Not many locations in this world are as easily recognizable as this Gothic Tudor mansion in Holmby Hills – aka The Playboy Mansion. Built in 1927 by American architect Arthur R. Kelly for his father, department store owner Arthur Letts Jr., this iconic estate has seen more famous faces than a Hollywood production. Thanks to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, this mansion is one of the most famous homes in the world. While it’s fallen on rough times in recent years, the famed Hugh Hefner house is still standing and may just be getting the facelift it needs to survive. More on the present-day mansion as well as the history of the estate below!
What is the Playboy Mansion?
The Playboy Mansion was the home of famed Playboy Magazine publisher Hugh Hefner from 1974-2017. Also known as the Hugh Hefner mansion or Playboy Mansion West, the estate was the scene of some epic parties back in the day. These sexy shindigs, hosted by Hefner and his lovely band of scantily-clad Playboy Bunnies, played host to some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Some of the famous faces that grazed the halls of the mansion include Leonardo DiCaprio, James Caan, and Jack Nicholson.
In addition to being an uber-exclusive party house, it was also the headquarters to the Playboy Magazine brand. The magazine featured celebrity interviews, short stories, and…boobies, lots of boobies – at least until 2015. The publication briefly stopped featuring nudity in 2015 but went back to their naked ways in 2017.
What Does the Playboy Mansion Look Like?
In its hay day, celebs and fans alike were lining up just to get even the smallest peak inside the Playboy Mansion. The 22,000 square-foot estate features 29 rooms as well as a plethora of amenities. Hugh, being an animal lover, the Hugh Hefner house also held a zoo license in order to house exotic birds, monkeys, and other wildlife.
Inside, the Gothic Tudor-style estate featured a screening room, a game room, a built-in pipe organ, and an extensive wine cellar. The wine cellar has a secret prohibition-era door and is rumored to feature a trap stair that sets off an alarm. There’s even a 4-bedroom guest house on the grounds for those looking to stay the night. The backyard of the mansion is adjacent to part of the North Course at the Los Angeles Country Club. It’s believed there was once actually a tunnel that ran under the course which connected the Mansion with Warren Beatty’s house nearby. This tunnel is also said to have extended to the homes of Kirk Douglas, James Caan, and Jack Nicholson!
Check out the full Playboy Mansion photo gallery and address here!
Playboy Mansion Today
Being uninhabited since 2017, the Playboy Mansion now is currently a shell of its former self. The once lush green grounds are now just patches of dirt riddled with tracks from construction machinery. Most of the buildings, including the fountain out front, as well as the mansion itself, are shrouded in tarps. Additionally, beneath the mansion’s tarps, large sections of the roof can be seen missing. The former Playboy Mansion is unrecognizable in its current state, but this old 1927 structure may just be getting its second wind.
Daren Metropoulos, the current owner, is funding a massive facelift for the former Hugh Hefner mansion in Holmby Hills. Though construction progress is slow currently due to the pandemic, the renovations continue. While the entire cost of construction has yet to be determined, $1 million has already been spent on renovations. Considering $401,000 of that will be spent on merely renovating the garage and staff area, you can bet this project is going to be costly. What Metropoulos has planned for some of the iconic locations on the lot is unknown. He is reportedly dishing out $30,000 for steel mesh, wall replacements, skimmers, and lights for the grotto. So, it seems he intends on keeping the Playboy Mansion grotto at least.
Where Is the Playboy Mansion?
The Hugh Hefner mansion is located in Holmby Hills, in the city of Los Angeles in Southern California – only 6 minutes from Beverly Hills. Fun Fact: The band Weezer filmed their music video for Beverly Hills at the Mansion even though it’s not technically in Beverly Hills. Hugh Hefner as well as girlfriends Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson all made cameos in the video.
Original Playboy Mansion in Chicago
The original mansion wasn’t actually the Holmby Hills estate. In fact, the original mansion wasn’t even located in Los Angeles, but in Chicago, Illinois. Hefner’s first Playboy Mansion, established in 1959, was a 70-room brick home in Chicago’s Gold Coast. After moving to Los Angeles, Hefner donated the Chicago mansion to the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.
The Playboy Mansion address
The Playboy Mansion address located in LA is 10236 Charing Cross Road, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Not much can be seen from the street, but fans can often be seen stopped in front of the gate for a quick photo. In fact, our Beverly Hills celebrity homes map tour has some VIP tips to help get a glimpse.
Who Owns the Playboy Mansion?
The Mansion was purchased by Hugh Hefner in 1971 for $1.1 million. He began staying at the mansion full-time in 1974 and Playboy Enterprises continued to retain ownership of the sprawling estate until 2016. When it was put on the real estate market, the original asking price was a staggering $200 million. That same year, however, Los Angeles Times reported that the mansion had sold for substantially less to billionaire Daren Metropoulos.
Metropoulos, whose family owns Pabst Brewing Co and other high-profile properties, reportedly purchased the mansion for $105 million. Though Metropoulos owned the home, the terms for the purchase included a “life estate” which meant that Hefner, then 90, would remain at the home until his death.
Elvis Room Playboy Mansion
The Mansion also houses a secret room known as the Elvis Room – exclusively for the late king of rock himself. The only people to have actually seen the room were reportedly Hefner and Presley, making it quite the mystery. If you even get in there, please find the secret door and let us know what it’s like!
So, how did the Elvis Room come to be? During a night at the Mansion, Presley reportedly shared some “quality time” with 8 of the playmates there.
Playboy Mansion Grotto
The infamous enclaved pool, aka the Playboy Mansion Grotto, is one of the most talked-about locations at the mansion. But maybe not always for the right reasons – since it was often the site of some…questionable activities with partygoers. Put it this way – you probably wouldn’t have wanted to accidentally ingest the water (insert nauseated emoji).
Surely they thoroughly sanitized the grotto after each use though, right? Well, the 100 guests who contracted Legionnaires’ disease from taking a dip in the pool back in 2011 may beg to differ.
Playboy the Mansion
Playboy: The Mansion was a game released in Jan 2005 licensed by Playboy Enterprises and developed by Cyberlore Studios. The game puts you in the role “Hef” as he builds the Playboy brand from scratch. The simulation gives you a video game-style version of what happens in the Playboy Mansion and has you running the show.
Goals include managing the magazine, developing relationships (romantic or business), hosting parties, etc. If you always wanted to live a day in the life of Hugh Hefner, this game has your name on it!
Hugh Hefner had a fairly average upbringing – his father being an accountant and his mother a teacher. Hefner described his parents as “conservative, Midwestern, and Methodist.” His mother had actually wanted Hugh to become a missionary – but as we all know, Hefner had other plans. His earliest experience as a writer was for a military newspaper while he served from 1944-1946. In 1949, Hefner earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a double minor in Creative Writing and Art at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
After leaving his job as a copywriter for Esquire, Hugh decided he was going to start his own publication. After taking out a mortgage on his home and gathering investors (including his mom), he was finally able to launch Playboy Magazine.
Hefner was married 3 times: wife Millie Williams (1949-1959), wife Kimberly Conrad (1989-2010), wife Crystal Harris (2012-2017).
Hugh Hefner Net Worth
Upon his death, Hugh Hefner was worth an estimated $50 million. Although the Playboy brand is an international powerhouse, Hugh’s net worth was largely made up of his stake in Playboy Magazine. He didn’t have as much stake, if any, in the digital and licensing arm of the business, hence what some say is a smaller net worth than expected.
Is Hugh Hefner still alive?
Hugh Hefner passed away at his longtime home, the Mansion, on September 27, 2017 at the age of 91.