HIKING IN STYLE

COMMUNE WITH NATURE WITHOUT SACRIFICING CONVENIENCE

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Credits: Alila Jabal Akhdar

In a digitized world, more global travelers want to take a break from technology while enjoying close contact with nature. Few activities guarantee Zen moments like hiking; fortunately, there’s an ever-growing variety of inviting destinations where expert-led hikes are among the most popular activities.

Better yet, an assortment of upscale resorts and tour providers are offering opportunities to hike in style, with gourmet treats, relaxing spa services, and comfy accommodations taking the sting out of a lung-busting, yet rewarding, hike.

When you’re looking to commune with nature, yet don’t want to sacrifice any conveniences, seek out these opportunities to enjoy some of the best hikes in the world.

NEW YORK STATE

Considered a hiker’s paradise, the Adirondacks cover more than six million acres and have 2,000-plus miles of marked hiking trails, making this America’s largest trail system. Whiteface Lodge, an all-suite luxury resort tucked into the woodlands above Lake Placid, evokes the Gilded Age style of the Adirondacks’ historic Great Camps. The property, which features striking design elements of stone and timber, provides easy access to signature hiking destinations, such as the High Falls Gorge and Whiteface Landing. Families are well-served, thanks to complimentary resort amenities such as a 56-seat movie theater, a game room with a two-lane bowling alley, a fishing pond, and a kids camp.

Mohonk Mountain House, a historic resort in the famed Hudson Valley (some 90 miles north of New York City), is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2019, making it one of the oldest family-run hotels in the U.S. Situated in the center of the Shawangunk Mountains, the property sits next to the glacier-formed Lake Mohonk, providing guests of all ages with ample opportunities to engage with nature. Options range from a relaxing mindfulness hike, to an intense survivalist hike during which participants learn valuable tools and techniques, to a “foods of the forest” hike that teaches guests how to sustain themselves with nature’s bounty.

SAINT LUCIA

Health-minded Caribbean travelers flock to BodyHoliday, an all-inclusive wellness resort that offers a pair of exhilarating hiking experiences as part of its luxury services. The Mount Gimie hike encompasses a 3,117-foot climb to the summit of the tallest mountain in the West Indies, with breathtaking views of lush tropical rainforests. Those looking for a less-demanding experience opt for the En Baus Saut hike, in which guests venture into the interior of the island and through the Edmund Rainforest, where they hike into a waterfall to enjoy a refreshing swim.

JAPAN

Japan’s first glamping retreat, Hoshinoya Fuji, offers individual cabins carved into the mountainside, with ample opportunities to detach from the modern world, as epitomized by its “digital detox” program. When not spending time on the Cloud Terrace—a series of connected platforms positioned along the red-pine slope that extends from the cabins—guests can enjoy mountain-trekking tours in which expert guides lead the way towards panoramic views of imposing Mount Fuji and scenic Lake Kawaguchi.

The Alila Experience’s Cave Adventure Via Ferrata in Oman is for the adventurous Credits: Alila Jabal Akhdar

The Alila Experience’s Cave Adventure Via Ferrata in Oman is for the adventurous
Credits: Alila Jabal Akhdar

OMAN

Adventure travelers and nature lovers looking to visit Oman in style flock to Alila Jabal Akhdar, a luxury resort nestled 6,000 feet above sea level in the Al Hajar mountains. Guests are encouraged to explore nearby hiking trails, which extend past farmlands filled with walnut trees and pomegranate bushes. Thrill seekers opt for challenging via ferrata treks that lead to jaw-dropping scenery, such as Al Khutaymi, the site of a hidden village within a cave.

INDIA

For such a densely populated country, India offers a surprising number of world-class hiking destinations, perhaps none more notable than the Himalayan city of Shimla. Well-heeled travelers gravitate to Wildflower Hall, an Oberoi Resort, the stately former residence of a British lord, where guests lose themselves in nature via guided walks through the surrounding landscaped hill slopes.

