Following their recent trip to the stunning IPIN Global investment project in Panama - Sarani Resort - Sales Director Mike O'Riordan and Michelle Daly from Sales Progression presented their pictures and accounts of the trip to other members of our teams, (that is, those of us who had to stay behind and keep the office ticking over!)
To say that we were a little green with envy after the presentation would be putting it mildly. Who knew that Panama has a skyline not dissimilar to Manhattan or Dubai? Who knew quite how stunning the rest of this tiny country is with idyllic golden sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, and incredible biodiversity?
"Mike's been to Panama several times before on IPIN Global business but it was my first time in the country," said Michelle. "The landscape is a breath-taking mix of high-rise superstructures in the City, lush tropical forests and idyllic coastline".
Panama's 'Wow Factor'
IPIN Global investors will know first-hand just how amazing Panama is after their recent profitable exit from the IPIN Global Cipriani Heights project in Panama City's centre – which paid out £1.25m on exit to invested Members at the beginning of May.
IPIN Members who have recently exited the investment talk of their huge satisfaction with the results. "Cipriani Heights was my first investment with IPIN Global and it exceeded my original expectation," says investor Mr Hsieh referring to how the investment was exited within 12 months. "The developer bought back the project after a little more than ten months with agreed return rates as opposed to the original investment period of 30 months".
He continues, "With such an early return and happy investment experience with IPIN Global, I am confident to continue participating in their new investment opportunity, Sarani Resort with more or less the same expected return rate".
Sarani Resort offers a very different but equally lucrative investment opportunity for IPIN Members. The resort is located on Isla Pastor, one of the 9 large lush tropical islands within the archipelago of Bocas Del Toro province in Panama. The area boasts 52 cays and 200 islets, formed out of coral or resulting from volcanic activity in the calm Caribbean waters.
Set in a tropical paradise reached only by water taxi from Isla Colón, Sarani is an unspoiled retreat that will have you thinking you woke up in Utopia. With rare and brightly coloured plant life and species of animals indigenous to the region– such as sloths and howler monkeys- Panama has to be one of the best kept secrets of the Caribbean.
Economic Expansion to Underpin Investment
The investment itself is in the construction of a resort offering luxurious seclusion to the discerning traveller. Due to Panama being broadly unrecognised by tourism in past decades, there is still significant room for growth in the sector, particularly as the Panamanian government have expressed a solid commitment to increasing the country's international profile and have identified tourism as a key building block for the future economy.
One of the surprising things reported by Mike and Michelle was the speed at which Panama's infrastructure is improving. Since the previous trip last year, a brand new highway has been built that links Panama City centre to outlying suburbs. The road – three lanes in each direction –wraps around the peninsula and connects sections of a highway, called the Cinta Costera that previously flanked Casco Viejo, the old quarter of the historic district of Panama City.
"It's quite incredible the speed at which they build significant structures in Panama", Mike said. "There is also the Panama Canal Expansion Project, one of the world's largest infrastructure projects currently in progress which is scheduled for completion in 2015 and you really are left in no doubt that the job will be done on time and will be expertly executed".
In addition to the Canal Expansion project, construction of the Panama Metro system is well underway with the first phase - Line 1- being completed on time and inaugurated in April 2014. This is the first and only Metro system in the whole of Central America and will address increasing traffic congestion in the city carrying 15,000 people an hour in 2014 rising to 40,000 people an hour on completion.
This is excellent news for Sarani Resort's second phase of luxury villas which will commence construction at the end of this year. A well-developed infrastructure is essential to successful tourism, particularly with more off the beaten track resorts like Sarani.
From City Living to Tropical Paradise
A 40 minute flight takes you from Panama City to the airport on Isla Colón which is the northernmost and main island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago located in Bocas del Toro Province. Quintessentially Caribbean, the vibrantly coloured town consists of clapboard houses built by the United Fruit Company in the early 20th century. This is where you get to see the other face of Panama having swapped the high-rise City landscape for lush tropical forests gilded by miles of golden beaches washed by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Once you get off the plane on Isla Colón, a 30 minute ride in a private Sarani charter skimming over the coral-studded waters takes you directly to the resort of Sarani. Mike and Michelle were excited to see at what stage the development of the resort was and arranged to meet the project managers on-site to see progress for themselves.
The Ultimate Holiday Experience
With the Boutique Hotel phase prepared for construction and having already completed three kilometres of underground electrical installation together with the entire underground water and plumbing network, it would also appear that much headway has been made in preparation for phase two - the construction of individual villas designed for residents and holidaymakers alike looking for the ultimate in luxury.
Mike and Michelle met with the development team over lunch, served in one of the Phase 1 bungalows and they were able to see the quality of finish that will remain consistent throughout the Resort. Beautiful hardwood construction and flooring, stonemasonry in the bathroom and huge floor to ceiling windows that permeate each room with sunlight make Sarani a very special and unique resort.
"There's an enormous amount of space and light inside the bungalows created by all the windows", enthused Michelle. "With the dense tropical greenery and brightly coloured flowers on the other side of the window, you get a sense of the outside being drawn into the room which definitely adds to the luxurious feel. It's almost like being in a five star treehouse!"
The whole region of Bocas del Toro is a biodiversity treasure trove which is why it is internationally recognised as both a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. Sarani Resort blends into the landscape perfectly due to its sympathetic design and use of timber from sustainably managed forests.
Sarani Project Mindful of Environment
"Panama is a surprising country and with each trip, I find somewhere new to visit", Mike comments. "The fact that tourism is still relatively undeveloped means that things are still relatively cheap in the country. If you want high-end, you've got it all and more at the Multiplaza shopping mall in the City but generally, more run of the mill items are very reasonably priced".
Sarani lies on the south western side of Isla Pastor overlooking the Caribbean Sea and is one of only 9 named islands of the archipelago. The island was formed as a result of volcanic activity and is littered with huge volcanic boulders that have been incorporated into the design of Sarani Resort and contribute to the uniqueness of the development.
Based on IPIN Members' recent and extremely successful exit from our Cipriani Heights investment in Panama's City centre we urge anyone not already invested in Sarani to take a closer look at this project. When you see that the reality of Panama is a million miles away from the misconception many have, you will see the potential for enormous growth in tourism in this part of the world.
Underpinned by a strong commitment of the government to promote the country as a tourist destination, investors in this project have a genuine opportunity for significant returns in one of 2014's choicest investments.
For more information on Sarani Resort and other secure investment opportunities from IPIN Global, register for Free Membership here. If you are already an IPIN Member - click here to view the Sarani Resort Investor Report.
- Friday 16 May 2014