Six of the world's leading architects are cast away to Dellis Cay to create
the world's rarest tropical retreat.
Sand, sea and... super structures? Dr. Cem Kinay reveals his plans for the world's finest collection of starchitect-designed villas and residences, where the only chore left to guests will be choosing a favorite.
The secluded island of Dellis Cay is quite possibly the closest thing to heaven on earth. As translucent turquoise waters converge upon sun-scorched soft white sand, you may ask, "What more could anyone ask for?" More, a lot more, as luxury travel organizers and high-end hospitality providers are learning. Sun and sand no longer seal the deal, as today's luxury travelers seek seclusion in style. Answering the call for excursions of cultural hedonism, in 2009, O Property Collection will unveil what is set to be the most exclusive residential experience to date. The world's first starchitectural resort; an unparalleled portfolio of luxury residences, villas and a five star hotel, designed by a veritable A-list of architectural talent. Dr. Cem Kinay, chairman and CEO of O Property, is the man behind Dellis Cay's dream development.
Cem Kinay's definition of Luxury:
Luxury cannot be defined. It is intangible - captured by a feeling, a reassurance and a confidence. In a service context, luxury is that very small detail that one desires but does not necessarily need. It is received at a personalized level, most unexpectedly, and only in the finest way possible.
If Luxury were...
A Ferrari – navy blue.
Luxury is Dellis Cay, of course. It is exclusive yet accessible, private yet secure, and beautiful beyond all imagination. The architecture is exquisite and the sand just glitters. You can catch a glimpse of the ocean from almost every window, even from the bath. Every detail of this private island, both natural and man-made, is perfection and therefore embodies the concept of luxury. The Mandarin Oriental is certainly included in this category.
Nobody is perfect. In its simplest form, luxury is perfection and therefore cannot be associated with any one person.
You are credited as one of the first to develop the now prodigious "everything included" concept in travel. What inspired you to do so?
I have always challenged myself to see a vision beyond the present moment. Even during my most satisfying experiences, I force myself to identify potential elements of improvement.
I know that wonderful vacation resorts are plentiful. Beaches in this world are abundant. Outstanding customer service is such a delight. It is impossible to find all of the above in one beautiful location. So in creating Dellis Cay, I am filling this niche by combining the very best of all of these elements to elevate the standard of everyday living. Beauty, luxury and service are all synonymous when it comes to destination travel and living. Dellis Cay will feature the very best hotel on the most pristine beach, with unparalleled customer service.
Had you always dreamt of transforming a private island into an elite travel destination?
Yes, for the past 10 years it has always been in the back of my mind. I am a doctor and I know how a heart beats. My heart beats in a different way every time I visit Dellis Cay. As the rest of the world was marketing all-inclusive packages, all I could think of was a private island. I have always wanted to create an ultimate luxury destination, and I fell in love with Dellis Cay when I first visited the island in 2005.
What first attracted you to Dellis Cay? What is island life like there?
I visited over 100 properties - which included numerous islands, before I toured Dellis Cay. When I stepped onto the island for the first time, I felt a different energy and fell in love upon first sight. I knew instinctively that this was the perfect paradise.
Dellis Cay features the most ideal weather, which is guaranteed twelve months each year. The water is crystal clear and the vegetation is lush. Dellis Cay is a special hideaway and will offer only the utmost in privacy.
With one of the largest coral reefs surrounding the island, what are you doing to preserve the wildlife, both coastally and on land?
Less than 50% of Dellis Cay will actually be developed. The entire island is 560 acres, and only 209 acres of that land will be developed. The remaining 353 acres will be preserved and protected as a Crown reserve and will never be commercialized in the future. I have worked with Premier Misick and the local government to establish the crown and protect the natural beauty that first attracted me to Dellis Cay.
Also, the properties that are being developed on the island will be protected under a design constitution that prevents major exterior changes so as to preserve the integrity of the island's intended aesthetics and the wonderful architects who contributed to this masterpiece.
How did you put together your architectural dream team? What drew you to each architect's individual aesthetic?
I have always held a personal interest in the world's top architectural talent, and have developed relationships with various architects over the years. After much analysis, we selected the architects based on: design excellence, teamwork, communication, harmony, and the ability to work with constructive criticism to attain a common goal and share the unique vision of Dellis Cay. Each architect holds a different point of view, but at the end of the day, they merge together beautifully through contemporary design.
Is there one piece of property that has emerged as the most covetable?
No, we are actually faced with the opposite dilemma as each of the properties is unique and individually beautiful. Each residence is exquisite inside and out. Selecting a residence will depend on personal taste.
By asking the world's most renowned architects to design private villas at Dellis Cay, you are creating a leisure destination with a unique cultural and artistic draw. Why does the increasingly discerning and well-traveled luxury client now require such high standards in accommodation?
We live in an age where we have access to beautiful beaches everywhere. Consumers are now accustomed to higher service standards. As a developer, I have to anticipate those needs and exceed every expectation to remain an industry leader. By combining the very best of all of these experiences and tying them together with the most beautiful design talent, I can ensure that Dellis Cay will be unique in every way.
Demand is high when supply is low. There is nothing else quite like Dellis Cay as destinations such as this one are extremely uncommon. This is also why we selected the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to manage the hotel – there is nothing else quite like it.
Does the introduction of starchitect-signed vacation villas into the world of tourism suggest that more and more buyers are collecting homes as one does art? How do you anticipate this trend in heritage homes will evolve over time?
These homes are not just similar to art, they are art. Each home is a masterpiece and limited in edition. They are symbol of who you are and reflect your love of design, nature and luxury.