Summer Sanctuaries: 5 Homes with Resort-Worthy Outdoor Spaces

Originally posted by Christie's International - luxury defined

On Thursday June 20, promptly at 8:51 p.m. GMT, the sun reaches its northernmost height above Earth’s equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, at England’s Stonehenge, the venerable old Heel Stone will point to that ascension, just as it has done for some 4,500 years. [Drum roll and cymbal crash, please:] It’s … 


Oh, how we’ve missed you! Thus, Luxury Defined segues into the simple pleasures of the season with a collection of homes in conversation with their surroundings, homes that celebrate alfresco living in ultimate comfort and style.  

Choose among a colonial-style mansion in Southern California; a grand seafront manor on the Platinum Coast of Barbados; a cocoa-colored lakefront palace in Naples, Florida; a coastal villa on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda; and an ultramodern estate on South Africa’s Western Cape. Each and all are dedicated to the indoor-outdoor lifestyle, with amenities worthy of a five-star resort and all the comforts of home.  

Enjoy them all, under those cloudless blue skies and technicolor sunsets. We’ll be by the pool. 

1. The Colony Estate in Camarillo, California 

Outdoor living space
Tranquil, gracious, and grand, the Colony Estate’s interiors, gardens, and pool terrace are reminiscent of a five-star hotel.

The baronial Colony Estate celebrates outdoor living on 3.38 landscaped acres, ideally situated between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, a half-hour from the world-class surf beaches of Malibu. 

Built in 1989, its monumental gates, formal gardens, and motor court approach the main house. Within are 9,290 square feet of interior space, executed in a cool white paint scheme with exquisite architectural details and finishes. 

The foyer, with its 35-foot ceiling, introduces elegant living and reception rooms, a formal dining room with fireplace, a paneled library, and country-style kitchen with two walk-in pantries, a full bathroom, powder room, and laundry.  

Upstairs are three guest suites and a primary suite with a fireplace, lavish bathroom, a walk-in closet, and wraparound balcony. The third floor’s more than 3,000 square feet of open space is ideal for large gatherings, a home theater, or additional bedrooms. 

An 898-square-foot guest house provides a full kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom.  

The 953-square-foot dining pavilion has retractable pocket doors, a fireplace, and a full kitchen with a pizza oven and indoor barbecue. 

The pool terrace has sunbeds, a firepit, a pergola, and a pool with waterfalls and a built-in spa. The landscaped grounds have room enough for garden parties and a game of croquet. The standalone, nine-car garage has space for an RV. 

2. Cove Spring House in Barbados, British West Indies 

Outdoor living space
The laid-back Bajan grace and coral stone opulence of Cove Spring House offer ultimate tranquility for alfresco living.

Cove Spring House is set within 1.3 acres on the wealthy Platinum Coast on the leeward shores of Barbados, with breathtaking panoramic vistas of the Caribbean Sea.   

This grand, luxurious 10-bedroom beachfront villa was designed using coral stone, a hallmark of Caribbean aristocracy. The Palladian-style architecture brilliantly captures the natural light and lets the trade winds cool the home’s roughly 20,000 square feet of living space, including a vast, rambling pool deck and patio. 

There are seven spacious bedroom suites in the main house, and three more in the separate guest cottage. There is also a media room, a fitness center, and a commercial-grade kitchen.  

The expansive patio with its free-form pool and Jacuzzi looks out to stunning sea views, and just below is a secluded, sandy beach with private access from the villa.  

Cove Spring house is midway between the island’s first village, Holetown (est. 1625, and named for a shipping district on Old London’s River Thames) and the world-class restaurants and boutiques of the historic port of Speightstown (est. 1630). 

Outdoor living space
Opulence melds with coastal Florida’s luxury aesthetic in this lush lakefront estate overlooking the fairways of Naples’ Estates at Bay Colony Golf Club.

It’s hard to overstate the sheer opulence and grand scale of this gated estate with its secluded, double lakefront lot crowning the affluent Estates at Bay Colony Golf Club in Naples, Florida.  

A warm palette of traditional Floridian color schemes, rich materials, and impeccable craftsmanship grace every corner of the 15,247-square-foot mansion. The airy double-height great room, with its three tall arched windows and carved fireplace, exudes a lush, 21st-century European aesthetic.   

There are six lavish bedroom suites and 10 full bathrooms, his-and-her studies, a gourmet kitchen, a handsome, hidden pub and billiards room, a home theater, and views from nearly every room of the lake and the golf course, a chip shot away. 

The ground-level primary suite provides dual dressing rooms, an enormous spa-like bathroom, and an adjacent sitting room. 

Outside, living environs feature a sprawling loggia with motorized screens, a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, a magnificent pergola, as well as a 50-foot lap pool with a water lounge and spa, surrounded by Ritz-Carlton styled cabanas.  

The two-bedroom guest house has a full kitchen and living room, as well as a six-car, four-bay garage and golf cart station.

4. Villa My Way in Porto Cervo, Sardinia 

Outdoor living space
This dream villa is a serene coastal retreat where stone terraces flow out to the fragrant gardens with Mediterranean maquis and a zero-edge pool with sweeping views of the Costa Smeralda. 

Overlooking the superyachts of the Marina di Porto Cervo, on Sardinia’s glamorous Emerald Coast, is Villa My Way.  

This spectacular nature-inspired villa is built into the granite boulders and Mediterranean maquis in the hills—a protected area where new construction has not been permitted since 1960. 

The property embraces la dolce vita with elegant spaces for entertaining alfresco: The gardens are a private paradise with a heated infinity pool, its textured stone floor mirrors the rugged coastline and turquoise waters below. There’s a teak deck and sunbathing terraces, and, adding to the alfresco ambience, a summer kitchen and an otherworldly sunken lounge shaded by boulders. 

Inside are 6,027 square feet of fluid living spaces adorned with contemporary artworks and antiques and objet d’art from the Far East. The fireside living room, sleek modern kitchen, and dining room all open to a covered terrace–designed as a belvedere above the sea.   

The four en suite bedrooms each have a view of the coast. A detached guest villa offers an additional en suite bedroom with spacious living quarters. A separate entrance ensures privacy. 

The Porto Cervo Piazzetta, its elegant boutiques and restaurants, are a few minutes’ walk away. 

5. An Architectural Showpiece in Bishopscourt, South Africa 

Outdoor living space
At this architectural jewel in Cape Town, an elevated garden terrace with a pool and shaded conversation spaces is framed by a view of Table Mountain.

This ultramodern home in the Cape Town suburb of Bishopscourt is at one with its pastoral setting in the foothills of Table Mountain, close to the world-renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.  

The multi-level home’s Balau wood façade echoes the wooded environs, while glass curtain walls create a seamless connection between the indoors and the outdoors.   

The living and entertaining spaces are all oriented to maximize the views of Table Mountain. The stylish midcentury modern-inspired sunken lounge with a suspended fireplace and media wall opens to an elevated lawned terrace with a freeform pool.   

The two lower levels each have a wraparound terrace facing lovely, landscaped gardens and another view of the mountain.  

Four bedrooms in the main residence all have balconies and bathrooms. The spa-like primary bathroom has a steam room, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower, and private gym. 

Additional features include a self-contained, two-bedroom guest apartment with a private garden; a two-bedroom staff residence; and four garages. 

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