Readers Select Naples as Best Destination for Luxury Travelers
Participants of USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice poll have voted Naples, Florida the nation’s top “Best Destination for Luxury Travelers.” After being selected as a nominee by USA Today’s panel of experts, Naples finished first on the list ahead of other luxury destinations including Beverly Hills and Maui.
Residents in Southwest Florida not only enjoy the area's near-perfect weather, they enjoy sharing it with friends and guests, and that means spaces for entertaining are important. Luxury custom homebuilder Florida Lifestyle Homes of Fort Myers has made meeting that need a primary focus of the company's designs.
"Many residents in this area come from another part of the country," said Bill Ennen, president of Florida Lifestyle Homes. "They entertain often as they are making new friends in Southwest Florida and welcoming guests from back home. Our designs are constantly evolving to provide spaces that are perfect to meet those needs."
New owners of Florida Lifestyle Homes' Cambridge model at Quail West, Ed Wallner and Mary Pat Brady, are enthusiastic about how well that home's design functions. In fact, says Mary Pat, it's hard to pick just one feature that stands out.
"There are so many over-the-top amenities. We're ecstatic!" she said. "If I have to categorize, I would say first, the outdoor living area. Florida Lifestyle Homes has perfected bringing the outdoors into a true living area with a kitchen and dining room. And everything is done so tastefully — the design, the quality and the craftsmanship."
"The home has a comfortable flow," she continued. "You can entertain anywhere. If you're in the kitchen, you can feel as if you're with guests, even if they're outside."
"Our kitchens are always designed to be a centerpiece for socializing, whether entertaining family or friends," said Brad Kiraly sales director for Florida Lifestyle Homes.
The Cambridge design includes four bedrooms, a study, four-and-one-half baths in 3,576 square feet of air-conditioned space. With two connected outdoor living areas and a three-car garage, the home has 6,396 total square feet under roof.
The centerpiece of the home is an open great room floor plan that flows seamlessly into the outdoor spaces, perfect for entertaining. The covered lanai encompasses 1,659 square feet and offers an outdoor kitchen complete with a grill, a wetbar with refrigerator, a flat screen TV and full bar seating. The Cambridge can comfortably entertain more than 100 guests, without crowding, as experienced in a recent unveiling event held in the Cambridge.
The dining area adjacent to the luxurious gourmet kitchen is perfect for casual family meals, but there is space enough to accommodate a large table for entertaining 10 guests and friends for a seated dinner. The dining room features 90-degree, 10-foot tall sliding glass doors that pocket back, opening the room on two sides to the outdoor areas and the views.
While the floor plan provides the perfect space for indoor-outdoor entertaining, the new owners say they appreciate the luxurious finishes and amenities as well as the space for guests.
"When we walked in — it's just home, so inviting, so comfortable," said Mary Pat. "We can't wait to share it with our friends. We're already inviting people down in droves. We love that there's a full bath in each bedroom. Guests have their own living space. It's wonderful."
While Florida Lifestyle Homes provides perfect spaces for entertaining guests, homeowners are also treated to luxurious surroundings.
"I've got to mention the master suite," Mary Pat added. The spacious master suite features a breakfast cafe with sink and under-counter refrigerator. There are two walk-in closets and a luxurious master bath with twin vanities, a 6-foot Roman tub, a double-entry walk-through shower with multiple shower heads. "I said I never have to live this room."
According to Kiraly, the design has been so popular that not only did the model home sell in less than 90 days, five other buyers are building their custom home based on their visions of this open design.
"One home that is now under construction added a second-story bonus room, expanding the options for entertaining," Kiraly said. "There is to be a widescreen entertainment system with surround sound, a bar, microwave and full-size refrigerator. The room opens through sliding glass doors to a 700-plus-square-foot open air deck built above the first level outdoor entertainment area. This will provide expanded views not seen from the first level as well as an inviting area to entertain in the day or enjoy Florida's beautiful starlit evenings."
Kiraly noted that the company is seeing a trend to request a bonus room for a pool table or full-fledged media center with their current clients, offering another level of personal enjoyment and social space within the home.
"People enjoy entertaining at home," he said, noting that Florida Lifestyle Homes is already working on plans for the company's next model. "The new design will take outdoor living and entertaining to a completely new level."