EXCL: Billionaire who bought Hugh Hefner’s infamous Playboy Mansion has spent three years on a refit

EXCLUSIVE: Playboy Mansion gets a facelift: Billionaire who bought Hugh Hefner’s infamous home has spent three years on a refit – with roof replaced, sex grotto dug out to make room for a spa and extensions added to $100m iconic property

  • Renovations to the iconic Playboy Mansion are nearly complete after three years of work, with a new roof added and the sex grotto appearing to have been dug out to soon create a spa area
  • The refit, with surpassed the $1.6million mark in July, as reported by TMZ , has also added detached living quarters and an underground generator, along with work to the interior
  • Billionaire Daren Metropoulos, co-owner of Hostess Brands, bought the mansion for a whopping $100 million in 2016, but Playboy founder Hugh Heffner was allowed to stay in the house until he died in 2017
  • He started significant work on the property in 2020 and has since almost finished the renovations. He also plans to join a neighboring property he owns with the mansion
  • When the Playboy Mansion was sold, it was also agreed the main structure of the residence would be maintained and not torn down 
  • The Playboy Mansion was built in 1927 and bought by Playboy Enterprises for $1million in 1971 

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Is this the most expensive facelift yet? 

The iconic Playboy Mansion has nearly finished its renovations after three years of work, with a new roof added and the sex grotto appearing to have been dug out to soon create a spa area. 

The renovations, with surpassed the $1.6million mark in July, as reported by TMZ, has also added detached living quarters and an underground generator, as well as, interior work, including an upgraded elevator, new lighting, and fixing the basement foundation. 

Billionaire Daren Metropoulos, co-owner of Hostess Brands, bought the mansion for a whopping $100 million in 2016, but Playboy founder Hugh Heffner was allowed to stay in the house until he died in 2017. He started significant work on the property in 2020 and has since almost finished the renovations – and plans to join a neighboring property he owns with the mansion. 

When the Playboy Mansion was sold, it was also agreed the main structure of the residence would be maintained and not torn down.

The Playboy Mansion was built in 1927 and bought by Playboy Enterprises for $1million in 1971. 

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Hugh Heffner (pictured in 2014) lived in the home until he died in 2017. He sold the property, however, in 2016 to Hostess Brands co-owner Daren Metropoulos, but it was agreed upon that Heffner would live there until his passing

Hugh Heffner (pictured in 2014) lived in the home until he died in 2017. He sold the property, however, in 2016 to Hostess Brands co-owner Daren Metropoulos, but it was agreed upon that Heffner would live there until his passing 

Metropoulos began working on the roof in 2020, with old photos showing it stripped to its bones before slowly turning into a shingled gray. 

Hefner’s famous sex grotto, which is located in the back of the large property, has since been dug out to create a spa area, but it appears to still need a little work done before it can be filled with water for a refreshing and beautiful scenic area. 

In 2021, aerial images taken at the back of the property showed new foundations being dug behind the mansion for it. 

The grotto is surrounded by luscious greenery and has a circular rock formation in the center that holds a small, covered pool. 

In addition, a detached living area or garage area has been built on the side of the property. It is the biggest addition to the property. 

A lot of exterior work began on the outside of the mansion in 2020 (pictured)

A lot of exterior work began on the outside of the mansion in 2020 (pictured) 

The front lawn had spray painted parking spaces on the ground while the exterior was repaired in 2021 (pictured)

The front lawn had spray painted parking spaces on the ground while the exterior was repaired in 2021 (pictured)

One of the biggest undertakings on the grounds was replacing the roof. Renovations began in 2020 (top), stopped wasn't worked on throughout 2021 (middle) and completed in 2022 (bottom)

One of the biggest undertakings on the grounds was replacing the roof. Renovations began in 2020 (top), wasn’t worked on throughout 2021 (middle) and completed in 2022 (bottom)

The famous residence was emblematic of Hollywood’s excess, hosting parties with lingerie-only dress code for the female guests who cavorted in the caved grotto.

Elvis reportedly slept with eight Playmates at once at the home, while John Lennon burned a Matisse original with a cigarette.

Donald Trump even filmed an episode of The Apprentice at the mansion where contestants got to meet Hefner and his girlfriends.

The mansion also has a sinister past after getting caught up in the Bill Cosby sex abuse allegations.

Judy Huth claimed Cosby assaulted her when she was 15 at Hugh Hefner’s home. Chloe Goins claimed she was assaulted by Crosby at the mansion, but criminal charges in the case were ruled out.

