Many travelers want to experience adventure while discovering a remote, exotic destination. But the hassle of long flights and extensive travel can often be a deterrent. For those who want to explore the world without wasting a huge chunk of time on travel, here are some exotic getaways closer to the U.S.
For those who want Bali’s ancient ruins, pristine jungles, tranquil seascapes and laid-back lifestyle, try Belize. Located along the tranquil Caribbean Sea, travelers will be able to experience preserved Mayan Temples, lush jungles, rainforest canopies, archaeological sites including the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, and the second largest barrier reef in the world and ultimate world-class destination – The Great Blue Hole.
Photos courtesy of Belize Tourism Board
For those who want Ibiza’s ultimate party scene and beach retreat with world-class DJs, try Cancún. Cancún has long been considered one of the top beach quick getaway vacation destinations in the world with sparkling, turquoise blue water, Ancient Mayan sites, mouthwatering cuisine and a pulsing nightlife.
Photos courtesy of Melody Maker Cancun
Try Mexico City.
For those who want Barcelona’s historic streets, world-class museums and mouth-watering culinary offerings, try Mexico City. Cosmopolitan and cultured, Mexico’s largest city boasts a flourishing culinary scene and a cultural renaissance with similar vibes to the Catalan capital. Explore the mysterious Teotihuacan pyramids, become immersed in Mexico city’s vibrant culture, taste local bites and visit Michoacán’s craft workshops.
Photos courtesy of Original Travel
Want the Galapagos Islands?
Try Kauai Island.
Known as Hawaii’s “Garden Island,” Kauai Island is filled with tropical rainforests, emerald valleys, and unbelievable mountains. Perfect for adventurists and foodies, Kauai has all the activities and restaurants that guests can ask for. Go ziplining through Kauai’s lush valleys, surf along the heavenly Hanalei Bay, or hike Waimea Canyon aka The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Photo courtesy of Aqua-Aston Hospitality
Want Siquijor, Philippines?
Try Miches, Dominican Republic.
Those seeking a vacation destination with stunning waterfalls, lush palm groves, secluded beaches and Insta-famous swing sets without 24 hours of travel time can head to Miches, Dominican Republic instead of Siquijor, Philippines.
Photos courtesy of Club Med
Parts of the Hamptons are priced (on a per square foot basis) more affordably than parts of the Rockaways or even Staten Island, according to data analyzers NeighborhoodX.
As one of America’s most elite summertime destinations, the Hamptons are home to many celebrities, CEOs, and New York’s many socialites. Though considered one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, other parts of the NYC Metropolitan area are surpassing the Hamptons in price by square foot.
Based on a study conducted for August 2018, NeighborhoodX found that several part of the Hamptons, typically thought to be untouchable real estate, are more affordable than beach towns elsewhere in the New York City area. For example, the average asking price per square foot in Riverhead, on the North Fork of the Hamptons, is $267/sq.ft., which is more affordable than City Island in the Bronx, where the average asking price is $362/sq.ft.
NeighborhoodX, who gathered the data in this study, is a real estate & data analytics firm whose data has been featured in The Real Deal, Wall Street Journal, Curbed, and several other real estate outlets, founded by Constantine Valhouli and advisor Jonathan Miller.
Courtesy of Wiki Commons / Mark Jenney
This set of data further suggests that Brooklyn’s beach towns are currently surpassing the Hamptons in terms of price by square foot. The average asking price for Brooklyn’s Manhattan Beach is $619/sq.ft., and in Brighton Beach, the price is $617, both of which are higher than those in some of the leading Hamptons sections, including Sag Harbor, at $614/sq.ft., Amagansett at $598, and Southampton at $554/sq.ft., according to the study conducted by NeighborhoodX in 2018.
The average asking price in Rockaway Beach, which is $335/sq.ft., is on par with the Hamptons’ East Quogue, at $373/sq.ft. Meanwhile, on Staten Island, South Beach ($388) and Midland Beach ($372) are priced on par with Shinnecock Hills ($392) and East Quogue, respectively.
In another set of data, NeighborhoodX found that the average property in Manhattan is more expensive per square foot than the trophy properties in many cities, as the average property in Manhattan is $1,773/sq.ft., surpassing Portland ($1,053), New Orleans ($1,308), Austin ($1,466), Philadelphia ($1,643), and Denver ($1,708).
