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.


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.


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’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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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

Significant Sales – Volume I, Issue IX


Sig Sales


From an elegant mansion in California, to a glamorous waterfront home in Florida, this issue of Significant Sales – Volume I, Issue IX also showcases homes from throughout the United States, Australia, Belgium, Dubai and the Bahamas. Congratulations too all our affiliates represented in this issue!

Houseguest: Episode 4


As the Executive Chef at Le Virtu, and the Co-Owner and Culinary Director at Brigantessa in Philadelphia, Joe Cicala regularly travels to Italy to feed his passion and research authentic local flavor that he will infuse into his cuisine.

In this episode of Houseguest, Joe visits Via di Cappello, a secluded villa nestled in the Florentine countryside. Happy viewing!!

Homes & Land of the Adirondacks

Select Sotheby’s International Realty is excited to announce that one of our unique and distinctive properties in the Adirondacks has been featured on the cover of Homes & Land of the Adirondacks. This private mountain, represented by Associate Real Estate Broker Keir Weimer, boasts 180 acres of prime land with stunning views of the Adirondack Mountains. Sitting 2300 feet above sea level, this mountaintop setting is an architect’s dream with endless possibilities. The land also includes 1000 feet of waterfront on 5th Lake, which provides access to all lakes on the Fulton Chain of Lakes through the channel.

To learn more about the property or to schedule a showing, please visithttp://privateadkmountain.uniquenyhomes.com

To view the issue of Homes & Land, please visit http://www.homesandland.com/FlipBook.cfm?MagId=2271&Volume=08&Issue=01#1


Celine Dion Lists her Beautiful Jupiter Island, Florida home with Sotheby’s International Realty

The Bahamian-style home of Celine Dion.

Brazen Sotheby’s International Realty in Bellevue, Washington wants to say Congratulations are in order to Cristina Condon of Sotheby’s International Realty in Palm Beach and referring Agent Joseph Montanaro, of Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec on their gorgeous listing here! See the article below recently published in the Wall Street Journal announcing this great property!

Celine Dion is putting her Jupiter Island, Fla., compound on the market for $72


The 5.7-acre property has a Bahamian-style home that is nearly 10,000 square feet with five bedrooms and five en suite bathrooms, a formal living room with vaulted ceilings, a screened-in porch, a media room, an elevator and guest wing. The master suite has a walk-in closet with an automated rack for clothing and an automated carousel for shoes. It also has a wraparound terrace and two decks, one with an fireplace and another with a hot tub.

The property includes an eight-bedroom guesthouse, a tennis house with a simulated golf range, a pool house and a beach house with a sleeping loft and massage room. There are three pools, one at the rear of the property by the Atlantic Ocean, and two connecting pools at the front that have their own water park, with two slides, a bridge over a lazy river and water gun “stations.” The property has more than 400 linear feet on the ocean and has a four-car tandem garage and an additional three-car garage.

Ms. Dion and her manager husband, René Angélil, bought part of the land under her Canadian firm, Renlec Management, in 2005 for $12.5 million and then bought the adjacent property in 2008 for $7 million also under Renlec, according to public records. The couple razed the home on the first property to build their current spread, which was completed in 2010, according to referring agent Joseph Montanaro, of Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec.

Mr. Montanaro says Ms. Dion is selling the property because she’s going to be spending more time in Las Vegas, where her Caesars Palace show contract has been extended until 2019. Ms. Dion didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The listing agent is Cristina Condon of Sotheby’s International Realty in Palm Beach.

Housing Market Accelerates

Home prices are rising at the fastest rate in seven years, with some communities seeing double-digit gains, as buyers are returning to a market where the number of properties for sale is in short supply.


Housing prices are up by double digits in Miami and several other markets over the past year. Here, a prospective sale in Miami earlier this year.

The U.S. housing recovery continues as home prices grew at their highest annual growth rate since 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller survey. Nick Timiraos has details. Photo: AP.

5 Takeaways

From the outlook for price increases to performance during the seasonal slowdown, here arefive takeaways from the report.

Which Cities Did Best?

Even with the slower winter season, 11 cities posted monthly increases. On an adjusted basis, no city reported a monthly decline. This sortable table ranks the metro areas.

Homeownership Falls to 1995 Levels

Homeownership in the United States continued to tick downward, hitting its lowest rate in nearly 18 years, according to Census Bureau data released Tuesday. Here is an explanation.

Prices increased 9.3% in February from a year earlier while mortgage-interest rates hovered near record lows, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index that tracks home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas. All 20 cities posted year-over-year gains for the second consecutive month, which hasn’t happened since 2005, before the crash.

In some of the hardest-hit markets, the gains have been particularly heady. Home prices rose 23% from one year ago in Phoenix and 18.9% in San Francisco. Nationally, the median home price in March stood at $184,300, well below the peak of $230,400 in 2006 but up from $154,600 in January 2012.

