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oceanhome january/february 2009

Breaking news! new waterfront developments worldwide

oceanhome january/february 2009

Luxury p coastal p lifestyle

the ease of belize elegant simplicity at its best


seaside spas nine of the world’s best Volume 4, issue 1

oceanfront resorts where romance beckons

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riviera maya madness where to buy right now

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Consider a one-of-a-kind oceanfront enclave on the shores of Mexico. Equal parts relaxation, inspiration, adventure and enrichment, with white sandy beaches just outside your door and the charming town of Puerto Vallarta only moments away. Consider the privileges of resort-style living, spacious high-rise oceanview residences and a personal Lifestyle Concierge. Consider it your reward for all those years of behaving yourself.




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Paseo de los Cocoteros 56 Sur, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico

The desire for an interesting and adventurous life doesn’t fade at 50. For a complete picture of your next chapter call 866.554.5862 or visit TOWER ONE AND TWO NOW SELLING. FROM THE $500,000s.


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Anguilla, British West Indies

Exclusive Sales & Marketing by Trophy Properties Anguilla. Architectural design by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership.

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The Bahamas Beckons

Luxury villas brilliantly crafted with gourmet kitchens, vaulted cypress ceilings, marble baths, private terraces and balconies with ocean, golf course and marina views. Optional rental program available. Priced from $895,000. Stroll the white sandy beaches, play a round of golf, snorkel the coral reef, or pamper yourself at the spa. Grand Isle Resort & Spa offers the perfect blend of luxury and services found only at the finest resorts. An island adventure awaits you.


editor’sletter times may be tough, but according to many of the nation’s top real estate brokers, this is exactly the reason now is the time to invest in oceanfront real estate. Unlike the turbulent stock market, oceanfront real estate has a steady history of increasing in value over time. In markets like Palm Beach, for example, brokers’ biggest complaint—even in this tough financial climate—is that there is a limited inventory of oceanfront land and homes on the market. They say there will always be a demand for homes on the ocean (evidenced by recent multiple sales in the $10 million range!). Sales such as this are why we are more confident than ever that the targeted content in the OceanHome, coupled with an even more sophisticated design courtesy of our talented new Creative Director Robert Parsons (formerly of Boston magazine), is exactly what you are looking for. Each issue, we continue to bring you breaking news on hot new waterfront developments in our GroundBreaking section (p. 16) and features highlighting hot destinations, such as Belize (p. 42) and the Riviera Maya (p. 52) where opportunities for smart investments currently exist. Also, we are excited to launch our online edition of the magazine. Go to and scroll through our previous editions and sign up to receive every new issue. We hope you enjoy this issue of OceanHome, and that the stunning photographs throughout will inspire you to further explore the featured oceanfront locales. As always, please email me with any thoughts and ideas on what you’d like to see in future issues. Here’s to a very happy and successful New Year!

Stacy H. Small, Editor in Chief

share your thoughts

Have a question, comment or idea for our next issue? Email us at

Reservations: 888-472-6310 Sales Information: 941-366-4414

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january/february 2009 volume 4 issue 1

Sanctuary Bay is an environmentallyfriendly development that showcases the best of Belize, page 82.

10 sea life

A unique collection of sea-inspired luxuries.

32 inner ocean

Aquatic Art Technologies brings the outdoors in. 34 jet set

16 groundbreaking

A round-up of new oceanfront developments from Hawaii to the Gulf Coast.

The best wintertime romantic retreats. 38 hot yacht

The 235-foot Utopia is the ultimate vessel at sea.

26 the dirt

Happenings across the luxury real estate world. 30 villa spotlight

The fashion-inspired seven-bedroom St. Barth villa gives new meaning to luxe.

94 save the date

From sporting events to boat shows, here’s what’s happening this season.


residences are popping up in exotic locations.

42 the ease of belize

By stacy h. small

Affordability, convenience and hassle-free living are just three reasons to explore home ownership in Belize. by Scott Kauffman +

The healing power of water blends with the beauty of the ocean at these top spas.

stacy h. small

by Stacy h. small

52 mexico’s riveting riviera maya

Responsible development takes center stage from Puerto Morelo down the coast to Tulum. by scott kauffman

96 open house

Altman Real Estate knows Barbados.

72 spas by the sea

62 home sweet hotel Luxury hotel-branded

82 Sanctuary bay

Resort living in a natural paradise. by melissa c. gillespie


The pool and ocean view at Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the BVIs, page 34.

Photograph, tony rath photography


6 | | january/february 2009

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oceanhome Luxury p coastal p lifestyle

group Publisher

Rick Sedler

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Hugh Malone

editor in chief

Stacy H. Small

creative Director

Robert F. Parsons

senior Contributing Editors

Lindsay Lambert, Melissa Gillespie designer

Katharine Motter Contributing Writers

Teri Borseti, Scott Hunter, Scott Kauffman, C.M. Riley, Avital Binshtock Property location Advisers

John Shaw, George Licata

production manager

Jessica Talbot

circulation Manager

Christine Guzzardi For subscriptions, change of address or questions (978) 623 7055

director, + new media

Jack Morris

Associate Director, Events Marketing

Melissa Gillespie

Events Marketing Coordinator

Jennifer L. Banville

Accounting ControlLer

Pamela Sedler


Hugh Malone, Todd Koss, Jeff Hunt, Allison Mayer inquiries

OceanHome Magazine 16 Haverhill Street, Andover, MA 01810 tel (978) 623 0019 fax (978) 824 3975 email:

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President Rick


Executive vice President Hugh

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media group, inc Ocean Homeâ&#x201E;˘ is published by RMS Media Group, Inc. Please send all editorial comments or questions to RMS Media Group, Attn: Ocean Home Magazine, 16 Haverhill Street, Suite 3C, Andover, MA 01810. All advertising subject to approval before acceptance. Ocean Home reserves the right to refuse any ad for any reason whatsoever. Only actual publication of an advertisement constitutes acceptance thereof, but does not constitute any agreement for continued publication in any form. Ocean Home assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Postmaster: Please send change of address notification to RMS Media Group, c/o Ocean Home, 16 Haverhill Street, Suite 3C, Andover, MA 01810. Subscriptions: One-year subscription is $25.00. For subscriptions, address changes and adjustments, contact Ocean Home, P.O. Box 2052, Andover, MA 01810-9912. printed in the usa

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There are only a few opportunities left to live at Sandpearl.

Visit for details. Furnished Hotel Suites from $510,000 Condominium Residences from $920,000

Timeless architecture. Expansive views. Exclusive amenities. And 700 feet of pristine Clearwater beachfront just outside the front door of your exquisite new condominium. Introducing Sandpearl. With access to the Sandpearl Resort’s 5-diamond caliber services right next door, limited-time Builder Incentives, and beautifully furnished models, now’s the time to tour the most luxurious and serene living — on Earth, that is.

JMC Communities Building Enduring Lifestyles for 30 Years. | 500 Mandalay ave. Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 | 727.466.6785

13*7"5&#&"$)$-6#t#&"$)$ "#"/ "4t1 00-4*% &' *5 / &44$&/ 5 &3t4"/ % 1 &"3-41"t13 *7"5& (6-'ű'30/5100-t5"5&*4- "/ %(3*--t300.4&3 7*$&t$0/ $*&3(&4&3 7*$&4t)064& ,& & 1*/(

Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. Broker participation welcome.

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accessories for graceful living

a unique collection of sea-inspired luxuries we love By stacy h. small

Bathing Beauties Crisp lines define Stone Forestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s minimalist yet comfortable Oval Soaking Tub ($19,750,, carved from a single block of black granite and custom fit for each owner.

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Grand Opening April 25-26

Blackbeard’s Forest

Call today to learn about our limited release of premier homesites. The area’s only dockable community with homesites affordably priced from


Find your way home to the area’s newest, most naturally beautiful waterfront development. The Bluffs is the only gated, dockable community located on the Cape Fear River, just 15 minutes from historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina.

Community Water AccessaIndoor/Outdoor PoolsaTennisaNature TrailsaPrivate Beach Club on Oak IslandaLakeside Clubhouse


Call or visit to learn about our $149* Coastal Preview Package and Pre-Construction Incentives.

* Rate valid for three days/two nights at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside in one standard room. Advance reservations are required. Subject to availability. 72-hour cancellation notice is required or fees may apply. Private presentation and property tour required. Actual retail value is $336. Amenities are proposed and are subject to change. This is not an offer or solicitation to sell in states in which this property is not yet registered. Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. When referencing 15 minutes to Wilmington, actual distance equals 12 miles. Cape Fear Bluffs, LLC ©2008 Vision Producers, Inc.

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sealife e Hat Head Colorful and cute, the straw hat goes modern in this Victoria model from Wallaroo Hats. A petite version is available for smaller heads and little girls. The hats are both flattering and practical in a sun-blocking way. $36,

9q Table This

A cleanly designed, highly functional hall table with a hint of whimsy, this accent piece adds a splash of color to a beach house entryway. Available in multiple shades, especially pretty is the eggplant-painted table (shown) adorned with a teal-colored Key West fish. Pair the table with this hand-painted Two Fish pendant lamp above to complete the colorful look. Table, $780; lamp, $230,

9 Beach Baby Handmade and hand-painted in distressed antique blue, this bi-level baby changer crafted from solid birch wood is truly a work of art. Accented with cabriole legs and handcarved rosette knobs, the changing table features a side towel bar, spacious drawers and ample storage for clothes and supplies. The best feature? Post-infancy, the tray lifts off, allowing for easy conversion to a multiuse dresser. $3,400,

t Seaside Scent

Designed in conjunction with Archipelago Botanicals, Barclay Buteraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new candle line includes this ocean-scented Beach model that brings back memories of days by the sea. $44,

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This is luxurious bathing at its best. If you are seeking the ultimate bathing experience, nothing compares to the design, artistic beauty and comfort of a hand-carved, solid stone soaking bath by Advent Design. It requires 300 million years of natural crystallization and hundreds of skilled man hours to create these magnificent pieces. Our baths are carved with meticulous care and patience, each one made to order. Give yourself or a loved-one a gift of luxury that will last a lifetime and soothe your soul. Be sure to visit our website and please call us directly.

Therapy for the body and soul - enjoyment for a lifetime.


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sealife e Ocean Stones Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but colored gemstones and gold are other good pals. This is especially true when crafted into this chic gold-and-diamond Reef ring ($850).

9 Breathing Easy Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand are fans of Philip Stein’s sleek and portable Wine Wand, which uses innovative frequency-based technology to cut hours off a wine bottle’s aeration process. Translation: Less time needed to breathe for optimum taste. From $325,

Table Toppers q Jonathan Adler puts his own whimsical spin on these whale-shaped pieces from his new animal-themed ceramic Menagerie collection. The butter dish ($68) and pitcher ($95) add a fun touch to any table.

9 It’s a Wrap This Hotel Collection Cashmere Throw was meant for cool nights by the beach. Give it as a gift, or keep it for yourself and enjoy five-star luxury at home. $200,

9 Balinese Style This trio of pure alabaster masterpieces is among the latest creations from Balibased John Hardy. Part of the lines new Kewung Collection, the hand-crafted chalice ($4,000), vase ($2,995) and bowl ($2,100) each feature sterling silver flower petal accents.

9 Laundered Goods No need to worry about mixing darks and whites when using these hand-sewn straw top-handle totes, each labeled appropriately (including one for dry cleaning). $98 each,

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The Luxury 0f Sand Between Your Toes

Only Steps From Your Door                  


    

Prices subject to change. This is not an offer to sell or a solicitation to purchase to residents of any state or province where legal requirements have not been fulfilled. This ad is void where prohibited by law. Equal Opportunity Housing.

