By Helen Crooks
MAGINE a lifestyle that allows you to wake up every day to amazing views of the ocean, a lifestyle that offers you the chance to cocoon yourself in luxury while at the same time allowing you the opportunity to take a brief walk to nearby restaurants for a coffee or meal.
It is the kind of lifestyle that is coveted by the rich and famous, who have the means to fund a way of life that simply cannot be beaten.
Imagine, then, if there was a small, intimate complex of luxury apartments in Port Elizabeth where such a lifestyle not only exists but which is also relatively affordable when compared to the cost of owning property in similar apartment blocks around the world.
Okay, PE may not be Sydney, Miami or London, where there are designer waterfront apartments with stunning views but then it does offer a slower pace of life and, especially in the latter case, far better weather.
The designer complex in question is The Bay which was completed in 2006 with a very definite vision in mind by Russel Dakin. It was to be up-market with commanding views, and very, very different from your average beachside apartment.
He achieved this aim by erecting a complex on the corner of Marine Drive and Scarborough Street limiting accommodation in the seven floor development to just six units, with two of these units sharing a floor to make them truly exceptional dwellings.
The moment you arrive at The Bay you realise that you have stepped into a very different world. Security is at a premium and access to the ground floor level is fingerprint controlled.
A modern, tiled entrance hall leads pasts locked doors which conceal the complex’s garages and leads to the lift which gives direct access into each of the units: there’s a certain movie-like feeling to stepping out of the lift and straight into an apartment with absolutely breathtaking views over Algoa Bay.
Safely in the unit, doors close so that you wouldn’t know that the lift was even there. A compact CCTV camera is positioned next to this door.
Unit five at The Bay is one of those hen’s teeth properties which rarely, if ever, come onto the market. It’s the kind of property which you hand down from generation to generation.
But sadly in this case, the younger generation has opted for a new life in Australia and now mom and dad are set to follow. So, with a heavy heart, they are selling their double storey dream which shares level six with the penthouse apartment.
Just as the whole complex is designer orientated, with sweeping curves of the balconies giving the complex grace and elegance, so too is this unit, with the interior being designed from scratch by its first owners, who are also the current sellers.
The tiled entrance leads onto the beech-wood floored open plan lounge and formal dining room which share a huge balcony with folding glass windows which protect it from PE’s at times unpredictable elements. There’s a built-in gas braai, and also two ceiling heaters but the owner says this apartment has been so well-designed that they rarely need to be used. Indeed, the whole unit is so cool in summer and warm in winter that air conditioners or heaters simply are not required.
To the side of the dining area there’s a modern beech-wood kitchen with all the wood grain flowing horizontally to echo the theme of the horizon which can be seen from almost every part of the property. The kitchen has a separate scullery with an adjacent laundry-room which, featuring underfloor heating, can double up as a drying room on wet or cold days.
But back to that amazing living accommodation.
To the right of the formal dining area there’s an intimate study nook leading onto yet another balcony which makes a perfect sunroom, and which again has those awesome views over Algoa Bay.
There’s also a separate TV area, but perhaps the most impressive feature of this open-plan living area, is the spiral staircase, which is an art work in itself, and which leads to the second floor.
On the second floor there’s more of the floor to ceiling glass which makes the most of the view and which, surprisingly, offers a complete sense of security to people who don’t enjoy heights.
Second floor accommodation comprises a spacious artist’s studio, two bedrooms, again with balconies overlooking the sea, and a modern bathroom. There’s also tons of storage space, with the wooden theme continuing in the ample built-in cupboards.
But, as they say, that is not all. Back on the ground floor, to the left of the entrance hall, there’s a wood-paneled wall which is so well-designed that you do not realise that there is a door which leads into a large study/library.
The accommodation is completed with the master suite, which in itself is a dream come true with the en-suite bathroom once again taking full advantage of the views over Algoa Bay. This is the kind of room that allows you to almost sleep in the clouds, and wake up to a lifestyle to be seriously envied.
The house is on the market with Pam Golding Properties.