Three Beautiful Vacation Homes from Local Families

Vacation Home Napa

Maui Magic

Vacation Home Maui

OWNERS Maria and Tony Crossley of Corte Madera

LOCATION Wailea Beach, Maui

Vacation Home Maui

SETTING An oceanfront penthouse at the 11-acre private resort Wailea Beach Villas overlooking a crescent beach of golden sand

DISTANCE FROM MARIN 5 hours by plane

LAYOUT 2,500-square-foot three-bedroom, three-bath with wraparound lanai

WHY HERE In 2001, the Crossley family decided to forgo their annual tradition of a chilly Christmas in England and headed to Maui, unsure if they would like warm weather over the holidays. “It ended up being the best thing ever,” Maria says with a laugh. After falling in love with the area and staying at Grand Wailea for several years, they bought a Wailea Beach Villas penthouse unit next door, based on a drawing. Maria, her husband, Tony, and their two kids have been enjoying the beach, scuba diving, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, biking and hiking lifestyle on Maui ever since.

Vacation Home Maui

DESIGN “What sold us was the fact it was a corner unit with a large wraparound lanai with amazing views of the ocean and Haleakala,” Maria says. “I still gasp when I enter the front door and see the ocean view beyond the living area. We love the open contemporary design and high ceilings. The floor-to-ceiling windows slide back into the wall on either side, creating a beautiful open space. It’s really light and bright.”

DETAILS Maria, who owned the English sweater retail shop The Clever Shepherd in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square for many years, took on the challenge of interior design, shipping high-end contemporary furniture from McGuire and other showrooms in San Francisco. “Beautiful finishes include solid mahogany doors, travertine floors in the common area, granite in bathrooms and kitchen, and top-notch kitchen appliances from brands like Thermador, Bosch, and Gaggenau, and two Subzero refrigerators.”

FAVORITE ELEMENTS “The property has an adult pool right on the oceanfront, so you can sit and read and watch the whales and people come and go,” Maria says. “Also, you can walk to everything — beaches, restaurants, shopping; sometimes we go for days without ever getting in a car.”

Vacation Home Maui

ADDED BONUS The purchase of their penthouse included membership to the Grand Wailea Resort and use of the pool facilities, gym, and spa. And since the property is in the Destination Residences Hawaii rental pool, they can rent it out when they are not using it.

PERFECT DAY “What’s nice about Wailea is the coastal path,” Maria says. “We sometimes joke, ‘Are we going to go left or right today?’ We wander down for breakfast at 5 Palms or head to Secret Beach. We kayak and paddleboard right out front of our place, as the beach is really safe, with no strong undertow. We like to go to Andaz for appetizers and cocktails at sunset, Monkey Pod for mango mai tais and Spago at the Four Seasons for dinner. That’s the beauty of it. It’s all right there.”

Into the Woods

Vacation Home Tahoe

OWNERS Amanda and Vince Hoenigman of Belvedere

LOCATION Homewood, Lake Tahoe

Vacation Home Tahoe

SETTING A secluded woodland property on the west shore of Lake Tahoe

DISTANCE FROM MARIN 3 hours and 15 minutes

LAYOUT A 5,000-square-foot main house with six bedrooms, 5.5 baths and a one-bedroom guesthouse with a twin-bed loft

WHY HERE The Hoenigman family bought this stunning property three years ago and finished remodeling it in summer 2015. “It has everything we want in a year-round vacation home,” Amanda says. “Skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking, biking, boating and beaches in the summer. And it’s so easy to get here from Belvedere. It’s a wonderful place to spend time with multiple generations of family and friends.” Homewood not only has great access to the lake for summertime activities but also has its own small but fun ski resort.

Vacation Home Tahoe

DESIGN The four-story mountain home has something for everyone, including a grandparent suite on the bottom floor, family game room, gorgeous master suite, guest rooms and a playroom and bunk room for the kids. Amanda describes the interior as industrial rustic: “We have reclaimed ceilings and wood elements, along with a lot of metalwork and cut pipe hardware.” The Hoenigmans worked closely with San Francisco firm Artistic Designs for Living, and artist Jim Misner lent his creative touch in the lightning department. “He found old materials to make unique light fixtures like an upside-down antique ski gurney for the dining room, minnow baskets in the kitchen and magnifying lenses in the game room,” Amanda says.

DETAILS “My favorite thing is the guesthouse’s truss roof,” says Vince. “I really wanted to build a true timber-framed building with big wood beams and no nails, but it’s hard to do with earthquake codes and heavy snow loads. We were able to build it with massive wood trusses so the true structure is exposed. It feels like a bell tower up in the loft when you’re looking through the framework, and it has great views of the aspen trees.”

