BEST OF THE BEST
Welcome to Ocean Home’s Platinum List 2017, our fourth annual showcase of the Best of the Best in luxury coastal travel and lifestyles. Selected by our panel of expert editors and correspondents, these award-winning islands, beaches, resorts, vacations, private jets and yachts, pools, oceanfront residential developments – and more – are the essence of stylish and sophisticated living.
Photo by Joaquin Escandon
OCEANFRONT RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS
There is no skyline in the United States changing more rapidly – or dramatically – than that of Miami, Florida’s epicenter of contemporary architecture, fashion, food, art and design. While other oceanfront residential developments are making waves from California to the Carolinas, new and exclusive high-rise condominiums and low-rise resorts in Miami are reinventing the concept of luxury coastal living in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. We asked four of the city’s top realtors for their favorite beachside residential developments:
Jill Hertzberg: The Surf Club, Four Seasons Hotel & Residences is phenomenal, and no expense has been spared on the Richard Meier-designed private residences. Developer Nadim Ashi, founder and CEO of Miami-based Fort Capital, is very talented and highly respected for his impeccable taste. thejills.com
Eloy Carmenate: By far my favorite new pre-construction project is Eighty Seven Park by Renzo Piano. It’s architecturally significant, located on the ocean and bordered by a newly redesigned park by West 8, one of the world’s leading urban design and architecture firms. Who could want more? elliman.com and eloycarmenategroup.com
Jill Eber: A short walk to exclusive Bal Harbour shops, Oceana Bal Harbour offers an ultra-luxury lifestyle in an all-glass, 28-story building located on 400 feet of pristine beachfront. The Edition pairs a five-star hotel with luxury private condominium living located in the heart of Miami Beach; the penthouse has a rooftop terrace, private pool and is a resort in itself. Beach House 8 has everything you could want in a boutique building with only one residence per floor, direct access to the beach and a private roof deck, pool and summer kitchen; it’s truly a one-in-a-million beach house. thejills.com
Andreina Zambrano: Turnberry Ocean Club is a world-class project. Located on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach, and designed by Carlos Zapata and Robert Swedroe, the 54-story development features 154 exceptional residences with panoramic beach and ocean views. The signature Sky Club on the 30th floor has sunrise and sunset pools and an alfresco fitness center overlooking the ocean. It’s absolutely spectacular. onesothebysrealty.com
Krent Wieland Design, Inc., Aquatic Consultants Inc, Bradford Products, AAA Custom Pools, and Willoughby Construction, Photograph by Josh Quick/J Quick Studios.
A spectacular oceanfront home deserves an equally stunning pool, and there is no shortage of innovative designers and builders to bring your vision to reality. We turned to Luxury Pools + Outdoor Living, Ocean Home’s sister magazine and the go-to resource for the pool industry and homeowners alike, to nominate its favorites making a splash in 2017. Editor Melissa Gillespie awards top spot to Miami-based Aquatic Consultants Inc, whose CEO, Brian Van Bower, has more than 40 years of industry experience; is a SWD (Society of Waterscape Design) Master; and co-founded Genesis, an international company specializing in instruction and education for those involved in the design, engineering and construction of pools, spas, water features and outdoor living areas. “Ahead of the curve – this is the simplest way to describe Aquatic Consultants Inc’s pool designs,” says Gillespie. “Sexy and sleek, simple and classic. When you look at their projects, it’s easy to see why they are award-winning pool designers.” aquaticconsultantsinc.com
Aquatic Consultants Inc
San Diego, Calif.
San Francisco, Calif.
Questar Pools and Spas
Drakeley Pool Company
Group Works LLC
Pool Tech of Miami
Aqua Blue Pools
Ryan Hughes Design Build
Palm Harbor, Fla.
Fort Worth, Texas
Photo from Mantis Xtreme & Expert Tours
While many people want to do little more than relax on a beach on vacation, there is an ocean of choices now for those who prefer to be active. London-based tour company Mantis eXtreme takes the concept of high-end experiential travel to a whole new level with its extraordinary collection of journeys, combining luxury and once-in-a-lifetime adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring locations. Destinations include North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Arctic and Antarctic, featuring exciting wilderness, wildlife and marine safaris, the northern lights, ranching and extreme sports. You can be a team player in the (somewhat grueling) Bear Grylls Survival Academy or reach for the sky with zero gravity and near-space flights. The unrivaled thrill factor makes Mantis eXtreme Ocean Home’s luxury tour company of the year. Cocktail anyone? mantisextreme.com
Abercrombie & Kent
Gray & Co
Four Seasons Private Jet Journeys
National Geographic Expeditions
TCS World Travel
Breathtaking sunrises from the top of an ancient volcano; more than 80 sun-splashed beaches; valleys filled with exotic plants and cascading waterfalls; calm waters that attract migrating humpback whales; and historic towns and villages bustling with artists’ commaunities and farm-to-table restaurants. Maui has long been a cherished vacation destination, and for very good reason. Blessed with an array of upscale beachfront resorts, almost year-round sunshine, beautiful scenery, an authentic island culture and a thoroughly relaxed approach to life, Hawaii’s second largest island offers everything the sophisticated traveler could wish for. The sunrise-to-surf mountain bike ride, covering more than 30 miles from the crater of Haleakala to the sea, is one of the world’s most exciting excursions, not to mention whale watching in the Auau Channel between Maui, Lanai and Molokai. No surprise, then, that Maui won Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice award for best island in 2016 and is Ocean Home’s 2017 island of the year. gohawaii.com/maui/
Photo courtesy of Ayana Resort & Spa
Ocean Home’s editors and correspondents went to the far reaches of the planet in search of our beach resort of the year and found it perched on limestone cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean. Bali’s ravishing Ayana Resort and Spa, which also won best resort at the most recent World Travel Awards, is set in the 220-acre Karang Mas Estate near Jimbaran Bay on the island’s southeastern peninsula. The expansive resort features 78 private villas and a 290-room hotel nestled in tropical gardens. Ayana’s architecture and design are inspired by traditional Balinese aesthetics, but come with all the comforts and technologies of a contemporary vacation retreat. Of the 18 restaurants and bars at Ayana and its neighboring sister resort Rimba Jimbaran Bali, the standout is the spectacular Rock Bar, arranged in cliff-side terraces and serving sunset cocktails with ocean views and the sacred Mount Agung in the distance. Ayana translates to “a place of refuge” – a heavenly haven to hide away in luxury.
