The ThaiHot Mansion and Courtyards by the Canal, located in the suburbs of eastern Beijing, is perhaps China’s most expensive and lavish real estate development. Of the 50 properties still available for sale, the cheapest one is listing at $4.7 million. The Beijing Taihe Real Estate Development Co. began work on the properties in 2002.
Twelve villa houses are offered for sale at more than $47 million. In one, the gold-plated swan sink faucets alone cost $7,865. The floors are covered by the finest gold and black Italian marble. There is a Roman-style swimming pool, a walk-in cigar cabinets, and even secret hiding places, like a bullet-proof cabinet tucked between bookshelves.
“The villa is like a castle,” says 23-year-old Zhu Xinxin, the main attendant of the house. And while the amenities in all of the developments’ properties are ultra-modern, the compound is seen by many as a throwback to ancient times. Uniformed maids and staffers bustle diligently around ThaiHot, even bowing at residents who may pass in their golden golf carts.
“In ancient times the emperor would sit and drink tea and listen to music,” said Qiao Dan, an employee of the development. He also ruminated on “the feeling of the royal court” that characterizes a villa he tends. “People can sit there and imagine that.” This is perhaps the surest sign of the grandiosity of ThaiHot, considering downtown Beijing is just 20 miles away.
For fine company, however, it’s not necessary to leave the development, as residents share an exclusive club. Shen Linan, assistant to the president of the Taihe Group, which had a role in building the site, said that the type of villa to be found at ThaiHot has been “prepared for the most successful people in all of China.”
“In China now there’s no emperor, but living in such residences, there’s a feeling of being emperors and nobles,” Shen added.
photo credit: Beijing Taihe Real Estate Development Co.