Laden with boughs of tropical trees, a long gated drive unfurls a dramatic vista high above the Intracoastal Waterway, inspiring a sense of wonder as it begins the experience of discovering this expansive Ocean-to-Intracoastal haven on Manalapan's prestigious barrier island, just 20± minutes south of Palm Beach. This 15.65±-acre walled compound is a park-like botanical oasis joining two sublime Old Florida settings on South Ocean Boulevard - one on a 1,200±-foot stretch of dune-fringed Atlantic Ocean beachfront, the other spanning 1,300± feet on the Intracoastal Waterway at a bay-like expanse of the water, approximately half a mile wide. The centerpiece of the property is a large, elegant yet invitingly informal coral-clad main residence that brings the subtropical climate in through a series of loggias, open stairways, and balconies.
While the main features of the estate are undeniably breathtaking, the property's most mesmerizing quality is that of an Ocean-to-Intracoastal "private island" paradise in which the bisecting road magically disappears. This enchanting effect is the result of the residence comprising large wings on both the ocean and Intracoastal sides, joined by a unique and irreproducible 15±-foot-wide residential gallery that begins at ground level near the pool on the Intracoastal side and passes imperceptibly to a skylit foyer on the ocean side, denying the presence of the road above. This feature seamlessly "twins" the two sides of the compound, inspiring the original owners to name the property Gemini. Furthering the "roadless" effect, South Ocean Boulevard sits high on an elevated dune ridge above both sides of the estate, screened from the property below by both hidden walls and dense vegetation. Finally, completing the unique sense of seclusion, the ocean wing and guest cottages are the only oceanfront residential structures on this still-pristine stretch of the Atlantic Coast. There is nothing else remotely similar in all of Southeast Florida.
The story of this extraordinary property begins with the original home designed by architect Marion Sims Wyeth that was built in the 1940's for the Lambert pharmaceutical family and later became the winter retreat of Loel and Gloria Guinness. Now after a painstaking four-year collaboration of the current owners with noted Palm Beach architect Edson E. Dailey, completed in 2003, along with a total transformation of the property, the entire residence has been reconstructed and expanded to create a home as exquisite as it is well-engineered to withstand the elements. The centerpiece of the extensive compound, the 12-bedroom main residence includes separate guest quarters called the Ficus Wing. Also privately placed on the grounds are two four-bedroom beachside cottages, the seven-bedroom Mango House, the manager's house with four apartments, and manager's offices. Outfitted with commercial-grade systems, the main house also provides vast subterranean storage space with submarine-grade pneumatic doors.
Elegant with an effortless feel, the generously scaled residence has a warm tropical wood motif that blends with stone finishes such as the natural shell-stone columns and the coral stone that sheathes the entire façade as well as the walls in numerous rooms. Bringing the outdoors in is also a theme of the design. Many rooms open to lushly secluded oceanside loggias, while others, such as the indoor/outdoor pool room, lead to the stunning orchid loggia and grotto-like pool terrace, where tasteful fountains add to the spellbinding mood amid walls of tropical jungle greenery that reach toward the sky.
Created as a labor of love, Gemini's breathtaking grounds are a world-class Caribbean-themed botanical garden that seems decades old and provides the setting for outdoor recreation. On the oceanfront, the pristine beach is lined with reinforced dunes that also border the PGA-standard golf practice area. From sand-carpeted paths among the foliage, two passageways, one large enough for a golf cart, connect to the Intracoastal side where a dock and pier serve the shoreline, within convenient access of the navigational inlet, rebuilt with a mangrove-cloaked revetment giving Old Florida beauty as well as protection and privacy. Near the freshwater pond that creates a bird sanctuary, the sports complex features a regulation tennis court, half basketball court, playground, miniature golf course, and charming butterfly garden with large-scale model train. By the delightful Robinson Crusoe-style tree house are a spa and cold plunge pool.
The gardens themselves are a naturalistic wonder, landscaped with some 1,500 species of tropical trees and plants including over 120 species of palms, plus ancient cycads, epiphytes, ficus trees, ferns, orchids, bromeliads, and vines. Meticulously planned, the gardens are assembled with plants grouped according to their geography, ranging from various Caribbean islands to Central and South American regions.
The property is enormously versatile. It provides a beautiful setting for formal entertaining, but was also created with the delight and safety of children firmly in mind. Above all else, it is a complete escape of peace and beauty, a place one never has to leave, only 20± minutes from Palm Beach International Airport. For a buyer interested in the ultimate warm-weather retreat in the Continental United States, this is an opportunity that simply will not come again.
