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Style At Home: Buying Vacation Property Abroad

August 17th, 2010

This month, is helping readers learn what to consider when buying vacation property abroad through a focus on Serenity Point.

Serenity Point Main Entrance

Read the full article: Style at Home, “Buying vacation property abroad” by Lauren McPhillips.

Buying vacation property abroad

Summers in Canada are associated with cottage life and living by the water — but what happens when summer turns to winter?

A minority of us plow cottage roads or winterize our summer houses, but many of us do a few jaunts to sunny destinations throughout the snowy months, and a growing number of Canadians are actually buying second properties abroad.

The planned community [at Serenity Point in Abaco, Bahamas] is nothing short of fabulous — buying a property here would make anyone feel like they are on an eternal vacation. So whether you’re buying the land for a winter escape or as a retirement property, Serenity Point is a place of relaxation and island-living — a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Create your dream home on the beach

Customization is a priority for home owners, and it should be no different for your vacation home.

One of the great things about the homes at Serenity Point is that they are custom designed to your liking. The developers have combined forces with Chancey Design Partnership to allow buyers to design their dream home on the beach. Whether you have a budget or want all the luxuries they have to offer, the designers create a space that works for your lifestyle.

Home Design by Walt Chancey

Equally important when considering buying vacation property abroad is access to amenities.

Serenity Point, a 40-acre gated community on Schooner Bay Beach, offers miles of pristine beach, tennis courts, a club house, a neighboring village full of restaurants and other services, plus all the amenities of home.

Style At Home writer Lauren McPhillips rightly recommends that readers research things like water treatment, internet access, air conditioning, and other needed amenities. Many islands have less than favorable services, but Serenity Point offers all the necessities and plenty of luxuries — personal chefs, bone fishing, pre-arrival shopping service, private golf lessons, and a maid/butler service to name a few.

McPhillips’ 5 Things to Consider When Buying Vacation Property Abroad include:

1. Chose Your Location.
Off the beaten path, with plenty of activities, Abaco is only a 50 minute flight from the coast of Florida, making it a quick escape.

2. Research amenities.
Know what home utilities are available, including internet access, but also consider your day-to-day needs. Abaco’s international airports, international banking services, hospitals, gas stations, markets, and schools make Abaco one of the top 20 global real estate markets.

3. Understand the culture.
For example, on Abaco there is an intense respect for natural resources, “a factor that the Serenity Point developers have taken into consideration through working around vegetation and natural sand dunes when building.”

4. Work within your budget.
Vacation property on Abaco ranges in value on the island from $200,000 USD to $1 million plus. As a luxury property, Serenity Point prices depend on the home site location: beach front, ridge, or hilltop.

5. Maintenance.
Be sure to take into account year-round maintenance care, including the costs of gardening, lawn care, housecleaning and damage control.

Read the full article at for all the details.

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Rare Beachfront Opportunities at Serenity Point

May 4th, 2010

Situated at water’s edge on Schooner Bay Beach, home owners on Beachfront Lots 1 to 7 will enjoy a view that is unique to a fortunate few.


Key Aspects of the Beachfront Lots

  • Lot sizes range from 21,041 to 47,391 square feet.
  • Beach frontage per lot ranges from 90 to 112 feet.
  • Residents have direct access to a 200-300 foot wide, 5 mile long beach.
  • Schooner Bay harbour village is a 5-minute stroll away.
  • A stroll to the north brings you to Serenity Point’s full-service Beach Club, then to miles of pristine, untouched beach.

The beach at Serenity Point remains relatively untouched by development, and its beauty and sand quality rival the best known beaches of the islands. The dunes, beachfront and associated vegetation are not only picturesque but form an ecosystem that is critical to the health of the shoreline and the nesting grounds of the island’s turtle population.

Serenity Point’s commitment to the sustainability of Schooner Bay Beach means that the community plan adheres to practices that will best protect the dune and waterline.

  • Lot owners may create a winding path to the beach.
  • Existing vegetation may be minimally trimmed to establish and maintain views.

