Monkey business

Eco resort in Panama earns top honors for glam Houston couple

Eco resort in Panama earns top honors for glam Houston couple

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Panama's Caribbean coast offers a fantasy island setting for the Emerald Monkey resort and residences. Emerald Monkey
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Kimberly and Frank DeLape, owners/developers of Emerald Monkey Eco-Luxe Resort & Residences in Panama. Gary Fountain
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A rendering of one of Emerald Monkey's luxurious villas for sale beginning at $546,000. Emerald Monkey
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Clear, blue waters along the Bocas del Toro archipelago, located closed to the mainland of Panama Emerald Monkey
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Indoor/outdoor baths off a close affinity with nature. Emerald Monkey
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The project won't be completed until late next year, but Kimberly and Frank DeLape's Emerald Monkey Eco-Luxe Resort & Residences in Panama has already garnered eight  Americas Property Awards. 

The high-profile couple (they co-chaired the 2009 Houston Ballet Ball) were in San Diego recently to receive the honors presented in association with CNBC, the New York Times and Kohler.  

Already a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts family, the development is nestled on Isla Pastor in the Boca del Toro archipelago, just off the coast of Panama. Balinese -inspired villas with private plunge pools and indoor/outdoor baths and showers with private gardens are spread across the property.

Amenities will include a fitness center, gourmet restaurant, spa, dive center and two private beaches. The resort's focus on eco-friendliness includes hydro-electric power, a biomass septic system and on-island transportation restricted to solar-powered golf carts.

All of this has added up to the awards recognition — Best Property, Best Development, Best Interior Design, Best Development Marketing and Best Architecture for Panama. And, for all of the Americas, Emerald Monkey received Best Property, Best Development and Best Development Marketing honors.  

The DeLapes couldn't be happier. The honors will be choice marketing tools for the villas priced from $564,000 in full or from $75,000 for fractional ownership. Rentals are available as well, that aspect managed through Preferred Hotels.