‘Ohana – What Makes this Retreat-Like Home so Unique?


‘Ohana on Longboat Key is this magnificent enclave of structures that lives a like a private retreat, taking full advantage of sun, surf and sand.  Living on Florida’s gulf coast, finding homes that “live like a retreat” and offer some of the most spectacular water and sunset views is not uncommon yet, there is not another gulf front property quite like ‘Ohana.  So what makes ‘Ohana so unique?

Everything about this home was done with meticulous consideration, from the carefully designed landscaping with over 60 varieties of palms and tropical plants to the hand-selected cypress pillars, Douglas fir beams and white oak flooring.  Unlike most homes in southwest Florida, ‘Ohana’s architectural influences did not come from the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, or even from the Mediterranean region, nor did it come from inside the pages of Modern Architecture, but instead found its inspiration in Balinese and coastal South African resort architecture, combining aesthetic principles, use of natural materials, and extraordinary craftsmanship.

Michael Saunders describes ‘Ohana as pure magic and there couldn’t be a better description as this home magically blends the expanse of more than 2.5 acres and over 9,000 square feet of total living space with the warm, cozy feeling of a true family home. Consisting of three pavilions, and a separate beach house, family members and guests alike can bask in privacy, but at the same time seclusion does not become the only option, as the pavilions are connected and lead to indoor and outdoor living spaces designed to host large gatherings and celebrate family togetherness.

Click below to see the full brochure on ‘Ohana.

Just Listed – 721 Casey Key Rd

63It is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to Satori on Casey Key Beach, located at 721 Casey Key Road. This rarely available gulf-side home with boating access on the bay was newly constructed and completed in 2013, and certainly no detail was overlooked.

When you first walk into the home, you are immediately captured by the serene view of the pool and the Gulf waters beyond. Then the dark hardwood catches your eye and you realize it is a very handsome contrast to the natural French bone tile that lines the main floor. With the addition of white beamed ceilings to a home that was designed to relish natural light, everything becomes and feels completely balanced.

As you continue through the home, you notice that the amenities seem to be exactly what everyone is looking for in a gulf-side residence, from bonus rooms, the four spacious ensuite bedrooms and elevator that goes up to the attic that can be used for more than just storage, to the beautiful gulf-side pool, Zen-like gardens, and the private lounging deck that beckons you to sit back and relax.  Additionally, the home has many “smart house” features, including the lighting, AV systems, and thermostat controls that can be accessed remotely through a mobile application.

Sitting area in the master suite

Sitting area in the master suite

However, the master suite is really where you will find your respite, as it was designed to make you feel like you are in a luxurious spa/resort many worlds away. The expansive ensuite features a generous sitting area with fireplace, a kitchenette and Miele® beverage center, his and her closets with granite counters and Swarovski® pulls, and two terraces; then everything is ultimately brought together by stunning views of the Gulf.

This home is an exciting and rare opportunity to own new construction on prestigious Casey Key and to experience why residents call this 8-mile barrier island home.




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Just Listed ~ 3920 Casey Key Road

Back exterior

Back exterior of 3920 Casey Key Road.

I would like to introduce one of my newest listings at 3920 Casey Key; a home that is not only just a great value, but one that captures the beauty of bayfront living.

Outdoor living area with outdoor kitchen and ample seating

Outdoor living area with outdoor kitchen and ample seating

The moment you walk in the door, the first thing that grabs your attention is the remarkable, expansive view of Little Sarasota Bay.  The custom designed open plan was created to blend the stunning scenery with the ideal space for family living and within the past few years, this very concept transcended to the outdoor living area that is perfect for entertaining or for lounging poolside and taking in the bay views; allowing you to live the island experience.


Private deck outside of the master suite

Private deck outside of the master suite

The spacious master suite, also taking full advantage of the water views, has the entire upper level all to itself and includes an oversized spa tub and private deck, giving you your own tranquil sanctuary.

This property also has deeded access to the wide beach of Casey Key and with easy access to Blackburn Point, you can be off the island in minutes and only a short drive away from the historic Town of Venice or the cultural mecca of downtown Sarasota.

Come and see why residents think Casey Key is a special place to call home.

Ringling ~ Named a Top Florida Attraction

The Ringling Courtyard, courtesy of USA Today

The Ringling Courtyard, courtesy of USA Today

Sarasota has made yet another Top 10 list; this time published by USA Today® and this time the accolade goes to the very prestigious Ringling.  The newspaper’s “Best Florida Attraction” was compiled by readers and local experts who handpicked the attractions and gave the number 2 spot to the museum. The top spot went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is home to Dolphin Tale movie star Winter, the dolphin that swims with a prosthetic tail (and really, how can anyone compete against such a wonderful creature?)

The expansive Ringling estate on Sarasota Bay was the home of circus icons John and Mable Ringling and includes their Ca d’Zan mansion, Mabel’s Rose Garden, the Museum of Art (described as having a “Louvre-worthy collection”), the Circus Museum, and the historic Asolo Theater. The Ringling’s landscaping and circus history is what led readers to elect it to the No. 2 spot, beating out the Historical District of the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine and the “happiest place on earth,” Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Other attractions making the list include Everglades Holiday Park, the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg and seashells on Sanibel Island.

The Arts are Alive in Sarasota and Venice

Picture courtesy of ArtFestival.com (2014)

Picture courtesy of ArtFestival.com (2014)

Here in southwest Florida it isn’t always about the sun, sand, and surf (especially when the north likes to share a taste of the artic chill with us).   Our beautiful slice of heaven is also abundant with culture and art and fantastic venues in which to enjoy it all.  If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend (January 25th – 26th) and you love art and crafts, here are some wonderful options for you.

