Over the years, if you've spent anytime on the IH-10 corridor, you've looked to
- english, spanish, Tagalog
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 Cielo Vista
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.”
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
Cancelation policy includes charging guest credit card fees for initial booking and refund via credit card. 2.9% of charges
100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
We were lucky enough to have our stay coincide with the full moon. The property is lovely and the views are spectacular. Owners are very responsive and helpful. This was a superb get away from crazy city life
The Full moon weekend was amazing ! Glad you all enjoyed your stay !
Thank you !
New favorite place to stay in San Antonio area! Very clean house, great pool/hot tub but the views are the best part. 360 views of the hill country! Literally 2 minutes from HEB/ Walmart but once you are back up the to the house it feels like you are miles away from everything!
Glad you enjoyed the location, privacy and the views of the casita!
Amazing Sunrises and Sunsets
They explain everything in detail on the description of the property. However, the one thing that I will always remember was the nights on top of the house overlooking the spectacular views. The cool breezes flowing through our hair and cooling us down from a hot day. Sunsets every night were amazing and worth while. I would not have gotten those views at a regular hotel and the peace we felt at this location. For us, this property was worth the stair climbing. We would stay at this home if we were ever to travel to San Antonio Texas again. Thank you Melinda for all your kindness and hospitality. Christina and Daniel
Congratulations again to your son and your whole family! Thank you for his volunteerism and service!
You all are awesome guests!
Thanks for the great review!
Private hideaway for wedding anniversary
We stayed here for our 10th wedding anniversary (without the kids). We LOVED it. Very private - didn't even see the owners while we were there. The location is close to basically everything we needed. Gorgeous views, especially from the top level. Though if you have a problem with heights, the outside stairs will be scary. Loved having a pool to ourselves and the fact that you could change the temperature/lights with the ipad. The only real downside was that it was hot inside. We turned on the AC as soon as we arrived, but it didn't really cool off until the 2nd day. To be fair, it was the middle of summer, so very hot outside.
Would stay here again.
Melinda was easy to work with and was very friendly! The pool, the decks, the views were all super. Lots of stairs...but we knew that going into it. Would go back!
A beautiful and peaceful weekend
Amazing view 24/7, overall a great experience.
Thank you for staying in casita and we are so glad you had great time last weekend .
5 minutes away from the newly opened Top Golf San Antonio.