LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Breathtaking Bendemeer


Security, seclusion and sublimity come together in this exceptional development in New Zealand's alpine Lake District.

New Zealand's Southern Lakes are a region of almost unsurpassable beauty, but who has the luxury of living there? Now a unique lifestyle opportunity offers your own architect-designed home with breathtaking mountain views for a comparatively small investment.

Upon landing down, you're whisked away to a hilltop villa amidst the majestic mountains and luscious plateaus of New Zealand's Southern Lakes region. Your abode, painstakingly customized to suit your every taste — from the size and color of your pillowcases to the artworks, flowers and ceilings heights — is up and running just as if you had left it. Your clothes are hanging in the wardrobe. Family photos sit on the antique sideboard, and a chef is waiting to cook your favorite meal. Sound like a made-to-measure architectural, interior design and lifestyle fantasy? Well that's because it is. Only thing is that this dream can in fact be your very own reality, thanks to a glorious new time-share real estate venture called Bendemeer.

"The idea is to provide a holiday home with all the benefits of a five-star hotel," says Bendemeer developer Richmond Paynter, whose outstanding oasis offers the luxury of owning a fabulous country estate for a fraction of the price and without the hassle of constant upkeep. Under a system new to New Zealand called "proportional freehold ownership," Bendemeer buyers will pay €150,000 each for a tenth share in a three-bedroom, three-bathroom villa designed by New Zealand's leading architects Warren and Mahoney and decorated with contemporary style and in the finest materials by Susie Paynter. A stunning art selection, unique fabrics and dramatic flower arrangements are all included. Each owner's personal possessions will be kept in storage, and put out just before their arrival as if a magic wand has been waved, creating the illusion that everything is just as they left it and that the house has been standing empty while they were away. On selling, any capital gain is retained by the owner as in any normal real estate transaction.

Currently the 110-hectare estate with its five lakes is a working farm whose rolling landscape is the epitome of Lakeland wildness and beauty. Richmond Paynter has designated 37 different lots ranging from 0.6 to 4.9 hectares (and marketed from 2 million dollars upwards) for the building of exceptional country retreats that use the natural materials and contemporary detailing that befit their breathtaking surroundings. The future houses will all be hidden from one another by the natural contours of the landscape. For once, the view will be that of the surrounding mountains, and not the daily moves of your neighbor. Within the estate, 49 hectares are shared land where you will be able to stroll through tree plantings, walkways and pastures grazed by sheep as though it were all yours. The estate is gated for security, yet once within your property you will feel as though there is no one for miles around, enjoying the utter peace of watching the wind stroke the grasses or a bird of prey coasting the air currents silhouetted against a snowy mountain. Combine this with the fact that a concierge, tennis court, entertainment pavilion, fitness and spa center and 4WD are all at owners' disposal.

At the entrance, the old woolshed has been modernized by Warren and Mahoney to function as a gateway for the new estate: with its graceful rural structures on the outside, it unveils a sleek and design interior set up that enhances the open beamed ceilings. No need to say it serves as Bendeemer's best advertising tool, clearly promoting the fact that conservation, respect for natural surroundings and a high-profile lifestyle are the project's backbone.

Up the curving road onto the plateau, another structure has taken shape: a Modernist pavilion facing an artificial lake, on which floating contemporary artworks are displayed. Thought to perfection by acclaimed interior designer Susie Paynter, the pavilion's white sofas and wooden stacks offer a luxurious yet comfortable communal retreat.

Twelve of the 37 lots have already been snapped up, and Warren and Mahoney are already working on several home designs. With three ski fields, six golf courses and prize-winning wineries on your doorstep, the chance to live in your own holiday home in a landscape as awe-inspiring as this is hard to put a price on.

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