After Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire, lost £36million deposit on the most expensive villa in the world, we decided we would look into the extravagance of the world’s most expensive homes.
From ballrooms to bowling alleys, orchards to iris scanners, entourage rooms to panic rooms, acres of gardens to gold-leaf bathrooms, this list has it all. This is how the other half live…
#1 - “Antilla”, Mumbai - $1billion.
This 27-story, 40,000 sq/ft tower, pictured above, where no two floors are the same, is the unique and extravagant creation of owners Mukesh and Nita Ambani. Costing more than a hotel or high-rise, due to its custom measurements and fittings, it comes complete with a six-story car park and actually begins on the ninth floor.
570 feet tall and mostly glass, it has a staff of 600 servants. The ballroom boasts a crystal chandelier ceiling and features retractable showcases for artwork and entertainment stages. It has an indoor/outdoor bar, green rooms and a nearby "entourage room" for security guards and assistants to relax. Each floor is double the average height, technically making it 60 stories tall, perfect for its own helipad. This home dwarfs any other, financially and in stature, and will probably be number one for a while.
#2 - Villa Leopolda, French Riviera - $506million.
Made even more famous by recent press, this villa on the French Riviera was built in 1902 by King Leopold II of Belgium. Rumoured to have been home to many renowned people, including Bill Gates, it actually belonged to Edmond Safra, and still belongs to his wife Lily.
This 80,000+ sq/ft estate furnished with beautiful antiques is easily one of the worlds most spectacular. It boasts 19 bedrooms, sports courts, a bowling alley, multiple kitchens and dining rooms and movie theatre, all in the main villa. The size of the grounds is outstanding, with guest homes, multiple swimming pools and lavish gardens that need more than 50 full-time gardeners for maintenance.
#3 - The Penthouse, London - $200million.
Atop the 82 other apartments at the famous Number One Hyde Park address will sit the most expensive flat in the world, at £6,000 per sq/ft. Only the highest level of security will do for these residents, guarded by the SAS, with special features such a panic rooms, bulletproof windows, iris scanners and even a secret tunnel to the nearby Mandarin Hotel. The building boasts communal spas, squash courts and even wine tasting rooms! This plush apartment will have 24-hour room service despite the floor to ceiling refrigerators.
#4 - Fairfield Pond, The Hamptons. - $170million.
At 63 acres, the home of Ira Rennert, is considered the largest residential compound in the whole of America. The publicity shy billionaire is the proud owner of the most valuable home in the Hamptons; with 29 bedrooms, 39 bathrooms, as well as a huge dining room (91 feet long), 5 sports courts, bowling alley and a $150,000 hot tub, this beachfront home cuts no corners. Locals were outraged when they discovered that is was not in fact being built as a hotel, spa or religious retreat as they were apparently lead to believe, but in fact this massive property was to be used as a private house.
#5 - Hearst Mansion, Beverly Hills - $165million.
This mansion, formerly owned by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst (the inspiration for the main character in "Citizen Kane"), features 29 bedrooms and three pools. It even comes complete with its own disco and theatre. Steeped in pop culture history, it was the estate used in The Godfather when the infamous severed horse’s head turned up in its owner’s bed. It was also used by President JFK, who stayed at the mansion during his honeymoon. The house has some notable neighbours, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and David and Victoria Beckham
#6 - Franchuk Villa, Kensington - $161million.
This Victorian Villa was a girl’s prep school until 1997. Bought by developers and upgraded in 2006 with more than £10million worth of work, it was purchased by Ukrainian AIDS philanthropist, Elena Franchuk. Unusually for London, this 5-story home is freestanding, with 10 bedrooms, an underground indoor swimming pool, movie theatre, panic room, saunas and gym.
#7 - “The Pinnacle”, Montana - $155million.
This luxury ski-lodge is to be the largest property in the exclusive billionaires-only private ski and golf community, “Yellowstone Club”. Naturally then, it will be the home of the owners of this elite group, Tim and Edra Blixseth. While not considered big compared to others on this list with only 10 bedrooms, this home will include heated flooring throughout the house that stretches all the way to the heated driveway, as well as fireplaces in all bathrooms, a huge wine cellar, an indoor/outdoor pool, gym and massage room.
#8 - “The Manor”, Los Angeles - $150million.
His wife Cindy dubbed Aaron Spelling’s 56,000-square-foot LA mansion “The Manor”. Built for him in 1991 it has 123 rooms for his family to choose from. Nothing was spared in the creation of this home, with an indoor skating rink, multiple pools, three kitchens, sports courts, private orchard, and a bowling alley. Not happy with the “norm” for these mansions, there are also more unusual additions, such as a doll museum, a room used exclusively for wrapping presents and an entire floor dedicated to closet space.
#9 - Updown Court, Windlesham, Surrey - $139million.
This 40,000 sq/ft mansion is bigger than Buckingham Palace, has 103 rooms, is known as the most luxurious mansion in the world and has been billed as "the most important private residence to be built in England since the 19th century". It too has a bowling alley, squash court, movie theatre, five swimming pools, a heated marble driveway and a staircase apparently modelled after the one found in Gianni Versace’s Miami mansion. Its standout factor however is the 24-carat gold leaf mosaic floor feature in 22 bedrooms and 27 baths. World famous in its reputation, it has been said of this property that, "if Elton John were a house, he'd be Updown Court".
#10 - Dracula’s Castle, Romania - $135million.
Built in the late 14th century this castle is a national monument and technically a museum thanks to Vlad the Impaler. However, this historical castle came on the market in 2009. Very different from the others on this list, this potential home would be more enticing due to its history and name, rather than the flash features it may possess. With 57 rooms in total, including 17 bedrooms filled with antiques and historical artefacts, this property is one for the quirkier billionaire. Only a few drawbacks may hinder; the 450,000 tourists that visit each year, as well as the fact that there is no central heating. However, is that all worth living in Dracula’s Castle? For people with this kind of money to spend that may be the case.