Providing high-end amenities and views of the Caribbean Sea, these four luxury developments are gaining traction among homeowners and travelers.
By Brielle Bryan
Photo courtesy of Mahogany Bay Village
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Caye Chapel
Four Seasons Private Estates Caye Chapel
Located in the heart of Belize’s largest marine sanctuary, this private island invites guests to connect with nature while enjoying the level of personal service and luxurious amenities that Four Seasons offers. Opening in 2021, Caye Chapel will feature approximately 50 Four Seasons Private Estates, with opportunities starting at $2 million.
Erasing the line between indoor and outdoor, these exclusive lots encourage owners to take advantage of the unparalleled access to the natural environment of Belize through boat expeditions, snorkeling, paddle boarding, diving, mainland exploration and more. In addition to the private estates, the 2.5-mile island of Caye Chapel will feature a 100-room Four Seasons Resort, 35 Private Residences, a private airstrip, a Fabien Cousteau Nature and Conservation Institute, an 18-hole Greg Norman golf course, bustling Harbor and Marina village, world-class dining options and a stylish Beach Club.
The Ellysian is owned by Belize’s Prime Minister’s wife, Kim Barrow, and opened in May of 2017. The boutique property is ideally located within the charming and vibrant village of Placencia, placed perfectly along Belize’s Southern Coast. Upon arrival, guests are immersed into an incomparably lush escape that is in walking distance to local artisan shops, restaurants and sites the village has to offer.
There are 12 beautiful rooms at The Ellysian, consisting of beach view studios and one-bedroom suites. The limited number of suites at The Ellysian ensures guests are afforded privacy and a higher standard of personalized service. Each suite is fitted with a private veranda, viewing either the Caribbean sea or the famous sidewalk center of the village. The boutique hotel values making a difference in the community, and as a result, it supports several charitable organizations such as the Belize Cancer Center and The Placencia Humane Society.
Photos courtesy of The Ellysian
Mahogany Bay Village
Mahogany Bay Village is a fresh and energized take on the conventional resort community. The Village is made up of Belize’s first global luxury branded resort, a collection of customizable homes, and a bustling retail marketplace. Located on the soulful island of Ambergris Caye, Mahogany Bay Village, which just opened in December, sits no more than 10 minutes from the colorful eateries and shops of the historic San Pedro Town.
Photos courtesy of Mahogany Bay Village
Dream Hotel Group
In January, the Dream Hotel Group announced the development of two new hotels in Belize: Unscripted Belize and Dream Belize. The first of the two Belize openings for the group, Unscripted Belize, will debut in late 2018 with 24 beachfront cabana accommodations that will be steps away from the Caribbean Sea. With an open-air concept, the property will also feature an outdoor restaurant and bar, an expansive pool area and two private boats for snorkeling and scuba diving.
In 2020, Dream Belize will feature 100 guestrooms and suites, 120 hotel condominiums and 40 branded residential home sites. Also included will be four vibrant dining and nightlife concepts, three pools, a luxury spa and fitness center and multiple coworking suites to round out the dynamic resort offerings.
Photo courtesy of Gensler
Awakening the coast of Hawaii’s oldest island, Kaua’i, is the brand-new Timbers Kaua’i — Ocean Club & Residences at Hokuala, a 450-acre slice of paradise offering an 18-hole ocean course, 47 luxury residences and soon-to-be-completed clubhouse, dining and retail spots.
“On one of the most coveted sites in all of Hawaii, Hokuala is a natural oceanfront amphitheater at the entrance to the tranquil waters of Kalapaki Beach along the Pacific,” says Gary Moore, managing director of Timbers Kaua’i.
Due to its proximity to the cliff-sides, Timbers Kaua’i has been deemed the “last-of-its-kind” as construction regulations require new properties be at least 500 feet away from escarpments. “Timbers Kaua’i was grandfathered in due to the timing of its approval process…. Therefore, the residences are the last property to be built on the island with closer than close proximity to the ocean,” says Moore.
The residences at Timbers Kaua’i are offered in fractional and whole ownership opportunities, with prices ranging from $300,000 to $7.5 million. A $9.5 million penthouse also will be listed in the future. Overall completion of the property is aimed for June 2018.
