Enchanting lake house in Georgia is a waterfront gem

This week, in anticipation of our upcoming waterfront-themed issue, Unique Homes is highlighting five of our favorite waterfront properties from across the United States. Each of the properties may be found in our waterfront section, or pages 42-81 in the next summer issue.


This enchanting Meeting Lake House in Lake Burton, Ga., has been listed by Barnett Realtors, and is on sale for $5,900,000.

At hat price point, you’ll expect a lot. But today’s highlighted property has everything you’d want out of a waterfront estate in Georgia: This big, intricately detailed home is located on a large water lake with an expansive, colorful mountain view, and was completed just a few years ago. It’s modern, with no expense spared in the designer’s attention to detail — how many other interiors boast custom oyster colored, Venetian plastered walls? — and fun lake activities are always just a stone’s throw away.

Read a book, enjoy arts and crafts or take in the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains from one of the Bonus Room’s three walls of windows. Don’t miss the ceiling of the room — it’s unexpectedly clad with flooring for a fresh look — or, if you’d prefer, you can wake up to Lake Burton views in the upstairs princess suite. Maybe you’d like to bring in the sunshine by opening the doors to the Juliette balcony. Whatever you end up doing, and in whichever room, just make sure you don’t miss out on the Georgian splendor shrouding this gem of a waterfront estate.

Top Waterfront Locales: The masterpiece of Nantucket Island

This week, in anticipation of our upcoming waterfront-themed issue, Unique Homes is highlighting five of our favorite waterfront properties from across the United States. Each of the properties may be found in our waterfront section, or pages 42-81 in the next summer issue.

CaptureThis Spectacular Oceanfront Dionis on Nantucket Island, Ma., has been listed by Sotheby’s Real Estate, and is on sale for $21,500,000.

There’s a whole host of reasons to visit the quiet paradise of Nantucket Island, Ma., which has virtually everything you’d want in a waterfront property: Sprawling and beautiful harbors, a pristine view in every direction — sunrises and sunsets are particularly breathtaking — and the sounds of the seascape offer majestic relaxation from everyday wear and tear. Plus, the benefits of living on an island are many, from early morning swims on private beaches to taking boat rides into town.

The Oceanfront Dionis at 119 Eel Point Road offers all of that, and much, much more. In the two luxurious homes sitting just off the ocean, as well as in the studio and cottage, the view overlooks four acres of ocean-front real estate on Nantucket Island’s north shore. The property boundaries extend from the grassy dunes, across the beach to the mean high tide line of Nantucket Sound, and on a sunny day, the water glows deep blue. This is a rare portion of the Island undergoing accretion of land rather than erosion — it will only get better as the years pass.

Hong Kong’s most prestigious address, adds residences

103-mount-nicholson-roadHong KongHong Kong-based real estate developer, Wheelock Properties (Hong Kong) Limited, The Wharf (Holdings) Limited and Nan Fung Group, have formally announced the luxury residential real estate project titled Mount Nicholson, a collection of 19 ultra-luxuryhouses and 48 apartments located in Hong Kong’s most prestigious address - The Peak.  Construction for Mount Nicholson is currently underway and the project’s team is in the final stages of refining every design detail.

The project will be developed in three phases with the first phase, consisting of 17 detached houses, slated to launch in the first half of 2015. House sizes will range from 6,000 to 10,000 sqft (saleable area) and apartment sizes will range from 4,200 to 4,500 sqft (saleable area), sizes that are truly rare in Hong Kong.

Mount Nicholson is located on its name-sake mountain along The Peak, the most prestigious and sought-after area in Hong Kong. As the development will be the only property along Mount Nicholson Road, residences will offer exclusivity and privacy nestled within the serenity of The Peak’s natural beauty.

“Mount Nicholson is located in the most sought-after location on The Peak in Hong Kong, where the land supply is incredibly rare,”stated Mr. Ricky Wong, Managing Director of Wheelock Properties (Hong Kong). “Our international design team has spared no effect to build an international grade project. Mount Nicholson is set to become a main focus in Hong Kong’s property market this year.”

In addition to the location’s rarity, a premier team of internationally renowned architects as well as interior and landscape designershave been invited to curate a limited collection of exquisite houses and apartments, such as Robert Stern, Yabu Pushelberg, Alexandra Champalimaud, David Collins Studio, OLIN, Living Architecture and Talley Associates. Each home is meticulously designed with the most discerning buyer in mind and will maximize its location and setting on The Peak.

Seafront ‘fortress’ designed by Leonardi da Vinci goes on sale

unnamedFlorence, Italy – A fortress by the sea whose walls were designed by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century, a villa in Ischia that lodged Garibaldi and a tower home built to defend from pirate attacks, these are just three of over 100 historic homes, villas and castles by the sea which are for sale in the most exclusive Italian resorts. Prices vary from 2 to 45 million euros per property, most are in perfect condition.

