With updated architecture to a true European French Villa style, Sunset Plaza Residence has been designed by Smith Firestone Associates, situated high above Sunset Plaza in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The designers revamped the exterior facade, taking the architecture from an odd muddle of classical French and retro 1970’s to a true European French Villa style. They gave the interior an edge of glamor and French flair. Entering through the dramatic, two-story glossy black double doors, the interior space is Hollywood Regency with a classic French flair. Dark wood floors juxtaposed against stark white paneled walls are offset by a transitional color palette of mink brown, classy black, pale dove gray, dusty purples and hints of yellow. The décor is an eclectic mix of romantic Rococo-inspired pieces, 19th Century French Empire chandeliers, contemporary abstract art, quirky wallcoverings, and of course, a few Bond-inspired accents–perfect for the client who is heir to the James Bond empire!
Photos: Meghan Beierle-O’Brien
Leobo Private Reserve ultra-cool luxury villa surrounded by 12,000 acres of pristine African wilderness in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Unlike any other game lodge, the villa is only available on an exclusive use basis, totally private and yours to enjoy. The main house is simply stunning. Designed by award winning architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, this private house is state of the art and even has a fully automated research-grade observatory tower to view the night sky in world class conditions.
There is a full team of staff to make your stay one of complete luxury and relaxation, including butlers and a talented private chef. The house will take your breath away, but the real star of the show is the 12,000 acre private game reserve / playground on your doorstep. The Leobo Private Reserve is fantastically well equipped for fun – there are quad bikes, dirt buggies, horses, mountain bikes, motor bikes, helicopters, clay shooting, fishing and more, all to use at your leisure, with no rules or time constraints.
See the abundance of wild game on horseback, quad or from the comfort of a Land Cruiser, all with the commentary of an expert. The experienced bush guides can take you animal tracking and show you the wonders of nature on the reserve. Forget timetabled game-drives. Here it’s just you and the bush (with of course the team of experienced staff) so you can do what you like, when you like.
Sleeping six, rates at Leobo Private Reserve range from $28,803 to $70,078, from here.
Villa Kotilo has been designed by architect Olavi Koponen of r2k architectes in Espoo, Finland. The home has received widespread attention and appreciation for the uniqueness of the design. The home combines ecology, traditional materials such as concrete, steel and wood, but an exceptionally natural and harmonious form. The spiral shape dwelling is comprised of 2,486 square feet (231 square meters) of living space. The house envelopes three rooms kitchen, living area and bathroom / toilet. The actual living quarters are located in the main building, and in a separate wing of the building, sauna, dressing room, bathroom, storage and technical room.
This fabulous home is currently listed for sale for roughly $1,107,312.00, from here.
Photos: Courtesy of Lea Jakama
Segera Retreat is the new Wilderness Safari’s property set in a wildlife sanctuary on the Laikipia Plateau, Kenya, East Africa. The retreat consists of eight villas, five of which are raised on wooden decks comprising one bedroom with en-suite bathroom and have an outside deck. Beneath each Villa lies an outside lounge and comfortable swing-bed. As the name suggests, the property is a place to relax and unwind; there is a gym here, wellness center and a theater. There is also the largest private collection of African art in the world.
Six timber and thatch villas are raised above a carpet of botanical life in the Segera “Oasis” with its sculpture garden. Each has an elevated wooden platform, which looks out onto the surrounding savannah and swing beds below providing the perfect shaded place for some midday relaxation as well as for a night out under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of Africa. The gracious Segera House and perfectly positioned Villa Segera boast similarly spectacular views and even greater privacy and luxury. They run on solar energy and water is sustainably harvested and recycled. The villas gaze out over the Laikipia Plateau towards the spectacular Mount Kenya.
Within the privacy of the villas, a large bedroom and en-suite bathroom fill the upstairs space under timber trusses. A private sun deck in the garden offers comfortable sun loungers for soaking up the African sun, while a Jacuzzi bath, sunk into the deck outside the bedroom, offers a unique vantage point. Each villa includes in its décor original, individually selected paintings and other art from a range of Africa’s most inspiring artists.
