A writer of consequence said Elefante resembled a beautifully rectangular ocean liner that had gone aground, comfortably, on a collection of custom-designed rocks. Indeed, with water on three sides, you feel as if it’s “a day at sea”. La Piedra del Elefante was designed and built for the familia Braniff by a very well known architect in the 60´s, Sr. Vicente Monroy. Tomas Braniff was a businessman and socialite and the house was a gathering place for the elite of that period. The name was given for a giant rock which strongly resembles an elephant is far out in the water at one corner of the property, and all the naval charts identify this as Elephant Point. When you arrive at Elefante and you can open the big steel gate with a signal from your car, or you can ring the bell and from inside the home we can see who's calling and speak to you before opening either the big door, or a single door if someone is on foot and doesn't have to enter with car. Immediately inside the gate, there is an attractive smaller home, painted in the same pale green squares used on the big house. It is the staff house, two floors with five bedrooms, an excellent kitchen, bath, family room, very comfortable. Then you wind down the beautiful driveway arriving at a covered Porte cache for three vehicles and a handsomely floored huge parking area, anchored by a massive tree at least 100 years.
Round metal lights with miniature stars cut into them hang from the tree.There’s a fountain off to one side.You’ll notice decorative gates and fences on all sides, put up to keep our two dogs from entering the driveway area. You’ll go through one gate, and walk down a few steps and turn down another flight and there is The House, and your sense of arriving at a one of a kind place in this turmoil-filled world. It is an extraordinary home in an incomparable setting. The land, including the zona federal, is almost a full hectare, about two acres. It is a peninsula with approximately 900 linear feet of waterfront, so the air is filled with music of waves alternately crashing against and caressing the rocks below. Architect Monroy did us all a great favor by building Elefante with 12 foot overhangs, so the home is always cool and you are always protected from too much sun exposure. The current owners purchased Elefante from the remaining Braniff heirs in 2001, and spent one full year remodeling before moving in. They completely replaced all electrical systems, and all plumbing. The house is so powerfully constructed there were virtually no cracks in the walls or the majestic marble floors. A large earth and stone patio was replaced by beautiful warm colored stone tile, and one of the most beautiful palapas imaginable was constructed thereon.