Lately there is no shortage of good reasons to stay inside: Interminable bad weather. Rush-hour traffic. Commuter trains are becoming more crowded, with no end in sight. Or simply feeling misanthropic.
It's times like these when it seems Montreal has it right with its city beneath the city. Imagine being able to dart down for groceries without ever negotiating the wet and cold dark of day.
But most people are not so lucky. Some regular activities and errands and comforts still require leaving the house. Or do they? Not for those with a good idea and the means to act on it, like those who planned the following residences.
—By Colleen Kane, Special to CNBC
Posted 27 Feb. 2014
Location: Staten Island, N.Y.
Price: $2.599 million
Bathrooms: Four full, three partial
Square Footage: 6,438
There are home bars and there are "home bars." The beauty in this Todt Hill house is no knotty pine basement rec room bar (the home equivalent of a dive bar). This is a serious-business, above-ground, classy establishment with gleaming marble floors and bar top, pressed tin ceilings and impressive carved-wooden ornamentation. The bar itself was imported from a pub in London and the room was decorated around that focal point. No neon-hued shots here; single malt scotches only.
Bonus: It's not only much easier for residents to get to than one outside the home, but with no driving involved, it's much safer to leave. Other benefits: Choose your own barflies, music and bar snacks. You decide when it's last call.
For when sunnier times finally arrive, this house also has rooftop decks with ocean views and an outdoor kitchen.
Location: Rolling Hills, Calif.
Price: $53 million
Home gyms are ho-hum as luxury amenities go. How about being able to run around for a full-scale tennis match without having to go outside? The indoor tennis court at 1 Buggy Whip Dr. conforms to U.S. Open specifications. If that becomes tiresome, the outdoor court complies with French Open regulations. There are also indoor and outdoor pools.
If all of those options grow tiresome, a walking tour of the mansion should burn some calories. It's possible to stop almost anywhere along the way to freshen up, because this monster mansion also boasts an incredible 25 bathrooms.
Post-workout, residents and their guests can unwind in the estate's underground Moroccan hammam baths.
Location: San Diego
Price: $12.5 million
Bathrooms: Four full, one half
Square Footage: 4,391
This ornately appointed penthouse has views of downtown San Diego and the harbor, and if that weren't enough incentive to lure the owner's poker buddies in, the bar/billiards/poker room completes the impression of a VIP suite in Vegas, sans the trip through the desert.
The master suite has a marble steam shower, and the soaking tub with a view is a particularly indulgent way to lord over San Diego.
Location: Aspen, Colo.
Price: $45 million
Bathrooms: Seven full, four half
Square Footage: 18,750
This contemporary mansion is situated for skiing access to Aspen Mountain, but it has many features geared toward staying indoors when the weather gets too frightful. It has a personal hair salon, a massage room, a saline pool, a hot tub, a theater, and a combination bowling alley and target-shooting range. The rec room has a pool, a bar and an arcade.
Other luxury touches that lend the feel of a high-end resort include an elevator directly to the master suite, a turntable in the five-car garage and a 30-foot-high decorative water feature.
Location: Indian Wells, Calif.
Price: $6.9 million
Bathrooms: Four full, three half
Square Footage: 7,422
This modern ranch house in Indian Wells has a dedicated massage room, an exercise room and the luxuriously appointed master suite offers his and her baths, a Japanese soaking tub and a steam shower. Outside spa-worthy amenities include a 50-foot lap pool and a therapeutic walking pool and spa.
In addition to a serving as a home and a center of relaxation, this house can also be a viable workplace for two, with a pair of home offices.
Location: Edwards, Colo.
Price: $9 million
Bathrooms: Six full, two half
Square Footage: 10,561
This halfway-solar-powered mansion is on a ridge on more than 34 mountain acres. Record snowfall need not result in desperate measures, thanks to the indoor tropical greenhouse which nurtures fruits and vegetables year-round.
And to ward off cabin fever, occupants can look to the skies for entertainment, as the house also has its own observatory.
Location: Newtown Square, Pa.
Price: $14.995 million
Bathrooms: Six full, three half
Square Footage: 15,000
This equestrian estate in Radnor Hunt horse country is comprised of the main home, barn, manager's residence and stable and boarding facilities for 17 horses spanning two parcels of land totaling 72 acres. It was built in 1932 and the amenities appealing to any house-bound residents are in line with the classic style of the mansion, including an underground shooting range, the attractive bar room and a billiard room.
It also includes a heated greenhouse and a power generator serving the whole house. Other features include an outdoor pool and tennis court.
Square footage: Various
One necessity that brings people out of their dwellings is the need for food. City dwellers have myriad meal home delivery options and to a lesser extent, so do people living in suburbs. But imagine having an in-house restaurant with chefs that knew the dietary restrictions and preferences of everyone in your household, and cooked your meals accordingly.
That's the idea behind residents-only restaurants in luxury buildings such as 432 Park Ave. and 15 Central Park West in New York. These facilities are very pricey to run, and one report cited the annual fee to residents for the in-house restaurant of 432 Park to be $3,500.