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A San Antonio getaway on top of the hill ,with awesome views, great location!

Sleeps4
Bedrooms 1
Bathrooms1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

Overview

About the property

Over the years, if you've spent anytime on the IH-10 corridor, you've looked to

Casita on the top of a hill with great views of hill country and San Antonio, home of the Alamo. 5 minutes from Fiesta Texas, La Cantera Shopping Center and the Rim; 20 minutes to downtown, the Riverwalk and SeaWorld; 10 minutes to Boerne. This three-story Casita has a rooftop garden with 360 degree views of San Antonio and the hill country. It has a kitchenette and private dining area, with an outdoor living room in Wifi provided. This hill country property has awesome views, a great location and privacy.

Robyn Barnes

Environments, Rodriguez Home

March/April 2016 edition

12/7/15

The Highs and Lows of a Hilltop Home

Melinda and Rob Rodriguez are a hard-working couple unafraid of adventure. They love traveling in the Far East; serving San Antonio in challenging leadership positions; and living in an aerie on a mountaintop in Leon Springs.

The property has a colorful history. It is located on the west side of Interstate 10, across the highway from Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q. Early in the 1960s, members of the Leon Springs Presbyterian Church erected a 35-foot cross with a 14-foot cross member. Lights were hung on it and church members built a road for worshippers’ use. At night, or in foggy weather, the cross seemed to be suspended from the sky with a string. During Easter Sunday, churchgoers would climb the hill to cross for Easter Sunrise services.

Iranian Ownership

But the church didn’t own the property. In the 1980s, Iranian sheik and international business man Fadhlalla Haeri was traveling on Interstate 10 and saw the hilltop. He thought it would be an excellent location for his family compound, so he purchased the property in 1980.

And removed the cross.

He occupied the main house at the top of the hill and added separate buildings for his three wives, a pavilion for gatherings, and a school for young children. (1) The main house had a guard tower because the sheik was very concerned for his safety. However, it wasn’t assassins that forced his departure. Business investments went sour and it appeared he was in debt to the IRS for millions of dollars. The sheik abandoned the property and it was eventually sold.

Moving on Up

Eventually the property was acquired by Dr. Horacio Pena, a friend of Melinda’s. He was ready to sell in April 2005 and asked Melinda if she and Rob would be interested in buying it.

Melinda drove out to visit. What she saw was the original house. “It was a box with lots of stairs,” she said. “It was not at all energy-efficient and not particularly attractive. I knew it would take a lot of work to make it really livable.”

But the house spoke to her. “I’m a native Filipino,” she says. “In summers, we always left the heat of the city for the cooler temperatures of the mountaintops. This place reminded me so much of where I grew up.”

In spite of the initial attraction to the house, Melinda declined the offer. Six months later, Dr. Pena asked again if Melinda would like to purchase the house. “This time, we said yes,” she recalls. “We sold our house quickly---I thought that was a good sign---and moved here in December.”

The Rodriguez’s own the top three acres of the hill. When they moved in, several of the original dwellings were still standing. “One of the houses was a prayer house and school for the sheik's children. There were small homes across the hill for his other wives and mistresses. A helipad was here, too.”

The main way to the top of the hill is through a locked gate, via a very narrow, bumpy dirt road. The road winds around the hill to the top and parking is scarce. It’s easy to see why the prince felt safe here; no one got in without permission and the panoramic view is spectacular.

The Rodriguez’s painted and patched the old house for five years. “We knew things would have to be repaired but we thought we could manage. Even when we had to dig a 900-foot well, we took it in stride. But when a storm took the roof off, that was it. We knew it was time to make a big change.”

Demolition Time

“It took us a year to create a floorplan,” Melinda says. “We chose Mattern & FitzGerald Custom Homes as our builder.”

One of the first challenges they faced was getting the big demolition equipment up to the construction site. “says. “It’There was no way they could come up the narrow main road,” Melinda remembers. “I had to ask a neighbor on the slope below me if the trucks could go through her property and up a back road to reach us.”

The Rodriguez’s new (6,245 sq ft) design was larger than the original house. “We wanted views on all four sides,” Melinda says. “We wanted a functional design for our family and for entertaining. “

Kitchen Influential

Melinda says half the house is the kitchen and in a way, she’s right. The great room encompasses a huge kitchen, breakfast nook, living and dining area. The adjacent deck has an outdoor kitchen.

