Property Galleries

9 Homes with Private Guest Houses

Luxury Defined presents a collection of homes with lavish accommodations for guests

Guests come to us in many guises. The ancients believed that hospitality to a stranger held the possibility of receiving an angel unbeknownst. Herewith, Luxury Defined presents nine properties that accommodate guests in style and comfort—and during these uncertain times—a safe, totally private, and socially distanced home away from home. Modern “angels” such as Princess Margaret at Jackie Kennedy were welcomed at one such home, an idyllic horse farm in upstate New York. But whether it’s the visitors’ suite of a country manor in the Netherlands, a waterfront villa in the Bahamas, or a historic estate in Silicon Valley, California, these houses prove an eternal truth: The greatest joys of home and hearth are in the sharing of them.

Shangri-La on Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island

Shangri-La on Narragansett Bay is a stylish, carefully curated collection of four waterfront residences on 1.8 acres of private shoreline in the historic seaside community of Bristol Highlands. This extraordinary bayfront estate was crafted over three decades with talent, time, and a profound love of place. The property comprises a main house, two guest houses, staff quarters, two greenhouses, a tea house, and garages. The outdoor living spaces, expertly placed among the residences are designed to capture the dramatic sunset views of Narragansett Bay, include a heated infinity pool with two cabanas, a koi pond, and a private sandy beach. Named Shangri-La from James Hilton’s enduring 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, this seven-bedroom utopia lends an experience similar to the earthly paradise described in the novel.

Green Gables—The Estate in Woodside, California

Green Gables, an extraordinary estate of 74 acres in the heart of Silicon Valley, has remained intact since its inception in 1911 by businessman and banker Mortimer Fleishhacker. The centerpiece of the Woodside, California, property is the magnificent main house, designed by Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, leading figures of the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement. The home’s interiors have an elegant sense of light and scale. Famed New York interior designer Elsie de Wolfe selected and designed many of the furnishings. Surrounding the formal gardens, yet completely hidden from the main house, are six private dwellings. Noteworthy among them is a lovely 1930s home designed by Modernist architect William Wurster. Green Gables’ expansive grounds are a mix of formal gardens and natural woodlands, flower and vegetable gardens, and the Camperdown Elm Allée, a striking avenue of meticulously pruned trees. There are also three swimming pools, a tennis court, private roads and wooded riding trails, and a reservoir. Green Gables offers total privacy and natural beauty only 20 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and 10 minutes from Stanford University.

Luxurious Canal-Front Estate in Lyford Cay, Bahamas

Manchester Villa, sited on the finest piece of canal-front property in Lyford Cay, offers panoramic views of the marina and waterways from a private peninsula comprising four prime lots with 3.29 acres of landscaped gardens. Interior designer Richard Himmel, architect Robjohns Clarke, and landscape architect Michael M. Myers oversaw the design and construction when this estate was built in 1995 by Mr. and Mrs. Irving Gould. Mr. Gould, a Canadian financier, was the chairman of Commodore International, the pioneering personal computer company. There are multiple dwellings for friends, family, and guests to enjoy the villa’s privacy and solitude: the two-story main residence and its second-story guest/staff apartment; the Carriage House, a recent addition, with three en suite bedrooms plus a gym and a kitchen; and the Captain’s Cottage, ideal for younger guests, with four en suite bedrooms, a game room, and a kitchen. The relaxed lifestyle is enhanced by an infinity pool, tennis and beach volleyball courts. The seawall provides extensive dockage with lift, electricity and water, and a 6,000-gallon fuel tank.

Beaconsfield Estate in Bedford Hills, New York

Beaconsfield is a historic and grand estate on 13.5 private acres adjacent to the championship Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York. The gated compound includes an English-inspired manor house, several dwellings for guests and staff, and resort-inspired amenities. Built in 1900, the 12,000-square-foot main house abounds with elegant period details: rosewood mahogany doors, marble fireplaces, French doors, fine carvings and moldings, and antique Zuber wallpaper. The living spaces include a three-story great hall, spacious reception rooms with fireplaces, formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, library, octagonal lounge, an anteroom with access to the veranda. The upstairs private quarters include five additional bedrooms (all with fireplaces), four-and-a-half bathrooms, and an owner’s suite with an exercise room, office, fireplace, and balcony. Completing the compound is a spectacular outdoor pool, tennis court, putting green, barn, four-car garage, pool house with guest quarters, caretaker’s cottage, and a deeded parcel with a three-bedroom house and stables.