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the latest developments

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A round-up of new oceanfront developments from Hawaii to the Gulf Coast By Melissa C. Gillespie

if you are in search of a home situated on a private island or perhaps a beachfront villa in South Carolina, following is a round-up of new luxury oceanfront projects that are under development, undergoing renovation, recently readied for move-in or slated to break ground soon.

t Four Seasons Resort Estates, Nevis, West Indies Now is the time to capture one of the last opportunities to develop your own custom estate home in this exclusive community on the Caribbean island of Nevis. The latest release in the master plan, Clarkeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Estates, overlooks the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famed Robert Trent Jones II golf course. Additional resort amenities offered to owners include dedicated court times at the Peter Burwash International tennis complex; use of the fitness center, beach, swimming pools and restaurants; a private spa and concierge services. Owners can choose to move into a fully-furnished, turnkey residence or work with a Four Seasons architect, interior designer and landscape architect to personalize the home. 869.469.1199,

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groundbreaking is now available for move-in with limited availability. The development’s second phase introduces a larger selection of three-bedroom units and two-story penthouse apartments with an anticipated completion of fall 2010. The complex has a swimming pool, spa, tennis courts, kids’ play areas and a fitness center. The property is located on a secluded stretch of beach with Black Sea views. Paraiso del Mar, Baja California, Mexico

An aerial shot of Kukui‘ula. Below, the patio and pool and master bedroom, right, at the Artist Collection in Punta de Mita.

9 Kukui‘ula

Located on a bluff along Kaua’i’s south shore overlooking Poi’pu Beach, the residential community of Kukui‘ula encompasses almost 1,010 acres of coastal terrain. The community features a mix of custom home sites and plantation-style cottages, a private 18-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, clubhouse, spa, retail and dining village, and miles of hiking and biking. Cottages range from 2,030 to 4,600 square feet. Residents will enjoy private outdoor showers, tropical landscaped gardens, courtyard plunge pools and private lanais. The cottages are priced from about $2 million; the home sites from $1.45 million. 808.742.0234,

limited-edition homes in Punta de Mita, Mexico. Each three-bedroom, three-bathroom home will be named for a famous Mexican artist and will include an endowment work of art signed by that artist. The spacious floor plans have ample indoor and outdoor living spaces, garage and an in-ground pool. Pricing for The Artist

Collection starts at mid$400,000. www.sera yoo, Obzor, Bulgaria

Located in the town of Obzor in Bulgaria’s Black Sea region, yoo Bulgaria is a luxury development consisting of 257 apartments with prices starting at about $175,000 for a one- bedroom with ocean views. Phase one

Paraiso del Mar, a new residential resort community on a secluded 1,700-acre peninsula, is now home to the first Arthur Hills golf course in Mexico, which opened in December. The first phase of this resort community comprises nearly 300 two- and three-bedroom homes, and 400 two-, threeand four-bedroom condominiums. In addition, the community offers swimming pools and tennis courts and plans to construct a marina.

q The Artist Collection, Punta de Mita, Mexico Será Resorts has released 10

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3:27 PM

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The sun is warm, the water’s fine and everything’s ready at The Residences at Bimini Bay Resort. Experience your future home in the Bahamas right now. Call or go online and let us take care of all the travel details for your CLOSER look visit. 888.460.1203 Exclusive Sales by Fantasy Cove Realty

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groundbreaking The Las Canas Beach Resort’s water bungalow. Above right, exterior of Galveston’s Diamond Beach. Below right, rendering of Miami Beach’s South of Fifth.

Home and condominium prices range from the low $200,000s to $1 million-plus. Golf course memberships will be available to Paraiso del Mar homeowners. www.

9 Las Canas Beach

Resort, Dominican Republic

Las Canas is a five-star oceanfront resort boasting a select number of overwater bungalows—the first such accommodations in the Dominican Republic. In addition, villas, townhouses, penthouses and apartments will be available for sale. All residences come fully furnished and include a private Jacuzzi

and flat-screen TVs. The one- to four-bedroom villas range in size from 1,480 to 4,500 square feet. Planned amenities include a signature 18-hole golf course, restaurants, bars, freshwater swimming pools, a Kid’s Club and Teen Club. Prices start at around $785,000. www.signatureresidences Natal Ocean Club, Natal, Brazil

The Natal Ocean Club is a private beachfront resort located in northeast Brazil. The community offers villas with designer suites, a tennis club, water sports, three signature restaurants, an oversized freshwater

lagoon pool, a kids’ club, sports bar and spa. In total, there will be 19 three-, four- and five-bedroom villas, ranging from 895 to 2,300 square feet of living space. Completion of phase one (Beach Residences & Villas) is scheduled for spring 2010, while phase two (Sky Spa & Sky Spa Residences) is slated to open March 2011. Prices start around $1.4 million. www.signatureresidences

9 Diamond Beach, Galveston, Texas Diamond Beach, scheduled to debut this summer, offers buyers a sought-after West Beach address plus the security of seawall protection. The property’s first phase includes 120 units with ocean views and many customization options. Currently under construction, the seven-story building has two- and three-bedroom condominium units available from $400,000 to $900,000. www.diamond

q South of Fifth, Miami Beach, Florida Situated at the southern

tip of South Beach, this beachfront enclave offers 28 flow-through condominium residences in a seven-story building. Residents of South of Fifth enjoy concierge services, beachside pool, fitness center, convenient underground parking and direct beach access. The remaining seven units range in price from $6.25 to $8.75 million; and in size from 1,300 to 6,250 square feet. 305.695.0129,

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The Unsurpassable Luxury Vacation

The vacation that your family and friends will talk about for years! Your Moorings Crewed Yacht Vacation is

all-inclusive luxury chartering with private captain and chef at your service. Charter in the most idyllic settings around the world and truly experience what a yachting adventure and relaxing vacation should be. Delight in Caribbean tropical breezes, sail the ancient Mediterranean Sea or explore the wonder that is the Sea of Cortez. Or if you prefer, be your own captain aboard a bareboat sail or power yacht. Best of all, however you charter, you will provide your family and friends with memories that will last a lifetime. Find out how to charter from only $253 per person per day, all inclusive! Call or visit us on-line for details and for your free brochure.


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groundbreaking e Hampton Island Preserve, Young’s Island, Georgia Hampton Island Preserve, located between Savannah and Sea Island, has released three, two-acre, $6.75 million home sites on Young’s Island, a 14-acre private island. Hampton Island Preserve is one of the few remaining undeveloped islands along the South Atlantic Coast. The 4,000-acre

private retreat offers 370 distinctive home sites, as well as exclusive membership opportunities. Amenities include an organic garden, two spa locations, a seaplane, guest homes, an equestrian center and a Davis Love III championship golf course. Future plans call for development of a clubhouse, marina, and a swimming pool. 912.880.8888, www.

9 Sapphire, South

Padre, Texas

Sapphire, South Padre’s newest residential gem, is a oneof-a-kind, 30-story property reminiscent of a full-scale, luxury resort. The 230-unit Sapphire boasts amenities for owners including an on-site spa, a wine room, theater and a 300-foot swimming pool. Available units include two-bedroom condos from $500,000 and threebedrooms starting from $560,000. 800.503.6138, www.sapphiresouth

Above, the Sapphire in South Padre. Below, from top, exterior of the Village at Wild Dunes, dining room, and the resort. At left, from top, Young’s Island, the Treehouse Spa at Hampton Island Preserve.

q The Village At Wild Dunes, Charleston, South Carolina

The Village at Wild Dunes, the newest addition to the Wild Dunes Resort, offers buyers one of the last remaining opportunities to purchase new real estate on the Carolina coast. Now ready for move-in, the development offers luxury condominiums ranging from 500-square-foot studios up to penthouses totaling 3,000 square feet. A recent beach restoration project at Wild Dunes is now complete and all of the Resort’s oceanfront accommodations are open. The beach nourishment project restored more than two miles of coastline,

which now measures nearly 150 yards in width along the entire strand. The new 18th hole of the Links course will be ready for play in late spring. Prices range from $400,000 to $2 million.

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Page 7

Explore New Worlds

Recharge and renew your spirit. Come explore Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands. This distinctive resort community includes a new yachting marina surrounded by spacious villas, luxurious residences and grand estate lots. Those who know the British Virgin Islands, know this is a very exclusive opportunityâ&#x20AC;Ś.Please contact our real estate sales office for detailed information. Visit us at Opening October 2008. Mainsail Development International 3 813.254.3110 ext. 104 3 701 S. Howard Ave., Suite 205, Tampa, FL 33606

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groundbreaking t Keyhole Bay, Roatan, Honduras Below, from top: Looking out the Keyhole, the pool, and the Courtyard in Seville. Right, renderings of the Nizuc in Cancun.

Upon completion this spring, Keyhole Bay will include seven buildings, with only 48 residences in total. The gated development, located on southwest Roatan in the Bay Islands, will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums. Residents will enjoy such amenities as an infinity pool and 24-hour security, and a Clubhouse with a restaurant, bar, meeting and recreational facilities. Future plans also include the construction of the Keyhole Village Commercial Center complete with retail shops, restaurants, offices and residential lofts. Residence range in price from the low $400,000’s to $1.3 million and in size from 1,900 square feet to 3,700 square feet. 228.533.2001,

q Nizuc, Cancun, Mexico Located on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, adjacent to the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere, Nizuc offers three, three-bedroom residential Beachfront Villas. Each Villa is situated on ¾ acre of land and includes a lap-sized infinity pool. Each home boasts 11,000-square feet of living space; prices range from $10 million to $13 million. There are also 88 two-bedroom and 72 onebedroom residences housed in multi-level residential buildings each with indi-

vidual plunge pools. Amenities include two signature Jack Nicklaus golf courses, a spa, three restaurants and several cocktail lounges. The

property has an anticipated open date of fall 2009. Plus we are going to add two more lines of copy here soonish.

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the inside take on happenings in the luxury real estate world

By Stacy H. Small Musical homes

Above: The rear exterior and living room of 255 Clarke Avenue in Palm Beach. Below: The living room and backyard of 609 Las Lomas Avenue in Pacific Palisades.

Times may be tough for many these days, but that doesn’t mean pricey Palm Beach real estate isn’t moving. However, even the priciest homes are taking a bit of a hit when it comes to what people are willing to pay. Take, for example, Casa Coral, a town-designated landmark, which sold for $9.68 million—a million less than its original asking price—in November to Christopher Sinclair, the former CEO and chairman of Pepsi-Cola. The Sinclairs purchased their new vacation home just shortly after their former Palm Beach property at 241 El Vedado Road sold for $8.2 million last summer. Their new home, located at 255 Clarke Avenue in the heart of Palm Beach, was originally designed in 1927 by John Volk for Alfred Feltman of Coney Island hot dog fame. Casa Coral was designated as a landmark in 1996 and purchased by Jeffrey Fisher (former Chairman and CEO of Innkeepers USA) and his wife Frances in 1998 for $2.6 million. The Fishers— represented by the Corcoran Group’s Jim McCann—completed an extensive restoration of the 9,000-square-foot property, which has a total of six-bedrooms, three full and three half baths, a 44foot lap pool and a four-car garage. And, unlike the Russian billionaire who purchased the Donald Trump-

owned Palm Beach property earlier last year for over $90 million and is reportedly planning to tear it down and build anew, the Sinclairs say they have no such plans. Malibu Times

Even if you don’t know Timothy Busfield’s name, it’s likely you’ve seen his work on TV. The actor, who recently listed his modern Malibu home for sale at $1.995 million, played Danny Concannon on The West Wing from 1996-2006 and scored an Emmy for his role as Elliot Weston on thirtysomething from 1987-1991. Busfield’s busy these days as an executive producer of Lipstick Jungle and Without a Trace. His three-bedroom, three-bathroom home is perfect for someone seeking privacy in a serene setting, as it sits behind gates on more than an acre of landscaped grounds. Offering 2,400 square feet of space, the multilevel wood and glass home offers a mix of ocean and mountain views. It also offers vaulted ceilings, a spacious sunken living room and blond maple hardwood floors. For more information, contact Dan Dillon of Pritchett-Rapf & Associates, Malibu via email at Model Home

Whoever said models don’t do anything besides stand there and look pretty hasn’t met Cathleen Gallagher.

