In The Hour: a Cocktail Manifesto, litterateur Bernard DeVoto famously wrote, “There comes a pause in the day’s occupation that is known as the cocktail hour.”
With the advent of the holidays (their stresses as well as their joys) our precious cocktail hour is more than a welcome respite. It’s hospitality for family and friends. Making spirits bright? It’s a gift.
Therefore, since it’s always five o’clock somewhere, and it is the season to be jolly, we present a holiday edition of homes with elegant spaces devoted to the refined consumption of spirits.
All have club-style bars and lounges for quiet conversations at cocktail time, that magic hour when, as DeVoto wrote, “the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn.”
Or the reindeer!
This palatial, newly built mansion has a serene waterfront setting on Vinkeveense Plassen, a picturesque lake within 10 minutes’ drive of Amsterdam.
The 11,840-square-foot residence is a convergence of 18th-century architecture and cutting-edge contemporary design.
The façade is composed of glass and Jerusalem Gold limestone, illuminated by an LED installation. The atrium-like entrance hall has a signature staircase and a glass-enclosed elevator connecting all four levels.
Walls of glass in each room frame the views of the Vinkeveense Plassen and the formal gardens at the rear. A roof deck and numerous balconies and terraces also bring the outdoors inward.
The kitchen has a 23-foot-long Calacatta marble island, media wall, climate-controlled wine display, and Sub-Zero appliances. Adjacent is a catering kitchen, utility room, and staff service area.
The amenities rival those of a luxury resort. A nightclub (with cocktail bar and Champagne room), recording studio, cinema, gym, beauty salon, aquarium, indoor and outdoor pools, and a sandy beach are just a few of the highlights.
This contemporary country manor has a bucolic setting in the Flanders countryside, within walking distance of Oud-Turnhout, a medieval market town in Antwerp.
The manor house, with its striking whitewashed brick facade, has a southwesterly aspect with walls of windows to maximize the daylight and views across a picturesque swathe of woodland and wildflower meadows.
There is all manner of creature comforts: a grand, two-story entrance hall, formal reception rooms, casual living rooms, private suites for residents and guests, and a dream kitchen with indoor and outdoor dining areas.
The pièce de résistance is the basement: Accessed via elevator, internal stairs, and two outdoor staircases, this vast recreation space houses a 10-seat cinema; wellness suite with Finnish sauna, steam cabin, and Jacuzzi; a six-car garage with auto lift; and, even a discotheque with a DJ booth, smoke machine, laser lights, lounge seating for 50 guests.
Adding to the glamour is a fabulous cocktail bar with a glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled wine vault.
La Gratitud is a stately Andalusian-style villa within the exclusive Lomas de Marbella Club along Marbella’s Golden Mile.
The villa’s authentic details—beamed ceilings, wood floors, covered terraces, and resplendent gardens with cascading fountains—stay true to the architectural heritage of the region.
La Gratitud is voluminous to say the least. The floor plan is in excess of 21,500 square feet; each room is carefully curated by celebrated Spanish designer Luisa Olazábal.
Sixteen bedrooms (and as many bathrooms) are all generously sized. The main suite has a glass-enclosed bathtub and a terrace facing the sea.
The focal point of the kitchen is a vintage Lacanche gas stove. A wine fridge and pantry provide convenient service to the dining room and its custom-built cocktail bar.
Then there are the lifestyle amenities: a hammam fit for royalty, a heated indoor pool, professional gym, bowling alley, arcade room with a Formula 1 simulator, and a poker room worthy of a Las Vegas high roller.
The grounds are a private paradise with an infinity pool facing the blue horizon, a paddle tennis court, and a luxurious guest house.
This opulent residence has a prized setting along the Naples Bay shoreline in the members-only Port Royal Club.
Stofft Cooney Architects designed the home in the timeless Mediterranean style. The multi-level floor plan, nearly 8,000 square feet in all, provides ample accommodations and elegant spaces for grand holiday gatherings.
The kitchen, updated in 2018 along with the windows and roof, features dual-toned cabinets, precious stone countertops, a double island, and top-of-the-line appliances.
The billiards room has a pub-inspired bar and a palm-fringed view of Naples Bay. The grand terrace has a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and a fire pit.
All six en suite bedrooms have walk-in closets. The study and its en suite bath serve as a seventh bedroom, while a second-level loft is a flexible space for additional quarters, a studio, or second office.
Outside, a bayside pool and spa are surrounded by a verdant lawn at the water’s edge. The wooden dock is a boater’s dream with a hydraulic lift and deepwater access to the Gulf of Mexico.