The Abaco Islands are downright deserted compared with some Bahamian destinations. But over the last few years, the laid-back Abaco chain—a pristine collection of islands and cays in the northeastern Bahamas, about 200 miles off the coast of Florida—has become one of the Caribbean’s hottest locations for luxury resort developments, the latest of which include three exclusive vacation-home communities.
The newest of the Abacos’ private communities, Serenity Point, overlooks a five-mile stretch of beach on the archipelago’s largest island and hub, Great Abaco. The 40-acre community opened sales earlier this year for its 46 inland, hilltop, ocean-view, and beachfront homesites, which range from about a half acre to more than 1.5 acres and are priced from $230,000 to $1.2 million. Buyers can work with their own architect (following community guidelines) or use one of the island-contemporary designs conceived by Chancey Design Partnership of Tampa, Fla., specifically for Serenity Point.
Great Abaco is also home to the Abaco Club on Winding Bay, a 534-acre vacation-home community that opened in 2004 and is now managed by the Ritz-Carlton Co. Essentially a private Ritz-Carlton resort, the Abaco Club offers estate lots (from $520,000 to $4 million), fully furnished cottages, and fractional-ownership options, backed by such amenities as a spa, restaurants, and an 18-hole seaside golf course.
The Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club—a 585-acre gated community offering homesites (from $1 million), beach cottages, and harbor-view residences—broke ground on the archipelago’s Great Guana Cay in 2006. Operated by Discovery Land Co., the developers behind El Dorado in Los Cabos, Mexico, and Kuki’o on Hawaii’s Big Island, Baker’s Bay includes a marina village and a 200-slip harbor, as well as a Tom Fazio golf course that opened earlier this year.
At Serenity Point—which is being developed by Nassau–based Anco Lands—amenities will include a beach club, tennis courts, golf carts for each home, and a concierge to arrange everything from dinner reservations to yacht charters. Serenity Point is about a mile from yet another development, Schooner Bay, a village that will comprise shops, restaurants, homes, and a harbor able to accommodate boats as long as 75 feet.
The new developments in the Abacos should help accommodate a growing number of visitors to the islands. But even with the recent influx of high-end communities, the archipelago has retained its low-key charm.
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Managed Club, +242.366.3820, www.ritzcarltonclub.com; Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club, +242.365.5802, www.bakersbayclub.com; Serenity Point, +242.677.5333, www.serenitypoint.com