The former Vogue cover girl—married to television director James Lima— personally designed and developed the green spec home in Pacific Palisades, Califa., now on the market for $5.595 million. The solarpowered, three-story California Craftsman house, in the Las Lomas Bluffs area, features seven bedrooms and 7 1/2 bathrooms in nearly 7,000 square feet of space. Additional features include a floating spiral staircase, white oak floors, coffered ceilings, a gourmet kitchen, a 1,200-bottle wine cellar, and, most notably for ocean lovers, a rooftop ocean view deck. It has been reported that Gallagher spent up to six hours per day on the site, overseeing the construction and development of her large traditional home and ensuring it was as “green” as possible. To that end, the property has formaldehydefree cabinetry and shingles; a hard-surface filtration pit to filter rainwater to the city storm drain; and individual heating and air-conditioning controls on each floor. Plus, hillside indigenous plants were used with a drip drainage system, and organic nutrients were added to the soil. For more information on the property, visit www.609laslomasavenue. com or contact Dan Urbach of Prudential California Realty by phone at 310.367.9865 or email at

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Rum Cay Resort Marina is destined to eclipse anything yet seen in The Bahamas. From the mega-yacht basin and authentic Castilian marina village to the legendary RockResorts® hotel, beach club, and world-class spa, the indulgence will be unprecedented. From oceanfront estate homes to The Residences of Port Santa Maria, luxury will know no bounds. The pleasures of Rum Cay are endless … the opportunity is fleeting. Be part of it before your chance disappears forever.

Take advantage of pre-construction pricing today. • 1.888.RUMCAY3 (1.888.786.2293) Montana Holdings and RockResorts are currently negotiating a management agreement for the management of this Project; however, at this time RockResorts has not entered into any management agreement or other agreements in connection with the management or operation of any part of this Project, and currently has no obligation with respect to the management or operation of any part of the Project, including, without limitation, the management of any hotel located within the Project or the provision of any services to the units. In the event the Montana Holdings and RockResorts (or their respective Affiliates) fail to enter into the necessary agreements required by RockResorts for the management of a hotel within the Project and the continued use of the Trademarks in connection with the identification of the Project, neither the units nor any part of the Project will be identified as a RockResorts branded project or have any rights to use the trademark.

Every aspect of Rum Cay has been painstakingly thought out. From the quaint Castilian marina village of Port Santa Maria to our state-of-the-art mega-yacht basin designed to Blue Flag standards, from a host of amenities and services worthy of royalty to the lavishly appointed residences, you will find Rum Cay Resort Marina as breathtaking as the island’s amazing beauty.

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Alfredo H채berli, Industrial Designer. Creating smart simplicity with passion.

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The new Patravi TravelTec GMT chronograph in stainless steel, featuring multiple time zone functions and using a new single push-button mechanism is a perfect example of Carl F. Buchererâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique philosophy. As an independent family business in Lucerne since 1919, our passion for perfection and love of detail have never changed. Also available in 18 K rose gold. and To locate an authorized retailer nearest you, please call 800 395 4306

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Villa Grande Maison des Etoiles offers endless seaviews (below) and interiors that blend sleek appointments with Caribbean charm.

St. Barth Beauty This fashion-inspired, seven-bedroom villa gives new meaning to luxe. by Lindsay Lambert

with its radiant beaches, welcoming weather and glamorous resorts, St. Barth has long been a haven for celebs. The Caribbean island now packs even more star power with the newly built Villa Grande Maison des Étoiles, a seven-bedroom, seven-bath multi-villa estate in the tony Les Étoiles section of Colombier. The villa, available through St. Barth Properties, Inc., boasts a breathtaking blend of gardens and indoor and outdoor dining and living

areas, all terraced along a mountaintop. Thus, enjoy endless views of azure skies above and the Caribbean Sea below. A stone wall crafted from excavated volcanic rock encircles the estate. Villa Grande Maison des Étoiles’s seven bedrooms are interspersed throughout its well-groomed grounds. The two-bedroom Manuel Canovas Cottage, situated along a landscaped path that winds between two reflecting pools, boasts its own fully equipped granite kitchen, a

living area and its own pool, terrace and parking area. Each of the estate’s remaining bedrooms is named for a designer, and décor has been chosen accordingly. The Louis Vuitton Master Suite is cocooned in its own pavilion with a plunge pool and terrace. Accessories include a vintage Vuitton steamer trunk and suitcase. The Hermés and Dior bedrooms boast king-size beds and link together by a spacious walk-in closet. So do the Yves and Coco. Throughout,

bedroom accoutrements include private terraces and in-suite baths, plasma TVs, DVD players and iPod alarm clocks. Among additional estate features are a fully equipped gym with a skylight that rises through the bottom of the heated swimming pool above; an office with Wi-Fi connectivity; an expansive living room with a flat-screen TV, Bose electronics and a wet bar; and a top-floor chef’s kitchen and guest bathroom. Weekly rates through April 15 begin at $160,000 for up to five bedrooms, $193,550 for six or seven. Visit or contact Tom Smyth at 508.570.4127 or tom@

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interpreting lifestyles

Under the Sea Aquatic Art gives new meaning to bringing the outdoors in. By Lindsay Lambert little did geoffrey sampson know that a job in an aquatic toxicology lab would one day lead to a successful start up of his own. Today, Sampson is the owner of Aquatic Art Technologies, a boutique company specializing in the design, installation and maintenance of natural museum-quality display aquariums. Sampson’s aquatic artworks range from living coral reefs to species-specific aquariums and add a touch of living luxury to homes, businesses and even schools throughout the country. Here, Sampson talks to OceanHome about the inspiration behind his aquatic endeavor.

Aquatic Art’s display aquariums (seen below) define the phrase “in living color.”

OH: Where did the idea for Aquatic Art Technologies come from? GS: I had been running

the culture division of an aquatic toxicology lab many years ago, and I set up and took care of the reef display in the lobby of the business. I thought it would be a great idea to provide this type of beauty and level of professionalism and quality to the corporate and private sectors.

OH: How do you pair your clients with the appropriate piece of aquatic art? GS: A display aquarium

is really an extension of someone’s taste, décor, allocated space and budget. We work with our clients closely through the discovery phase of the design to create a perfect water feature or a display aquarium to match all of the aforementioned points.

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OH: What makes this a hot trend in home design right now? GS: Our display aquariums

put the brakes on life, even if just for the moment that you are looking into your custom reef aquarium and watching your fish or corals sway in the currents of their re-created world. Aquariums lower your blood pressure, they can take your breath away and they certainly give you a vacation away from the human rat race, even if it is for just 10 to 20 minutes a day. OH: What eco-conscious practices does your company employ? GS: I have been studying

the environment and its aquatic inhabitants for most of my life. Early on, we saw the trend going south and from an ethical and environmental perspective we felt it was crucial to be part of the solution, not the problem. We buy fish from companies that use eco-friendly methods of capture. We promote and use aquacultured animals whenever possible and we have been growing our own coral for over 10 years now. OH: What type of animals might be displayed in an aquarium? GS: Depending on the

display aquarium, size and

filtration system, our clients enjoy animals like living corals, hermit crabs, shrimp, sea urchins, sea stars, jellyfish, octopus, African cichlid fish, tropical fish, lobsters, sharks, rays and more.

Examples of what might be displayed in an Aquatic Art aquarium: African cichlid, octopus, tropical fish, sea urchins and more.

OH: What is the most interesting thing about your company and the service you provide? GS: The most rewarding

aspect of this business is meeting and working with our customers and designing something reflective of our customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; tastes. This alone keeps things new, fresh and exciting. And of course, I love creating awesome living exhibits with amazing animals.

designer details

Geoffrey Sampson Founder, Aquatic Art Technologies Phone: 877.355.3991 or 860.659.4874

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Exotic Excursions

Romantic Retreats From the Caribbean to Cambodia, highend hotels worldwide aim to entice couples with wintertime deals. By Stacy H. Small with valentine’s day approaching, romance should definitely be top of mind. What better way to celebrate your love than with a luxurious winter getaway? Following are several recommendations for romance-infused vacations from the experts at Elite Travel International. These special wintertime offers are sure to inspire romance, Valentine’s Day or not.

9e Southern Exposure

No visit to Oz would be complete without a stop in South Australia, namely, Kangaroo Island. Widely acclaimed as Australia’s Galapagos, Kangaroo Island is set for romance, courtesy of the dramatic coastal vistas and sculptured landscapes

riddled with sheltered coves and deserted stretches of sugar-white sand. And what better place to stay than Australia’s first luxury lodge? The 21-suite Southern Ocean Lodge offers a “4 for 3” Southern Sojourn package through March, inclusive of a fourth night free with three paid nights, a bottle of Bollinger Champagne and a $100 spa voucher. All-inclusive rates start at $1,800 per couple and include gourmet breakfast, lunch and a fourcourse dinner daily; most drinks; round-trip airport transfers; and a choice of complimentary guided adventures and excursions. St. Valentine’s In St. Lucia

Beachside service and couples massage, above, at Cotton Bay Village in St. Lucia.

For six days and five nights, pamper yourself and your loved one in the privacy of your own stylish home at Cotton Bay Village, an exclusive residential hideaway on the northeast coast of St. Lucia. Reflecting barefoot elegance at its best, this upscale beachfront resort offers a five-night Romance Package (from $3,800) that includes daily breakfast, round-trip airport transfers, a private boat trip, a guided island tour and a romantic dinner a deux.

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Ocean Home Magazine is proud to announce the premiere of its exclusive new website â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ASO`QVW\UT]`g]c` R`SO[V][S]\bVSQ]Oab- :]]Y\]Tc`bVS`bVO\ ]QSO\V][S[OUQ][ bVSSfQZcaWdS]\ZW\S`Sa]c`QS T]`bVSe]`ZR¸a[]ab [OU\W¿QS\b]QSO\T`]\b ]QSO\dWSe]QSO\OQQSaaWPZS ]`WaZO\RV][SaT]`aOZS]``S\b

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jetset e Exotic Escape

One of the hottest destinations for honeymooners and couples seeking a unique and special getaway, Siem Reap, Cambodia continues to attract those who have “been there, done that.” Couples especially are catered to with the Intimate Experience offered at Hotel de la Paix, a chic 98-room hotel conveniently located near historic Angkor Wat. The ultra-stylish hotel blends Art Deco design with Khmer influences and boasts a three-story spa offering Eastern healing techniques, spritual teachings, yoga, meditation and more. With the goal of inspiring romance and a harmonizing of hearts, the Intimate Experience package includes three nights’ accommodations, daily breakfast (once in bed), a romantic dinner on the Fire Garden Swing, a private couples’ massage The scene is set for romance at Hotel de la Paix, both poolside and over dinner at the Fire Garden (below).

