For those who love animals, there is a special place in the heart, seeking not mastery, but stewardship with kindness and care for all creatures great and small. With the Westminster Dog Show opening on February 11, Luxury Defined presents five unique homes designed to share the human environment with man’s best friend and other beings that walk or fly, swim or crawl. Consider a 17th-century Tuscan villa with idyllic grounds and a dedicated butterfly house. Then there’s the rambling Calgary estate that pampers human and equine residents alike and the Mediterranean villa on Florida’s Gold Coast with a breathtaking saltwater aquarium in the living room. There is a luxurious equestrian farm in the Puerto Rican countryside, with excellent accommodations for other furry friends: sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas; and, in the heart of Mexico City, a dazzling Cubist “equine residence” in pastel pink and terracotta, designed to maximize the interaction of horse and human: Five peaceable kingdoms for all.
Tropical Farming Estate
Morovis, Puerto Rico
Enveloped within a lush valley bordered by a river and mountain peaks in the heart of the Puerto Rican countryside, this 191-acre farming estate offers an atmosphere of unmatched privacy and unparalleled beauty. This uniquely animal-friendly sanctuary includes a world-class equestrian facility with an indoor dressage/jumping arena, round pen, loose boxes, and stabling for more four-legged critters than a box of animal crackers: Its current guests include beautiful Paso Fino horses, llamas, donkeys, sheep, goats, and pigs.
Outdoor entertaining areas create a resort-style ambience and allow guests to appreciate the spectacular views of the mountains and breathtaking tropical landscape. Part of the landholding is dedicated to hay and silage production, and includes with two additional residences. This is the perfect place to combine the love of nature with equestrian sports in a paradise less than 45 minutes from Puerto Rico’s world-famous Dorado Beach and under an hour from San Juan.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Designed for human, horse, and hound, with room for other four-legged friends, this Canadian compound comprises a luxurious main house and 3.68 acres of professionally developed, irrigated grounds with a sophisticated fenced-in dog run and a paddock system with 14 gates, shelters, and automatic waterers. The equestrian barn was custom built to match the house and is finished in high style with chandeliers, interlocking rubber floors, two 12x12 soft stalls, grooming and wash bays, and a tack room.
The 5,200-square-foot, four-bedroom owner’s residence offers an elegant respite after a day in the field. Grand architectural elements include coffered and vaulted wood-beamed ceilings and two river rock fireplaces. The home is also equipped with luxurious amenities, such as a butler station, games room with wet bar, home theater, and a huge office and gym complex above the three-car garage.
Lighthouse Point, Florida
Inspired by its scenic waterfront location in Florida’s Lighthouse Point, between Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, this palatial Mediterranean-style estate is set within tropical landscaped grounds with 245 feet of deepwater shoreline. Sweeping waterway vistas provide a stunning backdrop throughout the six-bedroom, 9,610-square-foot interior and the outdoor entertaining areas.
The home’s standout feature is a two-story living room with a dramatic saltwater aquarium, which can also be viewed in the dining room. Every amenity has been thought of, from the elevator, impact windows, Lutron lighting, Crestron sound system, and sophisticated security to the screening room, waterside billiard room, summer kitchen, multi-level patios, and 44-foot pool with water jets and cascading waterfalls. There’s also an angler’s workshop with a boat ramp and a multi-yacht dock with a 16,000-pound boat lift.
Cuadra San Cristobal
Mexico City, Mexico
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Luis Barragán is the visionary creator of this extraordinary equestrian estate in Mexico City’s Federal District. The terracotta, white and pink exterior walls of Cuadra San Cristobal enclose 7.5 acres of landscaped grounds, indoor-outdoor living spaces and water features. Stables were built within the grounds to reflect the original proprietors’ belief that horses should roam the space and mingle with their human hosts. The smaller swimming pool is for humans, the big one for horses.
The fluid interior spaces are framed by floor-to-ceiling windows, inviting sunlight and views of the tranquil grounds. There are extensive accommodations: four bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms in the main house, two guest apartments, and a three-bedroom staff apartment above the stables.
Villa Garzoni Pinocchio
Pescia, Tuscany, Italy
Villa Garzoni Pinocchio is a baroque masterpiece set within formal gardens in the heart of a medieval hamlet dating back to 1100. The estate’s architectural grandeur is matched by its unique provenance: It was built in 1600 by the father of Italian journalist and author Carlo Lorenzini—best known by his pen name, Carlo Collodi—and inspired one of the greatest children’s novels of all time: The Adventures of Pinocchio.
The main villa encompasses 32,636 square feet across five levels accessed via a sweeping staircase. The residence is adorned with ornate rococo design elements, such as frescoed walls, decorative ceilings, and paintings, and has been partially restored and structurally secured. The grounds are idyllic: 30 acres of land comprising farm and parkland, ancient woods, olive groves, and formal baroque gardens graced with classically inspired labyrinths, statuary, and fountains. The estate’s most unique feature is the butterfly house, restored to its former grandeur, the 4,423-square-foot enclosure is home to hundreds of tropical butterflies, reproducing their typical habitat. A palazzo, guest house, thermal bath, and several stages complete the picture of perfection.