Livin’ In Paradise: These vacation hotspots are also becoming popular places to live

Livin’ In Paradise: These vacation hotspots are also becoming popular places to live

Vacations are a time to relax, unwind and enjoy the spoils of our hard work. Where spa treatments are on the agenda, not conference calls. Where “I’ll have another” refers to cocktails not coffee, and suit and ties are bypassed for Bermuda shorts and flip flops.

As often the case, these vacations have a lasting impression, and persuade people to make these destinations a permanent residence either before or after retirement.

That’s especially true in popular locales such as San Antonio, the Phoenix area and the Bahamas, and even in remote escapes, where peace and quiet reign supreme. Thankfully, these hotspots all boast wonderful paradises that many people call home.

Abaco Club

The Abaco Club on Winding Bay – Located on the Bahamian island of Great Abaco, The Abaco Club on Winding Bay is a private, international sporting club situated on more than 500 acres. The Abaco Club offers a world of relaxation and five-star resort-style amenities for homeowners and visitors to enjoy – with a 2.5-mile private beach, a top-rated golf course, spectacular water, leisure and sporting activities, fine dining featuring fresh local fare and world-class fishing.

The Club’s unique “tropical links” golf course has been consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the Caribbean and Mexico. Designed by British course architects Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, the picturesque course is set against the sea with rugged rocks, sloping greens and lush flora throughout – and is often frequented by 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain and Abaco resident, Darren Clarke.

Residential options include Estate Lots upon which beautiful custom homes can be created, luxurious two-and four-bedroom Cottages, and elegant one-bedroom Cabanas. The Abaco Club’s Estate Lots are in the east and west sections of the golf course, all with spectacular ocean views, and range from $3 - $4 million for one to two acres. The Cottages are semi-customizable plantation-style, single-family homes with golf and/or water views. The Cottages are available in two- to four-bedroom configurations, with interior design packages featuring island-inspired colors and furnishings. Approximately 2,800 square feet, the Cottages range from $2 – $3 million. Built approximately 650 square feet in size, The Cabanas are one-bedroom stand-alone buildings that offer golf course views, and comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces, and are priced at $375,000.


Cordillera Ranch – Situated just 45 minutes from San Antonio and its famous downtown landmarks (Alamo and Riverwalk), Cordillera Ranch epitomizes understated Texas Hill Country elegance. The club boasts a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course that consistently ranks among the top-5 layouts in the state. Its signature hole – the par-3 16th – is regarded as one of the best and most beautiful golf holes in Texas.

However, Cordillera Ranch isn’t solely about golf; rather, the community boasts resort-style amenities and seven clubs that placate to anyone’s outdoor passions – Golf, Tennis and Swim, Spa and Athletic, Social, Rod and Gun, Equestrian and River. To wit, stable horses are available for trail rides through the back country, and an on-site outfitter offers guidance for navigating the multi-station skeet shooting range. Cordillera Ranch residents can even place a kayak in the Guadalupe River for a float trip or bring along the kids for a little fishing expedition.

Considered the premier address in the San Antonio area, Cordillera Ranch offers 0.25-acre villas, one- to 10-plus acre estates, including valley-view, golf course and Guadalupe River frontage, as well as hilltop home sites. Home prices start in the $700Ks, with the finest home sites topping at $1.5 million. Cordillera Ranch continues to grow at an impressive pace – with nearly 800 homes completed (and more than 1,200 lot sales) in the community. At final build-out, Cordillera Ranch will total approximately 2,500 homes and preserve 80 percent of the land in its natural Hill Country rustic state.

Exceptional amenities and resort-style member clubs, spacious lots and breathtaking scenery at every turn – living at Cordillera Ranch mirrors a vacation. And like a five-star resort, residents and members of Cordillera Ranch can spend days experiencing a plethora of outstanding outdoor experiences, all without living the cozy confines.

Desert Highlands

Desert Highlands
– Considered Scottsdale's premier private community and club, Desert Highlands majestically melds Sonoran Desert luxury with world-class golf, tennis, dining and concierge services. Located just 30 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Desert Highlands is easily accessible for second and vacation home owners, and only minutes away from famed Old Town Scottsdale and its myriad shops, restaurants and art galleries.

Homes range from $1.5 million to $4 million, and feature architecturally adapted styles and systems for life in America's most vibrant desert. A residential remodel program offers investors the opportunity to have club membership fee waived during the period in which they are restoring / upgrading their investment property.

Scottsdale may be known for its scene and a place to be seen, but there’s also plenty of things to do within Desert Highlands. The club boasts a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design that hosted the first two Skins Games back in 1983-84, and is considered one of the most picturesque in the Valley of the Sun. Later this year, the golf course will undergo a $7 million renovation by Nicklaus Design that will include an updated irrigation system and upgraded cart paths. Also found at Desert Highlands is an 18-hole putting course, an award-winning Racquet Club and 13 courts, and a 7,000 square-foot Wellness Center.

Sailfish Point

Sailfish Point
– Florida’s Treasure Coast is fast becoming a popular locale for vacationers … and eventual residents … thanks to a coastal luxury enclave only minutes from the relaxing town of Stuart.

Sailfish Point offers an array of residences for those who’d like hang their (wide-brimmed fishing) hat and make the area home (or second home). Situated on South Florida’s Hutchinson Island, just 45 minutes north of Palm Beach, this 532-acre private, member-owned community defines luxury living. Surrounded almost entirely by water, Sailfish Point offers stunning and secluded properties with exclusive waterfront access to the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River and St. Lucie Inlet. The oceanfront neighborhood features 520 distinctive homes, including spacious beachfront properties, intimate condos, golf villas and townhomes with private boat slips.

Widely recognized as the premier golf and boating community on Florida’s Atlantic coast, Sailfish Point is home to several five-star resort-style amenities including a newly-renovated 60,000 square-foot clubhouse with multiple dining options, a fitness center, multiple pools, eight Har-Tru tennis courts and five miles of white sand beach.

Sailfish Point’s full-service spa offers one of only two luxury SALT therapy rooms in the country. Residents also have access to a nationally-ranked Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course with every hole on the par-72 course boasting a water view and gulf stream breezes.