6 Ways to Get Out of Town
Whether you’re in need of a short-yet-invigorating stint in Manhattan, a languid summer in the Malibu surf, or — the ultimate long-weekend indulgence — a second home atop a South Beach hotel, consider your hunt for the perfect destination complete.
Words: Shonquis Moreno
1. The Urban Jaunt
An Upper East Side townhouse that allows you to escape into as well as from the city, this four-story Manhattan pied à terre appears to be made of light and air. “This property is special for its amazing dimensions,” says Compass agent Steve Halpern. “The 12-foot ceilings and huge windows perfectly optimize the flow of light, not to mention the elegant uptown views proffered by its countless French doors and Juliette balconies.” Even amidst the mighty metropolis — the home counts in its neighbors the verdant Central Park, the new Met Breuer museum, and posh Madison Avenue shopping — the weightless volumes offer grandeur and nonchalance all at once.
Available to rent by the month, the fully-furnished house encourages both entertaining and introspection, depending on your mood. There are plentiful common spaces for unwinding, from the generous kitchen to the adjacent dining room, where the ceiling opens onto a second-floor mezzanine, washing the double-height space in summer sun. (With weekly maid visits included, raucous cookouts and formal feasts alike are welcome.)
The many levels of living space throughout the home allow for every manner of entertaining, from casual brunches to formal affairs.
Wile away the mornings with a good book in the cozy study, or dream up your next career move in the fourth-floor bedroom, where an expansive skylight is carved from the 14-foot ceiling. Another option? Hide out in the townhouse’s serene, bamboo-lined garden. The green space equally lends itself to grilling with friends or contemplating a witching-hour cocktail as the summer sun casts shadows across the city skyline.
2. The Seasonal Paradise
“From the moment you walk in the door, you’re met by a massive, 36-foot-wide wall of glass that frames the coastline and opens onto one of the largest oceanfront decks in all of Malibu,” says Compass agent Damon Skelton.
Situated on the shores of the world-class Colony Beach surf break, this home puts Malibu’s signature ease at your doorstep, from morning coffee at the nearby Malibu Farm Pier to an afternoon hike in the Malibu Bluffs preserve. (A state of mind as much as a destination dedicated to eternal summer, this is a community that welcomes bare feet and Manolo Blahniks in equal measure.)
Opening onto one of the largest oceanfront decks in all of Malibu, this 36-foot-wide glass wall invites breathtaking beach views within the living space.
California architect Steve Giannetti, renowned for creating soothing, textural spaces (his homes are regulars in magazines like Veranda), filled the interior with an eclectic mix of period pieces. The kitchen lighting, for example, is provided by pendants salvaged from a 1940s factory. Giannetti also transformed a primitive, 19th-century French workbench into a modern credenza in the living room, and a Swedish Gustavian sideboard, circa 1800, into a television console in the master suite. The pedigreed pieces are balanced with casually contemporary details — uninterrupted glass deck railings, a sleek marble bath, and radiant heated floors.
“This house took more than three years to design, and the reward for the tenant is enjoying the only newly-constructed home in the area with all the modern conveniences,” Skelton explains. “There will be nothing like it in the foreseeable future.”
3. The Perennial Investment
“Overlooking the dynamic playground of South Beach, this penthouse captures the essence of leisure,” says Farid Moussallem, Compass’ Miami-based Director of International Sales. “Take a picture from any of its windows: What you get is a postcard.”
Indeed, each level of this 20-story tower appears suspended between floor-to-ceiling walls of glass. From inside, tropical and city views flood the space, indigo sky and turquoise waters. Outside, 690 square feet of terraces and a 2,900-square-foot roof deck let you live dawn to dusk in the warm, salty air without straying from the urban pulse below.
Pristine quartz countertops pair with dark wood, creating stunning contrast throughout the home.
Designed by celebrated Canadian architecture and interior design office Yabu Pushelberg, the interiors ooze clean-lined glamour. The quartz countertops and marble-clad bathrooms complement the white sands outside, while the discreet Crestron smart home system and Lutron lighting do nothing to distract from it.
Better yet, since this apartment is part of the W Residences, expect to be pampered by 7,000 square feet of tension-fighting spa facilities, a pair of restaurants, and an on-site nightclub. Add to that valet parking, housekeeping services, and in-residence dining — in short, everything you could want from a hotel with all the comforts of home.
4. The Greek Farmhouse
Just as Santorini synthesizes the earthy and refined, these adobe-style homes above the village of Emporio are enriched by contrast. It’s a maneuver by architect Ioanna Tsagkouli, who transformed an ancient alonia site into this hillside compound. With structural elements carved into the volcanic stone, they offer two pools and views of the sea. Wholly modern, they are set into ages-old terrain.
5. The Caribbean Resort
Beyond the secluded jungle gate of the Peninsula House, “the outside world dissipates,” says Compass agent James C. Cox, Jr. of this quaint Dominican Republic inn, now available for purchase and reinterpretation as a private home. Filled with art and antiques (four-poster beds, mahogany tubs, bamboo trunks — also for sale), the six-bedroom Victorian’s elegant parlors, library, and verandas harken back to quieter times, while the surrounding 15 hillside acres and access to 10 miles of secluded beachfront energize the soul.
6. The Caribbean Resort
Hemmed with Côte d’Azur views and dotted with olive trees, Villa Surram pairs the perks of a boutique hotel (think infinity pool and Sonos sound system) with the charm of a Provençal estate. Spanning a 3,200-square-foot home and almost an acre of grounds, the property boasts a dining pergola, sunbathing terraces galore, and outdoor kitchen. Imagine sunset games of boules on the lawn while bouillabaisse simmers nearby.