Your Expert Guide
Villa d'Este: A coveted high-rise in Uptown Park that exudes Old World charm
There are so many great places to live in Houston that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Located in Uptown Park, the Villa d'Este condominiums are a classic example of the best Houston has to offer when it comes to luxury high-rise living.
This 27-floor local landmark opened in 2000 and rests on six acres of lush, private grounds on the banks of Buffalo Bayou amid mature oaks and pines, with scenic views of downtown Houston and Tanglewood.
These lavishly appointed residences are at the foot of Uptown Park, affording residents with a superb location next to Uptown Houston, the Galleria and a plethora of shopping, dining, and recreational venues, with easy access to the Medical Center, Galleria, and most work corridors.
"I have been working in this area for the last 10 years," says real estate agent Debbie J. Callan. "Villa d'Este is the epitome of the luxurious lock-and-leave lifestyle. The location is outstanding and the residences exude sophistication and Old World charm."
The upscale interiors at Villa d’ Este Condominium are spacious and elegant, with each of the 100 residences featuring tall ceilings, marble baths, and classic wood and stone floors throughout. All residences have large open balconies and fully operable windows to catch stunning views of the city.
One, two, and three-bedroom units range from 2,100-4,064 square feet, rounded out by four extraordinary, two-story penthouses. There are only four homes per floor.
Facilities include a resort-style pool and spa, tennis courts, entertainment rooms, fitness center, valet parking, dog park, conference room, and 24-hour concierge and security. There is an expansive party room with a full-service caterer’s kitchen, as well as a cards room for more intimate gatherings. The building also has an underground parking garage that only residents can easily access.
Callan, who divides her time between Houston and Eisenstadt, Austria, offered up a few of her personal favorites about life in Villa d'Este. Here's her guide:
Where to eat & drink
"Uptown has a large variety of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops to choose from, but one of my favorite restaurants is Etoile," says Callan. "This is a sophisticated French eatery with a modern farmhouse interior serving traditional and seasonal menus. It is a quaint place you can go where you can actually hear each other talk. My experience has been awesome quality food, with a consistent level of service and an extremely pleasant atmosphere. My recommendation is to order the escargots de bourgogne, filet de boeuf au poivre, truffle fries, assortiment de fromages, and creme brûlée a la vanille de Tahiti for dessert."
Where to play
Memorial Park is Houston’s 1,500-acre urban wilderness and the crown jewel of Uptown. It's the perfect location for community and social interaction, exercising, wildlife watching, and simply enjoying nature.
"The sport of jogging was popularized nationally in Memorial Park, which has the popular and nationally acclaimed Seymour Lieberman Trail," reveals Callan.
The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center Trails are designed for hiking only and located within walking distance to the Uptown area. They offer a Discovery Room and Nature Shop to complement the natural beauty and trails beyond.
There is a Rooftop Cinema Club Uptown offering the ultimate open-air film experience, where you can lean back, enjoy, and relax under the sky.
What to see
"In the heart of the city, the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park is one of Houston’s most beloved, iconic landmarks and community centerpieces for visitors of all ages," says Callan. "To stand in the Waterwall’s mist and be enveloped by the gentle roar of cascading water is one of the city’s most memorable experiences."
Where to live
"I had the pleasure of assisting an elderly couple who had decided to relocate to a nearby assisted living facility," says Callan. "They were original owners, and had many beautiful treasures from their extensive travels. I was able to assist them further by procuring an estate company that conducted the inventory and sale of their valuable belongings."
Their lovely two-bedroom unit 91 at 1000 Uptown Park Boulevard had northwest views from the ninth floor. Amenities included bamboo hardwoods in the grand foyer and hallways, marble and ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, plush neutral carpeting in the bedrooms, granite counters, a gourmet island kitchen with GE Monogram appliances, and abundant storage.
Other desirable features included an open floorplan with formals plus a sunroom/office, custom paint in warm tones, crown molding, and bays of windows with tremendous natural light.
"The couple who purchased the property loved the location and views, and were downsizing from a large single-family home," says Callan. "The buyers were looking forward to having less responsibility of keeping up with a single-family home and its yard, and more of a lock-and-go environment. The buyers were excited about their future residence."
Debbie J. Callan works and plays in Villa D'Este. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email email@example.com, or call 713-851-5100