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Astounding Apartment Amenities Make the Good Life Even Better

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The holidays can be a stressful time for families, so wouldn't it be great to have a Jeeves and a private chef to handle the catering, a concierge to find the perfect Christmas goose, or a steam room to sweat away the stress? For most urbanites, those amenities sound like pipe dreams, but some buildings—new and old alike —offer niceties the rest of us can only imagine. Below: a tiny morsel of the good life.

? Hotel services like a concierge are common in, well, hotel apartments, but what about a boutique condo building? Ian Schrager's 2005 creation 40 Bond, in the NYC neighborhood of NoHo, enjoys 24-hour concierge services courtesy of the Gramercy Park Hotel, another Schrager property that happens to be located some 20 blocks north. That's not all, though. Residents are also privy to a bunch of other useful features, including a telephone switchboard for call screening, membership at the super-swank David Barton gyms, access to all "guest only" portions of the Gramercy Park Hotel, valet parking, room service, full housekeeping services, and pet walking/sitting. There's hardly an occasion to leave, but getting in might be a little tough. There's just one apartment currently available in the building: a fourth-floor, 1,382-square-foot, two-bedroom place asking $4.85M. That's a $3,509 per square foot, but at least the maintenance is relatively low: $1,564 a month. Curious what a designed-dressed unit looks like? We featured a rather stunning one back in November; photos here. (Oh, and our cousins at Curbed NY also named this building one of the 10 best of the decade in Nov. 2009.)

? Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the ultra-luxe Robert A.M. Stern product The Century is showing off the goods. Socialite Candy Spelling closed earlier this month on a 15,555-square-foot penthouse in the building, paying $35M and setting a record high for apartment sales in the area. Spelling is set to move from a 56,500-square-foot Holmby Hills mansion that still hasn't fetched its $150M asking price (which so happens to be the year's priciest listing in the nation) so she's downgrading, but what's driving her to the Century? The four acres of gardens, outdoor pool with cabanas, and the Assouline Culture Lounge (a fancy, ultra-artsy private library) didn't hurt. Personal wine storage, valet parking, and a 24-hour concierge also might've swayed a mere mortal, but we're guessing Spelling just can't help herself when it comes to setting records.

? Back in Manhattan, an apartment house at a very nondescript address has been enjoying some serious creature comforts for 79 years. 435 East 52nd Street, also known as The River House, has been among the most exclusive of New York co-ops since its inception. The bottom five floors of the River House serve as clubhouse for the River Club, which today houses a restaurant, event spaces, and squash courts. Prior to the construction of FDR Drive, the River Club enjoyed one of the premier amenities in all of New York: a block-long yacht harbor with direct elevator access to the apartments above. This meant that residents could move between their summer "cottages" in the Hamptons and their urban abode in the River House without ever setting foot on the filthy, plebeian street. Four apartments in the vaunted building are currently on the market, including a rare five-bedroom that's asking $19.5M.

? For the River Club set looking for warmer climes in winter, Palm Beach, Fla. has been a perennial favorite, and there's no more distinguished hotel in Palm Beach than The Breakers. The gold-standard complex is offering up some ritzy residences for seasonal lease. Located on the 140-acre grounds of The Breakers Resort & Hotel, the apartments range in size from 1,200 to 4,000 square feet and include access to the renowned golf, tennis, and beach facilities. Above and beyond the hotel services, there's a 500-foot private beach, a resident-only swimming pool, 24-hour security, and a dedicated team of forty to attend to residents. Sounds like the ultimate in beach-side coddling.
· 40 Bond services [official site]
· 40 Bond, #4B [BHS]
· It's All Peaches and Sunshine Within Hard 'n' Glass Luxury Building [Curbed National]
· The Best New Buildings of the Decade! [Curbed NY]
· Candy Closes at The Century, Pays $35 Million for Penthouse [Curbed LA]
· Candy Spellings $150 Million Manor Hits the MLS [Curbed LA]
· 10 Most Expensive Properties Listed for Sale in 2010 [Luxist]
· East 52nd Street [Sotheby's]
· Breakers Row [official site]