After spending time on board the 60m/197ft superyacht ‘St David’ at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show, YachtCharterFleet finds out if she fulfils her ambitious brief to be the perfect charter yacht.
St David was launched in 2008 as the fourth hull in Benetti’s 60 metre series but thanks to the hand of British Designer Andrew Winch, who redrew the yard’s exterior lines and created a one-of-a-kind interior, she is undeniably distinct.
She was conceived by her original owner as the perfect charter yacht, which would serve a wide range of guests as well as his own needs. Such a vision has resulted in a yacht that seamlessly blends practical spaces, which cater for a whole host of activities, with an opulent interior inspired by his love of the ‘big, romantic and elegant hotels of Italy’.
With glittering mosaics, rare marble and intricate marquetry, she is a spectacular showcase of the astounding craftsmanship Benetti is capable of as well as the power of Andrew Winch Designs to create the ultimate in luxury escapism.
Guests are treated to a stunning welcome when entering St David through the curved doors of her aft deck. Acting as a precedent of the splendour to come is a chequered marble floor with a central compass motif and a glittering cocktail bar to port.
Drinks can be sipped here as well as while sitting in the wingback armchairs opposite, but it’s impossible not to be enticed by the lavish charms of the main salon forward.
The rich, high-gloss wood of the bar is replicated in the wall panels and cabinetry, and the marble underfoot is replaced by soft, white carpets with embroidered borders of pink flowers to designate the lounge and dining areas.
Four sumptuous sofas in gold, peach and white fabrics face a low coffee table to create a sociable seating area, while a rectangular table with detailed marquetry and chairs upholstered in a gold damask pattern offer a fantastically formal dining setup.
Adding to the classical feel are four oil-on-canvas paintings commissioned by prize-winning muralist Michael Alford, and details such as candelabras, glittering glassware and fossil ornaments.
The opulence of the main salon continues into the central lobby forward, where a sweeping staircase cannot fail to capture attention with its intricate marquetry made from satin woods.
Enhancing the drama is natural light which filters through a glass bottom spa pool on the sundeck to illuminate the space. Such a feature is one of Andrew Winch Design's rare signature pieces, which never fails to amaze.
Tucked into a corner forward to starboard is a dayhead and passing this will lead to the master suite’s lobby where four glass-etched panels of charts illustrate destinations St David charters in, ranging from the Balearics, Corsica and Sardinia, to the Peloponnese and Windward islands.
A slip of corridor to starboard leads forward off the lobby to the master suite, passing a book-lined office to starboard. Large, sliding doors allow the room to be shut off for privacy and, connected to an en suite with a shower and head, it can be converted into a cabin for a security guard or other member of support staff.
The walkway leads through to a sumptuous lounge area, where a corner settee and armchair in ivory damask-patterned upholstery faces a wide-screen television. A dressing table adorned with an ornate mirror sits on the centre line and a large bathroom fills the space to port.
Radiating a spa-like feel, the bathroom features a beautiful, sand-coloured, Italian marble bath bookended by his and hers sinks, and surrounded by a chequered marble floor in amber and grey. Two showers and a head are located here too.
Guests will be wowed by the spectacular panoramic views forward, as well as the skylight above the elaborately carved bed
The suite’s defining feature, however, are the sleeping quarters and these are accessed via a short set of stairs with an ornate gold balustrade.
Entering from behind the bedhead, guests will be wowed by the spectacular panoramic views forward, as well as the skylight above the elaborately carved bed.
Italian master Luca Battini hand-painted a ceiling mural centred on the skylight in gold leaf and a soft pastel blue colour – a hue that matches the damask-patterned soft furnishings and carpet.
The overall effect is reminiscent of the Rocco style of design but the soft colour scheme and ample amount of natural light ensure the suite is both elaborate and tranquil – an ambience perfect for the principal charterer.
Descending the central staircase to the lower deck leads to four guest staterooms but a globe sculpture embellished with 24-carat gold is sure to catch your eye first.
Designed by David Harbour, the globe serves as the mountain of a drinks cabinet and depicts the mythical land of Xanadu, after which the motor yacht was originally named.
Stretching across the full beam of the lower deck is a VIP suite, comprised of a large bed, sofa, desk, huge mirrored closets and a vast bathroom with beautifully grained gold marble.
Concluding the accommodation line-up are two double cabins and two twin cabins. All are named after different Italian hotels and boast slightly different colour palettes, from gold and rose to pastel green and cream.
Although lacking the full extent of the master suite’s extravagance, the guest suites are all extremely lavish, with luxurious en suite marble bathrooms and individual artworks.
On the upper deck, the skylounge and aft deck area are referred to collectively as the ‘Tuscan palazzo’. Decorated in lighter wooden wall panels, the upper salon swaps formality for a light and airy atmosphere, while managing to maintain the romance for which St David is renowned.
A built-in sofa to starboard with pastel green upholstery follows the curved line of the bulwark and a circular wood-topped coffee table completes the scene. Opposite sits a games table and a widescreen television but the main feature is undoubtedly the inside-outside dining area aft.
At its centre is a 12-seater, pale wood table, and a gorgeous mosaic floor formed of white, turquoise and gold tiles sparkles in the sunlight, which filters through a skylight situated above the seating area.
Full-width, curved glass doors slide open, allowing guests to dine alfresco while looking out onto the aft deck: a large, clear space designed as a multi-purpose entertainment area. A staircase to port then sweeps up to the sundeck above.
Extraordinarily versatile, the sundeck is sure to become the daytime hub of any charter vacation, as well as the place to be after dark.
For those who want to keep up their exercise regimes, the forward sunpads can have their cushions removed to reveal two Woodway running machines or the gym tucked into the port side of the radar arch offers all the equipment needed for a workout.
A large spa pool aft of the sunpads is separated from a bar under the radar arch by a clear screen, which can serve as the monitor for alfresco movie nights or big sporting events. Guests relaxing in the Jacuzzi can even view the screen at the same time as those watching from the bar.
The aft half of the deck features a large, circular dining table, positioned under the shade of the radar arch. A step then leads up to a second sunbathing station, and a semi-circle of chaise loungers and parasols.
ST DAVID is renowned as one of the best party yachts in the global charter fleet and, when the sun goes down, her sundeck can transform into the ultimate entertainment venue.
Remove the chaise loungers on the aft-most part of the deck and there is enough space to host a DJ or the raised plinth of sunpads can be transformed into a stage for a live band.
Within easy reach of the bar, a dance floor centres on the skylight above the upper deck dining area, and disco lights and a state-of-the-art sound system complete the nightclub setup.
For a more formal night of entertainment, however, modular furniture can be set up in this area to accommodate 24 people at a sit-down dinner. Plus, there is a portable karaoke system.
Other highlights include a spa room on the upper deck, where guests can retreat to indulge in massages and beauty treatments, and a large swimming platform, which enables easy access into the waters as well as to the impressive collection of on-board water toys.
St David is certainly well-equipped for dealing with whatever activity happens to be on the agenda, whether it be relaxation, exploration, after hours partying or fine dining.
St David unquestionably fulfils all the criteria required to be the perfect charter yacht
Combine these adaptable and practical capabilities with her exceptional Andrew Winch interior, which offers an unparalleled opportunity for romantic escapism, and St David surely fulfils all the criteria required to be the perfect charter yacht.
Indeed, it’s easy to imagine how her various spaces and features lend themselves perfectly for families, friends, or simply couples looking to get away in style.
For further information regarding M/Y St David, please get in touch with your charter broker.
As well as being help to determine the current availability of the superyacht, they will be able to assist in your booking.