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
The design of Lux* Grand Gaube incorporates elements of nature with its sea views, airy verandas and sundecks.
Kelly Hoppen, a designer, entrepreneur, author, educator and Member of the Order of the British Empire, has designed the interior of LUX* Grand Gaube, a major hotel owned by LUX* Resorts & Hotels. LUX* Grand Gaube is based in Mauritius, an island nation located in East Africa, that is known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs.
Reminded of her experiences in Africa as a child, Hoppen was blown away by the hotel’s location, light, smell and foliage. Hoppen wanted to provide an experience through her design for LUX* Grand Gaube and create something new for the brand.
“An experience is the strongest feeling to have and if I can create something special and have an amazing company like LUX* implement the service with my design then that’s when magic happens,” Hoppen said. “Both my brand and LUX* have a great understanding of what timeless luxury is and therefore the collaboration is a naturally evolving journey.”
Hoppen’s design allows guests to feel at home and transports them to an extraordinary world which stays true to the architect Jean-Francois Adam’s vision of contemporary yet timeless Indian Ocean living.
As an avid traveller, Hoppen appreciates the importance of comfort and ease of a hotel, and when designing, puts herself in the guests’ shoes. For Hoppen, every single detail is extremely important. From the bedroom decor, to the restaurant, to the walk from the hotel to the beach, to having a sip of morning coffee — every aspect and angle had to be taken into consideration when designing this hotel.
For the hotel’s interior, Hoppen used her signature neutral pallet to create layers of contrast, both in color and texture. Hoppen complemented these neutrals with splashes of color for the interior spaces. Her design evokes a certain calmness throughout the resort and provides LUX* Grand Gaube with an essence of pure tranquility.
Inspired by the stunning natural landscape, Hoppen felt it was paramount to incorporate elements of nature in the interior spaces. All rooms, suites and villas open out to stunning sea views and airy verandas. Some rooms offer outdoor baths or sundecks edged by the resort’s private cove. Hoppen has enhanced the spindrift-white bedrooms with unexpected details such as succulents in ceramic pots. Accents such as handwoven African baskets, wicker tables and smooth neutral floors ensure all bedrooms provide the utmost comfort. The geometric encaustic tiles add graphic-design personality to the ensuites, and many bathrooms feature reclaimed bespoke Victorian bathtubs.
LUX* Grand Gaube provides its guests with a choice of six restaurants and seven bars, many of which are totally unique in style. Guests may enjoy sunshine or starlight through the glazed ceilings of the Palm Court Restaurant, while savouring dishes cooked à la minute. Every table in the restaurant looks out onto the ocean and guests may be seated comfortably on the banquettes or at the kitchen counters.
Inspired by the surrounding tropics, from the minute guests arrive to the minute they leave, Hoppen’s design allows guests to relax and forget about their troubles, immersing themselves in the resort’s experience.
Photo courtesy of www.kellyhoppeninteriors.com
Los Angeles-based real estate development firm, Irongate, announces the debut of Amanvari, a resort that will serve as a peaceful escape and private oasis, nestled between the mountains and sea on the Eastern Cape of the Baja Peninsula in northwestern Mexico.
Irongate, a Los Angeles-based real estate development firm, announced the debut of Amanvari, a peaceful escape and private oasis nestled between the majestic Sierra de la Laguna mountain range and Sea of Cortes on the Eastern Cape of the Baja Peninsula in northwestern Mexico. Aman Resorts International is scheduled to open Amanvari, its new hotel and private residences, in 2020.
Aman is a luxury hotel group with 33 destinations in 21 countries. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit-derived words for “peace” and “water.” Set within Costa Palmas, a private beachfront resort community with three kilometers of swimmable beach, Amanvari is easily accessible from almost every American hub.
“It is an incredible honor and a dream come true for me to have an Aman resort at Costa Palmas,” said Jason Grosfeld, chairman and CEO of Irongate. “It is a testament to the beauty of the East Cape that Aman has selected Costa Palmas to be their first destination in Mexico.”
Irongate, in collaboration with Aman, has commissioned architects Heah & Co. who have approached the design of Amanvari with the overriding objective of allowing the surreal landscape to take center stage. The resort design contemplates 20 bi-level hotel pavilions, each offering a generosity of space both inside and out. The pavilions will be spread across the resort’s bucolic landscape and boast floor to ceiling windows that open onto an outdoor terrace and wraparound sundeck.
The main pavilion at Amanvari will form the heart of the resort. This pavilion will be a destination where guests and residents can enjoy restaurants, a library and lounge, as well as a 30-meter infinity pool incorporating four hot tubs. The Aman Spa pavilion is planned to be steps from the main pavilion along a treed pathway.
For those looking for a more permanent Aman lifestyle, an initial release of only 24 whole-ownership Aman Residences will be offered for sale. Aman Residences will range from four to seven bedrooms spanning from 1,207 to 1,858 square meters of covered indoor-outdoor living.
In addition to Amanvari, the Costa Palmas master plan includes a Robert Trent Jones II golf course, 18-acres of organic farms, the private members-only Costa Palmas Beach and Yacht Club to which residence owners will be invited to join and Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas.
A 45-minute drive from Los Cabos International Airport ventures away from the popular destination of Los Cabos and takes guests to the East Cape, where there are few tourists. Guests can dive with migrant whales, go on sailing and fishing expeditions, visit freshwater ponds with a resident biologist and visit local ranches for horseback riding at Amanvari.
Tucked away in a far corner of the thousand-acre development where the sea, the wild desert and farmland meet, Amanvari is part of Costa Palmas, yet geographically and elementally removed from it. Wild and natural, Amanvari envelopes guests and residents in its own private sanctuary.
Photos courtesy of Aman
Dedicated to creating a way of life that is healthy, sustainable and fun, Las Catalinas will undergo an expansion and innovation in 2018.
Ensuring 2018 will be a remarkable year for this new seaside town, the expansion will welcome 100 more residences by the end of 2018 in addition to the 46 residences already complete.
When arriving by car to Las Catalinas, visitors and residents now pull up to the new Plaza Central building, which features a wonderfully welcoming new hospitality office designed by Robert Orr. Other immediate new additions include the December 2017 opening of a day spa called Wake that will offer a thoughtful assortment of classic therapies and sports recovery treatments.
With more full-time residents relocating to the area, Las Catalinas is providing office space as a service in both co-working spaces and for lease office space. By May 2018, there will be a new grocery store called Copper and Stone overseen by celebrated Costa Rican Chef Demian Geneau.
Perhaps most noteworthy for 2018, however, is a new boutique hotel in the heart of Las Catalinas’s central Beach Town neighborhood. The hotel, set to open in December 2018, will offer 45 rooms, two restaurants, a rooftop pool, and the town bakery.
Photos courtesy of Las Catalinas