This is a shiny architectural showpiece that looks literally ready for takeoff.
We just had so much fun staying at Villa Amanzi. We were blown away by how beautifully its unusual modern design fits with the tropical setting. On seeing the villa for the first time, we could just imagine this scenario: A man meets his architect at a bar to discuss plans for a new villa. The man orders a drink: "I'd like it on the rocks, please!" The architect dutifully executes this request, et voila! Amanzi is born. But this was no accident, of course. Amanzi's design takes full advantage of the property's unusual natural features and does not impose – less imaginative people might have simply blasted the rock out to make way for the villa. We enjoyed trying out all the high-tech bells and whistles such as the touch-screen control panel and were constantly surprised by all the fun little design details such as the two ‘windows’ on the swimming pool's bottom that formed funky blue 'skylights' to the floor below – one in the family room, the other above the balcony. Another plus was that all the electronic controls and buttons were clearly labelled and easy to use even for techno-phobes such as ourselves. In the end, however, nature won out as we delighted in listening to the crashing waves and birdsong, and watching in awe as the sunset skies turned the infinity pool into a luminous blaze of gold, pink and red.
All the architectural treats and the grand scales make this villa an unforgettable place: the gigantic boulders that extend into and actually form the villa's north wall; the sliding glass doors that completely disappear when opened – we were told these are the largest such doors ever made; the pool that juts out over the cliff; and for those who can't bear to be without their music for a second, even the pool has underwater speakers!
Considering how new the villa is (built in 2009), some sections of the outdoor wooden decking and paintwork were very worn. There's a lot of metal too and rust is already starting to appear in places. We think it will be quite a challenge to keep this villa in tip-top condition due to the choice of materials used. Whilst we were expecting modern and sleek, Amanzi was a little bit too austere for our taste. Some artwork and colourful pillows or textiles would go a long way to warm up these rooms and add more personality. Families with younger children will need to keep a close watch, since the rock walls look inviting for budding young mountaineers. And though most steep areas are protected by barriers there are a few places where little ones could find trouble. The staircases with no hand railings pose a challenge for the elderly and those with mobility problems.