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Fractional ownership is also popular and the USA’s leading purveyor, Timbers Resorts, began 15 years ago with the Timbers Club in Snowmass village. There, you can buy one-eighth deeded shares from $300,000 (£222,000) (for six weeks’ usage per year—two in winter, four in summer) in a three-bedroom/three-bathroom residence. Timbers Resorts has since rolled out 16 more fractional schemes, or Residence Clubs, across America as well as in Tuscany, including one in downtown Aspen.
Castello di Casole – A Timbers Resorts (Europe's No. 1 Resort as ranked by Travel + Leisure) which recently hosted Unique Homes for three beautiful nights to experience its magic firsthand. What we discovered was a perfectly placed paradise offering the finest level of service imaginable.
The setting is storybook. Through a cypress-lined drive up to a hilltop in Siena, a Middle Age castle from the 10 century serves as the core of the hotel and resort, "we are very, very lucky, because we are in the heart of Tuscany, " says Gabriele Olla, senior sales manager. Some of the world's best wineries are very close as are Michelin-starred restaurants – Florence is an easy 45-minute drive. But visitors and residents hardly have to leave the 4,200-acre estate.
As we pulled of the main road we looked up to the hillside and there she was, quintessential Tuscany and luxury at it’s finest. Castell di Caseole – A Timbers Resorts was in our sights and it was a grandiose as the pictures portrayed it to be. As we pulled into the driveway it all set in, our Tuscan adventure was bestowed upon us. This ravishing hilltop castle took our breath away once on the grounds, the cypress tree lined paths led us to the front door of our humble abode for the next few days.
The Sebastian-Vail, located in the heart of Vail Village, takes a step forward with a new, excitable staff and a fresh approach to their food and beverage program. RMFR travels up to the magical and notably affluent area to taste the reconstructed menus inside Frost Bar and their fine dining and tapas restaurant, Leonora.
As we enter the artfully decorated Frost Bar we receive flutes of champagne and notice a long table that stretches across the foyer full of dried fruits, a variety of cured meats and honey-whiskey ham from Colorado Meat Company. A raclette cheese station captures everyone’s attention and ramicans full of new potatoes, gherkins and house-marinated pearl onions lie beneath it to stay warm. We watch intently as a slow-spilling avalanche of cheese cascades onto the pickled and root vegetables.
Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences had much to celebrate this Thanksgiving by hosting a “topping-off” event on November 22 to acknowledge the development reaching construction top-off and to treat the fantastic construction crew with a holiday cookout. Timbers Resorts Director of Development, Chris Burden was on site to congratulate and commemorate the team on achieving this highly anticipated construction milestone.
With floorplans ranging from 3-4 bedrooms, Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences offers two shared ownership categories across its 21 residences that embrace light, airy, and natural design elements to complement the island’s relaxed atmosphere. Owners will have access to a dedicated set of amenities, including a central lounge area, a concierge services team, valet, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, temperature-controlled owner’s wine wall and more.
Hokuala is a 450-acre, 10-year development that, at completion, will include a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, whole and fractional residences, a boutique hotel, a tennis garden, retail shopping, restaurants, and a handful of single family estates. With 38 acres of navigable lagoons and waterways throughout and endless miles of community trails for running, biking and exploring, Hokuala will be the base camp for adventure on Kaua’i. Water taxis will take owners to the new Hokuala Golf Clubhouse to check in for their tee time or tennis lesson at the new tennis gardens. The Shops at Hokuala will boast an oceanfront restaurant with a wraparound lanai with breathtaking views of the Pacific and the verdant-etched mountains.
Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club and Residences is the first private residence club (only 21 residences in three oceanfront buildings) on Kiawah Island – a 30 minute drive from Charleston, South Carolina. Stroll down wide, sandy beaches (including the resort’s private beach), explore 123 acres of parks, cycle 30 miles of bike trails and take to the Kiawah River for boating, kayaking, and fishing. Kiawah Island Golf Resorts’s Ocean Course will host the 2021 PGA Championship. From $500,000.
If a stay in a luxury approximation of a tiny historic hamlet is your goal, book a few nights at Castello di Casole. The hotel is tucked into the countryside 40-minutes south of San Gimignano. Accessed by a meandering road lined in stately cypress trees, this 5-star property dazzles first-time visitors when they crest its hilltop setting.
This 4,200-acre castle turned boutique hotel, has been lavished with numerous travel industry accolades. The estate’s namesake building harkens back to the 10th century when it was erected and christened the Querceto Manor. During the 1800’s, the noble Bargagli family of Siena assembled properties surrounding the Manor, and the estate grew to include nearby farms rich in wheat, corn, olives, grapes, and livestock. The castle fell into disrepair before undergoing a major renovation in the 18th century, resulting in the structure that is now Hotel Castello di Casole.
Developers have also started to focus on another Hawaiian island that’s remained relatively under-trafficked: Kauai, often referred to as the most local of the major Hawaiian Islands. NFL star Drew Brees is building a home at Kukui’ula, the site of a former sugar plantation, while the in-development, $800 million Timbers Kauai at Hokuala promises 47 residences by 2018. “You’re paying more,” says Timbers Managing Director Gary Moore. “But it’s not because we’re jacking up prices. We’re building an infrastructure team. We’re curating experiences. Everything—from the moment you step foot on the island to the moment you leave—will be taken care of for you.” Which, he says, is what today’s second/third homeowner cares about most. As work gets more wired and all-consuming, time has become the most valuable commodity of all. And while younger homeowners in particular want the investment and exclusivity, but not the responsibility, of owning a second or third place, most buyers at places like Timbers and Kohanaiki aren’t first-time second homeowners. They’ve done it before; they know what a hassle it can be. Which is why other islands have started to catch on, with ultra-exclusive developments in progress on Maui at Montage Kapalua Bay and on Oahu, which will debut a $300 million waterfront complex Wai Kai in 2019.