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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Donald Trump Palm Beach home, Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump’s Private Club in Palm Beach, Florida

As rumors persist regarding Donald Trump making a Presidential run, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at his Palm Beach home, Mar-a-Lago.

Mar-a-Lago | Aerial Photo - Lake to Ocean | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo

Mar-A-Lago (Sea to Lake) was built between 1924-1927 by Marjorie Merriweather Post (Post Cereals) and her husband at the time, E. F. Hutton. When Mrs. Post died in 1973 she left the property, all 17 acres of it, to the US government, which had declared the estate to be ‘The Mar-a-Lago National Historic Site’ in 1969, and placed it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 by an Act of Congress. The government couldn’t afford to keep it — they were losing out on all of those property tax dollars and paying for the continued upkeep — so it was sold……to one Donald J. Trump in 1985 for the sum of $10 million.

Mar-a-Lago Close-Up | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo

After using the estate as his own personal residence for 10 years and spending millions of dollars to restore it to its original splendor, Mr. Trump turned this exquisite Spanish/Moroccan-inspired private home of 126 rooms into a private club, the Mar-a-Lago Club, which opened in 1995 with 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, a 29-foot marble-topped dining room table, 12 fireplaces, and to keep up with the times, 3 bomb shelters! Outside has been added 6 tennis courts, 5 clay and 1 grass, where Mrs. Post used to have her own personal golf course. There is now a large swimming pool facing the Intracoastal Waterway, a 20,000 square foot ballroom, as well as a spa which pampers the members and their guests with massages, a hair stylist, and a gym.

Mar-a-Lago | Marjorie Merriweather Post's Magnificent Tribute To Hispano-Moroccan Architecture. Pre-Donald, the hedge fronting the property was an 8-foot high stone wall, topped with embedded, broken glass. The wall extended all the way around the property to the lake. Mrs. Post was quite a fanatic when it came to her privacy. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Beautiful front window with spectacular tile work. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Close-up detail of the front window with its spectacular tile & stone work. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Detail of hand-hewn stone work. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Fabulous stone work on the outside of the bar. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Exterior detail work. You can only see this by sticking your head out of a small window and looking to the side. It is not visible from the ground. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | The entrance to Mr. Trump's personal suite. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | The original living room/ballroom. Mrs. Post was very fond of dancing and hosted many balls. She was The Hostess of Palm Beach in her time. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | One of the half-dozen or so bedrooms available to Members and/or their guests during The Season. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Bedroom Fireplace with hand-painted flower mural on the wall behind. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Bedroom Fireplace. This incredibly tiled and enameled fireplace keeps one of the bedrooms warm. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Detail of Bedroom Fireplace. This is a one-of-a-kind piece. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Beautiful sitting area in one of the suites. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Detail from the original living room/ballroom. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | This is the stairway up to the top of the tower. Notice the chandelier. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Up the Tower and a view to the north. Once again, magnificent tile work with the Moorish arches for viewing openings. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Mar-a-Lago | Up the Tower. This gorgeous home is directly north of Mar-a-Lago. Mr. Trump had bought many of the adjacent properties. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo/slideshow.

Despite Mr. Trump’s run-ins with the Town of Palm Beach over things such as the size of his flagpole & flag and his on-going discussions with the Palm Beach International Airport over airplanes flying over Mar-a-Lago as they take off and/or land, making noise and disturbing him and his guests, the word’s out that he is once again considering making a run for the Presidency in 2012. We’ve heard this before, but maybe this time he just might try. Imagine him hearing ‘You’re Fired!‘ But at least he’d have this gorgeous architectural masterpiece to go home to.

Mar-a-Lago...Donald Trump's Palm Beach Getaway with the croquet course in front. | CLICK HERE to see a larger photo.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Celebrity Winter retreats

It's no surprise that the stars know how to spend winter in style. Step inside four luxurious celebrity getaways set in upscale ski resort towns.