The exterior of La Bastide deTourtour.

lesson, a one-day Angkor Wat temple pass for two (inclusive of private car and driver) and roundtrip airport transfers. The three-night package starts at $2,400 per room.

9Paris Plus Provence

Combine a stay in the City of Love (aka Paris) with one near Provence and you are sure to experience the true recipe for romance. Start with an overnight at the fabulous, five-star Four Seasons George V, and enjoy a Romance Package (from $865 per night) inclusive of accommodations, breakfast for two (in bed if you wish), a bottle of Champagne, fresh in-room flowers and a 100 Euro spa voucher. A uniquely Parisian itinerary inclusive of chocolate or cheese tours with a local gourmand, private tours of local attractions, a personal shopping excursion or even a daytrip to London can be easily arranged to complement your stay. Once sated with Parisian delights, take a quick flight to Nice Airport and enjoy a leisurely 75-minute drive to La Bastide de Tourtour, a Small Luxury Hotel located between Provence and the Cote d’Azur. The property of-

fers 25 individually decorated rooms with stunning views. A rejuvenating wellness centre, soothing pools and therapeutic massage treatments only add to the appeal. During the month of February, a two-night Romance Package starts at $450 per night and includes Prestige Room accommodations, two ultraromantic dinners and two breakfasts during the stay.

9q BVI Beach Break

If a relaxing beach vacation fits your fancy, consider a stay at Rosewood Little Dix Bay, a true respite from everyday stresses on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. The resort, which features a half-mile private beach and recently renovated cottages and villas with outdoor rain showers and gorgeous views, offers a Best of LDB package that lends itself to romance seekers. Priced from $6,000 per couple, this package includes five nights’ accommodations (price varies based on room category), round-trip transfers from Tortola Airport, a boat drop-off on a secluded beach with picnic lunch, a private torch-lit dinner for two on the beach, one oceanfront dinner for two at the Sugar Mill, and one dinner for two at the Pavilion

Oceanside dinners and outdoor showers highlight a stay at Little Dix Bay.

restaurant. The package also includes a welcome bottle of Champagne and two 50-minute massages, plus a manicure/pedicure and a facial or a body wrap at the resort’s Sense Spa. Another option: Reserve a Junior Suite or Beachfront Cottage for a minimum of five nights through an exclusive Rosewood Elite agency like Elite Travel International and receive a $1,000 resort credit per room plus two signature massages at the Sense Spa. This Elite Winter package is valid through February 12.


For assistance in planning a romantic winter holiday, honeymoon or any special occasion trip, contact the experts at Elite Travel International, a luxury boutique travel firm based in Brentwood, California. 310.979.9036,

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Time is your most precious asset, spend it well.

Luxury Mediterannean Cruises from


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The Utopia at sail, left. Above, master bedroom and dining room. Below, Utopiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spacious decks.

Utopia The Ultimate at Sea.

from her sophisticated style to her sheer square footage, there is nothing small about the Utopia. In fact, the 235-foot motor yacht, a veritable floating palace, is the largest Feadship available for charter. With accommodations for 12 and on-board amenities comparable to those

of a world-class hotel, this swanky vessel was clearly designed to host the ultimate escape at sea. Built in 2004 and completely refit in 2006, Utopia will ply the turquoise waters of the Caribbean this winter. On board, guests can savor their surroundings from the sprawling upper and

by Lindsay Lambert

lower sun decks, two of the largest such spaces afloat. They can also get lost in her lavish interiors, including a master suite encased by a crescent-shaped wall of glass and a private gym, where workouts are inspired by the postcard-perfect scenery. Throughout the yacht, floor-to-ceiling windows,

light oak paneling and generous headroom combine to create a venue that is ideal for flawless entertaining. The crew of 17 is on hand to ensure all details are tended to. Should an appetite for adventure lure Utopia guests from the comfortable confines of their quarters, the yacht comes appointed with myriad toysâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;kayaks, windsurfers, water skis, wakeboards and stand-up jet skis among them. To sate another kind of appetite, guests need only cue the devoted staff to fire up the on-deck grill for a night of casual outdoor dining.

sail away

Utopia is available for charter from about $574,000 per week. For more information, contact Gayle Patterson at or by phone at 011.377. or visit www.

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of Belize convenience and hassle-free living are just three reasons *Affordability, to explore home ownership in this stable and scenic former British colony. By Scott Kauffman + Stacy H. Small

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When real estate lawyer Jimmy Crawford started looking for a family vacation home two years ago, the foreign investment had to meet several criteria to be considered. Most importantly, the tropical destination had to be English-speaking by nature and located in a stable environment. The destination also had to have a similar legal system to the United States and be within close proximity to Crawfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Orlando, Fla.area home. Âś Being relatively affordable would be a bonus. Belize, as it turns out, fit the bill perfectly on all counts. An added bonus of purchasing real estate here? Capital appreciation with no capital gains tax.

The upstairs bedroom of a suite in Hopkins Bay Resort.

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For those not familiar with Belize, and contrary to what many might think, this Central American nation is not a single island. Rather, the mainland of this democratic country (formerly known as British Honduras) is landlocked alongside the Caribbean Sea by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the south and west. Its more than 100 cayes (islands) sit offshore.

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From top, scuba diving, an aerial view of Belize, children swimming at Hopkins Bay Resort. Opposite, a local craftsman.

Regardless if anyone can properly place Belize on the map, one thing is clear about this ex-British colony: It is quickly becoming a Caribbean hot spot. Crawford, for one, now owns a 1,700square-foot luxury condo in the fishing village of Placencia, as he fell in love with Belize at first sight. And what’s not to love about a country full of untouched waterfalls, rainforest jungles and Mayan mountains full of historic ruins? Or a country rated one of the top 10 diving destinations in the world courtesy of a coral barrier reef second only in size to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef? Of course, fueling much of the foreign investment and tourism growth in Belize—a country the size of Massachusetts—is its proWestern roots. For instance, Belize has been a democracy since 1980, pegs its currency to the U.S. dollar, and features a mostly tax-free environment. Belize is also a very safe, familyfriendly country and the diversity of activities includes everything from cave tubing to world-class fishing to horseback riding and more. Belize’s pristine ambience, coupled with the affordability of property, clearly appeals to a growing number of well-traveled individuals. In fact, Belize is even quietly attracting the celebrity crowd; Francis Ford Coppola owns three high-end resorts, including Blacaneaux Lodge, Turtle Inn and La Lancha (visit www.blacaneaux. com), and, rumor has it, Leonardo di Caprio is also involved in a development project. One group bullish about the longterm future of Belize is Hopkins Bay Development, a consortium of Canadian, American and South African investors who are behind the eponymous Hopkins Bay Resort. Located two hours north of the town of Hopkins, and the closest mainland property to the worldfamous reef in southern Belize, Hopkins Bay is a 7,000-acre, eco-sensitive, mixeduse development that will encompass

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From top, The Phoenix’s view and main pool; the San Pedro Pier at Ambergris Caye; horseback riding at Sunset Pointe.

nearly three miles of linear beachfront, four branded hotels, three golf courses and an 800-slip marina. For now, the primary buying opportunities are at Hopkins Bay Resort and Sittee Point, a 48-acre enclave of resortstyle villas and a gated luxury single-family home community, respectively. Of the 48 planned villas, 18 are completed and already occupied at Hopkins Bay, and four homes are completed in the upscale Sittee Point neighborhood. Three- and four-bedroom villas are priced around $900,000, while custom home sites at Sittee Point start at just $220,000. “Belize is clearly an emerging hot spot,” says Michael Anderson, one of the developers whose Hopkins Bay project is conforming to Audubon International sustainable development standards. He notes the country’s diversity of activities, its relatively small population of 300,000 residents, and its laidback atmosphere as key selling points. Says Anderson: “With no buildings higher than four stories and most of the travel by golf cart or boat, everybody is able to take off the watch and shoes and just really relax.” Homeowner Crawford, who practices law for Clermont, Fla.-based Schmid Development, seconds this notion. “I always feel more relaxed and healthier when I’m down there.” This healthy approach also translates to the pace of development in the country. “Belize is going to develop very slowly because there are no major roads, which means everything has to be brought in by barge,” says Anderson. “The infrastructure needed for quick development is just not there. So it will develop, but slowly, which fortunately, is great for the existing home owners.” meanwhile, ambergris caye, the most developed of Belize’s 100-plus islands, is home to a number of new luxury waterfront developments. Among them is The Phoenix, a 30-unit beachfront condominium complex that was

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Ownership opportunities in Grand Cayman starting at $170,000 u.s. dollars. The Grand Caymanian Resort is proud to announce the release of the final phase now under the management of a 4 star international hotel brand. Construction is well under way and completion is scheduled in the spring of 2009. The Grand Caymanian Resort promises a world-class vacation in one of the world's most beautiful destinations. The Grand Caymanian is perfectly located adjacent to the North Sound Club golf course with views out to Rum Point and the beautiful North Sound. Luxury, convenience and fun are the hallmarks of this award-winning resort. The 2 bed, 2 bath condos come fully furnished and enjoy excellent views. Phase Two is selling fast and owners will be offered participation in a managed rental program that will make the entire purchase worry free and effortless.

• Convenient, private boat dock with regular excursions to the world-famous Stingray City. • Featuring a 'figure 8' swimming pool with bridge, two large hot-tubs and huge sun deck • Massive free form beach entry pool with waterfalls • Blue Iguana Grill Restaurant & Bar • Floodlit tennis court • The North Sound Club,18-hole championship golf course • Business Centre facilities / Internet Access • Concierge services • One-stop water sports services located on the property for world-class scuba diving on the exotic North Wall,

1/4 ownership starting at $170,000 US and whole ownership starting at $595,000 US dollars. On island financing available. Now is the time to enquire. Contact us we have a range of exciting opportunities on offer.

snorkeling on beautiful reefs and deep-sea fishing. • Unequalled hospitality in the Caymanian tradition • Beach volleyball court • On-site kids club with organized children's events • Flat screen TVs • Beautifully appointed units • Owner's storage

1-345-743-9772 or toll free 1-888-264-1757 or visit

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The extrerior night view o Las Terrazas Villas and Condominiums.

Buying in Belize For rental and purchase opportunities in Belize, contact the following:

Grand Caribe Belize: 501.226.3737, Hopkins Bay: 877.456.7150 (sales), 800.456.7150 (rentals), Las Terrazas: 800.447.1553, Sunset Pointe: 904.471.3599, The Phoenix Belize: 877.822.5512, For more information on Ambergris Caye and a directory of realtors specializing in Belize, visit

scheduled for completion by the end of 2008. At press time, three condos were still available for sale, ranging in size from 1,800 to 2,200 square feet, and in price from $400,000 to $550,000. Each offers views of the Caribbean Sea from a private balcony, and use of the two pools, spa, fitness center and business center. An on-site management company offers the opportunity to place each unit in a rental pool. Another beautiful development on Ambergris Caye is Las Terrazas Villas and Condominiums, offering fully furnished one- to three-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,000 to 2,700 square feet. Each includes unlimited high-speed Internet access, a high-

efficiency air-conditioned system and a large open-air indoor/outdoor living space with private verandah offering ocean views. Each penthouse residence has a balcony with a private pool. The development, which sits on the largest private beachfront parcel of land, features a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa; a 70-foot infinity lap pool plus an additional infinity pool with swim-up bar; a Jacuzzi; an on-site boutique and gourmet shop, plus a rooftop garden. Prices start at about $275,000 for a onebedroom and around $380,000 for the three-bedroom units. One of the newest beachfront developments, Grand Caribe Belize, is located just a mile north of San Pedro

on 2.5 acres of land fronting 500 feet of white, crushed-coral sand. Upon completion in early spring, there will be a total of eight buildings constructed in a horseshoe shape to maximize sea views. Owners have access to one main and two “quiet” swimming pools. A marina located on the main pier will serve as the launching are a for transportation to town as well as diving, fishing and snorkeling excursions. The town is also accessible by road, and the installation of a new bridge allows for easy 24hour access. Available units range from about $400,000 to $600,000. “Belize is completely unspoiled,” says Crawford. “And if developed correctly, it can stay that way.”

