From personal chefs to spa services, condo features tick off all the boxes for luxury living
As affluent baby boomers seek to downsize from sprawling houses to chic condos or establish a stylish pied-à-terre in the city, designers and developers conspire to create the last word in luxurious living: five-star hotel ambience in the intimacy of your own home.
“Ultimately it’s about how do you live graciously,” says Albert Limshue, senior designer for Powell & Bonnell, a design firm with solid experience in the upscale market. “What is gracious living?”
The answer to that question is multilayered. It ranges from sophisticated interiors to superior service; from to-die-for amenities to the latest technological advances. For developers and designers, that means anticipating the prospective buyer’s every wish by fulfilling their most specific needs.
“It’s all about full-service luxury,” says Janice Fox, broker of record for Maison 77 Clarendon, an exquisite condominium project currently under development in Lower Forest Hill. Created by Menkes Development Ltd., and Pinedale Properties Ltd., this boutique residence offers only 16 suites, ranging in price from about $5-million to $16-million.
The menu of amenities would do justice to a modern-day Versailles: elevators that open directly into your suite; a 24-hour executive concierge who takes care of everything from grocery deliveries and laundry to theatre tickets, spa appointments, private chefs and personal trainers. There is valet parking, pet grooming, a gym, a yoga studio, a meditation room, a personal training room, a massage treatment room, a swim spa, a cocktail bar, a lavish party room, a chef’s catering kitchen … the list goes on.
“Clients often talk about places they’ve been – hotels, clubs – where everything is taken care of, everything is done for you,” says Limshue, one of the designers on the Clarendon project. “The people we work with, that’s how they want to live, and they are able to. Since many of them are moving from houses, the designer has to figure out how to create an elevated version of living in a house. Your new lifestyle in your new space has to feel familiar.”
One way luxury developers achieve this is through a high level of customization. Everything from floor plans to finishes are up for discussion, says Fox. “That’s a very rare thing, to have a builder who will let you do some of your own interior design,” she points out. “It’s a huge luxury. The buyer comes in with their interior designer and works with the developer’s designer to create their unique space.”
Along with beautifully proportioned spaces that reinforce the idea of gracious living, there is an expansive choice of flooring, stone finishes and sophisticated kitchens. The technological offerings – security settings, temperature, lighting controls and remote monitoring – can be “as simple or as complicated as you want,” adds Fox.
You don’t want to be one of hundreds; it’s nice to be one of 26.— Josh Shteiman, Vice-president of development operations, Platinum Vista Inc.
Customization is also the order of the day at No. 7 Dale, another boutique project offering 26 suites in Rosedale – the first of its kind in this exclusive neighbourhood.
“Each suite is designed in collaboration with the buyer,” says Josh Shteiman, vice-president of development operations for Platinum Vista. “The intention is to make it a home, not a cookie-cutter condo. This is what the luxury buyer is looking for. You don’t want to be one of hundreds; it’s nice to be one of 26.”
In addition to the considerable charms of the neighbourhood, No. 7 Dale offers the now-standard 24-hour concierge, as well as a first-class spa featuring a steam room, infrared and conventional saunas, and marble steam showers. The cutting-edge gym with its Peloton bikes is open day and night.
The garage boasts owner licence plate recognition for secure entry and is equipped with electric vehicle (EV) chargers, as well as housing bicycle storage and a bike workshop. In the garden, a beautiful teahouse overlooks the Rosedale Ravine; preserved from the original property, it offers a scenic vantage point for afternoon tea or a glass of wine with friends. The structure, and indeed the entire project, was designed to integrate discreetly into this traditional, affluent neighbourhood. “It’s about heritage,” explains Shteiman. “It’s what the neighbourhood is known for.”
Exteriors are as important as interiors in today’s luxury developments. “As a result of COVID,” says Fox, “the very first question we were getting was, ‘What’s the outdoor space?’ We were actually quite responsive to that.” Suites were designed with expansive terraces for planters, barbecues and alfresco seating, and large windows designed to “bring the outside in.”
Elegant entertainment space is another imperative: stylish dining rooms, coffee bars, cocktail lounges.
“They extend your living space, and really invite you to use them,” says Limshue. “Why would you go outside to rent a venue for your large family gathering, when you have a beautiful space right in your own building?”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.