While the property offers wonderful amenities such as oceanfront infinity-edge pools, an “ohana” pool with waterfalls and a grill, personalized services for families through the Keiki Club and island adventure guides, the standout amenity is “the wonder of the views,” says Moore. — Samantha Myers
photo courtesy Timbers Kaua’i
Moana Residence, located within the first luxury development to come to Kona Coast in more than a decade, has sold for a record $16.5 million.
The record-breaking sale of Moana Residence, announced by Kohanaiki, caps off more than $120 million in sales for 2017.
Situated within the 450-acre private club community of Kohanaiki, the Moana Residence offers members access to Kohanaiki’s spectacular Clubhouse, complete with a restaurant and bar, a pro shop, exercise pavilions, world-class spa facilities, a four-lane bowling alley, movie theater, poker room, wine and cigar member lockers, private dining rooms, recreation room, wine and beer tasting rooms and member locker rooms. Outdoors is a 25-meter lap pool, sun deck and event lawn, all with striking views of the Kona Coast and Pacific Ocean.
The Clubhouse complements the Rees Jones course, a 7,329-yard course laid out through ancient lava flows that winds along a mile-and-a-half of Pacific Ocean coastline. Kohanaiki, nestled near the town of Kailua Kona, was created to seamlessly blend into its coastal environment, earning it Silver Certification by Audubon International.
Kohanaiki’s membership is associated with the purchase of real estate at Kohanaiki, with homes ranging from $3 million to over $22 million.
Located within an exclusive gated community on the west side of San Jose, Costa Rica, this stunning mansion offers a secluded, private setting with incredible panoramic views.
“This home is perfect for entrepreneurs and TV [and] movie stars, as it has incredible privacy.” — Listing Agent John Ordonez
This private home is situated in the central valley and is less than five minutes away from Santa Ana and Escazu’s business area, Forum I, II Plaza Roble, shopping areas and gourmet restaurants.
“It is in an incredibly peaceful setting and has stunning views of the city and mountains,” says listing agent John Ordonez of Luxury Homes Costa Rica. “It is built in one of the most exclusive communities in central valley San Jose and although it is part of a gated community it has enough land to offer privacy and comfort.”
Offered for $4.5 million, the home features five bedrooms, six baths, a swimming pool, attached independent office space, a meeting room, maid’s quarters and more.
“The pool area and pool have won awards and are quite amazing,” says Ordonez. “The master bedroom is also stunning.”
The exclusive gated community offers a private entrance, 24/7 security and camera surveillance, cobble internal roads, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a club house.
The Debut of this Highly-Anticipated Oceanfront Retreat Reinforces the Multimillion-Dollar Masterplan to Re-imagine Luxury Living in Punta Mita’s Residential Communities.
DINE, one of Mexico’s premier real estate developers, has announced the debut of Sufi Ocean Club. The new oceanfront club is located in Punta Mita’s Porta Fortuna community, a luxury real estate community on the Riviera Nayarit. The club will be available exclusively to Punta Mita’s premier members and their guests.
The announcement of Porta Fortuna’s expanded amenity collection follows on the heels of the 2017 launch of Porta Fortuna Ocean Residences, an ultra-luxurious resort enclave. This highly anticipated residential retreat is part of Punta Mita’s multimillion-dollar re-imagination and underscores DINE’s unbending commitment to unveiling one-of-a-kind offerings throughout Punta Mita’s 15 residential communities.
Fully equipped with the finest amenities and boho chic design, the Sufi Ocean Club provides an intimate sanctuary. This expansive retreat is comprised of open concepts that create a relaxed lifestyle, inviting the lush and alluring outdoors in. Overlooking the Punta Mita Pier and the Bay of Banderas, Sufi Ocean Club offers an expansive saltwater pool, a grand reception hall with ocean views, poolside cabanas and day beds, outdoor showers and access to the Punta Mita Pier.
While relaxing to the eclectic vibes of new resident DJ Franco Demichelis, owners can enjoy oceanfront or seaside dining at the new Sufito Cevicheria Bar and Sufi Restaurant. A newly introduced Isla Mita boutique pop-up store will also open its doors, providing owners with access to a carefully curated collection of designer resort wear and Mexican accessories.