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Investment opportunities... with carefree ownership.

Ownership opportunities in Grand Cayman starting at $329,000 u.s. dollars. If you are considering purchasing property for investment and want carefree ownership with great rental returns, please consider The Waterford Private Residence Club. The Waterford is Grand Cayman's latest 5 star luxury resort project. This exclusive boutique property offers every imaginable amenity and service for its owners and guests. The Waterford Private residence Club is ideally located in Safe Haven, overlooking Crystal Harbour, adjacent to the only 18-hole championship golf course in Grand Cayman. Construction has begun and, Phase Two luxury residences are now being offered with rental return options. Limited fractional ownership is still available in 2,000- 3,000sq ft luxury units. Shared ownership is available from $329,000 and whole ownership from $1.7 million U.S. dollars. With the many incentives for preconstruction purchase now is the time to enquire. Please call 743-9772 or stop by the Waterford showroom at Coconut plaza for a private tour.

luxury amenities 24-hour room service concierge services pre arrival grocery shopping on-site spa fine dining restaurant 2 oversized swimming pools golf and tennis club benefits VIP transfers to and from the airport access to a fleet of luxury automobiles private boats exceptional interior design by IDG Viking appliances state of the art audio/video WiFi complete business center owner storage units daily housekeeping service

1-345-743-9772 or toll free 1-888-264-1757 or visit

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Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Riveting Riviera Maya

Designer Kelly Wearstler has put her stylish stamp on the interiors of The Viceroy Mayakoba Hotel & Residences (exterior view, shown opposite).

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Responsible development takes center stage from Puerto Morelo down the coast to Tulum. By Scott Kauffman

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Featuring powdery white beaches and a pristine

landscape loaded with unspoiled flora, fauna and habitat, the Mayan Riviera (or Riviera Maya, as it is commonly called) is a study in contrast to Cancun, its densely developed neighbor just 19 miles to the north. ¶ Stretching from Puerto Morelos through Playa del Carmen all the way down the coast past the ancient Mayan town of Tulum, Riviera Maya is poised to attract a growing number of visitors and homeowners. Hotel room count is expected to expand from some 40,000 to an estimated 100,000 in the coming years, according to tourism officials, and a new international airport being planned near the Mayan ruins in Tulum should only fuel future growth. This is good news for those planning to purchase real estate at one of the new eco-conscious developments described below. Mayakoba

Encompassing 1,580 acres just a few miles north of Playa del Carmen, this massive master-planned resort community arguably put the Mayan Riviera on the map. Comprising five hotels on a mile-plus of oceanfront property, hundreds of million-dollar villas and the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon Golf Club (host to Mexico’s only PGA Tour event each year), this ambitious project is under the watchful eye of Madrid, Spain-based OHL, one of the largest construction companies in the world. After acquiring the property during the early 1990s, OHL sent a group of biologists to live on the land and

identify its characteristics, inhabitants and vulnerabilities. The goal was to earmark the areas that were best for development while preserving the many mangrove swamps so critical to the region’s eco-system. According to executives from OHL, the mission was to create a luxury project that would also be a luxury for the environment. Many of the major hoteliers involved in the project have certainly adopted that same guiding principle. For example, Banyan Tree, bestknown for its naturally elegant, Eastern-inspired properties throughout Asia, marks its foray into North America with Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

“Banyan Tree is all about the romance of travel, providing a sanctuary for the senses and a sense of place. As such, each of our destinations embodies that philosophy, and Banyan Tree Mayakoba is no exception,” says Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, Ltd. At press time, the mixed-use resort was slated for a soft opening in December with an official opening in Opposite, clockwise from top left, scenes from the Mandarin Oriental: clockwise from top left: outdoor hot tub, relaxing on the beach, suite interior and exterior, an art dome, the reflecting pool, outdoor spa treatment, the courtyard and the master bedroom.

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Buying in mexico For rental and purchase opportunities in riviera maya, contact the following:

Banyan Tree Mayakoba: 866.540.6512 www.banyantree Fairmont Mayakoba: 800.441.1414 Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya: 800.526.6566 rivieramaya Rosewood Mayakoba: 866.519.8769 Tres Rios: 800.224.4231 Viceroy Mayakoba Resorts & Residences: 800.473.0089

The beachside pool at the Rosewood Mayakoba. Opposite, the spa treatment room.

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February. Planned for just 132 total units, Banyan Tree features 50 one- to three-bedroom private villas and spacious residences for sale with prices from $1.2 million to $4.8 million. These secluded dwellings, shielded from the neighboring villas by lush flora and fauna, feature outdoor bathtubs and showers, as well as spacious sundecks and private pools adjacent to the sea, mangroves and manicured golf course fairways. Each of the Banyan Tree Residences is eligible for the resort’s rental program. Another oasis within Mayakoba is The Kor Group’s Viceroy Hotel and Residences. Scheduled to open in 2010, Viceroy occupies the largest beachfront parcel in Mayakoba and features a haven of 164 luxury residences and private villas woven amidst the Caribbean coastline, lush

lagoon waterways and the championship Norman course. Designed by renowned Mexican architecture firm Legorreta + Legorreta, Viceroy’s residential offering comprises 44 beachfront studios and multi-room residences, as well as 120 lagoon studios. Each residence is fully furnished with signature interiors by renowned designer Kelly Wearstler and includes a private patio with an infinity-edge pool, premium appliances and floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, canals, tropical reserve and golf course. Prices range from $860,000 for the Lagoon units to just under $1 million for the oceanfront homes. The fivebedroom Celebrity Suite is priced at $8.2 million. For those who would like to sample the surroundings of Mayakoba be-

fore purchasing real estate, luxurious vacations are on offer at Rosewood Mayakoba. Built along serene lagoons and the Caribbean Sea, the resort offers 128 suites that mix modern design with indigenous materials such as limestone, wood and water. Upon arrival, guests are transported by luxury boats or golf cart to their own personal sanctuary. Nearby, The Fairmont Mayakoba offers 401 elegant rooms spread among a traditional low-rise hotel building and clustered throughout the property in two-story casitas with two to four rooms each. Amazing views can be had from the 34 beachfront and lagoon suites, and the treetop treatment areas at the hotel’s Willow Stream Spa are not to be missed. For the ultimate in relaxation, enjoy the Riviera Maya at the new Mandarin Oriental, which claims to offer “A taste

Photograph, courtesy of Mayakoba, Mexico

At Rosewood Mayakoba, guests are transported to their suites by private boat.

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7013 South Tamiami Trail Sarasota, Florida 34231 941 923 2400 | AAC 002212

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of Mexico, a touch of Asia and total luxury.” In addition to the bi-level and bungalow-style villas set among winding paths and waterways, the hotel offers 20 rooms adjacent to the 25,000-squarefoot Spa; beachfront casitas with private pools; and a 2,600-square-foot Presidential Villa, which is serviced by a personal butler and chef.

Championship golf is a major selling point for the Mayakoba area, as are the beautiful beaches.

Another ambitious five-star, eco-sensitive resort community, Tres Rios is located just north of Playa del Carmen and a few miles from the neighboring island of Cozumel. One of the world’s premier diving and snorkeling destinations, Cozumel was first made famous by Jacques Cousteau for its warm currents and coral reefs that support a breathtaking array of marine life. Spearheaded by some of the principals involved in the original development of Cancun, Tres Rios is currently the only resort on the Yucatan Peninsula that features three rivers naturally flowing through its property rather than manmade channels. The 400-acre, master-planned community also has 10 cenotes (freshwater springs), considered by the ancient Mayans to be entrances to the underworld. Additional selling points of the setting include a one-mile stretch of beach and three distinct ecosystems: lush jungles, mangrove forests and coastal dunes. According to Orlando Arroyo, the community’s Chief Executive, Tres Rios is positioning itself to be a unique international destination and a model for environmentally sustainable tourism. Following the fall opening of the area’s first hotel, the Hacienda Tres Rios, the area will see development of 40 wholly owned, estate-size homes priced from $6 million to $12 million. At full build-out, Arroyo expects Tres Rios to comprise up to five hotels with 1,700 suites, fractional ownership units, a world-class marina, spa and other fivestar, resort-style amenities.

Photographs, courtesy of Mayakoba, Mexico

Tres Rios

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The Four Seasons Mauritius is building 46 private homes with stylish interiors and plenty of outdoor living space.

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Home Sweet Hotel Luxury hotel-branded residences are popping up in exotic locales all around the world. By Stacy H. Small

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hy buy luxury real estate branded with the flag of a well-known, high-end hotel company? For one, buyers can literally “check in” to their hotel-branded residence and stay as long as they like. Not to mention, the hotel company manages the property, alleviating many of the traditional stresses a new homeowner would endure, especially when the home happens to be in a far-away locale. The hotel-branded residence trend is hardly new, as hotels have been managing properties bearing their moniker in big cities for years. Now, however, the trend has spread across the world, with hotel-managed residences popping up everywhere from Tahiti to Thailand, Mauritius to the Philippines. And of course, the biggest benefit comes in the form of having access to all of the hotel’s or resort’s facilities, wherever it may be in the world. Resort services and amenities enjoyed by homeowners on hotel grounds include, but are not limited to, daily maid service, a full-time concierge, room

service, 24-hour valet, access to a spa/fitness center, resort dining privileges, child care and personal chefs, plus use of a business center, private beach club, pool cabanas, tennis, water sports and, in some cases, private docks or a full-fledged marina. Today, hotel-branded private residences come in many styles and sizes. From luxury apartments in Miami to the private estate homes currently under construction at Jumby Bay in Antigua, on a private motu in Bora Bora and in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there is no escaping the reality that luxury hotel-branded residences are here to stay. “Hotel-branded real estate is a good investment for those who enjoy the luxury hotel lifestyle and the five-star amenities expected at a top luxury hotel,” says Jim Butler, chairman of the Los Angeles-based Global Hospitality Group. However, he says, such amenities and the five-star lifestyle do not come cheap. “When a real estate project is attached to the brand of a five-star hotel, one can expect to pay a premium to be able to say that they live at a Four Seasons [or a Ritz-Carlton or a Rosewood for that matter].” Says Robert Falor, owner of The Falor Group, which developed The Tides and The Mayfair in Miami: “When you think

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Soneva Kiri, a Six Senses Resort on Koh Kood, Thailand, features 36 residences with interiors, exteriors and views as shown, this page and left. Six Senses Resorts & Spas, located on Koh Kood, Thailand. From left: residence exterior, master bedroom, master pool, TV lounge, dining room, view from master bedroom, and pool deck.

