Ready, Set, Play: 10 Homes for Sports Enthusiasts
Luxury Defined spotlights trophy estates with world-class facilities for sports and recreation, health and well-being
Luxury Defined spotlights trophy estates with world-class facilities for sports and recreation, health and well-being
If anything, a solid year of social distancing, telecommuting, and distance learning have taught us all how to work and study from home. A vital component of well-being, though, is the ability to stop working, to put down the books and tools and laptop screens, to decompress . . . and simply play. And play what you will: Golf, tennis, full-court basketball, billiards, soccer, volleyball, and a whole range of sports, such as sailing, fly-fishing, equestrian, and even all the free weights and machines for pumping iron are on offer in this fine collection of Luxury Defined homes (not to mention a treasury of gardens, terraces, and open spaces where one might sit or lounge or simply . . . breathe). These sporting retreats also come with resort-grade amenities, magnificent living spaces, and lavish accommodations. Time now, though, to play. Game on!
Rural Escape in Tualatin, Oregon
Privacy and tranquility abound at this rural estate in the hamlet of Stafford, just south of Lake Oswego. The stately, 5,683-square-foot red brick main house has large, mullioned windows looking out on rolling hills and forested valleys. A grand foyer opens to the living room, formal dining room, and wood-paneled library. The contemporary kitchen has an informal dining space connecting to the great room, a magisterial two-story space with an enclosed fireplace and huge clerestory windows bringing in the views and the light. French doors open to an expansive deck overlooking a peaceful garden with a Victorian gazebo and waterfall; nearby, a fragrant rose garden and a gated garden await the contemplative moods. For the tennis player, there is a high-fenced, fully enclosed pro-grade tennis court. Indoor sporting options include a dedicated, third-floor game room with space enough for air hockey and billiards. The media room offers a 100-inch screen, JVC projector, Boston Acoustics 7.1 surround-sound in-wall speakers, and a whole-house private media server. The second floor houses four bedrooms including a primary suite with a gas fireplace and lots of windows, and a luxurious en suite bathroom with jetted tub for post-game relaxation.
Stonewall Farm in Westchester County, New York
Encompassing 740 acres, Stonewall Farm is the largest privately owned property in Westchester County. Dedicated to raising championship Thoroughbred racehorses, Stonewall Farm has been scrupulously preserved over the last 40 years by its current owners, Barry K. Schwartz, co-founder of the Calvin Klein global fashion empire, and his wife Sheryl, who have created an estate of refined elegance and exceptional taste. The property offers a magnificent owner’s compound, superbly maintained grounds, and world-class equestrian facilities. At the heart of this private demesne is the 24,000-square-foot colonial-style manor house, designed by New York-based architect Rebecca Rasmussen with interiors by British designer Kelly Hoppen. Outside the main house are meticulously formal French and Japanese gardens designed by notable landscape architect Edmund D. Hollander. Through the wisteria-trellised columns of the pergola walkway is the adjoining 4,000-square-foot pavilion-style poolhouse. The centerpiece is a 60-foot long swimming pool and spa. Additionally, the poolhouse offers an inviting lounge area with fireplace, a gym, sauna, changing rooms, kitchen, and courtyard for alfresco events or dining. Beyond are orchards, woodlands, ponds, and sweeping vistas of the Westchester countryside—all just an hour from New York City.
Tennis Estate in the Hills of Escazú, San José, Costa Rica
This palatial private estate overlooks the San José Skyline from a private, 2.5-acre setting in the hills of Escazú. This main residence extends to nearly 16,000 square feet designed for the luxury “live-work-play” lifestyle. Eleven bedrooms and six bathrooms include guest and staff quarters and a lavish owner’s suite with an office, walk-in closet, and a private terrace with a jetliner view of the city. Two additional studies and the library are ideal for telecommuting or remote learning. Grandly scaled interiors open to serene terraces and tropical gardens; the outstanding leisure facilities include a tennis complex with a professional court that doubles as a full size basketball court; a spa pool fed by a waterfall, a herb garden with a fountain, and a wellness center surrounded by beautiful gardens with a pond. Furthering the resort atmosphere are the movie theater, personal gym, and an entertainment wing, complete with a party entrance, cocktail bar, wine cellar, and billiards table. The property is protected by a cutting-edge smart-home security and surveillance system as well as a security office and guard house at the main gate. A separate staff apartment, four-car garage, and 20-vehicle car park are further amenities.
East Hill Estate in Englewood, New Jersey
There is an air of the baronial about this stone manor house on almost two acres in an exclusive cul-de-sac in Englewood’s East Hill. The neat lines and proportions of the exterior belie the expansive interior, which unfolds to 16,000 square feet of living, entertaining—and playing space. Its highlight: a skylit, regulation indoor basketball court adjoining a full exercise space and locker room, and a sports lounge with a wet bar. Nearby are the conservatory and the media/billiards room. An elevator serves the upper floors. Outdoors are the custom pool and lounge deck, a zip line, and a tree house, complemented by landscaped gardens and bluestone patios, served by two outdoor kitchens featuring a Woodstone pizza oven and Hestan infrared grill. Inside, the baronial theme extends to the expansive living room, with its cathedral-beamed ceiling and fireplace with carved hardwood mantel, framed by enormous leaded glass windows on three sides. Custom woodwork and finishes grace the private space, including a stunning cherry wood-paneled, double-height office and a chestnut-paneled library with fireplace. The owner’s suite bathroom has a new electronic steam shower and a spa bath. And, of course, all this is just five miles from Manhattan.
