Homes & Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: $50M Santa Monica Home

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As we announced a few weeks ago, the Entertainer & Lifestyles Magazine began a new feature relating to Real Estate owned by folks in the entertainment industry.

Today’s featured property is one of Santa Monica’s most historic homes. With its secluded location behind antique iron gates, with hand-painted ceilings and a secret onyx-walled ‘speakeasy’, Villa Ruchello, as it is named, is located in one of L.A.’s most sought after locations, Santa Monica. Santa Monica is well known for its three-mile coastline and ocean views and the historic Santa Monica Pier that is routinely featured in movies and television. Santa Monica is a hot spot for celebrities to get away from the noise and work-a-day world of Los Angeles, but it’s close enough to the studios for convenience.

This home was the background setting for the film Beverly Hills Cop and HBO’s Entourage and was once the home for several members of Fleetwood Mac during their heyday.

And the asking price is only a mere $50 million.

Photo Credit: Jacob Burghart and Cris Nolasco

Built in 1932, Villa Ruchello’s owner, Shane Smith, executive chairman of Vice Media, has poured millions into the mansion to preserve and enhance its Old World craftsmanship while updating the home to today’s standards. The mansion, reminiscent of the best mansions on the French Riviera or Amalfi Coast, is nestled behind a three-acre jungle of palm and fruit trees, ferns and lush gardens.

Photo Credit: Jacob Burghart and Cris Nolasco

Mr. Smith’s restoration definitely succeeded in capturing a feeling of Hollywood’s golden days and immense wealth, recently commenting, “We had a vision of a Chateau Marmont–style escape with the dual ability to throw lavish parties and feel homey and secluded at the same time. A sort of mini-resort with the best poolside living in L.A. and a vista from every window.”

The Mediterranean-style mansion with eight bedrooms, two guest houses, a 74-foot pool and pool house with its wood-fired pizza oven surrounded by thick plantings and vines, a cedar soaking tub in its own secret spot, and a bocce ball court.

Photo Credit: Jacob Burghart and Cris Nolasco

The gardens include an orchard of lemon, lime, orange and avocado trees, herb and vegetables as well as a vineyard.

The two guest houses each have two bedrooms. One has meeting rooms and a catering kitchen. Between both guest houses and the main mansion, there are 12 bedrooms and 13 baths – all together measuring a total of 14,000 square feet of living space. The main house displays its Spanish/Moroccan design history starting in the open two-story entrance with stairs of Moroccan ceramic tile and white oak. There are formal living and dining rooms with hand-painted beamed ceilings, hand-blown glass chandeliers from Venice, a chef’s kitchen, music room and a master suite with dressing rooms, custom mosaic floors in the bathrooms, a hammam and private patios. Throughout the house are carved mantels, arched doors and large windows.

Photo Credit: Jacob Burghart and Cris Nolasco

The spacious library holds the house’s secret: behind the books is the onyx-walled speakeasy. There is also a secret staircase that descends to the mansion’s wine cellar. More features on the estate include automated sound and lighting, private water wells and carved mantels.

Photo Credit: Jacob Burghart and Cris Nolasco

Plus, you have to look at the fact that with interest rates so low, if you were able to make a down-payment of 20%, a mere $10,000,000, your monthly mortgage payment would only be about $180,000 per month. A true bargain…


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