“Nobody that I’m aware of anticipated the kind of price growth that we’ve had,” said Budge Huskey, chief executive of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “It’s simple supply and demand.”

The Federal Reserve, whose policies have kept rates low, has a lot riding on the housing-market rebound. The encouraging data come as other aspects of the recovery disappoint: Hiring remains patchy and the unemployment rate, at 7.6% in March, is more than 2½ percentage points above where it was when the recession started in late 2007. Consumer-spending data this week, while solid, pointed to some second-half headwind.
The real-estate market’s brisk rebound also raises concerns among some observers that traditional buyers, facing still-stringent mortgage-lending standards, are being squeezed out because investors are able to make winning bids by offering to pay in cash. Others are concerned that the pace of recent price gains isn’t sustainable.

For now, recent data suggest home-price gains are likely to continue. Sales of previously owned homes rose by 10.3% from one year ago in March, even as supplies of homes for sale fell by 16.8%. The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly survey of market conditions in 28 metropolitan areas showed very low supplies of homes available in a rising number of markets, including a less-than-three-month supply in a dozen markets, including the two hottest—Phoenix and San Francisco.

Supplies have dwindled as banks have pushed fewer homes through foreclosure and because many homeowners are either unable or unwilling to sell due to a variety of factors related to the housing-crash hangover. Meanwhile, demand has picked up as the economy has added jobs, which has boosted household formation. Rising rents and falling mortgage rates have made ownership more attractive.

The housing rebound is also closely tied to the Fed’s campaign to lower interest rates, which has sped along the recovery in two key ways. First, by reducing yields on a range of assets, the Fed has made housing a more attractive investment. Investors of all sizes have been buying homes, often with cash, and converting them into rentals.

Indeed, prices are rising even as the homeownership rate fell during the first quarter to 65%, reaching its lowest level since 1995, according to a separate report Tuesday by the Census Bureau. The report showed that relative to 2004, there were 7.2 million more renters but just 400,000 new homeowners, according to Capital Economics.

Lower mortgage rates spurred by the Fed have also created urgency for traditional buyers, and they have made buyers who take out mortgages more immune to recent price increases. Even with the gains in home prices, housing is more affordable than at any time in the past 30 years because mortgage rates are so low.

At current mortgage rates near 3.5%, home values would need to rise by 32% nationally—and by as much as 48% in markets across the Midwest and north Florida—for affordability to return to its long-run average, according to an analysis by John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine, Calif.

Still, the speed of recent price gains has raised concerns that prices could be going up too fast relative to incomes. “There is enough improvement in the underlying fundamentals to suggest that the housing recovery is well on its way. The only question that somebody could legitimately ask is, ‘Is the pace sustainable?’ ” Mr. Huskey said. “You cannot suggest that we could sustain double-digit gains year after year.”

Normally, he said, prices should rise by 3% to 4%, outpacing inflation modestly. No one should be “buying a home because they think the 23% increase in Phoenix is going to be repeated two or three years in a row,” Mr. Huskey said.

Economists say that, for now, home prices in most parts of the country remain in line or below their long-run relationship with incomes and rents. “In many instances, owning still beats renting,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank DBK.XE +6.11% . “I don’t think this is bubble-like at all.”

Also, many parts of the country that are seeing the strongest price increases witnessed some of the largest declines. In those markets, “there is room for prices to rise relative to incomes because they are at such a low base,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie MacFMCC -1.22% .

The concern is that home prices could more easily rise above their traditional relationship to incomes because lower mortgage rates will enable buyers to swallow price increases. “We are encouraging people to buy an asset that, when [mortgage] rates go back to 6% to 8%, will look a bit overpriced,” said Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, the real-estate website.

For now, buyers are scrambling. Matthew Sinn and his wife decided to buy a home earlier this year in St. Petersburg, Fla., after talking to a friend who works in real estate.

The friend “said if you don’t get in now, things are going to skyrocket over the next year,” said Mr. Sinn, a 35-year-old television producer who paid $191,000 for a three-bedroom townhome. He said they were worried that “the homes you want—that you can afford—you might be priced out of buying a year from now.”

Mr. Sinn and his wife raised their initial offer by $6,000 in order to beat a competing bid from an investor paying cash.

What You Get for … $975,000



20130424-GH-WYG-slide-OWUR-thumbWideSlide Show

Properties for $975,000


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A four-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath neo-Classical-style house with a one-bedroom one-bath garage apartment


$925,000 (just reduced from $975,000)


4,158 square feet




This 1952 house is in a residential pocket of Buckhead, a mixed-use section of northern Atlanta. Neighbors range from small 1950s structures to large newer homes built on teardown sites, most of them tucked away on wooded lots. The Lenox Square mall, a large shopping center, is a quarter-mile away. Chastain Park, also nearby, has a golf course, tennis courts, pool, ball fields, horseback riding trails and an amphitheater where the city orchestra plays. Downtown Atlanta is 10 miles away.


