A short drive from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home to the BNP Paribas Open, is a five-home compound that’s a tennis enthusiast’s playground.

LAWRENCE KAROL

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROBERT CALDWELL AND JASON SPETH

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROBERT CALDWELL AND JASON SPETH

Attention outdoor enthusiasts and tennis lovers: We may have found your Xanadu.

Tucked behind the gates of the La Quinta Country Club is a five-house compound on nearly two acres that has been home to the same family for more than 40 years. 

In 1970, Bud Buettner, a Lloyds of London executive, purchased a single home in the community and then, over the years, built four more houses and acquired a sixth parcel. Within the compound there is a regulation-size lighted tennis court, a pool and spa, a half-size basketball court, a large yard that’s perfect for playing bocce ball or practicing with a 9-iron, 24 fruit trees, and to top it off — wide open views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.

“My father was drawn to La Quinta for all it offered,” says John Buettner, one of Bud’s sons and the president of Stan Miller Yachts. “While spending time in the area he became friends with the likes of tennis pro Jack Kramer, who had a home down the street [that] inspired my father to build his own ‘tennis oasis’ where they would play together along with others, like Coach Chuck Knox and USC’s Pat Hayden.”

 

Two of the five homes have fireplaces.

The compound consists of five homes — three of the houses have three bedrooms (the largest home being 2,900 square feet) and the others have two bedrooms. Overall, there’s a total of 13 bedrooms and 14 baths. Each house has its own address, private entrance, driveway, and garage (there is parking for 10 cars), and the property is being offered at $5,500,000.

The houses were designed by Donald Lloyd Smith, a well-known Palm Springs artist and interior designer, who also designed homes at Sandpiper and the Eldorado and Marrakesh Country Clubs.

 

“We come together at dusk — when the shadows on the mountains give us breathtaking beauty — to barbecue on the two outdoor grills and mix cocktails [using] fresh grapefruits for salty dogs,” says John Buettner.

“These homes were built in the Sandpiper style to mimic country club lifestyle and desert living with an emphasis on modernistic style, with maximum privacy and extreme mountain views, a pool, and lush landscaping,” says Buettner. “Liberace, Sonny Bono, and Red Skelton were just a few of those who collected [Smith’s] artwork.

“The Sandpiper style of casual desert living appealed to Bud, an enormously successful but very unpretentious man,” he adds. “He designed four of the five homes with Donald, who also did custom art for each of the homes.” Smith’s art is included in the sale of the compound and each of the five houses is being offered fully furnished and turnkey.

“For the past 40-plus years, three generations of our family has used the compound as a retreat and getaway for family and friends,” says Buettner. “We celebrate Thanksgiving and Easter each year with 30 to 35 family members. It’s a place to make a lifetime of memories.”

 

 

 

The living, dining, and kitchen areas in one of the three-bedroom houses. Artist and interior designer Donald Lloyd Smith created the custom painting over the sofa.

 

“It’s a rare compound as you could never repeat what we have created within the gates of La Quinta Country Club today,” says John Buettner. “The homes are ready for the next family.”

 

“The outdoors here is a place to exhale,” says John Buettner.