Casa Dos Chicos is nestled on a hill in the small, charming tropical town of Sayulita, overlooking the beautiful coastline of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. This newly renovated 3,000 square foot vacation villa features four bedrooms, four bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room and a wonderful garden with heated pool. It is composed of two three-story structures, each with two one-bedroom suites, featuring en-suite bathroom and indoor and outdoor sitting areas. All of the colorful rooms share views of the walled garden, pool, town, and surrounding hills.
A Mexican-style open air living area floats above the tree tops, boasting a hot tub, living room, kitchen/dining room and large sofa with lounge chairs and hammocks, dramatically linked by a bridge high above the garden! Open on all sides, it catches gentle breezes and beautiful 360 degree views of ocean and coastline, lust foothills of the Sierra Madre and the energetic town of Sayulita which surrounds it.
The two three-story buildings are set in a lush, walled garden that features a glass mosaic tiled heated pool, a deck composed of inlaid stones in a style typical of the area, an outdoor shower, a fountain, and a barbecue. The shared living space of the house includes two large outdoor rooms covered by palapa roofs and linked by a bridge three stories up. The fully equipped kitchen has a large table for ten and an island with stools. The house and grounds provide a private retreat high above the town and the sea, which at the same time is only a short walk to all the local charm Sayulita has to offer.
This unique vacation home is available year round for weekly rentals from Saturday to Saturday, which prices ranging from $2,150 – $3,550. Daily rates range from $320 – $520, from here.
Bask beneath the Tuscan sun on the grounds of the recently built Bravo Holiday Residences, Villa Marchesa, an elegant and luxurious Italian mansion nestled in a wooded area along Tuscany’s Maremma Coast not far from Florence. Villa Marchesa offers the idyllic setting for multi-generational gatherings, vacationing couples or singletons who want to experience Italy with an entourage of friends. With the ability to house 18 people, the two-story manse features nine bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms plus a separate annex with an ample-size bed, en-suite bath and fireplace.
While the construction is new, the feel of an aged Tuscan retreat prevails with reclaimed wood and textures that add interest. The villa is lofty with open living spaces, a dining room with a table that seats 18, and a fully-equipped kitchen. The outside loggia can also seat 18 for meals plus there is an infinity-edge pool and a pool house for additional entertaining, a dozen oversize sun beds and stunning scenery as far as the eye can see. In addition, the Villa Marchesa has its own gym, pair of Jacuzzis, and beautiful views and absolute peace and tranquility. A stay within the villa’s confines still has you on holiday mode as maid service, a welcome dinner, access to a private golf club and tennis courts are all included.
To stay at this beautiful Italian retreat, prices range from $1,978 – $3,097 per night, from here.
This stunning vacation cabin for a family of five was designed by Dan Joseph Architects in Headwaters Camp, Big Sky, Montana. The goal in creating Headwaters Camp was to create a warm, charming and relaxing home for the family to come home to after spending the day doing activities in the mountains. Interior design firm, Carole Sisson Designs, wanted to give the home a camp-like feel, infusing texture and warmth into the space by using scrubbed painted finishes as well as rawhide and leather accents. Incorporating recycled pieces into the design from local antique stores created a lived-in feel, as if the home had existed for 100 years. The intention was also to create low-impact, energy efficient living without compromising beauty or comfort. The 1,900 square foot cabin is nestled on a sprawling 22 acres with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Upon entrance to the cabin, it is apparent that a welcoming retreat waits, with a cozy, intimate atmosphere of a cherished family camp. Reclaimed materials are integrated throughout the design to maintain the rustic feel, from old railroad as coat racks to Montana and Wyoming snow fences. The open kitchen, living area and small dining nook provides ample space for entertaining, even allowing room for a pool table and a small home office beneath the staircase. The master bedroom retreat has been designed like a small cabin with its high, steep-pitched ceiling and barnwood walls. The master bath boasts a shower with a river rock drain and a large boulder that is nestled within. A beautiful handmade antler staircase leads up to a loft area with two twin beds for the boys and an antique gate leads to the daughter’s bedroom. A wall of small windows features a comfortable sitting area beneath, for the children to read or play.
The cozy living area features ceiling beams made from standing dead trees found in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, reclaimed fir flooring, as well as a LEED-certified fireplace with airtight glass doors, local moss rock called Willow Creek and a fully insulated chimney.
Hand-forged steel straps around the ceiling beams add another Western material to the mix, while hand-peeled logs frame the vaulted ceiling.
The floors in the kitchen are iron slate. A recycled antique faded green hutch adds a splash of color to the kitchen. The picture window above the sink frames one of the family’s favorite ski runs on nearby Pioneer Mountain.
Custom built-in drawers add efficiency to the master bedroom, while old barnwood walls and a steeply pitched ceiling give the room a cabin-like feel. The door on the far wall leads to a small creek that flows through the property.
