Puttin On The Ritz

"High hats and arrowed collars, white spats and lots of dollars".
The lyrics of this 1929 song inspired by the swanky Ritz Hotel and made famous by Fred Astaire, alludes to the outrageously fabulous lives of the rich and famous. Unsurprisingly, this demographic profile also seeks an imposing place to call home – a place that will make a statement, in capital letters and bold-type. So just what is available in South African real-estate for those with "high hats and lots of dollars"?

R300 million: At the top of the pile, by quite a margin, is the Enigma Mansion in Cape Town. Nearly 6, 000m² of exquisitely manicured garden frame its eye-watering opulence. The owners purchased the land for R48 million six years ago. Inspired by the Louis XIV period they designed and built the triple-storey edifice over a period of 4 years. The house itself is almost 1, 600m². A studio of 264m² along with a relatively modest guest suite of 250m² completes the living area. The indulgent 7-star interiors boast eclectic and bespoke features inspired by the greatest cultures of the world. Rare artworks in the house include a marble statue, The Greek Slave, by Italian artist Scipione Tadolini, dating back to 1860. Befitting its majestic stature are sweeping views of the coastline and a 100m² master bedroom. It also features an 80m² cinema, a 54m² kitchen, four banquet-sized reception rooms, three en-suite bedrooms, a massage room, gym and, naturally, a ballroom. Other essentials provided within the spacious grounds include garages for six cars, a winter garden, a teahouse, a massage temple and an Olympic-sized pool with marble inlays. In fact, a 150-page coffee-table book can be downloaded for one to fully appreciate all of this property’s extraordinary elements.

R100 million: For smaller budgets, a four-bedroom home with breathtaking views on Cape Town's Fresnaye hillside is on the market for R110-million. Along with a prestigious address, it lays claim to all sorts of imaginable indulgences.

Alternatively, for a lock-up-and-go lifestyle, the two-storey Penthouse at One & Only Cape Town spanning 798m² for unrivalled views of Table Mountain and Robben Island provides a dedicated, 24-hour butler service. The new owner can cool off in the expertly deigned infinity-edge pool or if preferred, a spa nestled on its own private island. Privileged guests will be able to quench their thirst from the temperature-controlled wine loft and its collection of 280 bottles of the Cape’s finest wines and champagnes. Prying eyes and uninvited visitors are excluded. In keeping with its exclusivity, a private lift ascends six floors to reach this R75 million piece of heaven.

R50 million: Further down the ladder, Sandhurst, in Gauteng, offers discerning buyers the chance to invest in a tribute to modernity. For just R52 million, you will be able to enjoy this architectural masterpiece. The Stefani Antoni designed home is described as a symphony of glass, steel and stone and its cubistic features are adorned by strategic lighting after sundown. Four en-suite bedrooms and all manner of superfluities befitting a home of this stature only add to its appeal.

In Bryanston, it will only take R45 million to get your name on the title deed of an exceptional home proudly perched on 8, 200m² of landscaped gardens with a lake, tennis court and infinity pool. The 2, 000m² abode offers spacious receptions areas, a gourmet kitchen, 5 double bedroom suites, a gentleman's study, entertainment pavilion and gymnasium along with garaging for 6 cars.

Clearly, for those with champagne tastes and the matching resources, South Africa’s exceptional weather, temperate climate, stable economy, beautiful landscape and rich choice of valuable real-estate are simply too good to resist. Already two offers for Enigma Mansion, including one for R235 million, have been turned down by the owners.

Article by: Dieter Deppisch - www.knowledgefactory.co.za

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