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Layouts We Love: The Return of the Boudoir?

In this week’s “Layouts We Love” column, looks at the home’s most private space, the boudoir, which seems to be making a comeback in hotel-branded residences across the world. From New York to Santiago, Chile to the tropical Seychelles, three new developments feature the superlative retreat – the boudoir.

Residences in hotels are subject to an inherent tension between public and private spaces, which contributes to their overall appeal. Residents can mix with guests at the hotel bar, then disappear behind the doors of an owners-only elevator or resort gate. The privacy of residents is a luxury at the discretion of the residents. And the boudoir is the paramount of privacy– that additional room that forms part of the master suite often secured by an additional set of doors from the master bedroom itself.

The boudoir was historically the dressing room, private sitting room or bathing room of the lady in grand manor houses. Activities reserved for the boudoir could be as innocent as knitting, but also included intimate meetings between romantic partners who kept separate beds if not separate bedrooms. Thus, it is with great interest that we see several new developments offering residents with boudoirs – admittedly never labeled as such – but just the same offering an ever-private room within a bedroom suite locked in a private residence, in a part of the property where hotel guests are not allowed. Accordingly, the boudoir offers a penultimate private space to its owner.

The Residences at W Santiago in Chile’s capital offers a boudoir space in three of its largest four-bedroom residences. The 327-square meter interior includes a grand master suite with sitting area, bedroom, lavish bathroom and built-in make-up table. Its boudoir space – entered through the master bathroom – is labeled as a walk-in closet, but it is has its own built-in wardrobes and huge sliding doors that open onto the private master terrace. Its generous size, discreet bathroom entry, and terrace suggests much more than a simple closet, instead a boudoir for personal moments and for cherished possessions.

In the Indian Ocean, the Four Seasons Private Residences Seychelles offer a selection of private villa estates. For US$9.5 million, its Residence #7 consists of a 1.8 acre plot with the home comprising 5 distinct pavilions carefully placed around an inviting pool deck with magical sea views, three of which contain guest bedroom suites with their own outdoor showers, and the largest designated as the master suite. The master’s pavilion is entered directly to the bedroom from the pool deck, and features a grand bathroom, dressing area and outdoor shower. Its boudoir, however, is entered through two sets of double doors from the bedroom and is almost as large. Its walls slide open to let the natural sea breezes in, or can be closed to create a cocooning space with a second sleeping area or a distinct retreat.

Just outside New York City at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Westchester, two penthouses on the market for sale include boudoir spaces within their master suites. At 2532 square feet, Penthouse A features two bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen and a master-suite entered through a boudoir (labeled as a sitting room on the floor plan) that leads to an oversized bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The building’s Penthouse CD is a remarkable 5079 square foot custom-combined home featuring a double living room, media/screening room, dining area, office, library and guest suite. The master suite includes a stunning glass-walled bathroom, enormous closets, corner bedroom and an additional boudoir area, labeled as “Sitting Area/Office” on the floor plan. This boudoir may be a private hideaway within the master suite, but its corner walls of glass and majestic views make it one of the penthouse’s most spectacular rooms!

Boudoirs may be one of the most cherished spaces of their owners – the pinnacle of privacy in an ever-public world. How each resident will use theirs is a personal choice, but we invite developers to revive the word boudoir and invite owners to use their ingenuity to create their ideal private sanctuaries.