March 2, 2017 / Property Spotlight

Ski & Surf: Celebrity Hotspots

Luxury Defined presents an international showcase of homes in exclusive celebrity playgrounds


The old adage “You can’t take it with you” has an exception among Hollywood’s superstars: “Yes, but you can take it on vacation.” Herewith, Luxury Defined offers a collection of fabulous homes in posh, post-Oscar getaways habituated by the red carpet set. Even the place names evoke the lifestyles of the glitterati: Cabo San Lucas, Telluride, St. Barts, St. Moritz, Miami Beach, Marrakesh... If you’re rich and famous, the chances are you’ve already been there and fallen in love with these places. If you have yet to thank the Academy, it’s time to get going.

Mountain Village Ski Estate
Telluride, ColoradoThis majestic mountain estate has direct access to the ski trails, the gondola, and all the amenities of the top-ranked U.S. ski resort of Telluride—home to such stars as Tom Cruise, Kevin Costner, and Oprah Winfrey.A Colorado mining boomtown until the 1890s, Telluride revived its fortunes in the ’60s and ’70s as a world-class ski resort, averaging 177 inches of snowfall a year. With its stay-small development ethos, Telluride has preserved its Old West architecture and village ambience, and drawn celebrities in droves. 

Nestled on a wooded hillside overlooking the Mountain Village Core, this palatial mountain lodge boasts direct access to Telluride’s world-class pistes, close to village amenities and the gondola. The home’s bold stone and timber façade integrates perfectly with its setting. Inside, exquisite architectural elements include a two-story, circular staircase; cherrywood cabinetry and doors; and marble and flagstone floors. There are five bedrooms, including two master suites, eight bathrooms, a family room with wet bar and fireplace, a theater, an elevator, and a ski room opening to the trail.

Casa Ventana al Cielo
Cabo San Lucas, MexicoDuring the Fifties, stars such as Bing Crosby, John Wayne, and Desi Arnaz would fly to Cabo to escape the Hollywood spotlight. Though much has changed in this once sleepy fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, the resort still attracts big-name stars due to its dazzling white beaches, luxury resorts, and championship golf courses. With its serene white-sand beaches, luxury spa resorts, world-class golf and deep-sea fishing, and convenient location (just two hours’ flight from LAX), it’s easy to see why Cabo San Lucas on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is a favorite escape for Hollywood’s A-list. 

In this beautiful corner of the world, the aptly named Casa Ventana al Cielo (window to heaven), is a breathtaking residential aerie high above Cabo San Lucas. This 6,000-square-foot mountaintop home combines vast, open living spaces with lavish features including interior gardens, six luxurious bedrooms, and six and one half spa-like bathrooms. With commanding sea views from every vantage point, the home is an entertainer’s dream, with a casually chic decor, full furnishings, artisan finishes, and lavish touches including an elevator, gym, and infinity pool.

Casa Mare
Miami Beach, FloridaThe beaches and nightlife of Miami make it a top celebrity hotspot. This tropical waterfront home enjoys a star-studded location in the Venetian Islands, a cluster of ultra-exclusive residential islands in Biscayne Bay.Casa Mare is an exquisite waterfront retreat in the Venetian Islands, an exclusive five-island enclave of Miami Beach—a favorite winter escape for supermodels, sports superstars, and music moguls alike. The original Art-Deco residence was built in 1937 and immaculately reconstructed and redesigned in 2010 with the utmost quality and craftsmanship. 

Private gates open onto an Asian-inspired forecourt with a koi pond and accents of stone and bamboo. At the entrance, a great room with 20-foot-high ceilings reveals endless views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami. Casa Mare offers 5,181 square feet of lavish living areas with five bedrooms, five full and two half bathrooms. The exotic, modernist interiors are complemented by tropical gardens, a zen yoga deck, a resort-style swimming pool and outdoor lounge, and 110 feet of prime water frontage with dockage for the yacht.

Chesa Futura
St. Moritz, SwitzerlandChesa Futura, the creation of British architect Sir Norman Foster, has a prized location in St. Moritz. The world’s first winter resort, this exclusive Alpine village has hosted the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics, and the 2017 Alpine World Ski Championships. St. Moritz’s legendary champagne climate and traditional village atmosphere have been a draw for the cream of society since 1864.For more than 150 years, St. Moritz has been a winter playground for both European and Hollywood royalty, including Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, and more recently Prince Harry. The world’s first winter resort, this exclusive village in the Engadin valley, home to the Cresta Run and the Snow Polo World Cup, has welcomed two Winter Olympics and this year’s Alpine World Ski Championships. 

Set on St. Moritz’s coveted Corviglia hillside, facing the village of St. Moritz and the Alps, Chesa Futura, or “House of the Future,” is the creation of Sir Norman Foster, the Pritzker Prize-winning British architect whose celebrated works include the German Reichstag and London’s Millennium Bridge. One of only a handful of residences within this luxurious bubble-like development, this contemporary 5,920-square-foot, five-bedroom apartment enjoys unparalleled views more than a mile above sea level, from its great terrasse, steps away from the finest skiing and après-ski in the world.

Villa Marrakesh
Marrakesh, MoroccoVilla Marrakesh lies just outside the vibrant city of Marrakesh, renowned for its medieval Medina (a UNESCO World Heritage site), labyrinthine passageways, bustling souks, and beautiful riads, made famous by celebrated artists, writers, and cultural figures.The medieval citadel of Marrakesh has long been a cultural hotspot for the international jet set. In 1943, Winston Churchill visited what he called “The most lovely spot in the whole world.” And in the 1960s, on the heels of the “Marrakesh Express,” visits by The Beatles and Yves Saint Laurent cemented its place among the in crowd. 

Just outside the city, Villa Marrakesh provides a luxurious lifestyle with its grandly appointed interiors, picturesque gardens, and unfettered views of the Atlas Mountains. The palatial 7,158-square-foot villa and its lush grounds have been renovated with attention to detail and a spirit of inventiveness by its owners. Among the updates are the new private helipad and a 20-meter, mosaic-tiled outdoor pool. The many reception rooms and terraced colonnades allow for grand-scale entertaining with a front-row view of the desert landscape and snow-capped mountains beyond.

Villa RKK
Petite Saline, St. BarthélemyThis Caribbean jewel is an enclave of unsurpassed privacy in St. Barts. Located in the French West Indies, St. Barts pristine white-sand beaches, gentle seas, French-Caribbean cuisine, and discreet atmosphere make it a top-ranking winter resort destination for the international glitterati.At just eight square miles, St. Barts is the smallest island in the French West Indies, but it has a stellar reputation among the international elite. The French Caribbean island is home to a who’s who of A-list actors and musicians, supermodels, and Russian oligarchs, attracted by its beautiful beaches and lagoons, luxury resorts and villas, fine dining, art galleries, and designer boutiques. 

Villa RKK is an enclave of privacy and seclusion perched above the bay of Lorient on the island’s north shore. This unique luxury compound is composed of a main villa, two garden villas, and several ancillary dwellings. The residential areas connect to the grounds by stone pathways that meander through lush vegetation. The main house opens onto a spectacular infinity pool with sweeping views of the bay and ocean. The tropical gardens overflow with exotic flowers and trees. A two-bedroom gate lodge, garage, gym, and tennis court complete this serene tropical hideaway.

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Lucy Carsen
Christie's International Real Estate