Kaya Angel is a long-term resident of Second Life, having been involved in the platform for over seven years. He is also the creator of Angel Manor and The Rose Theatre, one of the largest and most creative builds in Second Life: a grand English estate now spanning three regions. The build features a huge, Regency-style palace which encompasses The Rose Theatre (a long-time labour of love), an opera house, art gallery and more, and which is in turn surrounded by attractive formal gardens.
This truly is SL building on a grand scale – a place which has to be more than just visited – it has to be experienced. Whether you are a casual visitor, or attending a production at the fabulous Rose Theatre, opulent opera house or art gallery, Angel Manor deserves time to be explored inside and out – and by “time”, I don’t mean fifteen or twenty minutes; this is a palace one can wander within and around four hours and never stop finding something new which catches the eye.
From the moment you arrive, you know you’re in for something special; the main entrance to the palace presents a magnificent frontage overlooking the clear waters of a lake, broad steps leading up to the huge front doors, and paths leading off to either side along the formal gardens, inviting you to explore. Even the teleport / information boards are tastefully positioned so as not to ruin the feeling that one is in a period setting, being set well back so as not to intrude too much into a view of the house.
Follow the paths around the house and you’ll find trellised walkways, follies, places to sit, sculpted water features where swans glide peacefully – and more. Everywhere the attention to detail is clear, and the opportunities for the avid photographer obvious. I particularly like the way the entire build has been planned so that as much use can be made of Linden water as possible, rather than a reliance on prim water for fountains, etc. This adds a lot of depth to the build, especially when it comes to photography and using reflections.
Inside, and the attention to detail becomes even more abundant; the palace is rich in content – and I don’t just mean furnishings, statues, and so on; the attention to texturing floors, walls and ceilings adds tremendously to the feeling of authenticity and that one really is in a stately home – albeit one on a truly huge scale. The public function rooms offer outstanding venues for events and weddings – the estate’s chapel is one of many “must see” parts of the build – and I’m going to be keeping an eye on any upcoming events slated for the opera house; at the risk of wearing the word out, it truly is magnificent, with a stunning ceiling dome.
While exploring, make sure you follow any stairways which lead down as a well as up – there are a few surprises to be found in the vaults under the main house as well.
For those who particularly enjoy period living, or who wish to immerse themselves in a rich estate which offers a lot to do as well as providing a unique home, apartments are available within the Palace for lease. Such areas are clearly marked, and those visiting or attending functions at the estate are asked to please respect the privacy of those residing there. The apartments themselves come with a 600-prim allowance, and for those renting by the month, a huge selection of period furnishings and include a range of texture options for a personal finish.
Those living on the estate can avail themselves of all the amenities extended to visitors – just like many stately homes in England today, Angel Manor offers a number of attractions to visitor beyond opening its doors and grounds to their passage: there are opportunities for balloon tours over the estate, horses can be used to explore the grounds beyond the formal gardens, bicycles can be ridden around the grounds, and row boats and sail boats are on offer as well. Residents also get to enjoy various private facilities as well, making the Angel Manor worth investigating for those who want to enjoy a takes of the grand.
For those who like the idea of period living but who have a reasonable land holding of their own, Kaya Angel offers a number of unique builds for sale – as well as furnishings – and offers a rezzing platform over the estate where his builds can be seen first-hand.
Movement between the regions is fairly smooth – providing you’re not tearing around the estate at a high rate of knots. I’ve encountered little or no rubber-banding during my various explorations, although I caution against trying to teleport anywhere around the main region – Angel Manor – this has a landing point set and so teleporting will divert you back there. Be aware as well that this is a huge and complex build, rich in textures, and as it comprises two full regions and a homestead, it is fairly packed to the gill with prims and sculpts. However, take things at a reasonable pace, and be aware or you own avatar’s script load, etc., and you shouldn’t find it too uncomfortable.
It’s actually taken me a while to get this article on Angel Manor put together; I actually started back in late 2012. The reason? Every time I go, I end up exploring far more than taking notes! If you’ve never paid a visit, I highly recommend that you do – just give yourself plenty of time; it’s the SL equivalent of a grand day out!