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THE Travessa – Luxury Vacation Home

Custom Home

Many of our customers are surprised to see such interesting and expensive homes that we have designed for custom clients in Qiandao, pronounced Chee-An-Dow-Uh, translates to the Thousand Islands Lake, region of China. Qiandao lake is man-made and situated in a mountainous area offering stunning scenery. The luxurious, nearly 5600 sq. ft. vacation home we designed is approximately 150 kilometers outside the beautiful city of Hangzhou. Marco Polo described Hangzhou as “the city of heaven,” and “the most beautiful city in the world,” visited Hangzhou a number of times, I would not argue with him! The quaint towns nearby are filled with friendly, courteous people and small shops and terrific “country” restaurants.

The mountainous terrain offers stunning views every bit as beautiful as Lake Como or Lake Tahoe. Each vista is more breathtaking than the last. But mountainside properties present real challenges to large homes on lots as steep as a household staircase! The slope of the driveway, the location and size of the Garage, outdoor living and pool area has to be determined before the house can be designed. It’s why this home shows as one-story in places at the front and three-stories across the rear. The main body of the home could be no more than 60’ wide with the Master wing that flanks the elevated pool deck, where the lot contouring allowed more depth.

The entrance Foyer, Master Suite, Office with waiting area (a must for the wealthy business man) and bridge hall to the Guest Suite are all on the Upper, or Entry Level. The Dining Room on the Main level is the most interesting we’ve ever done. It’s under the Covered Entry but flanked by two open “Sun Gardens,” similar to a walk-out basement but with French doors on three sides. To the rear of the Dining, a row of double French doors open onto the pool and pool deck and simply a spectacular view.

The luxury homes we’ve designed for the well-to-do in China all contain both a Wok and Western Kitchen. In this case, the Western Kitchen looks upon the Family Room and the million dollar view. The Lower Level’s left side houses the home’s caretaker’s quarters, a game room and entertainment area and there is an Exercise Room and large Storage Area on the right side. In between, is the actual swimming pool!

We’re looking forward to design the next great house with such an unbelievable view and terrain!


  • 5 Bedrooms + Study
  • 5 Full Baths
  • 1 Half Bath

  • Living Area: 5598 sq. ft.
  • Total Area: 7432 sq. ft.

  • Width: 114’6”
  • Depth: 59’0”