Guests come in many guises. The ancients believed that hospitality to a stranger held the possibility of receiving an angel unbeknownst. Herewith Luxury Defined presents six elegant homes that accommodate guests in style and comfort. Modern “angels” such as Princess Margaret at Jackie Kennedy were welcomed at one such home, an idyllic horse farm in upstate New York. But whether it’s the visitors’ suite of a Prairie-style hideaway in Princeton, New Jersey, or an historic country manor in the Netherlands, these houses prove an eternal truth: The greatest joys of home and hearth are in the sharing of them.
Beachfront Villa on the Costa Blanca
This exclusive beachfront villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea offers the ultimate resort lifestyle on Spain’s Costa Blanca. The villa itself measures an impressive 10,609 square feet across three levels with 10 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms—perfect for hosting large family gatherings and overnight guests.
The living spaces boast large windows and terraces offering scenic sea views. The first floor comprises the private quarters as well as a children’s play area and game room. A guest apartment is found on the lower ground floor; it offers two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dressing room, a living room with open-plan kitchen, and a private terrace with access to the garden. The abundant recreational options include direct access to the beach, a private pool and tennis court, and a wellness center with a gym, sauna, massage room, an insulated squash court, and a wine cellar. Other unique features include a 40-person conference room.
Grand and glorious Villa Blauwduin is thatched, rambling country house in the exclusive enclave of Zwaluwenweg in Aerdenhout, Netherlands. Built in 1928 and thoroughly renovated in 2010-11, Villa Blauwduin (or Blue Dune in Dutch) offers around 800 square meters (8,600 square feet) of contemporary living space, on grounds no less than 23,185 square meters (5.7 acres) of parklike gardens, forest, and meadows.
With its large array of private quarters and ancillary buildings, the estate is ideal as a luxurious private compound, capable of accommodating large numbers of family or friends, or for combining living and work areas in ultimate comfort. In addition to the beautiful five-bedroom manor house, which includes a finished attic with room for four additional bedrooms, there is a thatched two-story guest house, and a studio apartment above the separate four-car garage and workshop. The estate is also ideal for equestrians with a thatched stable, paddocks, and wooded trails.
La Maison de Verre
Princeton, New Jersey
La Maison de Verre is a striking 10,800-square-foot residence, set within a series of walled gardens in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey. An homage to Frank Lloyd Wright’s distinctive Prairie style, the property was designed in the late 1960s by William F. Shellman, late professor of modern architecture at Princeton University, and by architect William H. Short, handpicked by Wright to implement and oversee the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
In recent years, the home has been sensitively preserved and expanded by its second and current owner, incorporating 21st-century living while preserving the architectural integrity of the original design. The two-bedroom, 1,400-square-foot guest apartment is among the home’s luxurious new additions, which also include a stunning Boffi kitchen, a lavish master wing, and a Philip Johnson-inspired glass-enclosed formal dining room. Another architectural triumph is the serene “pocket park” garden designed by notable landscape architect Robert Zion.
Historic Manor in the Dordogne
This historic estate in the beautiful Dordogne Valley was originally built in the 12th century and reappointed in the 17th century. In recent years, the estate has been impeccably restored with authentic materials and impeccable French style, giving it a luxurious yet inviting feel.
The six-bedroom main residence features grandly scaled yet inviting reception rooms with authentic stone floors and beamed ceilings, which lead out to a lounge and dining terrace. The adjoining barn has been designed as a complementary living space for extended family or guests, and offers three bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, and its own private terrace. Nearby, a lovely stone guest cottage offers two additional bedrooms. The ensemble is completed with a large barn/workshop/garage, a heated saltwater pool, and a wonderful 12th-century dovecote all set in 17 hectares (42 acres) of glorious grounds.
Black Hole Hollow Farm
Cambridge, New York
Black Hole Hollow Farm, an idyllic 948-acre colonial farm on the New York-Vermont state border, has guest accommodations fit for royalty. The property has hosted such iconic figures as HRH The Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy, and British novelist Ian Fleming. It was here that he wrote Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger. Ian Fleming often stayed in guest quarters known as the Yellow Room. From there he would take long treks into the woods surrounding the estate. In an old guest register, Fleming once wrote, “Lived here like a king — an uninvited one — in fragrant and luxurious solitude.”
Black Hole Hollow Farm still exudes that unique serenity that drew Fleming back time and again. The property features 33 miles of wide private trails, bordering a 5,000-acre forest preserve. At its center is an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by picturesque English gardens. The property also boasts equestrian facilities with four barns, a riding arena, fenced paddocks, and a prized location 30 miles from Saratoga Race Course.
Listed on the state register of historic places, this circa-1920s Colonial Revival Craftsman-style house in Honolulu’s Manoa Valley has all the luxuries of today with all the grandeur of yesteryear. Residents and their guests will enjoy the six-bedroom, home’s multi-functional and luxurious layout with postcard views of Diamond Head, the Pacific Ocean, and the city lights from nearly every room.
The screened porch is a tranquil retreat with its gentle valley breezes. Dining options include the sunroom and the formal dining room. The property was approved for a highly desirable ohana dwelling (or family apartment) with two bedrooms and its own private entrance on the ground floor. Five outdoor lanais offer an additional 1,000-plus square feet of living space. The home’s recreation areas include a library; a lower level with a children’s playroom/game room, a workshop, storage area, and a half bathroom; and a garden planted with tropical trees and flowers.