Luxury estates often feature water, an element that affords a sense of total relaxation and peacefulness. While conventional pools remain incredibly popular amenities, water features offer unique visual resplendence and musical rhythms.
Here are four that span the spectrum from traditional to contemporary, and reimagine how water can be creatively incorporated into a residential property.
Outdoor Luxury Living in McLean
McLean, Virginia boasts a wealth of palatial homes. But even by the exacting local standards, Chateau du Soleil is unique. Taking design queues from 18th-century French architecture—so much so that its ballroom was modeled after Versailles—the estate’s mansion is a limestone and white marble masterpiece spanning some 22,000 square feet.
But what this home accomplishes with water is exceptional on multiple levels—literally, since the modern lap pool descends in a terraced waterfall, while well-placed fountains enhance the stateliness of the exterior. There’s also a smaller, spa-like pool with a delicate curtain of therapeutic spray and an unobstructed view of the 200-inch outdoor television. With their structural ingenuity, the water features here lend a whole new meaning to “top tier.”
Remembrances of Days Past in the Berkshires
The bucolic landscapes of the Berkshires seem to belong to another world, or at least to another time. The abundant verdure and vistas of rolling mountains evoke an ambience of comfort and nostalgia, while also inspiring a sense of awe. The same can be said for this majestic estate, which is almost imperial in grandeur and scale, while also retaining the charm and whimsy of a country cottage.
Lush flower-rich gardens follow the slope of the hillside from the panoramic backdoors towards acres of meadows and woods. And, most importantly, hearkening back to yesteryear is a picturesque fountain and quiet stone pool. Water flows from its central, circular arch into a chalice-like receptacle—then, from there, is channeled in rivulets down grooved contours to sound a patter as refreshing as summer rain. It imbues the site with a meditative, almost mystical quality.
A Congregation of the Elements in Tierra Verde
Located adjacent to the peaceful and pristine Shell Key Preserve, Tierra Verde is aptly named. The term means “green land,” and the area is graced by isles, mangroves, marinas, and, of course, Tre Sorelle, a traditional Tuscan-style farmhouse built beneath the Florida sun.
Of all its phenomenal outdoor features, perhaps this property’s most striking one is the stylized stone stairway that leads to a fire pit surrounded by cobbled bench seating and a stunning, mirror-like moat. Flickering flames, fresh water, earthen estate, and open sky unites the elements in a gathering place truly unlike any other.
Tropical Sojourning in the Rocky Mountains
Evergreen is a dream destination positioned between breathtaking Colorado mountain peaks that are a hiker’s paradise in the summer and a skier’s delight in the winter. To live at this estate takes luxury to a whole new level, with its private, seven-bedroom mountaintop resort providing an exemplary all-season retreat.
Whatever the season, the indoor pool with water features provides a portal to perpetual summer, with fanning palm trees and colorful tropical flowers offering a floral counterpoint to the surrounding eponymous evergreens for which the area is named. In this otherworldly oasis, waterfalls cascade from craggy outcroppings, while the stunningly crafted ceiling is a canopy of azure sky.
Water features are not created equal. There are those, like the four showcased here, that do something truly inspired with water features. They leave a lasting impression on those who encounter them, and continuously foster contemplation and joy for those lucky enough to live with them.