“We like the open design for the flow,” Melinda says. “When Rob starts cooking, it’s like watching someone on The Food Network. He’s very entertaining and our guests like to stand around the island to watch him work. “

He’s got a great space to work in. The large island is equipped with a Wolf propane cooktop and disposal sink. There is a traditional sink set in the cabinetry behind the island and a farmhouse sink in the eat-in bar on the opposite side of the kitchen, overlooking the living room.

“We have every appliance you need!” Melinda exclaims, indicating the icemaker, warming drawer, steamer, traditional oven and microwave. The cabinets all offer pull-outs and many are built to hold Rob’s spice collection. Ceiling-height cabinetry displays Melinda’s china and glassware.

A stunning southern vista entertains anyone sitting at the dining table. While the view is marvelous, the dome above the table adds elegance to the ambience. “We wanted to look up and see the stars while we ate but of course, we couldn’t make that work with our design,” Melinda says. “So an artist painted the sky in the dome. I didn’t want a fancy chandelier to interfere with the views, so we hung three Swarovski pendant lights from the center point.”

Masterful Views

The master suite is built on two floors. The master bath is on the main level and overlooks the negative edge pool and spa. Arched windows above the tub overlook land belonging to George Strait. His and hers vanities are at opposite sides of the room.

The shower is one of Melinda’s favorite things in the house. “It has a rain shower head and four jets that are positioned for short Filipinos!” she laughs. A rectangular window allows natural light to stream in over the bather and filter through the heavy glass door.

Across from the hall from the master bath is the Asian room. “It was supposed to be the master bedroom but I wanted to sleep higher up in the house,” she says. This space serves as a sitting room, populated by a large-screen television and comfy wicker sofas.

Rob’s office is tucked into the Asian room. The pocket room features a coffered ceiling and built-in cabinets displaying his collection of miniature militia.

A flight of stairs leads to the master bedroom. “When we designed this room, the architect insisted that we include a small bathroom,” Melinda recalls. “She said we wouldn’t want to go downstairs in the dark late at night to use the restroom---and she was right!”

Instead of a traditional toilet, they installed a bidet, a small much-appreciated luxury. A pedestal sink completes the setup.

A glass door opens onto the balcony. On the right is a small guest suite and a steep flight of stairs. “This part of the house was once the guard tower,” Melinda says. “We kept the tower idea and disposed of the guards.”

At the top of the stairs is a square patio covered in AstroTurf. The patio offers a 360-degree view of San Antonio, the Rim, and the foothills of the Hill Country.

“There is always a breeze up here,” Melindas a great place to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July. Sometimes we bring our sleeping bags up here and camp out with the kids.

Kid Space

The Rodriguez children have their own wing, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a sunny play room. They have a private patio balcony, big enough for a small party with friends.

“The sunset is beautiful from this balcony,” Melinda says. “I’m not sure the kids enjoy it but I do love the peace I find up here.”

Melinda says one of the best things about the house is its abundance of storage space. “We have attic space over the kids’ rooms and over the garage,” she says. “There’s a huge pantry and a big utility room, as well as an extra guest room. We have a three-car garage, which we’ve converted into an exercise room, a home theater and an office. For once in my life, I do not lack for storage space!”

Melinda and Rob are thinking about a new project---resurrecting the cross that once stood on their property. “Long-time residents tell us it was a beautiful thing and how much they miss it. If we do rebuild it, I’m sure the construction will be another adventure.”

Here's a brief history on the whole property with the main house adjacent to the casita. This is an article by SA Woman's Magazine ,Robyn Barnes for the March-April 2016 edition.

Robyn Barnes

Environments, Rodriguez Home

12/7/15

The Highs and Lows of a Hilltop Home

Melinda and Rob Rodriguez are a hard-working couple unafraid of adventure. They love traveling in the Far East; serving San Antonio in challenging leadership positions; and living in an aerie on a mountaintop in Leon Springs.

The property has a colorful history. It is located on the west side of Interstate 10, across the highway from Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q. Early in the 1960s, members of the Leon Springs Presbyterian Church erected a 35-foot cross with a 14-foot cross member. Lights were hung on it and church members built a road for worshippers’ use. At night, or in foggy weather, the cross seemed to be suspended from the sky with a string. Below

More Details

Property Manager
Melinda Rodriguez
Member since: 2015
Speaks english, Tagalog
Response time
Within an hour
Response rate
100%
Calendar last updated:
26 July, 2017

About Melinda Rodriguez

During Easter Sunday, churchgoers would climb the hill to cross for Easter Sunrise services.

