Wow Factor: €3.6m lavish Malahide home boasts a private swimming pool
A dip and a cocktail can be extra special in a custom-built pool room with the wow factor at Abbott's Hill.
It's almost commonplace for houses at the upper end of the Dublin market, particularly those built in the last decade or so, to be appointed like small luxury hotels.
As the New York Times said last year about the standard of properties in the Hamptons, where rich New Yorkers decamp for summer rest and relaxation (and are waited on by Irish J-1 students), no one over the age of five expects to share a bathroom, still less a bedroom.
While the purchasers of large family homes in Dublin may themselves have grown up sharing bedrooms with their siblings, and will almost certainly have endured the privations of a single chilly family bathroom, with perhaps a small guest WC downstairs if they were lucky, they do not expect their own children to have to suffer in this way.
Their privileged offspring will almost certainly be allocated a bedroom of their own, complete with double bed, built-in wardrobes, wall-mounted television and ensuite wet-room. These bedrooms are as well-appointed as those you would expect in a five star hotel.
But however luxurious the house itself, and however much prospective buyers are inured to the lavish interiors that they have come to expect, a swimming pool is still something out of the ordinary, something to make even the most jaded house-hunter 'ooh and aah'.
Swimming pools in Irish homes will probably never be anything other than something pretty special, and pretty unusual. Particularly when they are indoor pools that can be used all year round.
Because pools are expensive both to install and maintain, it makes sense that if a home-owner is going to go to all that trouble, they might as well spend the money on an amenity that stands at least a chance of paying for itself, if not in monetary terms then, at least, in the amount of enjoyment that can be derived from it. If you are going to go for a pool, you should really make it an indoor pool.
The swanky Abbotts Hill development in Malahide is an enclave of 40 detached houses, located about a 15-minute walk from the town centre and the railway station. Celia Ahern used to live in the development but her house, much smaller than No 37, sold earlier this year for €1.15m.
At No 37, the 11 metre pool is located in a wing to the side of the property, which also houses a sauna and Jacuzzi, changing room, bathroom and bar, plus a separate games room currently kitted out with a snooker table. Unlike some domestic swimming pools, the shape of which are too curved to be taken seriously, this is one designed for someone who intends to use it for exercise as well as fun. There could be no excuse for not fitting it in your daily cardio workout if you lived here, and older children and teenagers would find themselves with a whole slew of new friends.
In addition to the pool, 37 Abbotts Hill has plenty of other creature comforts on hand to ensure a sybaritic existence for its new owners. The exterior is grand, with wide steps leading up to the double front doors.
Formal dining and drawing rooms occupy the bay windowed rooms to either side of the front door, at raised ground-floor level, while the area at the back of the house overlooking the garden is open-plan, with a kitchen/breakfast room and family room. The Mark Wilkinson kitchen is hand-painted and has granite worktops, top-of-the-range integrated appliances including an enormous American-style fridge freezer and an AGA.
Both the breakfast room and family room have double doors opening out onto the garden, which is south-facing and extends to almost 1/3 acre. A sun terrace is nicely sheltered and has views across to Lambay Island. On a clear day, you might be able to spot a few of the special Lambay sheep and beef cattle that are raised on the island, the meat from which is available to purchase in some of the local butchers' shops. Lamb from sheep that graze on pastures adjacent to the sea takes on a particular salty flavour associated with its terroir that is appreciated by chefs and gourmands; the French call it pré-salé.
A curved marble staircase leads up to the first floor where there are four double bedrooms, all ensuite. The master bedroom and its opposite number on the other side, which occupy the two bays to the front of the house, each have a dressing room.
At lower ground floor level, there is a further bedroom, also en suite, plus a utility room.
But it is the adjacent, sound-proofed cinema room, with projector, screen and built-in recliner chairs, that will excite prospective buyers. Coupled with the indoor pool, it turns the house into a pleasure palace, somewhere that a family that likes to spend time together will enjoy enormously.
With 8000 sq ft of living space, and parking for eight cars on the cobble-locked driveway, there is ample room to entertain on a lavish scale. Gadget nerds will like the integrated sound system, underfloor heating and central vacuum system, while electric gates, security intercom and CCTV will ensure peace of mind.
Car collectors will appreciate the double garage, something that is less common than it used to be.
Malahide is a great location for families, with plenty of choice in terms of national schools, and Malahide Community School and Sutton Park both within easy reach.
Transport links to the airport and city centre are good, and sporty types will find plenty to keep them busy with sailing, tennis, golf and rugby clubs all active in the town. Malahide is a busy, sociable town with good shopping and plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants.
No. 37 was on the market back in 2008 for a cool €6.5M. It's now priced at €3.6M,through Morrison Estates (01) 2937100.