The Potlatch Club, located on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, will be a four star destination resort. The site is extraordinarily beautiful, an undulating landscape of dramatic hills and dunes cloaked in palms, gumbo limbo, and lush native vegetation. All of this overlooks an azure bay framed with a crescent of pink sand beach. The extensive coral reefs begin just a few feet offshore, and are protected by barrier islands.
As a land planner, my first concern was to make certain that any proposed development would not compromise the beauty or environmental integrity of our greatest asset, the site itself. Toward that end I recommended low density, environmentally sensitive architecture, and a generous setback from the beach.
Many resort developers feel that only a "view of the sea" has value, so they mass development along the shore. In so doing they degrade the beach, diminish the value of the rest of their property, and in effect, "kill the goose that lays the golden egg". In a crowded world of identical resorts, how much is it worth to a guest to have a "Robinson Crusoe" experience on a pristine beach? A generous setback will insure a quality guest experience, and the entire property will retain its full value.
The Potlatch Club is intended to be a "boutique" resort, not a mass market all inclusive, so the design expresses a "sense of place". We chose to mimic the Bahamian vernacular by creating individual quaint, but very luxurious, Victorian cottages scattered apparently at random among the dunes and connected by sand footpaths. It will appear to be a traditional "village" that grew by organic process, not by master plan, and as such will appear to be one with nature. When complete it will be one of the most beautiful and environmentally sensitive resorts in the Caribbean.
The hand of the master planner should never be evident to the guest. Instead, people and services should flow effortlessly through the site so that the guest knows nothing but the simple comforts of the cottage, the winding path to the beach, and the beautiful sunrise.