Mitt Romney

Formerly owned by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, this incredible ski estate is set on almost 11 acres in Park City, Utah, a popular winter sports destination located east of Salt Lake City. Located at the end of a private cul-de-sac, the home overlooks the Jordanelle Reservoir and the Uinta Mountains.

Mitt Romney

Inside, the unique post-and-beam home offers sizeable gathering spaces, including a formal dining room, a media room and a great room with a large stone fireplace. The former Massachusetts governor sold the estate fully furnished in 2009. Most of the furniture and fixtures were custom-made for the home, including the light fixtures and fireplace screens.

Mitt Romney

Natural elements add a warm and welcoming feel to the 9,500-square-foot residence. Wood beams embellish many of the ceilings, while river rocks surround this bathtub and shower.

Jerry Seinfeld

Set on 26 park-like acres in the ski resort town of Telluride, Colo., actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld's incredible mountain estate comes with a 5,500-square-foot deck, a heated four-car garage and more than 14,000 square feet of living space. Throughout the expansive property, a manicured trail system and a tranquil creek wind through towering aspen and spruce trees.

This home is presented for sale by Peaks Real Estate Sotheby's International Realty.

Jerry Seinfeld

Originally built in 1991, the 14,200-square-foot house recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion. The stylish kitchen features stainless steel appliances and a central island with seating.

Jerry Seinfeld

Many of the home's 11 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms offer views of the serene wooded surroundings.

Tony Danza

Best known for his roles on the TV series Taxi andWho's the Boss?, Emmy-nominated actor Tony Danza is selling his Park City chalet for $2.7 million. Surrounded by stunning snowcapped mountains, the 4,800-square-foot home boasts direct ski access off the Silver Dollar Ski Trail.

Tony Danza

The home's spacious great room is the perfect place to relax after a long day of hitting the slopes. Large picture windows flood the room with light, while a towering stone fireplace invites you to warm up and unwind.

Tony Danza

Rustic touches, such as wood-paneled walls and rough-hewn beams, can be found throughout the four-bedroom, four-bathroom home.

Camille Grammer

Following her divorce from actor Kelsey Grammer, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Camille Grammer is selling her luxurious ski pad in Avon, Colo. -- but not before enjoying one last weekend getaway at the home, which was shown on the Bravo series in September 2011. Priced at $7.3 million, the 8,500-square-foot residence boasts a convenient ski-in/walk to ski-out location.

This home is presented for sale by Joni White Taylor of Joni Taylor & Company Real Estate.

Camille Grammer

Featured in Architectural Digest in 2004, the 8,500-square-foot home comes with a spacious great room, two master suites, a recreation room, a gourmet kitchen and a wine gallery.

Camille Grammer

A dramatic circular stair tower connects the home's multiple levels.


A couple weeks back, we posted the story of Lil Wayne's tax troubles and how the rapper currently has his Miami Beach La Gorce Island Mansion for sale. Today, we bring you photos of the two-story luxurious waterfront home that sits on 15,000 square feet. If you have “money to blow” then this is the spot for you. This Miami Beach ultra luxurious mansion comes equipped with it’s own private dock, glass elevator and floor to ceiling double height windows. The home possesses nine bedrooms, nine full baths and two partial baths as well. If it couldn’t get better than that, the property also includes a three-bedroom guesthouse. Check out the pics above

Celebrity Kitchens in celebrity homes

Celebrity Room Showdown: Kitchens

These well-appointed kitchens are sure to inspire culinary creativity in their famous owners -- or at least in their personal chefs. Check out 12 lavish cooking spaces of the stars and decide whose you like best.