FAVORITE ELEMENTS “I love the painting of the four stars in the game room by Blair Bradshaw,” Amanda says. “And the old ski lift, which we converted into a bench that sits on the deck of the main house and overlooks the creek.”

Vacation Home Tahoe

ADDED BONUS “Our property abuts the Homewood Ski Resort so it’s ski-in, ski-out,” says Vince. “And the national forest is our backyard, so no one can build behind us. It’s totally secluded yet just two blocks from the lake.” Amanda adds, “Homewood is a down-to-earth, tight-knit community. We love all the neighbors. We won the lottery on this spot.”

PERFECT DAY “It’s nice to begin the day on the boat and then hike the Rubicon Trail, which starts along the water, so there are beautiful lake views from the moment you take your first step,” Amanda says. “Later, we’ll head to the beach and go kayaking or stand-up paddling, and then walk to the West Shore Cafe, where we can sit on the deck and enjoy great food and beautiful views. Back at the house, it’s fun to roast marshmallows over the fire pit and make s’mores and just hang out with the family.”

Wine Country Wonder

Vacation Home Napa

OWNER Tracy McLaughlin of Ross

LOCATION St. Helena, Napa Valley

SETTING A private estate on the Napa Valley floor surrounded by acres of vineyards and sweeping mountain views

DISTANCE FROM MARIN 1 hour and 20 minutes

Vacation Home Napa

LAYOUT 5,500-square-foot, four-bedroom main house and two-bedroom detached guesthouse with living room and kitchen, all on a level acre with its own chardonnay grapes

WHY HERE McLaughin, a Ross native and present-day resident, has owned second homes in both Aspen and Lake Tahoe but concluded that with her three children’s busy schedules and lives, “it’s very hard to mobilize our family when a plane ride or long car drive is involved.” She adds, “I bought a place that I knew my three children could easily drive to and bring their friends. The setting, warmer weather, and agricultural aspect of the valley are so different from Marin, yet so easily accessible by car, which makes for an ideal second home location.”

DESIGN As a top real estate agent in Marin County, McLaughlin has seen every style of house imaginable and knew immediately this was the place for her and her children. “It’s the best layout I have seen for new construction in this type of environment,” she says. “The site placement, scale, simple architecture, floor plan, and perfectly executed indoor/outdoor living are really hard for most developers to get right.” The house was developed by Millie Froeb of Tiburon, with Kari Cusack, also from Tiburon, designing the interiors. Landscaping was done by Michael Yandle. “I see so many houses in all price ranges, and this house and property just spoke to me,” McLaughlin adds. “It was designed for cooking and entertaining — basically for the celebration of family and friends. It’s the first home that I have owned where the kitchen taps me on the shoulder and really inspires me to cook.”

Vacation Home Napa

DETAILS “The heart of the house is a grand scale, with 18-foot ceilings and tall walls of glass that recede into the walls, literally bringing the outdoors in,” McLaughlin says. “When you walk inside, you look straight out over the pool and into the vineyards and surrounding mountain ranges. It’s just spectacular. Millie kept it very simple inside, selecting classic, timeless materials with a modern application. Your eyes are not pulled by the house interior but by this incredible setting. Each bathroom is en suite, giving me the ability to have six couples stay for a weekend with their own sense of space and privacy. It’s also a very recreational space with a pool, spa, bocce court and the unique experience of walking out into your own vineyards with a glass of wine.”

FAVORITE ELEMENTS “There’s a very limited number of properties in this area. I love the borrowed landscape that I get to enjoy. Duckhorn Vineyards is just down the lane. And the charming Wine Country Inn is right next door. There’s also a sense of authentic country ‘funk,’ as you’ll find an old red cabin where someone has lived for 45 years next to a beautiful vineyard estate. I like that there’s some diversity and like the eclectic nature of the neighborhood. It’s an agricultural community that truly blends the old with the new.”

Vacation Home Napa

ADDED BONUS “We just planted chardonnay grapes. I know zero about the wine business but thought that it would be fun to learn something new. I’ll leave it to the children to come up with a creative name.”

PERFECT DAY “Some of the finest restaurants and wineries are right in St. Helena and we can walk into town for dinner. An ideal evening starts with a glass of champagne at Auberge for sunset; then we head over for dinner at Press, a local favorite.”

This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Home Sweet Second Home”.

Anne Wycoff

Ann Wycoff is a travel and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in San Diego Magazine, Coastal Living, Modern Luxury, and many more. She lives in Encinitas, CA with her husband and daughter, and believes in traveling with a purpose.