Not too long ago, there was only one “must have” for a new resort — golf. Now, the number of features and amenities almost considered mandatory continues to grow, while qualities such as authenticity, heritage and ties to local culture are emerging as important characteristics. Golf still ranks near the top in desirable resort attributes, but it’s not the only game in town. Shooting, equestrian, paddle boarding, fishing and the arts are only a few options finding their way into the experience, along with a very different slant on food and wine.

Value continues to be an overriding concern for consumers, but a growing number see true value as something not necessarily computed in dollars and cents. Longtime developer David Southworth, principal of Southworth Development, expressed it most accurately when he summed up what makes The Abaco Club in the Bahamas so compelling: “It has everything money can’t buy.”

“I often say instead of price per square foot, it’s lifestyle per square foot and that’s what people are looking for, and that’s their value,” observes Tina Necrason, vice president of residential for Montage Hotels and Resorts. “Just being nice and well-appointed isn’t luxury anymore.”

Lifestyle per square foot often begins with a well-thought-out vision where the local culture is subtly integrated into the resort experience. The end result is a place where owners become part of the story and the heritage of the region winds through every aspect of the resort.

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