Nearby, The Oberoi Cecil presents guided nature walks in the village of Annadale. After descending through rhododendron and cedar forests, hikers pause for a relaxing picnic lunch beside a bubbling stream.

Exodus Travels takes travelers to the snowy peaks of the Himalayas Credits: Exodus Travels

Exodus Travels takes travelers to the snowy peaks of the Himalayas
Credits: Exodus Travels

MEXICO

Spread across more than 4,000 acres in Tecate, Rancho La Puerta—one of Mexico’s most acclaimed wellness resorts—offers hiking-focused activities for all fitness levels, and employs a concierge with whom guests can take hiking lessons. In addition to challenging hikes, serious trail runners and marathoners can take to the foothills of Mount Kuchumaa to train across numerous trails at different altitudes.

UTAH

Located in Park City, the Montage Deer Valley resort presents a variety of easily accessible hikes. And visitors looking to take their brushes with nature to another level can opt for a Montage Expedition. These intimate, personalized adventures see resort guests take a private plane to Yellowstone or Canyonlands National Park, where expert tour guides lead hikes past myriad highlights.

Nature lovers flock to the city of St. George for the outdoors-focused Red Mountain Resort. Positioned in the heart of southwestern Utah’s Red Rock Country, the resort sits in close proximity to neighboring Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. It offers a range of customizable hiking experiences, as well as spa treatments and wellness workshops designed to help recovery after a long day on the trails.

Hiking through Uganda with Intrepid Travel Credits: Damien Raggatt - Intrepid Group

Hiking through Uganda with Intrepid Travel
Credits: Damien Raggatt – Intrepid Group

CALIFORNIA

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the adults-only Ventana Big Sur resort sits on 160 acres of rolling meadows and towering redwoods along California’s scenic Central Coast. Guests revel in daily guided walks, plus dedicated adventure hikes and Big Sur excursions.

Devotees of The Ranch Malibu—one of America’s most lauded and influential wellness retreats—swear by its daily regimen that pairs nutrition-focused, plant-based meals with rigorous fitness classes and guided mountain hikes. The knowledgeable staff and revitalizing atmosphere attract visitors from around the world, and for those who have already had the signature Malibu experience, The Ranch offers similar retreats in the Dolomites of Northern Italy, where guests hike along alpine trails with professional guides.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Accessible only by boat, seaplane, or helicopter, the Sonora Resort attracts nature lovers to its home in B.C.’s Discovery Islands. Guests hike alongside the property’s ecological guide and pass through old-growth cedars—some more than 800 years old—while learning about ancient remedies and local history. Once back at the resort, vacationers keep an eye out for orcas, dolphins, sea lions, and more.

Adrenaline junkies looking to take their hikes to another level are attracted to the famous granite spires of the Bugaboos, found in the Purcell Mountains of southeastern B.C. CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures delivers hikers by helicopter; for takeoffs and landings, participants huddle as a group and hold on tight, due to hurricane-force winds created by the rotor. Hardcore types tackle the Skyladder Via Ferrata, a half-day vertical journey up Mount Trundle (no climbing experience necessary), while others can simply admire shale ridges and alpine meadows.

CHILE

Tierra Hotels—a trio of boutique, all-inclusive lodges, each inspired by nature—provides guided hiking excursions through some of Chile’s most scenic locales. Located on the edge of the famed Torres del Paine National Park, Tierra Patagonia offers guided hikes both inside and outside the park. From its base in the northern Atacama desert, Tierra Atacama lets guests hike through the striking Valle de la Luna. Situated off the coast of northern Patagonia, Tierra Chiloe—the newest of the three—delivers a quiet environment for peaceful hikes, not to mention penguin and dolphin spotting.

SCOTLAND AND IRELAND

Wilderness Scotland and its sister company, Wilderness Ireland, offer guided walking trips with highlights such as Scotland’s North Highlands Coast, West Highlands Way, and Speyside Way, and Ireland’s Dingle Way and the mountains of Connemara and Mayo. Participants choose between hill walks, coastal walks, and valley hikes, and a grading system ensures the right difficulty level. Wilderness Scotland also offers self-guided walks in which guests go at their own pace with the freedom to explore along the way, while being assisted via baggage transfers and 24-hour support.

