According to a recent Knight Frank report, branded residences are proliferating from the Caribbean all the way to China. But especially in the Caribbean. The report concludes ultra-high-net-worth buyers are drawn to quality home design, high living standards, inclusive management as well as luxury services and amenities.
Marriott International Autograph Collection is deeply immersed in this trend, with 60 branded residences worldwide. Its latest is Alaia Belize’s new oceanfront home collection—The Beach Villas, part of a 155-unit community resort opening in December 2020. Belize is emerging as the Caribbean’s best kept secret.
“We are now seeing branded residences transform the fishing village into a luxury destination, all without losing its laid-back and corky personality,” says Caribbean developer Andrew Ashcroft, managing principal of Alaia Belize.
Ashcroft is collaborating with Marriott International’s Autograph Collection to launch the eight designer oceanfront villas featuring interiors by award-winning Brazilian designer Debora Aguiar, who is known for her eco-luxury aesthetics.
Alaia Belize recently unveiled renderings of these villas, based on Aguilar’s design. They will feature three-bedroom freestanding homes with personal entrances along the Caribbean Sea—offering solitude and luxury as owners indulge in their own private pools and beach loungers amid natural surroundings.
“For the oceanfront villas, we are creating a climate of intimacy, hospitality, sensuality and bringing the personality of Belize into the concept,” says Aguiar, founder and owner of Debora Aguiar Arquitetos.
Located in San Pedro Town’s Ambergris Caye, Alaia Belize will be a boutique resort community spanning more than 20 acres—comprising a hotel, residential condos and the eight beachfront villas with direct access to 1,000-plus square feet of white sand beach. Studios are $199,000, one-bedrooms are $419,000, two-bedrooms are $649,000, three-bedrooms are $799,000 and the eight beachfront villas are priced at $1.3 million.
“If you go to more expensive markets like Turks and Caicos, $1.3 million will get you a one-bedroom in a tower,” says Ashcroft. “In Belize, “$1.3 million will get you a three-bedroom villa walking out onto the beach.”
Owners who don’t live full time in Belize can opt their condos or villas into a rental program booked through Marriott International’s reservation system. Ashcroft says Belize is experiencing a renaissance from international buyers, as airlines added direct flights from Houston, Toronto, Denver and Mexico City.
The hotel will include a suspended rooftop pool and lounge, beach club, full-service spa, fitness center, art gallery, wine club, casual and formal dining, an adventure concierge, and a sailing and water club—all located one mile from the world’s second largest barrier reef. That reef, called “The Great Blue Hole,” is a giant off-coast sinkhole which Jacques Cousteau once considered one of the world’s top five scuba diving sites.
“Alaia was designed as an ‘eco-luxury’ hotel, where nature was determinant in our choices—whether natural materials; various textures of fibers, stones, woods, fabrics; or reuse of stones, woods and coatings in general,” said Aguiar. “Special areas are designed to stimulate the five senses—from the reception to the lobby, from the apartment to the circulations, and from the beach bar to the spa.”