Simply stellar defines the lifestyle of this luxurious, Spanish-inspired community in La Quinta California
Photography by Ethan Kaminsky and Jim Bartsch
Don and Nuala Steinke spend half the year living on a game preserve in Northern Idaho. For their winter home, the wide open spaces of Andalusia at Coral Mountain in La Quinta provide an irresistible draw: remote enough to inspire country-style living yet only a 10-minute drive to shops and restaurants.
The Steinkes chose Estrella (“star” in Spanish) — one of six models on three elevations that offer 36 diverse looks in the master-planned luxury community. Entering through the handcrafted iron gate into the serene interior courtyard reveals the charm of this 4,314-square-foot residence. Custom bronze metal entry doors, graceful archways and turrets, decorative wrought iron, and tile window borders evoke an atmosphere of Old World romanticism.
The Steinkes employed La Quinta-based designer Carol Adolph, along with Andalusia’s on-site design center, to put their personal stamp on interiors, which include a detached guest suite. The kitchen, great room, and covered patios provide ample space for entertaining. Off the dining room, a separate wine storage area showcases Nuala’s Waterford crystal collection. Twelve-foot-high, sliding-glass doors create a transparent threshold to the pool and patio, framing expansive fairway, lake, and mountain views.
The Steinkes are delighted with Andalusia’s picturesque location and vibrant lifestyle. “We’ve never lived anywhere where we have met so many really nice neighbors,” Don says. The community’s social scene includes cooking classes, wine tastings, jazz and martini parties, barbecues, holiday gatherings, and themed monthly soirées. A recent full-moon telescope lawn party is among Nuala’s favorite events.
Fitness enthusiasts take advantage of the activity-driven lifestyle, says Blake Haddock, Andalusia’s vice president of sales and marketing. Nuala plays tennis at the Racquet Club & Fitness Center, a world-class facility with nine lighted tennis courts (including two clay courts and one with stadium seating). Sixteen columns, which also serve as misters, line the four-lane, cross-shaped pool. Other amenities include a children’s wading pool, spa, full-service catering and event facilities, and state-of-the-art fitness center.
Golfers of all levels hone their skills on the first of two 18-hole Rees Jones championship courses, the renowned golf architect’s only design in the Coachella Valley (a second course will be developed soon). Hikers and bikers enjoy a scenic multipurpose trail that navigates Andalusia’s interior perimeter and passes over its Mediterranean-style entrance.
Known for its turbulent history and spectacular coastlines, the Andalusia region in southern Spain inspired this desert community. Principal planners for T.D. Desert Development traveled to the subtropical area on the Iberian Peninsula to gain a firsthand design perspective. What they returned with was a trenchant appreciation for the area’s vibrant culture and architecture. Throughout the La Quinta enclave, a rich palette of deep reds, greens, and golds pays homage to its Spanish influence. Serene fountains trickle in interior courtyards, brick-lined arched corridors provide cool passages; spiral columns and hand-painted stone mosaics lend an exotic touch.
The Alhambra-inspired clubhouse reflects this distinctive European aesthetic. Artwork, tapestries, hand-painted murals, and antique furnishings adorn the palatial structure. In the tradition of southern Spain, Tapas Restaurant invites unhurried dining and entertainment beneath exposed-wood beamed ceilings and wrought iron chandeliers. Opportunities for wining, dining, and relaxing also abound within several exterior courtyards.
Residents may take advantage of a full-service concierge/personal shopper program. Services range from grocery shopping and dog walking to home catering, airport transportation, and a jet charter service with Orange County-based Regency Air.
If Andalusia is missing anything, it’s night blight: that orange glow from city lights that obscures everything but the brightest stars.