A Wilderness Scotland tour through beautiful scenery and ruins on the North Highlands Coast Credits: Wilderness Scotland-Rupert Shanks

A Wilderness Scotland tour through beautiful scenery and ruins on the North Highlands Coast
Credits: Wilderness Scotland-Rupert Shanks

Announcing the 2020 Presidents Club Members

We are very proud to announce our 2020 Select Sotheby’s International Realty President’s Club! Each agent who is inducted into this club will provide you with an unparalleled experience with buying or selling your next home. Congratulations to all of these outstanding professionals.⁠ Presidents Club Social Media 2020

Stuttgart’s Finest: Swiss Collection Encompasses 25 Years of Modern Porsche

A special capsule sale from RM Sotheby’s offers unrepeatable examples of Stuttgart’s greatest hits.

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An unwritten rule about buying cars from Stuttgart is to search both ends of the timeline; chasing down either Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche’s earliest efforts or sourcing the most modern examples one can find. Unlike lesser companies, the team of engineers and designers who carried the torch of performance motoring after the elder Porsche’s untimely death in 1951 and his son Ferry’s retirement in 1989 proved that the performance-oriented spirit of the company’s namesake did not dissipate.

RM Sotheby’s is proud to celebrate this continued dedication with a Swiss-based, stand-alone single-owner collection of some of Stuttgart’s finest sports cars from the modern era as the exciting climax to our Online Only: Open Roads, February auction, with a staggered closure over 19-28 February:

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REMI DARGEGEN © 2020 COURTESY OF RM SOTHEBY’S

1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

Starting off with an air-cooled, turbocharged bang, this open-top 911 existed so far above other 993-generation Porsches as to be essentially nonexistent: Merely 14 were constructed by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur at the request of Fitz Haberl, one of Porsche’s most influential dealers in Munich. With widened rear wheel arches and a factory-optional spoiler fitted, the black-on-black theme of this ultra-rare 911 is broken only by its Maroon-colored cloth top. Originally priced with an 89,500 DM premium over the non-turbocharged variant (the approximate equivalent of a $110,139 surcharge today), this example sets the tone for the rest of our list: Unapologetically extraordinary.

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REMI DARGEGEN © 2020 COURTESY OF RM SOTHEBY’S

2004 Porsche Carrera GT

Unveiled in spectacular fashion on the eve of the 2000 Paris Motor Show, the concept Carrera GT was a statement that Porsche was not beholden to the rear-engine, six-cylinder formula that built the brand’s reputation. Instead, when the production version of the Carrera GT supercar was released in 2004, it marked many milestones not simply in the history of Porsche, but in the automotive world writ large: The Carrera GT was the first production vehicle built around a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, a foundation that makes up nearly every serious supercar today. Unlike the offerings of today, however, this U.S.-spec Fayence Yellow-over-Dark Grey Carrera GT is shifted by its driver.

download (2)REMI DARGEGEN © 2020 COURTESY OF RM SOTHEBY’S

2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic

Sometimes, a look back can provide an opportunity for reinvention. The “Classic” in this Sport Classic can easily be observed in this example’s timeless silhouette, echoing some of the dramatic highlights from the brand’s history, right down to the headline-grabbing “ducktail” spoiler. And yet, factory-equipped with a ‘Power Kit,’ the Sport Classic’s 3.8-litre, horizontally opposed, six-cylinder engine comfortably produced 408 horsepower—nearly double the 210 horsepower produced from the 2.7-litre, air-cooled engine under the original “ducktail”: The 1973 Carrera 911 RS 2.7. This example was only the twelfth ever built out of a limited run of 250 ever made. As such, the desirability among Porschephiles for the few Sport Classics released has been strong from the time it was announced. A modern icon.

