In Panama’s Pearl Archipelago, Isla Pedro Gonzalez promises major luxury living. 

Located off the west coast of Panama, Isla Pedro Gonzalez is the third largest island within the Pearl Archipelago, covering 3,558 acres. Home to about 250 residents, the island has 14 beaches, approximately six square miles of forest, and a fishing village. Pearl Island is being developed into a sustainable luxury destination that will offer exclusive island living. Overall, six phases in the development will eventually accommodate a few hundred homes.

The Founders’ Phase is located on the northeastern Cueva Peninsula and will be the first part of the island to be developed. Homesites, ranging from 32,000 to 215,000 square feet, will be located across a series of neighborhoods linked by trails, paths, and streets and will enable owners to design and build anything from intimate casitas to elaborate villas. Owners can choose from beachfront, oceanfront, and hilltop canopy settings. Two-, three-, and four-bedroom villas will be located on cliffs around the beach club.

The Founders’ Phase is already under development with 15 miles of roads, basic infrastructure, and utilities in place, plus a landing strip under construction. Pearl Island has released 34 lots, and a limited number of smaller turnkey units will follow. The Founders’ Phase will accommodate up to 100 lots and villas when complete. Pearl Island also plans to erect at least two hotels.

In order to preserve its natural biodiversity, over 75 percent of the island will remain undeveloped and a percentage of all property sales will go to The Island Foundation, which is stewarded by the island’s property owners.

The Founders’ Phase is expected to be complete within three years. The entire island will develop over a longer period of 10 to 15 years. [caption id=”attachment_14738″

Amelia Island Plantation

Florida Favorite

 Beginning a new chapter in its nearly 40-year heritage, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida broke ground in November 2011 for an extensive $85 million renovation. The redevelopment includes an expanded conference center, which will gain 20,000 square feet—including a 16,500-square-foot ballroom and a new pre-function area—for a total of 70,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. An additional 155 guest rooms, including 27 suites, will be constructed on the north end of the resort, increasing the total room count to 404 oceanfront guest rooms. Located directly off the hotel lobby, the new Beach Club will offer more hard surface and water space for lounging. The adults-only infinity-edge pool will cascade down into a larger family pool, and two hot tubs will be located adjacent to a new bar area. Parking will also be improved with a new three-story structure creating 350 extra spaces, as well as 70 new valet spots. 

Aventura Cove Palace, Riviera Maya

Rock the Palace

 Plans are underway to transform Palace Resorts properties in Mexico into all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels. The first Hard Rock-rebranded hotel is scheduled to launch in winter 2012 in Cancun, followed by Puerto Vallarta in spring 2012, and a fall 2012 first-phase debut of Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. Each hotel will remain fully operational as a Palace Resorts property during the conversion process. Each property will offer Hard Rock’s signature Rock Star Suites, showcase a collection of authentic memorabilia, and host ongoing schedules of live concerts, celebrity-driven soirees, and other on-site events.