Photos: Courtesy of Segera
Villa Amanzi is nestled in a cascading, west facing ravine with a dramatic slab of rock defining the northern edge and a stunning outlook over the azure blue of the Andaman Sea to the south, in Phuket, Thailand. Architecture studio Original Vision was commissioned to do this demanding but ultimately spectacular site justice, which was both daunting and exciting. The defining elements are the rock and the view. They dominate at every juncture. They resonate on first approach, through the migration from public to private space, in the living and in the family areas, in the gardens, in the bedrooms; and they continue to command respect down the tropical jungle steps that arrive at a secluded rock platform, flanked by the same seam that welcomed you 60m above. Constant reference to these elements instills a feeling of solidity that contrasts with the openness of the house, reinforcing the dynamism and vibrancy that pays homage to the magic of the location.
The home grows out from the rock; the bedroom element rests between it and the wing that strikes the perpendicular, rising vertically from the slope. This composition defines the open living and dining space that is simply a transition between two garden areas. It is intimate but open and the uninterrupted clear span creates a bridge under which the conventions defining indoor space disappear.
Cantilevered over a massage sala, the swimming pool completes the composition. It is the focal point that draws the eye to the view and instills a calmness that provides balance with the energy of the architecture.
Allocation of Living Space
The provision and allocation of living space in the house is carefully distributed over the three main levels of accommodation.
At the main entrance or Entertainment Level, the principal open living and dining space forms the core of the entertainment function. The terraces, swimming pool, dining sala and barbeque area all refer and rely on this main space and together, complete the composition. Supporting this function are the kitchen, storage, laundry and staff areas.
Above the Entertainment Level is the main family Bedroom Level. The master suite is accompanied by a further three bedrooms, all of which, including their bathrooms, command uninterrupted ocean views.
Sliding doors can be opened front and back to encourage the monsoon breezes to cool the rooms.
Below the Entertainment Level, two further bedrooms, a private spa and a large games and family room complete the home on the Guest and Spa Level. It is from this level that access is gained to the steps leading to the rock pools and the ocean.
The principal planning restrictions on the west coast of Phuket are a series of set-back zones from the Mean High Water Line (MHWL). These zones control density, site coverage and height limits.
Located within the 3rd of these zones, a band that has been designed to allow low density and low visual impact development, Villa Amanzi is well within limits and therefore enjoys generous green space around it.
Sunny Side Villa is a brand new luxury vacation dwelling situated on a sandy beach with a swimming pool literally on the sand of Chrisi Akti in Paros, Greece designed by Studio 265 Architecture + Building. This 3,875 square foot (360 square meters) property has been built as a long flat unit and it has a guest house almost attached to it. All bedrooms have sea views and direct access to the pool area and all the comforts of a luxury construction. There is a main house with three bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, large living and dining area and a kitchen. An independent guesthouse has a bedroom with en-suite bathroom and a day bed, dressing room and small kitchenette as well as staff quarters. The land is comprised of 11,000 square meters and is planted with olive trees, fig and pomegranate trees and a vineyard. There is a small vegetable and aromatic plants garden. This unique beach house is ideal for families or a group of couples!
Photos: Courtesy of Studio 265 Architecture + Building
Tucked away in the Tuscan hillside not far from the cultural centers of Florence and Siena, Borgo Santo Pietro is a luxurious thirteenth century private retreat set within 13 acres of enchanting gardens. A resting place for pilgrims en route to Rome 800 years ago, this ancient site continues to provide sanctuary to its guests today. Elegant and sympathetically designed interiors and grounds provide the perfect setting to experience sheer indulgence.
All of the rooms are unique and have been created to reflect authentic luxurious Italian style that gives the guests the sense of staying at an exclusive, ancient country villa. With fifteen guest room, eight of which are suites, each room provides a sitting area and a view to remember. The extensive grounds at Borgo Santo Pietro include an orchard, organic fruits and vegetable garden, tranquil lawns and a beautiful pool as well as a tennis court, basketball court and a bocce pitch for the more active guests. A playground is set away from the peaceful seclusion of the garden.
Innovative, world class cuisine created from the villa’s private organic gardens, a velar of fine international and Italian wines, spa treatments, impeccable service and passionate attention to details are set in a refreshingly relaxed and intimate environment. Borgo Santo Pietro offers ultimate quality with the personal touch for truly exclusive escape in the breathtaking surroundings of Tuscany.
Prices for guest rooms range from $488.79 – $1,166.58 per night, from here.
SU House is a contemporary villa situated at the edge of a forest in the south of Stuttgart, Germany, designed by Alexander Brenner Architects. The villa has been thoroughly designed down to the smallest detail, built for an art lover and her family. From the architects, “From the piazza at the entrance to the site a silvery garage structure leads past the upper garden with the lake and the “morning patio” with its pebble stone flooring to the entrance on the north side.
