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

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

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

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