Owners also benefit from the well-planned nature of this community. Each lot has a proposed driveway location, front and side setback, 2nd story building zone and beach setback.

Serenity Point’s pre-approved architectural and building professionals are available to create custom home designs. Or home site owners may select from pre-approved home plans in Serenity Point’s Builder’s Program.

Preview Lot 4

Exterior Rendering of Lot 4

Exterior Rendering of Lot 4


For more information on Serenity Point’s beachfront lots download the Full Siteplan (PDF) or visit the Interactive Siteplan.

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Serenity Point and Sustainable Development

April 14th, 2010

Azure Waters and White Sands of Serenity Point, Schooner Bay BeachAbaco is the fastest growing island in the Bahamas and, as such, real estate is a major industry. Many North Americans and Bahamians are drawn to the peaceful, laid-back existence, the absence of traffic jams and the environmentally conscious nature of the island’s residents.

Sustainable development is a major concern on the island, and one that Anco Lands took seriously when undertaking its real estate development. Serenity Point is devoted to preserving the breathtaking beauty of its location; ensuring that the ocean, air and land are natural extensions of the each home; and designing for luxury using best practices in sustainability.

Serenity Point’s architectural guidelines mandate design techniques that significantly reduce energy use and encourage water preservation, such as a 25-thousand gallon rainwater tank for each home site.

Responsible green choices for this low-impact, residential community include:

  • Solar-powered golf cart for each home site
  • Recyclable waste disposal
  • Rainwater holding tanks
  • Low-impact irrigation system
  • Solar-panel-powered clubhouse
  • Indigenous tropical landscaping

Solar-Powered Golf Carts
golf-cartFully charged by the sun, solar-powered carts can run up to three hours. And, of course, with all the sunny days on Abaco, you’ll never run out of juice. Solar-powered carts are carbon free, which means zero greenhouse gases emissions.

Recyclable Waste Disposal
Recycling is the norm for those who understand the effects of non-recyclable waste disposal on our environment. Concern about waste disposal practices for Serenity Point and its surroundings is an important issue to all island residents and local governments.

Rainwater Holding Tanks
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for use as an alternative or supplemental water supply. It is considered the worldover as an energy and water saving environmental enhancement because it reduces reliance on municipal water supplies, reduces storm water runoff, and is great for gardens as it is low in minerals. Serenity Point is building three rain water holding tanks for the community that will collectively hold up to one hundred thousand gallons of water.

Low-impact Irrigation System
Low-impact irrigation systems use smart controllers that either monitor the conditions of the property (such as soil moisture) and set irrigation accordingly, or base the irrigation schedule on pre-set timing or, in more sophisticated models, on weather data received from satellite, radio or internet feeds. In all cases, the system prevents over watering and water waste.

Solar-panel-powered Clubhouse
Solar energy reduces local air pollution, offsets greenhouse gases, and conserves energy. In short, we couldn’t think of a reason not to power the clubhouse with solar power.

Indigenous Tropical Landscaping
Serenity PointOnce established, indigenous grasses and flowers function much like a natural system – they sustain themselves because they are have already adapted to local environmental conditions. In addition, if you let the natural process of indigenous growth happen, the native plants balance the eco-system and control pests, which eliminates the need for pesticide and therefore maintains the water quality at the property by preventing pollutants from entering the water supply.

These are just six of the many steps Serenity Point has taken to protect the environment and to ensure a sustainable development site.

Attention to the environment amongst developers in Abaco is a key differentiating factor for the island, and one that has received attention from residents, visitors and even the prime minister.

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The New York Times: Serenity Point Beach Development

March 23rd, 2010

The New York Times‘ “Breaking Ground” section covers projects, planned or under construction, that include weekend or vacation homes. “Breaking Ground” recently featured Serenity Point.

Serenity Point Beach Club

By Nick Kaye
Published on March 18, 2010

Read the Full Article.