Iranian Ownership

But the church didn’t own the property. In the 1980s, Iranian sheik and international business man Fadhlalla Haeri was traveling on Interstate 10 and saw the hilltop. He thought it would be an excellent location for his family compound, so he purchased the property in 1980.

And removed the cross.

He occupied the main house at the top of the hill and added separate buildings for his three wives, a pavilion for gatherings, and a school for young children. (1) The main house had a guard tower because the sheik was very concerned for his safety. However, it wasn’t assassins that forced his departure. Business investments went sour and it appeared he was in debt to the IRS for millions of dollars. The sheik abandoned the property and it was eventually sold.

Moving on Up

Eventually the property was acquired by Dr. Horacio Pena, a friend of Melinda’s. He was ready to sell in April 2005 and asked Melinda if she and Rob would be interested in buying it.

Melinda drove out to visit. What she saw was the original house. “It was a box with lots of stairs,” she said. “It was not at all energy-efficient and not particularly attractive. I knew it would take a lot of work to make it really livable.”

But the house spoke to her. “I’m a native Filipino,” she says. “In summers, we always left the heat of the city for the cooler temperatures of the mountaintops. This place reminded me so much of where I grew up.”

In spite of the initial attraction to the house, Melinda declined the offer. Six months later, Dr. Pena asked again if Melinda would like to purchase the house. “This time, we said yes,” she recalls. “We sold our house quickly---I thought that was a good sign---and moved here in December.”

Story continued under Why this property ?

Melinda Rodriguez purchased this house in 2005

Why Melinda Rodriguez chose San Antonio

The Rodriguez’s own the top three acres of the hill. When they moved in, several of the original dwellings were still standing. “One of the houses was a prayer house and school for the sheik's children. There were small homes across the hill for his other wives and mistresses. A helipad was here, too.”

The main way to the top of the hill is through a locked gate, via a very narrow, bumpy dirt road. The road winds around the hill to the top and parking is scarce. It’s easy to see why the prince felt safe here; no one got in without permission and the panoramic view is spectacular.

The Rodriguez’s painted and patched the old house for five years. “We knew things would have to be repaired but we thought we could manage. Even when we had to dig a 900-foot well, we took it in stride. But when a storm took the roof off, that was it. We knew it was time to make a big change.”

Demolition Time

“It took us a year to create a floorplan,” Melinda says. “We chose Mattern & FitzGerald Custom Homes as our builder.”

One of the first challenges they faced was getting the big demolition equipment up to the construction site. “There was no way they could come up the narrow main road,” Melinda remembers. “I had to ask a neighbor on the slope below me if the trucks could go through her property and up a back road to reach us.”

The Rodriguez’s new (6,245 sq ft) design was larger than the original house. “We wanted views on all four sides,” Melinda says. “We wanted a functional design for our family and for entertaining. “

Kitchen Influential

Melinda says half the house is the kitchen and in a way, she’s right. The great room encompasses a huge kitchen, breakfast nook, living and dining area. The adjacent deck has an outdoor kitchen.

“We like the open design for the flow,” Melinda says. “When Rob starts cooking, it’s like watching someone on The Food Network. He’s very entertaining and our guests like to stand around the island to watch him work. “

Continue below

What makes this house unique

He’s got a great space to work in. The large island is equipped with a Wolf propane cooktop and disposal sink. There is a traditional sink set in the cabinetry behind the island and a farmhouse sink in the eat-in bar on the opposite side of the kitchen, overlooking the living room.

A stunning southern vista entertains anyone sitting at the dining table. While the view is marvelous, the dome above the table adds elegance to the ambience. “We wanted to look up and see the stars while we ate but of course, we couldn’t make that work with our design,” Melinda says. “So an artist painted the sky in the dome. I didn’t want a fancy chandelier to interfere with the views, so we hung three Swarovski pendant lights from the center point.”

Masterful Views

The master suite is built on two floors. The master bath is on the main level and overlooks the negative edge pool and spa. Arched windows above the tub overlook land belonging to George Strait. His and hers vanities are at opposite sides of the room.A glass door opens onto the balcony. On the right is a small guest suite and a steep flight of stairs. “This part of the house was once the guard tower,” Melinda says. “We kept the tower idea and disposed of the guards.”

At the top of the stairs is a square patio covered in AstroTurf. The patio offers a 360-degree view of San Antonio, the Rim, and the foothills of the Hill Country.