“Our unyielding commitment to our owners and their guests drives us to continually unveil top-of-the-line offerings that further connect residents to this magical paradise they call home.” — Carl Emberson
“Punta Mita owners choose to live within the exclusive peninsula gates for the premier level of luxury provided within, and Sufi Ocean Club is one of our finest amenities, fully encompassing the carefree yet luxurious Punta Mita lifestyle,” said Carl Emberson, Punta Mita’s director of marketing and operations.
Partnering with well-known Mexican interior design firm Hadad Interiors and famed San Francisco-based designer Antonio Martins, Sufi Ocean Club will include boho chic-inspired furnishings and décor that accentuate the modern, free-spirited vibe of Punta Mita. Through breathable, organic textures and natural cream colors, Sufi Ocean Club will touch on the aesthetics of both Mykonos and Tulum while embracing the authenticity, natural light and good fortune of the surrounding destination.
“When experiencing the Sufi Ocean Club, your mind and body will immediately feel more at ease,” said Martins. “Our team handpicked natural, sand-colored hues to adorn wicker and wooden fixtures in an effort to create an extension of the area’s exquisite natural surroundings. As a regular visitor at Punta Mita, the Sufi Ocean Club will surely become my go-to sanctuary.”
The Punta Mita peninsula is currently home to 15 spectacular residential communities, with wholly owned properties and lots ranging from $500,000 to $20 million.
Photos courtesy of Punta Mita Properties
Hualalai’s individual communities each possess unique character and ambiance, all offering spectacular vistas and cooling tradewinds.
By Camilla McLaughlin
All photos courtesy Hualalai
An old Hawaiian saying is, “You don’t choose the island, the island chooses you.” After a recent visit to Hualalai on the island of Hawaii, I left completely smitten by the magic of the place, and in my wildest dreams I tend to think maybe I am one of the chosen.
It doesn’t take long to fall under the spell. Arrive at Hualalai and you’re greeted with a mai tai and a lei. Check-in takes place in a comfortable open-air space with the ocean shimmering under the moonlight in the distance. In a region awash with five-star properties, Hualalai is a standout, and what makes it so exceptional is passion — passion for the property paired with a reverence for the land and the Hawaiian culture that is shared by everyone who works there. It permeates every aspect of the resort from architecture to food to the Alaka‘ i Nalu, explorers of the waves. Very few places are able to orchestrate such a fine balance between authenticity, a connection to the land and a superlative guest experience.
During a recent visit, anticipation of an annual food and wine celebration with visiting celebrity chefs, was full on. An herb garden was being readied for a pop-up cooking academy. Chefs worked with David Choi, director of natural resources, to gather salt from a nearby stretch of beach. Also at the ready was a stock of oysters grown onsite in a lake fed by a subterranean aquifer and drawn through lava wells, only one of a couple sites verified by the state for this cultivation. These oysters are only available to residents and guests at the resort.
In addition to a Four Season’s resort, Hualalai includes residences ranging from villas to custom homes. Outdoor shower gardens, walls that disappear to open homes to the tradewinds, and designs that uniquely align with today’s lifestyle preferences are hallmarks, as are views of distant mountains and Maui. Almost everywhere, the ocean forms a backdrop thanks to changing elevations. Owners have extensive private amenities, including a clubhouse and restaurants. One of the resort’s two golf courses is private. Also reserved for residents is a beachfront restaurant, a prime place for dinner and sunset cocktails. Chefs at all the restaurants are masters at coaxing the best from the local bounty.
Rather than buildings, the most prominent feature here is the landscape — miles of coastline and lava rocks, an iconic signature of the island. The grounds are extensive with pathways that meander past low-slung bungalows embraced by a jungle landscape. Locals like to say the resort sits lightly on the land, and that’s only possible when development is guided by a commitment to stewardship.
Timbers Resorts recently announced the sales of their luxury residences, Timbers Kaua‘i – Ocean Club & Residences at Hokuala, a Timbers Resort. One of the largest independent developers and operators of private boutique resorts and residence clubs, Timbers Resorts won’t disappoint its residences and guests.
Timbers Kaua‘i – Ocean Club & Residences is a stunning oceanfront development that offers residents breathtaking unobstructed views of both the mountains and ocean, with direct access to the shoreline. The property will include an array of exquisite ownership opportunities at various price points including 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom homes sold as luxury residences, townhomes, or Residence Club interests.