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REMI DARGEGEN © 2020 COURTESY OF RM SOTHEBY’S

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

As truly old-school Porsche followers will no doubt recognize, hybrid power has flowed in the brand’s blood since the Lohner-Porsche of 1900. Though Ferdinand Porsche’s first effort was driven by electric motors mounted in wheel hubs (a true innovation, spawningseveralmodernimitators), the elder Porsche could scarcely have conceived of the levels of power and refinement achieved by the 918 Spyder. Showing under 5,500 km from new, this tasteful, hybrid hypercar has been optioned with Porsche’s Liquid Chrome Blue Metallic over Mocha Brown leather with Silver accents—one of only three ordered in this exact specification. The perfect counterpoint to the raw emotion from the Carrera GT supercar, this 918 is proof of Porsche’s evolution into a world-class OEM that can offer both exhilarating performance and unparalleled refinement in the same forward-thinking package.

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REMI DARGEGEN © 2020 COURTESY OF RM SOTHEBY’S

2010 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Not the first model overseen by this individual, but the first on our list, this 2010 Porsche 911 GT2 RS marks for us the introduction of a name that will no doubt one day be added to the list of greatest-ever automotive engineers: Dr. Andreas Preuninger. Reputed among the motoring press as the person who nearly single-handedly re-established Porsche performance, Dr. Preuninger has overseen every GT-branded model but one (if you have yet to see it, this recent Top Gear segment is illuminating). For this 2010 example, Dr. Preuninger achieved outright domination of the leaderboards, not only on paper, with the GT2 RS earning the title of “fastest and most powerful 997-generation 991” upon its release, but on the track as well, with the model setting a 2010 record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife that remained unbroken internally until the 991.2 Turbo S in 2017. Deeply impressive.

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REMI DARGEGEN © 2020 COURTESY OF RM SOTHEBY’S

2017 Porsche 911 R

In almost a year of compiling this semi-regular blog for RM Sotheby’s, your humble writer has tried to keep his personal preferences private, but with this example, he must confess an undeniable bias. Since serving as an editor on the English-language translation of the definitive book on the making of the modern 911 R, this writer was struck by the sincerity of the true believers within Porsche who balance respect for the brand’s history while understanding the necessity to reinvent it. Practically covered with grace notes and “Easter Eggs” instantly recognizable to Porschephiles everywhere down to the “pepita”-patterned inserts on the brown leather seats, this model was a nod to the original motorsport-inspired 911 R from 1967. For many other brands, the hint at history would be merely aesthetic, but underneath the skin existed the same GT3 RS-spec suspension and 4.0-litre powerplant that made all of Dr. Preuninger’s other output so exemplary. The most critical addition was a six-speed manual gearbox; no spoiler necessary. This example, the 401st constructed out of 991 total, is made even more extraordinary by its Paint-to-Sample Gulf Blue exterior.

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2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Proving exactly the ethos of individualism that has from the beginning been integral to the Porsche brand, this RennSport-spec, Paint-to-Sample Porsche 911 GT2 RS was ordered new in this striking shade of Azzurro California Metallic with contrasting gold-colored center-lock wheels. The outspoken exterior of the GT2 is balanced by its straightforward, motorsport-inspired interior, with adaptive sport seats trimmed in two-tone, light blue-over-black leather. Underneath the skin, Dr. Preuninger’s lightening regime truly shines, with the roof of this 911 GT2 RS fashioned from the ultimate natural material for lightweight strength: Magnesium. With carbon-fiber components used throughout this example, it is clear this colorful car makes a modern statement that the future of Porsche performance is bright.

 

Blog Author:Forest Casey
Casey is the Editorial and Marketing Content Developer at RM Sotheby’s.

Exciting News!

