Tucked away on St Lucia’s west coast, close to the island’s capital Castries is Marigot Bay, a narrow inlet and hurricane-safe natural harbour protected by steep forested hills that rise out of turquoise Caribbean waters. This spot is known among many as one of the most beautiful anchorages in the region and has offered shelter for boats for hundreds of years. Indeed, rumour has it that it once even hid the entire British fleet from French pursuers during one of many bouts of colonial bickering. Around a decade ago a proper marina started taking shape and today the bay is home to Capella Marina Marigot Bay, part of Capella Hotels and Resorts group, the boutique offering from Horst Schulze, the Ritz-Carlton’s former president, who has been working to redefine the luxury experience for some years.

The Marina at Capella Marigot Bay has space for 62 yachts.

“This is a special island and Marigot Bay is one of the most exclusive bays in the Caribbean,” says Guillaume Chaillot, who has been marina manager at Marigot Bay for the last two seasons. “Owners and guests are looking for something more on their travels today, so any marina needs to take what it offers to the next level.”

Capella Marina aims to do just this. With 42 berths and 20 mooring buoys for yachts up to 85m, Chaillot describes the berthing set-up as almost Mediterranean-style, with yachts stern to and alongside. Capella offers all that you would expect from a high-end marina, with refueling facilities, WiFi, electricity, water, black water pump-out, rubbish disposal and cable TV, as well as on site immigration and customs, provisioning and a marina village with international brands.

The marina village at Marigot Bay is home to an
assortment of onsite services as well as high-end shopping and restaurants.

The island itself is a Caribbean gem. Located between Martinique on the north side, Barbados on the east side and St Vincent and Grenadine on the southern side, St Lucia is already a superyacht itinerary favourite. As one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean, St Lucia is on the UNESCO map because of its famous Pitons, two volcanic spires that rise up dramatically from the sea. The island also boasts spectacular diving opportunities at its many wrecks as well as great big game fishing.

St Lucia's Petit Piton with Grand Piton in the background.

Like many Caribbean islands, St Lucia’s striking natural beauty is only rivalled by its colourful history, which reads like a swashbuckling Robert Louis Stevenson novel. The infamous French privateer and pirate François Le Clerc, also know as Jambe de Bois (Peg Leg), for example, was one of the first Europeans to settle on St Lucia along with his crew of 330 men, using nearby Pigeon Island to target Spanish treasure galleons. Pigeon Island is still the site of a ruined old English fortress.

The ruins on Pigeon Island.

Any superyacht destination needs to balance activities and scenery with a marina and facilities that make visiting hassle-free. “As a Capella marina we are obviously linked to the hotel,” says Chaillot, adding that 5-star hotel itself offers 127 rooms along with spa and fitness facilities, restaurants, swimming pools and an exclusive 'rum cave'. “Traditionally superyacht marinas were a place to park your yacht. But the the philosophy behind the Capella brand is very strongly focused on services and customer care, which is a very strong background that we can bring into the marina industry.”

The marina's size means that it is more of a community and can
offer the highest levels of personalised service to owners and crew.

Chaillot stresses that the idea of ‘community’ is very important at Capella. “This is not an enormous marina, which gives us the chance to be way more personal and close to our owners, clients and crew,” he says. Prior coming to St Lucia, Chaillot managed ONE°15 Marina in Singapore and Royal Phuket Marina in Thailand. “Being able to merge the service levels of a 5-star hotel with the marina has been eye opening for me,” he admits. “This is Capella’s first and flagship marina and it is already offering something unique to owners. And it is just as important for us to make the crew feel at home as the clients. This is a community. The crew help make the decisions and we want long term relationships with them and the owners.”

Chaillot is continually working to develop the marina into a real haven for superyacht owners and their crew. In the pipeline are plans for regattas and events, and installing a new refueling system that enables faster in berth refueling will be completed in July. “Superyacht owners have almost everything they need so it is about making their experience really special, making them feel relaxed,” he concludes. “The cost if the marina is less important than how people treat them, how they are looked after and how their crew feel.”

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