Installations: Double Feature

THE MASTER BEDROOM features both spectacular ocean views and a Hitachi 42-inch plasma HDTV.

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On Mexico's Punta Mita peninsula, surrounded by the blue Pacific Ocean and beautiful beaches on three sides, the aptly named Casa Fortuna occupies a prime location within this exclusive resort area about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta. The nearly 7,000-square-foot casa consists of a large thatched-roof palapa living area and six bedrooms in five separate buildings, all opening onto an infinity pool that looks out over the water.

Sounds perfect, right? But you can listen to the surf and gaze at the ocean for only so long. That's one reason the U.S.-based builder/owners of Casa Fortuna decided to outfit their south-of-the-border hacienda with a custom-installed audio/video system. Another is that Casa Fortuna is the keystone in a new seaside development, in which the house will serve as a model home.

"It's an exciting time down here," enthuses Cliff Damavandi, who along with his father Fred built Casa Fortuna and plans to construct estate homes, smaller casitas, condos, and a beach club on the surrounding acreage to add to a 19-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course and the Four Seasons and St. Regis resorts already in the area. The Damavandi family has been vacationing in Puerto Vallarta for more than two decades, but it's only in the last few years that they've been involved with development, now that the infrastructure, building quality, and access to materials have improved dramatically.

The same goes for home electronics and the availability of people with the knowledge to install and service it. "I'm impressed with the level of expertise that's now available in Mexico," Damavandi says. "If something goes wrong with a high-tech system, there are people in Puerto Vallarta who can come and take care of it."