Great Whale Cay, 30 minutes by boat from Nassau , is for sale for £50 million…
It's not often a whole island comes up for sale in the Bahamas, let alone one with substantial cliffs, deep-water moorings and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Great Whale Cay, 30 minutes by boat from Nassau, is for sale for $80 million (£50 million) with Savills and has the potential to become an exclusive retreat similar to Richard Branson's Necker Island, or the millionaires' paradise Mustique.
The 850-acre L-shaped island belonged to "Joe" Carstairs, heiress of the Standard Oil fortune, and was visited by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the Forties. There are historic buildings (Great house, lighthouse, and church), rare flora and fauna and watersports and diving. But what makes it such a rare and valuable opportunity, according to Giles Gale of estate agency Savills, is the private paved airstrip. "It is unlikely that permission would be granted for the creation of a new airstrip these days," he says.
It was bought in the Nineties by a family-owned Bahamian registered corporation, which has spent the past decade buying back plots of land that were sold off by the Carstairs family in the Seventies. The island is sold with outline planning consent to develop the land into a luxury private island resort, with commercially operated airstrip, marina, hotel and resort homes.
The new owner will have full control of the island and own 94 per cent of the land – although there may also be the possibility to purchase smaller parcels of land or the whole thing. "It would make a fantastic Necker-style private retreat but could also be a resort with residences. The key is accessibility – the island is a 50-minute flight from Florida and 10 minutes from Nassau," says Gale.
Since appearing on the market privately last week, there has been a flurry of interest in Great Whale Cay, he says. "$80 million is actually quite cheap on an acre basis," he says. Last year the 350-acre Bell Island, also in the Berry Islands, sold for $70 million.
www.savills.co.uk/abroad ; 0207 0106 3740