The 2013 Ultimate Home


Special Issue - Robb Report's 2013 ultimate home. Plus, test drive McLaren's new soul-stirring 12C Spider. Also, timeless retreat, classical lines for a contemporary villa.

From This Issue

An Italian Affair

Influenced by Tuscany’s rustic farmhouses and crafted from the finest European-sourced stone and timber, this contemporary Italian-inspired  estate in Southern California radiates splendor while still reflecting, with warmth and elegance, a couple’s love of traveling and hosting family and friends. The residence’s perfect marriage of grandness and intimacy persuaded our editors to pronounce the property […]

McLaren’s Web Rouser

The definition of a supercar has changed from one era to another in accordance with what has seemed super at different times. The term seems to have been coined in 1920 in an advertisement for the Ensign Six and its 6.7-liter straight-6 engine. Muscle cars of the 1960s and ’70s, including the Pontiac GTO and […]

Wheels: Lighter Force

While super storm Sandy was hammering the East Coast and drenching rains were merging Venice with the Adriatic Sea last fall, similar weather was pounding Morocco into mud. Downpours of biblical ferocity slashed sideways across this sliver of North Africa. Roads and bridges in the Atlas Mountains crumbled and tumbled into gorges. Village streets around […]

From the Editors: Divided Houses

A house, as the timeworn maxim states, is not always a home. For millennia, ruling families spared no expense on their vast dwellings, but these sovereign clans sought their true refuge in structures of another kind. Scrupulously balanced alliances and meticulously arranged marriages offered princes and their progeny the surest shelter from the political tempests that […]

The Robb Reader: Rande Gerber

When I go out, it’s always a great night,” says Rande Gerber, and who would doubt him? The former model (who is married to supermodel Cindy Crawford) has owned more than 30 nightclubs and restaurants, and this year he launched a new tequila brand with his friend George Clooney. Indeed, the party life is also […]

Home Electronics: Fab Fours

Last fall, the electronics giants Sony and LG debuted the first consumer televisions with 4K screen resolutions. The 84-inch TVs, which can display images of roughly 4,000 horizontal pixels, were soon followed by 4K models from Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba, all launched in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Offering four times […]

Wardrobe: Creativity Unbound

Though most well-dressed men are familiar with such signature Hermès pieces as the brand’s H-shaped belt buckle and elegantly patterned neckties, even the cognoscenti remained unaware of the French fashion house’s most exclusive service until very recently. Through a newly expanded bespoke program, clients can collaborate with the firm’s men’s artistic director, Véronique Nichanian, to […]

Vacation Homes: Sailing Points

Like many vacation-home communities, the new Limassol Marina in Cyprus offers homeowners direct access to a beach. But this $470 million development in the eastern Mediterranean presents an even more compelling perk for boat owners: the ability to step directly from your residence onto your yacht. Limassol Marina, which welcomed its first residents in January, […]

Spas: Off the Menu

At the Grand Del Mar, a sprawling 400-acre resort in suburban San Diego, the list of spa treatments spans six pages and more than 30 therapies. Guests can download the treatment menu from the property’s website in advance of their stay or find a copy in their room after checking into the resort. From Touch […]

Golf: Dialing for Distance

To golfers, the search for extra distance off the tee is a never-ending quest. Club manufacturers prey on this unquenchable desire for yardage, every few years tempting us with new technologies designed to add length and improve control. The club makers’ latest long-distance lure, the adjustable driver, actually debuted nearly a decade ago. But the […]

Sport: High-Wire Adventure

I am stuck in the “cat on a screen door” position, some 2,000 feet above British Columbia’s Conrad Icefield. A common mistake of rookie rock climbers, the pose has me flattened, spread eagle, against a smooth, 75-degree rock face, white knuckles gripping the steel cable from which my existence hangs. Glacial blue spires crack and […]

Jewelry: Art for Art’s Sake

Brooke Garber Neidich commands attention—not only because she cochairs the Whitney Museum of Amer­ican Art’s board of trustees and cofounded the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit organization devoted to children’s mental health, but also because she exudes a compelling personal style. On a recent afternoon at Barneys New York, dressed in simple black slacks and […]

Autos: Ruling Class

Audi evidently believes in the rule of three, which holds that it is best and most effective to present things in threes, whether they are animals in a fairy tale, clerics in a joke, or unalienable rights in a historic document. For the 2013 model year, Audi is offering new versions of three S models: […]

Watches: Industrial Artist

“As a collector myself, I became disillusioned as I discovered how much watch brands relied on outside suppliers to create their pieces,” says Fabien Lamarche, who founded a new boutique watch company, Julien Coudray 1518, on the principle that all the crafts essential to constructing a timepiece should be performed in-house. But unlike the many […]

Collectibles: Rich Brew

If you ever have a mid-20th-century house renovated and the contractor finds odd-looking old beer cans inside the walls, do not let the containers end up in the trash bin—or in the contractor’s possession. They could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. “The really high-grade beer cans turn up in the demolition of buildings,” […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar May 2013

Winemaking for William Ballentine Jr. has always been a family concern. He began his career tending vines owned by his father, who established Ballentine Vineyards at the foot of Napa’s Howell Mountain. The knowledge and experience he gained there—and through his work with other growers throughout the valley—now informs the wines of William Cole Vineyards, […]