Besides all the celebrity residents, the Hollywood Hills is perhaps best-known for its proliferation of expensive homes that are perched on often-extraordinarily stingy lots. The vast majority of residences sit right up on top of the street. Either that or they’re dangerously perched on top of cliffs, as Demi Lovato recently discovered. Space is very limited.
Of course, there are a few big exceptions. One of the most notable, perhaps, is the house we shall discuss today. Located just a 5-minute walk from the world-famous Sunset Strip, the walled-and-gated compound sits on a 1.12-acre parcel, nearly all of which is usable (nearly unheard-of for this area) and packs in a total of 13,000-square-feet spread out among at least three structures.
Built in 2013 by local developers and designed by Hagy Belzberg, the contemporary casa was famously featured in a widely broadcast (and widely panned) Cadillac advertisement that was originally intended to promote their low-selling ELR plug-in hybrid coupe but instead attracted a huge amount of interest in the house.
Anyway, after more than a year on and off the market, the house was sold in September 2014 for $23,980,000 to a powerful Indonesian businessman named Aburizal Bakrie. Our Mr. Bakrie heads up the Bakrie Group — a family-owned conglomerate with interests in mining, real estate, banking, agriculture, insurance and manufacturing. And while we’re not sure how rich he is today, back in 2011 Mr. Bakrie was ranked by the fine folks as Forbes as the 30th richest person in Indonesia, with a net worth of $890 million USD. Despite his vast wealth, we don’t believe Mr. Bakrie or his family ever actually got to enjoy their impressive new house — we’ve heard they never actually moved into the house. Instead, the property was leased out for a time to some fellow whose name slips Yolanda’s mind.
Earlier this month (February 2017) the property somewhat surprisingly transferred again for $24,000,000. If you’re keeping track, that’s a meager $20,000 more than what it sold for 2.5 years ago, meaning that Mr. Bakrie undoubtedly lost money on the place after taxes, closing costs and other assorted fees are taken into consideration, but before accounting for rental income and currency exchange rates.
Still, the $24 million sale price is the most ever paid for a home in the Sunset Plaza neighborhood and quite possibly the most ever paid for a house in the Hollywood Hills that is not located in the coveted Bird Streets area.
The lucky new owner is a Thai billionaire fellow named Chanchai Ruayrungruang, who was recently listed by Forbes as having a net worth of $2.9 billion. And luckily for Yolanda’s fingers, Mr. Ruayrungruang was born in China, so he also has a Chinese name: Yan Bin. So we shall call him Mr. Yan from here on out. Okay? Okay.
How did Mr. Yan get so rich? Initially, it was reportedly through his licensing of the Red Bull energy drink. Mr. Yan reportedly holds exclusive rights to sell the highly-popular caffeine concoction in China. That wealth afforded him the ability to build his international conglomerate Reignwood Group, which has invested in real estate all over the world.
So we’ve gathered, this $24 million Sunset Strip house was acquired primarily as a part-time residence not for Mr. Yan himself but rather for his 26-year-old daughter Woraphanit Ruayrungruang.
If the fact that this 26-year-old lass commands her own $24 million Hollywood Hills estate doesn’t clue you into the fact that Miss Ruayrungruang’s life is quite charmed, maybe some of the photographs she routinely shares on social media will. She’s met President Trump — her father is reportedly good friends with the Prez — and has posted a photograph of herself testing out a $2 million Bugatti Veyon at the local Beverly Hills dealer.
And as also seen on Miss Ruayrungruang’s social media accounts, she has already moved into her new Sunset Strip estate and very quickly set up shop in an A-list spender-style way.
Yes, our Miss Ruayrungruang is quire the real estate and auto baller. In her driveway (and peeking out of her garage) we count no fewer than six luxury rides, most all of which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.
— White Bentley Bentayga (base price: $229,100)
— Black Bentley Bentayga (base price: $229,100)
— Red Bentley Continental GTC (base price: $221,125)
— White Rolls Royce Ghost (base price: $295,850)
— Blue Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead (base price: $492,000)
— Maroon Maserati GranTurismo (base price: $132,825)
That’s at least $1.7 million in luxury rides sitting in Miss Ruayrungruang’s $24 million driveway. Not bad, eh? Well, except for that bug-eyed Bentley SUV. Look, kids, we know looks are subjective, but that Bentayga is one ugly critter. But then again, we digress.
Like any proper estate should be, the home is accessed via an imposing front gate (this one appears to be hewn from redwood slats or some such exotic nonsense). The motorcourt is enormous and capable of holding 30 or more of Miss Ruayrungruang’s luxury rides.
As previously mentioned, there are three distinct structures within the gates: “a Main Residence, Wellness Center and a Guest House,” according to past listings. the main house includes a formal dining room with fireplace and vaulted ceiling. Then there’s a crisply modern kitchen with two center islands and all the high-tech appliances. Somewhere there’s a glass winecloset with bottles suspended in mid-air.
Lounge, lounge, lounge and more lounges. Given that the property is so close to the Sunset Strip at the base of the Hollywood Hills, it doesn’t have the dramatic jetliner views that homes in the Bird Streets area up the hill possess. But rooms on the upper floors do have decent vistas.
There are 8 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms spread throughout the three structures. Oh, and the wellness center is really just a swanky detached glass-walled gym, kinda like your at-home Equinox.
Naturally there’s an infinity pool and plenty of outdoor terraces and grassy lawns. Lots of room for entertaining or sunbathing or hosting a future Trump fundraiser! You never know.
But wait! This ain’t Mr. Yan’s only $20 million LA crib.
Back in March 2015, Mr. Yan paid an even-steven $20,000,000 for a Paul McClean-designed “contemporary masterpiece” located at 1620 Carla Ridge in the super-prime Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills. The house was sold by who else? LA’s #1 spec-mega-mansion developer Nile Niami.
Like the Sunset Strip home, the Trousdale property was bought primarily to house Mr. Yan’s daughter — Miss Ruayrungruang — on a part-time basis. She must’ve quickly tired of it, though, because she flipped it back on the market for $26 million in November 2016. The house remains listed and unsold, although Miss Ruayrungruang has already decamped to her bigger and better Sunset Strip pad.
As for Mr. Bakrie, he resides primarily in Indonesia but he’s also got another estate in LA besides the one he just sold to Mr. Yan. Back in 2010, he paid $13,000,000 through something called “Ridgedale Ventures LLC” for a big ol’ house located on one of the best streets in Beverly Hills, right where the neighborhood turns into the even swankier Holmby Hills ‘hood. Our Mr. Bakrie has extensively renovated this property and it reportedly functions as the Bakrie family’s LA outpost whenever they are in town, doing whatever it is they do here.
Some of Mr. Bakrie’s nearest neighbors in Beverly Hills include super-lawyer/investor Stuart Liner, restaurant guru Peter Morton, and Symantec CEO Greg Clark.