Our Top Producer last year Keir Weimer was recently featured on the cover of Top Agent magazine, on their international and national editions. It is a huge honor to be selected from hundreds of top producers from all over the world. Congratulations Keir! The full article can be read here: http://bit.ly/2enrYqa

TOP AGENT MAGAZINE

But the enthusiasm doesn’t stop here…Keir also recently brokered the successful sale of the Northeast’s premier cross country ski resort, Garnet Hill Lodge, in the Adirondacks. The full story on this complicated and significant sale for the region’s economy can be read in the Albany Business Review which covered this important deal by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/2dDxFO2

Introducing juwai.com

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The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand continues to expand globally, adding new distribution opportunities to showcase properties to affluent consumers in key growth markets. Now we are expanding our presence in China!

Demand for luxury properties from Chinese consumers continues to grow. China is the second driver of visits to sothebysrealty.com, just after the United States. At this moment, one out of every 10 visitors on sothebysrealty.com is located in China.

In an effort to expand the brand’s reach in China, we are now launching a syndication partnership with Juwai.com. One of China’s premier real estate portals, Juwai.com has over 2 million monthly visitors and more indexed pages than all other portals combined on Baidu – China’s largest search engine. This ensures greater visibility to Chinese consumers searching for homes worldwide.

Juwai.com is hosted on both sides of China’s Internet Firewall, ensuring its property listings are visible online both in China and outside of China. The website listings are monitored by a support team that translates and directs consumer enquiries to agents.

As a truly international brand, Sotheby’s International Realty now has the most global representation on Juwai.com, displaying luxury listings from 65 countries and territories.

Our partnership with Juwai.com includes the following components:

Listing Display: Qualified listings will appear on Juwai.com’s search results. Each property overview page has a contact request form for Juwai.com shoppers to request more information. Requests are sent directly to Juwai.com’s team of first responders, a Chinese-language team located in mainland China, so they can respond to consumer inquiries in real time. The team will transcribe the conversations into English language lead forms and forward them to the agent.
Sotheby’s International Realty brand page, with a brand overview and images.

Banner Ad on the Juwai.com homepage, promoting the new brand page and listings among the Juwai.com audience.


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As a recap, here’s The Brief on Juwai.com:

Every qualified listing that is uploaded onto the Sotheby’s International Realty brand distribution platform is now also promoted on Juwai.com, one of the world’s most prominent real estate websites with over 2 million monthly visitors. Adding Juwai.com as a syndication partner further solidifies the Sotheby’s International Realty brand reach in China: At this moment, one out of every 10 visitors on sothebysrealty.com is located in China.


 

VISIT JUWAI.COM

The best apps for selling and buying homes

In the fast-paced San Diego real estate game, successful agents are harnessing mobile data to stay two steps ahead while house hopping.

Luckily, in the age of smartphones, specialized apps put market information at your fingertips. Plus, they give you the ability to win over clients and streamline the paperwork with a few taps.

While some companies such as Zillow and Trulia have built online empires by providing always-up-to-date listings, there are lots of useful smartphone tools that can help agents work faster and more efficiently in the field.

Whether you’re searching for a home in Mission Hills or selling a four-bedroom in East Village, here are nine apps that will help you close the deal fast.

Find the house

The best-laid plans often go awry, and even if you came prepared with a list of prime properties in the bay area, your buyers could decide their budget or taste in neighborhoods have changed. With the right apps, you can adapt on the fly.

There are two big dogs on the mobile house-hunting scene: Zillow and Trulia. And while they mostly focus on buyers, both of their pocket guides guarantee you will have the most current listings and pricing info.

Zillow Real Estate (free on Android and iOS) puts 100 million searchable properties on your smartphone, plus helpful features such as notifications for favorite properties, search within an area that you draw on the map, and price estimates based on surrounding homes and market trends.

Real Estate by Trulia (free on Android and iOS) also uses built-in GPS to find nearby houses on the fly, and adds essential components such as crime maps, school locations, and filtering by criteria like number of bedrooms and total square footage.

Show it off

Once you’re in the ballpark of price and location, it’s time to exhibit the interior features. Even if the buyer isn’t with you on the initial visit, your smartphone’s camera can help you communicate some of a spot’s key characteristics.

