Friday, January 9, 2009

Four Seasons Residence Club Vail

The town of Vail, which was incorporated more than 40 years ago, recently found itself in a bit of a midlife crisis. While the ski resort remained one of the world’s best known, the town below had grown a bit dated, with a number of its buildings still stuck in the ’70s. The response was a large-scale renewal effort, now valued at around $2 billion, that includes this 2.7-acre Four Seasons-branded project. Its plans call for a 121-room resort and 35 condominiums in a 10-story building near the entrance to Vail Village. Nineteen of the residences will be two- to four-bedroom, 1,835- to 3,500-square-foot furnished units that are sold in one-12th fractional shares. Fractional owners will be granted at least three weeks of use a year, including one week in winter and one in summer that will be assigned on a rotating schedule. The rest of the residences are whole-ownership, 1,650- to 5,800-square-foot units with one to five bedrooms. Both types of residences will include gas fireplaces and terraces, and most will have views of the mountain. For amenities, there will be the spa, a fitness center, a fine-dining restaurant and a 75-foot-long pool and whirlpools in a courtyard. The ski lounge will include a bar and an outdoor terrace, and ski and snowboard valet service will be offered nearby at the resort’s Vista Bahn lift.

Full ownership residences start at $5.3 million, shared ownership at $406,000

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For Resales at Four Seasons Residence Clubs - Aviara, Troon North Scottsdale, Punta Mita and Jackson Hole visit:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Trump SoHo New York - Condominium Hotel Opening Fall 2009

Downtown New York will greet its first ultra-luxury high-rise hotel when Trump SoHo New York opens in Fall 2009. Located at 246 Spring Street in the heart of the fashionable SoHo district, the dramatic, 46-story, 400-room glass tower neighbors numerous art galleries and chic boutiques. In addition to panoramic views, cutting-edge design, and expansive suites -- including the largest penthouse suite on the East Coast -- Trump SoHo New York will offer such Trump Hotel Collection hallmarks as world-class dining, The Spa at Trump, and the signature service of the Trump Attache.

Trump SoHo New York is being developed through a joint venture among The Trump Organization, The Sapir Organization and Bayrock Group LLC.

Trump Hotel Collection, which embodies the vision of Donald J. Trump and his three grown children -- Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric -- has been raising the bar on the top-end travel experience with a style of customized service unmatched in the market. Trump SoHo New York will join the flagship Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and sister Trump Hotel Collection properties Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and Trump Hotel Las Vegas, both of which opened earlier this year, as well as Trump International Hotel & Tower Fort Lauderdale, opening mid-2009.

"The opening of Trump SoHo New York will mark a number of firsts not only for Trump Hotel Collection, but for Downtown New York as well," explained Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions, The Trump Organization. "Aside from bringing the spacious rooms and top-notch amenities of a Midtown luxury hotel to SoHo, we will be home of the first outpost of the renowned Quattro restaurant in South Beach. We're the first and only hotel in New York to outfit our interiors with Fendi Casa. And you'll find there's nothing like The Spa at Trump anywhere in the city."

"Like all of our hotels, Trump SoHo New York will make a bold statement -- not just architecturally but with the level of service and the abundance of amenities," added Jim Petrus, chief operating officer, Trump Hotel Collection. "Trump SoHo New York will be the only Downtown hotel delivering this level of luxury. We have unbeatable penthouses, spacious rooms and suites, a hot restaurant concept, and an incredible spa. You will see Trump SoHo New York quickly become a favorite of sports stars and other celebrities, as well as business and leisure travelers attracted by its style and sophistication."

Guests will enter Trump SoHo New York through a dramatic, two-story conservatory into a spacious lobby with intimate seating and artwork commissioned by local artists. Perched high above is the comfortable library, granting bibliophiles a bird's eye view of the lobby. The street level will offer a landscaped urban plaza with decorative lighting and abundant seating, while the seventh floor will host the pool deck with cabanas.

Ideal for events such as weddings, cocktail receptions and private screenings, the SoHi venue on the 46th floor will offer breathtaking panoramic views of Manhattan from its floor-to-ceiling windows.

