IN­SIDE A CLIFF­SIDE MEGA-MAN­SION IN MEX­ICO

Muscat Daily - - FEATURES -

Dick Butera, a real es­tate de­vel­oper and one­time owner of As­pen’s Ho­tel Jerome, reg­u­larly leaves As­pen for Mex­ico dur­ing Christ­mas.

Fourteen years ago, he bought a house in Careyes, Mex­ico - an area on the Pa­cific Coast south of Puerto Val­larta - and a year later, he dis­cov­ered that a nearby, three-acre penin­sula was for sale. So he bought that, too. “It didn’t take much for me to say, ‘This is an un­usual piece of land,’ ” he says. “It’s got wa­ter on three sides.”

He brought the Mex­ico City-based ar­chi­tect Manolo Mestre, whose first re­ac­tion, Butera says, was “Oh, my God”.

Butera de­cided to build a house on the prop­erty, and he wanted to do it fast. “I had a meet­ing on the site with the su­per­in­ten­dent and said, ‘Look. You’ve got to un­der­stand that at my age [Butera is now 82], each Christ­mas is a huge per­cent­age of how many I have left, and if you can get this done be­fore this up­com­ing Christ­mas, I’ll give a five per cent bonus to ev­ery­one.’ ”

He brought in 250 builders and ar­ti­sans to com­plete the pro­ject, built a vil­lage nearby where the work­ers could sleep and eat, “and it be­came a kind of cult, try­ing to fin­ish this house in time,” Butera says. In to­tal, the 18,000sq ft­house was com­pleted in 11 months. “It be­came a source of pride to get this done, and get it done beau­ti­fully.”

Now, Butera is putting it on the mar­ket with Scott David­son of Christie’s In­ter­na­tional Real Es­tate for US$13mn. “But then I look at videos of the prop­erty, and they make me not want to sell it,” he says.

Five pools

Not count­ing a 2,000sq ft care­taker’s house at the en­trance of the prop­erty, the house has six bed­rooms and eight bath­rooms.

There are five pools - three main pools, and then each of the two at­tached guest­houses has its own dip­ping pool.

The main house is ac­cessed by a palm-tree-lined walk­way and has a mas­sive fam­ily room and a ‘play­room’ with a foos­ball ta­ble, gym and the­atre. There’s also a large chef’s kitchen, din­ing room and a range of ter­races with out­door lounge ar­eas. The master suite is more than 1,000sq ft, and there’s a six-car garage.

Ev­ery room in the house is dif­fer­ent. “The con­crete floors all have a de­sign; we had 35 indige­nous peo­ple from a tribe that still does [the dec­o­ra­tion] by hand,” Butera says. “They were there for five months. You have to see it to be­lieve it, be­cause it’s some­thing that doesn’t get done any­more.”

The prop­erty might be three acres, but the house it­self is perched at the very edge of the cliff. There’s no di­rect way down to the wa­ter, Butera says, “But be­ing on a cliff is the best way to be on the ocean. There are no bugs, or crabs, and you’re bet­ter off when hur­ri­canes hit.”

Wealthy ad­mir­ers

For a while, Butera spent 12 to 16 weeks a year at the house. The rest of the year the prop­erty mostly sat empty; fam­ily would stay in it oc­ca­sion­ally, and even less fre­quently he’d rent it out for a week for a char­ity auc­tion. “I don’t send a lot of peo- ple down there,” he says, “be­cause it’s not the kind of place where I’d send peo­ple I don’t know very well.”

That said, when vis­i­tors do come over, he says, they’re im­pressed. “I’ve had some ex­traor­di­nar­ily ...” Butera pauses - “well, rich peo­ple - you can call them, I guess - over to the house” he says. “And they’re amazed.”

Butera de­cided to part with the prop­erty once his son fell in love with golf. There isn’t a course near the home in Careyes, he says, “And I’m 82, and I’m not a bil­lion­aire, and I’m not a party guy. I can’t just have that real es­tate sit­ting there.” His plan, he says, is to sell the house and buy a home in Amer­ica on a golf course, so his son can fol­low his pas­sion.

The prop­erty is perched on the side of a cliff over­look­ing the Pa­cific Ocean

The master bed­room suite has its own ter­race

The house is di­vided into two pri­mary lev­els

An out­door din­ing area

One of the house’s six bed­rooms

The floors were de­signed and ex­e­cuted by lo­cal ar­ti­sans

(Bloomberg pho­tos)

The house is sur­rounded by wa­ter on three sides

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