Tag Archives: Telluride

Donald Trump closes deal on luxurious Doonberg Golf Club

Donald J. Trump

Billionaire real estate investor Donald J. Trump is all set to acquire the sprawling, plush Doonberg Golf Club and five-star Doonberg Lodge in Ireland. (Photo : Reuters)

Donald J. Trump, real estate tycoon and television personality, said his firm Trump Organization will acquire the Irish golf resort designed by Greg Norman and initially developed by South Carolina’s Kiawah Partners, which is currently facing financial problems. The takeover will also include the Doonberg lodge, which is associated with the golf course.

The Doonberg race course in County Clare opened in 2002, but has been in the red ever since. The lodge opened in 2006, but while the debts of both continued to mount over the years, it did not put off potential buyers from bidding for these luxury properties.

Quoting Trump Organization, GolfChannel.com says the resort will be bought for an estimated $20.5 million, with the final agreement set to be signed next Saturday. 

A statement issued by Trump on Tuesday said the resort at Doonbeg in Ireland is an excellent property and they plan to make it better still. Soon the resort will include the best luxury standards and become an unmatched resort destination, the statement said. However, further details were not available.

Following the acquisition, Trump Organization has plans to rename the Doonberg Golf Club to “Trump International Golf Links Ireland,” taking a cue from the company’s Trump International Golf Links in Scotland. Covering over 400 acres facing the Atlantic Ocean, this golf course will be the 16th course and the Doonberg lodge the 12th hotel in Trump Organization’s portfolio. 

Following the sale, all members of different golf clubs of Trump as well as its business clients will be able to enjoy the five-star Doonbeg lodge, which comprises 218 hotel suites plus cottages, an extensive spa and many restaurants.

Although there was no dearth of potential buyers, the sale occurred roughly eight months after Kiawah Partners was acquired by South Street Partners for an estimated $360 million. Now South Street Partners, based in Charlotte, has sold the entire overseas properties, which were included in the sale, to concentrate on developing and marketing the residential property it owns on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

The sale of this Irish property to Trump marks the billionaire real estate investor’s second business deal in the Lowcountry. His son, Donald Trump Jr., is already a real estate investor in North Charleston. Apart from investing in real estate, Trump Sr. also hosts the reality television show “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Million-dollar-plus home sales hit six-year high

By Lauren Beale

January 30, 2014, 10:23 a.m.

A boom in California’s luxury home sale market is yet another example of the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor if a newly released report is any indication.

Crowned by the sale of a Malibu estate for $74.5 million, the number of homes sold at $1 million and above statewide last year was up 45.1% to 39,175 — the most since 2007, according to real estate information service DataQuick. And the slice of the market luxury for homes sold at $2 million and up set new records at the state, Southern California and L.A. County levels last year. Meanwhile, overall sales across the state were essentially the same as 2012 levels, down 0.6%.

“The luxury market did bounce back last year,” said Paul Habibi, a real estate lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. “A lot of people were stepping back into the waters.”

Lucrative investing left some looking for a place to park their gains.

“The stock market lined the pockets of high-end buyers,” Habibi said. “That translated into home purchases.”

Gains in home equity allowed many who had been waiting on the sidelines to move up to bigger and better digs.

“It’s a herd mentality,” said Stephen Shapiro of Westside Estate Agency, who last year saw well-priced homes drawing multiple bidders. “When people start paying more for houses, other people don’t mind paying more.”

In L.A.’s ultra-luxury market, locals, foreigners, flippers and celebrities also came to the party, but it was a billionaire who led the charge in $20 million and up sales.

Oaktree Capital Management Chairman Howard Marks had the priciest sale statewide, selling his 9.5-acre estate in Malibu in an off-market deal for $74.5 million. The beachfront property includes a 15,000-square-foot main house, two guesthouses, a gym and a swimming pool.

