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MUSHA CAY A Luxurious Bahamian Island Retreat by Kaya Morgan

Having earned the reputation of "one-third Blue Lagoon, one-third James Bond and one-third Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," Musha Cay is definitely all sex appeal. Celebrities like John Travolta and Kelly Preston, talk show guru Oprah Winfrey, music greats Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, plus a few oil sheiks and, yes, even royalty all want just a little piece of it. This luxurious private island may be the world's most exclusive resort where your every wish can come true.

Chicago entrepreneur and Miami real estate tycoon, John Melk was one of the original partners in Blockbuster Video until its sale to Viacom three years ago for a reported $8 billion dollars. Now, Melk is a partner in Auto Nation, the largest new and used car dealership in the world with close to $20 billion in annual revenues. He is also a major stockholder of Extended Stay America, the fastest growing hotel chain in the U.S., in its category. Extended Stay with over 200 company owned hotels is fast growing at a pace of over 100 hotels per annum throughout the U. S.

Melk also knows the luxury island market extremely well. He is part owner of both the prestigious Fisher Island in South Florida, as well as the Florida Panthers, who purchased the Boca Raton Resort, the Registry, Edgewater Naples and the Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona.

So taken with the island lifestyle, Melk bought his first residence on Fisher Island over 13 years ago. While on a yachting holiday, he traveled to the Exuma chain in the southern Bahamas, and upon arrival, immediately knew he had found a true paradise. Originally, Melk purchased Musha Cay as a family retreat but soon decided to turn it into a luxurious private resort in order to share it with the world. So, what began with an initial buy of Musha Cay, turned into a final purchase of four neighboring islands in the chain.

The transformation from the island's single, rustic residence into a world-class, private resort was an extremely arduous undertaking of six years, with 175 full time workers and a huge monetary investment. Architect, Howard Holtzman, incorporated the Bahamian colonial-style with traditional island materials to create a truly authentic Caribbean design.

With no electricity or running water, the first two years of construction was spent making the island self-sufficient with a power plant and a 30,000 gallon-per day desalinization facility. Each and every item had to be brought in by barge or plane. The roads and extensive tropical landscaping of thousands of coconut trees, over 200 palms and 5,000 flowering plants was one of the largest undertakings ever done in the area. Although extremely costly, the results were unequivocally worth it and Melk has successfully created a little piece of heaven on earth.

Just 85 miles southeast of Nassau, Musha Cay is the perfect place for a romantic rendezvous with over 150 acres of lush tropical foliage, and miles of pristine, white sugar-sand beaches surrounded by the crystalline waters of the Caribbean. Barely less than three hours from New York City, and only 40 minutes from Miami by jet, once arriving in Mosstown, Great Exuma, the Resort's private aircraft will whisk you away to this magnificent paradise. Or, if you prefer, you may land your own personal aircraft on the resort's 2000-foot private airstrip.

Musha Cay truly captures the romance and elegance of island living of bygone days with distinguished colonial-style architecture that blends subtly into the tropical environment. The communal gathering place known as The Landings, has every conceivable amenity including expansive terraces offering breathtaking panoramic views of the island and surrounding sparkling, azure sea.

Every conceivable amenity is available from award-winning European chefs, an elegant fine dining room, both indoor and outdoor beachfront bars, massage therapy, championship lighted tennis court, beachfront fitness center, freeform lagoon-style pool, satellite TV, billiard room and a state-of-the-art business center — if you simply must think of business.

And, every imaginable activity from snorkeling, scuba diving, cave diving, parasailing, water skiing, windsurfing, deep sea or flats fishing and hiking is only a request away. With three surrounding outer-islands also owned by the resort, private fantasy excursions are always just a wish away.

There are four, beautifully-appointed, designer Bahamian dwellings available as guest accommodations. Each has its own distinct mix of comfortable but vivid island colors with a unique blend of Mahogany wood, incorporating American, Asian and Caribbean furniture, Mexican limestone floors and beautiful Balinese artifacts.

The largest, 10,000-square foot, owner's mansion, Highview, is a colonial-style, plantation house, perched atop a hill, affording a 360-degree vista of the Caribbean with two bedrooms, two kitchens, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, and a steam room. There are also three, brilliantly-hued, smaller Bahamian villas set amongst the hibiscus, or on a secluded stretch of sand, each with its own private outdoor bath area and air-conditioned bedrooms.

The 3,200-square foot, Blue Point cottage, carried a hefty price tag of $50 million to build. This watercolor-perfect villa has high ceilings with two-bedrooms, two-baths and even its own helipad and putting green. The 3,200-square foot, Pier House, two-bedroom, two-bath cottage also has a 360-degree Mahogany porch and private Jacuzzi. The larger, 4,500-square foot, Palm Terrace has five-bedrooms and five-baths.

The most remote hideaway is the romantic Beach House, a 2,000-square foot, one-bedroom, one-bath cottage. This Fijian-style thatched roof villa is, without a doubt, the stuff romance novels are made of. Completely of open-air design except for the air-conditioned bedroom, it is the only residence that has a long pier stretching out over the water's edge, perfect for relaxing with your favorite refreshments as the sun sets on the end of another perfect day.

All this for a mere $45,000 per day, and your every wish can come true. With a staff of 35 to pamper you, and seven private beaches to choose from, everything from an elaborate tiki-torch feast under the stars to a tropical flower-petal trail leading to a champagne and lobster dinner on a secluded beach, a moonlit picnic on a sandbar, or any other idea you can dream up — can be arranged as your personal fantasy come true. Then again, if you'd rather, simply fly the lemon-yellow "go-away" flag to be left completely and utterly alone to do nothing but simply nurture your soul. Nirvana? Look no further — this just could be it!

To reserve this luxury island retreat, contact 877.889.1100 or at

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