“There is always a breeze up here,” Melinda says. “It’s a great place to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July. Sometimes we bring our sleeping bags up here and camp out with the kids.

Melinda and Rob are thinking about a new project---resurrecting the cross that once stood on their property. “Long-time residents tell us it was a beautiful thing and how much they miss it. If we do rebuild it, I’m sure the construction will be another adventure.”

Guestbook comments from the manager

Beautiful place for a getaway. We loved the rooftop,the provisions and the view! We had a great place for some time with Jesus!

Thank you!
May 2015
  • 1 of 5

Amenities

Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house rental in Cielo Vista, Texas

Property Type:
  • house
Building Type:
  • house
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
Theme:
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1 Walk-in shower, no bathtub in first floor bedroom only
Bedrooms:
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • 400 square ft Bedroom 1 sleeps 2 400 square ft Living room has sofa bed that can sleep 2 more people. Stairs going to different floors are external.
Entertainment:
  • Television
Outside:
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
Suitability:
  • long term rentals available
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Heated Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • Private Pool
Attractions:
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • museums
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • golf
  • hiking
  • swimming

Reviews

Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(51 traveller reviews)

94% Complete
5% Complete
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A San Antonio getaway on top of the hill ,with awesome views, great location!
average rating of 4.9411764 based on 56 reviews
5

Beautiful place. View was amazing

  • 5 of 5

Close to everything we needed and attractions

  • Review Submitted: Jun 17, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for staying at the Casita!
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
San Antonio, TX
5

Great trip with a gorgeous view!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed 3 nights here with our 2 labs. We all loved it and wished we could stay even longer! The property and view are gorgeous! The hosts are great and very helpful. Anything you need, they are very quick to text back. They also leave you with plenty of privacy throughout the stay. We would definitely stay here again and recommend anyone else to do the same. Such an awesome place! Thank you Melinda and Rob! :)

  • Review Submitted: May 19, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you enjoyed your stay at the casita! You are great guests ! Thanks, Melinda -----
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0
5

Breathtaking Views fantastic setting

  • 5 of 5

We would recommend staying here. Easy access to San Antonio Riverwalk and we didn't have crowds here. Our hosts we're extremely accommodating.

  • Review Submitted: Apr 24, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for staying at casita. We always strive for the best customer service ever !
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
5

Loved it!

  • 5 of 5

My boys and I had an amazing time at Melinda and Robs beautiful property!

  • Review Submitted: Apr 15, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Apr 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you enjoyed the casita. Thank you.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
5

Super relaxing and loved the pool and hot tub.

  • 5 of 5

Owners were very responsive and helpful. Loved the views. We knew it involved alot of stairs and we enjoyed the bluebonnets all the way!

  • Review Submitted: Mar 30, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your 5 star review ! We love the blue bonnets !
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0 0
Birch Run
5

Beautiful 360 Views!!

  • 5 of 5

We were visiting in the hill country... our friends met us in Waco and continued on with us to our casita. They were astounded by the beautiful views and Melinda offered them another bed room for them to stay at with us. Melinda was very accommodating and between her and Rob gave us information on restaurants we may like there. Also she gave us a history on their property and surrounding area. George Strait enough lives on the Hill next to the casita for all you country music lovers. We visited the Alamo and river walk and ate at PoPos and the hamburgers at Longhorn right by the casita were great. A real Texan atmosphere. The hosts were so kind yet it was very private too. A must see if you are in the area for a stay! The views are spectacular! And the hosts were so welcoming too! Thank you Melinda and Rob for all your hospitality!!

  • Review Submitted: Mar 28, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: You were such great and respectful guests !!! Thank you for such a generous review !!!!
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Map

Car: necessary

5 minutes away from the newly opened Top Golf San Antonio.

Photos

Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday house in Cielo Vista, Texas

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
 
Labor Day 2017
1 Sep 2017 - 10 Sep 2017
2 night minimum stay
A$311
A$1,929
 
 
Thanksgiving 2017
17 Nov 2017 - 26 Nov 2017
2 night minimum stay
A$311
A$1,929
 
 
Christmas/New Year 2017
15 Dec 2017 - 7 Jan 2018
2 night minimum stay
A$311
A$1,929
 
 
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
A$249
A$1,500
A$5,752
 

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee A$31.26
Property Damage Protection A$73.77
Tax Rate 16.75%

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Contact Manager
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