four- bedroom residences, set in a Mediterranean-themed harbor-side village and located in the protected western end of the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Architecturally inspired by Portofino in the Italian Riviera, Porto Cupecoy is similarly located on the most exclusive and upscale marina on the island.
And while relaxation is always paramount at a vacation home, Porto Cupecoy is also a bustling little metropolis of social activities. Beaches, diving and yachting are mainstays, but there are also plenty of parties and cultural events to attend. There is no lack of a community feel at Porto Cupecoy. Nestled right up to the marina, the development will always be lively. The luxury residences in this cosmopolitan waterfront development are accessible by semi-private elevators. Unique floor plans accommodate panoramic views of the marina village, Simpson Bay lagoon and the Caribbean. Porto Cupecoy was designed by CICCA, renowned for their innovative architectural solutions. They specifically addressed the Caribbean style and incorporated it into designs with a contemporary flavor. The one- to four- bedroom residences are available from $650,000 to more than $2 million. They can be finished for an additional fee by the Award-winning Marc-Michaels Design, a firm whose imaginative portfolio has garnered over 400 national and regional awards, twice named to Architectural Digest’s “Top 100 Designers in the World.”
Owners will enjoy worry-free ownership thanks to the on-site resort management of the Cupecoy Yacht Club. Run by the internationally recognized Orient-Express, Cupecoy Yacht Club benefits from their experience with individual care and management in luxury resort and travel experiences. CYC is responsible for the complete care and professional management, including owner concierge services, event coordination, maintenance and room operations.
This luxury marina caters to yachties, offering 54 protected slips that serve as the social and commercial epicenter of the residence village. Slip patrons will have access to a full range of services including yacht provisioning, grocery stocking and VIP vessel concierge assistance. The Porto Cupecoy marina management will also facilitate opportunities for slip owners to earn residual revenue through a rental process while owners are out at sea. If you’re purchasing one of the eleven-mega yacht slips (accommodating vessels up to 300 ft), there are a selected number of condos available with a mega yacht slip purchase for a limited time. Quite possibly one of the most unique buy-one get-one-free deals, this one-time-only offer is valid on purchases between Oct. 1, 2009 and Jan. 29, 2010, with mega yacht slip prices varying from $1.5 to $3 million.
Superb location, service and amenities have made Porto Cupecoy one of the hottest places in St. Maarten to purchase a tropical second or third home. The lively marina front luxury development will ensure that there is always a party to attend or a friend to meet for cocktails. The yacht watching will be unparalleled, with vessels from every port of call pulling into Simpson Bay for a taste of the action. Embodying the sophisticated feel of a rare cosmopolitan tropical island, Porto Cupecoy couples natural beauty with prime location resulting in a new luxury development that is one-of-kind.