Bruce Willis

Located in his resort-like retreat in Hailey, Idaho, Die Hard star Bruce Willis' fully loaded kitchen comes with Traulsen and Sub-Zero refrigerators, two dishwashers, a wine cooler and a Viking six-burner stove with dual ovens. Under-counter lighting, elegant wood cabinetry and rich stone countertops add rustic elegance to this well-stocked space

Brad Pitt

Like the rest of his midcentury modern residence in Malibu, Calif., Moneyball star Brad Pitt's kitchen features bamboo flooring and walls of glass that showcase sweeping coastal views. The sleek space is equipped with stainless steel countertops, a glass bar and top-of-the-line appliances, including a walk-in refrigerator and freezer. A glass garage-style door opens to connect the kitchen with the home's elite bluff-top setting

Jerry Seinfeld

Set on 26 park-like acres in Telluride, Colo., comedian Jerry Seinfeld's 14,000-square-foot estate puts a luxurious twist on rural living. The kitchen pairs rustic wood floors and ceiling beams with high-end appliances and glass-front cabinets. The generously sized center island offers an extra sink for food prep, plus seating for casual meals

Molly Sims

As stylish and sophisticated as the model herself, Molly Sims' former Los Angeles abode comes with a cook's kitchen with Viking appliances and a full-sized wine refrigerator. A central island with Carrara.

Taylor Swift

Country music superstar Taylor Swift's former home in Nashville comes with a casually elegant kitchen with a marble backsplash, stainless steel appliances and a central island with a butcher-block countertop. A copper range hood serves as a functional focal point for the space.


Andie MacDowell

Like the rest of her charming Tudor-style home, actress and L'Oreal spokesperson Andie MacDowell's kitchen boasts meticulous craftsmanship and superb artistic detail. An antique stove is the focal point of the space, while an intricate wood island and a wrought-iron light fixture enhance the room's Old English feel.

Katharine Hepburn

The current owners of legendary actress Katharine Hepburn's longtime Connecticut estate made extensive renovations to modernize the home while maintaining its classic elegance. The bright and inviting kitchen has been updated with a Sub-Zero refrigerator and an AGA stove, but marble countertops and a farmhouse-style sink keep its timeless appeal intact.

Neil Patrick Harris

Currently known for his role as Barney Stinson on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, actor Neil Patrick Harris' kitchen is legen ... wait for it ... dary. The room features granite countertops, stainless steel Viking appliances, custom wood cabinetry and a large center island with a prep sink and a breakfast bar. There's also a wine bar and cooler for entertaining and a menu-planning center that overlooks a charming brick patio.

Hilary Duff

With dark cabinetry, beamed ceilings and a rugged light fixture, Disney alum Hilary Duff's kitchen offers rustic appeal. A large skylight brightens up the space, while stainless steel appliances add a contemporary touch.

Katy Perry

Colorful pop singer Katy Perry's former Los Angeles home features a sunny gourmet kitchen with luxurious marble countertops, crisp white cabinets and dual ovens. An island with a cooktop, built-in wine storage and additional seating makes this space ideal for entertaining.

Billy Joel

Equipped with stainless steel cabinetry, a Wolf range and an industrial hood, Billy Joel's kitchen adds a modern touch to his laid-back beach house in Sagaponack, N.Y. Dramatic cathedral ceilings continuefrom the kitchen to the living room, creating a seamless flow between the spaces.

The Osbournes

Casual country style and state-of-the-art amenities come together in Ozzy and Sharon's kitchen in Hidden Hills, Calif. The welcoming space is equipped with Wolf appliances, a walk-in pantry and an island with a prep sink. Adjacent to the kitchen, a cozy breakfast nook offers breathtaking views of mountains and city lights.

Michael Jordan’s New Jupiter Home

Exclusive First Look at Michael Jordan’s new Jupiter home in Jack Nicklaus’ Bears Club

Michael Jordan

The Bears Club, developed by the world’s greatest golfer, Jack Nicklaus, is now home to the world’s greatest basketball player, Michael Jordan.

The Bears Club was just a huge empty piece of land for years with a few cows and a lot of barbed wire owned by John D. McArthur until it was sold to Jack Nicklaus who had a dream for his ultimate golf course community. JN later split the parcel in 2 and developed the 2nd parcel into the Ritz Carlton of Jupiter.