Introduced by a tree-canopied motor court, this understatedly elegant residence joins the Intracoastal and ocean sides in a masterful design for both large-scale entertaining and comfortable everyday living. There are 12 bedrooms, 12 full baths, 9 powder rooms, 2 complete changing rooms pool side one with large steam bath room, one complete ocean side changing room, and copious storage space in a total of 62,220± square feet - including 17,957± square feet on the basement level - part of the entire compound's grand total of 84,988± square feet which includes 33 bedrooms, 34 full baths, and 13 powder rooms. Select tropical wood finishes feature Honduran mahogany, pecky cypress, and anigre - all effectively used to give the spacious rooms an inviting ambiance. In the tropical Florida theme, natural coral, shell-stone, marble, and other fossil stone finishes are also in abundance. Tischler mahogany windows and exterior doors are fitted with impact-rated glass and retractable pocket screens. Commercial-grade amenities include the museum-quality climate-control systems, elaborate high-level security system, indoor/outdoor sound system, cell phone signal booster, and two elevators. The estate is capable of functioning self-sufficiently with nine propane tanks, gas pumps, and two generators that can power the entire compound.
Main Levels: Entered from the foyer on the Intracoastal side, the exquisite pool room creates a relaxing indoor/outdoor living space, appointed with a pecky cypress coffered ceiling and glassed with pocket doors that completely open to the spectacular pool terrace amid the jungle-like garden. By the pool, the orchid loggia doubles as an outdoor dining space, served by a tropical mahogany bar. Two changing rooms and a two-room gym are adjacent. Also viewing the pool, the gallery lounge with fireplace transitions into the ocean side, where the soaring atrium-like stair hall centers on an indoor palm garden. Entered through pocket doors, the comfortably elegant living room is lined with tall windows and French doors opening to a loggia and tropical garden framing the ocean view. Finished in Venetian plaster, the bay-windowed formal dining room gives versatility for intimate or large gatherings, and adjoins the casual dining room. French doors open to the idyllic dining loggia, with a pizza oven adjacent, in the midst of the picturesque beachside gardens. Connecting through a butler's pantry, the professional-standard chef's kitchen has mahogany-and-anigre cabinetry, granite counters, and custom hand-painted tiles depicting foliage of the gardens. Well planned with preparation and serving areas, the kitchen includes Traulsen and Sub-Zero refrigerators, an eight-burner Wolf range with double ovens, Thermador double ovens, warming drawers, and three Bosch dishwashers. In another wing are a study, family room, and bookcase-lined library.
Upper Level: Six of the seven bedrooms on this level are arranged in two complete and self-sufficient suites, very suitable for families, each with a wet bar, one also with a kitchenette. In the two-bedroom north suite, the main master bedroom opens to a loggia and captures romantic views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and treetops. Both the master bedroom and adjoining sitting room/bedroom have spa-style baths. Two custom-fitted wardrobe rooms complete the suite. The larger four-bedroom south suite feels almost like its own contained and fully functional living space. Three of the bedrooms have incredible elevated ocean views and balconies. The south suite master bedroom offers a dressing room and luxurious bath.
Lower Levels: Living quarters on the garden level provide three bedrooms with three baths and two kitchenettes. There are also two offices, two libraries, and an immense three-section wine room. Designed as a golf trophy room, a wood-paneled gallery leads to the video-equipped golf practice room. The basement areas also include a playroom, staff lounge with kitchenette, plus enormous climate-controlled storage and utility rooms.
Encompassed in the main residence, with its own outside entry, the private two-story Ficus Wing opens to loggias overlooking the pool terrace and Intracoastal Waterway. Along with two very large bedrooms, two full baths, and two powder rooms, the spacious floor-plan provides a living room, full kitchen, office/video conferencing room, family/media room, and game room.
ADDITIONAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS
On the south side of the property, this seven-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bath guest house is an exquisite Florida residence in its own right, offering three levels which include a living room, family/dining room, full kitchen, and playroom, plus a self-contained apartment with its own living room and kitchen.
North and South Ocean Cottages
In lush, individual beachside settings, the North and South Ocean Cottages each provide a living room, kitchen with dining area, four bedrooms, and four baths. The cottages were built contemporaneously with the main residence, reflecting the same materials and standards of construction.
Four separate living quarters include the main apartment with three bedrooms and two baths, another one-bedroom apartment, plus two studio apartments.
This well-equipped facility contains multiple offices and garage bays.
On South Ocean Boulevard in the tranquil oceanfront hamlet of Manalapan, Florida, Gemini is ideally located between Palm Beach to the north, and the very attractive and vibrant community of Delray Beach 15± minutes to the south. Manalapan residents have deeded club privileges at the Five-Diamond Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa.
Property Features Include: Waterfront, None, Central
Home Owners Assoc. Fee: $0
Built in: 2002
Approximate Square Feet:
Architectural Style: Mediterranean