Houses with Boats

by Pamela Hughes

What could be more fun than having a house on one of our many beautiful Sarasota waterways and having a boat with the house as well?  Well, not much, as long as the house is in Sarasota, Palm Beach, Naples or some other gorgeous locale.

On this theme, I thought it would be entertaining to write about a project we completed in the British West Indies.  The project is 19 Deckhouses at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.  These are individual luxury homes with all the services of the nearby Ritz-Carlton.  Each home includes an Aquariva Super yacht made by Riva with a beautifully crafted boathouse integrated into each home for the ultimate in convenience and luxury.  Riva is an Italian yacht builder who is known for extremely elegant, fast, antique-styled wood watercrafts.  Your Aquariva Super is your transportation of choice at your “best of land and sea” Deckhouse. 

In addition to your incredibly fabulous personal yacht, you have your own golf cart, full butler service by The Ritz-Carlton, access to the resort’s Greg Norman-designed golf course, dining by celebrity chef Eric Rupert, tennis by Nick Bollettieri and a La Prairie spa.  Sounds pretty spectacular, doesn’t it? 
The design concept for the Deckhouses is to create one’s own private island, complete with infinity pool, garden, private beach and guesthouse.  All of these elements enhance and emphasize the magnificent sun, sky and water surroundings.


So what will the interiors of these Deckhouses be? Well, we designed four color schemes: neutral, blue and white, aquamarine and seafoam green, in two different styles: Modern and West Indies.  The houses are 7,000 square feet each, have 12 foot ceilings and glass window walls on three sides, affording beautiful, endless views of water and land, and flooding the homes with sunlight and easy access to the wrap-around decks.  Living here truly will be a synchronous indoor/ outdoor experience.  Exotic hardwoods are found on terraces, in the interior millwork, on soaring beams, spiral staircases and in custom crafted cabinets.  Slate and wood floors add a warm and informal element with soft area rugs for bare feet.  Fabrics are informal- colorful or calming depending on the scheme- offering contrast to the dark wenge custom designed wood pieces.  Decorative lighting fixtures are iron or nickel, made in Los Angeles especially for The Deckhouses by one of the more exclusive manufacturers in the U.S.

Finish materials for floors, walls, ceilings, bathrooms, and kitchens are all somewhat unique and reference this wonderful place.  Custom tiles are found in showers and on walls, and other materials in the baths were selected for their island-like informality and their dramatic island colorations. 

Artwork and accessories, especially, heighten the feeling of being in a very special place with gorgeous island flora and fauna images and shapes. 
Although The Deckhouses are in Grand Cayman, all of the design elements and concepts transfer perfectly to our own spectacular Florida homes.  So, The Deckhouses are truly a dream come true, particularly if you love houses with boats!  Now, off to explore the North Sounds and world-famous Stingray City!  What fun!

Hughes Design Associates