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14 Lavish Renovations

6 June 2011 No Comment

There are a lot of old buildings and historical landmarks that are still standing tall and strong after years of being in existence. Government entities have spent a lot of money rennovating old buildings, in order to make them into something that can be used again.

However, renovations aren’t just applicable to buildings and landmarks because there are gadgets and items that are being sold at much higher prices compared to their real worth, because of how they were, in modern terms today, pimped! Here’s the top 14 lavish renovations known today.

1. Updown Court – Windlesham Surrey, United Kingdom

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The most expensive property in the United Kingdom is located in Surrey and is currently listed in Hamptons International. The mansion is a mix of old and the new, modern design, combined with the elegance of an English Manor with the latest modern day technologies.

The $138 million mansion has a heated marble driveway, grand entrance ways, several ballrooms, enough parking for up to eight limousines, 50-seater cinema, helipads and an obligatory panic room in case of emergencies.

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2. Villa La Leopolda – Nice, France

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King Leopold II of Belgium originally owned the villa, which was built back in 1902. It has been made more infamous by the press recently because of the rumors stating that the villa had been home to a lot of renowned people such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

The truth is, the $506 million villa is owned by the late Edmond Safra, and his wife Lily still owns the property. The house has a total of 19 rooms, all furnished with beautiful and expensive antiques. It also has its own unique refurbishments including a bowling alley, stunningly lavish multiple dining rooms, state of the art kitchens and a movie theatre.

In the late 1960s whilst in the ownership of Fiat tycoon Gianni Agnelli, the Villa La Leopolda became the scene for some legendary jet-set parties attended by crooner Frank Sinatra and ex-president Ronald Reagan.

The 10 acres of garden filled grounds require at least 50 gardeners to maintain. When buying this property, not only do you pay for the mansion and the 10 acre land, but also for the insurance that comes with it.

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3. Maison de L’Amitie – Palm Beach, Florida

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Donald Trump made a huge leap in the history of the US real estate when he decided to sell his 80,000 sq. ft Maison de L’Amitie for a jaw dropping $125 million!

How come the price tag is even higher than the amount he paid for the said property? Well it’s because of the $25 million worth of refurbishment in which he included 24-karat gold bathroom fixtures, a warm and inviting kitchen and a series of reproductions of the world’s most famous paintings and every other luxury that you can possibly think of.

It took two years before the estate was bought, and that was after Donald Trump decided to slash $25 million off its original price tag.

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4. Tranquility – Lake Tahoe, Nevada

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The property is owned by Joel Horowitz, the co-founder of the world renowned clothing signature of Tommy Hilfiger, who built the $100 million property from scratch. The house stands on the tax-free side of Lake Tahoe in Nevada, so whoever buys this house is sure in for a sweet deal.

20,000 square feet of the house is designed solely for living space and was modeled after modern European mountain homes. It has a wine cellar that houses 3,500 bottles, an indoor Olympic size swimming pool and its own atrium. Owners can also keep themselves entertained with its 19-seat movie theatre.

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5. Hearst Mansion – Beverly Hills

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William Randolph Hearst was the former owner of the 29 bedroom mansion. The jaw dropping property also has its own disco and theatre, which are perfect for entertaining guests and holding parties. The publishing magnate used to have the mansion rented for movie filming and for other occasions.

Former president JFK even stayed at the mansion for his honeymoon. You’ll be rubbing elbows with the rich and the famous such as David and Victoria Beckham, and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, when you buy and live in this mansion.

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6. The Manor – Los Angeles, California

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The Manor is still the biggest house in the Los Angeles County, since it was first built in 1988 by the famous television producer, Aaron Spelling.

The chateau style mansion houses 123 rooms plus 56,500 square feet of free space on a 4.6 acre space. The Manor served as the famous producer’s private residence. James Langenheim & Associates were the ones who designed the house.

They made sure that the house includes its own screening room, bowling alley, gym, three rooms for wrapping gifts, four garages, pool and tennis court. The property’s parking lot can accommodate up to 100 vehicles!

