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 are palatial estates, monumental mansions, and capacious coastal villas. All have exquisite décor, lavish 21st-century amenities, dedicated entertaining spaces, and—most importantly—ample accommodations for family and friends.
Mukul Estate at Guacalito de la Isla is a tropical idyll on Nicaragua’s Pacific Emerald Coast—a burgeoning coastal resort which proclaims itself “The Destination of the Future.”
The private Beach Villas at Mukul face the tropical, rolling surf of Playa Manzanillo—one of two pristine, powder-sand beaches at the resort.
The three villas of this exclusive family compound offer barefoot luxury at its best. The main villa provides 20,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor living space with soaring, 80-foot-high palapa ceilings. Its five suites’ lavish bathrooms provide monsoon showers and soaking tubs. The villa’s pool terrace has a sumptuous bathroom—and the only private sauna at Mukul.
A thatched palapa, wraparound deck, and a secret garden with an outdoor shower are further delights.
Recreational diversions include—but are not limited to—golf, hiking, yoga, tennis—and surfing with three world-class surf breaks. The jewel in the crown is Manzanillo Point, a left point wave that breaks on the resort’s private beach club.
The artisanal craftsmanship of the 19th century, updated with 21st-century infrastructure are on full display in this palatial Mediterranean-style villa and its glorious gardens.
Designed in 1917 by architect Francis T. Underhill, this magnificent Mediterranean villa estate in Montecito, California, began as a vacation home for a prosperous Illinois family who dubbed it “Far Afield” from their home in Lake Forest.
The villa’s 20,000 square feet and oversized windows enclose family lounges, reception and drawing rooms, as well as formal, informal and outdoor dining spaces, a games room, and a banquet-scale, stainless steel kitchen—with a cheery breakfast room and fireplace.
A helical staircase rises magisterially to the private quarters’ seven en suite bedrooms. There are 14 full baths in total.
Far Afield’s 15-year restoration (completed in 2017) included an exhaustive mechanical and structural systems overhaul.
Its architectural details and finishes include 17th- and 18th-century reclaimed building materials curated from Europe, including hand-cut French oak parquetry and antique tiles from Dutch, Italian, and Spanish sources.
The estate’s majestic, 10.4-acre grounds include Far Afield’s newly renovated gardens, including the original Bridal Path linking the horticultural, botanical, native, and formal parterre gardens, as well as a citrus grove and a stone fruit orchard. A separate guest house completes the amenities.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca with uninterrupted views of the Alborán Sea, Camoján Six is a new development of six luxury villas in Cascada de Camoján, a nature-inspired residential community on the Costa del Sol.
This five-level, 15,037-square-foot, contemporary aerie (set for completion in 2025) is the most luxurious of the Camoján Six.
Interior designer Heidi Gubbins styled the soothing, light-infused indoors as a sanctuary, using organic materials, colors, and textures to impart a sense of calm.
An elevator serves all five floors, including the rooftop terrace and the two basement levels, housing a car-collector’s garage; entertainment suite with wine cellar, bar, and games room; a personal spa; and cinema room.
All four bedrooms have complementary bathrooms and sweeping sea vistas. The Burlap kitchen is equipped with Gaggenau appliances.
The home’s serene outdoor spaces—sea-view terraces, lush gardens, and lagoon-style pool—mirror the topographical features of the tranquil land- and seascape that lies just beyond the gates.
Chelston, a magnificent, 14-acre beachfront estate overlooking Grape Bay Beach, is an integral part of Bermuda’s heritage.
The property was originally designed and built between 1939 and 1941 for C. P. Dubbs, inventor of the Dubbs Process (a crude oil thermal “cracking” technology). From 1964 to 1999, Chelston served as the official residence of the U.S. Consul General to Bermuda, who received a who’s who of guests, including U.S. presidents, international dignitaries, and celebrities.
In 1999, the current owners purchased the property and embarked on a three-year renovation with an international team of architects and artisans. The result is a private beachfront compound of the highest order.
The stately, 10,000-square-foot main house sits 200 feet above sea level, offering vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the city of Hamilton.
Within the parklike grounds are three guest cottages, a manager’s house, a pool pavilion and 75- by 40-foot zero-edge pool, croquet lawn, and a beach pavilion overlooking the pink sands of Grape Bay.