Having everything from a pool to an indoor cinema and a bowling alley, the world’s wealthiest live large in homes worth billions of dollars. Here is our list of the most expensive homes in the world that are a dream for the majority but a reality for the lucky few:
1. Buckingham Palace—London, UK
Worth: $2 billion
Home to the Queen of England, the Buckingham Palace is on the top of the list when we talk about the most expensive homes in the world. The palace was constructed for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. It became the official residence of the ruling monarch after Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne.
The property contains 775 rooms, spread over five floors, including 188 staff rooms, 92 offices, 52 bedrooms for other royals and guests, 78 bathrooms, and 19 staterooms inclusive of a state dining room, a music room as well as the throne room, and a ballroom that was added to the palace in the 1850s. The palace also has a swimming pool, a fully equipped doctor’s surgery, and around 40 acres of landscaped gardens.
2. Antilia—Mumbai, India
Worth: $1 billion
Buckingham Palace is the most costly property on our list of the most expensive homes in the world. However, since the palace is crown property and not privately owned, many consider Antilia in Mumbai to be leading the pack as the most expensive private residence in the world. Spread vertically over 27 floors, Antilia towers over Mumbai from its location on Cumballa Hills. It is owned by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India.
With more than 1,500 rooms, 250+ bathrooms, and 9 high-speed elevators, Antilia was custom-built, ensuring that no two floors were the same in terms of the floor plan and building materials. The project was designed by the architects, Perkins and Will, who are based in Chicago. Each floor has extra-high ceilings, equivalent to two storeys of an average building. The home is earthquake proof as well.
On the inside, Antilia contains 6 floors with a parking space for 168 vehicles that contain Ambani’s collection of cars. It also has 3 helipads, a temple, several gardens on various levels, guest suites, a ballroom, two health and fitness floors, an indoor swimming pool, and a home theatre with seating for up to 50 people. The residence took around 4 years to be built and requires a staff of 600 to maintain the property. Antilia offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea from its top floors where the Ambani family primarily resides.
3. Villa Leopolda—Côte d’Azur, France
Worth: $750 million
Villa Leopolda was originally owned by King Leopold II in the late 1800s before he gifted the residence to one of his mistresses. It was also used as a military hospital during the First World War. Rebuilt in the late 1920s on the site of the old villa, the villa has changed hands several times and is now owned by Lily Safra, a Brazilian philanthropist and the widow of Lebanese banker, William Safra.
The villa features a massive entrance hall with a stone staircase inspired by the Chateau Borelli in Marseille. Designed by the American architect, Ogden Codman, the villa houses 11 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a guesthouse, a swimming pool with a pool house, a helipad, an outdoor kitchen as well as a large greenhouse that requires 50 gardeners for its upkeep.
4. Four Fairfield Pond—Sagaponack, New York
Worth: $249 million
Owned by Ira Rennert, the residence deserves a spot on any list about the world’s most expensive houses due to its impressive features. Rennert made his millions with his holding company, Renco Group, and began construction on this property in 1999. However, certain legalities delayed the process, and the house was finally ready in 2004.
The home comprises 29 bedrooms and 39 bathrooms as well as 3 swimming pools, squash and tennis courts, a bowling alley, a billiards room, a basketball court, and a home theatre with seating for up to 164 individuals. The residence in Fairfield also contains a synagogue, an orangery and a hot tub that is priced at $150,000. The most prominent feature of the house though is its 91-foot-long dining room. Oh yes, and let’s not forget that this home has its very own power plant!
5. Palazzo di Amore—Beverly Hills, California
Worth: $129 million
This Mediterranean-styled villa is under the ownership of Jeff Greene, an American real estate magnate, but has been on the market for some time now. Greene bought the house with the aim to renovate it and has spent several years on it with a designer, Albert Pinto, a developer, Mohamed Hadid, and an architect, Bob Ray Offenhauser. Landscaped gardens and vineyards surround the property.
The house contains 12 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms, a 50-seat theatre, a 2-lane bowling alley, and a parking garage that has space for 27 vehicles. Tennis courts, reflecting pools, waterfalls, and swimming pools can be found outdoors. This two-storey complex is also ideal for large gatherings and parties with a dedicated entertainment complex containing a rotating dance floor, a fully equipped DJ booth, and a laser light system in its ballroom. Additional parking space for around 150 cars is also available.
6. 18-19 Kensington Palace Gardens—London, UK
Worth: $128 million
Lakshmi Mittal is an Indian business tycoon who is the owner of the world’s largest steel manufacturing company, Arcelor Mittal, and he’s made a fortune from his business. In fact, he owns a home on one of Britain’s most expensive streets, Billionaire’s Row. The tree-lined avenue is full of homes priced over a million, so there’s no way we wouldn’t cover at least one on our list of the most expensive homes in the world.
Mittal’s home sits alongside the residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton and contains 12 bedrooms, several Turkish baths, a ballroom, a picture gallery, parking for about 20 cars, and an indoor pool. The property is often called by its nickname ‘Taj Mittal’ as Mittal used marble sourced from the same quarry as the Taj Mahal to renovate the property.
7. Xanadu 2.0—Medina, Washington
Worth: 126 million
One of the world’s richest man and Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates owns this home in Washington along with his wife, Melinda Gates. Xanadu took 7 years to build as it is fitted with several customised features. The home is nestled into the side of a hill and protected from direct sunlight. Its sheltered location helps regulate the internal temperature. It overlooks Lake Washington.
Incorporating technology into his residence, Gates has added several unique features, such as an underwater music system installed for his 60-foot pool, which is housed in a separate building. Along with that, the home contains a trampoline room with ceilings that are 20 foot high, a fully equipped theatre with seating for 20 people, a reception hall large enough to accommodate 200 guests, 24 bathrooms, separate men’s and women’s locker rooms with a sauna, and 6 kitchens.
In addition to all this, the house has a library with a domed roof and secret bookcases that hide a bar. Residents of Xanadu 2.0 also wear electronic pins that can trigger their personal preferences as soon as they walk into a room, including lighting, room temperature and even the artwork displayed on the walls!
From custom builds to unique features and amenities, the rich and famous have homes that are worth exploring, and this is why they are featured on our list of the most expensive homes in the world.