This new development, not far south of Marsh Harbour on the island’s eastern coast, covers 40 gated acres with 24 homes on lots that range from about half an acre to more than one and a half acres. Seven of the lots front the beach; the rest overlook the Atlantic from hills.

After selecting a site, buyers can choose either to have houses designed by the development’s architectural partner — Chancey Design Partnership, based in Tampa, Fla. — or to commission designs independently while adhering to guidelines…

The beach club, which will include an infinity pool, is expected to be completed this year, and a concierge service will arrange for butlers, private chefs, yacht charters and fishing trips.

Schooner Bay Village, an area of restaurants, shops and inns that will also include a marina, is currently under construction adjacent to the development.

Read the Full Article.

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South Abaco Developments on the Move

March 15th, 2010

South Abaco Developments on the Move
The Nassau Tribune
Published Tuesday, March 09, 2010
By Noelle Nicolls

Great Abaco’s south side is primed for a major economic boost with groundbreaking on two beach-side sister developments on the five-mile long Schooner Bay Beach, Abaco.

With the unbroken stretch of beach as a prime draw for potential home owners, Serenity Point has taken measures to ensure a light development footprint.

According to Eric Carey, Bahamas National Trust president, the beach is not only lovely for human activity, it is a prime turtle nesting ground. Hence, “[Serenity Point] has committed to keeping lights off the beach. They have also committed to using as much native vegetation as possible; taking out the few casuarinas that are there. They say they will commit to keeping the dune intact because this beach profile is entirely dependent on this dune being intact,” he said.

The article notes that the same commitments were secured from the neighboring Schooner Bay development, which ensures that this whole area is sustainable and environmentally sound.

In addition to the shared beach, both projects have one major element in common. They are fully self-financed by private investors.

Regarding Serenity Point, the Nihon family has owned large tracks of land in Abaco since the 1960s. Asked about the timing of the development, Mr Nihon II said: “We have a wonderful team, so we are going to gradually grow. It is going to take time, so watch what will happen in the next two or three years.”

Read the full article.

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Multi-million dollar Abaco development opens

March 9th, 2010

Serenity Point’s March 6 opening was covered by The Nassau Guardian.

Multi-million dollar Abaco development opens
By Inderia Saunders ~ Guardian Business Reporter
Monday March 08, 2010

Developers of the new multi-million dollar Serenity Point second-home development in Abaco officially opened the community’s gates to prospective buyers over the weekend.

“For decades, we have shared a deep commitment to the growth of the Abacos [and] Great Abaco continues to emerge as a highly coveted destination, for both real estate and tourism, and we are thrilled to contribute to the fabric of this island’s prosperity,” said Alexis Nihon II, president of Anco Lands Ltd, during the development’s opening ceremony. “Our goal is to capture the natural beauty of this spectacular location and create an exclusive community that offers residents the ultimate family retreat and long-term value.”

Read the full article.

In a lively, Bahamian celebration, Serenity Point entertained guests and prospective property buyers with local music, art and food, and offered private tours of the 40-acre gated community situated on Schooner Bay Beach.

Situated just 180 miles off the Florida coast, Serenity Point is easily accessible by daily direct flights to and from the United States into The Abacos at two international airports, and a modern FBO airport for those traveling by private aircraft. With ninety percent of the infrastructure already in place, the project has generated great interest among buyers in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

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Serenity Point and Schooner Bay Village

February 16th, 2010

Dining Out in AbacoSchooner Bay Village

Great Abaco will soon be getting an exciting new town. Construction is under way for Schooner Bay Village – a harbour village on the Atlantic side of South Abaco, designed with the character of a traditional Bahamian town.

Situated on 320 acres of land, the charming, walkable village is built around a world-class harbour and will include marina facilities, extensive retail and amenities, and abundant green space, designed to preserve the tropical parrots’ local habitat.

As an environmentally conscious, mixed-use, high-density lifestyle community, Schooner Bay Village will be a model development for the future growth of Abaco.