Just down the street, “Karate Kid” producer Jerry Weintraub clocked in with the next highest 2013 sale for L.A. County, based on public records searches conducted by PropertyShark.com and Coldwell Banker. His bluff-top, seven-acre compound with two guesthouses, swimming, tennis and a guardhouse, sold for $41 million.

“Our market has finally caught up with what is happening globally,” said Coldwell Banker’s Bobby Syed, who brokered an off-market deal last year of a 12,000-square-foot Beverly Hills estate priced in the $37 million to $39 million range. “A lot of foreign money is coming in, particularly to Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, which are still very cheap by comparison” to other major cities.

The 2.5-acre Beverly Hills site boasts a large, flat area and extensive vistas. “It was the biggest view from here to Taiwan,” Syed said. He represented both the sellers, who had bought the property in the 1970s from actress Elizabeth Taylor, and the buyers.

High-end home flipping also raised the bar as retired actor Kristoffer Winters, who renovates homes with actor Jeremy Renner, raked in $24 million for a mansion on two acres in Holmby Hills. The Roaring ’20s Art Deco-style house, reached by a cobblestone driveway, includes five fireplaces, six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and 10,005 square feet of living space.

Serial house buyer and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was among celebrities who did their part too to push high-end home sales, buying a 13-acre estate centered on a Tuscan-style in Santa Barbara County’s Toro Canyon that had been listed at $26.5 million. 




Nick Antonicello

Director – New Business Development


415 Washington Blvd., #1008

Marina del Rey, CA 90292



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Unique Homes – Named “Media Partner of the Year” by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and www.luxuryrealestate.com

Billionaire Bill Koch chops $2.5 million off the price of his Osterville “Yachtman’s Paradise”


A million here, a million there, pretty soon we’re talking about real money
Article | News | December 30, 2013 – 6:00am | By Walter Brooks

How many waterfront mansions does a billionaire need?

Will Billionaire Bill use a few million more to save his oceanview?

Two weeks ago we published a story about Bill Koch entitled “Fighting Cape Wind $1 million at a time”, see that story below. It’s difficult not to imagine there may be a connection between that and the fact that Bill Koch has reduced the asking price of his Osterville mansion by $2.5 million.

His property in Oyster Harbors in Osterville was put on the market last year for $15 million, and according to the Robert Paul Properties website, the price has been reduced to $12.5.

He has voiced his anguish at having to see a wind farm in the distance.

Billionaire is not wining

This is almost the same loss Koch suffered a few years ago when he admitted in court that he was conned into paying $2.1 million for fake bottles of wine, see the Palm Beach News story below.

As one commenter on the CBS News story about Koch’s phony wine said, “One plus, seeing Mr. Koch show the world his intellectual prowess when he bought 4 bottles of wine supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson had marked his name on the bottle with an electric etching tool. A very common practice in the late 1700’s… writing ones name on wine bottles with ELECTRIC tools! Please let Mr. Koch know I have a 1st edition bible autographed by Jesus for sale. What a pathetic fool…

Koch’s 8,600 square foot Oyster Harbors home is on a one and a half acre waterfront lot, has its own dock, 9 bedrooms, 8 full baths and 4 half-baths, with taxes of $66.398 a year and it’s assessed at $6.3 million.

Bill Koch is most famous around here as the major backer and the money behind the one remaining group fighting to stop Cape Wind – the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

Although that group will not release the names of its financial supporters, Commonwealth Magazine says it’s a good bet the big donor is Koch, a Floridian who summers in Osterville on the Cape. Koch runs Oxbow Corp., a major energy conglomerate, and is worth almost $4 billion.

In an interview with CommonWealth Magazine earlier this year, Bill Koch said he had donated more than $5 million to that organization as part of a strategy to keep delaying Cape Wind in the courts and in the court of public opinion until the proposed wind farm’s owner, Jim Gordon, calls it quits.

