Day 3 of Placencia (Belize) Discovery

Private Islands…
Including The Next “Star Island”

Did you miss the first two posts in this series?
Night 1 In Unspoiled Placencia
Day 2 of our Belize Discovery Trip: From Rustic to Regal

Little Harvest Caye houses five private suites, each with their own large open air thatch roof bathrooms.

Exploration of the real estate on the southern side of the peninsula in Placencia, Belize, would start with a boat ride from the harbor, this time on a very nice tour boat! We passed the Yacht Club and headed toward Little Harvest Caye, a 1.5 acre private resort island located under a mile away from Placencia Village owned by Vision Properties Belize and managed by Gecko Vacation Rentals. Little Harvest Caye sleeps up to 14 guests who enjoy ultimate privacy with views in all directions of the open ocean and in the distance, a lighthouse on the private island owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines and a little further away in the distance, the Maya Mountains.

After visiting Little Harvest Caye, we understood why Vision Properties, owned by David Keener of Southlake, Texas, has become the leading real estate development company in the area, setting the bar for vacation rental properties in Southern Belize and offering the one-tenth fractional ownership opportunities to those wishing to invest in second home ownership.

Keener also remains active as a successful single-family residential developer back home in the DFW Metroplex, where Vision Properties’ sister companies, Gecko Vacation Rentals and Oakmead Logistics are also located. The Southlake offices are overseen by Kathy Keener, who handles marketing, rental bookings, accounting, and procurement of items the properties need that have to be sourced in the United States. Oakmead Logistics’ warehouse in Haltom City, Texas, is where items are consolidated and shipped via shipping containers to Belize.

It seems that vacationing on your own private island isn’t something new in Placencia.
“Imagine slowing down time and inhabiting an intimate island where your only neighbors will be your traveling companions, exotic birds, and attentive caretakers to prepare your meal, pour your wine or chop a fresh coconut,” the Turtle Inn’s website says in promoting its own remote private island, Coral Caye, a two-acre island just a 25 minute (8 mile) boat ride from the resort and sheltered behind the world famous Belize Barrier Reef. (As discussed in our Day 2 post, The Turtle Inn, and also Coral Caye, are owned by Francis Ford Coppola.)

Developers like Keener see more opportunities to offer the unique luxury of owning or renting a private island on the dozens of small, idyllic cayes off the Placencia coast, with very eco-friendly low impact development practices that carefully preserve their beauty. Vision Properties’ partnership with Private Islands, Inc., the foremost global marketplace for private island sales and rentals, and its HGTV “Island Hunters” show, have put the Placencia coastal islands on the radar. Sure enough, Little Harvest Caye has been featured on the show, as has Vision Properties’ newest all-inclusive project, Kanu Private Island, featuring five villas on an island six miles east of Placencia Village.

Sapodilla Private Island
and a rendering of the proposed entry.

Island Hunters also premiered the vision for Properties’ Gladdin Private Island, which it donned, “The Most Private Island in the World. ” Gladdin’s dedicated staff will live on their own island directly across the lagoon and come over, when requested, to tend to all the guests needs. Gladden lies directly on the edge of the widest and most picturesque section of the Belize Barrier Reef in the Caribbean Sea, 20 miles off the coast of Placencia. A development plan is also underway for Sapodilla Private Island, comprised of three separate islands also located on Belize Barrier Reef within the protected waters of the Sapodilla National Marine Park and World Heritage Site.

At Enclave Island private retreat, the pool and sandy white beach with pier from which guests can fish or snorkel, were picture perfect.

We were simply dazzled to see and learn about all this as our tour continued. Back in the boat and headed from Little Harvest Caye back to Placencia Caye, our next stop is on another of Vision Properties’ private island resorts. Almost swimmable to Placencia Village and just across from it, the seven individual beach chalets comprising The Enclave Island Retreat surround its massive open-air veranda containing over 4,400 sq. ft. of living area with soaring ceilings made from local Belizean hardwood.

Also on Placencia Caye, we stopped to tour Gecko Island Time. It was similar to the spacious and luxurious Gecko homes we had toured on the northern end of the peninsula and owned by a group of 10 owners, just like the others. One of the things that set Island Time apart, however, is its location. The boardwalk in front of it will connect to the future Placencia Caye Resort, Vision Properties’ next huge undertaking. What we had caught a glimpse of on the way home from Caroline’s Placencia Yacht Club the evening before was the site for all that it will soon be.

Guests of Placencia Caye Resort, including those staying in the connected villages and homes on the island as well as day trip guests from Placencia Village, arrive by boat to a large protected marina located on the expansive open canal that serves as the entrance to The Resort. Some, including those residing at Island Time, will be able to access The Resort from the boardwalk behind their homes on Placencia Caye. The Resort will offer a five-star restaurant, a large ocean front pool, a luxury roof top spa, gym and lounge deck, four ocean view rooms over the dining room and overlooking the pool, and six private large oceanfront rooms located on the beach.

A rendering of The Resort and surrounding villas from the marina. 
Docking your boat—big or small—alongside the properties on Placencia Caye makes renting or owning on it a huge draw for yacht owners.
The existing boardwalk on Placencia Caye will connect other homeowners to The Resort.

The Resort makes Placencia Caye likely to become Placencia’s own “Star Island” –move over Star Island Miami. This means the opportunity to own a home anywhere on Placencia Caye is likely to see a huge hike in value. Dirtwork is finishing up on the seawall with water and power for Placencia Caye Phase 2 expected to be completed soon. It will add 11 ocean front lots restricted to require short term rentals exclusively run through The Resort. A helipad is also on the drawing board which would allow transport directly from the Belize City airport.

Investors that want to be part of what will be incredible and profitable private islands can still enjoy ground-floor opportunities at The Placencia Caye Resort, Gladdin Private Island and Sapodilla Private Island. A limited number of ownership investment opportunities are also offered at Vision Properties other villas in Placencia. Contact Steve Smirnis for more information.

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