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Ultimate Villa Vacations: Showtime

Compiled by Lori Bryan, Jennifer Hall, Michael Schulze, and Oliver Slosser

A couple travels from Houston to Miami for a weeklong shopping and yachting trip during the annual Art Basel Miami Beach show in December.

Providers. Air travel by Flight Options (877.?703.2348, www.flightoptions.com); yacht charter by Fraser Yachts Worldwide (954.463.0600, www.fraser?yachts.com); villa available through Villazzo (305.777.0146, www??.villazzo.com).

Getting There. A sedan sent by private-aviation firm Flight Options transports the couple to George Bush International Airport. ?They have purchased a one-sixteenth share in a Hawker 400XP light jet, which flies from Houston to Miami International Airport in about 2.5 hours. The round-trip fare of roughly $14,500 is in addition to the $412,500 cost of the share (which also requires a monthly management fee of about $6,900). From the Miami airport, a Villazzo concierge and bellman take the couple in a courtesy limousine to their villa on Palm Island, about 20 minutes away.

Villa. VillaHotel Contenta on Biscayne Bay is “the best vacation property to suit the couple’s leisure and cultural itinerary,” says Villazzo head concierge Rodrigo Figueroa. “It is located between downtown and South Beach, where art, fun, and beach come together.” Completed in 2002, the 11,000-square-foot, Spanish Colonial estate rents for at least $85,000 per week. The price includes round-trip limousine transfers, concierge service, housekeeping, and other hotel-style amenities. Contenta has six bedrooms (each with a unique theme) plus a movie theater, a bar, and a lounge with a grand piano. Outside, “a floating deck, a dining terrace with bar, a 130-foot heated pool with Jacuzzi, a swim-in grotto, and a waterfall are just some of the garden’s features,” says concierge Imane Gamany. The villa also has its own dock, which “can accommodate large yachts,” adds Villazzo president Thierry Morali. “Super­yachts can be moored at the Miami Beach Marina, which is no more than 5 or 10 minutes from the house.”

Experience. On day one of the couple’s stay, a driver takes them to the Miami Design District, where they begin their “journey of amazement and appreciation of the art world,” says Figueroa. “We suggest they visit [contemporary art galleries such as] the Rubell Family Collection, the Mar­gulies Collection at the Warehouse, and the Moore Space.” The next day, after a midday meal—“lunch at the DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, is a must,” says Figueroa—the two collectors dress for ?Vernissage, the invitation-only opening-night fete at Art Basel Miami Beach (212.627.1654, www.artbaselmiamibeach.com), where each year more than 200 top galleries offer works by noteworthy artists. Over the next few days, the couple entertain fellow collectors at the villa and on their chartered yacht, Sojourn, a 130-foot vessel built by Gambol Industries in 1999, refitted in 2007, and offered by Fraser Yachts Worldwide for about $90,000 for the week. “With four staterooms, this yacht allows our couple to take along six additional guests overnight,” notes Fraser charter director Lania Rittenhouse. From Miami, she suggests an overnight cruise to the Bahamian islands of Bimini, located 45 miles away. For shorter trips, says Rittenhouse, “a leisurely cruise up the Intracoastal Waterway toward Fort Lauderdale is a delightful way to spend the day.”

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Photo by Ellen Jaskol
Photo by Vincent Zanzouri
Copyright by Adriaan Louw