In 2005, famous actor and Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio went in with a partner and purchased a private island in Belize. They paid $1.75 million for Blackadore Caye, a deserted island that spans 104 acres. Soon, however, you might be able to visit this remote paradise for yourself.
DiCaprio is turning the island into a resort, but not just any resort – it will be luxe, of course, but it will also be totally eco-friendly. The actor spoke to The New York Times in April of 2015 and outlined his big plans, but new and updated plans were released in November 2016.
An Environmentally Conscious Paradise
The resort’s design is intended to restore and preserve the natural surroundings, not interfere with them. The area has been prey to erosion, over-fishing, and deforestation, all of which have taken their toll.
In a way, DiCaprio and his development partner hope to heal the land as well as provide a place for guests to retreat from the hustle, bustle, and stresses of their everyday lives. Features of the resort, which is being called “Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island,” include marine grass grown in an on-site nursery to feed local manatee populations, and a non-intrusive design for an array of private villas.
Plus, plans are in place to re-plant mangrove trees and palm trees that were either cut down or removed, and a large swathe of the island will be set aside as a conservation area. To invigorate the economy and cut down on emissions, local workers will be hired and schooled in eco-building techniques.
In order to make sure everything is done in a way that will not negatively impact the environment and the area’s ecosystem, a team is overseeing planning and work for the resort. This team includes scientists, engineers, and designers.
The Luxurious Amenities and Design Elements
The design for the resort will use as many natural materials available as possible. Villas will take inspiration from the country’s ancient Mayan ruins, and their exteriors will feature thatched roofs with dark walls.
Interiors will be beautiful and elegant but maintain the tropical flair of the surrounding environment. Marble accents will accompany modern features like circadian lighting (lighting that automatically changes on a daily cycle that is in tune with a human’s natural rhythms) and solar panels to collect the energy provided by the sun.
Outdoor infinity pools will dot the landscape, which will be occupied by 36 homes and 36 villas. “Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island” is set to open in 2018.
Other Eco-Friendly Luxury Resorts Around the World
Eco-friendly tourism is nothing new. Here are some other spots around the world that offer guests a luxury experience while simultaneously working in concert with their natural environments.
Campi ya Kanzi, Kenya
At this resort, guests are led on a safari on foot by local members of the Maasai tribe. Treks wander through areas between two national parks, which are bursting with wildlife. After the safari, guests are escorted back to luxury tents and baths.
Eco Beach Resort, Australia
Set among a stunning backdrop of untouched, preserved landscape in Kimberley, this resort has luxurious accommodations to boot. You can stay in a villa, a safari-style tent, or even an ocean-front beach house. Their luxury tents boast full king-size beds, free Wi-Fi, and a shower, so you can be close to nature while enjoying modern comforts.
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort, Costa Rica
Finca Rose Blanca boasts sustainable tourism amid an idyllic backdrop of tropical flowers, gardens, and a view of Costa Rica’s Central Valley. This boutique inn also functions as an organic coffee farm plantation. Guests can stay in rooms with private verandas and Jacuzzi tubs, and enjoy the on-site spa or a delectable meal at the restaurant bar/lounge.