When the first Oyster Bay resort, Oyster Pond Yacht Club, opened in 1972, it attracted jet-setters such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. “It was very exclusive and quiet,” says Josh Gold, president of Ansley Associates, which now owns Oyster Bay Beach Resort, located in St. Maarten in the Dutch West Indies. Today. 45 years later, Oyster Bay retains its appeal to a new generations of island-goers. So much so, in fact, that the resort’s developers have purchased 11 units at neighboring Coral Beach Club, which will be operated as exclusive, upscale waterfront hotel and vacation residences on the water. There, the public and OBBR owners wishing to trade up to even more luxurious accommodations will find both weekly and fractional ownership opportunities.
“Oyster Bay Beach Resort has been very successful for us over the past 13 years, but many of the owners purchased here years ago and are now looking to step up to a higher level of sophistication and services,” Gold says. “Now, they can enjoy the destination and beaches they have come to love, but in a more secluded environment.”
The level of accommodations and amenities to be found at Coral Beach Resort is evidenced by its pending affiliation with Interval International’s Preferred Residence Collection — a worldwide hospitality-branding program for luxury shared ownership resorts and private residence clubs. Preferred Residences is a strategic alliance between Interval and Preferred Hotel Group, a worldwide collection of distinctive hotels and resorts.
“The Preferred Residences Collection is the top of the scale,” Gold says. “There are only about 100 hotels and resorts that are part of this program, and they’re among the finest in the world. We’re extremely confident that the beauty and serenity of the Coral Beach Resort will qualify Coral Beach Club for the Preferred Residence program.”
Coral Beach Club will complement the services and facilities at OBBR but retain a separate and distinct community and identity for its owners and guests. However, OBBR will provide 24-hour management, augmented security and other services for Coral Beach Club owners and guests.
Of the units purchased, six are three- or four-bedroom oceanfront villas featuring spectacular panoramic views of Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond Marina. Four units are two-bedroom, water-side townhouses with calming views of the three marinas on the Oyster Pond. Each unit has a private pool; a travertine marble pool deck; and short, private walkway to the beach.
Keeping Up With the Times
Of course, existing owners and those interested in purchasing a vacation interest at OBBR still enjoy spectacular views and accommodations. The resort offers breathtaking ocean views, sandy beaches, comfortable rooms with kitchen facilities, access to private yachts, on-site dining and Caribbean nightlife. This mixed-use resort, mainly constructed in 1999, offers weekly rentals, timeshare weeks (flex and fixed-week), quarter-share and other fractional ownerships, and whole ownership opportunities. All visitors have access to the resort’s infinity-edge pool and whirlpool, free trips to popular island locations, nightly entertainment, fitness facilities, gift shop, and the Indulgence by the Sea Spa. Especially popular is Beau Beau’s at Oyster Bay Beach Resort, named after King Beau Beau, winner of 17 titles of “Calypso King” at the annual St. Maarten Carnival, who has entertained there for over 17 years. The southern side of the resort is located along the famous Dawn Beach, recently designated as a pristine “Blue Flag Beach,” and guests enjoy liming (local for hanging out) with chairs and umbrellas supplied free by the resort.
The accommodation mix includes 187 timeshare units, 18 whole-ownership units, and six whole ownership condominiums on the marina. The resort’s marina has 36 slips, which are all sold. However, five slips are owned by sports fishing operators, which means all vacationers have the opportunity to get out on the water.
According to Gold, the resort developer continues to invest in the project, expanding and updating its amenities and offerings. OBBR has Premier Resort status with Interval International, meaning it provides an outstanding vacation experience, with state-of-the-art conveniences, and modern features and appointments. The accommodations and amenities are outshone only by the level of service offered. It has also earned TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.
“We have a great staff with long-time employees, many of them know the owners and guests by name,” he says. “Our owners tend to return to their home resort year after year.” As a result, the resort enjoys occupancies of 85 to 95 percent in high season and in excess of 75 percent year-round.
Rental guests, who also come back year after year, make the best prospects. “People want to buy here because they’re staying here and see what a great vacation opportunity this is,” he says. “Interval’s exchange and offerings and other benefits are a great enhancement, but our owners exchange only about 50 percent of the time.”
Keeping the resort in top condition is a constant responsibility, and renovations are performed on a rotating basis. “Right now we’re planning to replace most of the furniture in our major building that has 40 units. We plan to do a complete overhaul replacing bedding, drapes, pillows and artwork, while refreshing couches and case goods,” Gold explains. “Last year, we renovated our resort’s gourmet restaurant and bar and lounge area, for which we won a Gold ARDY award.”
Owners who wish to move next door to Coral Beach Resort won’t have any problems. “A special program of financing for qualified individuals and trade-ins of Oyster Bay vacation intervals will make the program very attractive to those owners,” Gold says.