All photos courtesy of Four Seasons Anguilla

All photos courtesy of Four Seasons Anguilla

Ahoy there! Carribbean sunshine, sand, and breeze ahead!

The Four Seasons Resort & Private Residences Anguilla beckons with crystal turquoise waters, pristine white beaches, and sleek modern style in this elevated seaside retreat on the southwest shore of Anguilla. The British overseas territory is in the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles of the British West Indies and encompasses just 35 square miles, most of which is on the main island. No cruise ships or casinos are allowed here, so residents and visitors enjoy peaceful, unspoiled beaches, boating, fishing, snorkeling, horseback riding, and posh resorts in uncrowded splendor.



Kimpton Seafire Resort on Seven Mile Beach on the Grand Cayman Island.

Kimpton Seafire Resort on Seven Mile Beach on the Grand Cayman Island.

 Yikes, that arctic blast made me long for a warm beach with a tropical breeze! Time to head for Seven Mile Beach, named by Travel and Leisure as “The Caribbean’s Best Beach.” The destination I am longing for? The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, the first new hotel in the Cayman Islands in a decade. Developer Dart Real Estate opened the boutique hotel just this past November, and announced the launch of an affiliated residential option: The Residences of Seafire, 62 luxurious modern units in floor plans ranging from 600-square-foot studios to 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom abodes that share the resort’s landscaped gardens and pools, panoramic views, and open access to gorgeous Seven Mile Beach.

Click here for a peek at pics of this posh paradise, enhanced with famed interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullards’ Carribean-inspired public spaces and the stunning natural beauty of the setting: (more…)

Alys Beach

All photos courtesy of Alys Beach

News from Alys Beach, the stunning Florida Panhandle luxury home and vacation rental community inspired by the traditional architecture of Bermuda: a new phase of custom three- and four-bedroom rowhouses is scheduled for construction with an estimated completion date of Spring 2019. The new project, called Clermont Courts, mimics the design of Caliza Courts, the first phase of rowhouses offered at Alys Beach, which sold out in two weeks when its marketing opened in 2014.

It’s no wonder, really. Located off Highway 30A in South Walton County, on a bluff overlooking the Gulf Coast, Alys Beach is unique in its gorgeous architecture, a modern rendition of the Spanish Colonial-Baroque styling found in Bermuda and Antigua. Structures in the community feature white stone walls, antique cypress wood, and private courtyards. Charming shaded walkways and bike paths connect residents to the Town Center and posh amenities spread throughout 158 landscaped acres. Residents and vacation guests enjoy 1500 feet of white sand beachfront, an uber-chic beach club, amphitheater, swimming pools and restaurants, extraordinary fitness facilities, and lush parks and nature trails.

Alys Beach

The Clermont Courts rowhouses will be the most compact of the Alys Beach residences, which also include free-standing villas and compounds valued at up to $6 million or more. Here’s a look at the plans for the custom townhouse designs, along with photos of a similar Caliza Courts home to give you a visual of what’s in the works, and the amenities in the community. (And, psst! Should you want a rowhouse that’s available now,  the home we’re using for illustration is a pre-owned property that’s now listed for sale.)    (more…)

Saugatuck Beach 1

Growing up in Chicago, Saugatuck was one of many beach communities where folks who went to beach communities went.  My childhood summers were spent in the cement pond rather than a sandy lakeside beach.  In my 20s, I discovered Saugatuck and its sister city, Douglas, located on the Lake Michigan side of …. well … Michigan.

At that time it was a sleepy, arty town with tons of vacation home rentals and B&Bs, that earned the nickname the Provincetown of the Midwest.  Today, it’s become quite a bit more upscale and professional-level touristy.  But the beaches are still great (and shark-free!).  In 2010, Budget Travel named it one of the 10 coolest towns in America.


74 W 38th - Main 2

We’ve all heard of “the Jersey Shore,” however with 130 miles of Atlantic Ocean frontage, it’s not all reality show goombas and New York City riffraff.  The communities of Avalon and Stone Harbor share a barrier island on the far southern New Jersey coast called Seven Mile Island (no points for guessing the name’s origin).  The island is about 36 miles south of Atlantic City and 20 miles north of Cape May.

Originally the island contained just Avalon but was split in 1941 to add Stone Harbor. Seven Mile Island protrudes about a mile further east into the Atlantic Ocean than nearby islands and so gained the motto, “Cooler by a Mile.”


