Of all the houses in the world, the Playboy Mansion, located in the prime area of Los Angeles, California, near the Beverly Hills cinema, will be the one that most nourished the collective imagination. Throughout the almost 50 years that the house was occupied by the American businessman Hugh Hefner, founder of the most famous erotic magazine in the world, the astonishment was almost always related to the famous bunny pool, the legendary cave, the game rooms and movie theaters, the tennis court, the rare license to function as a zoo, which allowed the free existence of animals like peacocks and monkeys, or even quantity of rooms (29) and the celebrities that passed by there. Every corner was a perfect setting for a fashion production and an engine for the most eccentric creativity.
However, the glamorous five-hectare property designed by architect Arthur Kelly to respond, in the mid-1920s, to a commission from millionaire Arthur Letts Jr. is much more than just a mythical Holmby Hills place that everyone would want to visit. Its architecture is in the beautiful Tudor style, a Gothic feature that characterizes the great works of England between 1485 and 1603, from universities to monarchy houses.
At the age of 90, Hugh Hefner, who had bought the house in 1971 from Louis Staham, a famous inventor (it was he who invented the first blood pressure gauge, for example) and chess player, for a record 900,000 euros (equivalent to about six million euros today), decided to put it up for sale, raising something like 88 million euros. The value would thus be multiplied by 13 times in 45 years. It was in June 2016. Hefner would die a year later.
The deal between Hefner, considered one of the best hosts and organizers of 20th century parties, and the young entrepreneur of Greek descent Daren Metropoulos, who Forbes' list of 2019 placed among the 1,000 richest people in the world, was mediated by Christie's International Real Estate.
Not surprisingly, the choice of real estate company to make the deal, since the investment, whether in buying or selling, in most iconic homes on any of the five continents that host luxury lives, has the seal of approval of the world's leading real estate brand. Delight yourself with three more exclusive properties that will always fill pages of history books.
The 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) and the mythical activist Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) visited this distinguished property built in Montecito, California, when both were attending the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, a former think-tank for world leaders, as the two, each in their own way, would become. Built in 1916, and meanwhile fully restored, this historic property offers a 360 degree view of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, a perfect place that also represents the best wine region in California.
County Limerick, Ireland
Glin Castle in County Limerick is perhaps the most important property in Ireland. And definitely the most romantic. It is a majestic Georgian country house with two twin towers bearing the coat of arms of the FitzGerald family, who lived there for over 700 years. It was also the official residence of its heirs, the Knights of Glin, resisting numerous invasions. The decoration, full of Irish paintings, as well as the surrounding scenery, is impressive: the view from the gardens extends to the great estuary where the Shannon River flows.
Le Mans Castle
Pays de Loire, France
Price upon request
The Castle Le Mans, on the banks of the River Sarthe, has already received personalities such as the French Illuminist Voltaire, the Swiss philosopher Rousseau and the German writer Goethe, and has witnessed many of France's most important historical events. During the Second World War, for example, he served as a hospital and hiding place for hundreds of important paintings at the Louvre. Close to the legendary racetrack, this 18th century property has been completely restored and today offers exquisite interiors where the 15 luxurious rooms and an exterior with 74 hectares of gardens flourish.