A fortress by the sea, located in Tuscany,  Livorno, where the imposing walls were designed by Leonardo Da Vinci who slept here in 1502 and where later, in the 19th century, napoleon’s sister, Princess Elisa Bonaparte became the owner.

It was June 1864 when Garibaldi arrived in Ischia to rest, after severely wounding his leg during the battle in Aspromonte. Here he found refuge and comfort, amongst the orange groves and vineyards of the Hotel Belle Vue, which was converted into  a private residence in the early 1900s and today is a splendid villa with a spectacular 360° view of the island.

On the Amalfi Coast this beautiful tower home was built to withstand pirate attacks only to be transformed into a villa of 235m2 divided over three levels with a 500m2 terrace and private sea access.

Most of the buyers for this kind of real estate are foreigners, with only a few Italians, who never exceed 10% of the market. They are people who are not only looking for luxury properties, which they could find anywhere in the world, but who are chasing a dream, a lifestyle. The place comes before everything else, it has to be famous not just for its beauty and the services offered, but also for a rich history, and for being a place of interest in the art world, theatre, nobility and international business.

Cover Home Sells for Full Price


As reported in The New York Times last week, the Upper East Side penthouse owned by Joan Rivers sold for $28 million — full asking price. The home was advertised on the cover Unique Homes’ annual Ultimate Homes issue (May/June) this year. Take a look here at our cover story on this 11-room triplex apartment.

50 story, fashion-branded residences launched in London

aykon-nine-elms-londons-first-fashion-branded-residences-versace-home-launched-34-46London, U.K. — Luxury real estate developer DICO UK Property Holdings Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of DAMAC International Limited, has announced the first of its fashion residences in London with a 50-story, 360 unit project with interior designs by Versace. The lobby, amenities and interiors for each property are being expertly designed and fitted out by Versace Home.

Amenities will include a state of the art gymnasium, indoor swimming pool and spa, an owners lounge, children’s play area, roof garden and cinema, all designed by Versace Home.

AYKON Nine Elms is located at the heart of the UK capital’s Nine Elms regeneration area adjacent to Battersea, overlooking the River Thames. The tower is due for completion in 2020. AYKON Nine Elms will be the first private residence project of scale in London to be fully designed and conceptualized by a luxury fashion house, with Versace involved in all aspects of interior design.

AYKON Nine Elms combines a mix of premium penthouses, three-, two-, one-bedroom and Manhattan Studio units with City and River views along the Thames to the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye.

Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Versace said: “Versace is synonymous with fashion and luxury and its participation in the real estate business provides the opportunity to fully experience the Versace lifestyle. In recent years, the private residential projects have become a strategic part of the Versace world. Today, thanks to the collaboration with DICO UK Property Holdings Ltd and DAMAC – a developer who we have worked with for many years and who shares our vision for the highest standards – we bring the ultimate expression of Versace’s lifestyle to the very heart of London.”

London continues to be one of the most sustainable real estate markets in the world, with solid year-on-year price growth circa 6% according to real estate advisory firm, JLL. Analysts expect house price inflation in the region of 5-7% in the coming years.


“There is a huge appetite from our current global customer base for luxury property investments in London,” said Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC.  “AYKON Nine Elms presents an unrivalled opportunity for them to access the stable and established London market. AYKON Nine Elms, with Versace-branded living, is a truly unique concept and a fantastic addition to the residential market in this amazing cultural and vibrant city.”

Final villa at the ‘Black pearl of the Mediterranean’ for sale

cp_cap_dagde_cullinan_park_english1.006Paris, Fra. — Immobilière Foch Sotheby’s International Realty, one of the leader in prestige real-estate in Languedoc-Roussillon, developed a new project finding an echo with the assets of American gated communities and is proposing thus eleven luxury villas in Cap d’Agde. Al of them were sold, and now, the last one available has been put up for sale.

Nicknamed “the black pearl of the Mediterranean,” Agde is offering a privileged living environment to its inhabitants, with 300 days of sunshine per year and 14 kilometers of beach. The seaside resort is provided with numerous leisurefacilities like the International 27-hole Golf of Cap d’Agde which is located at 8 minutes from the villa, Grau d’Agde fishing port and also tourism activities such as gourmet tour between land and sea. The city is also situated at the foot of Mont-Saint-Loup, the last link of Auvergne volcanoes and preserved natural area. Extremely easy to access, Cap d’Agde is very popular during summer season and is internationally renowned.

In this charming environment , provided with one of the most dynamic and touristic cities of Languedoc-Roussillon, the Cullinan Park Residence sprung out of the ground, based on a very-well known concept in the United-States, but still inexistent in the South of France: gated communities. It is therefore in the ancient Greek city that the contemporary villas, ideally situated at 100 meters from the beach, are established. Called Beluga, Palmea, Olivis, Neria, Toscana, Epicuria or Vinea, each one has a unique design and a high standing. Immobilière Foch Sotheby’s International agency is in charge of the sale.

These luxurious homes blend perfectly with Hérault beautiful landscapes, and benefit from a peaceful setting, by the sea, with a view on Fort Brescou and Mont Canigou.

