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Away from it All: Private and Secluded Luxury Homes

Luxury Defined tours five spectacular properties for ultimate privacy, seclusion, and luxury

There are few places left on earth that allow us to get completely off the grid, to unplug and enjoy the blessed silence of our inventions. That silence no longer means roughing it, living in rustic cabins, or cooking by the campfire. Innovations in architecture and technology make it possible to experience the luxury lifestyle in far-flung destinations. Literally, say, in Patagonia at the southern tip of Argentina, where a solar-paneled lakeside getaway awaits; or a contemporary eco-retreat in the Mantiqueira Mountains of Brazil; or, a beachfront haven on the turquoise waters of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. Faraway places, indeed, yet offering the ultimate in luxury and seclusion.

The Grid House in São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, Brazil

The Grid House is a one-of-a-kind private compound on 42 protected rainforest acres in the Mantiqueira Mountains of Brazil.
The home’s modular living spaces open to tropical gardens, a haven of privacy bordered by a protected rainforest.

The Grid House is a contemporary eco-retreat on 42 acres of protected rainforest in Brazil’s Mantiqueira Mountains. Embedded in the sublime natural landscape, this bold modular compound’s main dwelling contains social and entertaining areas, an owner’s suite, and guest room. Satellite structures include three isolated modules with two bedrooms each, a leisure pavilion, and staff quarters. Each structure has a unique, grid-shaped frame, sustainably sourced from native wood and stone and built aboveground for cooling during hot, humid summers. Large trussed beams of weathering steel anchor the structural elements, while walls of glass flood the space with light and panoramas of the mountains and forest. The living spaces flow out to serene tropical gardens with a water mirror and the rainforest beyond.

Rocky Mountain Hideaway in Ophir, Colorado

This 153-acre mountain estate near the historic Old West town of Ophir, Colorado, is surrounded by National Forest Service land and 13,000-foot peaks, ideal for Nordic and back-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and ice climbing.
Though secluded and private, the property is just 25 minutes’ drive from the top-ranked ski resort of Telluride, Colorado.

A unique offering in the Telluride region, this ultra-private property is beyond compare. Set in a dramatic western valley just 25 minutes from the Old West town of Telluride, this magnificent estate is surrounded by National Forest Service land and 13,000-foot peaks. The 153-acre estate has eye-popping vistas of a pristine valley teeming with teeming with elk, deer, and moose, with a meandering river, private trout stream, two 100-foot waterfalls, as well as a 200-foot waterfall at the property boundary. The main house is a palatial, 8,000-square-foot log home with six bedrooms and four-and-half baths. Ancillary structures include a garage, equipment barn, greenhouse, and caretaker’s quarters. This private paradise has miles of trails and recreational land ideal for horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, Nordic and back-country skiing, snow-shoeing, ice climbing, and fishing.

Camp Endo in Jamaica, Vermont

Designed for hiking, skiing, fishing, and all manner of recreation, Camp Endo is a rustic mountain lodge reimagined for the 21st century.
The property has its own renewable energy plant and resort-inspired amenities, including a meditation room, outdoor paintball course, basketball half-court, and swimming pond.

Camp Endo is a 417-acre mountain kingdom threaded with eight miles of gladed ski trails and custom-designed mountain biking terrain. The 9,539-square-foot main house was cited in the book Rustic Living by Ralph Kylloe as one of the great rustic homes in the United States. Its magnificent finishes and details of wood, bark, and stone details blend with open-plan living spaces to offer supreme comfort and great light. All six en suite bedrooms have magnificent mountain views. The great room features a massive stone fireplace and adjoins a chef’s kitchen; both open to a screened-in porch and a vast deck with stone fireplace—and a spectacular mountain lookoff. The property also includes its own renewable energy plant, a gym/spa, meditation room, 22-seat theater, outdoor paintball course, six-foot square chessboard, heated barn with a basketball half-court, two-bedroom guest suite and three-bay garage. Adjoining the apple orchard is a big swimming pond stocked with brown and rainbow trout.

Patagonian Escape in Esquel, Argentina

This estate in Argentina sits next to a tranquil lake and is surrounded by majestic mountains.
This estate in Argentina sits next to a tranquil lake and is surrounded by majestic mountains.

This rustic yet elegant estate near Esquel, Argentina, is ideally situated on a peaceful lake in Patagonia. Surrounded by mountains and wildlife, it’s a compelling spot for those who love to fish (the lake has a robust rainbow trout population), hike, swim, or sail. The main lakeside residence has four bedrooms, and the grounds also include a guest house, three caretakers’ cottages, and a traditional stone chapel. Though located just 15 minutes from the city of Esquel, this home feels worlds away. Its interior is reminiscent of the rustic architecture of a Colorado ski lodge or a Swiss chalet with timber beams bracing the ceilings. Windows frame incredible views of the lake in both the living room and the dramatic two-story room that houses the indoor swimming pool and a magnificent stone fireplace.

Mountainside Modern in Santa Cruz, Costa Rica

Modern and elegant Casa Monos on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is surrounded by the country’s renowned natural beauty and biodiversity.
Modern and elegant Casa Monos on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is surrounded by the country’s renowned natural beauty and biodiversity.

Casa Monos is a five-bedroom estate with a contemporary aesthetic reminiscent of the style of Frank Lloyd Wright. Full of rich details like doors and windows made from Honduran mahogany, it boasts a roofline that projects over its outer walls, giving it a classic Wrightian silhouette. The custom-built, 11,000-square-foot residence sits right at the tip of Punta Salinas on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, a country that is renowned for its incredible biodiversity. Casa Monos is perfectly positioned to enjoy every aspect of the natural beauty that surrounds it. Set into a rock cliff facing the water, it’s surrounded by a tropical dry forest. In addition to the main residence, the property features staff quarters as well as a guard house, wine cellar, and outdoor pool with a 20-foot-high waterfall.