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And on an island with only two golf courses, seven more are currently in the works. Instead, Chastanet is thinking outside the typical Caribbean mold—by incorporating local culture into the plan. As Chastanet sees it, today’s discerning travelers want more than a sea-and-sand escape; they want a singular experience on top of their R&R, preferably one that conveys a sense of place.“You need to create opportunities for the guests to interact with locals,” Chastanet says. Lucia’s best bet is to embrace the idea of “village tourism.” “The concept is no different from what you see in France or Italy,” he says.To that end, Chastanet’s office is lined with glossy before-and-after renderings, showing the planned redevelopment of St. Some changes are cosmetic (restored façades; flower beds), others are infrastructural (new piers and marinas; bypass roads to keep traffic out of the towns).

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Because of its diverse population (a mélange of African, Creole, Carib Indian, French, East Indian, and British), St.Lucia also has a colorful homegrown culture that’s surprisingly accessible to travelers—another Caribbean rarity.It is a small island, one-sixth the size of Rhode Island, yet whole swaths of it remain undeveloped and remote.Chastanet and his staff worked up complex algorithms that proved “boutique” (read: smaller) hotels are the best investments in terms of both capital and the island’s most limited resource: land.“They hire more people per room than bigger resorts,” he explains. Being small, they cause less stress on your infrastructure, and are generally less damaging to your environment.” Some of these boutique properties will be budget-oriented: B&B’s, homestays, two- and three-star hotels.

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