Maybe one waterfront mansion is enough

Of course, perhaps Bill Koch cut the price of his “Yachtsman’s Paradise” because he recently bought Bunny Mellon’s waterfront mansion nearby. Bunny, who prosecutors say gave millions to help former Democratic Sen. John Edwards cover up an affair, sold a 25-acre portion of her waterfront Cape Cod compound to Bill Koch for $19.5 million.

Forbes claims that Bill Koch is worth $3.8 billion, and they rank him as number 122 on the Forbes 400, down from number 92 a year ago.

So what’s a couple million one way or another for one of the wealthiest men in America. The only thing I have in common with Koch is that we both graduated from Culver Military Academy. Bill is listed as one it Culver’s “Notable Alumni“. I am not.

Robert Paul Properties describes Bill Koch’s Osterville digs as “Yachtsman’s Paradise on Nantucket Sound… On the south coast of Cape Cod, on the renowned private island of Oyster Harbors, only a few rare properties offer views of Nantucket Sound, a private sandy beach“.

Growing interest in French wineries by Chinese investors

December 26, 2013

Jianyi Zhu, Economic Counselor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of ChinaThe recent helicopter crash and presumed death of a Chinese hotel magnate and a French businessman touring a recently purchased prestigious Bordeaux château and vineyard highlights the growing interest by the Chinese in French luxury properties, including vineyards. The Chinese investor had just bought the 90 hectare estate – including 65 hectares of vineyard – and its large 16th century château for a reported €30m.

Between 2009 and 2012, the number of estates in the wine-producing region of Bordeaux owned by Chinese investors jumped from two to 25, reports the South China Morning Post. The figure is now about 50. The trend has divided locals with some calling for wineries to remain under French control, while others welcome the infusion of funds to help offset the Eurozone debt crisis and support traditional French industries. Another trend is that some early Chinese buyers are now selling their vineyards—to other Chinese.

Property agents in the Bordeaux region report an increasing number of inquire from Chinese investors. Jane Anson, a Bordeaux-based wine correspondent, was recently cited saying the Chinese were expected to overtake Belgians as the largest nationality of owners in the winemaking region, once another five to ten estates were sold to Chinese investors.

The influx of Chinese investors has caught the attention of France’s money laundering investigators, who released a report this year highlighting the need for “increased vigilance” over the sale of vineyards to Chinese buyers. It noted a “growing presence of investors with ties to China” and that some buyers would use tax havens to hide the origins of cash used to purchase vineyards.

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of France’s Chinese Investors Club which convened in June in Paris to celebrate the continuing partnerships between the Invest in France Agency (IFA), the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Association of Chinese Companies in France (AECF) and the Paris-Ile de France Chamber of Commerce and Industry to serve the interests of Chinese investors in France.

Photo: Jianyi Zhu, Economic Counselor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China at Chinese Investors Club meeting in June 2013.

An exceptional new luxury resort ‘Velaa Private Island’ opens in the Maldives


“Velaa is an island paradise, in all senses, where the essence of Maldivian culture, lifestyle and landscape meets limitless opportunities”.by theodore@traveldailynews.asia

HONG KONG – Velaa Private Island, an exclusive new island hideaway has opened for business in the Maldives.

An exceptional private luxury retreat in Noonu Atoll, north of Male, with service that goes beyond traditional resorts, Velaa promises luxury from Michelin star cuisine and one of the finest wine cellars in the Indian Ocean archipelago, to world-class watersports including its own private submarine.

Exceptional facilities “beyond traditional resorts” extend to the only ‘My Blend By Clarins’ spa in the Maldives and a ‘short game’ golf academy designed by two-time Masters Champion Jose Maria Olazabal operated by Troon Golf.

Velaa PrivateIsland is the realisation of a quest by founders Radka and Jiri Smejc to establish a truly exceptional resort in the Maldives. The unique destination has been created to embody the very best of this unique archipelago, under the azure skies and in the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean.

