spectacular settings

Home, Second Home: A Change of Scenery

Heike Söns

If you've decided to look for a private vacation refuge, these dream homes in spectacular settings can make you wishes come true.


Tired of the same old house in Malibu? Bored with monotonous Parisian vacation? Is it time for a change? Here, a refreshing list of cities where you can have the perfect vacation home. From colonial Mexico to the warm shores of South Africa, you will be privy to some amazing properties for sale.

San Miguel de Allende

Second homes

Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008, this magical town in the heart of the Mexican state of Guanajuato, offers an unparalleled atmosphere with splendid colonial buildings. San Miguel de Allende was re-discovered by American and European expatriates in the 1950s, and today it is known internationally for its impressive degree of conservation, buoyant social scene and exciting nightlife. Casa Cariño, a magnificent property located on a hill in Cañadita de los Aguacates, just a few minutes from the city center is absolutely the ideal vacation home. With spectacular views of San Miguel de Allende from its many balconies and terraces, this grand house features a sparkling pool with a fountain, a recreation pavilion, seven spacious bedrooms, nine bathrooms, central elevator, double garage and even a traditional Mexican cantina.


Second homes

Historic Tuscany combines everything that defines Italy: unsurpassed culinary traditions, great architecture and monumental art that seduce the most discriminating visitors. Located in a basin flanked by stunning rolling hills, its landscapes are as splendid as its artwork. A lifetime will not suffice to discover all its delightful hidden corners. If this place meets your expectations and you also enjoy the most celebrated wines in the world, you may want to visit the Chianti wine country. Located 1,200 feet above sea level, this property dating from the 16th century features three independent apartments, large terraces, gym, pool and sauna and is located on 50 acres, 12 of which are dedicated to viticulture.


Second homes

Quebec is the crown jewel of French Canada and perhaps the most European city in North America. This Canadian enclave has a privileged location at the edge of a cliff, allowing some of the best vistas of the surrounding river and mountains. This spectacular city, the only walled town in this part of the continent, will give you the feeling of living in a museum with its narrow streets dating back to the 17th century. Stroll through neighborhoods which look effortlessly charming, or admire the modernity of the areas that have been redesigned, and you will sense the warmth and kindness of its people, which will make you feel at home as soon as you arrive on these cold lands. Today, Quebec stands out as a modern city, and it will be easy to find a modern architectural jewel in or around Quebec city. Take a look at this penthouse located at the George V building, 650 Avenue Wilfrid-Laurier, La Cité. The various spaces on this penthouse follow a U-shaped floor plan with two wings on either side of the main body where one can find a vast living and dining room facing the St-Lawrence River and the Plains of Abraham on one side, and the kitchen facing the Parliament Hill, the city of Quebec and the mountains on the opposite side.

Cape Town
South Africa

Second homes

It would be impossible not to fall in love with this South African city, with the unmatched warmth of its people, the creativity evident in its streets, and the “unexpected” factor, which seems to be present in every corner. Thanks to its peculiar geographical location, the city is near a wide variety of beaches, all different in unimaginable ways. Even the water temperature can vary by a few degrees from one beach to the next. Known internationally for its rich architectural heritage, Cape Town combines cultural influences ranging from classic European buildings to extravagant Indonesian structures. Take a walk along the emblematic Ocean View Drive, which boasts some of the most stunning homes in town, and you’ll find one of the most daring and modern properties in the area: simple and robust, this four-story house features an infinity pool and beautifully landscaped gardens. It was designed with modern finishes that combine precious woods, metal and glass. Real estate experts would agree that this is the perfect house for a perfectionist. The predominant ocean views serve as the backdrop from every room of this spectacular property, a fine example of avant-garde architecture.


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