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Month: September 2015

Europe’s Most Beautiful Mansions

Europe has long been recognized for the quality of its architecture and the richness of its culture — on what other continent can you find towering castles and renowned museums intermingling with expansive vineyards and blossoming orchards? Europe’s regal past has inspired some modern-day royal ambitions in Europe’s wealthy upper class, from Germany and France down to Italy and over to the British Isles. These ambitions have resulted in some of the world’s most beautiful mansions and luxury condos — let’s take a brief look at a few of Europe’s finest domiciles.

  1. Henley Mansion

This mansion on the banks of the Thames is owned by a Russian billionaire and is home to a few of Europe’s most gorgeous swimming pools, flower gardens and golf courses. Rumors of its $220 million worth aren’t the only rumors to run rampant around this expansive property — the Henley mansion is the subject of frequent visits from paranormal enthusiasts seeking ghost encounters and stories of the spooky and scary.

  1. Kensington Palace Gardens

This British home is truly worthy of its palatial moniker. Its grounds are adorned with flowers of all different types and varieties, and in Spring the residence is surrounded by various shades of purple, red and yellow that would make even the most seasoned visitor gasp in wonder. Although it was bought recently by Lakshmi Mittal, a steel magnate and one of the wealthiest men in world history, Kensington is back on the market as of now. Sign me up!

  1. Updown Court

Located in the beautiful countryside of Surrey, England, Updown Court has truly astounding grounds (including a serene manmade lake in front of the main house). However, the real draw to this mansion are the amenities inside: Updown has numerous private theaters, tennis courts, bedrooms and swimming pools galore, not to mention several stables and garages for horses and Lamborghinis.

 

  1. One Hyde Park Penthouses

These penthouses are not a single mansion, but they are among the most expensive luxury condos in the world and often command price tags of around $200 million. The largest penthouse offers an unparalleled view of London’s largest park and several impressive amenities such as a private gym, an entertainment center, a swimming pool and an understated, classy personal study. If you’re not quite in the $200 million strata of wealth, fear not; smaller penthouses in the building can be purchased for a mere $20 to $30 million!

 

  1. Villa Leopolda

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov owns this beautiful home nestled deep in the French Riviera region. Often valued at half a billion dollars, Villa Leopolda is considered the most expensive home on the European mainland, and for good reason — King Leopold of Belgium spared no expense when constructing this mansion for himself in the early 20th century. With nineteen bedrooms and a massive garden and swimming pool on the grounds, Villa Leopolda needs a staff of hundreds just to keep up its pristine appearance! The Villa is truly the jewel of the Mediterranean, and perhaps the most beautiful mansion in Europe.

Top 5 Celebrity Mansions Around The World

Celebrities can afford to live in luxury. Often their homes are places that most can only dream of living in. Celebrity property around the world is often palatial and luxurious. Surprisingly or not so shocking, despite the grandeur of many celebrity homes, the luxury property is made to feel comfortable to live in. Following are the top 5 celebrity mansions around the world.

  1. Bill and Melinda Gates

 Medina, Washington

The billionaire computer genius and co-founder of Microsoft and his wife Melinda took 7 years to construct their dream home in Medina, Washington. The luxury property is valued at about $147.5 million. Set among natural woods and water that create an eco-friendly environment, the home, itself, is 66,000 square feet. Gates has dubbed it “Xanadu 2.0”. It was constructed using 500 year old Douglas Fir Trees and 1/3 of the builders were electricians installing the many IT spaces throughout the home and features including climate and lighting control in each room. The home has 24 bathrooms, a home theater, a reception hall that fits 200 people, a library and a trampoline room with a 20 foot ceiling. The property features a 900 square foot activities building, a guest house, boat docks, a sports court, a putting green and an artificial stream stocked with live fish. The sand along the water was imported from the Caribbean.

  1. Oprah Winfrey

 Montecito, California

The “Queen of All Media”, billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist owns this palatial luxury property in Montecito, California. The celebrity property is valued at approximately $85 million. Ms. Winfrey dubbed the property “The Promised Land Estate”. In recent years Ms. Winfrey has worked with designer, Rose Tarlow, to remodel the mansion from an ornate to more comfortable interior. The 23,000 square foot home features 10 fireplaces, 14 bathrooms, 6 bedroom suites and a theater. A separate building on the property functions as a “Tea House” and has rustic wooden accents. The serene 42 acre property has beautiful mountain views and an orchard.

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  1. Brad and Angelina Jolie-Pitt

 Château Miraval

The Jolie-Pitt family purchased this Provence, France 1200 acre estate that lies on an ancient Roman road and is valued at about $60 million. The 17th century estate features a working, prize winning vineyard, an olive grove, terraced hillsides, gardens with fountains and a private lake with a moat. Many of the buildings on the land are the original 17th century constructions which Mr. Pitt has diligently restored. Romanesque chapel remains on the property and the Jolie-Pitts were married there in 2014. The main house features 35 rooms including a spa, gym, home theater and video game room. The luxury property has 2 helipads, a pool and a dirt bike course. In the 1970s the French jazz pianist, Jacque Loussier, built a recording studio on the property where musicians including Pink Floyd, ACDC, Sting and Muse have recorded. The celebrity estate can even boast St. Thomas Aquines as a guest in the 13th century.

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  1. David and Victoria Beckham

 London, England

The Beckham family flat in the Kensington Chelsea neighborhood of London was purchased for £40 million. The four story mansion is well used by the Beckhams and their 4 children. Victoria worked with designer Kelly Hoppon to create a family friendly feel to the home. The 4 story flat features a 100 foot oriental garden leading to a work area for Victoria’s fashions, her study, a playroom for the children and a spa and gym on the lower floor. The ground floor has a family friendly living area, dining area and restaurant standard kitchen as well as Victoria’s office. The master bedroom and dressing room are on the 1st floor while the children’s rooms are on the 2nd. The 3rd floor has 3 guestrooms and a den for David including a bar and pool table.

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  1. Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld

 East Hampton, New York

The Seinfelds purchased this seaside celebrity property in the Hamptons from Billy Joel for $32 million. The scenic property features beautiful views, a guest house, a pool and a full sized baseball diamond. The home is decorated in a laid-back, family friendly style. The kitchen and sunroom are the center of the house and the Seinfelds have dubbed it “Party Central”. Guests can relax in front of the stone fireplace while they enjoy the comfort and serenity of the neutral toned home. The home has an indoor swimming pool and bowling alley. There is a 22 car garage to house Mr. Seinfeld’s classic cars.

 

Being a celebrity has its share of perks. Homes are a big part of a celebrity’s image. The top 5 celebrity properties around the world are luxurious and magnificent. While they have exciting and sometimes exotic features, they remain comfortable homes to the celebrities that own them.

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