On Location: Mayakoba

Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico

By Camilla McLaughlin

Herons and egrets took flight ahead as our small electric craft plied along the crystal clear waterways that snake through the mangroves at Mayakoba, a 593-acre, eco-inspired resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Disney couldn’t have orchestrated a better display. Mayakoba might occupy prime coastline along the Caribbean, offer three luxury resorts and a PGA golf club, but what captivates is nature.

_DSC5657Honoring nature is also integral to the newest addition to Mayakoba — 
Fairmont Heritage Place, a private enclave of 30, three- and four-bedroom residences sold in 1/12 interests. Even among luxury properties, they are exceptional and the setting, especially at night when soft lights glisten in the three cascading pools, is almost magical. Arranged in a small grouping, the residences assure privacy. Step inside and the sense of peace is palpable. A panorama of green forms a backdrop for the main living area and disappearing window walls extend the living area to the terrace and lanai. Each residence has a private plunge pool, so sounds of water hum very softly in the background.

SB Architects also have done a wonderful job apportioning space. Unlike many open floor plans, main gathering areas are spacious and do not seem like an afterthought, and the kitchen with a solid granite backsplash is everything you would expect and more. Each bedroom has a private patio. A second master suite is a comfortable getaway for visitors. Trundle beds in another bedroom welcome children or grandchildren. No matter how many visitors you might entertain here, the master suite, with a private patio and access to the plunge pool, always will feel like a refuge.

_DSC5050 copyJust like Mayakoba itself, the longer you stay here, the more you appreciate even the smallest details. The staff is genuinely anxious to ensure an exceptional stay. The beautifully appointed clubhouse includes an owner’s lounge and bar. Coffee, fruit and pastries overlooking pools and gardens are a morning ritual. There is also a well-equipped gym, yoga studio and separate teen hangout. One of the three pools is just for little children. Transportation butlers are on hand to take residents to the beach, restaurants or the spa at the nearby Fairmont Resort.

Still, nothing tells the story of Mayakoba more than the birds. Today there are more species than before the resort was developed. And the resort’s best promotion has become a coffee table book, “Birds of Mayakoba.”

El Camaleón Golf Course designed by Greg Norman hosts the only PGA tour event in Mexico. The club’s innovative Koba restaurant celebrates local inspired cuisine.

Residents can enjoy restaurants and spas at Mayakoba’s three resorts: Rosewood, Banyan Tree and Fairmont. Listen to the surf and watch the moon rise over dinner at Las Brisas.

The 3,875-square-foot and 6,544-square-foot Fairmont Heritage Place residences debuted March 20. Shares begin at $179,000. Interests can be sold, willed, deeded or placed in a trust.

Going Global: Historic Villa Reale Di Marlia Sells in Italy

By Kirsten Niper

Listed for 65 million euros, Villa Reale Di Marlia in Lucca recently sold to a couple with plans to turn the historic estate into a luxury dream hotel.

The villa is one of the Monumental Villas of Lucca, built in the 15th century.

interni di Villa Reale di Marlia (2) courtesy Lionard copiaIt was previously home to the Bonvisi family; Olivieri and Lelio Orsetti; Elisa Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon; the Duchess of Parma; the Asburgo Lorena family; the first king of Italy, Victory Emanuel II of Savoy; and Prince Carlo, Prince of Bourbon.

Listed by Lionard Luxury Real Estate, Villa Reale di Marlia was bought in 1806 by Elisa Bonaparte and combined with the nearby Villa del Vescovo to create a single property.

Villa Reale di Marlia (1), courtesy LionardSurrounded by a 19-hectare, English-style park with some of the original garden from the 1600s, the famed estate also boasts the Green Theatre, which entertained performances from violinist Niccolo Paganini. Renovated by Bonaparte in a neoclassical style, the 18,000-square-meter villa “has no rivals for the sense of majesty and luxuriousness which exudes from it. [It is] a simply stunning Italian Renaissance villa and is representative of the best Italian real estate,” shares Ian Heath of Lionard Luxury Real Estate.

Villa Reale di Marlia is one of 70 historic villas and estates in the Lucca area that Lionard Luxury Real Estate has in its portfolio. 

Lucca was founded by the Etruscans and predates Roman civilization, and is the largest medieval city in Italy with its original defensive walls intact. For more on Villa Reale Di Marlia, visit lionard.com

Fabulous Finds: Vegas’ Veer Towers Celebrates $100 Million in Sales

By Kirsten Niper

More than 225 units, worth over $100 million, have been sold at Veer Towers in Las Vegas. Pordes Residential Sales and Marketing took over sales in early 2013, and the company has realized steady success since.

“We analyzed the community and market from a broad perspective and realized we needed to reintroduce the product to the market,” shares Mark Pordes, CEO of Pordes Residential.

Model Unit Living Room March 2015At approximately 60-percent sold, available residences range from $250,000 to over $2.3 million with studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums for purchase. Eighteen fully furnished, designer, model units are also available.

The two, 37-story towers offer residents views of the city from their homes, and easy access to The Shops at Crystals, the Gallery Row Shops, ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel & Spa and Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas.

One of the popular amenities is the rooftop entertainment deck, which features infinity-edged pools, hot tubs, sundecks and summer kitchens, plus astounding views of the mountains and the Strip.

“There is a lot for people to do who live in Veer Towers. Everything is very close, and new growth is happening right now. For outdoors life, there is hiking, skiing on Mt. Charleston, great golf and tennis, plus the best restaurants in the world,” explains Pordes.

For more information on Veer Towers, visit veertowers.com