Christie's International Real Estate: Six homes with over-the-top amenities
Try to conceive of a home where space, décor, deluxe amenities and creature comforts are limited only by the imagination of its designers—and the laws of physics. With the demand for the latest must-have amenities at an all-time high, Luxury Defined has searched far and wide for home features that are nothing short of sensational. A baronial villa on the Peloponnese with its own seaport and airfield? Check. An eccentric billionaire’s Space Age hideaway on Lake Lugano? Check. Indulgences? From the stately Riviera pleasure dome Pierre Cardin decreed to the glass-walled ski lodge (with heated driveway) on a Montana mountainside, no expense has been spared, no detail overlooked.
The Bubble Palace
The Bubble Palace is the iconic French Riviera estate of legendary Italian-born French fashion designer Pierre Cardin. Built from 1975 to 1989, this otherworldly structure in the beautiful village of Théoule-sur-Mer, near Cannes, is the brainchild of Hungarian architect Antti Lovag. Composed of a cluster of terracotta orbs, the unique Bubble Palace, or La Palais Bulles, was built without a single straight line. The living spaces are without equal: Each room is its own spherical haven, from the panoramic lounge and reception rooms with custom-designed curvilinear furnishings to the 10 bedroom suites decorated by contemporary artists. Leading the stellar line-up of outdoor features is an extraordinary 500-seat outdoor auditorium overlooking the Bay of Cannes. The idyllic two-acre grounds are an earthly paradise composed of gardens framed by towering palms, ponds, and several swimming pools.
Ski the Future
Crystal Bay, Nevada
“Ski the Future” is one of the most spectacular waterfront properties in North America, if not the world. Soaring above the shores of Lake Tahoe, this 9,000-square-foot glass, steel, and granite marvel is impressive for both its gravity-defying architecture and engineering and for its ability to capture the majesty of its setting. Inside the multifaceted and cantilevered structure are six-floors, enveloped in glass to showcase the jaw-dropping views of Lake Tahoe and the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Each unique living space is accessed via the beautiful six-story glass staircase or the futuristic glass elevator. The superlative amenities continue outside, where lush gardens, an entertaining deck, and 95 feet of lake frontage with a steel pier and boat hoist provide a lakefront lifestyle like no other.
The crown jewel of the Greek Riviera, Costa Fina is one of the most exclusive estates in Greece. Commanding a private 68-acre peninsula in the Peloponnese, facing the cosmopolitan island of Spetses and the port of Heli, this enchanting coastal compound has an unrivaled collection of amenities that make it accessible by land, sea, and air. The estate’s private dock can accommodate superyachts, while a canal provides protection for smaller vessels. There are three helipads, a paved airstrip—one of the few in the world running from sea to sea—an aircraft hangar, and small airport terminal. The main seafront villa has eight en suite bedrooms, palatial reception rooms, and sweeping verandas, making it ideal for entertaining in style—a fact attested by its distinguished list of visitors, who include the Onassis family. Nearby is a tennis court and footpaths leading to several sandy beaches and secluded bays.
The late eccentric German department-store tycoon Helmut Horten created Villalta as his own private hideaway—with room for a few dozen guests. Set into a wooded hillside near Lake Lugano, this dream estate was built at the height of the Swinging Sixties. Its Space Age aesthetic is just as incredible today as when it was first constructed, not just for its sheer size (the living space measures 36,597 square feet!) but for its amenities, which are out of this world. A private indoor bowling alley, indoor and outdoor pools, a 40-seat dining room, and a guest house with 12 bedroom suites and 10 meeting rooms are just a few of the delights. It is quite simply unique.
Ski-In, Ski-Out Mountain Lodge
Situated on 1.3 acres at the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Big Sky Country, this ski-in, ski-out haven has all the bells and whistles expected from a trophy mountain estate but with added layers of luxury: breathtaking vistas, expansive living and entertaining spaces (14,900 square feet with seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms) and exquisite décor (refurbished barn beams, recycled chestnut floors, and custom cabinets made from 100-year-old barn wood). Although it is designed to impress, this spectacular lodge home retains all the charm of the great American West. But what truly stand out are the home’s amenities: a great room with a monumental fireplace, a library and theater, master suite with spa bathroom and vast walk-in closet, hot tub and sauna, and even a heated driveway. This home is a true Rocky Mountain high.
Hill Country Hideaway
With its outstanding craftsmanship and ultra-luxurious appointments, this exquisite Mediterranean-inspired estate was designed for the luxury connoisseur. The 8,830-square-foot interior is composed of grand-scale entertaining areas and intimate retreats. The Italian country kitchen is outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances. The formal dining room and wine cellar are adorned with decorative ceilings. The master retreat was created with every imaginable luxury, from the rotating sitting area to the spa bathroom to the multilevel wardrobe system. All six bedrooms have balcony access and an en suite bathroom; there is also a detached guest apartment. Yet what truly sets this home apart are its recreational options: indoor half-basketball court, a rock climbing wall, a putting green, media and game rooms, a landscaped resort-style pool and spa, and nearly two acres of sublime grounds replete with lush vegetation and formal gardens.