Palazzo del Sol opens in South Florida’s best-kept secret: Fisher Island
South Florida has become a desirable destination for ultra-highnet worthers and Miami’s Fisher Island, with its illustrious Palazzo del Sol property, is an elite private paradise, writes Stephen Short
Once upon a time in america, when early 20th-century A-listers wanted a great escape, many wintered in Palm Beach. But not William Kissam Vanderbilt II and his wife, Rosamund. They chose to spend their winters in Miami Beach and lived on their yacht at Fisher Island.
A far cry from Gatsby’s Long Island West Egg it may have been, but Fisher, a 87-hectare man-made island of intrigue, mystery and splendour that’s often cited as one of the wealthiest postcodes in the US, evokes the free spirit of the Roaring Twenties, when Miami Beach developer Carl Fisher famously traded three hectares of the island for Vanderbilt II’S yacht. The legendary trade— Gatsbyesque in its bravado—served as the genesis of the fabled lifestyle the island is revered for today.
There’s no better reason to seek out this lavish and tranquil idyll today than the newly built Palazzo del Sol, the first new construction on Fisher in almost eight years.
Designed by Miami starchitect Kobi Karp and landscaped by Swiss-born Enzo Enea, the 10-story ultra-luxe structure consists of 47 residences, with private elevators and expansive outdoor terraces, unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, and an unmatched combination of luxury, privacy, security, exclusivity and glamour. Although in league with its Star and Hibiscus Island peers, Fisher draws the celeb crowd, with second homes for Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts and Boris Becker among the big-name addresses.
Palazzo del Sol offers the best of both worlds. On the one hand, there’s sumptuous privacy. Residents have access to the Vanderbilts’ beautifully repurposed twostorey mansion, two marinas, a nine-hole golf course, 18 professional tennis courts ( Tennis magazine called them the “best tennis facilities on the East Coast”), a mile of pristine white sand beaches, a world-class spa, The Snooker Club (which once housed the Vanderbilt bedrooms and is now reminiscent of the intimate private clubs of New York and London), a gourmet market and six dining venues to suit all palates. Oh, and there’s also the Napoleon Room (the library), with its elaborately carved 19th-century boiseries and a chandeliered ballroom.
On the other hand, that privacy quickly places you within proximity of the growing cosmopolitan pleasures of the city: the César Pelli-designed Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, the bayfront American Airlines Arena (home to basketball’s Miami Heat), the world-class Pérez Art Museum Miami (designed by Herzog & de Meuron) and the new Miami Science Museum. And let’s not forget Art Basel in Miami, held each December.
Miami is having its moment. Ranked by Forbes as America’s happiest city to work in, Miami now places sixth on a list of top-10 cities that matter most to ultra-high-net-worth investors, according to Sotheby’s International Realty. Miami and New York are the two fastest-growing housing markets in the US.
According to Michelle Sterling, owner of Sterling Luxury Group, Miami especially represents great value and opportunity for Chinese buyers. “Properties are relatively inexpensive investments compared to New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles for similar architecture and ultra-sophisticated amenities,” she says. The Chinese presence is vastly different, too. “Miami lacks a Chinese community to diversify its population. Therefore, early investors and inhabitants who choose to set up in Miami for visa purposes will benefit greatly from a return on investment, which would not be the case in New York, LA or SF, all of which have large Chinese communities.” Go on. Live like a Vanderbilt.
american dream Palazzo del Sol residents can imbibe end-of-day martinis and mimosas at the easy-going, casually chic Beach Club and Sunset Bar overlooking the Atlantic Ocean