The rustic master bathroom sink was converted from a large antique wooden Indonesian bread bowl, complying with the family’s wishes to keep new materials to a minimum. The barn door seen in the mirror is constructed from reclaimed wood and metal.
This barn houses the family’s five horses. The roof is made of metal reclaimed from nearby ranches in Montana and Wyoming.
The setting around the house includes old-growth forest, streams and a horse pasture. There are also outdoor trails for mountain biking, horse riding, snowshoeing, skiing and fishing.
A large part of the construction is this man-made pond, part of a system of four ponds on the property. With a 20-foot depth, it is used as a geothermal mass to heat the home in the winter, using very little energy.
Photos: Audrey Hall
This exquisite luxury resort, set on 33 acres of sprawling vineyards and olive groves, in Napa Valley, California. Auberge du Soleil is a 52-room hotel that provides spectacular views from a hilltop perch down onto the valley. Auberge’s signature style of soft-spoken luxury has been recently updated by leading designer Suzanne Tucker, who has infused a bright, rich look reminiscent of a secluded Côte d’Azur retreat. The resort offers lavish cottages that are designed in sun and earth tone hues, with wood burning fireplaces and refrigerators that are stocked with local wines and cheeses. The bathrooms feature skylights and flat screen televisions. French doors open onto private terraces, cozy fireplaces and sensuous elements such as private soaking tubs for two.
Auberge du Soleil perfected the art of balancing wellness with luxurious indulgence when it opened Auberge Spa, a retreat modeled after a centuries-old monastery that continues to be one of the most acclaimed spas in the country. That was later followed by a transformation of the swimming pool into La Plage, a sexy, laid-back outdoor pool and living room, where hotel guests can spend lazy hours lounging poolside on oversized chaises or underneath gauze-draped canopies on day beds for two. There is an open-air art gallery on the grounds that is open only to resort guests, but visitors who dine at the fabulous restaurant can also take a visit into the stunning sculpture garden, laced with olive groves and meandering gravel paths. With 90 sculptures throughout the lush grounds, one can move from piece to piece in wonderment and delight.
Since it opened, resort guests have been drawn to the Auberge for its tranquility, style and unmistakable romance. The pleasures of escape, total privacy, and the intimacy of having a beautiful spot to share are part of the timeless allure of Auberge du Soleil.
Nightly rates range from $600.00 – $3,750.00, including breakfast for two in the restaurant, from here.
This gorgeous modern mountain home is set amongst the woods in Martis Camp, North Lake Tahoe, completed by design firm sagemodern. The home was designed with significant consideration of the natural setting to blend in with the gradual slope, forest and adjacent putting park. The 3,250 square foot home is used as a family retreat, with a large kitchen and great room for friends and family to gather after a day of skiing or hiking through the forest. The great room features a local quarried stone fireplace, radiant heated Brazilian slate floors, walnut cabinetry and a gourmet professional kitchen. The custom windows and doors framed by exposed timber and steel bring in the natural light to blend the indoor and outdoor living areas. The outdoor area features a spacious deck, a spa area protected by a large boulder outcropping, a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and an outdoor BBQ area. The home was designed for family and guests and has five bedrooms including two master suites, a junior master, a guest room and a bunk room.
All sagemodern homes are created using prefabricated modules in a quality controlled factory environment and then delivered virtually complete to your home site. Their architectural style is rooted in the modern vernacular.
There is no air conditioning in the home, instead there is a heat-recovery ventilation system (above) designed to draw in nighttime air to help keep the home cool.
Japanese kokeshi dolls.
Scandinavian Vedel bird toys.
Perched on over seven acres with heavenly ocean, mountain and valley views in Carpinteria, California this rustic compound has been designed by architect Don Nulty. The retreat was originally designed for film director Joel Schumacher who wished to have a rustic look with modern comforts. The architect created a new sophisticated residence that has been masterfully maintained throughout, incorporating wood from several 200-year-old disassembled barns. The 6,500 square foot, three bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home was featured in Architectural Digest, built in 2000, modern elements have been seamlessly blended with reclaimed barn wood to create this most stylish yet understated magical estate. Features include cathedral/vaulted/trey ceilings, skylight, guest house, guest quarters, loft and exercise room.
This stunning residence is now up for sale, listed at $9,450,000, from here.
The rear elevation. From left are the red barn, the breakfast room, the gray barn and the brown barn.
In the entrance hall, adaptations of Diego Rivera murals “celebrate the worker,” says Schumacher. Arte de Mexico wood doors.
On the left, An antique bust and a figurative oil painting rest on a worktable in the living room. On the right, beams from the old barns frame one of the living room’s two fireplaces.
The black-bottomed pool—“based on Bruce Weber and Nan Bush’s cement watering hole on their gorgeous Montana ranch”—looks out to the ocean.
