In the luxury real estate market, it can feel like each property is more extravagant than the last. Today, houses have breathtaking views, unparalleled access to a variety of lifestyles and hobbies, and are constructed of the finest building materials. But what distinguishes the most elite luxury properties from the rest of the pack? It can be some kind of storied history—perhaps the property was used as a set in a classic film, or was previously the home of an iconic celebrity or politician. In other cases, luxury homes are distinguished because of their opulent amenities—some of which are also quite unorthodox. They push the limit of expectations for what amenities should be included in a home and are truly exceptional luxury properties.
What are unusual amenities and who uses them?Ultra-high net worth individuals who have gained wealth through exceptional athletic ability expect unusual amenities particular to their skills, such as Olympic-size pools or Endless Pools, regulation NBA courts, and three-lane bowling alleys. Homes are also equipped with hockey rinks, baseball diamonds, gyms, putting greens, climbing walls, archery fields, racquetball courts, and even shooting ranges. These are ideal for athletes and serious professionals, but are also enjoyed by hobbyists. They’re also not limited to physical sports—since e-sports generated upwards of $400 million in the past year and can fund immensely luxurious lifestyles, it makes sense that high-end properties are being fitted with arcades and specialized game rooms complete with gaming chairs, high-quality projectors, streaming setups, and more. Regular sports are also accommodated by technology—golf enthusiasts in major urban centers can still get their fix with simulated golf courses right in the comfort of their own homes.
Those who love to pamper themselves with visits to the spa will pay extra for the convenience of having one in-house. However, a spa in your building or your home is just the tip of the iceberg. Some properties and condos even offer pet spas so that you and your dog can live in luxury! In some cases, spas are equipped with in-house masseuses who live nearby and are available at a moment’s notice.
Some amenities are targeted at foodies and socialites. If a luxury property is consistently used to host events and parties, a property might include an in-house chef. Some high-end apartment properties in New York have in-house catering services. Depending on the culinary palette of the individual living at the property, there are many options for restaurant-style eating. For example, one property in Fairfield, CA features a diner, complete “with bar stools, [a] kitchen, and 50s-style décor.” Wine connoisseurs might install a wine cellar, a tasting room, additional storage for casks and barrels of wine, and even have vineyards on or near their property!
Other amenities complement residents’ artistic passions, hobbies or religious beliefs. The new co-president of Goldman Sachs is also an amateur DJ, so one of his mansions might be equipped with a nightclub, a dancefloor, and a DJ set-up. Other homes, like the infamous Antilia in Mumbai, has its own mandir (temple) for religious ceremonies and prayers. The same is true with many western luxury homes which might have a small chapel or prayer room. Many ultra-high net worth individuals are often avid collectors of cars, motorcycles, paintings, or other historical memorabilia, and oftentimes their homes will be equipped with expansive garages, galleries, or showrooms for these collections.Ultra-high net worth individuals will seek out properties that fit their personal occupations, how they spend their leisure time, their hobbies, and their passions. The varied lifestyles of the rich and famous have produced homes with highly unusual amenities, beyond normal expectations of a home. These properties are unique not only because they are perfectly located and spectacular to look at, but because they are also highly personalized and express something different about their residents.