Kehtna Manor in Raplamaa, Estonia
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Property Insights: What Does US$1 Million Buy Around the World?

Discover the luxury international properties available for around US$1 million

Location, lifestyle, and provenance, especially in the luxury residential real estate market, are the hallmarks of value for affluent homebuyers. Once upon a time, “a million,” (whether US dollar, euro, or pound sterling) was considered the entry point for a luxury home.  

These days, it can be at least five times as much to buy into prime and resort-destination markets. Buyers can get more for their million in smaller markets, such as the American South and Midwest, South America, Southeast Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe.  

Indeed, there are surprising values available out there: Consider a pied-à-terre in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, or a canal-front apartment in Venice; or escape to a tropical villa on the paradisal Thai island of Phuket or the Gilded Age splendor of a 19th-century manor in Estonia. 

Read on to discover just what—and where—US$1 million can buy. 

Kehtna Manor in Raplamaa, Estonia  

Kehtna Manor in Raplamaa, EstoniaKehtna Manor in Raplamaa, EstoniaKehtna Manor in Raplamaa, EstoniaKehtna Manor in Raplamaa, Estonia

Kehtna Manor is set within 25 parklike acres in central Estonia, about 40 miles south of Tallinn, the capital. The site dates from 1470, but the magnificent Baroque manor that stands today was built circa 1790. 

Since then, the property underwent a painstaking restoration, updating the foundations, insulation, and rainwater drainage. The ornate yellow and white façade encloses more than 10,000 square feet of heated living space across two floors and around 4,300 square feet of unfinished attic space.

The decorative elements include floors of herringbone parquet and mosaic tile, frescoed ceilings, and walls adorned with colorful hand-painted wallpaper and ornate wood panelling.  

The private, landscaped parkland was returned to its original splendor under the supervision of the Estonian government and the EU, with dozens of oak trees planted by Estonia’s presidents. A pond, lawned gardens, and the original coach house complete the scene. 

 Armani Residence at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE 

Armani Residence at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAEArmani Residence at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAEArmani Residence at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAEArmani Residence at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE

Armani Residences have a truly elevated setting in the Burj Khalifa, This pied-à-terre by Armani Residences delivers an ultra-luxurious lifestyle in Dubai’s most recognizable landmark.  

Fully furnished by the bespoke Armani Casa, the 1,011-square-foot, one-bedroom unit has a bright, airy ambience. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with natural light. Ceiling spotlights with iPad-controlled dimmers illuminate the home after dark. 

The extraordinary views take in the Dubai skyline and the Arabian Gulf. Appointments include a gourmet kitchen with Miele appliances, a mini bar, spa-like bathroom with rain shower and stone bathtub, as well as smart-home automation and climate control. 

As part of the Armani Hotel, the home’s array of amenities and services include a 24-hour valet, concierge, security, housekeeping and room service. Residents have access to the hotel’s spa, pool, fitness center, ballroom, and eight restaurants offering a myriad of world cuisines.

Layan Sea View Villa in Phuket, Thailand  

Layan Sea View Villa in Phuket, ThailandLayan Sea View Villa in Phuket, ThailandLayan Sea View Villa in Phuket, ThailandLayan Sea View Villa in Phuket, Thailand

This turnkey villa is a tropical escape overlooking Layan Beach on the west coast of Phuket Island. The 4,811-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom residence features three levels of luxurious, fully furnished living space. 

The main floor is anchored by a great room with a media lounge, formal dining area, and chef’s kitchen. Glass doors open to a sea-view terrace with a marble lap pool.  

A staircase rises to the second level, where two large bedrooms await, both have king-sized beds and en suite bathrooms. The principal bedroom is privately situated above the pool. This spa-inspired retreat includes a luxurious bathroom with a freestanding soaking tub and walk-in closets. This floor also includes an indoor-outdoor living space, ideal as an office, library, or entertainment suite, and a wraparound balcony. 