Following the entrance hall the large dining table is placed below a two-storey void and lit by a skylight.
The removable floor-to-ceiling glazing opens up at right-angle to the terrace, so that the inside merges with the roofed over outside in the summer months. The kitchen was designed as an eat-in kitchen. It works either as a closed space or thanks to the wide sliding door as a part of the whole. A large, broad fireplace directs to the living area, which was planned as a more secure and intimate place. A full-width skylight at the back sends light beams onto the wall with paintings and sculptures.”
From the southern office- and workspace a narrow sculptural staircase leads down to the studio. This two-storey high, almost sacral area serves to present works of art – a passion of the client. Right next to the studio a storeroom for artwork is attached.
In the upper storey all bedrooms and the corresponding bathrooms are arranged around the gallery. The master-bedroom with fireplace, dressing room and bathroom is designed as an interconnected “private area”. The covered roof terrace, positioned in front of the bedroom offers a mile-wide view to south-west. Even more breathtaking is the view from the overlying roof terrace.
The majority of the garden level consists of the pool and spa area. The part of the sauna and steam bath is an introverted area which is kept in warm red and gold tones all around. The indoor swimming pool on the other hand opens with a floor-to-ceiling glazing towards the lower south-west part of the garden.
Photos: Courtesy of Alexander Brenner Architects
Spotted on Italian Villas, Villa Dorata overlooks the scenic village of Positano, Italy and offers spectacular, panoramic views of the sea. This private four bedroom palazzo is luxuriously decorated in high-Baroque style from the elegant jewel tone hues to the ornate chandeliers, lavish tasseled draperies, exquisite frescoed ceilings, vaulted alcoves, and plush-cushioned furniture. Step onto the picturesque terraces and you will be surrounded by lush greenery and fragrant citrus groves, a garden of delights. The terrace offers guests an absolutely breathtaking panoramic view of the colorful houses that line Positano beach and as far out as the exotic Galli islands, completely surrounded by the crystal blue Mediterranean Sea.
The formal living room, adorned with gilt-framed artwork, opens through double doors to a verdant front terrace. Read by the firelight in the nearby study/sitting room, and then adjourn to the dining room, which leads to a grand, professional kitchen highlighted by a full stone fireplace and two pizza ovens as well as a private wine cellar. Downstairs, revel in a full-service private spa offering a Turkish steam bath, hot-and-cold water showers, sauna, Jacuzzi with oxygen-therapy, massage room, and exceptional tiled indoor swimming pool with waterfall and resistance-swimming option.
Step onto the private terrace to enjoy the views and an antique-tiled fountain with massage stones. On the first floor, two master bedrooms with sitting rooms and en-suite bathrooms both open onto a spectacular sea-view terrace. On the second floor, two suites overlooking the Mediterranean (and either Positano or the gardens), both offering private access to gardens with lemon and orange trees.
To stay at this fabulous villa, prices range from $2,824 – $3,766, from here.
This luxury charming villa has recently been restored to an exceptionally high standard, in a luxuriously contemporary, Provencal style, retaining its original charm and character by its designer owner. Set within an acre of stunning floral gardens, making it extremely private and within the exclusive gated domain of Beauvallon, Villa La Chenoiserie boasts breathtaking panoramic views of the Bay of St Tropez. Decorated in an elegant, luxurious style, the villa retains charming features such as the big open fire in the living area, and cool stone floors. The place is filled with gorgeous French furniture, delicate fabrics and vintage armoires.
La Chenoiserie features four bedrooms each with en-suite or private bathrooms. Additionally, there is a two bedroomed garden cottage, which also has its own living room, kitchen and bathroom. The main house offers a spacious internal living/dining area and open plan kitchen, plus library/study. Outside, there is a covered loggia leading off the living area, a large pool with its delightful pool house and ample terracing which offers secluded relaxation amidst the luscious gardens with a breathtaking view over the Bay of St Tropez.
This luxury villa is attended by dedicated members of staff, during the high summer season, giving you the opportunity to totally relax, as the villas staff will attend to your every need from preparing breakfast in the morning to candle lit dinner in the evening prepared by a gourmet chef overlooking the twinkling lights of the Bay.
Rates at Villa La Chenioserie are from 15,538 per week, from here.
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