Not everyone can live at the beach, in the country, on the mountainside—or chooses to: Some must reside in world capitals and walk the corridors of power. With a nod to the US presidential election season, Luxury Defined showcases a collection of premier properties in world capitals, situated near the official residences of heads of state or government leaders. Whether it’s an elegant Washington, DC, pied-à-terre in the political heartland of the Capitol, a regal London townhouse suitable for dropping in at 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, or a cool, contemporary Paris apartment near the Élysée Palace, it can be a pleasant stroll to the corridors of power.
The United States Capitol
The Residences at CityCenter in Washington, DC
This luxury condominium in the heart of Washington, DC, is just 15 minutes’ walk from the pinnacle of US politics, the White House, and 30 minutes from Capitol Hill. Unit #714 has a prime location in The Residences at CityCenter (designed by Foster + Partners) overlooking the building’s beautifully landscaped interior courtyard. There are two large bedrooms; two full, newly remodeled, contemporary bathrooms; a gourmet kitchen with Molteni Italian cabinetry; and a large walk-out balcony. The upgrades include floor-to-ceiling windows with remote-controlled shades, new lighting, white oak wood flooring. The Residences at CityCenter is Washington DC’s premier full-service building. The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of DC and its monuments. The Residences also offers an exercise room and yoga studio, and 24-hour concierge and security services. It is a few blocks from the Metro, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and Capital One Arena.
Palais de l’Élysée
Grand Residence in the 16th Arrondissement, Paris, France
Situated in the prestigious Walter buildings complex, this remarkable property has a prime location close to museums and restaurants and a leisurely walk through the heart of Paris to the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the president of the French Republic. Once the home of legendary couturier Pierre Balmain, the palatial duplex residence has been completely restored and renovated. The interior design creates a sensational impression with its extraordinary detailing and distinctive “jungle chic” look. The architects have ingeniously configured the expansive reception area to accentuate its spaciousness while conveying a serenely intimate mood. The two private floors include four spacious suites, each with lavishly appointed dressing rooms and bathrooms. The subtle interplay of exotic woods, rare marbles, natural fabrics, and raw leather enhances the ambience of elegance and luxury. The building’s personalized concierge service is the finishing touch to this incomparable offering.
10 Chester Terrace in Regent’s Park, London
An impeccable white stucco fronted house of exceptional grandeur, 10 Chester Terrace overlooks Regents Park—one of eight Royal Parks owned by the Crown Estate. The property is within three miles of Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street, and the Palace of Westminster. Chester Terrace, designed by architect John Nash, is one of Regent’s Park’s Neoclassical jewels. This magnificent property has a quintessential townhouse configuration with 4,200 square feet of living space over five floors. There is an abundance of entertaining and reception space. Of particular note is the first-floor drawing room: 23 feet wide, with floor-to-ceiling windows, ceiling heights in excess of 11.5 feet and a full-width balcony across the front of the house. The principal bedroom occupies the entire second floor, and there are four additional bedrooms, and three bathrooms. An elevator serves all floors and a secluded, landscaped roof terrace offers panoramic views over Regent’s Park. The integral garage is accessed via a private mews to the rear of the property, and there are three storage vaults.
Rideau Canal Residence in Ottawa, Canada
The elegant brick home has a premier waterfront location overlooking the Rideau Canal in Old Ottawa East. Just 15 minutes north are Rideau Hall, the official residence of the governor general of Canada, and 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the prime minister. The home offers turnkey living in a sought-after location and underwent a complete restoration in 2019. The updates include new fixtures and finishes, including hardwood floors and black doors, as well as a new kitchen, bathrooms, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and HVAC. The formal dining room looks onto the private streetscape. The family room is on a quiet corner facing the canal and has a gas fireplace. The second floor offers two bedrooms, a contemporary bathroom, and laundry room. The third-floor primary suite has a luxury bathroom, refrigerator drawer and coffee bar, and a private balcony with views of the canal.
Palazzo del Quirinale
Palatine Hill Penthouse in Rome, Italy
This extraordinary duplex penthouse is in the heart of the Palatine Hill, overlooking the Colosseum, the Arch of Tito, and the Imperial Forum. The Quirinale Palace, the official residence of the president of the Italian Republic, and the Montecitorio Palace, seat of the Italian government, are both within a half-hour walk through the monuments of Ancient Rome. The residence offers 2,690 square feet of lavish living and entertaining areas connected by a beautiful helical staircase. On the first level are two main suites with a sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom; an en suite guest bedroom; and kitchen with pantry. On the upper floor, a welcoming formal room opens to a magnificent, air-conditioned 473-square-foot terrace with an incomparable vista of the Colosseum, the Church of Santa Francesca Romana, and Oppian Hill. The property has been fully renovated, yet the original Renaissance-era details, such as decorative ceilings, frescoed walls, and ornate fabric-covered doors, remain intact.
Victorian Townhouse in Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland
This gracious Victorian townhouse is in the highly sought-after neighborhood of Ballsbridge, Dublin’s embassy district. The three-story residence occupies nearly a third of an acre at the junction of Elgin Road and Wellington Road, a quiet, tree-lined street within walking distance of Stephen’s Green and the ducal palace of Leinster House, seat of the Oireachtas. The brick façade has large sash windows and a staircase entrance. The home was refurbished and extended and provides 4,360 square feet of elegant, spacious light-filled living space. The adjoining two-story stone coach house, in one of the city’s finest mews sites, offers an additional 1,526 square feet of living space. The front garden is laid out in lawn with a gravel path and wide side passage leading to the rear gardens, with a raised lawn and specimen trees and shrubs surrounding a large pond. The property also includes secure parking for up to eight cars.
Palácio de São Bento
Contemporary Haven in Lisbon, Portugal
This dazzling contemporary villa is surrounded by private gardens in a coveted location between the historic Lisbon neighborhoods of Príncipe Real and São Bento, home of Portugal’s political headquarters: the Palácio de São Bento. The airy reception rooms, executed in a cool neutral palette, include a beautiful double-height living room with a mezzanine gallery. It opens to a terrace and out to lawned gardens and the resort-inspired pool deck. The main level also features an open-plan dining area and dream kitchen with walls of glass sliding open to a wood deck with alfresco seating areas. Upstairs is a lounge with beautiful wood floors and a fireplace. There are six luxurious bedroom suites. The highlight is the owner’s suite, with a dressing room and spa-style bathroom. The private grounds include four covered parking spaces.
The Grand Palace
This regal residence overlooks the Chao Phraya River from its luxury setting in the Banyan Tree Residences Riverside Bangkok. The light-filled, 2,669-square-foot home features three luxurious bedrooms, and a large open-plan kitchen and living area with double-aspect floor-to-ceiling windows and nearly 10-foot-high ceilings to take in the breathtaking vistas. Situated on two acres of grounds, just 50 feet from the riverbank, the iconic 45-story building was envisioned by its developers, architects, and interior designers as a “sanctuary for your soul.” Ownership comes with exclusive access to the five-star hotel services and amenities of the Banyan Tree Bangkok, including private chef catering, spa treatments, housekeeping, and a complimentary river boat service, which ferries residents to Thailand’s cultural sites; among them is the Grand Palace, the official residence of the King of Thailand.