During a time when many of us are struggling to make monthly mortgage payments, the idea of living in or maintaining one of the world’s top ten most expensive homes is difficult to fathom. Nevertheless, for ten “lucky” individuals, their homes serve as their playgrounds, boasting luxuries and unique amenities. Below is a brief description of each home and its respective claim to fame, not just the large price tag. You be the judge; beautiful extravagances or superfluous eccentricities?
1. Antilla, Mumbai: $1 billion – This 27-story, primarily glass, 40,000 sq/ft tower is unique in that no two floors are the same. Owners Mukesh and Nita Ambani employ 600 servants. The six-story car park, indoor/outdoor bar, green rooms and a nearby “entourage room” for security guards and assistants makes entertaining easy. Each story is double the average height making it a perfect location for a helipad in case a friend wants to drop in.
2. Villa Leopolda, French Riviera: $506 million – This villa on the French Riviera was built in 1902 by King Leopold II of Belgium. It belonged to Edmond Safra, and still belongs to his wife Lily. This 80,000+ sq/ft estate showcases beautiful antiques, boasts 19 bedrooms, sports courts, bowling alley, multiple kitchens and dining rooms and movie theatre. The Villa also includes lavish gardens.
3. The Penthouse, London: $200 million – The Penthouse is recognized as the most expensive flat in the world and is located atop, Number One Hyde Park, one of the most highly desired addresses in London. Resident security is tight with SAS guards, panic rooms, bulletproof windows, iris scanners and even a secret tunnel to the nearby Mandarin Hotel.
4. Fairfield Pond, Hamptons: $170 million – At 63 acres, the home of Ira Rennert, the publicity shy billionaire, is considered the largest residential compound in America with 29 bedrooms, 39 bathrooms, as well as a huge dining room, 5 sports courts, bowling alley and a $150,000 hot tub.
5. Hearst Mansion, Beverly Hills: $165 million – The former William Randolph Hearst mansion features 29 bedrooms and three pools as well as its own disco and theatre. It is also situated in close proximity to some famous neighbors. Another claim to fame: President JFK stayed at the mansion during his honeymoon.
6. Franchuk Villa, Kensington: $161 million – Once a Victorian girls’ prep school, this Victorian Villa was bought and upgraded in 2006 with more than £10million worth of work. Purchased by Ukrainian AIDS philanthropist, Elena Franchuk, it is said that the 5-story freestanding home is unusual for London. Other amenities include 10 bedrooms, an underground indoor swimming pool, panic room, saunas and gym.
7. The Pinnacle, Montana: $155 million – The first luxury ski-lodge to make the top ten, The Pinnacle is said to be the largest property in the exclusive billionaires-only private ski and golf community, “Yellowstone Club.” Owned by Tim and Edra Blixseth, the lodge has 10 bedrooms and includes heated flooring throughout, fireplaces in all bathrooms and a huge wine cellar.
8. The Manor, Los Angeles: $150 million – Dubbed by his wife Cindy as “The Manor,” Aaron Spelling’s 56,000-square-foot LA mansion continues to garner attention. Built for him in 1991 it has 123 rooms, an indoor skating rink, multiple pools, three kitchens, sports courts, private orchard, a bowling alley as well as some unusual additions such as a doll museum.
9. Updown Court, Windlesham, Surrey: $139 million – This 40,000 sq/ft, 103 room mansion is bigger than Buckingham Palace. Aside from all the other typical Mansion amenities, its standout factor is the 24-carat gold leaf mosaic floor featured in 22 bedrooms and 27 baths.
10. Dracula’s Castle, Romania: $135 million – Built in the late 14th century, this historical castle came on the market in 2009. Very different from the other homes on this list, this Castle’s main selling points are its historical significance and name. With 57 rooms in total, the quirky nature of this home will require a unique billionaire buyer tolerable of the 450,000 annual tourists and the lack of central air conditioning.
If all of these homes has inspired you to purchase a multi-million dollar mansion, you’re going to need one hell of a mortgage. Check out current mortgage rates to get started.
Published or updated January 27, 2011.