For that in-the-room-with-you vibe, try 360 Panorama (99 cents on iOS). This app lets you stitch multiple photos together into a sharable, interactive picture that shows all 360 degrees of a space.

If you need to point out specific details, Skitch (free on Android and iOS) lets users quickly mark up photos and PDFs with highlights, boxes, arrows and overlaid text. It’s perfect for focusing in on oak cabinets or a cobblestone-framed fireplace.

If the prospective buyers want to update the space with their own DIY touches, Zillow Digs(free, iPad only) will help you estimate and factor in those costs. The app provides a database of searchable home-improvement ideas along with tools for projecting project pricing based on location.

Seal the deal

Once your clients are ready to pull the trigger on the home of their dreams, don’t let the paperwork hold up the process.

First, make sure payments are within reason by using Zillow Mortgage Marketplace (free on Android and iOS). This app will help your buyers budget monthly payments and shop around for loan quotes with its dead-simple interface.

Once you agree on terms and have the contract written up, Docusign Ink (free for Android and iOS, $15/month basic plan) will help you get the necessary signatures to make the sale official. All you need is a smartphone and your finger, so it’s perfect for endorsing documents while you’re out and about.

And if you’re completely committed to going paperless, there are a bunch of cloud-based services that keep your documents organized and accessible. The two best options for real estate purposes are Cartavi (free on Android and iOS, $10/month basic plan), Docusign’s sister service that was built specifically for realtors and emphasizes collaborative document sharing, and Dropbox (free on Anderoid and iOS), which links up directly with Docusign and makes it simple to distribute contracts via any online medium.

Lakeside Vacations That Have It All

 

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Lavaux Vineyards at Lake Geneva, Switzerland (Photo: iStockphoto)

It’s the shimmer of the water, catching shadows from the surrounding trees. It’s the opportunity for discovery—perhaps a hidden cave at water’s edge, or maybe a fabulous waterfront nightclub—it all depends on what you want. It’s a way to play where Hollywood superstars vacation, or to be stone alone deep in the wilderness.

Whatever your vacation dream is, click through this slideshow to find a lakeside vacation for you.
Lac Léman, France/Lake Geneva, Switzerland
For: A two-country experience paired with fine wine

Call it Lac Léman in free-wheeling France. Rename it Lake Geneva when you are in prim and pretty Switzerland. Either way, you will see lovely scenery. This crescent lake is backed by towering snow-capped Alps and fronted by pretty vineyards (including the historic Lavaux Vineyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Don’t miss the thousand-year-old Chateau de Chillon, rich in history. Go out on a CGN boat for great photos. Perhaps treat yourself to a night in the five-star Beau Rivage Hotel overlooking the lake in pretty Lausanne, Switzerland, and dine at its Michelin two-star restaurant, Anne-Sophie Pic.

Next: Relax where the Midwestern magnates used to go in Wisconsin.

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Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
For:
For relaxing away from it all

A favorite retreat for residents of the Midwestern cities, including folks whose last names were Wrigley and Schwinn and Maytag, Lake Geneva also welcomes non-billionaires to its pretty shores. Book rooms in the lovely Abbey, which combines good opportunities for kids to have fun with the elegance and fine dining that will delight solo couples. Explore the shops in the village of Lake Geneva, and walk the Lake Geneva Lake Shore Path, for a glimpse of the magnates’ mansions. Kick back for some fun on the Ice Cream Social Tour aboard the old-fashioned Grand Belle of Geneva. Star gaze at Yerkes Observatory.

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Lake George, New York

For: Forts and family fun

Kids love pretty Lake George, packed with all of the souvenir shops, factory outlets, and fudge stores that make vacations fun. Take the family to tour Fort William Henry, right in town. It played a pivotal role in the French and Indian War, and now it even offers spooky evening ghost tours between July 4 and Labor Day. Fort Ticonderoga, north of the lake, is another popular family stop. Those in search of a more sophisticated experience should book into the Sagamore Resort, a classic grand hotel on an island in the lake. Folks in search of true tranquility will find it on the lake’s far less developed eastern shore.

