June 16, 2013
This Mediterranean-style villa is so stunning that you actually gasp as you come upon it from Barataria Boulevard. A huge wrought iron gate swings silently open to admit visitors to a circular driveway covered by a porte cachere and set with a sparkling fountain.
When you enter the solid wooden doors, a magnificent double staircase welcomes you and draws your eyes upward.
“This is like a mini-resort,” commented the listing agent, Dorian Bennett, the broker for Dorian Bennett Sotheby’s International Realty. “You could move in here and never leave your home – everything you need is right here.”
Indeed, this home is like walking into a Disney resort. After being greeted by the two-story staircase, you can wind your way around to the great room with its wide-screen television, gas fireplace and distinctive green glass wet bar. There’s a convenient little powder room down here too.
A large kitchen with a granite counter top island and a cozy table with a window view of the pool is so inviting that visitors inevitable sit with the owners and enjoy a cup of coffee. The kitchen has all the requisite appliances which remain with the house – plus extras. There’s a second oven if you should ever need it for family dinners or entertaining your friends and ceramic floors from Mexico make for easy cleaning.
“All the things I like and learned about building houses, I put into my own home,” explained owner Vic Loraso, who is a real estate broker, appraiser and developer, “and you never need to worry about a thing - there’s plenty of security here also.”
This home is so big, it’s almost easy to get lost in it – and it would be actually nice to get yourself lost in the master suite. There’s plenty of space for dressing and the walk-in closets are to die for, but the high point is the master bathroom. It’s huge, with a relaxing spa tub built of green marble that looks like a Roman bath, separate commode, shower and plenty of mirrors.
Once you’ve admired the great room, commented on the gorgeous chandelier in the dining room – “this one is from Venice,” pointed out Loraso – and noted that the master suite requires absolutely no stairs to enter it, it’s time to explore the upstairs.
“Oh, what fun,” I said, as soon as I saw the game room with its jazzy red walls, pool table, foos ball table and television. “And what a view!”
The game room has a spacious wrap-around balcony and you can look down from it and see what a good time everyone is having swimming in the pool.
While the inside of this home is totally distinctive, the outside is where the fun begins!
There is a huge saltwater pool, surrounded by a gazebo for outside dining, a cabana for changing, a dry sauna, a wet steam room, a full kitchen and bath – and when you get tired of eating and lolling around the pool – an exercise room to work off the extra pounds.
“This is where we entertain lots of our friends,” said Jane Loraso. “They enjoy swimming and having a bite to eat – and just plain relaxing out here.”
This house has a total of 9,100 square feet, three central air and heat units, an attic fan and a central vacuum. There’s also a gas fireplace to warm up for your entertaining. The exterior contains a shed and parking for three or more cars. The house is under a termite contract and – although we always hope we’ll never need it – it comes with a 45kw natural gas generator in case of a hurricane.
“In addition to being like a mini-resort, the best thing about this home is that it’s in triple-mint condition,” said Bennett. “You could literally move right in and feel right at home.”