Destinations of Luxury
“Luxury” by one dictionary definition is “something adding to pleasure or comfort, but not absolutely necessary.”
Luxury real estate gives “pleasure or comfort” to the purchaser by providing that comforting value found in a location, lifestyle or an amenity — or something else entirely.
Set on spectacular Great Abaco island in the Bahamas, Schooner Bay is a one-of-a-kind residential community that offers owners the chance to get away from it all while still enjoying the finest lifestyle amenities that the 21st century has to offer. The gorgeous oceanfront homes, tasteful harbourside cottages and maintenance-free condominiums give residents choices that are as close to heavenly as you’re likely to find anywhere else.
Surrounded by the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean, water sports are clearly the prime recreational pursuits at Schooner Bay. Billfish, jacks, tarpon, tuna and bonefish are abundant in the area for laid-back outings or competitive fishing events. Surfing and paddleboarding are also popular, while the off-shore sailing and boating adventures are endless. Golfers can tee it up at the nearby Abaco Club championship course and the new Sports Complex features tennis, volleyball, basketball and pickleball courts.
While new upscale facilities at Schooner Bay are set to debut soon, the “wellness lifestyle” is already established in the community. Farm-fresh local produce and daily-catch seafood are on the menu every evening and the island’s fitness trails offer a primordial experience to hikers and bike riders. Schooner Bay’s Integrated Medical Centre provides an exceptional level of medical care and the entire residential community with associated support facilities will continue to be developed using the most up-to-date sustainability methods.
The Reserve at Lake Keowee
“Around here, a perfect day is ‘The Reserve Trifecta’—nine holes of golf in the morning, a Clemson game in the afternoon and back home for a sunset cruise on the lake or a little fishing before dinner,” said Rutledge Livingston, Director of Sales at The Reserve at Lake Keowee.
Located in the Upstate region of South Carolina and 16 miles from the university town of Clemson, The Reserve at Lake Keowee is a waterfront residential community with a centerpiece Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. This May the award-winning layout will again be one of three area courses to host the BMW Charity Pro-Am, a leading event on the Web.com Tour that always includes an impressive roster of celebrity players. But life at The Reserve is about more than fairways and greens.
“Our location is an asset to our residents in more than one way,” Livingston continued. “First, we’re in a thermal belt here in the foothills that gives us shorter winters—snow is a rarity—mild summers and longer spring and fall seasons to enjoy outdoor activities like golf, fishing, sailing, kayaking, hiking or whatever you like to get out and do.”
“Second, we’re right down the road from Clemson and all the educational and cultural opportunities there. And Greenville is just 40 minutes away with its great airport, medical facilities, entertainment events, shopping, restaurants and everything else.”
“We’re very proud of our Village Center and Market,” he said. “It’s become the hub of our community, a place where people can visit with their neighbors while picking up some groceries or meet up for lunch or go for a walk on one of our community trails.”
“Our residents have really embraced the whole ‘wellness lifestyle‘ with the emphasis not just on exercise but also on eating healthier. So we’re going to establish an on-site farm here with a community co-op so that we can grow some of our own food to supplement the great produce that we get from our local farmers.”
The Virginian Golf Club
The Virginian Golf Club is located in the highlands of southwestern Virginia, about midway between the historic mountain towns of Abingdon and Bristol. Interstate 81 is just 10 minutes from the community, which is also convenient to the nearby Virginia Highlands Airport for private planes and the Tri-Cities Regional Airport for commercial service. The Virginian’s homes and homesites offer panoramic mountain and countryside vistas, while the Grandview neighborhood looks down the club’s 9th and 18th fairways. Vineyard Terraces is a new, European-inspired collection of hillside homes overlooking a working vineyard.
The Virginian’s social hub is its graceful stone and wood clubhouse designed by Atlanta architects Chapman Coyle Chapman and Associates. In addition to the casual Grille Room and a formal dining room, members enjoy the use of the richly appointed Board Room for private functions. The Family Center at The Virginian has both a Junior Olympic-size pool and a children’s pool, as well as a complete fitness center and four tennis courts.
The featured amenity at The Virginian Golf Club is its Tom Fazio-designed centerpiece golf course, which has won awards from just about every national and regional golf publication since opening in 1993. In addition to the on-site Jim Blackmore Golf Academy, the extensive practice area includes three practice holes that are great for beginning players and kids.
The Landings on Skidaway Island
Located on the Georgia coast near all of the cultural amenities of the city of Savannah, The Landings on Skidaway Island is now home to about 9,000 residents spread out in more than a dozen distinctive neighborhoods.
David Ridberg was a city police chief and his wife, Amanda, was an office manager in Connecticut; they decided to take an early retirement with their daughter and move to The Landings.
There’s no doubt that The Landings’ featured amenities are its six on-site golf courses, two designed by Arnold Palmer, another pair by Arthur Hills and one each by Tom Fazio and Willard Byrd. And the Ridbergs aren’t just players—they’re serious competitors, as evidenced by their back-to-back wins in The Landings’ husband-and-wife golf championship.
“We wanted a place with more than one golf course,” David said, “and having the six courses here is great because you never get tired of playing the same one every week. I like to play in the afternoons, so it’s never a problem getting a tee time. And if one course is taken out of the rotation for maintenance or whatever, it’s no big deal because there are five others open. There are four clubhouses and each one has a great restaurant with its own specialty menu.”
“Because we have a daughter in middle school,” Amanda said, “I really appreciate the safety and security here. She can ride her bike around with friends and we don’t have to worry. There’s a great mix of people here—young couples, families, early retirees like us and older residents. It’s really a respectful and friendly environment for everyone.”
And while both of the Ridbergs are active in their local church and its charitable activities, they’ve also found a new appreciation for the natural world at The Landings. “There are about 40 miles of trails here and we spend a lot of time walking, running and biking around,” David said. “It’s really beautiful with all of the big oaks and pines and the wildlife, especially the birds—egrets, herons, owls and eagles. It’s like living in the middle of a nature preserve.”
By Kelly Godbey. Previously published in the 2015 Spring Issue. Destinations of Luxury.