Situated in Dorcas Bay, near Tobermory Ontario, where crystal blue waters meet the rugged Lake Huron shoreline, is a vacation home unlike anything else in the area. The Aqorpions Villa is a luxury retreat and vacation home with unforgettable views of the Lake, and interior finishes that could compare to any of the finest residences in Muskoka.
The name “Aqorpions” itself, is a true reflection of the unique nature of this property. It is a quirky combination of builders Rajesh and Rama’s astrological signs – Aquarius and Scorpio, with an intentional spelling error thrown in for good measure. They consider themselves to be “Under Cover Artists”, completing individual projects that will stand the test of time, and will without a doubt, leave an indelible mark on all who have the pleasure of spending time there.
When Rajesh and his wife Rama set out to build what would end up becoming a two and a half year project, their intention was to showcase the impressive natural beauty of the land and compliment it with a luxury retreat unequalled in its character and grandeur. Raj and Rama completed virtually all of the work solely on their own, and many of the pieces that grace the interior of this stunning property have a story to tell.
The location is pristine, with a sloping gradual shallow rock entry from the shore, and a dock that extends well out into the Caribbean-like blue waters that can only be found in this part of the province. It spans the entire one side of the peninsula, facing west/northwest where one can witness some of the most breathtaking sunsets in the world. The waters here get warm earlier than most in the area, and stay warmer later, satisfying swimmers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Just 15 minutes from the town of Tobermory, visitors will have access to all that the Bruce Peninsula has to offer. One of the premiere area destinations is The Grotto, with its turquoise waters & intricate limestone caves. Located inside the Bruce Peninsula National Park, The Grotto is a fabulous choice for a day trip, and is home to hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Other local experiences include world class scuba diving, boat tours of idyllic Flowerpot Island, Chantree Island Sunsets Tours, stunning beaches, and, of course a plethora of fine dining and cuisine choices.
Having said that, once you arrive at the Villa, you may never want to leave. This grand home features all of the modern amenities with an Old World Rustic charm and opulence that you do not often experience in this day and age. The magnificent great room is a work of art, with soaring cathedral ceilings and floor to ceiling windows that will lead you out to the 120 foot wide wrapround deck, which spans the width of the home and allows for spectacular views from every room. And as if that was not enough, the two wing decks from the upper level bedrooms are the perfect spot to hide away and enjoy a romantic glass of wine or your morning coffee in peace and quiet.
The kitchen is a hand-crafted Tuscany kitchen, with custom two-tone cabinetry constructed from barn board and new pine, and it features a natural granite countertop with a unique leather top finish. A rustic copper range hood is a stunning compliment to the sleek, stainless steel, professional grade appliances, and the copper sink gives it an authentic flair. The one-of-a-kind solid brass Italian chandelier, and barn pendant lights over the sink add a bright ambience to this entertainer’s dream kitchen. Any self-pronounced chef worth their apron would appreciate all that this kitchen offers. And when all is said and done, and it comes time to enjoy your meal, the harvest table made with 2” Hemlock and old threshing boards is the perfect place for friends and family to gather after a day in the sun.
The grand staircase leading to the upper level is comprised of hemlock and 150 year-old barn board, and features inset vignettes which showcase art work and collector’s items gathered from all over the world. The walls are hand plastered using multi-layering techniques and custom mixed paint and stain colors. Each room has its own unique flair and feel, with no two areas being alike. The Handmade antique Terra Cotta Mexican tiles are a strategic juxtaposition to the barn board wall treatments, and they are reminiscent of a time and place gone by. The light fixtures are eclectic; most of them reclaimed and lovingly refinished, and reflect the whimsical feel of the property. They serve much more than just their purpose of lighting up a room or two.
Each bathroom was individually designed, and each one incorporates live-edge vanities, lovingly cut and kiln-fired from trees removed from Raj and Rama’s primary residence on the Oak Ridges Moraine. They were all transported by Raj to the Villa, where they were fitted and installed. Copper wash basins continue the old-world theme and add character that compliments the various wood and wall treatments. The Master Bath is the centerpiece of the upper level, and it features a one of a kind hand-hammered Copper bathtub, which was imported from India, and treated so as to prevent oxidization and to preserve the natural hue of the metal.
Every bedroom has its own flair or theme, with the intent to feel luxurious and calming – allowing guests to end their day in style, and awake feeling energized and refreshed. With room to accommodate up to 12 guests comfortably, this retreat is the perfect location for large or extended families who want more than just a cottage vacation, and it is certain to satisfy even the most discriminating traveler.
The exterior features hand cut stone, each cut and placed by Raj and his father over a six month period, and a board and batten finish with custom milled trim that suits the rugged Lake Huron Landscape, and allows for the size and scope of this property to not feel like an intrusion on the naturally rugged surroundings.
During the summer season, Raj and Rama welcome guests weekly from all over the world. When I asked Raj about renting out his passion project to others, his response was simple – “My wish is for people to love and enjoy this property as much as we do. To take in their surroundings and truly relish every moment spent at this incomparable place. I wish for them to look around and notice every unique feature that was lovingly chosen and became a part of the place we call Aqorpions Villa”.
Raj and Rama have now purchased the property adjacent to this one and are embarking on their next project, “Aqorpions Manor”, continuing their dream to build luxury retreats for clients and their families to enjoy and appreciate for years to come.
Written By: Tanya Bottomley