While the Bears Club and The Ritz share the same stop light and first few hundred feet, the Ritz home owners drive straight and the Bears Club members and homeowners turn right into a magnificent, gated, stoned entry.

The caddies at the Ritz, when asked the difference between the two clubs, respond that the “Ritz homeowners are all millionaires, but the Bears Homeowners are billionaires”. While that may not be universally true at the Bears Club, they do have more than their share of ultra wealthy members.

MJ’s choice of a 3-acre homesite at the Bears Club is not all that unpredictable. His desire for privacy will certainly be well-served there, as entry to the Bears Club is well guarded.

His home has already been landscaped with a literal forest of trees, giving little or no glimpse of his mammoth 28,000 sq. ft. home, together with 3 separate structures; a guard house, guest house and pool house.

The Bears Club, Clubhouse

He paid $4.8m for the land and $7.6m for the construction, making this $12.4m mansion probably the most expensive non-waterfront home in the Palm Beaches. MJ’s total commitment when furnished will probably exceed $20m.

What is surprising, comparing Jordan’s piece of land to Tiger Woods’, (click here to see Tiger Woods’ Jupiter Island home) is that Tiger put together 3 parcels on Jupiter Island so that he has frontage on both the ocean and the Intracoastal. It would be interesting to see what the Jordan home resells for, being that its location, while great for MJ’s privacy, is not ideal for resale to the trophy and yacht buyer.

Michael Jordan New Home Slideshow

Jordan’s house has 11 bedrooms, 6 on the 2nd floor alone, a 2-story guard house, an athletic wing together with basketball court and lavish workout facility. It’s rumored his huge media room with state-of-the-art electronics is ‘cigar friendly’.

The Bears Club is already being used extensively by MJ. His usual routine is to play golf from sunrise to sunset. His handicap varies from 3-7, dependent on the difficulty of the golf course and whether he is spraying his drives.

Michael Jordan's Jupiter Home - Closer View

While MJ loves cigars and gambling, it’s rumored he’s tamed the latter in deference to Jack Nicklaus’ wishes to ‘tone it down’.

The Bears Club has 55 estate residences, with starter estate homes beginning at $4-5 million and the largest homes being priced just under $20m. Besides the estate residences, they have 3 other categories, Golf Villas, 14 Club Cottages, and 13 Vintage Estate Homes. Click here to see all of Michael Jordan’s new neighbors homes on the market at Bears Club real estate for sale.

The stone-clad Clubhouse is truly magnificent looking, both architecturally and the lush, dark-wooded interior. Jack Nicklaus spared nothing when building this masterpiece, notwithstanding the $350,000 initiation fee and $25,000 annual dues.

The golf course is not your typical palm-tree lined Florida course; instead the property is blessed with hundreds of mature pine trees and well maintained scrub that eats golf balls when struck off line.

The greens are firm, ultra-fast, and can be treacherous when cut very tight. I played there over a dozen times and always averaged about 3 to 4 strokes higher than my normal score. The course has a very high course rating and is fair but on the difficult side. Their caddy program is terrific.

Comparing it to real estate at Ritz Carlton in Jupiter, where I was a member for 4 years before 2 back surgeries forced my early retirement from golf, I found the Ritz to be a hair easier, maybe 1 to 2 strokes. Jack Nicklaus also designed the Ritz and made it his chief project to not let it be a lesser course, and he definitely achieved his goal. Both courses are terrific, great challenges, and a joy to play.

Having built homes in Highland Park, Illinois, I remember when MJ bought his parcel of land in Highland Park and built a 29,000 sq.ft. house together with a 3-hole golf course in his backyard. MJ had the number 23 on his entry gate. Will history repeat itself?

–Cary Lichtenstein is a former golf rater for GolfWeek Magazine. He started playing when he was 7 years old. His handicap varied from 4-5. He lives next door to the Bears Club at Admirals Cove. Cary and his son, Jeff Lichtenstein, are realtors for Illustrated Properties and Christies Great Estates.

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