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Best of the Best 2007: Private Resort Communities

Samantha Brooks

Facilities at the Turks & Caicos Sporting Club (877.815.1300, www.tc-sportingclub.com) include a 100-slip marina, stables, a 5,700-foot-long jet strip with customs and immigration services, a spa and fitness center with tennis and squash courts, and a members’ lodge. One of the only things missing from this 1,100-acre private island is a hotel. The community and all of the facilities on the property, which is just an 18-minute flight on the club’s private jet from the Turks and Caicos island of Providenciales, are open only to homeowners and their guests. The 550 houses and homesites (prices range from $525,000 to $6 million) are distributed among 12 neighborhoods on the 3.3-mile-long island, which has 8 miles of shoreline. About 25 percent of the homes and sites have been sold, and the club plans to complete most of its common facilities by late 2008.

Concealed by natural lava-rock formations off the Big Island’s Highway 11, the entrance to Kuki‘o (808.325. 4040, www.kukio.com) helps distinguish the Hawaiian resort as a Discovery Land Co. project. The development firm, whose other resorts include the Hideaway in La Quinta, Calif., and El Dorado in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, excels at building low-key, high-end communities. Established in 1999, Kuki‘o consists of 1,100 acres with 375 houses and homesites. Approximately 65 percent of the properties have been sold, but some sites and several resale homes remain available at prices from about $2 million to more than $20 million. Owners at the oceanfront community enjoy exclusive access to two Tom Fazio–designed golf courses—a 10-hole short course and an 18-hole championship layout along the Pacific—as well as two restaurants, a members’ clubhouse, and spa and fitness facilities.

Few private resorts combine exclusivity and accessibility as well as the Talisker Club (435.333.3600, www.talisker.com). Located in Park City, Utah, the development is only a 45-minute drive from the Salt Lake City Airport, which means that members can arrive on a morning flight and be skiing or teeing off before lunch. The 10,000-acre development consists of three communities: Tuhaye, which is situated around a Mark O’Meara–designed golf course and a Robert A.M. Stern–designed clubhouse; Empire Pass, which is located near the top of the mountain and offers ski-in, ski-out privileges; and Red Cloud, a 30-home gated community within the community. Prices at Talisker range from $450,000 for a half-acre site to $5 million for 2.7 acres and to as much as $7 million for a custom home. Membership at the club, most of which should be completed by 2009, costs $100,000.

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