Fresh from her glamorous European vacation, Michelle Obama traveled to Los Angeles earlier this week – and she certainly didn’t scrimp when it came to accommodation.
According to TMZ, the former First Lady rented an impressive property on Swallow Drive near Sunset Strip in the Hollywood Hills, which is currently on sale for a whopping $22.9 million (£18.2 million), on Monday and Tuesday.
During her trip to LA, Michelle visited talent agent Bryan Lourd – the boss of Creative Artists Agency – at his home in nearby Westwood for an informal gathering to talk about the Obama Foundation and its non-profit work, reports Deadline.
And a real estate agent who works in the area told TMZ there are rumors Michelle may be scoping out the area with a view to putting down roots in California. Although it is not known whether she was considering the rental property that she stayed in – which is known as the Shark House because it boasts an open-air aquarium – the Obama family would in fact be its very first official residents.
According to TMZ, the house has never been lived in, with just a few lucky guests being given the opportunity to rent the property, which is nestled in a sought-after section of Doheny Estates, the spectacular 12,800 square foot home features walls of glass which offer jetliner views of the city.
Although the house is not publicly available to rent, it may be that Michelle was given the opportunity to stay there for two nights free of charge, as a means of getting to know the sprawling mansion in order to decide whether she might be interested in making it a permanent part of her property portfolio.
The home would certainly make for an interesting holiday home, or indeed a West Coast base, for the family, who currently spend much of their time at their home in Washington, D.C.
Unlike their relatively modest house on the East Coast, the Shark House comes complete with an array of Los Angeles-centric amenities; in addition to the 300-gallon aquarium, the home also has a living wall canopy to offer the ultimate Zen-like experience.
In 2018, shortly after the mansion had been completed, property website Curbed reported that the two-feet-deep shark pool was inhabited by an array of species, including ‘eight stingrays, three houndsharks, one remora shark, one horn shark, one catshark, one starfish, and three yellow tang fish’.
There are several stone slabs sitting on the water’s surface so that daring visitors to the home can actually step over the water, while a larger platform serves as a spot for a chair and table where someone could actually sit and watch the sea life swimming past.
Thankfully there’s also a swimming pool which is not inhabited by sharks, as well as an indoor plunge pool and resistance pool in the spa, and wellness center, which also features a gym, hot tub, massage room and a dry sauna.
There’s even a walk-in wine room so you can ensure your vintage bottles are kept to the optimum temperature, and a ‘humidor’ room for storing cigars, cigarettes or pipe tobacco.
To keep residents entertained, there is a full movie theater and entertainment area, complete with a freezer that is dedicated to storing spirits like vodka and tequila.
The one-story home is equipped with state-of-the-art smart house technology, which includes custom automated doors, an elevator, central air conditioning and a water purification system.
Other than short term rentals, the four-bedroom property, which was completed last year, has never been lived in; it’s currently listed with Compass under the care of brokers Tomer Fridman and Kurt Rappaport, who describe the sprawling property as having ‘truly an incredible value’.
When the home was first put on the market, real estate agent Sam Neal, of Nest Seekers International, which is understood to have managed the property in the past, explained that the home was likely to attract only the most ‘sophisticated’ buyer, thanks to its sleek and modern aesthetic.
Neal also described the property as being more of a ‘resort than a home’, noting that this is the kind of lavish, over-the-top space that many wealthy buyers in LA are looking for.
‘Buyers are looking for a place that is more of a resort than a home,’ he told Curbed. ‘It’s about, “How much else can I put in my house so that I don’t have to leave?”’
However this is certainly not the only sprawling space that Michelle has been lucky enough to stay in.
Last month the Obama family enjoyed a luxurious summer getaway which saw them visit the south of France and tour a beautiful vineyard in the famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation in Provence with several friends.
Meanwhile, the family’s $8.1 million home in the exclusive Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. offers them an impressive 8,200 sq ft of space, including eight bedrooms and nine-and-a-half bathrooms.
At the time of its purchase, it was reported that the Obamas were planning to stay in Washington, D.C. until their youngest daughter, Sasha, had graduated high school and was ready to head off to college – which she will be doing this coming fall, meaning that the former first couple may well be looking to spread their wings and snap up a new property outside of the capital.
Michelle recently confessed that she is ‘surprised her kids have any friends’, after growing up in the White House while surrounded by ‘a bunch of men [with guns] and ear pieces’.
The 55-year-old made the admission while discussing how her family’s lives have changed since her husband’s presidency came to an end, explaining that they have all relished the relative freedom that has come with life outside the White House – particularly Malia and Sasha, who were just ten and seven respectively, when their dad began his eight-year presidency.