MW Standard

 

Lake Como, Italy
For:
Playing where celebrities play

Fly into chic Milan. Shop, or simply admire, the fabulous fashion scene, and book well ahead to catch an opera at La Scala and also reserve in advance to see da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Head out some 40 to 50 miles to Lake Como, where the beautiful people—George Clooney, for one—play. The lake’s 145-mile shoreline is dotted with fabulous villas and the occasional grand hotel. The backdrop: The snow-capped Alps. Explore Bellagio, best visited in less-busy spring or fall. Take the funicular up from town, to hike mountain trails with vast views. Treat yourself to a night at the posh Villa d’Este.

 

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Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

For: For enjoying nature in a luxurious setting

This perfectly situated glacial lake, ringed by towering mountains topped with tall evergreens, and capped by an icy glacier that shimmers in the summer sun, is probably the loveliest place you will ever find to paddle your own canoe. Visitors get double the scenery for their money, since the glorious setting is all reflected again in the green-blue waters of the lake. Treat yourselves to a lakefront room at the classic Chateau Lake Louise. But don’t linger too long there. This is a place custom made for hiking and biking and (and in winter for skating). Drive to nearby Banff for restaurants and nightlife.

 

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Lakes of Killarney, Ireland

For: The great outdoors combined with rich history

This lovely chain of three lakes—Lough Leane (also known as Lower Lake), Muckross Lake (sometimes called Middle Lake), and Upper Lake, in Ireland’s Black Valley—offers both natural beauty and superbly built structures. Start with a visit to lakefront Ross Castle, proudly independent into the 17th century, when it fell to Oliver Cromwell. From there, it is possible to board a boat that will take you along the 14-mile-long Chain of Lakes, for touring or fishing. Your journey will take you past a ruined abbey, under ancient stone bridges, and past waterfalls and mountain vistas, as well as 4,000-year-old copper mines.

 

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Lake Tahoe

For: Big vistas, raw nature, and a little gambling

Postcard-perfect Lake Tahoe—the second-deepest lake in the United States—straddles the California and Nevada border at more than a mile above sea level. Summer visitors get to hike the high ski trails far above the glimmering blue-green water below, and can mountain bike up steep trails, with a return zoom down straight to the lake. Sand Harbor State Beach in Incline Village is a great place to take a dip in the chilly lake waters, or simply to chill out. In July, you can book tickets for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. And of course, you can hit the casinos on the Nevada side of the lake every day.

 

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Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

and Manitoba and Ontario, Canada
For:
A true wilderness experience

While many Americans (as opposed to Canadians) may not know Lake of the Woods, it is, in fact, both massive—we’re talking a 65,000-mile shoreline— and magnificent, as well as far enough off the beaten path to delight folks who really want to be alone. It also boasts an epic 14,000 islands, perfect for romantic picnics, and is a definite paradise for those who love to fish—imagine fresh bass on the grill after a hard day of play. (You can hire a guide who knows where to find the big ones.) The town of Kenora, on the north shore, has a good weekly farmers market, plus shops, galleries, and restaurants.

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The Finger Lakes, New York

For: Wineries, pretty villages, and the great outdoors

Oenophiles can explore the more than 100 wineries that line the shores of these 11 long, slim Finger Lakes, created by glacial activity more than two million years ago. Wine tour maps are available, or hire Finger Lakes Winery Tours to take you around. Don’t miss the village ofSkaneateles, so pretty that Norman Rockwell might have created it. Book rooms at the nearby Mirbeau Inn and Spa, which has an excellent restaurant. Visit the Corning Glass Museum, where you may also make your own glass object. Save time to hike in Watkins Glen State Park in Ithaca, where you can climb past 19 waterfalls.

