Issue 6 2013/14
Featured in Forbes Magazine’s top 100 hotels of the world, Laluna Resort is now adding Villas to their luxurious, barefoot brand.
Luck would strike twice for Bernardo Bertucci. While following a vision and looking for the perfect location, he also met his future wife. So… Bernardo went from clothing the Elite to Catering to them. He recalls “I was living in NY for 15 years working in the fashion industry as a marketing manager for Prada. I didn’t have any experience, specifically in hospitality, but I applied all the rules that I learned in the fashion industry and decided to build a place around my tastes.”
He first built Laluna, an exquisite couples only, luxury resort without pretense, but big presence. With an initial personal investment to facilitate the dream, he collaborated with Italian architect Gabriella Giuntoli, (villa designer for Giorgio Armani and Sting) to conceptualize the property. “She knew my idea was to create a place that was about barefoot luxury” Bertucci commented. It took 15 months to build the resort and Bertucci was hands on while working with Gouyave Project Manager Jesta Alexander, which defines the experience as fantastic, and has hired his team once again to build his new addition of 7 luxury villas because according to Bertucci “together we achieve a level of perfection.”
The Villa Project
Laluna Estate in it’s entirety has grown today to a total of 25 acres that is connected to the Laluna Resort and overlooks the ocean and Morne Rouge Bay. To say theses views are stunning is understatement. The initial phase of 7 villas being built simultaneously is once again his own investment, a strategy he claims that creates confidence in the buyer. The master plan in short time will grow to 32 luxury residential villas affording a special residential place in Grenada. These 5,000 sq ft – 5 bedroom villas each with infinity pools, range in price from US$3.2-$3.6 million. Phase 2 on the adjacent hillside will be an additional 13 smaller villas of 2,5000 sq ft with 2 bedrooms, no pools, but a Jacuzzi on the ground floor.
Bertucci selected Architect Salvatore Perna whom provided the design of what Bernardo describes as quality makes luxury, affording the buyer the opportunity to customize the interior furnishings. Bertucci explains, “I put a lot of effort into these villas, using first class materials, with the majority imported from Italy.”
Upon entering this ‘all-exclusive’ gated community, private roads tactfully weaves to each home where a separate garage holds up to 2 vehicles plus the supplied electric golf card that comes included with each villa. Spectacular stone walkways lead to the entrance of these solid hurricane proof structures covered with Wallaba shingle, and Troweled exterior, to protect the solid concrete walls from seablastresidues. The Villas are strategically arranged to maximize sea views in every room.The living, dining, and kitchen area are an open floor plan with 20 foot glass sliding doors in 5 foot sections that open to a large entertaining area, veranda, built in BBQ, outside shower and infinity pool.
Like Most villa communities in Grenada that are located in a designated tourism area, there is a rental requirement of 16 weeks per year. Laluna Estate is exclusively managed in house, with a 70% owner 30% management split. The price of these rentals ranges up to $3,000US per day and are geared for families. Just as every owner has full access to the main resorts amenities, each owner is provided with their own Golf Cart, Italian Beach Front Restaurant, Bar & Swimming Pool, Asian Spa, Beachfront Yoga Pavilion & Gift shop.
Villa’s Purchased also include a yacht berth for 30 years at the prestigious Port Louis Marina, operated by the oldest name in marine management Camper & Nicholson’s. “We knew our villa owners would love to have a berth here.” Bertucci added “A further incentive is there are no purchase taxes when you purchase a villa of this type, because it adds to the islands tourism room stock.”
Bertucci has benefitted from the award winning Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) concessions program and found them to be most helpful throughout both builds. Where he sees improvement in the future? Economic Citizenship and Fractional Ownership- tow programs he feels could elevate investment in Grenada, and is proactively lobbying Government approval. Mr. Bertucci comprised “I’m very confident in Grenada, it’s a paradise, and I really think we are very lucky to have this location and to realize our dream right here in magnificent Grenada.”
All local real estate brokers have the mandate to sell ‘Laluna Estate’ villas, which are rapidly becoming a niche market in vestment in Grenada.