The coins of exchange in ultra-high net worth (UHNW) real estate buyers these days, are privacy, discretion, and security. Advances in technology, communications, transportation, and an overall change in the style of the business framework have expanded location possibilities for them at the same time. Ultra-luxury living can be found in many places around the planet in recent years, but the ability to have unfettered time in a beautiful place with communication immediately at hand and without the complications of a high profile is the dream. Many of these buyers want to live simply, beautifully, and under the radar but with access to the world when they desire it, something not even possible 20 years ago.
While the top four residential locations for this new client are United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand the luxury resort industry has begun to take notice and offer properties that appeal to the “vacationer” of this market. I recently returned from Canouan, an 1800 acre island in St. Vincent and Grenadines (SVG) chain of islands, just south of Mustique, where Lord Glenconner might be considered to have pioneered this exclusive market in the ‘50s,
The search often starts with access. Canouan has what is now the longest private jet runway in the region. The soon-to-be-completed new marina with three superyacht slips and world-class provisioning is planned to welcome ships late in 2017.
The Pink Sands Club on Canouan has taken to heart a profound understanding of what the UHNW market hopes to find in an island hideaway and to my mind, delivered. Patterned marble floors, dark wood furnishings with heavy linen fabrics combined with high ceilings, diaphanous sheers, and large elegant spaces distract from the instant communication possible with the outside world. Lights, temperature, drapes, and sheers are all operated by tablets that respond to commands in silence as if the rooms were telepathic.
The Pink Sands Club sits inside a huge bay protected by a barrier reef, and from there the view goes on forever. The beaches are perfect and wide, the coral reef within is glorious and worth breaking out snorkeling gear for while the barrier itself provides the natural sounds of island life at all times of the day. The seemingly natural curves of the golf course, designed by Jim Fazio, roll through the hills and valley’s on the 1200 acre southern end of the island providing ocean views at every turn.
There is an old church that was carried over from Scotland 150 years ago and a truly remarkable Kids Club for all ages in the valley that leads to a dock where outer island excursions begin. Five restaurants offer endlessly changing menus, and the concept of “your wish is my command” pervades. All parts of the compound are connected by paved golf cart paths, and whether you stay in a villa or at the club itself, you are assigned one for your personal use.
A wide variety of existing villas hang along the hillside, each elegantly designed with privacy and views in mind. There is also a brand new project just starting when I visited, of two-bedroom villas on a hillside above the Pink Sands Club. Recently, there became a small number of two-acre parcels available for sale scattered around the island as well. There are restrictions on the build-out of these parcels to maintain a high level of privacy, as well as ensuring view paths, but there are so few properties spread over so many islands that it seems the concept of any kind of crowding would be impossible.
If you are interested in building on the island, the Grenadines Estate office can help you with all the details. There is a local architect, whose work is deliciously open to the breezes and seems to enfold you in island comfort without losing sight of grace and efficiency. There is a seamlessness about transitions from cool calm inside to the brilliant sparkling outside which offers a small taste of daily life in heaven.
If you are interested in taking refuge off the known planet, you can discuss the possibilities with Janine Sinson at Janine@Grenadinesestate.com. She was able to give me a quick and very well-informed overview as to what ownership at Pink Sands Club in SVG entails. There is a conveyance tax, but no annual tax. There are association fees, as well as an onsite rental program, housekeeping, property maintenance, and invisible security.
An effortless and elegant respite from worldly cares, is the goal for life as an owner at Pink Sands Club on Canouan, and in my experience, they exceed mark that on every front.