What does the word “neighborhood” conjure for you? Perhaps you picture a quaint, tree-lined street with children playing in front yards, or a high-energy downtown enclave where the best cafés, clubs, and artist studios are located within blocks of each other. In truth, neighborhoods come in many forms and can fulfill many passions, pastimes, and personal pursuits. Here are five luxury homes to help broaden your expectations of what a neighborhood can be.
Beau Champ, Flacq, Mauritius
If you’re looking for a home near a golf course, choose a neighborhood that lets you commit to a holistic outdoor or resort lifestyle, with beautiful waterfronts and balmy weather. Beau Champ provides a tantalizing look at what’s possible. Located in the Flacq district of Mauritius, this area is much closer to the coast than metropolitan Centre de Flacq and is just outside the historic town of Grand River South East, giving it a sense of privacy without feeling too secluded.
A villa like this one completes the vision. Its six full bedrooms and bathrooms, outfitted with locally-crafted furniture, enfold a gorgeous 82-foot swimming pool and have vistas of beaches and mountains. With a golf course practically onsite, you have everything you need for a waterfront dream home that’s spa-like, sumptuous, and sunny.
San Gimignano, Siena, Tuscany
If rural and rustic is more your speed, set your sights on acreage in the Italian countryside, where you can trade farmlands for vineyards within the hills around San Gimignano. The iconic Siena landscape is wine country at its finest, and brings you within driving distance of Tuscany’s world-class cultural centers without the crowding of a major metropolis.
With an orchard, an olive grove, a traditional heybarn, and a network of stone walkways winding their way through the landscaped gardens, this country villa elevates what rural living can look and feel like. No expense is spared in its contemporary amenities, yet the home conscientiously retains its classic Leopoldino architecture.
If you can’t resist the pull and pulse of downtown but still value privacy and tranquility, a historic neighborhood can often serve as an urban oasis; the preservation of landmarks and heritage homes creates a natural buffer between you and the busyness of the city. If this sounds like your vibe, look for a locale like Andersonville in Chicago. Similar to other older neighborhoods, the surrounding area is a picturesque patchwork of centuries-old homes, small and independent businesses, and diverse communities. Andersonville, and the greater Edgewater area, has the added advantage of being right near Lake Michigan and all its recreational lakeside amenities.
This home is exceptional for several reasons. Despite being a relatively recent build, the design embraces the historic aesthetic of the area, and is also situated by the urban parks of beautiful Graceland West. The home spans two lots, allowing for spacious yards and enormous rooms—and the property’s three floors and roof are connected by elevator.
Chelsea, New York
For some, the best neighborhoods stand poised in the middle of the action, never shying away from the hum of the city and the hub of culture. That’s the type of neighborhood you’ll find in the boroughs of New York City, particularly in Chelsea. It’s not a large area, yet it’s home to more than 200 art galleries along with the acclaimed High Line, as well as noted green spaces like Little Island. Chelsea Market is a foodie’s dream—though there’s no shortage of dining options, since the neighborhood is known for its restaurants, and Manhattan’s other districts are just a short jaunt away.
Those districts are plain to see from the private, panoramic roof deck and solarium that crowns this 2-bedroom penthouse, located at the stop of a 9-floor pre-war loft building. But you might find yourself choosing to dine in, since the lower half of this prestigious duplex features a state-of-the-art industrial kitchen and full-length, double-paned windows with spectacular views.
Kewarra Beach, Queensland, Australia
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer finding a place to settle down or a recent retiree looking for peace, quiet, and ample space, suburbs are pleasant and practical places to call home. But there are suburban neighborhoods near almost any major city, so when vetting your various options, pay attention to rare gems like Kewarra Beach that offer you so much more than manicured lawns and shopping malls. Located just 20 minutes from Cairns and 40 minutes from Port Douglas—which boasts the oldest continually-surviving tropical rainforest on the planet—there’s nothing like living in the same neighborhood as the Great Barrier Reef.
With seating for fourteen guests in its grand, double-story living and dining rooms, as well as 10 different bedrooms, this home is like a private resort for you and your favorite people and demonstrates all the benefits of living outside the city center. The one-acre property also boasts a lighted tennis court and saltwater pool.
Many metropolitan cities have popular neighborhoods that are well-known and on-trend; but if you only pay attention to those, it constrains the possibilities of what a neighborhood can be.
Consider all your options—urban or suburban, city or country, modern or historic, busy or quiet—and find somewhere that fits your lifestyle and fills your soul.