From the cave dwellers of ancient times to the city denizens of today, humanity has long looked to the structures they reside in for shelter, warmth, and community. At their core, homes are a reflection of the people who choose to live there. And at the top of the market, these homes display unparalleled artistry and innovation.
Today’s top-of-the-line homes strike just the right balance between comfort and convenience, with elevated takes on classic staples (master bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, chef’s kitchens, and regal living rooms with floor-to-ceiling fireplaces) and resort-like amenities (spas, ski lifts, and infinity swimming pools).
Rare Detached House on the Peak (Hong Kong)
Year Listed: 2018
Asking Price: $446 Million
Space is at a premium in densely populated Hong Kong, so it’s no surprise that a sizable single-family home in the Asian hub tops the list of priciest pads worldwide. Built in 1991, the two-story home on Middle Gap Road is equipped with four bedrooms, four full baths, and one half bath. In the backyard, a circular swimming pool overlooks a canopy of verdant parkland. Few details have been released about this behemoth beauty, so you might just want to hop on a plane and go see it for yourself.
Bubble Palace (France)
Year Listed: 2015
Asking Price: $418 Million
Overlooking the sparkling blue bay of Cannes in the South of France, fashion designer Pierre Cardin’s Bubble Palace is an architectural anomaly composed of interlinked, bubble-shaped pods. Designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, the terra-cotta-colored estate is reminiscent of the caves our ancient ancestors lived in—with some much-needed modern perks like a waterfront swimming pool and a 500-seat outdoor amphitheater that overlooks the bay.
Spread across nearly 13,000 square feet, the imaginative estate (which Robb Report previously called “the architectural equivalent of a Dr. Seuss drawing”) features 10 bedrooms and seven baths. And, thanks to the unique design footprint, circular rooms and swooping ceilings take the place of traditional square-shaped rooms with right angles. Not surprisingly, the quirky compound has played host to events like a Dior fashion show and a James Bond 40th birthday bash.
The $750 million Villa Leopolda, Villefranche-sur-mer, France
When Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov attempted to buy Villa Leopolda in 2008, it was valued at a whopping €500 million — equal to about $750 million at the time. It was built in 1902 by Belgium’s King Leopold II, who gave it as a gift to one of his mistresses. Lebanese banker Edmond Safra bought the estate in 1988 and left it to his widow Lily Safra when he died in an arsonist’s fire in 1999. She’s the current owner.
The 11-bedroom, 14-bathroom villa sits on 50 acres. It features a commercial greenhouse, outdoor kitchen, pool and helipad. It was used for famous films such as “The Red Shoes” and “To Catch a Thief.”