about hotels, they emulate the lifestyle of their target consumer. We live and sleep in our homes, but when we travel, we find ourselves in a ‘temporary’ home. Whenever possible, we would like this temporary home to emulate our lifestyle— or the one we aspire to have. This is what hotel-branded real estate is all about and why it’s in such high demand.” Below are details on some of the hottest new projects offering wholly owned, hotel-branded private residences. Many hotel-managed properties also offer “fractional units” or membership/ownership in a hotel-branded Residence Club, enabling buyers to use their “home” for a pre-determined number of days annually while often putting it into a hotel rental pool for the balance of the year. In other words, this is the modern-day version of the timeshare concept, which works well for those not quite seeking a permanent hotelbranded residence. But for those who are, here are some ideas on where to buy your next five-star property: Four Seasons Private Residences Bora Bora Bora Bora, Tahiti

Fully managed and serviced by Four Seasons, the 15 Private Residences on Bora Bora represent one of the most exclu-

sive residential opportunities in the world. Providing either lagoon or Pacific Ocean frontage, the home sites range from a half-acre to 1.25 acres. Buyers may choose from a portfolio of existing designs ranging from 4,000 square feet to 11,500 square feet or create their own personal vision of paradise. The private residences are located far enough away from the hotel’s 100 over-water guest bungalows to be discreetly located in their own dedicated section of the resort. Owners have á la carte access to resort facilities and services, including snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis and lagoon tours. Families will enjoy the youth program (for youngsters and teens), and all residents have access to the waterview fitness center, Zen-inspired spa and two on-site restaurants. Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita Anahita, Mauritius

Often referred to as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius sits in the southern hemisphere, at the crossroads of European, African and Asian culture. The Four Seasons Private Residences, located within the Resort at Anahita—a secluded sanctuary on the island’s east coast—will comprise 46 two- to

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six-bedroom private homes upon completion. The architectural design of each villa blends traditional Mauritian and modern minimalist styles, while the interior design is a delicate blend of the traditional and the modern, creating an atmosphere of absolute serenity. Natural hues adorn the walls, windows and furnishings, appointed occasionally with a splash of color. “We worked obsessively to form a closer, more organic bond between architecture and nature, breaking down barriers between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’,” says Fiona Thompson, a designer with Richmond International Design. On-site, residents will enjoy a choice of four restaurants, an Ayurvedic-inspired spa and three beaches adjacent to the lagoon. Raffles Estates Praslin Praslin Island, Seychelles

Located on the second-biggest island in the 115 island archipelago knows as the Seychelles, in the middle of the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, Raffles is building 23 fullyfurnished villas adjacent to its soon-to-be constructed Raffles Seychelles Resort. Villa owners will enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean, VIP greeting at the airport and golf-cart transportation within the resort, including to its Raffles AmritaSpa and private beach club. Residences are priced from $3.15 million to $6.3 million. The Praslin project is one of three being developed by Raffles in partnership with Kingdom Hotel Investments, one of the world’s leading hotel and resort developers. The project team also has its sights set on Raffles-branded residential projects in China Beach, Vietnam and Manila, Phillipines. Soneva Kiri Koh Kood, Thailand

Located on Koh Kood, Thailand’s fourth-largest island, Six Senses Resorts & Spas (the luxury developer behind

private residence vs. fractional ownership While many luxury hotels do offer both options, it is essential to determine which one works better for you. A hotel-branded residence is real estate that is purchased outright, and for the exclusive use of the owner (unless separate arrangements are made with the hotel to put it in the rental pool). Owners have access to all resort facilities, and often, additional exclusive facilities reserved just for them. Fractional ownership is just that: part-time ownership of a hotel-branded accommodation (be it a suite, villa or home). You pay a fixed fee for use of the property and access to resort services for a pre-determined number of days annually. —S.H.S.

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Each private residence at Soneva Kiri offers plenty of indoor/outdoor space and its own private pool.

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Interiors of the Four Seasons Mauritius feature natural hues and textures and subtle splashes of color that mirror the lush island setting.

the world-renowned Soneva Gili and Soneva Fushi resorts) is developing its latest project, Soneva Kiri. The new resort features a residential component in the form of 36 spacious pool villas. Each of the four- to six-bedroom homes sits on up to two acres to ensure privacy, and ranges in size up to 8,300 square feet. Each is located either beachfront or on a hillside, and comes with a personal butler and access to all resort amenities. Properties range from $4.5 million to $7.5 million. Amanpulo Villas Pamalican, The Philippines

Even Aman Resorts, known for its ultra-luxury properties across Asia and beyond, is getting into the residential game with Amanpulo Villas, adjacent to the Amanpulo (translated as “peaceful island”) Resort. Located on a private island called Pamalican in the Philippines, Amanpulo is known for its powder-white beaches, clear turquoise-azure-indigo seas, and a multi-colored coral reef only 1,000 feet from

the shore. Construction is underway on the first seven of 12 villas, designed in the same architectural style of the stunning resort. Owners do have the opportunity to work with the architect to shape a home that best suits their individual styles. Boasting an average size of 16,000 square feet spread over nine freestanding pavilions with 165 feet of beach frontage, each villa is priced from $3 million to $7 million. Rosewood Residences at Costa Carmel Costa Carmel, Costa Rica

Set for completion in 2010, the Rosewood Residences at Costa Carmel will be as inspirational as the landscape. Elegant, refined and unobtrusive, the property’s “village-by-the-sea” style will utilize native materials that integrate naturally into the environment. Homeowners will be able to choose from a variety of Luxury Villas, Casitas and Casonas that feature spacious verandahs, walled garden courtyards, exotic water features and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. In

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OceanHome-Arcways Nov08


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Arcways legendary stairways grace the most beautiful homes around the world. Our stairways, known for their originality and beauty, are crafted by hand to the most precise standardsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; perfectly suited for the unique challenges of fine yacht building. For this yacht, we achieved the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision by working closely with the designer, applying the meticulous standards we use for everything we create. So, whether your home has a spectacular view of the ocean or is part of the ocean view, Arcways is the choice. For inquiries and to view our gallery of fine stairways, visit us at

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Ritz-Carlton offers private branded residences at its luxury resorts in Maui (left and above) and at the Aboco Club (bottom right).

addition, 1.5 acre Estate Lots will be offered along the hillside overlooking the beach and the forested Zapotal Valley. Homeowners will enjoy exciting opportunities to explore the eco-system through the guided sight seeing tours and outdoor activities. From hiking through lush forests and kayaking winding rivers to snorkeling, bicycling and rock-climbing, these activities and more can be planned through the resort’s dedicated Adventure Center. Additionally, the property will feature a 12,500-square-foot spa with 15 treatment rooms. The Ritz-Carlton Residences Locations worldwide

As with many of the luxury hotel companies that offer branded residences, Ritz-Carlton offers a number of opportunities in unique destinations worldwide (Los Cabos, Mexico; Cap Cana, Dominican Republic; and Molasses Reef, Turks and Caicos are all under development at presstime). At The Abaco Club on Winding Bay—just 170 miles east of

Florida on Great Abaco Island—custom home sites offering 200-plus feet of beach, ocean or golf course frontage are now available, as are privately owned villas that are appointed with private verandahs, outdoor furniture and grills, bamboo floors and vaulted ceilings. All homeowners enjoy membership privileges at The Abaco Golf Club, access to the spa/fitness center, an equestrian center, and full-service beach club. If Hawaii is more your style, check out The RitzCarlton Residences at Kapalua Bay, a collection of upscale, island-influenced, three- and four-bedroom homes with panoramic ocean and Maui sunset views. The homes range in size from 3,000 to 4,200 square feet and feature media rooms, private lanais, gourmet kitchens, designer baths and high-tech entertainment systems. Owners enjoy membership in the Kapalua Club (including tee time privileges at the resort’s famed Plantation and Bay Golf Courses), priority access to the 25,000-square-foot Kapalua Spa, and membership to the Kapalua Beach Club with its Oceanside bar and watersports.

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Spas by the Sea The healing power of water blends with the beauty of the ocean at these top spas worldwide. By Stacy H. Small

Treatment tray with candles at Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City. Opposite, Casa Dorada in Los Cabos, home to the Saltwater Spa. 72 | | january/february 2009

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The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The RitzCarlton, Laguna Niguel. Clockwise from top left: a spa treatment room, the Four Foot Ashiatsu treatment, the spa front entrance, a couplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; room, spa vanity, and the relaxation lounge.

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With all of the turmoil in the world, what better way to soothe the soul than with time at a spa? Make that an oceanfront spa if you truly want to relax. The curative powers of the sea are no secret, which may explain why the best spas are located at or just steps from the beach. In addition, many of the best waterfront spas feature treatments that incorporate ingredients straight from the sea. Below, our picks on the best spas to visit for seaside stress relief. Venus Spa at CuisinArt Resort & Spa, Anguilla

The new 27,000-square-foot, Greek-style Venus Spa at CuisinArt Resort & Spa features 16 new treatment rooms (including couples’ suites with private terraces), an expansive fitness center featuring private Pilates and Yoga rooms, an oceanfront relaxation room, traditional Hamans with ceiling rain showers, outdoor showers, an authentic Japanese rooftop restaurant and an Aqua Therapy Pool. The first of its kind in the Caribbean, this mineral-enriched, salt water pool with known healing powers features built-in lounges and soothing hydrotherapy jets. Signature in-water treatments include the Aqua Massage and Aqua Reflexology, which is a version of these traditional treatments translated into the medium of water. Spa treatments are inspired by the fresh organic fruits and vegetables grown at the on-site hydroponic farm. www. Saltwater Spa at Casa Dorado Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Casa Dorada’s Saltwater Spa, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, celebrating its first anniversary in February, is both soothing in style and Zen in its design. Featuring a distinctive Eastmeets-West ambience, the intimate 7,000-square-foot spa has water, water everywhere. Relaxation is made easy thanks to the waterfall, swimming pool, Japanese-style bridge, skylighted ceiling, and cold-water plunge pools. Complementing a full menu of facials, massages, exfoliations, manicures and pedicures is a saltwater foot treatment called Niparaja Ritual.

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The pool at the Saltwater Spa. Opposite, The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod. Clockwise from top left: a spa suite, the spa tents, a suite, and the pool.

Included with each treatment, the ritual integrates Couleur de Vie oil, aromatherapy, mineral spring water and salt water. Guests can choose to enjoy their services in one of the 10 treatment rooms, en suite or al fresco, with a view of the famous Medano Beach on which the resort and its stunning new spa sit. Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City, New Jersey

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the new Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City (modeled after the renowned Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas), features lavish Roman Baths, 14 treatment studios and a range of treatments, including Chakra Balancing and Crystal Body Art. The ultimate in relaxation is the spa’s $5,000 signature treatment, Dieci Mani (translation: 10 hands). The experience features the healing touch of 10 hands at once and includes an indulgent Roman bath ritual, the cascading waterfall of the Vichy showers, a facial and massage, and a designer gift bag filled with spa products valued at over $1,000. Spa-goers should request a room in the hotel’s newly refurbished 680-room Centurion Tower.

Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, Miami, Florida

The newest addition to the Canyon Ranch family, Canyon Ranch Miami Beach is the nation’s first residential hotel fully dedicated to health and wellness. With a 70,000-square-foot wellness spa, Canyon Ranch also features 750 linear feet of beachfront; oceanfront restaurants serving healthy and delicious cuisine; and Aquavana, the first European thermal spa facility in the United States with a Finnish sauna, hydro spa, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, ice igloo, reflexology basins, heated lounges and experiential shower-cabins. The spa features 54 treatment rooms designed by David Rockwell and such signature Canyon Ranch body treatments as therapeutic massages; mud, salt, aromatherapy, seaweed and Ayurvedic treatments; facials; full-body cocoons and scrubs. The fitness facility offers breathtaking ocean views from its weighttraining area, rock climbing wall, Pilates, yoga and aerobics studios. Sand & Sea Spa at Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, South Carolina

Just steps from the beach, the recently redone Sand & Sea Spa

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The Roman baths at Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City, and the entry to the rooftop spa lounge.