African beaded kings’ and queens’ armchairs flank the entrance to Schumacher’s bedroom. “The Beacon blankets and Native American rugs are from everywhere,” he recalls. “I’ve been collecting them from flea markets, swap meets and the like since 1971.”
Schumacher’s bedroom is housed in the structure built from what he calls the brown barn, which is connected to the main house.
A sense of calmness is reinforced through color, texture and material selections in this ocean side retreat for a family of five, designed by Anderson Studio of Architecture and Design situated on Kiawah Island, Charleston, South Carolina. The main living areas offer gracious spaces for friendly gatherings, while separate family and guest areas provide privacy and ample opportunity to rest and recharge. Ocean views are captured from the main living areas and bedrooms despite a compact lot densely populated with maritime oaks. The overall size of this unique and time property is downplayed by revealing the home in layers, through subtle, yet complex solutions.
This magnificent island-inspired custom home, Hualalai Estate, features elegant living space with 4 bedrooms, each complete with garden outdoor shower lanais, as well as a fifth bedroom in an intimate guest house. Situated on a unique lot above the second fairway on the renowned Hualalai Ke’olu Golf Course, this masterfully-designed 6,300 square foot home enjoys unobstructed golf course, ocean and island views on the Big Island of Hawaii. Inside, the gourmet restaurant- style kitchen features dramatic custom mahogany cabinetry along with extensive integrated appliances.
A cornerless door system helps capture spectacular views in both the great room and master bedroom and brings the outside island world indoors. As the doors open and recede into the walls, the beauty of the Hawaiian outdoors merges effortlessly with the contemporary beauty of the interior space. That fine line between indoors and out becomes even more of an illusion as the glow of the setting sun fills the room. Overlooking the pool and golf course is the round dining room; conveniently close at hand is a temperature-controlled wine cave.
The master suite can be opened on two sides to the private end of the pool and the golf course. Poolside, guests will find an intimate breakfast table and chairs where one can watch the sun rise poolside. The master bath becomes a private retreat: a stand-alone Jacuzzi tub invites a leisurely soak, while enjoying a private view through the wall of windows, which reveals an oasis, filled with tropical flowers and an outdoor shower. All draperies and bedding are custom designed specifically for this home.
To stay at this heavenly retreat, prices range from $6,500 – $9,000 per night with a 7 night minimum stay, from here.
The huge infinity pool and whirlpool tub are the heart of this home. Whether sitting on the “yin/yang” settees around the custom-designed stone fire pit or lounging on a chaise in the shallow end of the pool, nothing says paradise with more eloquence.
The fifth guest bedroom is separate from the primary home, offering complete privacy. The suite has its own private morning kitchen complete with sink, dishwasher and microwave. Outside the triple wide glass doors are the outdoor shower and lanai, creating a sanctuary of tropical beauty. The indoor bath has double sinks and a large glass shower enclosure.
Verana is nine individual thatched-palapa huts, with panoramic views of the jungle and ocean – deep in the Valle del Sierra Madre Occidental. Carved out of the lush Mexican jungle, Verana is remote and secluded, but still offers all the amenities for a comfortable and relaxing stay. The hotel can only be accessed by a boat trip followed by mule ride. Each house was designed with its own character and feel to blend with the landscape and environment. The houses have their own gardens and terraces for privacy, but are still close enough so you don’t feel all alone in the jungle.
A luxury hideaway, Verana offers in-water massage pools in the spa, gardens, and cotton-canopied beds open to the balmy air, as well as a mouth-watering menu of fresh Mex cuisine. The raw concrete pool is surrounded by a series of stepped terraces lined with orange loungers and parasols. The wall of one terrace has become an unofficial guestbook, where people have scratched their names and assorted declarations of love. The hotel eschews all carbon-hungry electronic goods (no TVs, sounds systems etc) and candles are used in preference to the (mostly low-energy lights) where possible. Food is sourced from local producers (as were all building materials).
Verana is for travelers looking for beauty, intimacy, tranquility, and privacy. Rates range from $250 to $570 per house per night, from here.
House of Jasmines is owned by a French family and has been converted into an intimate luxury boutique hotel set in sprawling orchards and stunning gardens of roses and jasmine bordering the Arenales River in Salta, Argentina. The ranch covers a total of 900 acres which guests are free to explore, and the hotel itself has beautifully decorated guest rooms and suites. Each of the rooms are different and in keeping with the colonial feel of the house, with beautiful beds with hand-embroidered sheets, antique furniture and plenty of rustic charm. Fresh roses, and jasmines in season, will fill your room with a glorious scent. The restaurant, La Table de House of Jasmines, serves excellent local dishes and the well-equipped spa offers the perfect place to relax and unwind. Go mountain biking, horse riding or simply walk the miles of trails along the beautiful landscape. There is also a wonderful outdoor swimming pool and rose garden surrounded by open fields.
This sensational retreat has 8 guest rooms and 6 suites, ranging in price, $200 – $370, from here.