By Camille Salama
Say "rental." The word conjures some pretty scary images: a sixth-floor walk-up, a basement mother-in-law, or some other way-less-than-upscale unit carpeted with worn-out wall-to-wall shag. We’ve all been there, done that.
But there is another level of rental properties that is nothing short of top shelf. These rentals are the crème de la crème of real estate, complete with huge footprints, stunning views, indoor pools, and blowout gourmet kitchens that let you know you’re not in Kansas — or an apartment complex — anymore.
The best part is that you don’t have to worry if the roof is leaking, because you’re a renter, not an owner!
247 Central Park West, New York, N.Y.
Manhattan is known for its pricey real estate, but this place is in a league of its own. Sitting directly on Central Park West, this grandly scaled contemporary mansion boasts more than 12,000 square feet. The mammoth home is spread over six levels plus a finished basement. It is studded with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms as well as a master suite that occupies an entire floor.
According to property history, the home sold for $22.38 million in January 2012. According to mortgage calculations, the monthly rent of $110,000 will just cover the home’s estimated monthly mortgage payment of $104,772, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-mortgage.
214 Lafayette St., New York, N.Y.
A property with celebrity history usually enjoys a little uptick in price, as shown in this swanky pad, previously used for Beyonce’s "Halo" music video. Available for $100,000 per month, the five-story, loft-style home is touted as New York’s "most incredible, unique rental property."
Built as a legal live/work environment, the home also includes diva-worthy features such as a master suite with a sitting room, and "sun-filled" bathroom, indoor pool, 925-square-foot terrace, 19-foot ceilings, motorized movie screen, and industrial-sized kitchen.
9555 Heather Road, Beverly Hills, Calif.
If we’re talking high-end real estate, the next stop on our tour is Beverly Hills, where the median home value is currently $1,32 million. Situated on 1.3 park-like acres, this Beverly Hills home for rent boasts seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and three powder rooms. The guest house is large enough to be mistaken as a separate property with its own entry from the street.
It has two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a two-car attached garage. Perfect for sunny California days, the home has numerous large outdoor terraces, an outdoor kitchen, pool, spa and tennis court. And on that rare rainy day, duck inside and take advantage of the two-lane bowling alley.
277 St. Pierre Road, Los Angeles, Calif.
Nestled behind double gates on more than 1 acre of prime Bel Air real estate, this Mediterranean-style residence offers a private oasis filled with luxurious amenities, including a grand staircase. The listing description notes that the estate was designed for entertaining and offers nearly 35,000 square feet of living space, eight bedrooms and a whopping 20 bathrooms.
Additionally, the home features his-and-her offices, two large entertainment rooms, bowling alley, screening room, indoor pool, state-of-the art spa and gym, racquetball court, and full guest house with two bedrooms, bath and a kitchen. Let’s repeat: 20 bathrooms!
10 Palm Ave., Miami Beach, Fla.
High-end resort or private home? At first glace, this luxurious Miami Beach rental could pass for a tropical retreat. It even includes "full five-star hotel service." Situated on the exclusive Palm Island, the home has 11,000 square feet of living space, and six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. Additional amenities include a private dock with a 1,130-foot heated walk-in pool with jacuzzi, swim-in grotto and waterfall.
24826 Malibu Road, Malibu, Calif.
Any "Sex and the City" fans out there? You can rent the exact Malibu home that served as Samantha’s West Coast abode in the first "Sex and the City" movie. The trilevel beachfront home spans 5,745 square feet with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, multiple balconies, a spacious entertainment room, wet bar and wine cellar. The sophisticated property is currently listed on the Malibu rental market for a star-quality asking price of $55,000 per month.
2131 S. Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, Fla.
Built for the founder of Coconut Grove in 1910, this 1-acre estate has been completely updated but still retains the original charm of the home, including graceful columns, Florida cherry hardwood and mahogany windows and doors. For 20 grand a month, a renter gets 6,307 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 1,500-bottle wine cellar and easy access to some of South Florida’s greatest attractions.
Undisclosed address, Honolulu, Hawaii
If you have the cash, why bother vacationing at a hotel when you could rent a Hawaiian home like this. Located near Waikiki on the island of Oahu, the furnished Honolulu rental has four bedrooms and four baths. Marble floors, oceanfront views and a master bath with spa quantify the pricey monthly cost.
More from Zillow "Eye Candy":
- Barry Manilow Re-lists Malibu Hideout With Price Drop
- Church, Schoolhouse and Silo: The Past Lives of Homes
- Bristol Palin No Longer an Arizona Homeowner
- House Where Babe Ruth Lived Was a Farm — and It’s For Sale
- Infamous Miami House Ready for New Owner — And Maybe a Demolition
Copyright Zillow 2012