A confession: I've never read Love in the Time of Cholera. It was, apparently, everyone's favourite book in university, but I never got around to it. So while I didn't really get the reference to the novel in this week's listing in Cartagena, Colombia, I nevertheless fell in love with the house. Whether you're a Gabriel García Márquez fan or not, this $12.8 million colonial beauty in the heart of the port city is worth a look.
Imagine yourself in a warmer climate, with a Caribbean breeze wafting through the palms and the fountain burbling next to you. I'm crazy about the orange walls — and the vines climbing them — paired with the blue tile. On the second level, one side is shaded by a roof, the other by a leafy pergola.
Here's the vestibule beyond the fountain — possibly one of the most charming spaces I've ever seen while combing through listings for this blog. I can't resist a good beamed ceiling, especially with the wood chandelier and stone floor. And that juliet balcony! Let's take a moment to just sigh over it.
The roof deck not only has a view of the Caribbean Sea, but a hot tub as well. (Though, sadly, no sea view from the hot tub.) In an 11-bedroom mansion, getting food from the kitchen up to this al fresco dining spot is probably a long haul. Luckily, there's an elevator to lighten the load.
Instead of drapes, this dining room has romantic curtains of vines. (Let's just pretend never drop their leaves or wither.) The scale is clearly grand — this table seats 18, and you could probably squeeze a nineteeth onto the chandelier — but the covered arches make the space feel like a hidden surprise.
A TV lounge off the courtyard is open to both the entry and adjoining room, but warm lighting and a plush cluster of seating create an inviting little retreat. For further relaxing, there's a gym, sauna, and spa-like area with a loose stone floor.
Upstairs, each of the 11 bedrooms has an ensuite bath. If the floor space and two seating areas in this room are any indication, though, the place could easily sleep 40 or 50.
Want to know more about this Colombian manse? The listing bills it as a single-family home, but a little searching reveals that it's currently a luxury hotel. Take a look!
1–6. Casa Pestagua
For another dreamy South American home, read about this Uruguay villa.