The house is spread over a single story, with a finished attic repurposed as the master suite. Through the front door, a foyer with a checkered marble floor opens to formal dining and living rooms, both with fireplaces. Neo-Classical details include an arched entryway to the living room, columns in the doorway to the dining room, and ornate mantels and molding. The house also has a family room and a study. Kitchen appliances were updated within the past 10 years.

Three of the bedrooms are clustered at one end; one of them opens to the back porch. The attic master suite has double closets, and a bathroom with a tub and a shower. Over the four-car garage is a unit with a bedroom, a bath, and an office with a fireplace.


Almost an acre, with a large flat yard off the family room. Current owners added an outdoor kitchen and grill.


$13,177 a year


Kathy Chapman and Mary Cobb Stone, Harry Norman Realtors (404) 388-9577, (404) 226-0942; harrynorman.com



A four-bedroom two-bath house on 150 acres




4,200 square feet




This property, on 154 acres in New Lebanon, west of the New York-Massachusetts border, has forest, meadow, mountain and stream. The Berkshires region, nearby, is known for its arts and outdoors attractions — cultural centers like Mass MoCA and Tanglewood, and areas of wilderness where visitors ski and hike. The listing agent describes New Lebanon, population about 2,300, as a rural arts community with a handful of specialty shops; the nearest commercial center is in Albany, the state capital, about 30 minutes away.


The house was built in 1790. Original details include wide-plank chestnut floors, wood-beam ceilings, joists and mantels. A renovation about 15 years ago added a kitchen with stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops. In addition to formal living and dining rooms, the first floor has a library and a sunroom.

Three bedrooms are on the second floor, including the master, which has a fireplace and wall of built-in drawers and cabinets. The fourth bedroom is in what was originally the attic. Among the property’s outbuildings are a barn with wood-beamed ceilings and a small log cabin in the middle of the woods, built by a former owner so he could compose on his piano in isolation.


The house has a pool and a patio. Outbuildings include a barn and a small cabin. There are five distinct gardens, as well as grapevines, blueberry bushes and an assortment of fruit trees, including peach. There is also a stream running down from the top of a hill.


$19,694 a year


Evan Spero, Select Sotheby’s International Realty (518) 929-9000; selectsothebysrealty.com



A four-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath cabin




3,540 square feet




Wilson, at the base of the Teton range, is a community of about 1,500 surrounded by national forest and parkland, including Yellowstone. Jackson, famous in part for its cluster of ski resorts, is 10 minutes away, across the Snake River. This house is on Wilson’s main street, a block from the town community center (in a 1931 schoolhouse), a medical clinic, a convenience store, a wood-paneled bar, and Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, which won an award from the James Beard Foundation in 2012.


This two-story cabin was built in 1948 and renovated in 2011. In addition to the master and one other bedroom, the first floor has an open-plan dining, kitchen and living area with hardwood floors, and sliding glass doors to the yard. A glass-sided staircase leads up to the remaining two bedrooms.

What was probably once an attached garage has been converted to a large playroom.


A half-acre lot with mountain views


$3,827.61 a year


Tom Evans, Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty / Tom Evans Real Estate (307) 739-8149; tomevansrealestate.com

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Enters Malta

PARSIPPANY, N.J. and SWATAR, MALTA (April 17, 2013) – Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced its luxury real estate services are now available in Malta with the opening of Malta Sotheby’s International Realty.
The firm, which is jointly owned by Michael, Andrew and Tony Zammit and Roger Strickland Jr., serves the high-end residential real estate market throughout the island of Malta in Southern Europe.
“Our expansion into Malta continues our commitment to providing access to the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s exclusive real estate services in key countries around the world,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “This affiliation, which strengthens our presence in Europe, offers us entrance into the exciting Maltese market. We are very pleased that our global clientele will now have access to our services in this historic and beautiful country.”
According to Michael Zammit, it is the team’s goal to deliver efficient and personalized services with professionalism and confidentiality. “Our team has the experience and local market knowledge, and now we add to that the international network of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand to form a very powerful combination,” he said. “As well, the Island of Malta, renowned for its history, hospitality and Mediterranean charm, has become a prime location for foreign businesses, property investment and as a holiday destination. Investing in property here remains an attractive proposition with the Maltese market achieving strong appreciation depending on location. Lifestyle developments have quickly become the most exclusive and sought after addresses on the island. This, coupled with the various tax benefits and fiscal incentives, make our island an attractive option to either retire or relocate.”
The Sotheby’s International Realty® network currently has more than 12,800 sales associates located in approximately 660 offices in 47 countries and territories worldwide. Malta Sotheby’s International Realty listings will be marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.
About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC
Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
David Russell
Director, International Marketing and Public Relations
Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC
Thorpe Hall, Fylingthorpe, YO22 4TT
United Kingdom
+44208 123 1985
Michael Zammit Joint Owner
Malta Sotheby’s International Realty
The Penthouse, Tower Business Centre,
Tower Street, Swatar
Malta. BKR 4013
+356 2010 8070