Photo courtesy of Ocean Conservancy
With World Oceans Day 2017 set for June 8, it’s timely to celebrate the exceptional nonprofit organizations that help to keep our oceans clean and healthy. Ocean Conservancy is at the forefront of tackling some of today’s greatest environmental challenges, developing science-based solutions to help protect marine resources, wildlife and coastal communities that depend on healthy, thriving oceans. Climate change impacts on the Arctic and the huge problem of ocean trash are two of the organization’s major priorities. Ocean Conservancy has led the largest international marine debris cleanup for more than 30 years, mobilizing nearly 12 million volunteers who have removed more than 220 million pounds of trash from our oceans. It’s crucial work, and there is much more to be done. Be part of the journey at oceanconservancy.org.
The Ocean Project
Blue Marine Foundation
Coral Restoration Foundation
Sea Turtle Foundation
Photo by Joakim Lloyd Raboff
Everyone has a favorite beach, so we’re really diving into deep water here, but we’re fully confident in our choice of Santa Monica as Ocean Home’s beach of the year. This iconic 3.5-mile stretch of powdery golden sand, located just west of downtown Los Angeles, is the essence of Southern California. Essentially split into two beaches by the landmark Santa Monica Pier, it has two sections offering quite different experiences. The north side of the pier is separated from the city by the palisades (an ocean bluff) and the Pacific Coast Highway with a series of bridges, walkways and stairs leading to the beach. The south side is level with the city and has parks, homes and hotels bordering the beach, along with the original Muscle Beach where beautiful (and super-fit) people strut their stuff. Towering over all is the world-famous pier and its amusement park, aquarium and restaurants overlooking the Pacific. Santa Monica is a beach for all seasons, a timeless stretch of sand that will never go out of style. santamonica.com
Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Sandy Neck Beach, Barnstable
Kiawah Island Beach
Atlantic Avenue Beach, Amagansett
Photo by Greg Premru
Nothing says summer like pulling the cover off your beloved beach car, jumping behind the wheel and heading to the ocean. This classic 1970 Ford Bronco is the quintessential New England beach car, and fits perfectly with the design of this beautiful Shingle-style home on Cape Cod by award-winning architect Patrick Ahearn. “This particular model in butternut yellow is the ultimate beach wagon,” says Ahearn. “The Bronco has such a cult following, Ford is planning to reintroduce it in 2019.” While Ahearn owns a classic car collection of his own, this Bronco belongs to the homeowner. “It’s timeless,” he adds, “just like the house.” patrickahearn.com
Photo courtesy od NetJets
We all know the feeling of flying commercial: crowded check-in counters, long lines at TSA security and the scramble to get on board. But what if all that magically disappeared, leaving you to fly in supreme comfort and style? Welcome to the world of private jets, where all the hassles of modern travel are tossed to the jet stream. Voted best private jet company (North America) at the most recent World Travel Awards, NetJets is a global leader in private aviation with the largest fleet, from Cessna Citations to the Bombardier Global that spans time zones, oceans and continents. Founded in 1964, NetJets pioneered the concept of fractional aircraft ownership – offering all the benefits of whole aircraft ownership (and more) at a fraction of the cost – and now delivers a full range of private aviation solutions. The in-flight experience is world-class and, in our minds, it’s the only way to fly. netjets.com
Photo courtesy of Christian Liaigre
We didn’t have to search far to find Ocean Home’s superyacht of the year. Recent winner of the 2017 ShowBoats Design Award for Best Interior Layout & Design above 500GT, Cloudbreak is the last word in contemporary ocean-going luxury. The yacht’s young owner commissioned leading German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen and renowned French designer Christian Liaigre to create a floating masterpiece of maritime design. Himself a passionate sailor, Liaigre opted for a fresh, modern aesthetic with open spaces, picture windows, a fireplace lounge for warming up after water-skiing or diving adventures and a striking “winter garden” space referencing the explorer yacht’s ability to cruise in extreme latitudes. Other surprises include angled walls, unusual strip lighting, a dramatic stair column and thoughtful features such as a corridor allowing guests direct access from their cabins to the gym. We’re holding out for our invitation, which we assume is in the mail. abeking.com and christian-liaigre.us
Image Credits: Photo courtesy of Eighty Seven Park.