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Lake Titicaca, Peru and Bolivia

For: Floating islands and rich culture

Surely one of the world’s most exotic lakes—as well as the world’s highest navigable lake, at 12,500 feet—Lake Titicaca offers rich scenery. The lake crosses the border between Peru and Bolivia, with its shores ringed by the towering Andes Mountains. Titicaca’s floating islands, built of straw, and occupied by groups of Uros Indians who live out their lives in this squishy setting, is a must visit. Larger islands include pretty Taquile (it resembles Tuscany), which boasts serious pre-Inca ruins, and is known for its handicrafts. The men knit, starting as kids, and the women do museum-quality weaving.

Sotheby’s International Realty Announces Exclusive Listing of the Penthouse at the Pierre Hotel

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Apr 2, 2013) – The triplex penthouse at the Pierre Hotel, located at 795 Fifth Avenue, is the exclusive listing of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc., the real estate brokerage firm announced today. The 16-room residence is offered at $125 million.

“The demand for luxury and ultra-luxury residential real estate in New York remains strong and vibrant,” said Kathy Korte, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. “As the world’s financial capital, New York City continues to be a world-class destination for wealthy individuals seeking extraordinary properties like this one.”

Sotheby’s International Realty agents Elizabeth Sample, Brenda Powers and Serena Boardman with the firm’s East Side Manhattan brokerage are collaborating on the listing.

“We believe we have New York’s ‘dream team’ on this important assignment,” noted Matthew Dwyer of Boston’s Roseview Group, adviser to the owner, who selected Sotheby’s International Realty after considering other New York brokers.

“This is a residence that is truly without peer,” said Elizabeth Sample. “Enjoying all of the amenities of one of the world’s greatest hotels, the prewar residence makes a stunning statement with its spectacular views and extraordinary design.”

“Considered one of the most important properties in North America, the penthouse is nothing short of awe inspiring,” said Brenda Powers. “This elegant and sophisticated property could never be duplicated.”

The property’s 1999 sale set a record at that time for the highest sale of a privately owned Manhattan cooperative.

Located on the 41st, 42nd and 43rd floors of the renowned hotel, the French chateaux-style penthouse provides 360-degree views encompassing the city, Central Park and the Hudson and East Rivers from four terraces. The living room on the penthouse’s second floor is the Pierre’s original ballroom, accessed from a marble staircase and featuring a 23′-high curved ceiling, wood-burning fireplace, and six 20′-high French balustrade-style windows with park and city views. This floor also includes a master bedroom suite with sitting room, additional master bedroom with double-height window, paneled kitchenette and gym with stone fireplace.

The first floor of the penthouse has a large entrance hall with Versailles patterned oak flooring, foyer with Byzantine-style ceramic mosaic floor made in England, a north reception room including a wood-burning fireplace with Adam-style mantle and marble hearth, and a south reception room. The library also offers a working fireplace in addition to oak flooring with mahogany borders and English paneling. The east side of the 41st floor provides two master bedrooms, three marble baths, a granite kitchen, sitting room and living room that has a working fireplace.

The uppermost level has two master bedrooms with en-suite baths and a large sauna. The residence features a total of five master bedrooms, six full and three half baths, five working fireplaces and separate guest and staff rooms. An interior elevator accesses all three floors.

The residence also benefits from the hotel’s amenities including daily housekeeping service from two designated staff members, a bell-staff, concierge, 24-hour manned security, room service, in-residence function catering, a gym and business center.

The penthouse at the Pierre Hotel can be viewed on sothebyshomes.com at:http://www.sothebyshomes.com/nyc/sales/0018837.

About Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.


Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house and represents fine properties at a range of price points. Today, Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. operates brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets, including Manhattan; the Hamptons; Greenwich, Conn.; Cape Cod; Palm Beach, Fla.; Los Angeles; Beverly Hills; Brentwood; Pasadena; Santa Barbara; San Francisco; Sonoma; Monterey Peninsula; and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. (www.sothebyshomes.com) is part of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company, and a member of the Sotheby’s International Realty® network, which currently has more than 12,800 sales associates located in approximately 660 offices in 47 countries and territories worldwide. NRT, a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), operates Realogy’s company-owned real estate brokerage offices.

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