By Carolyn Weber.

No resort would be complete without plenty of places to cut loose and play. HomeDestinations delivers on that score as well. Take the air-conditioned garage. "It doubles as an indoor gymnasium," says architect White. But its genesis was the need for air-conditioned storage.

The backyard features a putting green and a disappearing-edge pool that rivals ones found at landmark hotels. Swimmers can bop around in the water or lounge up on deck with a drink and a book next to the "floating" fireplace. "The pool had to match the sophistication of the house," says Paul Haden, president of The Collaborative West.

A basement grotto, located down a circular stairway from the adult lounge, provides a sanctuary for evenings of cigar smoking and male bonding. It's anchored by a wet bar, pool table, and a wine cellar complete with a full-sized Sub-Zero wine refrigerator and a wine-tasting table.

Just For Men: Located below the adult lounge, the men's lounge is an extension of the entertainment wing. A private powder room, pool table, wet bar, wine cellar, and a Harley Davidson, make it the ultimate guys' clubhouse.

Photo: James Wilson

Instant Shade

Selecting and planting specimen trees gave this site a pedigree boost.

By Matthew Power

Landscaping this desert compound was no walk in the park, although the end result may look like one. In a climate that averages less than half an inch of rainfall per month, each green thing must be planted and watered with care. Only the strong survive.

"We did the installation, but the design came from The Collaborative West and Christopher Homes," says Rick Newton, with Botanical Specialties, a landscaping firm based in Phoenix. "We did all kinds of drainage work in advance. There's an advanced sprinkler system with drip irrigation and a separate stand-alone irrigation controller."

One key element of that design: Several 20-year-old trees--oaks, California peppers, and pines. "The trees became a real focal point," Newton recalls. "We spent a lot of time searching nurseries for exactly the right tree for each location on the site."

At about $15,000 per installed tree, that process left little room for error. And because of the vast size of the home, many separate areas with different microclimates for plantings had to be installed. "I think we ended up with about 25 individual valve systems for watering," says Newton. "That should help out the gardener or groundskeeper."