Taohuayuan

The colossal $150 million Chinese estate

A 72,000-square foot architectural masterpiece sitting on a total of 1,633 acres is the biggest estate to be put on the market for the whooping $150 million. Named, it is a striking blend of Eastern tradition and modern decadence for a new brand of elegant interiors. With a total of 32 bedrooms, all rooms strategically face southward for optimal sunshine.

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Situated on the shore of a pristine lake, the estate reveals panoramic views over Beijing and is surrounded by a perfectly manicured Japanese dzen garden of pace and serenity. The garden itself is a replica of the famous Classical Gardens of Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool and several lounge areas for ultimate relaxation.

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The sale is handled by renowned auction house Sotheby’s and the property looks more like a high-end resort rather than a modest family home. It has 32 full bathrooms and a grand wine cellar. It is located on a private island on the south shore of Suzhou’s Dushu Lake, which is China’s biggest lake by surface area.

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The bran new estate was constructed by Sunac China a little over three years with all bricks and plants having been hand-crafted. The end result is an estate that is the hallmark of the essence of East Asian balance and serenity with a touch of contemporary style and minimalism. The architectural aesthetic perfectly fits with the name Taohuayuan, which roughly translates to Utopia or Peach Blossom Land. It is reported that several oversees customers have already expressed interest in the property.

Diamonds are forever mansion

The “Diamonds Are Forever” Mansion on sale for £6 million

Most men are smitten with James Bond’s state-of-the-art gadgets, luxurious sports cars, cutting-edge watches or fast speedboats but imagine the pride in owning one of 007′s famous bachelor pads. Now, a lavish mansion that was the setting to 1971 Sean Connery’s Diamonds are Forever has hit the market for just £6 million. It seems as too small a price to pay for such piece of movie history. And if the Bond franchise enigma is not enough – the spectacular mansion has also been the setting of photo shoots for Playboy magazine, which is fitting since it is being marketed as “the ultimate bachelor pad”.

James Bond house

Designed by John Lautner, the flamboyant property is often rented by celebrities of the ranks of Beyonce and Jay-Z for high-profile parties for its panoramic views and many spoils. It consists of five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a large gym, and a swimming pool and has a distinctive architectural appeal with its round rooms, large open spaces, wooden floors and the infamous cone-shaped roof of the living room, where the Bond scene was filmed. The living room also incorporates rocks as it opens onto to an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace with panoramic view of Palm Springs and the San Jacinto Peak.

James Bond house

The futuristic house is often described as a “residential sculpture” due to its architectural aesthetics as well as cinematic location on a craggy ridge at the south end of Palm Springs, allowing it to incorporate huge, natural boulders as walls and room dividers.

James Bond house

The central accent is, undoubtedly, the circular living room – 60 feet in diameter that is situated under a vaulted, conical dome ceiling with nine angled concrete petals between nine wedge-shaped clerestory windows that flood the room with natural light. A vast, curved wall of smoked glass opens at the touch of a button and converts the house into a gigantic open-air patio with panoramic desert, city, and mountain views.

James Bond house

Glider yacht

Glider Super Sports SS18

The Glider Super Sports (SS18) may look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie but the futuristic yacht is already a reality. Its raised profile, speed and seakeeping abilities are grounded in hydrodynamics, making it the first of its kind. Born out of the concept for a Glider, or “Wave Dominator”, the new vessel holds well in rough passages and provides surprising stability in choppy conditions.

The 59-foot speedboat has a top speed of 56 knots. Its form and function are engineered with processes similar to those used in the aerospace industry, giving the vessel and extra boost. Full details about the boat’s dynamics and form are yet to be revealed although it is known that the hull form, propulsion, and stability control system tune to the sea conditions, allowing the vessel to glide over the waves.

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 The SS18 will have a starting price of about $1.3 million and will be powered by quadruple engines driving water jets with a total of 1,080 horsepower. It is constructed by Burgess Marine in the UK, and can be completely customized. The company is known for its painstaking approaches used in private jets and F/1 cars. The SS18’s 17-foot-wide cockpit features custom Corbeau leather and Alcantara seats, which are similar to those used in luxury sports cars. The colour-coordinated interior has a modern chrome edging. JL Audio’s premium system is specifically acoustically engineered for the SS18 to provide an exceptional sound experience. According to McCall, the SS18 is the first craft in Europe to be fitted with JL Audio’s MM100s MediaMaster head unit.

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The boat has a futuristic helm area with navigational and control touchscreen displays from Garmin that are fully integrated. The embedded touchscreens are in sync with the cockpit’s minimalistic appearance and round off the modern design.

Pininfarina's H2 Hydrogen Hellion

Pininfarina’s H2 Hydrogen Hellion

In the light of super-cars debuted by the biggest brands iconic Italian design house Pininfarina has unveiled the future of luxurious transportation in the face of the H2 Hydrogen Hellion. Famous for pushing the boundaries of creativity, comfort and technology – the design team has succeeded in creating a car that easily combines the collective qualities of rivals Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati in one spectacular supercar that is powered by hydrogen.

