Fantasy island-wise, they had me at "Turks and Caicos" -- islands in the British West Indies that I visited in my youth and now fearfully refuse to return to lest they have changed. Then lo and behold, into my inbox comes this: A chance to own -- at least partially -- the 12,000-square-foot Coral House estate
that sits squarely on Grace Bay Beach, voted by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. My heart be still.
The luxury residence, which sits on nearly an acre of white powdery sand, has five bedrooms, two living rooms, a family room with a large flat screen TV and a library for all that mindless beach-reading you'll want to do.
But the devil -- the one who could lure me back to the Turks -- is in the details: The home has stunning coral render flooring with glass tile inlays, Brazilian hardwood doors, antique wrought-iron gates imported from Saudi Arabia, France and Egypt and furnished with antiques and one-of-a-kind designer pieces.
The estate is being sold in fractional interests, starting at $1.1 million for four weeks of use. Since we're fantasizing here, we won't get bogged down in the fine print, but basically 13 shares are being offered which guarantee four weeks of use a year and the opportunity to trade usage in other Elan Collection properties if desired.
The residence, constructed from coral stone blocks imported from Barbados, features an outdoor covered breakfast nook and an outdoor beachfront dining pergola with an area for a table setting of 30. There is a one-bedroom guest cottage with its own pool and garden and separate two-bedroom staff quarters. The central courtyard is filled with mature giant frangipani trees, bougainvillea, ferns and other lush landscaping. For those who misplaced their atlas, the Turks and Caicos are a territory of the United Kingdom consisting of two groups of more than 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The island chain is known for its pristine white sand beaches, turquoise waters and legendary diving, snorkeling and fishing activities