WRITTEN BY: Jeri Garrett, ASID
AN ARCHITECTURAL ICON
The Sapphire towers over all other buildings on South Padre Island. In fact, it is the tallest building in all of South Texas. Easily seen from miles away, and well before crossing the Laguna Madre Bay, this masterpiece is a testimony to beachfront luxury Texas style – where everything is bigger and better. It is an architectural statement that has become an icon symbolizing grand design. At night, with the lights on, the twin towers have a mesmerizing glow that replicates the brilliant sapphire color of the gulf waters.
Enter through the revolving lobby doors, and your experience will rival the best hotel in any city in the world. Spacious and well-appointed, the public area sets a tone that reflects the best in design while recognizing the casual beachfront location. The contemporary style achieves simplicity and minimalism, but maintains visual excitement with rich textures such as natural stone materials, glass, mirrors, metals and exotic woods. Ethereal fabrics grace the windows and carefully designed custom furnishings and art pieces mimic the cool aqua hues of the gulf waters. The space accomplishes a rare combination of being both stunning and inviting.
The Sapphire is a relatively new building. Construction began in 2006 and occupancy began in 2009. The residences are being offered for sale by IBC bank and Strategyst. IBC is one of the most reputable financial institutions in Texas, giving buyers an unmatched level of quality assurance and peace of mind. Strategyst is one of the leading sales organizations in the country.
WORLD CLASS AMENITIES
From the beginning, it was obvious to island residents that the Sapphire would be the best of the best. The amenities are not only the best in south Texas, but could compete with luxury properties anywhere. There is a full service day spa. O.k. ladies, we know this would be enough to make you happy. But there is more, of course.
Residents can cool off in one of two enormous swimming pools, or relax on the pool deck in a cabana. The beautifully landscaped outdoor areas enhance the experience. There is also a state of the art fitness center. For entertaining, there is a private movie theater and private wine room. One of the ideas I liked best is the teen game room. Finally there is a place for the younger crowd to gather and “hang out.”
The Pearl Hotel and Restaurant next door to Sapphire is perfect for family dining and an evening away from the kitchen or for drinks by the pool. The Pearl is also a convenient place to accommodate extra guests or even for such events as weddings and family reunions.
Whether you care to spend the day at the spa, beach, or pool, fishing for reds and trout in the Laguna Madre or offshore for marlin and sails, or golfing at the South Padre Island Golf Course (only 20 minutes away), the Sapphire at South Padre offers the best in amenities and activities to support a lifestyle worthy of paradise.
Eleven floor plans give prospective buyers from singles to families a variety of options. Every plan is generously sized, with choices of two to four bedrooms. Ten-foot ceilings add to the sense of spaciousness. The plans feature amazing views of South Padre’s white sand beaches. Many plans also span the building with both eastern views of the Gulf of Mexico as well as western views across the Laguna Madre. From sunrise to sunset, there is always an incredible vista.
The interior finishing of these residences is excellent. There are four designer created interior finish combinations featuring such sought after materials as granite countertops and ceramic tile floors. Cabinet finishes include bird’s-eye maple, bamboo, and cherry. Appliances are stainless steel and plumbing fixtures are brushed nickel. For each residence, paint, tile and cabinetry finishes have been coordinated for an overall cohesiveness. All the wood trim and doors have been painted a neutral off-white color.
Living areas are dominated by the Gulf of Mexico view and one cannot help but appreciate the magnificence of the natural surroundings. There is something both calming and inspiring about being seaside. Living and kitchen spaces are combined to maximize ease of entertaining. Kitchens are well designed with ample work surfaces and most have islands. And a summer kitchen overlooking the Laguna Madre is included in with residences.
Bedrooms are large with plenty of space for king size beds. Some second bedrooms easily accommodate two queen beds. The baths are all amply sized as well– no low ceilings and cramped spaces here. Master baths have whirlpools, separate showers and double sink vanities. There is plenty of room for two people without bumping elbows. The bane of many condominiums, even luxury ones, is a lack of storage. At the Sapphire, large walk-in master closets rival those of many single-family homes. Additional bedrooms have large closets and there is a lot of storage in the laundry room and owner’s closet as well.
You have to see this place! With that in mind, Designer’s Showroom and Cactus Flower Interiors were invited to decorate a model residence. When Clay Anthony, with Strategyst, called to ask if we would be interested, Julie Edelstein-Best and I were only too happy to participate. The goal is to help potential buyers visualize the finished home. We also offer buyers a custom designed furnishings package, helping them to eliminate the sometimes daunting task of furnishing a home. As always, we started the design process with space planning. We designed a furniture layout we felt would best fit the needs of most residents, and then started selecting the furniture.
The living room selections reflect the contemporary architecture of the building with sleek, but comfortable, seating. American Leather swivel chairs, in bronze, and a taupe sofa by Massoud are augmented by ottomans. The kitchen island will accommodate four counter stools. An interesting collection of textures in this space includes the upholstered sofa, leather chairs, lime trapunto quilted ottomans, silver leaf tables and a really fun shaggy area rug beneath the cocktail table. Hunter Douglas screen shades on the windows cut the glare in the early mornings while maintaining the view, and provide privacy in the evenings. The room comes alive with the addition of a large colorful abstract art piece. Add the beach view and this room is an exceedingly pleasant place to be.
We chose a brand new king bedroom set from the Compositions collection by Schnadig for the master bedroom. It’s elegant, highly detailed and even practical. The glass tops on the nightstands are very useful and the large dresser adds storage beautifully. In the window, an opaque Duette shade, in soft gold fleck material, provides both privacy and light-dimming for those “sleep in” mornings.
In the second bedroom, we put two queen beds. Many of our clients want this option for sleeping flexibility and the oversize bedroom has plenty of space for the two beds. The upholstered platform beds were designed and custom made by Cactus Flower. They are covered in what appears to be a linen fabric but is actually a high quality vinyl that is comfortable and ever so practical!
Art and accessories are the most fun part of design. Pieces were selected from both company’s stores and placed by the design team. Most notable though are three pieces provided by local artists. Dinah Bowman loaned us one of her ever popular “stringers” with handmade paper background. Sandy Margret let us hang a fabulous dolphin print. Yes, she inks and prints the actual mahi mahi. We also placed one of her taxidermy pieces (a flounder on a very unusual plaque background). Sandy’s studio and gallery is at Sea Ranch and definitely worth stopping by to see her unique creations.
MAKE IT YOURS
The only thing that could be more thrilling than designing the model for the Sapphire would be to own one of these properties. As I researched for this article, I was struck by how affordable luxury can be. With most square foot prices in the low to mid $300, the Sapphire offers an unparalleled value well below the cost of considerably less desirable properties in other areas.
Helping make ownership possible, IBC bank is strongly committed to the Sapphire and to the valley. With the IBC name behind this project, buyers are provided with an additional level of confidence. Strategyst associates Clay Anthony and Brenda Moreno, and an unrivaled team of real estate sales professionals, are eager to share the Sapphire opportunity.
The Sapphire is ideal, the offering is unmatched and the luxury of a resort lifestyle on the Island’s most private and protected beaches are all reasons to own a home here.
Make it your own!