Classically-styled architecture, coupled with top-of-the-line accoutrements and exotic locations, makes these homes some of the most beautiful and unique in the world.
By Benjamin Minkus
$32 million Star Island
This home also comes complete with everything necessary to enjoy the sights, sounds, and, above all, feel of the warm South Florida waters.
Much as Miami Heat superstar Shaquille O’Neal is a one of a kind talent, this luxurious property, located on exclusive Star Island, is a one of a kind home. This Mediterranean-style estate is conveniently located between Miami’s main land and world-famous Miami Beach. Surrounded by waters that are part of the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, this eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom home is big enough for, well, Shaq. And, if it’s big enough for the NBA’s G.O.A.T., surely it’s big enough for you.
Part of Star Island’s gated enclave, the home at 26 Star Island Drive sits on nearly 2.5 acres of pristine, manicured, palm tree-covered land, and also includes a spacious guest house, complete with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and its own kitchen.
Sitting on the water’s edge, this home also comes complete with everything necessary to enjoy the sights, sounds, and, above all, feel of the warm South Florida waters. A private dock, boat lift, unfettered access to the bay-along with an infinity-edge pool, and patio area with full-size wet bar and built-in barbecue-all open the opportunity for the lucky buyer of this home to truly take in everything Star Island has to offer in terms of scenic beauty.
Of course, no home worthy of Shaq’s seal of approval is complete without a six-car garage and dramatically-lit driveway entrance-both of which only add to the home’s aura as a perfect fusion of fun and function. This home is no doubt the crown jewel of illustrious Star Island.
Location: Miami Beach
Realtors: Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg
Phone: 305.915.2556 or 305.798.5455
Realty: The Jills
$22 million Coral Gables
“Classic” is one way to describe this Mediterranean estate, which glistens with traditional elegance befitting a 70-year-old mansion designed by renowned architect Phineas Paist, whose Beaux Arts style is imprinted on old Miami hallmarks such as the Vizcaya mansion and the old Miami Federal Courthouse.
“Opulent” is another appropriate description of this home, located in lovely Coral Gables. Nestled in the widest lagoon setting on the Coral Gables Waterway, and bounded on the east and west by luxurious boathouses, this home covers an incredible 1.5 acres in one of South Florida’s most historic and affluent neighborhoods.
With more than 11,000 square feet, this home features anything and everything one could want: a tennis court and pavilion, a dance patio, a heated Olympic-size pool, two cabanas, built-in barbecues, and two shuffleboard courts. And, with five bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and two half baths, there is plenty of privacy and room to stretch your legs. One of the greatest features might be the home’s arched loggia, which leads to a separate guest house, with a fantastic rock pool and waterfall that add to the relaxing, vacation-like atmosphere.
Not that a vacation would be needed. If this is the mansion you come home to every day, we wouldn’t blame you for staying put during your free time.
Location: Coral Gables
Realtor: Audrey Ross
Realty: EMW Realtors
$25.75 million Palm Beach
The quintessential Palm Beach retreat, this luxurious five-bedroom home, accessed via a private cul-de-sac, sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, where Gulf Stream currents provide a relaxing, flowing breeze of fresh air. And this home matches that feat, leaving every prospective buyer who lays eyes on this gem, well, blown away.
The entrance to the home is grand, with a spacious foyer welcoming you into this private, Palm Beach paradise. Access to the equally grand living room is available only through magnificent sliding glass doors, leading outdoors to the stepped pool, which is nestled within a veritable sea of palm trees, low hedging, immaculate lawn, and a stone balustrade, all leading out to an opulent cabana.
With 12-foot ceilings throughout, the home provides a perfect venue for art to be showcased, although it would be hard to argue that the home itself is not a fine piece of art. And, with a deeded beach (and accompanying sparkling oceanfront views), the limits of this livable art know no bounds.
The home provides the space necessary to keep staff on premises at all times, while added amenities, such as an exercise room, wine cellar, and cavernous closets, all present the opportunity to not stop enjoying life once you step away from the great outdoors.
Location: Palm Beach
Realtor: Lore Smith
Realty: Sotheby’s International Realty
$32 million Indian Creek Village
Reminiscent of a French villa, this distinctive estate is situated in prestigious Indian Creek Village. The 16,228-square-foot home rests on nearly two acres, on the edge of 200 feet of bay-front views, with three levels of decadent opulence to boot. The mansion is nestled amidst lush fairways on an 18-hole championship golf course.
With a private, 24-hour police force and boat patrol, the home is secure, and moments away from a variety of luxuries, including the exclusive Indian Creek Country Club, South Beach, Lincoln Road, and the world-famous Bal Harbour Shops.
Entering the two-story foyer, you will immediately find yourself surrounded by stunning materials and craftsmanship, including a formal living room (with a fireplace, custom marble-topped bar, and open-water views), an informal living room, a formal dining room, and much more.
The home also has plenty of room to entertain, with a huge, French-style kitchen, a two-story classic library/billiard room, and a media room, which has ten luxurious theater seats and a Stewart Projection Screen that takes up an entire wall, as well as an adjacent snack room, wet bar, popcorn machine and full sound system.
The master suite offers serene sophistication, maple floors, private balcony, with access to the upper level of the library. The suite also has huge, custom walk-in closets and storage areas, as well as elegant his and hers baths. Three additional bedrooms are spacious, with balconies, walk-in closets, en-suite baths, plus an additional large computer room/study. Two guest bedrooms are downstairs and feature walk-in closets and en-suite baths.
Location: Miami Beach
Realtor: Nelson Gonzalez
Realty: EMW Realtors
$13.95 million Hobe Sound
Located on prestigious Jupiter Island, this 12,523-square-foot palace sits on 1.76 acres, with 267 feet of Intracoastal frontage, some of the most valued real estate that the Sunshine State has to offer. This seven-bedroom, 9.5-bath utopia was built for enjoying the calm waters and gentle breezes that make this home so majestic.
With marble and wood flooring, volume ceilings with crown moldings, a billiards room with custom wooden cabinetry, and an office with a balcony located next to the spacious master suite (which comes with his and hers baths), this estate flashes a unique beauty and an opportunity that comes along only once in a lifetime. The main home features five bedrooms, each with its own private bathroom, and entertainment is the name of the game, as the enormous pool and patio area has a cabana, two bathrooms, and a summer kitchen and bar. There are two more bedrooms, to be used as staff quarters.
The kitchen, adorned with granite countertops, is spacious, and equipped with wine coolers and Sub-Zero and Miéle appliances. The pool is freeform, with the ability to function with both fresh and salt water. And, with the aforementioned 267 feet of waterfront space in mind, whoever invests in this classic mansion will likely be motivated to adding another purchase: a mega yacht.
To say this house has it all would be misleading; to be complete, this true beauty needs an owner.
Location: Jupiter Island
Realtor: Colin Forté
Realty: Waterfront Properties