Whole ownership opportunities will range from approximately $2 million to $10 million for the oceanfront townhomes and condominium residences. The Residence Club will start in the mid-$300,000s and offers a convenient and flexible way for owners to enjoy a luxurious vacation home with all the services and amenities of a five-star resort.
Timbers Resorts Residents will be able to take full advantage of the Hōkūala resort amenities, including a future retail shopping village and a boutique hotel with a destination spa, multiple dining options, extensive pools and multiple wedding venues. Outdoor activities will complete the guest and owner experience for all with the award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Ocean Course, tennis, hiking and biking trails, beach activities, and ocean and mountain adventures. A Hawaiian sound garden and jitney water taxi will also be included on resort property grounds.
“We are captivated by the grace and natural beauty of Kaua‘i and believe Timbers Kaua‘i – Ocean Club & Residences captures the quality of this idyllic location between the mountains and the sea,” said David Burden, Timbers Resorts Founder & Executive Chairman. “We are pleased to introduce such a dynamic ownership opportunity at Timbers Kaua‘i, showcasing the meticulous Timbers touch at every turn while offering varied experiences tailored to each owner’s needs.”
Future owners will enjoy a thoughtfully curated collection of amenities including access to the private Ocean Club restaurant featuring a bold approach to farm-fresh Hawaiian food, two stunning pools and a wellness center with yoga and spa offerings. Timbers personalized service for residents will also include the Keiki Club for youth activities, cultural ambassadors sharing the rich history of the island and personalized guides for adventures on land and sea. In addition to active construction on Timbers Kaua‘i – Ocean Club & Residences, renovations to Hōkūala’s renowned Ocean Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, were recently completed.
“The reception we’ve already received from our current Timbers ownership has been nothing short of amazing,” said Greg Spencer, Timbers Resorts Chief Executive Officer. “Located in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, Timbers Kaua‘i will introduce a new and unique residential project that currently does not exist in this fantastic market. We are excited to add another top notch luxury experience to the Timbers Resorts collection.”
Construction on Timbers Kaua‘i – Ocean Club & Residences is well underway and slated for completion in late-2017. Hōkūala is the newest resort in the Timbers Resorts portfolio that also includes the No. 1 resort in Europe, Castello di Casole, ranked by Travel + Leisure. Owners in Timbers Kaua‘i – Ocean Club & Residences will garner membership in the renowned Timbers Collection, offering a host of perks and privileges from some of the most recognized travel and lifestyle partners in the world, with the opportunity to trade vacation time with other owners and experience destinations throughout the Timbers Resorts portfolio.
In addition to the personalized ownership experience within Timbers Kaua‘i – Ocean Club & Residences, residents will also be able to take full advantage of the Hōkūala resort amenities, including a future retail shopping village and a boutique hotel with a destination spa, multiple dining options, extensive pools and multiple wedding venues. Outdoor activities will complete the guest and owner experience for all with the award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Ocean Course, tennis, hiking and biking trails, beach activities, and ocean and mountain adventures.
Ownership opportunities are being listed by Hōkūala Real Estate.
The Beach Houses at Fasano Residences + Hotel Miami Beach are perfect for lovers of the beach and paradise. Offering five two-story Beach Houses that will flank either side of South Beach’s largest pool, this luxury is only 40-feet from the ocean.
The property is being redesigned by Isay Weinfeld, award winning Brazilian architect who has also designed the hotels for Grupo Fasano in São Paulo. These listings offer the same contemporary design and feeling of seclusion that will be prominent throughout the 3-acre space.
The Beach Houses offer 67 ocean front residences, each with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Priced up to $7.2 million and ranging from 1,238 to 1,679 sq. ft., these homes offer privacy and ground entry with the benefits of being part of a resort-style community.
Each home is a spa oasis, with amenities including a private plunge pool upon entry, a sauna and spa therapy room. And of course, residents will have access to all of Fasano’s hotel amenities including the poolside restaurant and bar, garden-facing bar, hotel lobby lounge, fitness facilities and spa and wellness center. The hotel also provides a lagoon style pool and stunning gardens for its guests to enjoy.