With less water you'd swear you were in Las Vegas (in more ways than one)

With less water you’d swear you were in Las Vegas (in more ways than one)

Many who visit Italy are captivated by the history, architecture, geography, abundant seafood, and slower pace.  My trip to Venice left me wondering why anyone would want to live there. Don’t get me wrong — it was a great four days — but the constant hive of tourists that infest Venice would make living there annoying.

Venice is a World Heritage site, and rightly so. Without cars, it’s all walking, all the time, which I love.  It’s vastly beautiful with secret treasure views around every corner.  The further away from Saint Mark’s Square you get, the more non-English speaking real Italy you get.

However it’s a small island and tourists are everywhere, all armed with a bucket list of pictures to take. Even a seemingly uninhabited alleyway is soon interrupted.  Cruise ships disgorge their thousands, airports supply their daily throngs.  Gorgeous but far from peaceful.

How Touristy? I probably waited ten minutes to get a picture of a tourist-free bridge which lasted seconds.

How Touristy? I probably waited 10 minutes to get this picture of an empty bridge. An emptiness that lasted seconds.

It rained a bit during my stay, which brought out umbrellas at garrote-height, taking aim at my neck.  I’m also a quick walker and the tourist-shuffle speed was tiring.

Imagine living in Las Vegas or Six Flags … all the time.  That’s Venice (only completely beautiful).

However all is not lost.  There is the Lido.


Kimpton Grand Cayman1

YOU KNOW SEVEN MILE BEACH, YES? Probably the most famous and glorious beach in the western hemisphere, it is a long crescent of coral-sand perfection on the western end of Grand Cayman. Seven Mile Beach has been named “The Caribbean’s Best Beach” by the revered Travel and Leisure. Others think it is one of the best beaches in the world. It is public property (as are all beaches in the Cayman Islands) and you are free to walk the full length of the beach, which is actually 6.3 miles, regardless of where you are staying or how small your hedge fund is. There are a few residences along this famous beach, with condos built in the 1980’s starting at about half a million. The homes, as you can just imagine, are in the multi-million range. But nothing much new in the way of residential or hospitality has been built along this beach in more than ten years.

That is, until now. Dart Realty, one of the largest developers in the Cayman Islands, proudly unveils its newest property:  the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, the boutique hotel brand’s first Caribbean property, and The Residences at Seafire. There will be a total of 265 rooms, including the private wholly owned homes.

“On behalf of Ken Dart and Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd., we are excited to announce that we have begun the one-year countdown to the opening of Grand Cayman’s first luxury resort in more than a decade, the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, and our for-sale residential offering, The Residences at Seafire, situated on the award-winning Seven Mile Beach,” said Mark VanDevelde, CEO of DRCL.

Kimpton Grand Cayman pool view

View of Seven Mile Beach and the Caribbean Sea from the lobby of Kimpton Seafire

The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, and The Residences at Seafire, both reflect founder Ken Dart’s vision of creating places where both visitors and residents want to gather, spend time and be inspired by the beauty of Cayman’s natural environment, says VanDevelde.

It is also another testament to Dart’s commitment to help grow the local island economy as well as create new employment opportunities. The property topped out in August, and the design team is now focusing attention on the build-out of the interior spaces. The resort and residences are on schedule for opening in November, 2016. The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, and The Residences at Seafire, will add the first residential dimension to a developer renowned for thoughtful design approaches encompassing sustainability, advanced recycling efforts, and the most energy efficient structures. Dart Realty is an investment, development and management company with more than one million square feet of built assets including the uber master-planned, mixed-use development of Camana Bay, featuring more than 700,000 square feet of developed grounds including courtyards, gardens, event spaces, sports fields, car parks, roads and a helipad.




It’s time to start thinking of your trip to the beach! A prime ocean view is a bit of an obligation. Given the price of oceanview property, which of course, they aren’t making any more of, the onus is on the builder and architect to craft a home that is both livable and delivers on the promise of a jaw-dropping vista.


Jerusalem Road in Cohasset on Massachusetts’ South Shore has many homes that capture the classic look of a New England estate. Cohasset is a charming seaside town that offers many of the benefits of nearby Cape Cod but without as much of the tourist traffic (and no long wait to cross the bridge). This home, freshly built this year by Patrick Ahearn Architect and Fabrizio Construction, is a custom collaboration on a shingle style masterpiece with ocean views from 15 of 19 rooms!