“Velaa is an island paradise, in all senses, where the essence of Maldivian culture, lifestyle and landscape meets limitless opportunities,” said Jiri Smejc, the founder of Velaa Private Island.

“Our commitment is that no request is too much, and each guest ultimately feels this is their own private island.”

Velaa means “Turtle Island” in the local language – named after generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch.

A “Celebration” promotion from December 24 to January 12 introduces the prestigious new private island for rates beginning at US$3,100 a night for stays at the colonial-style Beach Pool Villas. For details about this and other introductory offers, visit: http://www.velaaprivateisland.com

Velaa PrivateIsland has been designed and curated with privacy and comfort as the guiding principles, while allowing the Indian Ocean to take centre stage. At one with nature, each of the private retreats is built using local materials, combining contemporary flourishes with interiors designed for sensory exploration. Generous terraces and sultry gazebos are positioned to maximise shade, breeze, views and privacy, allowing for total immersion in nature.

The resort features 45 private villas, houses and exclusive residences fusing local materials with contemporary style each with their private swimming pool, including 18 built on stilts over water.

Family accommodation ranges from eight beach pool houses and pavilions to an ultra-private Romantic Pool Residence accessible only by boat and four expansive 4-bedroom Velaa Private Residences, a rarity in the archipelago, for families or groups of up to 10.

With three restaurants, two bars and a wine cellar, gastronomic dining is a resort signature, designed by French Michelin starred chef Adeline Grattard.

She oversees elegant over-water restaurantsAragu and Cru, where guests can enjoy vintage champagne, as well as Tavaru teppanyaki restaurant at the center of the island, which is uniquely set in a striking ivory-white tower, and features live cooking and an extensive wine cellar.

Additional venues include beachfront restaurant Athiri and Avi – a pool bar by day and vibrant cocktail bar by night.

A Destination Dining concept additionally offers bespoke menus, entertainment and locations, both on and off the island, for special occasions.

Velaa is one of only a handful of hotels in the world and the only resort in Asia partnering distinguished spa brand ‘My Blend By Clarins’, at its sublime spa at the lagoon.

The spa also showcases the first ‘snow room’ in the Maldives – a cloud-shaped reclining pod that cradles guests into deep relaxation – and a Yoga Pavilion with personal training, either on a raised tree meditation platform in the garden or by the beach.

Recreation and wellness extends to world-class water sports and fitness facilities, covered tennis and squash courts, a football field and beach volleyball court.

The Velaa Golf Academy by Olazabal is also the only golf experience of its kind anywhere in the world. Operated by Troon Golf with a resident professional for personalised tuition, it incorporates a state of the art indoor studio for fine-tuning golf swings and a short-game target area with multiple par-3 layouts for pitching from 65 to 180 yards over bunkers and a small lake onto six greens.

A PADI dive centre offers excursions, certification courses and snorkeling adventures. Water activities extend to windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, wakeboarding, water-skiing, kite surfing and the only two-passenger private submarine in the Maldives.

Sunset cruises, dolphin watching, private boat excursions and fishing expeditions are aboard a luxury Prestige yacht or traditional Maldivian ‘bahtheli’ boat.

Velaa is designed by award-winning Czech architect Petr Kolar as “an elegant fusion of Maldivian culture with contemporary luxury, intimate with Maldivian nuances”.  

Styling adopts a motif of the turtle, after which the island is named, with the colors and patterns of turtle shell pervading the property. From a broader “bird’s eye view” which greets arrivals by seaplane, the island’s exclusive over-water villas are also constructed to resemble the head of a turtle, with the island forming the body.

