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Gywneth Paltrow’s thinking about doing it,

World is Not Enough, the third Pierce Brosnan

water jetties, desalination units, electricity,

Nicholas Cage and Julia Roberts have done it,

James Bond movie to be shot in the Bahamas.

telecommunication systems and airstrips. For

so has the fourth Baron Rothschild and then

Brosnan and co-star Salma Hayek also spent

the island hunter willing to customize a utopia

there’s Johnny Depp; who acquired Little Hall’s

three months on location shooting the action

from scratch, an undeveloped island comes

Pond Cay, a 45-acre idyll complete with private

comedy, After the Sunset. Most recently, Disney

with a starting price of US$50,000 per acre.

beaches.

commandeered Grand Bahama Island and the Exumas for the filming of Disney’s second and

Island hideaways in the Bahamas have become

third movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean

a must-have for those determined to own

moguls, movie makers and Hollywood A-listers;

series: Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End.

a piece of paradise. Surrounded by warm,

for island hunters who seek style, seclusion and

And, in 2004, the country hosted the first

crystal-clear turquoise waters, with cuts of

exclusivity, there are 40 to 50 islands for sale at

Bahamas International Film Festival, now held

deserted white beaches, the islands epitomize

any one time in the beautiful Bahamas, ranging

annually in December, which has become a

the dream of Caribbean living. Among the 700

in size from two to 800 acres.

popular, star-studded event on the Hollywood

islands and 2,000 cays lying south of the capital

social calendar.

Nassau, there is a small chain of immaculate

But private island ownership isn’t limited to

The star factor of the Bahamas extends

gems known as the Exumas.

beyond its moniker of “playground of the rich

In the 1990s, as tourism steadily expanded in

and famous” and has long been a desirable

the Bahamas, a small number of ready-made

There’s no understanding the allure of the

location for Hollywood movie makers.

In

islands became available for sale, complete with

Bahamas or why it captivates with such

1999, film director Michael Apted released The

main luxury residence, staff properties, deep-

absoluteness. You can kick off your shoes

18


an

of my own WRITER NIKOLA LASHLEY

G

illigan did it the hard way but in the Bahamas you can play castaway in style

Fowl Cay Resort, Exuma, Bahamas

and sink your toes in the talcum-soft sand,

If you are not the beneficiary of a stimulus

and snorkeling or a conch supper on the beach

wade into its almost unnaturally blue waters

package, owning an undeveloped island can be

until the sun falls into the ocean. Discover

or recline on a beach and stare for hours

a costly venture. Take it from Damianos: “If you

the last word in luxury at Sandals Emerald

at the intense clarity of the ocean; but you

buy an island, you have to consider the real cost

Bay, a Six Star Diamond Award-winning 500-

should know before you arrive that the

of construction, given the remoteness of the

acre oceanfront retreat set along a one-mile

uncompromising beauty of the Bahamas is

location and accessibility to it. Transportation of

crescent-shaped beach on the out island of

unfathomable.

materials and workers will have to be done by

Great Exuma, or you could lay claim to one of

boat or sea plane. All of this will keep adding to

six villas on the private, 52-acre island, Fowl

your investment dollar.’’

Cay Resort. Either way, if you come to buy in

According to George Damianos, managing director of Damianos Sotheby’s International

the Bahamas or simply to play, you’ll want to

Realty Bahamas, being king or queen of a

If you crave the cachet of island ownership, the

private realm isn’t for everyone. “Somebody

tranquillity and absence of bustling civilization,

who asks me where the closest restaurant is

if you are intrigued but not yet ready to

because they enjoy going out to dinner is not

purchase, there are alternatives that allow you

going to want to live on a private island. On the

put island living to the test.

stay forever.

other hand, someone who says, ‘we like our peace and quiet, we love nature and the water

You can play shipwreck at marooned rustic

and fishing,’ these are the indicators of people

lodges, available to rent on many of the private

that are private-island types.”

islands, where the thrill is found in bonefishing

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An Oasis if my own