With large residential style villas ranging upwards of 5,000 square feet, Grand Isle Resort in Exuma is using its own architectural footprint to leap into a burgeoning market of luxury long-term rentals, transforming in part from luxury getaway to premiere stayaway – and it’s paying off.
“It’s clear we were built for this,” said Michael Lorenz, Grand Isle Sales & Marketing Director. “The response to the offer of long-term rentals starting at $8,000 a month has been overwhelming. Individuals and families want to be in a safe environment where they can live with a sense of comfort, work remotely if they choose and enjoy their lives.”
Lorenz said it is not just the idyllic location overlooking the turquoise waters of Emerald Bay, but the design of the villas themselves.
“We are returning to what we were built to be, each private residence a spacious, sumptuous home away from home,” he said.
According to Lorenz, since the resort with 5-star quality amenities and service announced the offer of long-term rentals, they have received over 50 inquires with an average stay of 30+ nights.
Peter Nicholson, who owns several units at Grand Isle, said the closed hotel season prompted it to look at innovative ways to make the most of a property considered among the finest in the region, consistently earning top scores and plaudits on sites like TripAdvisor for its style, location and amenities.
“Grand Isle was designed as a stylish, upmarket residential-like resort with 78 villas, each with generous balconies and patios overlooking the white sand halfmoon beach and breathtaking waters of Emerald Bay,” said Nicholson. “Consider that the average hotel room is about 500 square feet and our smallest unit is 1,250 square feet. Our penthouses are more than 5,000 square feet. So, the design was created to do exactly what it is doing now, serving as a home.”
Nicholson also points to what he calls “the sprawling nature” of the gated community affording privacy for all.
“With its many amenities, Grand Isle lends itself easily to the new model of luxury long-term accommodations for those who want a safe and secure place where they can live, work, play in a picturesque setting that has all the warmth of a home.”
While the concept of re-aligning hotel properties into residences for extended periods is not new, Grand Isle Resort may be the first major property in The Bahamas to embrace the concept so fully and reap the benefits so readily.
“No one saw the coronavirus coming, so in the first few months, we were all caught between being in shock and in denial. Then we got down to work and said, ‘What other options are there when people are not doing short-term travel because of restrictions, limited airlift, quarantine requirements, and the like?’ We looked around and the answer was in front of our eyes. Grand Isle’s villas are far more than a hotel ‘room’. Each villa is like a private home with full chef’s kitchen, Sub-Zero appliances, dining area, large living room, TVs and sound systems throughout, multiple patios, full laundry facilities and high-speed internet. They are perfectly suited and furnished for a life that still has a touch of vacation feel and a reality that you can live, work, play, cook, swim, walk the beach and get on with life in a setting that is beautiful beyond words.”
In addition, the resort offers what it calls an ambassador service providing visitors with someone to run errands, book appointments or pick up groceries and supplies. Private chefs are also available. With the Greg Norman golf course on one side and a mega-yacht marina on the other, the entire community overlooks the waters that have made Exuma special even to astronauts in space. Golf carts come with each villa.
It’s a combination that’s working for longer-term guests who have been posting rave reviews, Lester Fernandes writing “Grand Isle is a beautiful oasis. From the moment I arrived at the resort, I was introduced to my ambassador, who took care of everything I needed from a golf cart to chef prepared meals when I wanted to eat in. I really enjoyed the personal touch.”
Another guest left this post: “Grand Ise is always wonderful, a combination of Out Island beauty and sophisticated luxury.”
Relatively isolated and made up of 365 islands, Exuma has been largely spared of the highly contagious flu that has upturned lives and economies around the world. As of October 26, more than 43 million people worldwide had contracted COVID-19 with still no vaccine available to combat it. There were more than one million deaths, over 200,000 of those in the United States. On the same date, there was one active case in Exuma, bringing the total number of cases in seven months to 37.
For more information and inquiries, please visit www.grandisleresort.com/villas/long-term-stays .