Owner’s Story: A Princess for Channel Islands Life

MALCOLM LEWIS, OWNER OF JERSEY’S LEADING FIVE STAR HOTEL, LONGUEVILLE MANOR, TALKS TO US ABOUT LIVING IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS, BOATING WITH THE FAMILY AND THE GEMS OF THE BRITTANY COAST.

Being the owner of Jersey’s leading five-star hotel involves a frenetic schedule, unpredictable hours and a heavy dose of responsibility. However, Malcolm Lewis has identified the perfect way to escape the furore and relax with the family by taking to the ocean on his Princess 42 Flybridge.

Malcolm purchased his Princess in 2014. He knew the model had a worthy heritage having been well documented as one of the longest production run models ever built. He explains that he did not hesitate on the brand: “Princess is a brand of distinction. I feel it stands apart from the rest giving an impression of understated sophistication. Ultimately, I wanted something that was reliable, elegant and functional. Princess has a legacy of providing boats of longevity with a proven hull structure and a fine build and that ticks all the right boxes for me.”

This particular model struck a note with Malcolm who wanted a vessel that would be ideal for quixotic trips with his wife Patricia and just as suited to exploratory family days out with their young children. Malcolm says: “The clever design and functionality creates a spacious environment that is perfect for a family. It also transports us from place to place safely and quickly.” He enthuses: “I love the ‘Tardis’ feel – by that I don’t mean to channel Dr Who, I just mean that it has an interior that feels much larger than its exterior – it’s a great boat for that.”

Time on the ocean is where the Lewis family let their hair down. The tang of the sea air, the exhilaration of speed and the relaxation of drifting sunwards is what it’s all about. They’ve now chosen to share this experience with their hotel guests as they launch their Princess for private charter for the first time. “We are hugely excited to be launching the boat for charter,” says Malcolm. “It’s strictly for our hotel guests at Longueville and we believe it sits perfectly within our luxury proposition. I can’t wait to share unique experiences with our guests such as dolphin spotting at the Minquiers, picnics on Sark, or snorkelling on one of Jersey’s beautiful offshore reefs. We hope to create some wonderful memories.”

When Longueville guests aren’t indulging in the boat’s maritime luxury the Princess will remain true to its primary function as a family vessel. Malcolm says: “My main objective is simply lots of fun and family time! Our children are also starting to benefit from the sense of responsibility that can be gained from learning about a boat and how to crew and that is fundamentally important to me.” Many family trips are already in the planning for this season and their favourite local destination ‘Herm’ is high on the agenda. Herm is one of the smaller islands in the Channel archipelago just off the Normandy Coast. Malcolm enthusiastically describes: “A trip to Shell Beach on Herm is our favourite day out. Herm is one of the smallest of the Channel Islands at only 1.5 miles long by half a mile wide. There are no cars, just bountiful natural beauty, so it’s a real escape back to simpler times and a place we like to enjoy with the kids where we can reconnect and have fun without distractions.”

When Malcolm and Patricia take a trip ‘a deux’ they like to head a little further afield and their base in Jersey offers countless opportunities. They adore the dramatic cape that sticks out from the Côte d’Emeraude in Northern Brittany called Saint-Cast. “It’s fantastic for yachts as it has a new deep-water marina and it’s a really beautiful part of the Brittany coastline,” says Malcolm. “The beach offers the perfect seaside experience, with golden sands contained and protected by bays and cliffs. The resort is charmingly authentic, a real taste of Brittany along with a well preserved sense of history
and culture, yet the amenities are sophisticated and extensive. When we visit, Patricia and I like to take a leisurely walk into the town, which has great restaurants and shopping, and enjoy the relaxed but quintessentially French ambience.”

They also encourage the yachting community to visit them in Jersey; an Island that attracts boats the world over thanks to its charm and natural beauty. Malcolm is obviously a wonderful advocate for his home island and describes it with great fondness: “There is so much for visiting boating people to do on Jersey when they arrive. An Island coastal tour is a must – you can do this by boat, by foot or by canoe if you’re feeling adventurous. Water pursuits are prominent in Jersey too, so it’s a great place for surfing, kite surfing, coasteering and scuba diving. We are also totally spoilt when it comes to amazing restaurants of all types and the shopping attracts quite a crowd too!”

The Lewis family will be showcasing their boat for charter at this year’s Barclays Jersey Boat Show from Saturday 2nd to Monday 4th May. Now in its eighth year, the event is billed as the largest free-entry event in the Channel Islands and in 2014 recorded its highest-ever attendance figures with in excess of 40,000 visitors over the three days. Malcolm concludes: “The Jersey Boat Show is a major event that brings everyone together and we intend to be at the heart of that this year as we launch our boat for private charter to our hotel residents. We’re going to put on some show stopping hospitality in partnership with Princess in Jersey and make it a fantastic event for our guests, we hope you’ll all join us!”