Situated in the aptly named Paradise Valley, this elegant Santa Barbara-style retreat is a palace fit for a king. And, fittingly, its owner is as close to sporting royalty as one could get. So who’s the star lucky enough to call this $2.5 million getaway home?
Why, it’s only swimming superstar Michael Phelps, who bought the pad in late 2015 for himself, his wife Nicole and baby Boomer to call home. Moreover, it also houses the most impressive Olympic medal collection of any athlete who’s ever lived.
Since 2000, in fact, Phelps has been racking up gold medals in the way most people rack up Facebook likes. To this day, the star has gained 23 golds as well as three silver and two bronze medals. All of those mean that he is now the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.
Most recently, the swimmer gained five golds and one silver at 2016’s Rio Games. To achieve this remarkable feat, Phelps trained at the Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa, Arizona. However, this required a move from his native Baltimore – where he reportedly owned a $960,000 townhouse – to the Sunset State.
Certainly, the area’s sunlit vistas make a change from Baltimore’s sprawling cityscape. And, befitting an area of such beauty, the home comes with a hefty price tag. Indeed, the mansion’s $2.5 million value is enough to make even the sturdiest of jaws drop.
Still, Phelps isn’t exactly short of money. In fact, the home’s asking price is nothing compared to the athlete’s overall worth. With endorsements from the likes of Aqua Sphere and Sol Republic, Phelps has an estimated $55 million in the bank.
From the outside, the home’s pristine European stonework melds beautifully with the area’s natural beauty. The nearby Camelback Mountain looms peacefully on the horizon, lending the space a grandeur that few properties can match.
In fact, the area’s beauty prompted an enamored Phelps to wax lyrical in a 2016 New York Times interview. “You go outside in our backyard and we have orange and tangerine and lemon and lime and peach and apple. All these different fruit trees growing in our backyard,” he said.
Besides a generous selection of flora, the garden has other features that make it perfect for relaxation. Like most luxury properties, the home features a hot tub and pool. However, we imagine that Phelps is probably accustomed to larger swimming facilities.
In addition, no expense has been spared in complementing the property’s inbuilt serenity with luxurious features. For example, the yard’s patio is made from ancient concha stone. According to USA Today, this was specially “quarried from an ancient seabed.”
However, one potential drawback of living in Arizona is the state’s overwhelming heat. Indeed, temperatures can easily go above 115° F in July. Fortunately, though, the home’s interior is cool enough to take shelter from any summertime blues.
In addition, the interior’s calming pastel color scheme will also offset the heat of the midday sun. Moreover, as it is spread out across a whopping 6,010 square feet, the home offers an abundance of space. And that should be more than enough for Michael, Nicole, Boomer and any friends or family who drop by.
In fact, there are a multitude of living spaces for Phelps to hang out with his buddies. What’s more, a towering fireplace – one of four in the house – separates the living and dining rooms for extra seclusion.
Elsewhere, the home further justifies its hefty price tag with a variety of modern appliances. For example, the kitchen features luxurious marble countertops that make for a fine dining experience. Meanwhile, custom-built electronics ensure that almost any fixture can be operated at the touch of a smartphone.
And as Arizona is far from most major U.S. cities, anyone making a visit might be inclined to stay the night. Luckily, the estate is well equipped, and with five bedrooms at his disposal Phelps can accommodate guests easily.
Out of all the villa’s chambers, though, Michael and Nicole’s master bedroom is probably the most spectacular. Not only does it have its own fireplace, but the sleeping space also features a private courtyard. Certainly, it’s perfect for romantic evenings spent under a starry sky.
As with its sleeping areas, the home is overflowing with bathing facilities. Indeed, there are six and a half, to be precise. And out of all the bathrooms, the master suite is especially striking, thanks to its gleaming pearl interiors and dual sinks.
Furthermore, Phelps and his family are the first people to live in the 2015-built house. And it seems that the swimmer will be calling this villa home for quite some time, judging by his glowing comments to the New York Times in 2016.
“I’m just in a better place now,” he said, reflecting on his mindset after moving to Paradise Valley. “I’m a lot happier, a lot more laid back now. I feel like I’m in control of what I’m doing. Life is absolutely amazing.”
And while his Olympic days may be over, Phelps has a new life as an assistant coach at nearby Arizona State. With a great job and a gorgeous house to call his own, then, it seems that the Olympic record-breaker will be staying in Arizona for quite a while.