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7. Antilla – Mumbai, India

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The 40,000 sq/ft tower is unique in all ways, especially for the fact that none of its floors are identical. Owners Mukesh and Nita Ambani are proud of their unique and extravagant creation. At $1 billion, it costs more than the construction of a new hotel or a high rise building, because of its fittings and custom measurements.

The building stands 570 in height and needs 600 servants for all the cleaning and home services. It even has its own helipad, and indoor and outdoor bars that are perfect for entertaining guests.

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8. The World’s Most Expensive Phone

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The recent global economic recession has left a lot of people poor and still struggling to find new jobs. Despite its slumping effects, one Australian businessman still managed to spend millions of dollars just to have his iPhone refurbished.

The unnamed person commissioned today’s most expensive mobile phone from Stuart Hughes. His phone stands out from the rest because his Apple iPhone 3GS is encased in a 22K solid gold casing, with 136 diamonds embedded in the front bezel and another 53 diamonds used to trace the rear logo.

The front navigation button on the other hand, is accessorized with a rare 7.1K diamond. For $3.2 million, the diamonds will last forever, but the phone’s battery wouldn’t.

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9.The Penthouse – London, England

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The Number one Hyde Park address is atop the other 82 apartments in London. It costs 6,000 pounds per sq/ft and with its price comes only the highest possible level of security for the residents. There are panic rooms available, each unit is guarded through SAS, windows are bulletproof, iris scanners for secured entry and a secret tunnel (that is not so secret anymore) that directs to the nearest Mandarin Hotel.

The building is proud of its communal spas, wine tasting rooms and even squash courts! 24-hour room service is also available for whatever the residents need.

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10. Qatar Stadium – Qatar

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Qatar won the right to hold the 2022 World Cup and in lieu of the said event, the country is preparing for the sudden rush of tourists by adding hotel rooms, building nine additional stadiums and refurbishing three others. The government is also planning to add a rail and metro network to control traffic.

$4 billion is allotted for the construction and refurbishment of the stadiums to be used for the 2022 World Cup. Another $25 billion is expected for the construction of the rail and metro networks and by next year, a new airport will make the travel experience of both foreigners and locals easier, faster and more comfortable.

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11. Savoy Hotel – London

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The Savoy Hotel is most popular to the rich and the famous because of its sky high expensive suites. It first opened its doors in 1889 and became famous because of its electric lifts, speaking tube in every room for easier communication with the valets and maids, and it was the first hotel that has en suite bathrooms in most of its bedrooms.

An estimated amount of £220 million was spent on its renovation that lasted for 34 months. After 121 years, the hotel opened its splendid doors for its guests and patrons. Some things never change because until today, it still manages to give only the best and most luxurious service anyone could ever get.

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12. Hillandale – Stamford, Connecticut

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Hillandale looks like a traditional English country manor, except for the fact that it stands in the land of the United States of America. Its stone construction, manicured and hedge gardens, chimneys and grassy tennis courts of the 20,000 square foot property will make you think you are living in another country.

The house has eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. At $95 million, the big property that straddles between the New York-Connecticut border, also houses two barns, four staff and guest residences that are all connected with an astounding five miles of private roads.

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13. Elena Franchuk’s Victorian Villa – London, England

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Philanthropists are famous for raising funds and donating them to charity, so it was really not a surprise when billionaire philanthropist Elena Franchuk decided to donate her newly bought $160 million Victorian Villa in South West London, England, for the prevention and possible treatment of HIV/AIDS.

$20 Million was spent to refurbish it from a preparatory school, to a mansion with 10 large bedrooms, upgraded kitchens and numerous bathrooms. New features such as an underground swimming pool, home cinema room and even a panic room were also installed.

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14. Dracula’s Castle – Romania

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Bran or Dracula’s Castle was built in Romania during the late 14th Century. It now stands as a national monument and a museum, all thanks to Vlad the Impaler. In 2009, the historical castle went up for sale in the market and attracted a lot of buyers with its enticing history and name. The castle has 57 rooms in all, including 17 bedrooms furnished with antiques and other historical artifacts.

To buy it will cost you millions of dollars but the only problem is, the lack of central heating and the number of tourists the castle attracts every year.

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