More than 30 years ago, hospitality executives Gordon and Noel Irwin Hentschel embarked on an unusual quest: to raise their seven children at a historic estate and resort they owned in Carmel Valley, Calif., teaching them the family business.
“Our real intent was to have a place for our children to grow up,” said Mr. Hentschel, 74. But the couple also hoped to instill in the kids a strong work ethic, and that at least some of them would someday take over the roughly 400-acre property, known as Stonepine Estate. “Our vision was for them to work together,” Mr. Hentschel said.
Since buying the property in 1983, Mr. Hentschel estimates they have spent $15 million to $20 million on upgrades to the property, where the family lived and worked, hosting celebrity weddings and retreats on and off over the years. Now, with their adult children dispersed, Mr. Hentschel said they have decided to sell. They are marketing Stonepine privately without a broker, asking $70 million.
Mr. Hentschel is a former Hyatt Hotels executive and hotel developer. Mrs. Hentschel, 70, is co-founder, chairman and CEO of AmericanTours International, a tour operator. The two met in the early 1980s in Hawaii, where he lived and she was traveling for business.
The first time they saw Stonepine—before they were even engaged—a rustic sign cautioning visitors to “Keep out!” was riddled with bullet holes, Mrs. Hentschel recalled. The property was in default, Mr. Hentschel said, and they bought it for less than $4 million. The pair, who got married in 1984, spent several years completing a soup-to-nuts renovation of the main house, several outbuildings and a bunkhouse at the equestrian center. “We redid everything,” he said. “It was a beautiful place but needed T.L.C.”
Dating back to the 1920s, the main residence was built by Henry Russell and his wife, Helen Crocker Russell, a member of the Crocker railroad family, according to the Carmel Valley Historical Society. The Hentschels purchased the property from descendants of the Russell family, property records show.
Now called Chateau Noel, the Tuscan-style main residence is around 20,000 square feet with eight bedrooms. The living room has a roughly 18-foot ceiling and three-span limestone fireplace. The library has hand-carved wood paneling and a door to a hidden suite with a private bar. “We restored everything to the way it was built to begin with,” said Mrs. Hentschel.
Stonepine also has several separate guest homes. Briar Rose, a circa 1920s house, is around 1,500 square feet with two bedrooms, said Mr. Hentschel. Paddock House, with roughly 3,000 square feet, has four bedrooms, a shuffleboard court and archery area, he said. The Hentschels renovated those two structures and built what’s known as Hermes House from the ground up, with two bedrooms and four fireplaces. They also converted the greenhouse into a Catholic chapel. Around 2010, the Hentschels planted 100 olive trees; they later added 400 more.
Article Source: Mansion Global