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Sweet Dreams: 5 Enchanted Estates

Luxury Defined spotlights a collection of homes that capture the imagination

Old or new, great or small, every home has its own unique charm, but some are, by their very nature—call them what you will—spellbinding, magical… enchanting. Graced with beauty, artistry, and whimsy in equal measure, such homes stir the senses. In this spirit, Luxury Defined offers a trove of properties oozing with mystery and charm. Choose from a Caribbean castle influenced by the exotic travels of a Bulgarian countess or an American ranch built to echo the flow of nature. Or perhaps your vision of enchantment is a medieval château with a moat and drawbridge or a stately Renaissance villa that inspired one of the most famous children’s stories of all time. Far beyond the ordinary, these homes capture our imaginations, transporting us to the pages of a fairy tale.

Renaissance Château
Cognac, Charente-Maritime, France

A stately tree-lined driveway traversing an ancient moat forms the fairy-tale introduction to this Renaissance château on 100 acres in southwestern France. A sensitive restoration has retained the château’s original details—many of which date from the Middle Ages—yet with 21st-century updates: insulation and heating, high-end fittings, and luxurious amenities. The château is notable for its magnificent formal gardens, while the wider estate offers excellent opportunities for recreation.

The Castle
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Enchanted by its dramatic hilltop setting with 360-degree views of both the north and south coast of St. Croix, Bulgarian Contessa Nadia Farber purchased this prominent property and set forth to build her fairy-tale Caribbean castle. She completed the Castle in 1989, however, continued to carefully acquire land, and eventually assembled an amazing 102-acre estate. At its summit is the castle and gatekeeper’s lodge, which were inspired by the Moorish and oriental architecture of her homeland and travels.

Shining Hand Ranch
Ashland, Oregon, United States

This 700-acre ranch was built to honor the diverse topography of its spectacular setting: the foothills of Oregon’s Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges. Completed in 2016, the 8,880-square-foot residence was handcrafted to echo the organic flow of nature. From the arched mahogany front doors, framed by copper tree sculptures, and the foyer with dramatic carved staircase to the treehouse-like master suite and glass-enclosed solar-heated pool, every detail is exquisite.

Villa Garzoni Pinocchio
Pescia, Tuscany, Italy

The magnificent Villa Garzoni Pinocchio, a 15th-century estate in the heart of Tuscany, inspired one of the most famous children’s novels of all time. It was here, in 1881, that Carlo Lorenzini (best known by his pen name, Carlo Collodi) wrote the Adventures of Pinocchio. The stately 32,636-square-foot, five-story villa is adorned with ornate rococo details, such as frescoed walls, decorative ceilings, and paintings. An idyllic mix of ancient woods, parkland, and Baroque gardens, the 30-acre grounds are arrayed with unique structures including labyrinths, a butterfly house, palazzo, and thermal baths.

Villa Hermosa
Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy

This alluring beachfront villa on Italy’s Emerald Coast is hidden within 1.2 acres of lush private parkland. The airy living areas include a dining room, kitchen, two master suites, three additional guest bedrooms, and staff quarters. The grounds are a haven of tranquility with beautiful ivy-clad terraces, a courtyard, outdoor dining area, verdant lawns, and an oversized free-form swimming pool overlooking the sea. The villa is situated in a secure, private community with direct access to the beach.