Six of the World’s Most Extravagant (and Expensive) Homes
When it comes to buying or renovating your own home, you probably have a tick list of things that really matter: a functional kitchen, for example; a decent bathroom; maybe some outdoor space. But when money is no object, the list of what’s considered to be essential drastically changes.
Everyone knows that rich people have swimming pools in their houses, and cinemas, and wine cellars, but some of these properties go even further than that. We scoured the internet to find some of the planet’s most expensive – and extravagant – homes, so that you can focus on hunting down your own.
The multi-storey mansion with its very own place of worship
Where’s the most expensive house in the world? LA? Dubai? The French Riviera? Actually, turns out it’s in Mumbai, India. The spectacular, 27-storey Antilia is a signature shape in the skyline of the Bollywood city. It’s owned by Mukesh Ambani, a business tycoon who’s the richest man in India, and it’s home to him and his family, as well as their 600-strong team of staff.
Topped by three helipads (naturally), this stand-out skyscraper boasts nine lifts, a spa, a theatre and its very own temple. Antilia is named after a mythical city swallowed by the Atlantic Ocean. According to reports, this remarkable home cost around $1 billion to build.
The seaside villa that’s starred in the movies
The French Riviera is widely-known to be one of the most expensive places in the world to buy a property, and is home to a plethora of celebrities and tycoons. This sprawling villa, located above the dazzling Mediterranean in Villefranche-sur-Mer, is one of the most expensive of them all.
It was built in 1902 for Belgian Kind Leopold II. In 2008, Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov put down a deposit of the equivalent of $75 million on the house. When the global financial crisis hit, he pulled out, but a Nice court ordered that Prokhorov could not have his deposit back. Instead, owner of the property, Lily Safra, distributed the money between charities.
Villa Leopolda has starred in two iconic movies: The Red Shoes and To Catch a Thief. The villa has an on-site commercial greenhouse, 11 bedrooms, and, just in case none of the loos are free when you need to go, 14 bathrooms. In 2016, another of Leopold’s former homes, Les Cedres, in nearby Saint Cap Ferrat, went on the market for a mind-blowing one billion euros.
The country pile where even the driveway is heated
This flawless white mansion might look like it’s in the Californian hills, but it actually stands proud in the Surrey village of Windlesham. It isn’t the first abode to grace the 58-acre woodland estate, though: the original Updown Court was built in 1924. 63 years later, just before it was due to go on the market, the house was destroyed by fire from downed electrical lines in The Great Storm of 1987.
In the late nineties, the new Updown Court was constructed. And it was massive. To give you an idea of scale, this house is even bigger than Buckingham Palace. It comes with everyday amenities like a beauty salon, bowling alley and five pools including an infinity pool
Guests lucky enough to visit the 103-room property will approach via its £2 million pound heated marble driveway. In 2011, Updown Court went on the market for $75 million, making it the most expensive UK property outside London, but an anonymous businessman snapped it up for a snip a just $35 million.
924 Bel Air Road
The incredible residence that has $30 million worth of cars thrown in
It’s difficult to not be impressed by this $250 million dollar Californian home. With breathtaking views of the ocean and hills all around, this newly-constructed, absolute top-of-the-range pile offers absolutely everything you could possibly wish for.
There’s an infinity pool with a pop-up cinema screen for those poolside movie sessions, not one but two fully-stocked wine cellars, an entire wall of enormous glass sweet dispensers and (this is the best bit) a garage with a selection of cars worth more than $30 million.
Luxury developer Bruce Makowsky has thought of absolutely everything the discerning homeowner might want and need, and no expense has been spared – in fact, he has even boasted that there was no budget involved in the creation of the dreamy house. As well as throwing in a fleet of luxury cars, Makowsky’s also included a hundred carefully-curated art installations. We think this one could be described as ‘ready to move in’.
One Hyde Park Penthouse
The apartment with a passage to a luxury hotel
London’s high property prices are world-famous, and when it comes to the capital, no place is as pricey as Knightsbridge. It should come as little surprise, then, that this phenomenal penthouse is located in the wealthy borough, which is also home to Harrods.
From the outside, it looks like a pretty normal new-build, but the interior is packed with high-end fixtures and fittings and Bondesque security features. Naturally, a home like this is going to attract the very rich, which is perhaps why this flat comes with bullet-proof windows and SAS-trained bodyguards.
Handily, it also boasts an underground passage to the nearby Mandarin Oriental Hotel, should you get bored of the luxury at home. When it sold in for $140 million in 2010, this was the world’s most expensive apartment.
432 Park Avenue
A penthouse perched atop a very lofty tower
When it comes to pricey city pads, New York is up there with London. And few skylines are as iconic as Manhattan, with the world-famous Chrysler and Empire State buildings. In 2015, a new figure appeared on that skyline, and it was taller than both the Chrysler and the Empire State. It can be seen on the image below, towering over the city to the right of the Empire State Building.
At 425 metres tall, 432 Park Avenue is the tallest residential building in the world. It houses 104 luxury condominiums, but the penthouse, sitting pretty at the very top, was always going to come at a price. To be more specific, The Penthouse at 432 Park Avenue came on to the market at $95 million dollars.
Eventually, it was sold for a reported $87.7 million to Fawaz Al Hokair, a Saudi Arabian businessman. The apartment comes with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and priceless views over Central Park and that iconic skyline. But it’s not the most expensive apartment ever to be sold in New York: that accolade goes to the penthouse topping nearby One57, which sold to an anonymous buyer for just over $100 million.
The most expensive house ever to be torn down?
When Donald Trump sold Maison L’Amitie (meaning ‘House of Friendship’ in French) for $95 million in 2008, he more than doubled his money. Trump Properties said they’d spent millions on renovating the Regency-style Florida mansion, but the claims were surrounded by controversy.
Either way, Trump had made a considerable profit on the palatial home, which came with its own tennis house and a garage fit for fifty cars. Nothing lasts forever, though, and less than ten years later, the House of Friendship no longer exists.
In Palm Springs, where it once stood, beachfront soil comes at such a premium that its current owner decided the most profitable thing to do would be to tear it down and sell off parcels of the precious land. What could be more extravagant than demolishing a $95 million dollar home?
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