There is no denying that browsing websites, magazines and reality TV shows for a glimpse at how the other half live can be an addictive past-time, but have you ever wondered what kinds of property the super-rich can afford to live in?
We’re not just talking about those run-of-the-mill A-list celebrities and CEOs with a few million in the bank; these are the kinds of homes that one can only secure for themselves once they’re approaching - or have exceeded - billionaire status.
So, exactly what could one expect from some of the most expensive mansions in the world? What kind of features are most likely to appeal to some of the wealthiest people in the world? Where in the world are they located? And most importantly, how much did they set their owners back financially?
Below is a selection of 9 of the most expensive mansions sold in recent years to give you some food for thought:
1. Antillia, Mumbai (INDIA), $1.4 billion
The most expensive property in our list by far is Antillia, the quite frankly mind-boggling 27-floor skyscraper in the “billionaires’ row” area of Mumbai. It’s reportedly the second most valuable property in the world (after Buckingham Palace) and is home to Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in Asia, and – as of March 2021 – the 10th richest person in the world. Ambani has amassed his $83.1 billion fortune through his role as chairman, MD and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd, a Fortune Global 500 company that is the most valuable company in India by market value.
The home, named after a mythical island in the Atlantic Ocean, boasts 3 helipads, a cinema, dance and yoga studios, a 168-car garage and more than 600 staff. The Ambani family live on the top 6 floors of the building to make the most of the views and sunlight. They have also reportedly decorated their opulent abode with crystals, marble and mother-of-pearl.
Arguably the most fascinating feature of the home, however, is that Ambani and his family have access to their very own ‘snow room’ for the days when the heat is just too overwhelming and air con won’t suffice. The walls reportedly blast out man-made snowflakes on demand!
2. Villa Leopalda, Villefranche-sur-Mer (MONACO), $780.9 million
This estate, situated on 18 acres of land within the French Riviera, once belonged to King Leopald II of Belgium, and during WWI it was used as a military hospital.
It was also the setting for the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film 'To Catch A Thief' starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
It's rumored that the mansion hires 50 staff just to deal with the expansive gardens and landscape scenery surrounding the estate.
What we do know for sure is that there are 19 bedrooms situated within the residence, each featuring their own private bathrooms and outdoor terraces. There is also a built-in bowling alley, private movie theatre and several private kitchens for those late-night cravings!
3. Middle Gap Road Mansion, Middle Gap Road (HONG KONG), $440.8 million
Situated on Middle Gap Road - one of the most prestigious gated communities in Hong Kong - this rare and exclusive mansion went on the market for $447.8m back in 2019.
Built in 1991, this mansion boasts a relatively modest 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, unimpressive you might assume, particularly in comparison to some of the other residences featured on the list!
The appeal of Middle Gap Road Mansion is the fact it’s shrouded by lush country park greenery for utmost privacy in one of the busiest and most overcrowded cities in the world. With a site area of 16,330 square feet and a swimming pool that overlooks stunning views of Hong Kong’s south side, there couldn’t be a more desirable home for anyone living in the region.
4. The ‘Mayfair Mega-Mansion’, London (ENGLAND), $347.9 million
Businessman John Caudwell (who sold his Phones4U chain for £1.5 billion back in 2006) created Britain’s most expensive home in the heart of Mayfair, and the price tag just goes to show there was certainly no expense spared!
The Mayfair Mega-Mansion is the result of two substantially sized houses knocked into one and is more than twice the size of the Royal Albert Hall. The home features a 120-capacity ballroom, 15 bedrooms and spans 8 floors.
5. Odeon Tower Penthouse, Avenue de l’Annonciade (MONACO), $381.7 million
A five-floor penthouse in one of the most exclusive and luxurious destinations in the world, this home encompasses a total of 31,500 square feet. It features a rooftop deck and an infinity pool that contains its own impressive waterslide to transport passengers directly from the dancefloor to the pool.
With 6 bedrooms and a kitchen on each of the 5 floors, residents of the penthouse also benefit from a private chauffeur, a caterer, a 24-hour concierge service and a health club.
6. Fair Field Mansion, Long Island, New York (USA), $245.8 million
This beach-side property, a commuter ride away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, currently belongs to billionaire businessman Ira Rennert. Rennert is the Chairman and CEO of Renco Group, a New York City based holding group which invests in other companies across a range of different industries.
Alongside the main residence, the Fair Field estate consists of a 'play' house and two further pool houses, spread out across more than 110,000 square feet. The home boasts an impressive 29 bedrooms, 39 bathrooms, its own power plant, 3 swimming pools, a synagogue, 2 courtyards, an orangery, a 164-seat home theatre, a basketball court, and a bowling alley! You’d never be bored, would you?
7. Central Park South Penthouse, Manhattan, New York (USA), $234.1 million
This impressive penthouse residence is owned by Billionaire Ken Griffin, who purchased his New York City home for an eye-watering $238m back in 2019. His slice of the Big Apple reportedly set the current record for the most expensive home ever bought in the city; not too surprising considering the fact Mr Griffin is worth an estimated $8.84 billion!
The record-breaking property covers the three top floors of 220 Central Park South, a skyscraper located in Manhattan that boasts some of the most spectacular views of the city skyline. Each of the penthouse's 3 bedrooms comes with an en-suite bathroom, black and white marble baths, steam showers and heated floors. The building, where singer Sting also owns an apartment, gives its residents exclusive access to an 82-foot saltwater pool, fitness centre, squash courts, library, screening rooms and outdoor terraces.
8. St Moritz Mansion, St Moritz (SWITZERLAND), $182 million
The St Moritz Mansion is a seven-floor home located in a luxury Swiss ski resort that had the initial architectural brief of being able to "make a billionaire’s jaw drop" and it’s safe to say the goal was reached!
The residence is one of the most expensive homes ever put on the market in Switzerland and is currently owned by an unnamed billionaire family. The home has a private ski lift to the slopes, a $1.3 million home cinema, a fully-equipped spa featuring an extravagant pool lit by swarovski crystal lights, a wine cellar, an underground lake and even 24 KARAT GOLD WALLS. Talk about showing off!
9. Villa Firenze, Beverly Hills, California (USA), $162.7 million
This Mediterranean mega-mansion and compound is located in the A-Lister’s playground of Beverley Park, California. The residence is made up of a main house and three guest cottages, and sits across 9 acres of prime Californian real estate, justifying its hefty price tag!
The mansion was originally sold back in 1998 after 5 years of building work, has 13 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, and 28,660 square feet of living space. The mansion is owned by billionaire businessman Steven Udvar-Hazy, former CEO of one of the biggest aircraft leasing businesses in the world. Celebrity neighbors of the current residents include Hollywood actors Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone and Eddie Murphy, as well as legendary Scottish singer Rod Stewart.