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Luxury DefinedLUCY CARSEN

Luxury on Ice: Five Homes to Delight Skaters

In winter’s deep chill, Luxury Defined looks at five deluxe homes near some of the finest skating venues in the world

BY LUCY CARSEN, CHRISTIE'S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE     January 12, 2017

Skaters aren’t like other people: Their aesthetic combines the speed and aerobic rigor of sport with the grace and artistry of dance. To indulge this special lifestyle, Luxury Defined presents five elegant properties in proximity to some of the world’s most unique ice skating venues. From London’s regal Somerset House enclosure to Vienna’s festive Rathaus and the famous Wollman Rink in New York City’s Central Park, skaters are catered to in grand style in cities across the world. For the ultimate urban skating experience, there’s the romantic Eiffel Tower patinoire, situated 187 feet above the City of Lights, and the Rideau Canal Skateway in the Canadian capital, which, at nearly five miles long, is the world’s largest ice rink.

Skate at Somerset House
London, England

London’s most beautiful ice skating venue is Skate at Somerset House. Each winter, the open-air ice rink is built into the grand Neoclassical courtyard of Somerset House in Central London. In the evening, the space becomes a glamorous open-air nightclub.
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This contemporary duplex is in the premier residential development of One Kensington Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s De Vere Gardens Conservation Area. The property enjoys a prime location in the heart of the British capital, near Kensington Palace, and a tube or taxi ride away from the historic arts venue Somerset House and its festive winter ice rink, Skate, which opens from November 17 to January 15.

The residence offers 3,423 square feet of refined living areas with beautiful finishes, four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, elegant reception rooms, and a gourmet kitchen. The luxurious 97-unit building, designed by award-winning architect David Chipperfield, includes a 24-hour concierge, valet parking, health spa, 25-meter indoor pool, a private health and fitness center, sauna and steam room, and treatment rooms.

The Vienna Ice Dream
Vienna, Austria

Just a 15-minute drive from the Vienna Ice Dream skating venue is Villa Lieblein, an outstanding cottage-style residence built in 1924, which showcases the perfect combination of classical architecture and Art Nouveau design.
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An architectural gem in the prestigious villa district of Döbling, or Cottage Quarter, Villa Lieblein is a meticulously restored, heritage-protected 1924 residence located approximately 15 minutes’ drive from the historic heart of Vienna and the waltz-suffused festivities at the Rathaus’ skating rink. The home, on a third of an acre of gardens, offers 6,588 square feet of refined living space, original architecture and luxurious modern details.

Each room reflects fine attention to detail, with hardwood floors, hand-painted silk wallpaper, and stucco walls and ceilings a testament to past eras, while a wooden staircase with dramatic steps, and furniture from the Vienna Workshop emphasize timeless elegance and modern design. Adding to the home’s grandeur is an English-style garden designed by noted landscape architect Albert Esch.

Eiffel Tower Ice Rink
Paris, France

From December to February, the iconic Parisian monument is home to one of the world’s most romantic skating venues. The ice rink is situated on the tower’s first floor pantinoir almost 200 feet above the city, and features a bar selling mulled wine and hot chocolate.
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This Parisian residence is poised on the sixth floor of an elegant building in the city’s prestigious XVI arrondissement. The views of the Eiffel Tower are impressive and extend to the river Seine and Jardins du Trocadéro. The Eiffel Tower and its spectacular first-floor ice rink are reached via a beautiful walk along Pont d'Iéna bridge, which crosses the Seine.

The residence is entered through a secured front door and grand vestibule. Inside are 2,346 square feet of beautifully refurbished, contemporary interiors with a double living room, luxurious master suite, both with breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and the Parisian skyline. The gourmet kitchen and two en suite guest bedrooms overlook a serene courtyard. There’s also a parking space, caretaker services, and staff quarters.

The Wollman Rink
New York City

Ice skating has been a winter tradition in New York City’s Central Park since 1858, as old as the park itself. With its iconic views of the New York City skyline, the city’s finest skating venue is the Wollman Rink, located at the southeast corner of Central Park. Close by is the Lasker Rink, at the north end of the park, and the Big Apple’s famous Rink at Rockefeller Center.
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Atop one of the city’s tallest and most exclusive buildings, One Beacon Court, this spectacular 4,500-square-foot penthouse is the ultimate New York City residence, just 15 minutes’ walk to Central Park and the Wollman Rink, and New York City’s other famous attractions, including the Rink at Rockefeller Center. The residence features more than 200 linear feet of windows, with uninterrupted city views that stretch from the East and Hudson Rivers to the Freedom Tower and the George Washington Bridge.

In addition to its superb location in the heart of Midtown, residents will enjoy the building’s five-star amenities: 24-hour doorman and concierge services, a motor court with valet parking, fitness center, an entertainment suite on the 29th floor, and Le Cirque restaurant. The building is ideally situated close to exclusive shops and restaurants, art galleries, museums, and nightlife.

Rideau Canal Skateway
Ottawa, Canada

According to Guinness, this is the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink. Ottawa, the Canadian capital, boasts an ice surface that’s the equivalent to 90 Olympic-sized rinks. More than 4.8 miles long, the picture-perfect Skateway winds past Canada’s Parliament Buildings and the majestic Chateau Laurier Hotel.
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This landmark estate in the Canadian capital has an enviable location and an illustrious history. For nearly six decades, the Rockcliffe Park home served as the U.S. ambassador’s residence, due to its proximity to Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada’s governor general and Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest ice rink. The property is also famous for portraying the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bridge in the eponymous 1990 film starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

Introduced via a sweeping, circular driveway bordered by beautiful landscaped gardens, the stately three-story residence has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, a formal dining room served by a butler’s pantry, and an open-concept kitchen. Other interior appointments include a library, study, family room with south-facing terrace, and a grand staircase ascending to the private quarters.

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