Thai-Style Estate in Phuket, Thailand

This contemporary Thai-style villa is an oasis of peace, calm, and privacy within 25 minutes’ drive of downtown Bangkok. Inspired by the Amanpuri Resort in Phuket, Thailand, this contemporary tropical hideaway features two large elevated villas, providing privacy and comfort for residents, guests, and extended family, as well as a clubhouse, a traditional sala pavilion, a vast resort-inspired swimming pool, and a rock-granite barbecue terrace. American architect Bill Bensley designed the estate’s magnificent gardens, a lush landscape of mature coconut trees, shallow ponds and gently flowing fountains with statuary and brass sculptures which are illuminated after dark.

Majestic Mountain Estate in Whitefish, Montana

This 1,600-acre ranch is sequestered among three mountain ranges and bounded on all sides by federally protected forests in Whitefish, Montana. The property includes three lodges and two guest houses: Lodge #1, “First Claim,” a rambling 5,500-square-foot cedar log home with four bedrooms; Lodge #2, “Little Bootjack Lake Lodge,” offers 5,000 square feet of living space with four bedrooms and a library. Lodge #3, “Sharptail Meadow,” is a 5,500-square-foot rustic residence with five bedrooms. All dwellings offer luxurious accommodations, mountain views, and access to the great outdoors. Residents and guests can explore their own private wilderness of lakes, ponds, waterfalls, and wooded trails, and roughly two miles of frontage on the Stillwater River.

Stately Palm Guest House in Wynberg, South Africa

Palm Court Guest House is a tranquil retreat with views of Constantiaberg Mountains, the Twelve Apostles, and Table Mountain. Designed by a protégé of architect Sir Herbert Baker in the early 1920s, the estate has been fondly restored to its bygone splendor. All 10 bedrooms are en suite, blending stylish elegance with a relaxing, homely ambience. The main residence is complemented by two family cottages, each with two bedrooms and a terrace. The executive pool house is a smaller duplicate of the Palm House and overlooks the pool and gardens. It offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two lounges, and an upper floor balcony with glorious views of the mountains. This property offers a unique opportunity to develop the vast majority of the land, while preserving a piece of history.

De Belder Estate in Overijssel, Netherlands

De Belder Estate is set within idyllic wooded grounds in the province of Overijssel, Netherlands. The stately villa was designed in 1920 by architect Karel Muller, whose works include the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede. The original owner was an avid golfer, who transferred a large part of the larger estate to the adjacent Driene Golf Club. Today, the grounds encompass eight acres, a blend of ancient woodland and English gardens with a pond and wide lawns with a 100-year-old weeping beech tree. There’s also stables, paddocks, a riding arena, and wooded trails. The villa underwent a complete restoration for the 21st century. The private quarters are styled for luxury and comfort, as is the separate guest house, which includes a living room with an open fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. The contemporary amenities include an office, wine cellar, and luxurious wellness center with a sauna, steam room, sunbed, and shower.

Black Hole Hollow Farm in Cambridge, New York

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Black Hole Hollow Farm, an idyllic 440-acre colonial farm on the New York-Vermont state border, has guest accommodations fit for royalty. The property has hosted such iconic figures as HRH The Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy, and British novelist Ian Fleming. It was here that he wrote Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger. Ian Fleming often stayed in guest quarters known as the Yellow Room. From there he would take long treks into the woods surrounding the estate. In an old guest register, Fleming once wrote, “Lived here like a king — an uninvited one — in fragrant and luxurious solitude.” Black Hole Hollow Farm still exudes that unique serenity that drew Fleming back time and again. The property features miles of wide private trails, bordering a 5,000-acre forest preserve. At its center is an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by picturesque English gardens. The estate also includes four delightful dwellings: the lodge and cottage, each with three bedrooms; the two-bedroom Federal House; and the Milk House, a one-bedroom home. Other superb amenities include an outdoor pool, three stocked ponds, a maple syrup production facility, a greenhouse with a koi pond, and equestrian facilities with four barns, a riding arena, fenced paddocks, and a prized location 30 miles from Saratoga Race Course.