The zero-emissions rocket ship the H2 Speed was named the Best Concept at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, where it made a VIP appearance.  Few things are known about the new daring model and one of them is the top speed of 186 mph that puts to shame even some of fastest cars on the market. 503 horse powers will provide a boost that allows for 0-62 mph acceleration in 3.4 seconds.

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Pininfarina has announced an initial number of only 10 cars to be built in the near future, which means there will be a pre-order list wealthy buyers will need to put their names on as early as possible if they want to get a taste of the zero-emission supercar. A price is yet to be announced but given the advanced technology and performance capabilities of the H2 Speed – it will probably be in the millions, although this will likely only increase the interest towards the limited edition work of technological wonder.

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Prospective buyers can learn more about the new model at the Turin Motor Salone dell’Auto di Torino. Another exclusive eye-catcher will also turn heads at the high-profile event -the one-off BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé.

The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde SW Lady

The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde SW Lady

Femininity and contemporary minimalism are the centre points for the new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde SW Lady. The first women’s watch from the renowned Swiss manufacture’s Grande Seconde SW series is a more sport-oriented version of the line based on Pierre Jaquet Droz’s pocket watch from the distant 1784. The timepiece boasts a stainless-steel case and is encrusted with 40 diamonds. The face conveys a sense of the timeless class that is the hallmark of the horologic house’s famed figure-eight motif. Two subdials are set against white mother-of-pearl and the dial’s rings and plates are made of 18-karat white gold.

Time is measured out with roman numeral as the denoted minute and hour indices are concentrically located on top of a larger sweep of seconds that is itself marked in arabic numerals—and are all arced over by blued-steel hands. Beneath the refined and elegant exterior is nestled a self-winding manual movement that provides the model with a 68-hour power reserve.

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An 18-karat white-gold oscillating weight balances out the mechanism and the intricate architecture is accented with Côtes de Genève patterning for an ornate finish. This detail is put ingeniously on display through a sapphire-crystal caseback. The price of the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde SW Lady is available upon request and it comes in four distinctive colour variations – pink, white, blue and black. The straps are made of the finest quality leather and complement the model-of-pearl dial to subtly accentuate the clean, austere design of the composition. The face of the model is crowned with rubber cast and the signature self-winding mechanical movement is finished with ruthenium treatment.

 

Audi R8 V10 Plus

Audi’s Fastest Production Car Ever

Audi debuted the new R8 V10 Plus, which is the brand’s highest performing version of the second-generation R8 to date. It became available in April at a starting price of $190,000. The car’s mid-mounted naturally aspirated V-10 results in 610 hp or 60 hp more than the previous version. The same base-model R8 is used and continues to be powered by a V-10, which produces 540 hp; the starting price of that model is $163,000. (Audi has discontinued the V-8 version of the R8.)

Carbon fibre has been used for the firewall and some of the external body elements like the splitter and rear wing. The new V10 Plus is almost 15 percent lighter than the last version, which is an impressive achievement without compromising any of its sturdiness. It is able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph. As a whole, the new car is more rigid than its predecessor, and benefits from enhanced agility and responsiveness.

Audi R8 V10 plus

Improvements to the cockpit have been made and consist in the introduction of digital instrument clusters to the dash and placement of four control buttons on the steering wheel. This makes the model all the more functional as the driver can select the car’s driving mode and engage the sport exhaust with a single motion.

Changes in the exterior are subtle with a just a hint of a crispier design. The V10 Plus is visually distinguished from its predecessor by the fixed rear wing. This makes the V10 Plus a dynamic sport model with versatile performance capabilities even if it only contains half the parts of the base V8. Currently, it is only available as a coupe, and Audi offers a choice of 11 exterior colours.

Best hotels

The 5 Best City Hotels

Frequent travelers know how necessary it is to be able to find an urban haven in every city they visit. And when you’re a millionaire the task gets even more daunting as you need your privacy and there is a certain standard of living you’re used to. Let’s look at the five best city hotels that have it all.

1. Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

Shangri-La Hotel

Paris is known for its exceptional hotels, but this one is one-of-a-kind with its artful combination of European grandeur and artful Asian style. The hotel features 101 rooms including 36 sprawling suites with private balconies that overlook the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. Rooms start at €1300/night.

2. Park Hyatt, Sydney

Park Hyatt Sydney

If you’re travelling Down Under, be sure to check in the Park Hyatt. Set in the historic Rocks neighbourhood, it is located right between two of Australia’s best-known landmarks—the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 26-year-old hotel boasts panoramic views and exceptional service. Rooms start at $900/night.

3. Mandarin Oriental, New York

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As the name suggests, the style of the Mandarin Oriental blends austere urban aesthetics with Asian style. Guests can enjoy jaw-dropping Central Park views. The 244-room hotel in Columbus Circle even has its own private park on the 35th-floor Asiate—a power-lunch favourite. Rooms start at $650/night.

4. Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London

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Located on the southern bank of the Thames, this state-of-the-art hotel takes up floors 34 through 52 of the Shard, one of Europe’s tallest buildings. It exhibits the refined and elegant style the British are well known for and is famous for the impeccable service that wealthy people are accustomed to. Rooms start at £400/nigiht

5. Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

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Located in the tallest building in the city, right at the core of Roppongi, the capital’s entertainment, diplomatic, and design-related business hub. The hotel occupies the top nine floors of the 53-story Midtown Tower, offering 360-degree panoramic vistas of Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji as well as the minimalistic Japanese style that people admire. Rooms start at $400/night.

Golf Cart

The custom Golf Cart You can Fly

Golf enthusiasts have another reason to look forward to another round of their favourite pastime – all thanks to Oakley and Bubba Watson—a two-time Masters champion and one of the top five golfers in the world. When the two aficionados joined creative forced with the team behind Martin Aircraft Company the end result was a spectacular golf cart hovercraft that can travel over fairways, greens, water and sand traps with equal ease. All for the humble price of $200,000.

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A recent upgrade saw the initial design improved by improving the capacity from hovering a few feet off the ground to flying up to a few thousand feet above it. This is the world’s first flying golf cart jet pack and although it may seem as something right out of a sci-fi movie – the BW-Air is quite real. It makes every golf game a true adventure, allowing its passenger to obtain a bird’s eye view of the golf course. This is a significant advantage, especially when planning a tough shot and it can very well be said that players who get to buy one of these will certainly have the upper hand in any game. There is plenty of carriage space to fit all golf clubs, sand bottles, and other equipment and transport it with ease.

golf cart fly

The BW-Air has a 210 hp engine, which allows it to climb to the spectacular 3,000 feet, and fly at up to 46 mph. It is expected that the jet pack receives FAA approval any moment now, after which golfers will be able to purchase the futuristic golf cart jet pack for a starting price of $200,000. Of course, to operate it – proper flight training and certification will be required.

Hotel du Palais in Biarritz

A hotel fit for a king

If it is fit for the discerning tastes of European royalty then it is good enough for millionaires as well. At least this is the popular opinion when it comes to the exclusive Hotel du Palais in Biarritz, used by none other than Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie de Montijo as a summer palace in 19th century.

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Described as ‘rich in memories, style and history’, the lavish retreat doesn’t come cheat and can cost up to £3,300 a night but it is well worth it. The five star seafront hotel is known for its signature style, which according to their website is ‘neither passe nor pompous but profoundly elegant, that makes the hotel such a jewel in a seaside resort smiled upon by fortune and fashion.

There are two restaurants a- La Villa  and La Rotonde – and their resident chef is Jean-Marie Gautier, who has a Michelin star. He has crafted a menu of contemporary, classic cuisine favouring seasonal ingredients and regional products in a wonderfully eclectic version of high-end dining. The SPA includes a 15-metre outdoor swimming pool, a sauna, Turkish bath and a solarium with gorgeous ocean views for complete peace and relaxation.

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One of the most spectacular features of the estate is the way it channels its grand heritage. The rooms are lavishly decorated with high ceilings and lots of plush furnishings to create a breezy, destination-appropriate vibe. The beautiful location right  on the beaches of Biarritz gives Hôtel du Palais panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, situating with within driving distance from the Spanish towns of San Sebastian and Bilbao.

With a total of 22 suites – A-list guests can enjoy plenty of privacy and have all of their wishes catered to by the 5-star staff. Close proximity to lavish boutiques is amongst the many benefits of the exclusive retreat.

A Marvelous historic villa in Stresa

A Marvelous historic villa in Stresa

Italy has always been a place of interest of millionaires for its sunny, inviting climate, lush scenery, award-winning wines and top destinations for peace and relaxation. And Stresa is the ultimate representation of the dolce far niente that perfectly epitomizes the Italian spirit. Now, a unique opportunity to own a piece of that serenity has emerged in the form of a marvellous villa with rich history that has become available for € 4,500,000.

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Dating back to the end of the 19th century, the pristine estate is located in the city centre of Stresa. However, it provides its owner with sufficient privacy away from prying eyes thanks to a high fence and dense hedges that are perfectly maintained. Manicured lawns with lush greenery create a true haven and a sculpted fountain is nestled inside the large yard. However, that is not everything that the beautiful garden has to offer as there is also an outdoor swimming pool, a barbecue zone and a spacious garage.

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The property was recently renovated in keeping with its original architectural and all details have been perfectly preserved. With a total of 6997 square feet of living area, the villa offers enough space to entertain guests or simply run away on an exclusive retreat. The property opens into a spacious entrance with stairs and a large sun-filled living room with a stone fireplace. There are also a spacious dining room overlooking an elegant oriel-window, a separate breakfast nook and kitchen, a sunny veranda and one guest bathroom.

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The First floor consists of a spacious access room with corridor and 4 large bedrooms with three bathrooms. The second floor houses the remaining three bedrooms with three bathrooms, a loggia and the access to a fantastic tower with stunning views. There is also a semi-basement, where the spacious frescoed tavern, large sitting room overlooking the service kitchen, access room, laundry, gym with sauna and bathroom are situated.

Beautiful frescos and wooden beams and cabinets can be found throughout the villa, adding to its authentic charm.