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Supersized Homes: 7 Large Family Estates

This holiday season, Luxury Defined tours some of the world’s largest family homes—built to host lavish festivities and accommodate guests by the score

There’s no place like home for the holidays, when those welcome hordes of relatives and friends descend upon the family household, where merrymaking—and logistical chaos—ensue. Here we present an alternative to that “relative” chaos with this collection of supersized single-family houses and multi-dwelling compounds. These are no ordinary homes: Among this box of delights is a fairy-tale French château (complete with a moat); a quintessential mountain lodge in Montana; a historic estate in Silicon Valley; a palatial penthouse overlooking Sydney Harbour; and a stately villa to waltz in the famous Viennese New Year Ball. All have exquisite décor, lavish 21st-century amenities, dedicated entertaining areas, and—most importantly—ample accommodations for family and friends.

Fawn Lake Manor in Spotsylvania, Virginia

This elegant estate comprises a 15,000-square-foot manor house and two acres of parklike grounds bordering Fawn Lake golf course in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

This custom-built estate home in the beautiful golf and country club community of Fawn Lake in Spotsylvania, Virginia, comprises a 15,000-square-foot mansion and more than two acres of lushly landscaped grounds. Built to an exacting standard, the palatial residence invites festive entertaining, for gatherings formal or intimate. The entrance hall makes a grand first impression with its dual curved staircases and decorative ceiling with an enormous solid crystal chandelier. The two-story formal living room is another showpiece with its double-height windows and bespoke crystal chandeliers. Farther along is a formal dining room, large gourmet kitchen with breakfast area, and a cozy family room. Double doors open to a two-story verandah fitted with automated sunshades. All six bedrooms have en suite bathrooms. There’s also an office/computer room and a four-car garage with storage space. The lower level recreation floor features a 12-seat bar, billiards room, family room, game room, sauna, steam shower, gym, and an en suite bedroom with a private entrance. The rear gardens border the second fairway of the Fawn Lake golf course.

Deer Creek Ranch in Bigfork, Montana

Deer Creek Ranch is a classic Rocky Mountain lodge on 73 private acres on the doorstep of Glacier National Park. The main residence extends across 16,000 square feet with five bedrooms and six bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen, a great room, and 10 fireplaces, making it the ideal home for holiday entertaining.

A quintessential Montana estate, Deer Creek Ranch is nestled within 73 private acres in the Swan Mountains, close to Bigfork, Kalispell, and Glacier National Park. The main house is a handcrafted log home encompassing 16,000 square feet of living space well suited to holiday entertaining. The multiple living areas invite with 10 rock fireplaces, timber and stone finishes, and bespoke light fixtures, and include a vast great room, saloon with bar and billiards area, and a study/library formal dining room, and gourmet kitchen. There are plenty of accommodations for guests: The main house has five bedrooms and six bathrooms, including a master retreat with walk-in closet and spa bathroom. The guest house is a charming 1,700-square-foot retreat within the grounds offering an additional two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a loft space.

The Boyd Residence in Sydney, Australia

One of the world’s great trophy homes and the finest penthouse ever offered in Australia, the Boyd Residence encompasses 25,833 square feet of living space over three levels, crowning the internationally awarded ANZ Tower in Sydney’s CBD.

The Boyd Residence is the jewel in the crown of Sydney’s ANZ Tower, an award-winning glass skyscraper conceived by acclaimed Australian architect Richard Francis-Jones. Heralded as one of the finest residences in the world at the 2017 International Design & Architecture Awards, the ANZ Tower penthouse is a three-story, 25,800-square-foot “sky mansion” with panoramic views extending from Sydney Harbour to the Pacific Ocean. The heart of the residence is an awe-inspiring triple-height great room; floor-to-ceiling windows and apex roof lights flood the gallery-like space with sunlight, providing a sensational setting for social gatherings. There are four luxurious bedroom suites. On the home’s upper level, the lavish master bedroom and its white marble bathroom capture the ever-changing vistas of Sydney Harbour. The rooftop deck is a resort-style sanctuary with cabana lounge, swimming pool, and an observation deck from which to enjoy the iconic skyline views. Further highlights include a designer kitchen, wine cellar, study, gym, 24-hour security, and a private garage.