Village at Wild Dunes now features seven treatment rooms, the most popular of which is the Couples Room. Known for its indulgent massages, Sand & Sea offers a menu of services influenced by the unique beachfront resort itself. For example, an innovative Express Menu was created specifically for guests who want to get in and out quickly so they can hit the beach. For others, there are specialty treatments influenced by Southern traditions such as the Fried Green Tomato Facial for guests with sunburn or rosacea. The spa also works with the resort to create special packages such as the Putt-N-Pamper, which combines rounds of golf on Wild Dunes’ nationally award-winning courses with 50-minute massages and a Burt’s Bees gift basket. The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Niguel, California

At this recently renovated oceanfront spa, all 12 treatment rooms are bathed in soft hues of aqua and beige, including an oversized treatment room that is perfect for couples’ massages or bridal parties. Two garden spa cabanas, located on the bluff above the beach, are also available for guests who wish to take their spa treatments outdoors to enjoy the sound of the crashing waves below. A highlight of the spa menu is the Four Foot

Ashiatsu, a massage treatment designed in-house and available exclusively at The Ritz-Carlton Spa. Two therapists apply pressure simultaneously, using their feet while supporting themselves on wooden bars above the guest. The spa also features an oceanview fitness room, and an outdoor gazebo hosts early-morning yoga and Pilates classes. The resort’s concierge can also organize hikes up and down the oceanfront bluff for the fitness-inclined. Six Senses Spa Phuket, Naka Yai, Thailand

Sitting on a private island just 10 minutes by boat from Phuket, this Six Senses destination spa features not one, but four, integrated spa concepts: Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, and Thai. Additionally, there are 68 pool villas, and a wide range of health/fitness offerings including kinesis functional training, physiotherapy, two gyms (one located in the jungle), meditation on a small islet, beach boot camp sessions, and a lap pool. Guests will enjoy healthy cuisine, which consists of local seafood, organically grown produce, and tradtional herbs and spices reflective of the Asian locale. The interactive earth kitchen offers relaxation, while a raw food restaurant with views of Phang Bay resides at the tip of the peninsula. Healthful-cooking classes are also offered.

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The seaside retreat and treatment room at the Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon Resort.

The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Sitting on 25 acres overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Plymouth Bay, Chatham Bars Inn features a new $25 million spa with six wet and dry treatment rooms (including a Vichy shower room); an outdoor treatment area with private cabanas for massages surrounded by Japanese Zen Gardens; and an outdoor heated hydrotherapy pool and hot tub. Many of the treatments are a tribute to Cape Cod and its natural beauty. The “Cranberry Crush” body scrub utilizes cranberries harvested right on Cape Cod (the country’s largest producer of cranberries), while the signature “CBI Massage” utilizes seashells and beach stones from the ocean, just steps away. The Spa also includes its own dedicated accommodations. These 600-square-foot, luxury Spa Suites feature oversized hydrotherapy tubs (with water that cascades from the ceiling), saunas, steam showers built for two, plasma TVs and fireplaces. Each room is equipped with built-in massage tables so guests can receive in-room spa treatments. To ensure a maximum level of relaxation, the Spa and accompanying Spa Suites are the one area of Chatham Bars Inn where children are not allowed.

Formerly the resort’s signature Fern Tree House Villa, the new Fern Tree Spa is a 68,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor sanctuary for the mind and body. Drawing inspiration from the lush, local landscape and centuries-old healing tradition, the spa melds modern-day techniques with Jamaica’s ancient herbal, fruit and botanical healing remedies. Fern Tree also houses a relaxation lounge, yoga pavilion, hydrotherapy swimming pool, sculpture garden and several water features. Built as part of the Fern Tree complex, Half Moon features six signature beachfront spa suites. Each state-ofthe-art suite has added amenities for in-room treatments, such as yoga, which allows for the further extension of Fern Tree’s wellness experience into guests’ private accommodations. The newest addition to the impressive spa, designed to draw upon the natural healing qualities of the ocean, are the new seaside beach cabanas, which create a truly complete aquatic experience for the guest. Within the cabanas, guests can enjoy marine-based massages, masks, baths and scrubs that incorporate genuine ocean water, algae, sponges, salt and stones.

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Sanctuary Bay Resort living in a natural paradise. By Melissa C. Gillespie photographs by tony rath


magine pristine landscape nestled between clear blue waters, world-renowned reefs and emerald rainforests. Mix in five eco-friendly resorts, a marina and yacht club, equestrian center and a custom-built home, and you have arrived in the tropical paradise of Sanctuary Bay in Belize. Ideally located in southern Belize’s lush Stann Creek District, Sanctuary Bay sits on the coast of the Caribbean Sea and is surrounded by the 14,000-acre Sittee River Wildlife Reserve, which borders the 120,000-acre Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary—home to the world’s only jaguar reserve. Ownership in Sanctuary Bay, a true nature-lover’s paradise, brings you steps from historical Mayan ruins, hundreds of species of birds, breathtaking waterfalls and some the best diving in the world. Moreover, Sanctuary Bay is a rare example of a progressive, environmentally forward development designed for and by people who are passionate about preserving the areas they inhabit. Sanctuary Bay land developer and lifetime Belizean John Usher adds: “Our mission is to preserve this piece of paradise by building high-quality resort living while leaving behind a minimal environmental footprint. As such, we chose to develop only a small fraction of the 14,000 acres, and leave six-and-a-half of the seven miles of coastline untouched.” Sanctuary Bay is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, retirees, second homeowners and anyone in search of a safe investment with tremendous appreciation potential. Ranging from a half-acre to 10 acres, lots are available in a wide selection of locations – close to beaches, rivers, rainforest or waterfalls— for as little as $99,000 to over $1 million. Property owners may choose from one of Sanctuary Bay’s home designs—ranging from 1,500 square feet to over 5,000 square feet—or use their own architects. Additionally, all owners will be granted membership in the Sittee Wildlife Reserve—which gives them access to 14,000 acres of land for the price of one. Community amenities are abundant at Sanctuary Bay and include gated entry, a private airstrip, luxury spas dispersed throughout the development at the on-site resorts, a marina, shopping center and yacht club, numerous nature trails, full-time maintenance and security and an equestrian center complete with miles of bridle paths, horse stables and land reserved for a future polo field.

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Soak up the sights and sounds in and around Sanctuary Bay. Clockwise from top left: scuba diving, horseback riding, Mayan ruins, the Belize festival, crystal blue waters and white beaches, and jaguars in the Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sanctuary Bay owners will also enjoy full access to Sanctuary Island, a private five-acre caye (island) just a short boat ride away from the Yacht Club and Marina. Here one can enjoy relaxing on the sandy beaches or at the resort’s bar, snorkeling along the reefs or swimming with whale sharks. Residents will also be able to spend the night at one of the cabanas—experiencing the perfect island escape just minutes from home. Back on the mainland, four additional resorts are planned throughout the property. Designed around their particular ecosystems, plans include a boutique beach hotel complete with a beach club and bungalows for guests and a luxurious river lodge—the ideal retreat for fishing and horse enthusiasts. For a more secluded resort experience, Sanctuary Bay will offer a handful of first-class accommodations in the heart of the rainforest at its jungle lodge, as well as a collection of luxury tents amid the savannah—perfect for up-close glimpses of Belize’s wildlife. “You can travel the globe over, but nowhere else will you find a community that offers the array of modern amenities, features and opportunities in such an exquisite and naturallypreserved setting—for so little investment,” Usher says. For those interested in calling this beautiful environment home, Sanctuary Bay is currently under development and accepting deposits.

For More Details

Sanctuary Bay USA: 949.553.0010 Belize: 501 .520.7565

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Emerald Palms, South Andros: The Other Bahamas Where Nature meets Luxury & The Best Deal in Resort Real Estate is About to Be Discovered by Diane Phillips On a recent afternoon across the bridge from Nassau on what has become the beach blanket of The Bahamas, a sight unfolded that looked like footage for a story on tourism thriving in the face of economic uncertainty. Dozens of bathing suit clad bodies, each one better conditioned and more sunblock-protected than the next, covered the Paradise Island sand, stretched out on chairs and towels, soaking up the sun, watching children play by the shore. It was mass market vacation at its peak and for many, that peak is perfection. Dozens of restaurants, casino, luxury shopping, all the amenities of a bustling resort. It was, in fact, what most people picture when they hear the word Bahamas. But there is another Bahamas, the tranquil, serene, kick-back and leave-the-world behind Bahamas of the Family Islands. And nowhere is that Family Island ease easier to get to or harder to leave than in South Andros at a hidden gem called Emerald Palms.

Snorkeling photograph by Christopher Hartley

Located about 45 miles southwest of Nassau, and accessible by air from either Fort Lauderdale, Florida several times a week or through Nassau with daily flights, Emerald Palms is both boutique resort and real estate potential. As a resort, it’s where nature meets luxury. As real estate, Emerald Palms is quite possibly the best find in beachfront in all The Bahamas. The story of how it came to be borders on classic serendipity. The short version is that a European-born entrepreneur who had fallen in love with Emerald Palms when it was little more than a seaside small hotel spent millions to re-invent the property. He refurbished and refurnished 18 clubhouse rooms and built 22 free-standing villas, each finished with the finest touches, oversized mahogany and glass doors, Scandinavian woodwork, marble floors, six-person Swedish spas in alcoves off the living room. No expense was spared and the hotelier best known for high end property elsewhere in The Bahamas was

turning Emerald Palms into the crowning gem in a nature lovers’ niche market when he died. Meantime, a couple from Canada who had also fallen in love with The Bahamas and had invested before in the island nation were concluding their purchase of 31 adjacent acres. When the hotel became available, packaging the two made all the sense in the world. That was just months ago. And today Emerald Palms (, click on real estate banner, top left for a preview of what’s available for sale) is more than a fisherman’s, diver’s, nature lovers, honeymooners or getaway retreat. It’s a treasure of a condo hotel where the purchaser can enjoy outright ownership of a fully-furnished villa for as little as $285,000, use it for up to 90 days a year and when not in residence, split the revenue it generates with the management company that markets and maintains the hotel property. It’s no-hassle vacation elation, owning a villa where you can play when you want, stay when you wish and earn money when you’re away. Says Rashna Cussen, one of the owners, “it’s the definition of a win-win situation.” And realtors agree, one of them admitting, “We actually believe it is underpriced and we’ll see prices increase before the end of the year.” One-bedroom villas are 780 square feet, two-bedroom are 810, both have kitchens, dining table, pedestal beds and because they are part of a condo hotel, property tax E-mail: reservations@ Tel: 242-369-2713 or 242-369-2714 Fax: 242-369-2711

is forgiven. The most expensive is $550,000, a price that qualifies the buyer for accelerated consideration of residency in The Bahamas where there are no corporate taxes, no income tax, no capital gains tax and no estate taxes. While it is tempting to focus on the value of Emerald Palms as real estate investment, as a resort, it’s in a class by itself because of its location. The world’s third largest barrier reef—and its very healthiest— lies off the coast of Andros, the largest of all the Bahamian islands. The island and its surrounding waters, mangrove swamps, inland bays, cuts and meandering waters are ideal for bone-fishing. Nearby the resort there’s excellent deep sea fishing and while there is no commercial marina, there is a place near the resort to tie up a boat and Emerald Palms has a boat captain on call whose knowledge of the waters and his enthusiasm about the wonders of Andros is contagious. For experienced divers, the caves and blue holes of Andros are world-famous and for those who prefer snorkeling, reefs teeming with tropical fish, sea fans and coral abound. Or you can just walk along miles of undiscovered beachfront with land dotted by coconut palms and choose the site where you want to build a second home.