27 December 2013, 00:17 | Tags: Velaa Private Island,

Hermès Takes Skiwear to New Heights

November 25, 2013 | by erin lentz | Style & Beauty

Around the same time Friedel Pfiefer first visited Aspen to train with the 10th Mountain Hut Division during World War II, the iconic Hermès house made sophisticated skiwear. But not since the late 1930s has the French forerunner celebrated the siren of skiing. This season, however, the iconic brand’s new skiwear collection marries fashion and function, anchored by a sleek palette of whites, camels, and blacks. Drawing from the look of late-1800 mountaineers and inspired by the French Alps, “The Sporting Life” campaign touts suspendered leather ski pants, cozy cashmere fleece, and accessories including goggles, leather helmets, and chic après ski boots that will take you from the base of Ajax to The Little Nell’s brand new and buzz worthy bar, Chair 9.  

Read more at http://aspenpeak-magazine.com/the-latest/style-and-beauty/postings/hermes-takes-skiwear-to-new-heights#vY00GX2ELx6OzC1l.99

Telluride Hits Conde Nast Traveler “Top 40 Resorts in the West”

Top 40 Resorts in the West

Readers’ Choice Awards

Condé Nast Traveler readers rate the top resorts in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. Check out our other lists for best hotels in the West, as well as top resorts in Northern California, Southern California, and the Southwest.

  • 1. St. Regis Aspen Resort 94.8
  • 2. Westin Riverfront at Beaver Creek Mountain 94.7
  • 3. Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge, Telluride 94.5
  • 4. Lumière Telluride 94.2
  • 5. Amangani, Jackson Hole 93.7
  • 5. Four Seasons, Jackson Hole 93.7
  • 7. St. Regis Deer Valley, Park City 93.5
  • 8. Waldorf Astoria Park City 93.5
  • 9. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs 93.1
  • 9. Four Seasons Resort Vail 93.1
  • 11. Viceroy Snowmass 93.0
  • 12. Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores 93.3
  • 13. The Sebastian, Vail 92.3
  • 14. Montage Deer Valley, Park City 91.7
  • 15. Sonnenalp Resort of Vail 91.5
  • 16. Little Nell, Aspen 91.2
  • 17. The Arrabelle at Vail Square 91.1
  • 18. Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole 91.0
  • 19. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa 90.0
  • 20. Inn at Lost Creek, Telluride 89.9
  • 20. Jenny Lake Lodge, Grand Teton National Park 89.9
  • 22. New Sheridan Hotel, Telluride 89.0
  • 23. Hotel Telluride 88.9
  • 24. Alta’s Rustler Lodge, Alta 88.7
  • 25. Camel’s Garden Hotel, Telluride 88.6
  • 26. Hotel Madeline, Telluride 87.8
  • 26. Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City 87.8
  • 28. Hotel Park City 87.5
  • 29. Pines Lodge Beaver Creek Resort 87.3
  • 29. Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, Jackson Hole 87.3
  • 31. Triple Creek Ranch, Darby 87.1
  • 32. Tivoli Lodge, Vail 86.9
  • 32. Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance 86.9
  • 34. The Peaks, Telluride 86.0
  • 35. Beaver Creek Lodge 85.6
  • 36. Vail Cascade Resort & Spa 85.4
  • 37. Hotel Jerome, Aspen 85.0
  • 38. Mountain Lodge, Telluride 84.2
  • 40. Lodges at Deer Valley, Park City 83.8
  • 40. Cliff House at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs 83.9

Telluride Makes List of “America’s Best Small Towns”

Written on September 23, 2013 by


What does Telluride have in common with Haines, Alaska; Spring Green, Wisconsin; Berea, Kentucky; Galena, Illinois and Little Compton, Rhode Island? Trolling the Internet, I came upon this article in the Huffington Post about “America’s Best Small Towns.”

America’s Best Small Towns

The Huffington Post

Posted: 09/22/2013 8:10 am



The 2012 Census confirmed what most Americans already suspected: These days, more of us are choosing to live in cities. Yet as we downsize to high-rise apartments and squeeze onto subway cars, it’s hard not to yearn for the pleasures of space and quiet living. To see our list of the best small towns in the U.S., click here.

