On the Market
Paradise on the 20th floor, this 7,500 sq. ft. penthouse has a resort style poolterrace to die for
Editor's Note: Houston is loaded with must-have houses for sale in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. Throughout the month of June, CultureMap Editor-at-Large Shelby Hodge snoops through some of our faves and gives you the lowdown on what's hot on the market.
101 Westcott, Bayou Bend Towers penthouse
Oooh, la, la — how grand can it get? This three-story palace in the sky (stretching between floors 19 and 21) is replete with custom touches from Baccarat crystal finials on the curving stairway to cedar marble floors inlaid with beautiful tile work. But the 180-degree view and the resort-style 2,300 sq.ft. pool terrace steal the show.
Walk through: The odyssey begins on the middle of three floors where you step into a vast two-story expanse of living area that offers views stretching from the downtown skyline, over the treetops of River Oaks to the south and on to the Galleria area. Venetian plaster walls, a shimmering tray ceiling with cove lighting and a dramatic rock crystal chandelier are just a few of the decorative notes that read rich elegance.
The dining room, complete with Fortuny chandeliers, opens to the living area. The adjacent spacious kitchen, featuring luscious maple cabinetry, includes a breakfast area and private balcony with a view of downtown.
Past the bar area (love the under-lighted onyx countertop), we move to the terrace which shouts "Four Seasons resort "and begs us to spend some quality time in the three-tiered infinity pool with waterfalls. In a nice touch, the top level is a Jacuzzi. Here the view is a breathtaking 180 degrees. Underfoot, we tread on floors of Aspen blue marble and Marbella limestone. Terrace amenities include a full bathroom, bar area with granite counters and sink, a steam room and more sex appeal than you can imagine. Think amazing parties.
The top floor houses the master suite where we fell in love with the rotunda entry with its domed ceiling, crystal chandelier and intricate mosaic work underfoot. The master bath is a beauty with Julian green and crema marble floors, Baccarat hardware and a repeat of the dramatic tray ceiling with recessed lighting. The guest room is less than perfect because of the configuration of the building but when properly furnished, it can be a beauty as well.
Down the main stairway back to the main floor, we move to another dramatic under-lighted marble stairway that leads to an entertainment area and guest room. (Full disclosure, this 2,100 sq.ft. space used to be my apartment. We sold in 2001 so that the penthouse owner could expand.)
Fabulous: The pool terrace. See above.
Recommendation: The new owner should start over with the 19th floor space. While the rest of the penthouse is grandly elegant, this area seems to have been neglected. The footprint is perfect for spacious guest bedrooms or a state-of-the-art theater or any number of imaginative uses.
Extra special: Bayou Bend Towers (full disclosure, my husband and I still live there) sits on several acres of manicured gardens overlooking Buffalo Bayou and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Bayou Bend. The high-rise sits in a sea of green, separated from the bustling traffic of Memorial Drive by a formal garden. Tennis courts, a larger than expected exercise room with his and hers Jacuzzis, pool and garden patio for grilling are added bonuses. But if you own the penthouse you already have most of those amenities yourself.
Square footage: 7,156
Monthly maintenance fee: $5,428
Listing agent: Rosie Meyers with John Daugherty Realtors
Asking price: Just reduced to $4,195,000