Fawn Bluff in British Columbia, Canada
Fawn Bluff is the quintessential Canadian waterside retreat. This exclusive property is situated on Bute Inlet at the Emerald Edge of the Great Bear Rainforest—one of the world’s last great coastal rainforests. The property was designed as the ultimate sport-fishing estate, thanks to its rare private lake and the only sheltered deepwater harbor on Bute Inlet. It’s also in the golden triangle of Canadian fishing lodges, a world-class fishing destination renowned for its rich supply of salmon, halibut, and lingcod. The estate’s luxurious and extensive accommodations are built into the rainforest canopy. The spectacular amenities include a three-mile private road network, a helipad, and an expandable dock with barge access. The Campbell River International Port of Entry is just 14 minutes by seaplane.
Galleria Costa in Ashigarashimo-Gun, Japan
Galleria Costa is a spectacular oceanfront retreat on the coast of the Manazuru Peninsula, less than 90 minutes’ drive from Tokyo. Built in harmony with the sea, the 8.5-acre estate takes full advantage of its breathtaking location facing Sagami Bay. Each room is uniquely designed with its own theme and offers a dramatic view of the sea. The main residence is complemented by a guest house and unique resort-inspired amenities. The outdoor pool and Rotenburo open-air hot spring baths create an infinity view of sea and sky. The luxuriously appointed deck is ideal for alfresco entertaining. There’s also a gym and wellness center with mist and stone saunas, Jacuzzi, and treatment room; a home theater with karaoke system; and, for the sports enthusiast, a tennis court and state-of-the-art golf simulator.
Traditional Villa in Pelion, Greece
On the picturesque grounds of a 19th-century watermill, this modern estate sits perched above the Aegean Sea, offering breathtaking views and prime access to the beach and nearby mountains. In addition to its traditional, expertly crafted interior, this five-bedroom villa has an outdoor recreation area that’s equal parts tranquil and ready for fun. The main outdoor terrace includes a barbecue, the landscaped garden is the setting for a large swimming pool, and the volleyball court, which can also be used for soccer, is situated near a natural waterfall. The mild climate means these outdoor amenities can be enjoyed for much of the year.
Private Peninsula Estate in Rolling Hills, California
This elegant seven-acre estate sits on a private peninsula with sunset skies and sea views from the Palos Verdes shoreline to Catalina Island. Situated on one of the highest points in Palos Verdes, this elegant sportsman’s hideaway was 10 years in the making: Indoors flows to outdoor living with floor-to-ceiling windows and multiple glass doors opening the pristine decks, alfresco dining areas, and lounging spaces with a Jacuzzi overlooking the water. The master suite opens up to a Zen-inspired garden and features dual bathrooms—and dual offices. The open living plan is the ultimate in contemporary California lifestyle design, highlighted by the open chef’s kitchen in Carrera marble with Tommy Mitchell butterfly chandeliers overhead. The sportswoman’s dreams come true with the Olympic-sized dressage ring, corral and barn; a tennis/basketball court with plenty of room for spectators (and a built-in service area); and an infinity pool and spa. The guest house has a full kitchen and large living area which open to resort-like decks and a built in barbecue area. Secluded walkways connect to the main house and the contemplative serenity of the Zen garden, its olive trees and gentle fountain.
Chelston in Paget Parish, Bermuda
Situated 200 feet above Grape Bay Beach, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Chelston, a private 14-acre beachfront compound, is unrivaled in Bermuda and can be counted amongst the finest homes in the world. From 1964 to 1999, the estate served as the official Bermuda residence of the U.S. Consul General. In 1999, the current owners purchased the property and embarked on an extensive three-year renovation project detailing every aspect of the estate with a team of international architects and artisans. The centerpiece of the estate is a 10,000-square-foot main house, which is complemented by three guest cottages, a staff house, and a charming beach pavilion. A nearly Olympic-sized zero-edge swimming pool, croquet lawn, acres of rolling lawns for myriad leisure pursuits, and the pink sands of Grape Bay Beach are among the many amenities.
Fairview Estate in Easton, Maryland
Fairview Estate is among the great estates of Talbot County, Maryland. The magnificent 74-acre property lies at the end of a peninsula on a tributary of Chesapeake Bay. Over the last 32 years, the owners have carefully preserved, extended, and transformed Fairview into a grand and gracious estate. There are two elegant homes here: The striking 14,300-square-foot white brick main residence, built in 1991 in the Neoclassical tradition; and, the original manor house, built around 1670 in the Federal style and expanded in the mid-1800s in Greek Revival style. Fairview pampers the sporting enthusiast with an asphalt tennis court, a professional-grade nine-hole golf course, a heated pool with cabana (elevated to take in views of the river), and a 1,200-square-foot fitness studio. The 19th-century dairy barn was retrofitted for leisure, recreation, special events, and guest accommodation. The estate has 2,100 feet of private shoreline, which includes a beach, tidal pond, and pier. There are two additional dwellings for guests or staff, 19th-century formal gardens, a greenhouse and vegetable garden with attached flower shop, thousands of specimen trees, wide verdant lawns, and a romantic gazebo.