These are the top 10 food cities in the United States

coral_gables_casas-miamiFoodie culture continues to marinate in U.S. cities, along with its various cousins the farm-to-table and craft-beer movements. Many cities are encouraging restaurant districts and boutique eating, and reaping the benefits. With this in mind, Livability.com has named the Top 10 Best Foodie Cities, 2015. These cities strongly support local farmers, showcase regional cuisine, and provide residents with an innovative and eclectic mix of restaurants and delicious food to eat.
When choosing the best foodie cities, our editors first analyzed Census data to find cities with high concentrations of restaurants and bars. Using data from Esri and other sources, they looked for cities whose residents choose to eat at independent restaurants rather than chains or fast-food establishments. Our editors also looked at access to healthy food and farmers markets, which provide at-home cooks with fresh ingredients. Finally, just because these cities have great food doesn’t mean they should be eating it to excess, so we also factored in the adult obesity rate.
Of course, palates are a subjective thing, so our editors also layered in some other factors like James Beard Award winners, Michelin stars and even Yelp reviews. Finally, we used our experience and judgement to narrow the list into the final Top 10.
“You can go on and on about how a strong foodie culture benefits a city economically and leads to more vibrant downtowns,” says Livability editor Matt Carmichael. “But let’s be realistic. It’s really all about having a variety of great food to eat. Who doesn’t want that in their town?”
Top 10 Best Foodie Cities, 2015

  1. Coral Gables, FL; 2. Omaha, NE; 3. Pittsburgh, PA; 4. Duluth, MN; 5. Rockville, MD; 6. Bellevue, WA; 7. Stamford, CT; 8. Tempe, AZ; 9. Burlington, VT; 10. Walnut Creek, CA

International tourist arrivals up 4% in 2015

CaptureInternational tourism demand continued to be robust between January and April 2015 with tourist arrivals increasing 4% worldwide according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Almost all regions enjoyed strong growth. Prospects for the May-August period remain upbeat, with close to 500 million tourists expected to travel abroad during these four months.

Destinations worldwide received some 332 million international tourists (overnight visitors) between January and April 2015, 16 million more than the same period last year, corresponding to an increase of 4%.

This result follows an increase of 4.3% in 2014 and consolidates the upwards trend of international tourism in recent years (+4.5% international tourist arrivals a year on average since 2010).

By region, the Americas (+6%) led growth, followed by Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East, all recording 4% to 5% more arrivals. By subregion, Oceania and South America boasted the strongest increase (both +8%), followed by the Caribbean and Central and Eastern Europe (both +7%), the latter rebounding from last year’s decline. In Africa, demand weakened in 2014 after years of solid growth, affected mainly by the Ebola outbreak among other challenges. Limited data currently available for January-April 2015 points to a 6% decline, as African destinations struggle to recover from the misperceptions affecting the continent.

“It is encouraging to see the tourism sector consolidating its excellent results despite security concerns and unrest in many parts of our world”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “This underscores that tourism is a surprisingly resilient economic sector which increasingly contributes to development in many countries around the globe. For national governments, it is a reminder that tourism can be part of the solution to foster socio-economic development and job creation.”

New coat of paint for Martis Camp in California

Martis Camp Beach ShackTruckee, Calif. — Martis Camp, a private residential golf and ski community in North Lake Tahoe, announces a total of 60 properties in escrow or closed since January 1, 2015 totaling $106 million, their highest volume to date for a five-month sales period. Along with continued strong sales, Martis Camp Club is primed for summer adventure with the official opening of the Beach Shack at Lake Tahoe, and a calendar filled with fun — including a special performance from the Beach Boys.

More than 90 percent of Martis Camp’s home sites have sold to date, with a total of 446 custom homes built, in design or under construction. Now in its last phase of homesite sales, current inventory is low in this sought-after community, with only 59 premier homesites available.

The community is thriving with more than 621 Club members who enjoy a four-season lifestyle defined by an array of family Club amenities. Activity heats up in the summer months: Memorial Day weekend brought the official opening of the Beach Shack, the Club’s newest amenity which offers a private home base at Lake Tahoe complete with kayaks, paddle boards, sand toys, chaise lounges and casual dining. Fittingly, the Beach Boys will bring their classic California soundtrack to the High Sierras when they kick off the Camp’s annual Summer Concert Series in late June.

In addition to the Beach Shack, Martis Camp Club has made several other updates and additions for summer recreation. Club members can try their hand at pickleball — a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Two courts were added near the existing Park Pavilion and sporting fields. Later this summer, Martis Camp will open Creekside Park, and will add another zip line course to the Aerial Adventure Park, a treetop adventure course for all ages.

“We are excited to offer our members top-notch, engaging amenities and programming, where they can relax as families and appreciate the simple pleasures of summer,” said General Manager Mark Johnson. “From day one we’ve sought to capture and perfect the four-season appeal of Lake Tahoe, and we will continue to consider new offerings that add value and energy to the member experience.”