It also had a reputation of being dirty after multiple former Playboy bunnies spoke out about the dilapidated building and floors strewn with dog feces and urine.

The grotto was more leveled in 2020 (pictured) before heavy construction began

The grotto was more leveled in 2020 (pictured) before heavy construction began 

The refit grotto began taking shape in 2021 (pictured) when workers began digging out the pool

The refit grotto began taking shape in 2021 (pictured) when workers began digging out the pool 

The sex grotto was also dug out to soon create a lavish spa area. It surrounded by luscious greenery and has a secluded pool in the middle

The sex grotto was also dug out to soon create a lavish spa area. It surrounded by luscious greenery and has a secluded pool in the middle 

The pool inside the grotto (pictured in 2007) is covered and features stone steps and pathways

The pool inside the grotto (pictured in 2007) is covered and features stone steps and pathways  

In 2011, health officials confirmed that the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease was found in a whirlpool spa at the Playboy Mansion where more than 100 people fell ill.

The Los Angeles County Health Department presented its findings at an annual conference at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The legionella bacteria also causes a milder illness called Pontiac fever.

Symptoms, which include fever and headache, are the same as those suffered by the Playboy Mansion partygoers.

Hefner decided not to leave the mansion to his widow Crystal after his death but chose to sell it while he was still alive – with the condition he was allowed to stay there until his death.

However he did leave her $5million and a 5,900 square foot house in Beverly Hills. Most of his fortune was split between his four children and various charities.

Crystal, 31, was the third of his wives, after marrying him in 2012.

In addition to the roof and grotto, a separate housing or garage area was built on the side of the property (pictured)

In addition to the roof and grotto, a separate housing or garage area was built on the side of the property (pictured)

The property has undergone many renovations since 2020 (pictured), with the refit breaking the $1.6million mark in July

The property has undergone many renovations since 2020 (pictured), with the refit breaking the $1.6million mark in July 

Daren Metropoulos bought the iconic property (pictured in July) for $100million in 2016

Daren Metropoulos bought the iconic property (pictured in July) for $100million in 2016

The property (pictured in 2020) features a tennis court, a front law, pool, grotto, in addition to the mansion

The property (pictured in 2020) features a tennis court, a front law, pool, grotto, in addition to the mansion  

He had previously been married to Mildred Williams from 1949-1959, with whom he had two children, and Kimberley Conrad – 1989’s 27-year-old Playmate of the Year – from 1989-2010.

Cooper, Hefner and Conrad’s elder son, said that he and brother Marston grew up with a framed photo of his mom’s nude centerfold in the home.

‘Yeah, that was weird,’ he admitted. ‘It was like the elephant in the room.’

Hefner also had a gaggle of ‘girlfriends’ who lived with him – usually several at a time – at his famed Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.

Despite declaring that he had slept with more than a thousand women, Hefner spent much of his life ‘looking for love in all the wrong places,’ as he tearfully told The New York Times in 1992.

Hefner married Crystal – and took up a life of monogamy – in 2012 after briefly calling off the engagement. ‘Maybe I should be single,’ he said a few months later.

‘But I do know that I need an ongoing romantic relationship. In other words, I am essentially a very romantic person, and all I really was looking for, quite frankly, with the notion of marriage was continuity and something to let the girl know that I really cared.’

The year before their marriage, he had mused: ‘I never really found my soulmate.’

Who is billionaire Daren Metropoulos who owns the Playboy mansion?

Billionaire Daren Metropoulos is a principal at private-equity firm Metropoulos and Co.

The company co-owns Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, an iconic American snack. 

Metropoulos bought the Playboy mansion from Playboy Enterprises in 2016 for $100 million.

Hefner was able to live in the house until he died.

After Hefner’s death, Daren said: ‘Hugh Hefner was a visionary in business, a giant in media and an iconic figure of pop culture whose legacy will leave a lasting impact. 

Billionaire Daren Metropoulos is a principal at private-equity firm Metropoulos and Co.

Billionaire Daren Metropoulos is a principal at private-equity firm Metropoulos and Co.

‘I was fortunate to know him as a neighbor and friend and I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.’ 

He previously said he intended to connect the two estates into a combined 7.3-acre compound after Hefner’s death, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Metropoulos said the mansion’s heritage ‘transcends its celebrity’ and that ‘to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege.’

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