St. Armands Circle will be holding its 11th Annual Art Festival.  Tucked just off of the mainland, St. Armands Circle is a charming circle of fine shops and elegant dining that has earned worldwide notoriety.  This art festival makes Sunshine Artist Magazine’s list of top art shows in the country and is not to be missed.  Festival-goers can enjoy meeting and visiting with some of the nation’s best artists and view their one-of-a-kind craft from unique jewelry and sculptures to contemporary paintings.  For more information on this festival, click here.

If you are looking for something a little more “crafty” then the 7th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival in downtown Venice may be more your speed.  Set up on Miami Avenue, patrons can browse and purchase a wide variety of ceramics, jewelry, stained glass, metal works and much more. The Green Market offers live flora, freshly popped kettle corn, gourmet spices, and sauces. Meet and visit with some of the nation’s best crafters and stroll through the quaint streets of Venice full of historic charm and beauty.  For more details on this festival, please click here.

2013 Sarasota County Real Estate Ends on a High Note

SARThe Sarasota Association of Realtors® just released the 2013 sales numbers and Sarasota County continued the trend it started early in the year and closed out 2013 with a bang!  I thought I would share some of the year’s highlights with you.

  • For all of 2013, Sarasota County recorded the second highest number of sales ever tracked in the MLS system at 11,184. That is an 8.8% increase over 2012 residential sales.
  • Single family home prices went up 15.1% over 2012 and residential condo prices went up 10.2%
  • Single family, 12-month rolling median prices increased 19.2% and residential condo 12-month median price increased 10.1% over last year’s numbers.
  • While 2013 closed out the year with a 10-month high in inventory of properties for sale at 4,417; July 2013 saw inventory dip to its lowest point in nearly a decade at 3,747.
  • The percentage of sales that were bank-owned or short sales fell from 30.8% in 2012 to 23.3% in 2013.

With such an historic year in real estate, what are we to expect in 2014?  Association President, Peter Crowley says “While no one has a crystal ball, there has been a clear trend in recent years of a mild drop off in January sales, followed by higher sales in February, March, April and May,” said Crowley. “Last year we experienced an amazing spring boom. So, if historic trends continue, 2014 could be another great year in Sarasota County real estate.”

Click here to read the full press release

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Siesta Key – A “Bucket List” Beach

(Photo: Robert S. Donovan via flickr/CC Attribution/Share Alike)

(Photo: Robert S. Donovan via flickr/CC Attribution/Share Alike)

It’s no secret that Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach was declared the #1 beach in America by coastal expert “Dr. Beach” Stephen Leatherman.  But when you think of fabulous beaches in exotic locations like Bora Bora, St. Tropez, and Seychelles, do you consider adding Siesta Key to that list?

SmarterTravel® freelance writer, Jamie Moore thinks so.  She lists our very own Siesta Key beach as one of ten beaches in the world that “should be on your bucket list.” She states that what sets Siesta Key beach apart from most beaches is the texture of its white-powder sand and its expanse being ideal for beach athletics and beachcombing.  She also names the Sunday evening drum circle and sand-sculpting contests as the “hidden gems” that you don’t want to miss.

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Longboat Key – Where Dreams Really are For Sale



‘Ohana continues to garner attention, not only from local writers and photographers, but from real estate enthusiasts worldwide and even a TV crew from Qatar.  And contrary to what many may believe, it’s not just the price tag that is making people take notice.

As Robert Plunket, contributing writer with the Longboat Key Observer described, ‘Ohana gives us a sneak peek at Sarasota’s future!  With its exquisite features from the simple and elegant architecture to the meticulously designed tropical landscape, this magnificent property far surpasses the Gulf front, Mediterranean-style mansions we have become accustomed to.  The unique design and exotic, resort-like feel of ‘Ohana really puts Sarasota/Manatee on the radar of the world’s wealthiest and raises the bar for those seeking this type property who would have normally begun their search in Naples or Palm Beach.

Just Listed – 6633 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key

It is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to Ohana, an extraordinary property located on the pristine beaches of Longboat Key, Florida.  Highly acclaimed architect, Guy Peterson, master builder Michael Walker, and world renowned landscape architect, Raymond Jungles pooled together their elite talents to create a tropical masterpiece designed to embrace the true spirit of family.

I could go on all day describing every fascinating detail, large and small, of this enclave of organic structures and the images captured by the camera will undoubtedly take your breath away.  However, I feel that Nick Churton of our London office, Mayfair International Realty, really conveyed the essence of this home best.  He said that to truly understand Ohana, you must do more than just see the pictures, but instead go to Ohana to understand how it feels, from the way the coral stone and smooth white oak feel beneath your feet to how the details of the materials used seem to “sing” in perfect harmony.

Ohana is a remarkable inspired blend of coastal South Africa and southern Indonesia, with a little of the Hawaiian islands sprinkled on top and is ready to whisk you away to the serenity of your own private, oasis-like retreat.  Please enjoy learning more about this uniquely beautiful property by watching the video below.

321 Casey Key Road For Sale

Direct beach front, just outside your door.

Direct beach front, just outside your door.

There is something so wonderfully appealing about having a white sandy beach as your backyard…literally.  One of my newest listings on Casey Key is this adorable beach cottage with direct beach front. Just on the other side of the screened lanai awaits the warm Florida sun, your own private beach and the inviting waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  The home has been updated throughout yet the cozy and cheerful feeling of an Old Florida beach cottage has been kept intact.

Offered at $1,299,000 and with a consistent rental history, this home just might be the perfect spot to cast all your cares away!