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The estate lies high above the Pacific Ocean, on the Mexican coast, is set among vast coconut plantations. It was originally built as a cattle ranch at the start of the last century, but has meanwhile been transformed into the Cuixmala luxury paradise. Casa Arcadia, once acquired by Sir James Goldsmith, who went on to create a resort on the estate, enjoys a central place in the ensemble. New York designer Robert Couturier was called in to supervise the first renovation and it was he who gave the villa its Andalusian character.
Casa Arcadia is the hub of a de-luxe resort in Cuixmala on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Over the years, it has undergone numerous makeovers. The first was carried out by the New York designer, Robert Couturier, and more recently a number of extensions and pavilions, designed by Duccio Ermenegildo, were added to the basic structure – all bearing the owners’ personal stamp.
A major factor contributing to the overall ambience is the collection of art objects, especially the African statues and textiles, which add an ‘Out of Africa’ feel to the house. Further underscoring the African element, herds of zebra and antelope wander freely through the vast estate surrounding the villa. Yet it remains a typically Mexican dwelling – with antique and traditional furniture, Mayan textiles and vibrant Mexican colors.
The climate here is dry and hot, so many of the living areas are open and connected directly to the outdoor spaces. There are spectacular vistas of the surrounding countryside and the ocean from various parts of the villa. In addition, the estate has over five kilometers of private beach.
Life is lived in close contact with nature and you shouldn’t be surprised to be greeted in the early hours by a wild boar, busily tidying up the grass verge along the driveway. Evenings are spent mainly outdoors, to the accompaniment of the sounds of nature. The estate’s plantation is one of the few areas in the vicinity where jaguar, puma and ocelot still-hunt freely.
It will come as no surprise to learn that the swimming pool is a favorite place to hang out – as are the spa, massage area and Jacuzzi. Apart from the main house, Casa Arcadia comprises a detached bungalow containing the master suite, a bungalow for the children and large stables.
The owners are passionate about nature and have set up a foundation for its conservancy in this region of Mexico, intended to prevent further destruction and, if possible, restore blighted areas to their original state.
For the owners, time spent at their villa constitutes a real retreat from ‘civilisation’, particularly from London and Paris where they live. They spend their days here riding their horses to the farthest corners of the estate, often accompanied by a biologist from the foundation. During those expeditions they note ecological changes and observe the results of their organic farming activities.
The owners consider Casa Arcadia to be home. It is where they invite friends and relations from London, New York, Ibiza, Paris and Los Angeles. However, it is primarily a retreat where they are surrounded by their African and Mexican art.