Luxurious wonderment abounds at the secluded Staniel Cay.
By Angela Santopinto
A full staff is stationed on the island, as five-star service is part of the winning package.
A gem deep in the Bahamas, Kayu Maya is a luxurious secret hideaway that combines seclusion, adventure, and the best of the island delights. As other Bahamian vacation spots give way to massive tourist developments, Kayu Maya, whose name means “ancient wood,” remains sacred and serene. Exotic Tahitian gardens and unique architectural features native to Morocco and Bali combine to infuse Kayu Maya not only with culture, but also with overtones of famous secluded locations in faraway places.
Located in the heart of Exumas Cay, this hideaway cove rests on some of the most prized, and therefore expensive, land in the Caribbean. Developer Kelly Blake refers to Staniel Cay as “one of the most precious pieces of property in Exumas Cay.” Blake notes that this land is the most elusive property he has encountered in more than 25 years. With three luxurious conveniences-its own power source, water source, and private runway-this island escape is furnished for seclusion without sacrifice.
I was lucky enough to experience these pleasures firsthand, as Blake Development sent their private aircraft to whisk me to the island. Before my quick jaunt from Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport on a sunny Friday, I had seen pictures of Kayu Maya and heard about its wonders from Blake, but absolutely nothing prepared me for the sight of the sapphire blue waters and lush coastal greenery as we descended towards the island’s private airstrip. The runway beckons travelers with a sense of adventure, though two flights a day from Ft. Lauderdale connect this seemingly remote paradise to the continental U.S.
Kayu Maya presents the privacy, seclusion, and solitude that one might expect to find only in the most sought-after properties in Bali. The vision of Blake Development and Ellis Diversified, who partnered on this project, was to offer the residents a lifestyle experience that entails a seamless transition from home to water with just a short flight back to everyday life. The unified vision is captivating as it balances the island’s natural beauty with customized luxury.
A mere eight estates, priced between $5 million and $10 million, are planned for Kayu Maya. A full staff is stationed on the island, as five-star service is part of the winning package. Each property entails a guesthouse that can accommodate private chefs, personal assistants, and live-in maids.
Inside the palatial estates, elements of the enveloping environment are incorporated throughout the design inside and out. The lagoon imports design ideas from the Far East as lush tropical gardens are intertwined with handcrafted Balinese accents. High ceiling beams and customized handmade furniture evoke the eclectic, though authentic, island style. Bahamian culture is not lost, but infused with the Balinese.
Beyond style, the estates boast practical amenities. A state-of-the-art kitchen that can accommodate a gourmet chef is just one of several luxury appointments throughout the home’s interior. Others include a spa, infinity pool, Asian water garden, and a barbeque pit that creates the ideal spot for outdoor entertaining. Multiple terraces from each room provide the best views of pristine oceanfront beyond Exumas Cay and its coral reef.
Considering the audience to whom Kayu Maya appeals, exclusivity is key. The majority of Kayu Maya home buyers typically vacation on megayachts, but over the years have perhaps grown tired of the large crew, lack of space, and privacy, as they are forced to watch their floating assets depreciate. Kayu Maya combines the best of both worlds, incorporating seclusion and island privacy without compromising personal space, resort amenities, and activities. Each guest can choose between deep sea fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, or relaxing by the infinity pool at his or her leisure. Kayu Maya is also the only development on Staniel Cay to offer two deepwater dock slips at 60 feet each.
As we taxied down the runway that stretches out less than a mile from the estate, I was hesitant to leave the earthly paradise. However, knowing that it was just a quick flight away from South Florida and other parts of the East Coast, I decided I would revisit the oasis that is Kayu Maya soon. Kayu Maya is a place where the atmosphere strikes simplicity in the balance of island cultures from the Far East without compromising the essence of absolute luxury.
For vacation and ownership opportunities, or to inquire about additional lots available for developemnt, contact 954.629.7940
Blake Development Corporation