These destinations topped our charts because of their sense of community and serious cultural draws. Many also have a haute arts scene. Take Florence, Ala., which is quickly becoming the fashion capital of the South, thanks to the flagship store of celebrated American designer Billy Reid. Or Marfa, Texas, which adopted contemporary artist Donald Judd and transformed itself from a dusty West Texas pit stop into a must-visit destination for the art world cognoscenti.

For more on these towns and others that made the cut, click here.

Real estate sales surge in August

Busy sales follow slow start to the year

By Collin McRann
Staff reporter
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 6:26 PM CDT

After a slower than average start to the year, real estate sales picked up in a big way  in August. 

Through the first seven months of the year, the number of sales was down around 13 percent from 2012 while the dollar volume of sales was down  10 percent, according to numbers compiled by Telluride Consulting. But August brought a major boost; the number of sales for the month was up 23 percent from August of 2012 while the dollar volume was up 56 percent. With the August activity, the number of sales for the year is now down only 7 percent from last year and the dollar volume is back to even.

Local realtors are optimistic that things could pick up again in September, but say it’s too early to predict.

According to Judi Kiernan, who owns Telluride Consulting, the August numbers were a big boost for the year.

“One month can make a huge difference because we are such a small market and the news [about August] is a big contrast to July,” Kiernan said, but added that “one month does not a trend make.

“I don’t think there’s actually a reason, I think it’s as random as last month’s poor performance,” she said.

In all, 48 sales were made in August, up from 38 last year and it was best August since 2007. The dollar volume of the sales totaled $46.9 million, up from $30.1 million in August of 2012. It came on the heels of a poorly performing July, which saw 27 sales, down from 34 in July of 2012. The dollar volume for the month was down 43 percent compared with   July of 2012, meanwhile.

Kiernan said about $10 million of the August sales came from condominiums in Mountain Village and another $6.5 million came from land transfers in Telluride.

In Telluride three significant separate land transfers were from Telluride Zoline Properties to the Telluride Transfer Company. The properties are located in what is known as the four corners neighborhood of town, which includes the property south of Village Market across the street.

Real estate broker George Harvey agreed with Kiernan that he would like to see three to four months of strong sales before drawing any conclusions. But he said the poor sales in July included everything from residential homes to condominiums and commercial properties in both Mountain Village and Telluride.

In July, Mountain Village saw the biggest decline, but with August’s numbers, things are looking better for the town.

Another real estate broker, Dirk de Pagter, said September through October is traditionally a strong selling period.

De Pagter also said he thinks a more accurate picture of the market for the year will emerge by mid-October.

Last year was a good year for local real estate as dollar volume was up between 20 and 30 percent over 2011 and the number of sales was also up between 15 and 20 percent. So far, according to Telluride Consulting, total real estate sales in the area for the year through July are 255 units sold; last year at the same time it was 275.

Three areas broadly define local real estate, Harvey said: Telluride, Mountain Village and surrounding areas in the county such as the mesas and other subdivisions.

“The old town of Telluride is a limited product. It is surrounded on four sides where there can’t be any development, so in a certain sense it’s a very predictable market,” Harvey said. “Then you’ve got the Town of Mountain Village which is spread out more, with bigger homes, more condominiums, more vacant lots and land — a completely different product. But right now Mountain Village has a little too much inventory, it’s going to take some time to absorb that for prices to rebound in my opinion.”

Harvey said he has seen the cycle of local real estate go up and down before. He said other resort markets in Colorado such as Aspen, Vail and Steamboat have all been performing better than Telluride this year. But he thinks it is a good time to be a buyer with everything that’s on the market.

“[The numbers are] a good sign, and we would love it to be a good trend, but the good news is it’s the best August we’ve had since the huge spike in 2007,” Kiernan said.

November Conferences

This has been a fun, busy, and productive few weeks.  We recently enjoyed the California Dreamin’ Tour in Rancho Palos Verdes, as well as the Leaders in Luxury conference in Dana Point, California.  Were you there?