On the lower level are staff quarters, utility and laundry rooms, and a two-car garage. Sliding glass doors on the lower and upper level open to the gardens, with a barbecue setting bounded by fruit trees and exotic plants. 

The white sands of Layan Beach are 10 minutes walk. Downtown Phuket and the international airport are just 20 minutes away. 

Custom-Built Cottage in Greenville, South Carolina  

Luxury home in South CarolinaLuxury outdoor patio in South CarolinaLuxury kitchen in South Carolina

This custom-built, four-bedroom, three-bathroom cottage is in Hartness, a serene 449-acre resort community in Greenville, South Carolina. 

Designed for contemporary family living, the fluid, open-concept floor plan includes hardwood floors and 10-foot ceilings throughout. An inviting fireplace anchors the living/dining room, which opens to a luxurious kitchen with professional-grade stainless-steel appliances. 

A unique touch is the den with French-style barn doors, a full bathroom, and walk-in closet, ideal for an office or guest suite. Upstairs, high ceilings and oversized windows create an open and airy ambience. 

The primary suite has a sumptuous bathroom, walk-in closet, and French doors to a private balcony. Two spacious guest rooms share a full bathroom. An office, media room, library, exercise room, coffee station, and reading nook are further highlights. 

Outside, there’s a covered front porch with remote-controlled screens, a private courtyard paved with bluestone, a terrace spanning the length of the house, and an oversized garage with extra room for a golf cart. 

Minutes from downtown Greenville, the Hartness community amenities include a clubhouse, pool, sports courts, fitness center, ponds and rambling nature trails, a restaurant, and a four-star boutique hotel (projected to open in early 2023). 

19th-Century Château in Brie-sous-Chalais, Charente, France  

19th-Century Château in Brie-sous-Chalais, Charente, France19th-Century Château in Brie-sous-Chalais, Charente, France19th-Century Château in Brie-sous-Chalais, Charente, France19th-Century Château in Brie-sous-Chalais, Charente, France

This fairy-tale château is ensconced within private, parklike grounds at the edge of Brie-sous-Chalais, a charming village between Angoulême and Bordeaux in France’s Charente region.  

The château, built in 1840, underwent extensive restoration in 2004. Within are 3,300 square feet of grandly scaled interiors. On the ground level, spacious reception rooms include a great hall with a monumental log-burning hearth. Farther along is a library, fully equipped kitchen, orangery, and elegant verandah overlooking the gardens. 

There are four bedrooms: two are private suites with a sitting room, en suite bathroom, and dressing room. The attic offers additional space for guest or family quarters, a studio, office, or recreation space. 

The ancillary structures include a two-bedroom caretaker’s house, renovated to the same standard as the main residence, and a 19th-century barn, which serves as a garage. Beyond are beautifully tended formal gardens featuring an allée of plane trees, water features and statuary, and specimen plants. 

The property is just five minutes’ drive from local services and a 40-minute drive from the Angoulême high-speed rail TGV station.  

Dimora de la Palma in Venice, Italy 

Dimora de la Palma in Venice, ItalyDimora de la Palma in Venice, ItalyDimora de la Palma in Venice, ItalyDimora de la Palma in Venice, Italy

In the heart of Venice’s Cannaregio sestiere, this charming triplex offers Italy’s famous alfresco lifestyle with its scenic canal views and private, walled garden. 

The home extends to nearly 2,000 square feet across three levels. Each brightly lit room has a soft palette with Gothic windows framing the views of the garden, the canal, or the Venetian rooftops. 

The first floor includes a light-filled living room with an ornate tiled floor, open-plan kitchen and dining room, and a guest bathroom. The second floor houses three bedrooms and a full bathroom. The third floor could easily be reconfigured into a studio, living room, or additional bedroom suite. 

The residence is close to the beautiful 16th-century Scuola Vecchia della Misericordia. The San Marcuola, Ca’ d’Oro, and Madonna dell’ Orto Vaporetto water bus stops are nearby. Residents can also take traghetto service across the Grand Canal to the Rialto Market. Piazza San Marco is a leisurely 15-minute stroll.