Bahamian Bungalows

French Leave Marina Village debuts new seafront cottages

The Bahamian island of Eleuthera’s French Leave Marina Village will boast the first true seafront cottages to be built in Governor’s Harbour since the late 1940s. While set on a coveted and expansive 270-acre resort site, French Leave will consist of just 37 single and detached one- and two-bedroom authentic Bahamian cottages and bungalows, providing guests the ultimate private escape to paradise. Eleuthera boasts pink sand beaches and lush hills, and French Leave allows travelers the opportunity to enjoy the Bahamas in its purest form, away from the mega casino-themed developments dotted throughout the island nation.

Resort amenities will include a full-service marina on the west side, a private beach club on French Leave Beach to the east, and the 1648 bar and grill, along with a pool, a fitness center, a special events lawn, and a wedding pavilion. In addition, guests in each hotel cottage will have access to a golf cart to reach the private beach club. All structures will reflect the understated elegance of the local historic Governor’s Harbour architecture, with elements such as pitched cedar roofs, African mahogany shutters, and native dry-stack stone walls.

French Leave Marina Village is being developed by Shaner Bahamas in conjunction with Governor’s Harbour Resort & Marina, Ltd. The first phase of cottages, set for completion in August, will be offered to guests starting at $350 per night. 

Reservations can be made online starting July 1, 2013, for stays in August. In addition to the new hotel bungalows, a limited number of oceanfront hotel home sites and hotel bungalows are available for purchase.

Santa Barbara Chic

Orient-Express transforms El Encanto

A glamorous Santa Barbara, CA, hideaway for almost 100 years, El Encanto sits amidst seven acres of landscaped gardens. Under the watchful eye of Orient-Express, the hotel has been fully restored and now consists of 92 individually designed California-style bungalows featuring hardwood floors, plantation-style shutters, and its own private patio or garden. Telescopes on each terrace allow guests to take in the magnificent views of the Pacific, for which the hotel is famed. Amenities at El Encanto include an infinity-edge pool, fitness center, and a spa with seven treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge, showers, and steam rooms. The 800-square-foot Hummingbird Bungalow features its own outdoor rainforest shower. Rates start from approximately $525 room per night.

Fab Juluca

Anguilla’s standout hideaway gets a glam update

Located along the intimate crescent of Maundays Bay on the exclusive island of Anguilla, the 179-acre resort Cap Juluca recently received several millions of dollars’ worth of rejuvenation. Using their background in design, new owners Charles and Linda Hickox oversaw many of the refurbishments. A highlight of the redo is the new Jonquil Suite – a 3,290-square-foot villa featuring two master bedrooms, an oceanfront dining terrace, a Jacuzzi, and a private freshwater infinity pool. Additional property enhancements include a new exotic Arabesque-style waterfront bar featuring live music, dancing, and a global tapas menu. Rates for the Jonquil Suite start at $2,622 and include welcome and farewell amenities, daily breakfast, a private beach dinner, and an assigned golf cart. Cap Juluca will commence its annual seasonal closure on August 25 and will reopen on November 1, 2013.

Marriott, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa

A Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa junior suite

Pompano Pampering – Marriott opens its doors in South Florida This summer, Urgo Hotels unveils the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, a boutique-style oceanfront resort nestled within the charming city of Pompano Beach. The oceanfront resort features 219 luxury guest rooms, each with private balconies and views of the Atlantic. The property includes more than 8,000 square feet of meeting and function space, including a 4,000-square-foot oceanfront ballroom. The well-appointed resort has multiple pools, a 3,000-square-foot rooftop terrace, and an upscale seafood restaurant, McCoy’s Oceanfront. The property opens its doors July 1, 2013. 

Remote Respite

The Cliffs opens at Virgin Gorda’s Oil Nut Bay 

On the eastern tip of Virgin Gorda, spread across 300 pristine acres and accessible only by boat or helicopter, Oil Nut Bay offers freehold ownership and resort accommodations in an exceptionally private location. New to the destination (as of March 2013) are The Cliffs. Comprised of two 890-square-foot deluxe rental suites and a 1,334-square-foot penthouse, The Cliffs feature unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea via floor-to-ceiling sliding glass windows, an expansive master bedroom, an outdoor open-air shower, a great room, a wet bar, exterior terraces, and a private outdoor plunge pool. Oil Nut Bay boasts one of the world’s premier marinas, with 38 slips for yachts up to 300 feet. Home sites at Oil Nut Bay range from $2 million to $15 million, while completed homes range from $3 million to $50 million. Suites at The Cliffs start at $1,500 per night. 

Rockwell, Pacific Palisades, California

Ocean views from the Rockwell

Rockwell Rocks

The Pacific Palisades icon reopens with new luxury homes

Well known for its unique board-formed concrete structure and uncompromised location in stunning Pacific Palisades, CA, the iconic Rockwell has recently been transformed and reborn. After a multimillion-dollar overhaul by 9 Mile Investments, the six-level “stepped building” that was formerly known as Sunset Pacifica now features 10 single-level residences and six two-level penthouse townhomes.

Ranging from 1,200 to 3,600 square feet of interior space and an additional 250 to 1,400 square feet of outdoor space on private oceanview terraces, the one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes feature ultra-high ceilings, skylights, fireplaces, exposed concrete walls, reclaimed white oak floors, custom-designed chef’s kitchens, floor-to-ceiling windows, and French doors that open to spacious terraces (some featuring outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and showers). The townhome residences include private hillside gardens.

The ground floor of Rockwell offers two commercial spaces—Studio K, a private gym and training studio with state-of-the-art equipment, and Fiore Gardens, a combination boutique floral design studio and home and garden store. Residents of Rockwell receive a complimentary first-year membership to Studio K.

Nestled into the hillside where Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway, the 16 luxury oceanview residences are currently available for sale, priced from the $900,000s to $4 million.