Community and Commercial Vitality

The village will focus on community and commercial vitality. The Schooner Bay harbour and marina function as the center of the community and will be surrounded by shops and restaurants. The area also encourages community gathering, with a continuous promenade curving along the edge of the water, as well as a central plaza overlooking the marina.

Light Developmental Footprint

Light Environmental Footprint

The village is also being built with an environmental focus. Sixty percent of the total area is dedicated to green space, with a central, 50-acre north/south greenway that preserves the habitat of the Bahamian parrot, which feeds and migrates through the area annually. A buffered area along the beach also preserves the natural dunes and vegetation.

Landscape, architectural design and technology will all go into making the community environmentally friendly.

Technology like Photovoltaic (solar) Power, OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion) and other alternative energy sources will be used to cut energy consumption by 40%. Shading devices and geothermal cooling are among the strategies.

Schooner Bay is also exploring District Seawater Cooling system pumps to produce the chilled water needed for centralized air-conditioning. In addition, stormwater and wastewater management strategies are underway, along with plans for greywater reuse, catchment and storage.

All daily needs are intended to be met by foot, bicycle, or golf cart to create walkable (zero-emission) neighborhoods.

Buildings Follow Tradition

Walkway in Hope Town

The buildings and streets follow traditional Bahamian towns with the buildings structured primarily as cottages, bordering the street with small masonry walls, hedges and fences.

Other features will include:

  • A marina with available dockage, a fuel dock, a marina service/maintenance area and boat dry storage
  • An excellent variety of small unique boutique shops, restaurants, bakery and Farmer’s Market
  • Service and retail oriented businesses, including a hardware store, insurance, flower shop, and liquor store
  • A public library, plus fire, police and medical services
  • A world-class, high-end, boutique condo/hotel with a spa facility
  • Beach clubhouse
  • Harbour island luxury spa and villas
  • Equestrian facilities
  • 50-acre park and parrot habitat with equestrian and pedestrian trails
  • Blue water and back water fishing club
  • Rental amenities, including golf carts, boat and kayak rentals
  • Community pool and tennis courts

View a video of the artist’s conception of the village.

Fishing and Agriculture

CC BY 2.0

Abaco’s world-class fishery provides fresh, local sources of food to visitors and the community at large. Black Fly Lodge’s marina, fly shop, restaurant and bar add to the diverse activities available to the community.
About Black Fly Lodge.

“The Commons” is an agricultural program that, along with the fishery, provides local sources of food through organic farming, as well as education on sustainability and health. Chinese investment and local supporters are also discussing the need for food processing of local crops. The Commons program will be hosted at Schooner Bay’s Community Centre.

Serenity Point, Schooner Bay Beach

Walt Chancey Home Design: Richards rearview

Serenity Point, an exclusive neighborhood comprising 24 single-family home sites with oceanfront or hilltop views, is situated on Schooner Bay Beach adjacent to Schooner Bay Village.

Home site owners will have the benefit of the village, marina, boutiques and restaurants in addition to the privacy of an exclusive community.

Serenity Point opens March 6, 2010 (request details).

Real Estate Development on Abaco

The new town at Schooner Bay Village and the luxury property development at Serenity Point are just two of the key developments currently contributing to growth on the island.

Despite the current state of the global economy, the Bahamas has continued to be a stable base for investment. Abaco, in particular, is the fastest growing out island in the Bahamas.

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Junior Tennis Players Take Part in Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational

December 1st, 2009

The Bahamas Weekly is reporting that junior tennis players will travel from Out Islands to “Hit with the Pros” at the Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational on Saturday, December 5 at the National Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau.

This is the first year that the organizers of the Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational have introduced an interactive experience for junior tennis players and several of the Bahamas’ promising junior players will be hitting a few tennis balls with the Pros immediately following the exhibition.

“Hit with the Pros” will give the juniors a taste of sharing the tennis court with some legends of the game.

The Bahamas Weekly article reports that Mark Knowles “thinks it is extremely important to encourage junior players and to let them see close up the techniques that are common to all the best players in the world.”

