It is one thing for a 37,516sqft mansion to impress with its sheer size—it is another to discover that every inch has been masterfully conceptualised and elegantly appointed.
The latter is the case for this colossal waterfront estate housed along Palm Beach’s South Ocean Boulevard. Built in 1995 and coined La Follia, the 13-bedroom property, perched half a mile from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, stands as the island’s most expensive home ever with a price tag of US$135 million.
It is indeed a sense of splendour that makes an impression when one first arrives at the property. Built 24ft above sea level with 210ft of Atlantic Ocean stretching directly right in front, the Italian Renaissance-style home echoes the ritzy opulence of 1920s’ Fatio era.
Constructed in multiple conjoined quarters, the Italian country villa-style exteriors boast towering marble columns, substantial loggias, decorative archways and lush manicured gardens; a tapestry of Banyan trees envelope the porte cochere, where a traditional wrought-iron entrance leads into a coquina limestone foyer and interiors designed by renowned architect Jeff Smith.
And stunning interiors they are: lavished in timeless appeal, the two-storey, 25ft-high main hall opens up to reveal majestic living areas on the first floor. Intricate details such as multi-hued marble flooring, geometric tilework, coffered ceilings and carved fireplaces imbue the stone- and coquina-heavy structure, which is drenched in natural sunlight that streams through expansive French windows.
Old-time glamour is taken to new heights at the nearby conservatory-style dining room and lushly furnished gentleman's club—think leather-upholstered stools and cherry-wood finishes—that are encased in electronic glass panels, opening up to the tap of a button to provide access to al fresco grounds ideal to retreat to the end of the evening.
On the second floor, a palatial, elegant master suite steals the spotlight, complete with his and her bathrooms, distinctly-designed duo dressing rooms, a sitting room and even a private office. Lending to plenty of accommodation for family and visiting guests, four additional private suits are connected via beautiful arched courtyards, as well as separate guest wings that overlook the pool and 6 bedrooms dedicated to staff.
A fully-equipped gym, three wine cellars, a cinema, a five-car garage—plus an elevator that connects them all fill the home with all the luxuries of a five-star retreat.
All that, plus some two acres of green landscaping, a boat dock, a tranquil pool area complete with a sun-soaked cabana and terrace gardens—lined with a small orchard of citrus, mango and banana trees—make for a stunning halcyon retreat.
The sale is handled by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.