Let’s face it, anyone spending a cool billion US dollars or so on a luxury home anywhere, including in India, was bound to set tongues wagging across the planet. But whether the luxury house now dominating the Mumbai skyline, dubbed Antilia, after a mythical island kingdom in the Atlantic Ocean, is actually worth the reported $1 billion or $2 billion price tag – take your pick which it is – is surely open to question, not to mention criticism.
Why the criticism? Mumbai is the most populous city in India with an estimated 20 million people and more living within its metropolitan area. Many just scrape a living, surviving on a mere $2 a day. That aside, the actual design is…err…rather unusual, shall we say, not quite the image most people conjure up when the words luxury and home are stacked next to each other in the same sentence!
But to the bare bones. The property belongs to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, one of the richest men in the world, and covers 400,000 square feet or the equivalent of five soccer pitches. It is some 570 feet in height spread over 27 floors and has six car parks, three helicopter pads, floating gardens, a state-of-the-art theatre and grand ballroom. Requiring some 600 full time staff to maintain it, the property’s furnishings and décor are top-to-bottom luxury, elegance and opulence all rolled into one.
Forget the design which may not be to everyone’s taste. Otherwise, just say wow, incredible, amazing and anything else you can think of. Of course, most inhabitants of planet Earth will never ever know what it’s actually like to own such a property. However, for lesser mortals there are always home loans with HSBC or some other well known multinational bank to give us a push onto the property ladder.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, there are a few luxury mansions which might give Antilia a run for its money, at least in terms of the word traditional. None is finer than the Crespi/Hicks Estate in Dallas, which is on sale at the moment for a mere $135 million.
Forbes says the 25-acre estate, owned by billionaires Thomas and Cinda Hicks, sits behind wrought iron gates in the ultra elite Mayflower Estates neighbourhood. It boasts roughly 42,500 square feet of living space including a five-story main house, a two-story guest house and a three-story pool house.
The magnificent property comes complete with a library panelled in 19th-century Italian walnut and burl, a main kitchen tiled in 10th-century Dutch Delft manganese tiles, a mirrored Art Deco bar room, and an exercise room. The pool house has an outdoor living room and kitchen, an indoor catering kitchen, a massive games room, and a home theatre spanning an entire floor.
Outside in the the grounds there are two guest houses, a tennis court, several greenhouses, a tree house, rose and vegetable gardens, and a second hidden driveway entrance onto the property.
Further down the opulence scale lies the magnificent $19.9 million dream home at 490 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, which is up for sale at the moment. The discerning buyer can look forward to no less than nine bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, seven kitchens, a movie theatre, a ballroom and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The sheer beauty and design of this luxury dwelling would make even the most pious of saints turn a little green with envy. Check it out here!