While the rest of us face a bank holiday weekend of traffic jams, rail strikes and airport security checks, for “only” £13 million the super-rich can sip cocktails on a private beach without leaving home.
The Chalet is a wildly lavish four-bedroom house beside the Thames at Hampton. It comes with what is thought to be London’s only indoor tropical beach, made with 40 tons of white sand. There is a beach club with pool table, cocktail bar and a karaoke stage for you to channel your inner Beyoncé before recovering next day in steam rooms and the sauna.
This renovated Grade II-listed house, being sold by UK Sotheby’s International Realty, offers something that is increasingly demanded by the very wealthy: a way to entertain themselves, hassle free, at home.
This means building homes that have their own art galleries, nightclubs, poker and other games rooms, and even restaurants serviced by full-size catering kitchens, plus all those vital extras such as nail bars, hair salons, and treatment rooms.
“The notion of luxury is changing — many wealthy people are much more discreet these days and understated about their wealth,” says buying agent Guy Meacock, of Prime Purchase. “This is possibly why they are creating everything at home, from restaurants to nightclubs, spas, gyms and so on — they don’t want to flaunt their wealth to the outside world.”
And the latest thing? “There seems to be a trend towards dedicated gambling rooms with a roulette table and all the bells and associated whistles,” adds Meacock.
GOT A SPARE £25M?
In the Billionaires Row that is The Bishops Avenue in Hampstead, Stratheden, a nine-bedroom, 6,400sq ft pile, is on the market for £24,995,000 with Glentree International. It’s designed for entertaining, with a mirrored cocktail bar and a 3,000sq ft ballroom with its own staff kitchen and wine cellar. For pre-party pampering, there is a hair salon, naturally.
Close to London Bridge Foxtons is selling a six-storey, three-bedroom warehouse conversion in edgy Bermondsey Street for £2.9 million. The top floor has a games room with full-size billiard table, and a granite-walled bar lined with plush purple banquette seating.
Despite being in the heart of Soho, the owners of a flat in Brewer Street that’s on the market with CBRE Residential for £995,000 designed the main living room as a bar, featuring more purple seating, a dance pole and stage. James Bailey, chief executive of Henry & James, sold a £14 million house recently in Queensdale Place, Holland Park, with a nightclub. “It was a boys’ den to the highest factor.”
Bailey believes the trend is down to a desire for privacy and security. Princes William and Harry famously had their own nightclub at Highgrove as teenagers to avoid problems at public venues, and Bailey says celebrity clients often feel the same.
Sons and daughters of the hugely wealthy join twenty- and thirty-something entrepreneurs seeking homes with “play areas” for £15 million-plus through Daniel Daggers, a partner at Knight Frank, who says they want to “kick off their shoes and totally relax with their friends, without any prying eyes”.
If it’s elegance you are after, Harrods Estates has a five-bedroom John Nash townhouse in Regent’s Park to let from £15,000 a week, complete with a cocktail bar that provides a five-star hotel vibe.
The trend is rippling down from private houses to developments. At Berkeley Homes’ South Quay Plaza in Canary Wharf, residents can book exclusively or share a private club lounge with bar, roof terrace for barbecues, screening room and library. Homes start at £695,000.