The Story of Calivigny
Gilligan’s Island Gone Glam
Dreaming of owning your very own tropical island? Well, you’re not the only ones. Georges and Martine Cohen had a similar dream, which they realized some 10 years ago, creating a grand oasis of French and Balinese-inspired opulence on an enchanting island in the Southern Caribbean. It started quite innocently, a girl sailing through the Southern Caribbean chain with some friends, probably enjoying some good wine and fresh catch, cultivating the world’s greatest tan – well, that all seemed like enough for a perfect Caribbean vacation until she spotted it, the 81-acre island she would soon lay claim as her and her husband’s newest private hideaway.
artine Cohen was the girl’s name — and after swimming ashore onto this diamond in the rough, just 1 mile offshore from Grenada, she was in a word, bewitched. Her mind racing, envisioning the grand potential seemingly bestowed upon her, she could hardly wait. Neighbors in the nearby village of Woburn revealed that the island was up for sale. In a moment she rang her husband Georges, and within hours he touched down in Grenada. It was, perhaps, destiny — however one that would require some serious assistance.
Calivigny Island, as it was named, has taken 10 years to build, to create, and to adopt the very spirit Martine and Georges had envisioned. It is a majestic and magical hideaway of pampered decadence drenched in a sea of most outstanding natural beauty.
Electric turquoise is adorned with swaying palms, brilliantly vibrant flowers and appetizing trees bearing delicious fruit. The architecture is commanding and yet completely fluid to its surroundings, as if it had always been there. Little do visitors know what an arduous effort it would take to make Calivigny such a masterpiece.
After purchasing an entire nursery the couple had discovered in Barbados, Calivigny Island is now teeming with tropical vegetation of nearly every kind, enveloping the island like an emerald canopy. In fact, over the 10-year development process, 20,000 containers charted courses leading to Calivigny, delivering nature’s most treasured flora.
Although the couple had initially designed the property for private family use, they had also been familiar with the yacht charter business, owning and making available for charter rental the Atmosphere, 173-foot Perini Navi. And imagining the two businesses couldn’t be that terribly different — a wealthy clientele, discerning taste, high expectations, a staff to cater to their every whim, foodie cuisine, top-notch comfort and pampering, fine wines, and so on, the Cohens decided Calivigny was too beautiful not to share — and so it would be, they would give“chartering” the island a go.
As fate would have it, however, Hurricane Ivan paid a visit to Grenada in 2004 wreaking havoc on the mainland and causing understandable delays in the project’s progress. The Cohens were not discouraged and showed their devotion to Grenada by flying a private jet filled with rescue supplies and by funding the redevelopment of the fisherman’s jetty in Woburn, the nearest neighboring village.
Tremendous effort was placed in making Calivigny what it is today. The Cohens hired a highly specialized building guild from France. This was to ensure the utmost in woodwork and craftsmanship. The Frenchmen worked closely with a local workforce of nearly 300, teaching them trade secrets that had been handed down in France from generation to generation. The precision and upkeep of the project was of terrific importance, therefore the Cohens arranged for on-island woodworking and manufacturing shops, as well as its own power and desalination plants.
Calivigny Island hosts luxurious accommodations for 50 people. The décor of the 139,000 square foot Beach House, adorned with10 “Opulent Suites,” marries the elegance of French Colonial design to the natural, rustic chic of Bali.
The island comes with four impressive boats, an ROV to record diving expeditions, wave runners, snorkeling gear, diving equipment, a gym, a spa and a plethora of certified individuals awaiting your requests.
This is merely a taste of the magic that awaits, on this amplified Gilligan’s Island — but you best come see for yourself. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be shipwrecked, as this is one castaway experience you may never want to be rescued from!
For more information on Calivigny Island, visit:www.calivigny-island.com