Once in awhile you discover a place that you want to go back to again and again. That might easily be The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in the Bahamas, just a 40-minute flight from Florida. Multi-million dollar homes, spa, tennis courts, 2-1/2 miles of white powdery sand and a stunning seaside golf course by Tom Mackenzie and Donald Steel, are all part of this grand tropical escape set on a remote 500-acre plus parcel of land on the eastern shore of Great Abaco.
Founded in 2004 by international entrepreneur Peter de Savary, The Abaco Club was designed as a private sporting club for people who need never ask “how much?” — people who have a strong desire to escape from hectic lives mind-sets away. It’s for those who like to play golf and tennis, get spa treatments, fish and sink their feet in the powdery soft sand. And do nothing at all.
In December 2014 Southworth Development, a highly respected Newton, Massachusetts-based real estate firm acquired the property. “It’s the closest place I have seen to Polynesia,” said David Southworth, president and CEO who is totally in tune to the coveted kickback lifestyle the Club’s owners crave. Southworth has already begun a multi-million dollar renovation program of the Club with improvements to the golf course, a new marina and boathouse, new clubhouse and upgrades to existing facilities.
The golf course designed by Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, rolls naturally over the dunes, grasses and limestone base that runs by a sea of turquoise and cobalt blue while wind is a huge factor on this robust 7,120-yard track.
It’s a serious course for people like Darren Clarke, European Ryder Cup Captain who has a home here. Yet with five tee boxes, it provides both a good play and great visual pleasure for all levels of players with many holes revealing views of the water. The challenge comes when you land on the green. Some rock and roll pretty well and can result in a ride on the wild side. But with a new practice and short game facility designed by Bob Cupp, golfers will have plenty of opportunity to perfect their putting and chipping skills.
Architectural styles favor traditional Bahamian design with covered porches, railings, peaked roofs, and cheerful island colors.
Estate lots of .9 to 1.6 acres selling from $1.75 to $3.9 million, may overlook the sea, beach and/or golf course offering stunning views from many aspects.
For a more modest option, two to four bedroom turn-key Plantation-and Bahamian-style cottages are closely strung along the eastern crest above the sea and staggered up a hill overlooking the sea and beach. With approximately 2,800 square feet, they are furnished in soft, island-inspired colors with prices ranging from $2 to $3 million.
Twenty octagon-shaped cabanas with wrap-around screened porches are clustered in groves of palms, palmettos and tropical flowers close to the beach with views of the golf course. Prices for the cabanas are $375,000. Each is fully furnished and has a mini-kitchen. Although but 650 square feet, it may be the least expensive way to buy into a very exclusive community.
Each cottage is supplied with a club golf cart to take you wherever you want to go on the property and there is a rental program for owners who wish to earn some income on their vacation home.
Memberships in the Abaco Club include reciprocal privileges at all other Southworth properties in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia and Scotland. Initiation fees range from $5,000 for a Social Membership and $10,000 for an International Membership to $100,000 for a Full Membership; Dues range from $1,890 to $12,075. Theabacoclub.com
Additional facilities include Buster’s Beach Bar, complimentary watercraft and chaises, croquet and fine dining at the Cliff House restaurant with its circular bar.