As a young child, Knowles was fortunate to be able to see Bjorn Borg, Vitas Geruliatis, Fred Stolle and Rod Laver and many others when they played in tournaments held at the Nassau Beach Hotel. Knowles said that this certainly inspired him to try and emulate them.

The article also reports that Andy Roddick and Mark Knowles’ recent doubles partner from Wimbledon, Anna-Lena Groenefeld are confirmed to be in attendance.

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Serenity Point On Great Abaco Offers Luxe Property

November 9th, 2009

As Seen on

Artist Renderings for Club House

November 9, 2009 – The island of Great Abaco, one of fastest growing and most exclusive destinations in The Bahamas, will soon be home to the luxury residential community Serenity Point, where a limited number of home sites have just been introduced.

The 40-acre gated community will be distinguished by five miles of pristine white-sand coastline on Schooner Bay Beach and will include 24 beachfront and hilltop home sites, each with varying elevation and featuring stunning island views.

Spearheaded by master real estate developer, Alexis Nihon II, president of Anco Lands LTD, the high-end development broke ground this summer. “This part of the Bahamas is on the edge of emerging as one of the world’s leading luxury destinations. Our goal is to capture the natural beauty of this spectacular island and create an exclusive environment that offers residents the ultimate retreat and investment for their families,” said Nihon.

In recent years Abaco has experienced tremendous activity, making the area one of the most coveted destinations in the Caribbean. “The long-term value that Serenity Point offers property owners is outstanding. Serenity Point will perfectly complement the island’s incredible allure, gaining the notice of buyers not only from Toronto to Miami, but from London to Los Angeles, as well,” indicated Nihon.

Easy access to the community will be facilitated by daily direct flights to and from the U.S. into The Abacos at two international airports, or, for those traveling by private plane, a modern FBO airport.

Centered at the heart of Schooner Beach Bay, Serenity Point will offer its residents exclusive facilities, including a full-service private beach club with an infinity pool overlooking the majestic crystal blue ocean, tennis courts with dressing rooms on premise and an eco-conscious solar power golf cart for each home site. Owners will also enjoy personalized amenities with Serenity Point’s luxe concierge services including personal chefs, private yacht rentals, fishing charters, diving and island expeditions.

Emphasizing the importance of eco-conservation, the community will feature low-maintenance landscaping, rainwater holding tanks and renewable energy sources.

For a unique island lifestyle experience, Serenity Point will be conveniently located adjacent to Schooner Bay Village, an exciting new seaside village, currently under development, which will feature a world-class harbor, restaurants, inns, extensive storefront retail and shops, including a farmer’s market, with local produce and fresh seafood. For Serenity Point residents, this charming community is just a short walk down the beach or a short roll down the road by golf cart.

With Serenity Point’s Builder’s Program, homeowners have the option to engage the services of the internationally renowned architects and interior designers at Chancey Design Partnership to create their ideal Bahamian home. The team of professionals will provide owners with a choice of complete schematic designs that perfectly align with the ambience of the community. Owners can tailor these designs to their needs, or they can start with a fresh palette to design their dream home. Homeowners may also select their own team for home building according to the community’s building guidelines.

The Abacos are home to countless offshore cays, the third largest barrier reef in the world and 130 miles of emerald-blue, naturally sheltered waters. The area has become a world-famous destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, yachting and fishing. Also, with its bustling marina culture and excellent weather conditions, the region has been heralded by global media as the sailing capital of the world. On land, the destination plays host to three championship caliber golf courses that attract professional and serious amateur golfers year round, and a 20,000-acre natural preserve, with unique wildlife and world-renowned fresh water caves.

Marsh Harbour, a few minutes from Serenity Point, is the third largest town in the Bahamas, and has all the subtle charm of a true Bahamian village. It is a lively marina, offering full services for yachts and sailing vessels of every description. Marsh Harbour offers fine dining, excellent shopping, medical facilities, and countless departure points for sea excursions to the various cays lining the coastline.


Aerial view of Serenity Point, Schooner Bay Beach

Home Design by Walt Chancey

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