MARSH HARBOUR, ABACO, BAHAMAS. This spectacular tropical

estate is one of the finest and most unique properties in all of the Bahamas. “The Very Best in Island Living.” The estate is situated on beautifully landscaped and gated grounds overlooking the Harbour where the view and sunsets are breathtaking. The estate offers every amenity expected of a true luxury residence. Villa Tatutina is comprised of 12 structures, sleeping 14, perfect for family gatherings or corporate retreats. The 140 ft dock with a 72 ft T is a great place to sip cocktails while watching the dolphins play. Included with this property are all Contact: Carolyn Hatfield • 305-778-5218 Kayce Driscoll • 305-401-6100 •

furnishings, 2 boats and 2 Waverunners. Enjoy the biggest luxury of all, privacy. Sanctuary to spark the soul—the essence of gracious living. Price upon request.

For sale by owner. Not responsible for errors and omissions.

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MAJESTIC OCEANFRONT ESTATE Lushly adorned with tropical landscaping and gloriously positioned on a private beach along the Atlantic, this magnificent oceanfront estate boasts more than 14,500 square feet and lies within North Palm Beach’s most exclusive golf community. Exquisite detail abounds this spectacular home and offers the perfect blend of classic elegance, coupled with “Old World” charm. Ensuring the utmost privacy, a regal drive leads to a welcoming porte cochere that opens to the home’s tranquil courtyard and gardens. Presenting panoramic ocean vistas, the awe-inspiring living room is adorned with 20’ soaring ceilings and an antique bar imported from England. A luxurious dining room, a billiards room and


...the perfect blend of classic elegance, coupled with “Old World” charm.”


a handsome cherrywood library provide the ideal setting for formal entertaining as well as comfortable family living. The custom gourmet kitchen is delightfully appointed with a center island and a breakfast bardining area. Adjacent to the kitchen, the family room offers a poolside lanai with enchanting views of the Atlantic. This exceptional estate features six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and one powder bath. The master suite offers a private terrace, his and her dressing areas and his and her en suite baths. Beautifully designed and impeccably maintained, this home is one of the most desirable properties in a community of tradition, sport, peace and security.

Contact Cam Kirkwood 561-714-6589

Price upon request, please contact us for a private showing or Tour our Properties at


2725 PGA Boulevard • Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 561.626.2202 • fax 561.776.4433 EALTY

Exclusively Representing Lost Tree Village

Untitled-11 1 80107 LTR Ocean Home_Nov_Dec 2001 1

Notice all measurements are approximate, the accuracy of the information is subject to errors, omissions and changes

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St Barths

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Boutique Garden Hotel intimate,refined ambiance, walk to the beach Central locations

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Normandie Hotel

Many amenities

“The best source for information on rental villas in Jamaica is Villas by Linda Smith.” Condé Nast Traveler 2007, 2008

This beautifully designed, 60 gallon, self-contained aquarium features a hand-crafted wood cabinet, complete with an authentically detailed coral reef sculpture, an advanced 700gph, 3 stage wet-dry filtration, steel support frame and lighting unit. Just add water . . . and fish, of course!

Jamaica Villas by Linda Smith

Approximate Dimensions: 30” long x 30” wide x 78” high Retail $5,900.00

Once you’ve stayed in one of Linda’s private villas, you’ll never go back to another vacation style again! Impressive collection of exclusive homes featuring: • Private Pools • Fulltime Staff (Chefs, Butlers, Maids, Laundresses) • Golf, Tennis, Water Sports, Beaches • Favorite Destination for Family Reunions… Children Welcome!

Creative Design Group 3201 SW 15th Street Deerfield Beach, Florida 33442 Phone: 954 360-0909 x226 Fax: 954 360-0034

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Ta n W h i l e Yo u S h o w e r


Carib bea V illa n s

Casa de Campo Villas

Dominican Republic

Our company showcases some of the most outstanding villas available for Sale or Rent at Casa de Campo Resort. Our impressive collection of villas range from 2,400 sq ft to an impressive 43,000 sq ft. We have many styles and conďŹ gurations at various price levels.

The ProSun Sunshower brings the spa to you. With this built in system, you can add tanning or skin rejuvenation to your daily shower. Look great and harmonize your body and soul without any extra effort. â&#x20AC;˘ 1-800-874-2776

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Pictured above: THE Premier Casa de Campo rental property on over 2 acres. This fully air-conditioned 10 bedroom villa was built with outstanding architectural design combining a Classic Romanesque style with wide open living areas, dramatic fountains and expansive outdoor areas that can accommodate a large gathering of up to 500 people. Perfect for Corporate Retreats, Weddings or large Family Reunions. See website for additional information.

Contact: Brian Brinkers Owner / Agent Casa de Campo Resort

Boston, MA (978) 535-6600

11/24/08 1:29:00 PM


coastal happenings

from sporting events to boat shows, here’s what is happening this new year By Melissa C. Gillespie + Jennifer Banville

21st ANNUAL San Diego Boat Show JANUARY 8 – JANUARY 11 San Diego, Calif. San Diego Convention Center: Come for the boats and gear, stay for the fun, including free sailboat rides, Take Me Fishing Center, Kids’ Area, and tons of giveaways. Ocean Home-sponsored event, visit our booth. www.sandiego SUPERBOWL XLIII FEBRUARY 1 Tampa Bay, Fla. The NFL’s top two teams go head to head at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium. Events start more than a week before the big game. www.tampabay

29th ANNUAL NORTH CAROLINA JAZZ FESTIVAL February 5 – February 7 Wilmington, N.C. Presented in partnership with the Cape Fear Jazz Society, this three-day festival kicks it off with Lionel, Red, and Bunny—A Tribute to Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, and Bunny Berigan. qNAPLES WINTER WINE FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 6-8 Naples, Fla. The Naples Winter Wine Festival, hosted by trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, is renowned for the participation of top U.S. chefs and vintners from around the world. Millions of dollars are raised

Bulldog Beauty Contest

through bids on live auction items ranging from luxury cars to especially rare wines to walk-on parts on top TV shows. www.napleswine AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am FEBRUARY 9 - 15, 2009 Monterey Bay, Calif. Celebrity amateurs participate in a charity tournament with golf’s best professionals at Pebble Beach Golf Course. Past celebrities at the event include Emmitt Smith, Bill Murray, Donald Trump, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Lusitano Collection Auction

YACHT and BROKERAGE SHOW FEBRUARY 12-16 Miami Beach, Fla. A multi-million dollar presentation of yachts, this annual showcase includes the world’s most extraordinary super yachts from the foremost custom boat builders. OceanHome-sponsored event, visit our booth. www. e4th Annual BULLDOG BEAUTY CONTEST presented by Haute Dogs FEBRUARY 14 Long Beach, Calif. More than 350 French and English bulldogs are expected to travel to this 4th annual event to benefit the non-profit Community Action Team.

Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Festival

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Naples Winter Wine Festival

Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational FEBRUARY 16-23 Maui, Hawaii Watch from the sidelines as 25 of the finest plein air painters from Hawaii and the mainland paint everything from the beaches to the plantation houses and town scenes. www.bestplaces tThe 2nd Annual Lusitano Collection Auction February 19-20 Wellington, Fla. Enjoy lavish cocktails and a gala dinner, courtesy of The Lusitano Collection. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the American Cancer Society and the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. tSanta Cruz Clam Chowder Festival February 21 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk At this beachside challenge, culinary teams compete to

determine who cooks up the best Manhattan- and New England-style clam chowders. Visitors can watch and taste, and cast their vote for winner of the People’s Choice. www.beachboard Flight to Freedom FEBRUARY 21 St. Augustine, Fla. Experience the story of the first legally sanctioned black settlement in what is now the United States. Firstperson interpreters tell and re-enact the saga of the first Underground Railroad. 904.823.2232 3rd Annual Friendship Cup FEBRUARY 26-March 1 Kiawah Island, S.C. This two-man tournament for amateur players is sponsored by Bobby Jones at the world-famous Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort (site of the 2012 PGA Championships).

Lux at Night

Home, Condo, and Garden Show and Arts and Craft Fair MARCH 14-16 Ocean City, Md. Held at the city’s convention center, this show features newly launched products and is a great place for ideas for decorating, remodeling, building, or enhancing your home. 9Lux At Night March 18 Southern California Enjoy an evening of cocktails, artworks of coastal California

scenery at the Lux Art Institute, Southern California’s interactive art destination in Encinitas. www.luxart National Association of Realtors Luxury and Second Home Event MARCH 29-31 Naples, Fla. This is a unique opportunity for realtors to connect with other successful luxury real estate specialists from around the world. OceanHomesponsoredevent, visit our booth.

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The stunning coastline view from one of the many Bajan villas listed by Altman Real Estate.

All About Altman Barbados has this family’s name all over it. By Teri Borseti

luxury realtor paul Altman’s family has called Barbados home since the 1930s. Today, Altman— managing director of Altman Real Estate for the past 30 years—makes a living helping others find their own place to live (or vacation) in his beloved island nation. But, it is not just actual property that Altman sells. Rather, he specializes in the sale of Barbados’s overall appeal. “There are so many dimensions to Barbados,” says Altman. The easternmost Caribbean island, Barbados is known for its calm waters and seemingly endless beaches on its west and south coasts, contrasted by

the rugged cliffs and restless surf on its north and east coasts. Measuring just 21 by 14 miles, Barbados ranked third in terms of quality of life by the United Nations Development Index among 160 developing countries worldwide, ahead even of Spain, Italy and Ireland. Other key indicators of Barbados’s safety, stability and desirability, include the country’s 97 percent literacy rate and its third-oldest parliament in the world! A true expert both on Barbados and its luxury property market, Altman is at the forefront of top residential developers, including the Royal Westmoreland golf community and the David

Lloyd community, Sugar Hill. And, in an effort to maintain the beauty of the island, Altman is involved in urban renewal programs in the parish of Speightstown, where he is Chairman of the Task Force, and also in Bridgetown, through his directorship with Barbados Shipping and Trading Co. Ltd. He is also the past President of the Barbados National Trust and a Director of the Fortress Caribbean Property Fund. There is a wide variety of options for clients seeking property on Barbados, says Altman. One current exclusive Altman listing is a $4.5 million five-bedroom home at Sugar Hill with access to a private beach club and four championship tennis courts, plus golf privileges at the Royal Westmoreland Golf & Country Club. Those not quite ready to commit to a purchase should consider The Landmark House & Cottage in Bridgetown, which accommodates eight guests in air-

conditioned bedroom suites and a separate two-bedroom cottage. The large living area of the home is open in more ways than one: The great room is tucked under a cathedral ceiling yet is completely open to the outdoors. Palm trees grow inside and outside of the house, breezes are pleasant and views from every angle are picture perfect. A separate dining pergola with views of Sandy Lane Beach serves as the ideal breakfast nook. The Landmark rents for $3,000 per night in peak season. According to Altman, Europeans and Britons have been coming to Barbados for years, but it is still the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Says Altman: “Americans looking for a slower pace of life in a tropical setting, the best amenities available, and an ideal luxury home to suit their needs should take a closer look at Barbados.” For more information, contact Paul Altman at 866.360.5292, or visit www.

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Trusted Relationships aren’t created online


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