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
While we’re staying home, perhaps immersed in the digital life of telecommuting or distance learning, let’s consider the other things a home can provide: Playtime. Families don’t unite only at the dinner table or watching television together. Family bonding also happens on the tennis court, basketball court, soccer pitch, and, with the warm weather approaching, in and around the swimming pool. And there are some outdoor activities—horse riding, cycling, and hiking—that offer a getaway for a few solitary hours. Thus Luxury Defined spotlights homes for sports enthusiasts of all ages and stripes, such as golf, squash, hockey, swimming, and, for those who revel in laid-back recreation, fly-fishing and yoga. These luxury estates offer the pure pleasure of beautifully designed, dedicated recreation spaces. Let the games begin!
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.
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.
River Oak Farm in Mahwah, New Jersey
Inspired by the country houses of England, River Oak Farm has an idyllic setting on 46 private acres along New Jersey’s Ramapo River, which are surrounded by 9,000 acres of preserved land. The estate boasts world-class amenities for the equestrian and sports fan. There’s a regulation sports pitch, which is chalked to NFL standards; an indoor basketball court; three sports lounges; indoor and outdoor pools; hiking and riding trails, and an equestrian facility with a 20-stall barn, five paddocks, and an indoor arena. The seven-bedroom manor house also includes an English pub decorated with walls of sporting memorabilia, a gym, and a spa with massage area.
Cramersvalley in Brannockstown, County Kildare
Cramersvalley is a charming country house just outside the village of Brannockstown, an hour from Dublin. Secluded within 36 acres on the banks of the River Liffey, the property was originally part of the historic Harristown Estate, which has been used as an evocative film location for several television dramas, including Foyle’s War, The Aristocrats, and Quantico. The beautifully restored main residence offers understated luxury for family life and entertaining. The residence is complemented by its pastoral setting, a mix of woodland, formal gardens, and paddocks. An array of recreational options includes a tennis court and superb equestrian facilities, including a stable yard, apartment, sand arena, and horse walker. The property includes 1,640 feet of riverfront on the River Liffey, offering single-bank fishing rights and a one-acre private island. A medieval motte (mound) is hidden in the woodlands. The estate is the ideal spot for the equestrian enthusiast. It is in the heart of County Kildare horse country, home to Ireland’s most famous stud farms.
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.
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.
Foxhollow Run Estate in Milton, Georgia
In Atlanta Braves country, this nearly 20-acre estate blends the traditional design of a country home with the amenities of a sports paradise. Current owner and legendary Braves pitcher John Smoltz designed this 10-bedroom escape with the love of the game in mind, equipping it with a pool and waterslide, tennis and basketball courts, an 18-hole golf course, football and baseball fields, and a stocked fishing pond. For car aficionados, the garage can house up to eight vehicles. A gourmet kitchen and generous, light-filled entertaining spaces with neoclassical details are ready to provide plenty of rest and relaxation when the day’s sporting is done.
Geary House in Toronto, Canada
Geary House is a circa-1857 Georgian-style manor on one of the most coveted lots in South Rosedale, Toronto. This unique heritage home was built in the style of an English country estate and includes nearly an acre of mature gardens. The 11,000-square-foot main residence has been fully restored, yet retains its ornate period details. The entrance hall, which features a grand staircase, opens to formal reception rooms. Many rooms have wood-burning fireplaces, including the drawing room and wood-panelled library. The home has been updated for luxurious modern living. There are two kitchens, a wine cellar, and an array of amenities for sports and recreation: an indoor ball hockey court, billiards room, gym and spa, a soccer pitch, and an outdoor pool. Geary House’s most unusual feature is a secret underground tunnel that connects the main residence to the charming brick coach house, restored to the same standard as the manor and ideal as a guest cottage or private office.
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.