Most people are overjoyed to have a couple thousand square feet to call their own, but the world's ultra-wealthy are living in far more space than that. From ultramodern mansions to historically significant properties, there are a handful of truly huge houses scattered around the world, each with their own perks and amenities. Here are six of the world's biggest houses, going from "smallest" to largest. Our list doesn't include places like the Palace of Versailles, which is no longer a home, but rather a museum.
Located in the elite Los Angeles suburb of Bel Air, The One was purchased in March 2022 at auction by Fashion Nova owner Richard Saghian for $141 million. Originally, the estate was listed for a whopping $295 million, but no one offered anywhere near that sum for the 21-bedroom, 49-bathroom stunner. Before that, the property was developed over a 10-year period by a former film producer named Nile Niami. However, when lenders decided to foreclose, his firm had to file for bankruptcy, and the huge mansion achieved dubious status as the highest auction price ever for a home in the U.S. In addition to five swimming pools and a 30-car garage, The One boasts 74,000 square feet (6,875 square meters) of luxe space and all the modern amenities a fashion magnate could ask for, including a nightclub, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar and a 5,000 square-foot (464 square-meter) master bedroom. It is considered the largest modern house in America.
5. Villa Leopolda
The French Riviera is home to Villa Leopolda, which was originally built by King Leopold II of Belgium, then presented as a gift to his mistress, a French teenage prostitute. The stunning 18-acre estate appears in the classic movie "To Catch a Thief" and includes 11 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. It offers unparalleled views of the Mediterranean, as well as a greenhouse, botanical gardens and even a helipad. Today, Villa Leopolda is considered the most expensive private residence in all of Europe, with 80,000 square feet (7,432 square meters) of space. It is currently owned by a Russian billionaire who bought it for $750 million in 2008.
The second-most impressive estate in London (more about the first in a moment), Witanhurst is 90,000 square feet (8,361 square meters) of luxury. It's currently owned by a Russian oligarch named Andrey Guryev, although he's not believed to actually live there full-time. The $400 million Georgian Revival mansion has 25 bedrooms and is a study in amenities, including a sauna, 70-foot (21-meter) swimming pool, movie theater, ballroom and massage parlor. Finished in 1920, it was recently renovated.
At 400,000 square feet (37,000 square meters), the Mumbai skyscraper of Antilia dwarfs even the most opulent personal residences out there, yet is only the third-biggest house on this list. Not surprisingly, it is the current Guinness record holder for largest house (owned by an individual).The property is found on South Mumbai's ultra-swank Altamount Road, one of the most expensive areas in the world. It is owned by Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani, who commissioned it to be able to withstand an earthquake of up to 8 on the Richter scale.
The property is managed by a staff of 600 and although it's "only" 27 stories, their oversized stature actually makes it as tall as the average 60-story building. Six floors alone are dedicated to housing up to 168 cars, plus there's also a movie theater, beauty salon, ice cream parlor, nine high-speed elevators and much more. Since Mumbai is known for its high temperatures, Ambani even had a "snow room" put in. In that room, artificial snowflakes shoot out from the walls. The whole thing cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-2 billion to construct.
2. Buckingham Palace
Britain's royals don't take care of business in bland old cubicles. Instead, England's Buckingham Palace serves as both the home of the sovereign and the royal administrative headquarters. Technically, Buckingham Palace doesn't belong to the British monarch (i.e., he/she can't sell it). It is owned by the Crown Estate, an independent company which gives any profits to the British Treasury. With 775 rooms to its credit, including 52 royal bedrooms and guest quarters, there are also 19 state rooms and 188 staff bedrooms on-site. This is one mansion you can pay to visit, though the private rooms will be off limits. The true stars of the property are probably the regal throne room and the gilded white drawing room, which contains a Victorian-era gilded piano. Currently, the property is valued at a whopping $4.9 billion for the 828,000-plus square feet (76,924 square meters) of space.
1. Istana Nurul Iman Palace
The official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, this massive estate cost more than $1.4 billion to build — and that was back in 1984 when a buck went a lot further. Istana Nurul Iman is also the official seat of Brunei's government, and since the 29th Sultan of Brunei calls it home, it has earned the Guinness World Record for largest residential palace. At more than 2.1 million square feet in size (200,000 square meters), the palace features 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms and 44 marble staircases. It also boasts an enormous mosque, complete with a golden dome.
In addition, there's a 5,000-person banquet hall, five swimming pools and a 110-car garage. Even the hundreds of polo ponies have it nice on the property, with their own air-conditioned stables! At 2,152,782 square feet (200,000 square meters), this impressive estate is several times larger than Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Versailles. Every year, for a few days after Ramadan, you can visit the palace for free and be personally greeted by the Sultan or his wife, depending on your gender.
Now That's Crazy
The biggest house in the U.S. is the Biltmore Estate, also known as the Biltmore House. It's a 250-room, 175,000 square-foot (16,258 square-meter) chateau nestled in picturesque Asheville, North Carolina, and was the country home of 19th century industrialist George Vanderbilt. The Biltmore Estate is open for tours and features 65 fireplaces, a banquet hall, bowling alley and an indoor swimming pool.
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