Sui Generis in Brielle, New Jersey

Sui Generis is a one-of-a-kind family compound with 31,000 square feet of living space and three acres of idyllic grounds framed against the beauty of the Manasquan River.

This three-acre riverfront estate in Brielle, New Jersey, combines the owner’s architectural vision with the beauty of the Manasquan River as its backdrop. Sui Generis (Latin for “of its own kind”) combines pure opulence with supreme functionality. A true family compound, the 31,000-square-foot home comprises a nine-bedroom main residence and a separate guest/staff apartment ensconced within an idyllic natural environment. Built using the finest materials and craftsmanship, the living spaces frame the views of the river. A wine cellar, a wine-tasting room with climate-controlled bar, a billiards room, and a home theater with comfortable lounge-style seating across three levels are just a few of the lavish amenities. Beyond the splendor of the home’s interior is an alluring pool with cabana, bar, and outdoor kitchen; a Japanese-style garden; and two deepwater docks and slips to accommodate boats of up to 65 feet.

Renaissance Château in Cognac, France

One of the finest properties in France, this historic château is set like a jewel amid 104 acres of glorious grounds replete with classical formal gardens and a hunting preserve.

Dating from the Middle Ages, this enchanting Renaissance château is set within 104 private acres amid the pastoral landscape of Cognac, just a few miles from the Atlantic seaport of La Rochelle. Reminiscent of a fairy-tale castle, the entrance is formed by a resplendent tree-lined driveway crossing over an ancient moat. The 19,375-square-foot residence has been restored and refurbished with high-end fittings, a heating system, double glazing, and excellent insulation, yet has retained its romantic, historical character. Sunlit and spacious reception rooms with 12-foot-high ceilings, original stone floors, and fireplaces form the heart of the main residence. There is extensive space for further development, both in the main château and in the ancillary structures that grace the estate. The grounds encompass neoclassical gardens enhanced with exquisite water features, bordered by meadows, woodland, and crystal-clear rivers for world-class hunting and fishing.

Stately Villa in Vienna, Austria

With 15,187 square feet of beautifully resorted living entertaining areas, this historic villa is the palatial setting from which to enjoy Vienna’s world-famous Christmas and New Year celebrations.

This regal mansion is located in the prestigious 13th district of Vienna—the perfect place to gather friends and family prior to waltzing at the city’s famous New Year’s Eve Ball at the Hofburg Palace. This notable estate was built at the turn of the 20th century for a member of the Austrian nobility by the esteemed Austrian architect Ernst von Gotthilf. In recent years, the property has been sensitively restored and today provides 15,187 interior square feet with eight bedrooms and eight full bathrooms, formal reception rooms, two dining rooms, a vaulted wine cellar, and garage. Among the luxurious modern touches are remote-access home automation, a contemporary kitchen with walk-in refrigerator, a gym, and an infrared-steam sauna. The villa has a wealth of outdoor entertaining areas, including a balcony, ground-floor terrace, and parklike gardens graced with a 200-year-old copper beech tree.

Green Gables in Woodside, California

The historic Green Gables estate offers an unparalleled breadth of homes, natural habitats, and lands for enjoyment, relaxation, and development in the heart of Silicon Valley.

This extraordinary estate of 74 acres 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. Complementing the main house are six additional dwellings, each nestled its own private setting. The glorious grounds are a mix of formal gardens surrounding the main house and natural woodlands of majestic old-growth trees. There are also three swimming pools, a tennis court, private roads and wooded riding trails, and a reservoir. The property has long been a gathering place for international luminaries. In 1965, the United Nations selected Green Gables as the site for its 20th anniversary gala. Today, the estate offers an unparalleled breadth of homes, natural habitats, and lands for enjoyment, relaxation, and development in the heart of Silicon Valley.