Capacious Suites, Elegant Accommodations

Designed by Rockwell Group, Trump SoHo New York's 400 rooms and suites enjoy a sophisticated, loft-inspired design with custom furnishings by Fendi Casa. Floor-to-ceiling windows grant an unrivaled view of the city's spectacular skyline, extending to the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. Accommodations include 131 deluxe one-bedroom and 245 studio suites ranging from 422 to 905 square feet, many of which can be combined to create sprawling double-bedroom suites. Large, luxurious bathrooms will feature custom fixtures, a standalone shower and separate tub. All bedrooms will feature a custom mattress along with each guest's preference from the Trump Pillow Menu.

Eleven spectacular penthouse suites crown the top three floors of Trump SoHo New York, including the largest suite on the East Coast, measuring 10,045 square feet. This duplex boasts three master suites and one guest bedroom, five-and-a-half baths, terraces, a double-height living room, and study/conference room. Other indulgent features include a recording studio and mixing booth, gym, playroom, catering kitchen, and wine tunnel.

World-Class Dining by Way of South Beach

An exquisite menu of classic and contemporary Northern Italian cuisine, along with an extensive wine list -- from every region in Italy, as well as France and the New World -- will debut at Trump SoHo New York with the opening of the 190-seat Quattro.

Quattro will span three levels -- ground, mezzanine and balcony -- on two floors, with two private dining rooms featuring wood shutters. Studio A Design has translated the materials of the South Beach restaurant for SoHo, including custom Murano chandeliers, absolute black granite, limestone, custom tiles and beveled mirror bricks, leather, and iridescent draperies.

A separate bar operated by Quattro will serve as hotel bar by day and destination bar with a door policy after 10 p.m. Quattro will also provide in-room dining for Trump SoHo New York. Additionally, Quattro will serve high tea in the lobby and service the 12,000-square-foot banquet room, which will offer Italian and Continental menus.

The Spa at Trump

With over 11,000 square feet between the seventh and eighth floors, The Spa at Trump at Trump SoHo New York will feature private treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center, as well as unique facilities and services. Every moment of the spa journey caters to the individual guest's desires, expressed through his or her selected Trump Personal Intention -- Calm, Balance, Purify, Heal or Revitalize -- with every step guided by the dedicated Spa Attache. An exclusive arrangement with Kate Somerville brings this celebrity skin health expert's products and treatments to The Spa at Trump, along with additional premier skin and body care brands.

Conference & Banquet Facilities

Trump SoHo New York will offer 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space -- including a conference room, event hall and ballroom -- outfitted with state-of-the-art presentation technology and audio-visual features.

The Trump Attache

A signature of the Trump Hotel Collection, the Trump Attache exists to provide uncompromising, 24-hour service upon request, from personal shopping and preparation of personalized business cards and stationery, to arranging for laundry and dry cleaning. The Attache will meticulously record each guest's preferences and maintain a detailed guest history to ensure that no stay feels like the first and no request needs repeating.

For More Information: visit

Monday, January 5, 2009

Residences at Little Nell

ASPEN — Who says opulence is dead in Aspen?

At a time when doom and gloom dominate the real estate market, one of the most luxurious developments in Aspen’s history is racing toward its opening. Construction of The Residences at the Little Nell is essentially completed, a tour of the property showed last week.

Owners will find amenities like a rooftop pool and hot tubs in which they'll feel close enough to reach out and grab Aspen Mountain; they also provide stunning views of town. The fitness center has spin bikes and Nautilus weight machines that would put most gyms to shame. The artwork for common areas will be high-end gallery quality. An elevator will pop owners and guests from a ski locker room right to the Little Nell slope a few yards from the Silver Queen Gondola.

The Residences at the Little Nell, known simply as RLN, is on the west side of the gondola, a bookend opposite The Little Nell hotel on the east side.

The condominiums range in size from 2,800 square feet for three bedrooms to 3,700 square feet for four bedrooms. The building is configured so that all of them offer views of Aspen Mountain. Occupants of some units could sit in their connected living room and kitchens and critique the style of skiers out of the slopes just a few yards away.

Interior features include black walnut floors, Viking appliances in the gourmet kitchens, electric sun shades, steam rooms the size of studio apartments, handcrafted furnishings, granite and marble countertops, and grand fireplaces.

