Is Barbuda the next St. Barts?

Barbuda Ocean Club, an exclusive new community of multi-million dollar residences, has made a splash with wealthy thrill-seekers

New York POST

Is Barbuda the next St. Barts?

It’s the kind of question that requires a plentiful  off-shore bank account  just to ask.

But from the City of London down to Wall Street, asking it they are.

Perhaps the best argument from the “ayes” is Barbuda Ocean Club, a rum-soaked, 764-acre Garden of Eden down on a little peninsula known as Coco Point, which is rising from the rubble of Hurricane Irma in 2017.

“I think it will be like St. Barts but from a private resort standpoint,” said Mike Meldman, a co-founder of Casa Migos tequila as well as the founder of Discovery Land Company, the project’s developer. “It will be like if you made St. Barts private and really limited to the people who go there. It will be much more intimate. You won’t have the people that are just there for a few days to drink rosé.”

Composed of 495 residences (175 of them oceanfront) surrounding a central beach club and spreading over to the neighboring area known as Palmetto Point, Meldman hopes to create a utopia on a scale the small, mostly undeveloped island has never before seen.

It’s one of 26 luxury communities now built under the Discovery banner.

Night shot of Barbuda Ocean Club's clubhouse.
While there’s no golf course yet, you can chip “fish food” golf balls into the ocean from the sexy clubhouse.
Barbuda Ocean Club

There will be an airport large enough to accommodate flights from as far away as London — everyone flies private here.

There will be a sea-view golf course to anchor the community — for now you can chip “fish food” golf balls into the ocean from the super chic clubhouse.

There’s extreme water sports, but also a soothing spa. It’s a community that has taken a you-name-it approach to the high life but admission will cost you. Land starts at $3 million and prices for a built home rise to … “you name it.”

A seaplane brushes up against Barbuda.
Everybody flies private to Barbuda — these clever folks chose to seaplane.
Barbuda Ocean Club

Moreover, unlike basically every other Caribbean real estate venture, the Ocean Club will not support a resort or hotel — and that’s the way its owners like it.

This is a place where masters of the universe let down their hair, where wild horses drink straight from the pool, where sea turtles flap their flippers right along the shore and where Thursday nights can rage until 2 a.m. at the bar. Why gamble with the uninitiated?

Better still when the development fully opens in the next year or two, these ground-floor buyers are all hoping to make a bundle on their deals as the area attracts even wealthier players.

FOR TRAVEL -- Caribbean Real EstateBarbuda Ocean ClubCredit:

“So many real estate junkies follow Mike,” a fan of the Discovery brand, who requested anonymity, said. “When they buy at the beginning of the development, which means they have to wait a couple years to actually see it, they make a significant amount of money.”

Meldman — who has partnered with fellow tequila honcho John Paul DeJoria (who co-founded Patrón) in the project — isn’t alone in its vision of Barbuda as the next Caribbean blue chip.

Robert De Niro attends the 2020 Netflix Oscar After Party.
Even Robert De Niro is getting in on the island action with his upcoming Nobu Beach Inn.
Getty Images

Just down the beach, on the site of Princess Diana’s beloved K Club, Robert De Niro is developing the Nobu Beach Inn — a collection of villas centered around the only restaurant on the island with a big-spender approved brand name.

The area has also proven attractive to extreme sports junkies, thanks to a constant breeze.

“Our demographic is successful wealthy guys,” said Meldman. “For some reason, a lot of them are really into kite boarding.”

Gone are the days, he added, of such cancerous activities of tanning with a good book. Wealthy families prefer active vacation.

“We are going to encourage you to do activities that make you really feel like you are in the Caribbean, like scuba diving and kite boarding,” Meldman said.

“It’s the ultimate beach vacation.”

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  1. Ahh, the reasons for certain actions are now coming to light. There are millions of dollars to be made. Down the road to be sure….and after expending millions of dollars to put the infrastructure in place for such a development, but where is the wealth distribution for Barbudans? What skin can they have in this game? How can co-partnerships work to have the population share in this wealth creation other than jobbers? How do we empower our people to help them with upward mobility in this wealth game?
    Barbudans are you listening?

    • Wealth in Barbuda is distributed between one family and one family only. The walkers. Are you seeing that. Are the walkers using their wealth to help clear the backlog to pay council workers. The very same developers are purchasing from the sole gas station in Barbuda. Owned by guess who? Your correct the W……..! So tell me where are the Barbudans left when the sole gas station is expanding and yes you got it right the family is getting richer. Barbudans open your eyes.

      • It’s always bad when people talk out of their a**. Asking if the Walkers will use their wealth to pay workers is like asking if Gaston will use a portion of his 30+ million US to cover government workers. Sounds ridiculous ent it? Anyways, I digressed. The backlog of payments by the council stems DIRECTLY from central government’s witholding of the monthly subventions, OF WHICH, the Barbuda Council is entitled to by LAW. So, I think your ire should be directed at the PM of the twin island state.

        BTW, are you as peeved with Gaston holding a stake in every conceivable business venture on Antigua (Heavy Duty Equipment, Rental Properties, Bar and Restaurant, Housing Development, and most recently Farming-Farmer Browne) as you are of Walker owning a gas station on Barbuda? I await your honest reply.

  2. Barbuda would blow St Barts out of the water with the current developments and there is much to gain for the local populace who have the heads on.

    • Name the gains for the local Barbudan populace and Antiguans for that matter? You are talking about a private enclave for wealthy people where the locals won’t be allowed to entire unless they are maids or maintenance personnel. They will not build a hotel or resort but luxury residences with the land starting at $3million. Didn’t know Barbuda was selling lands. Didn’t the government lease hundred of acres of land to foreigners for 100 or 200 hundred years for $5million? Now land is being sold for $3million a lot. Who is getting rich. Certainly not the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

    • @N
      Except for one thing. Have you seen the color of the people who own St Barts and the color of those who are the fetchers of water in St Barts? Looks like you are keen on having Barbudans become servers on their own island. Carrying trays on their heads and washing their new massas clothes. You are so sad.

  3. This is a joke, and you know it. Nothing even close will happen. The people of Barbuda are not stupid.

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