LOCATION: Warick Parish, Bermuda
PRICE: $28,000 per month
SIZE: 7,381 square feet, 3-4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms (plus additional staff/guest quarters)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some time ago Your Mama received a covert communique from a fella who goes by the moniker Nantucket Dave who, he said, is considering relocating to Bermuda from London. In his research for a Bermudian house to call home he stumbled upon a compound near Warwick Pond that was—and, as of today, still is—listed as a partially furnished rental for $28,000 per month. Somewhat circumstantial digital evidence, some of it ferreted out by Nantucket Dave, suggests the renovated and fully staffed compound is owned by two-time Oscar wining actor Michael Douglas and his Oscar-winning actress wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Every celebrity reporter and property gossip around the globe knows Mister Douglas has deep maternal roots in Bermuda where he and his missus have owned their home since 2001 when—so the rumors and reports went—they paid about $2.5 million for an historic estate what is often referred to as the Longford House. Some online resources say the property spans 2.2 acres, others 2.5 acres and still others put it at more than three acres. Whatever the case, the Douglas/Zeta-Joneses made the Bermuda compound their primary residence between 2002 and 2009 at such time the family decamped their Atlantic Ocean island paradise and officially moved back to New York City where Mister Douglas was successfully treated for throat cancer.
Now, iffin we're being honest, children—and we always are, we'd admit that we're not 100% sure this Bermudian abode is the one owned by Mister Douglas and Miz Zeta-Jones. We simply can't find any direct hit matches between the few photographs included with the online marketing materials and the lush photos of the house that appeared in Architecture Digest in 2002. We also can't sync up anything specific between listing images and those that appear on the decorator Stephen Ryan's professional digital portal. However, the official online listing for the property points directly at the exact same property pinpointed on numerous aerial imagery databases easily and freely available on the internets as that of the Douglas/Zeta-Joneses.
Listing information indicates the classically Bermudian villa weights in at a hefty but hardly gargantuan 7,381 square feet and offers a roomy "formal" living room with fireplace and a more intimately scaled formal dining room with fireplace, rustic dark wood beams on the ceiling and—at least back in 2002 when it was presented in A.D.—blood red walls. The kitchen is a glorified if expensively equipped galley-style situation with impractical but gorgeous multi-toned wood floors with a high-gloss finish, light absorbing chocolate brown cabinetry, slightly more chatoyant flecked chocolate brown granite counter tops with complicated and dangerous looking corner detailing and the expected complement of pricey commercial-style appliances.
The main house has a main floor children's wing with 2-3 bedrooms and two bathrooms while the master suite consumes the entire upper floor and opens to a deep covered porch with glimmering Hamilton Harbour views.
The main floor also contains, according to listing details, a fully equipped exercise room, bathing facilities with shower space and sauna and super-sized climate controlled closets. That's climate controlled closets plural, people, because that's the way it appears in the description of the property.
In addition to the main house there are two cottages for guests and/or domestic live ins. There's a split level one bedroom apartment—called Buttery Cottage in marketing materials—plus a two story cottage with open plan living/kitchen area, two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The grounds—be they 2.2 or more than three acres—encompass lush gardens, large lawns, a fruit ground and herb garden, red brick terraces and pathways, a gated swimming pool, tennis court and a hot tub privately situated in a so-called "'secret' garden."
While it might seem a bit bizarre to some of the children that a couple of rich and famous Hollywood veterans like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones would deign to lease out one of their private homes to, well, strangers. However, it's much more common than regular, middle-brow people might expect, especially with folks who—like Mister D. and Miz Z.-J.—maintain a half a dozen or more high maintenance properties across the western hemisphere.
Your Mama's wholly unscientific research reveals that in addition to their spread in Bermuda, the Tinseltown royals' real estate portfolio includes but may not be limited to an apartment in the Big Apple—at the famed Kennilworth building on the Upper West Side—a fairly recently acquired country estate in Bedford, NY, a ski house in Aspen, a cliff-top villa in Majorca that formerly belonged to Archduke Ludwig of Austria, an apartment in Los Angeles' Century City, a large house in her native Swansea (Wales) that overlooks Bracelet Bay and a 5 bedroom beachfront hideout on a private island in the Turks & Caicos islands.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker / Bermuda Realty