All of the 19 three-bedroom condos and the four four-bedroom condos have slight differences in floor plans and decor.

“We left the cookie cutter at home,” said Brooke Peterson, representative of the development group.

“They all have different ‘wow factors,’” said R.J. Gallagher, managing director of sales and marketing for RLN. “To me that rooftop is pretty outrageous.”

It caught the eye of Marc Siegel as well. The Michigan eye surgeon and his wife, Lori, were among the initial buyers of a fractional ownership interest in the project 3 1/2 years ago. As avid skiers, they were drawn by what he called “an A-plus” location at the base of Aspen Mountain. The Siegels have visited Aspen frequently throughout this decade and sniffed around property but never bought a home until now.

“It just fits all the things we were looking for,” Siegel said.

This week, they toured the three-bedroom condos where they will spend up to six weeks per year. “It was jaw-dropping beautiful,” Siegel said. “I was expecting it to be beautiful, but this exceeded expectations.”

RLN has 208 six-week ownership interests. A flexible-use plan means the owners aren’t tied to any one specific condo. They will rotate among the pool of units during their stays.

All but eight ownership interests in the three-bedroom units have been sold. Prices started at $1 million and climbed to $1.9 million. Gallagher said sales efforts were essentially suspended in September, partially because the economy soured so drastically but primarily so the team could focus on working with owners and prepare for closings.

Peterson, also an Aspen attorney, closed on the first sale last Tuesday — eight years to the week that he started work on the project. Construction costs exceeded $150 million for RLN, he said. That doesn’t include property acquisition costs that weren’t revealed. The old Tipple Inn, Tippler dance club and several single-family residences — all pricey slopeside properties — had to be bought.

Membership definitely has its privileges. RLN will be managed by the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Little Nell hotel, Aspen’s only Mobil five-star and AAA five-diamond property. There will be a staff of 40 full-time equivalent employees; 24-hour concierge service and pre-arrival stocking of groceries; 24-hour maid and room service; valet parking for an underground garage; and use of two Audi luxury cars for buyers who don’t want to rent a vehicle.

Il Mulino, which Zagat’s has voted the No. 1 Italian restaurant in New York City for more than two decades, will open with indoor space and a 3,000-square-foot deck in spring 2009. High-end retail shops will also line Dean Street.

Gallagher said it is anticipated that owners will use their weeks 90 to 95 percent of the time, even though they can rent out the units in whole or partially. Nearly 30 percent of buyers purchased more than one interest. Six buyers have filed lawsuits trying to cancel their contracts on grounds that the terms were violated. The development group maintains the contracts were honored and have requested arbitration in the cases.

The first units will be occupied by owners in early February. All of the units will be fully occupied for the first time on President’s Day weekend.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Palazzo Tornabuoni Opens in Florence

Palazzo Tornabuoni

Florence is one of those rare places in the world where the past and present live harmoniously side by side. The cobble stone streets, palazzos, bell towers, and fortresses of 500 years ago still stand, now home to a thriving and exciting international community. The quest for beauty during the Renaissance, lead by residents such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo - made Florence the cradle of western civilization. Today new Florentine artisans, designers and artists continue to impact the world with their own sense of beauty. At Palazzo Tornabuoni the beauty of the two periods are seamlessly interwoven to create elegant and contemporary homes. Members of Palazzo Tornabuoni will enjoy a unique lifestyle born of the best of centuries of Florentine life.

The advent of sophisticated European private residence clubs has arrived in Florence. Palazzo Tornabuoni is an exciting new Four Seasons Residence Club allowing owners to experience Italian life in a 15th century palace located in the heart of Florence. This very elegant property is being restored to all its original grandeur and charm. This former home of noble Renaissance families will soon be reborn as Europe's most elegant private residence clubs.

Palazzo Tornabuoni members enjoy the ultimate Florentine lifestyle and will have access to one of Florence's most important landmarks, comprised of up to 36 elegant studio, one, two and three-bedroom residences. Palazzo Tornabuoni - a luxury living experience beyond any other. Four Seasons fractional ownership at Palazzo Tornabuoni starts at € 220,000 Euro.

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