Parnell Saint-Preux wants visitors to Haiti to see what he sees: a diamond in the rough.
Les Trois Rois is a beachfront hotel and apartment complex near Labadie in northwest Haiti. The brainchild of Saint-Preux, the luxury complex is under construction and features mahogany chairs, marble floors and stunning views. He has thought of every detail down to the cedar closets and hand carved wooden trim.
“Everything here is locally sourced,” Saint-Preux says proudly. He points to the terrace, which will include a swim-up bar and infinity pool. The property is right next to one of Northern’s Haiti’s only surfing areas.
“It’s a tough thing to do business in Haiti,” he says. “When I bought this property my friends thought I was crazy. This is why LEAD is so important.”
Saint Preux received a $200,000 grant and technical assistance from the Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The program supports small and medium-sized Haitian business, allowing them to expand their operations, to increase employment and spur the economy.
“LEAD has been helpful in so many ways,” Saint-Preux says. “Their technical expertise is extremely important.” LEAD referred him to environmental experts to help him build gabon baskets along the shore in front of his property in order to reduce erosion.
“They thought of things I hadn’t thought of,” he says. “They guide you to do it well.”
Though building a luxury hotel complex isn’t easy, Saint Preux is driven by happy childhood memories of trips to Labadie and a desire to showcase his native Haiti to travelers. “Haiti is country rich in history, culture and good people,” he says. “That’s why I’m doing this.”
He also sees himself as a pioneer in the region, boosting the local tourism industry. “When someone comes to the area, this will set the standard.”
“This place is so beautiful. I want to build something equally beautiful.”