Luxury is an interesting concept. Interesting because it is subjective. For some people, buying a car is luxurious. For some, buying a car of repute is about being decadent.
For some others, with obvious ambition issues, getting a place to sit on a local in Mumbai might be the most luxury they ever imagined. But we all want more and better, because frankly, living it up king size can be kind of addictive. At least I assume it is. But then there is luxury that is unattainable.
We are talking diamond studded commodes and the like. Okay, that maybe a little far-fetched. But read up on these luxurious houses and you’ll know what I am talking about. It’s the stuff gold-gilded dreams are made of.
Mukesh Ambani’s Antilla
You cannot have an article that talks about opulence without mentioning Antilla. There are more stories about this house than the storeys it got. To begin with, the place is a modest 400,000 square feet.
Antilla has parking space for more than 160 cars. But in case you don’t go anywhere without your helicopter, the Ambani’s have thoughtfully arranged to welcome you with the 3 helipads they have.
You may happen to lose your way in the 27 floors, but someone from the 600 people strong household staff should be able to point you in the right direction. And it’s always impressive that Nita Ambani can manage all of them, given my single household help always has someone dying or getting married back home.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat
Shah Rukh Khan’s home in Mumbai is the stuff of legend. Called Mannat, the opulent villa sits prettily with expansive views of the sea, and boasts of some pretty spectacular spaces within it.
While the other stars make do with spacious duplex apartments, Shah Rukh Khan and his family live in a bungalow which has five bedrooms and many living rooms.
To offer guests privacy, there is a basement car park, a library for pursuits of the literary kind, and of course a gym, because who doesn’t have moments when they absolutely must have six-pack abs?
Gauri Khan, the star’s wife has done up the space herself and is a fan of a designer called Tom Dixon. To put things into perspective, this designer has chairs that cost more than 1000 pounds.
Ratan Tata’s Colaba Bungalow
You haven’t done luxury right till you have got the address right. And Ratan Tata’s bungalow ticks all the right boxes in this case. The bungalow is located in the bustling, and with plenty of old world charm, Colaba.
Spread over 13,000 square feet, the bungalow features a library, a sun deck and a personal gym. It also has an infinity pool and a parking space. People who manage to strike a friendship with the reclusive Tatas may also be able to get a sneak peek into the bar, and a space in the bungalow that can play host to about 50 people.
The rest of us can wistfully stare in awe.
Cyrus Poonawalla’s Pune Bungalow
When all your houses feature a fleet of vintage cars and classic paintings that cost a small fortune, it can get confusing what decadent means. But the place that patriarch Cyrus Poonawalla calls home has more than just character. For starters, the living room is a sprawling 7000 square feet big.
Yes, some malls are that big. The place also features a temperature-controlled garage – you know how cars can be, pretty tyre-some about the right climate.
There’s also a private discotheque in the basement for impromptu parties. If that simply isn’t good enough for your taste, there’s a well-stocked bar that has liquor more expensive than your entire worth. And this is just one of the houses Poonawalla owns.
Gautam Singhania’s JK House
Gautam Singhania obviously thought that the lone Antilla jutting out of the Mumbai skyline didn’t look pretty enough. And so he decided to add his own behemoth.
The JK House upon completion will sit at a height of more than 140 metres and have 37 floors. There’s a gym with a spa, and 15 floors of parking. And while we certainly did expect the usual helipad and swimming pools, the JK House will also house a facility none of the other billionaires can boast of – a museum. I totally get it. I mean we have stuff from centuries ago that my mom won’t throw out (mainly toiletries stolen from hotels), but it certainly doesn’t warrant a museum. Or does it?
(Mansi Shah is founder of the blog Damsel in Destress which reviews experiences as varied as spas, books and plays. Mansi is, by her own admission, “clueless” at 30 with an easy penchant for humour.)