The high life: These are the best penthouses in the world

At altitude. With attitude. From New York City to Singapore, these sky-scraping properties are the very definition of living the high life…

Question: how do you take luxury to new heights? Answer: easy. You break the ceiling of the real estate market, whack on a couple more floors and perch a tip-top apartment at the very tip-top of a star-scraping skyscraper. Congratulations, you’ve just got yourself a high-costing, self-indulging, cloud-prodding penthouse.

These high rise digs are, by definition, the pinnacle of luxury. You’re literally living the high life — holed up far above everyone else and looking down on anyone who has dared or deigned to buy property below your superior slice of altitude. We’ve found the very best in the world, so look up and read on…

The Central Park Tower Penthouse is New York's highest

The Central Park Tower Penthouse

Of course, it figures that the biggest towers would be in the Big Apple. And this, Central Park Tower, is one of the biggest. Its penthouse, found on the mind-boggling 123rd floor, has some of the best views of the entire city — looking down on the Empire State Building. You’re so high up here that Central Park looks like a mere welcome mat.

Inside, it’s everything you’d expect from a nine-figure penthouse. After being whisked up the special high-speed elevator (that goes 2,000 feet per minute), you’ll step into a seven-bedroom pad with media room, library, observatory, grand salon, gym and a private ballroom. Another perk, the “Central Park Club” on the 14th floor includes a screening room and landscaped terrace with 60-foot pool, central lawn and two gardens.

Dubai's 23 Marina Dubai Penthouse has views for miles

23 Marina Dubai Penthouse

The fourth-tallest building in Dubai — and 42nd tallest building in the world — wouldn’t be a bad place to call home. In fact, 23 Marina used to be the world’s tallest all-residential building. But, while it may not hold that accolade anymore, you can still find one of the world’s most luxurious penthouses sitting atop its pinnacle.

There are five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a hot tub out on the terrace. But, bar and double-storey set-up aside, it’s the views that you’re paying for here. Dubai’s skyline is nothing if not eclectic — and from your private outdoor space you’ll be able to spy perhaps the most iconic skyscraper the city has to offer; the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab.

The penthouse at San Francisco's 181 Fremont is a tech CEO's dream

181 Fremont

San Francisco, the spiritual home of the tech billionaire, was always going to have some pretty good properties. But the penthouse at 181 Fremont takes things to new heights of grandeur. Situated across the entire top floor of the skyscraper, it was designed by the same company who built homes for Elon Musk and Jay Z — so, naturally, no expense has been spared.

You’ll step into a walnut-panelled foyer, which leads through to a living area with floor-to-ceiling windows affording you views of the Transamerica Pyramid and Golden Gate Bridge. It’s got four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a Viabizzuno Sempre Mia-designed chandelier and a home gym. Oh, and a $46 million price tag.

Singapore's Wallich Residence is a super penthouse — in name and nature

Wallich Residence

In Singapore’s tallest building, this residence is billed above all others. It’s not a duplex; it’s a triplex. It’s not a penthouse; it’s a super penthouse. It starts on the 62nd floor — and only goes up from there. Five bedrooms and over 21,000 square feet of living space, it is more than ten times the size of the neighbouring Goodwood Grand penthouse — and costs over $50 million.

But if your pockets are deep enough, we can think of worse things to spend your cash on. There’s a private open-air pool that looks down on the sweeping Singapore skyline, a cabana, jacuzzi room, bar facilities, and entertainment room. And, whether you’re looking to charter a yacht, a jet or trying to hire a private chef to cater for a dinner party, there’s a dedicated concierge team on hand to make it all happen.

The 111 West 57th Street Penthouse is the biggest in the Big Apple

111 West 57th Street Penthouse

And we’re back to New York — with possibly the most impressive digs on this list. Considered the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere, 111 West 57th Street’s name may be a bit of a mouthful, but you’ll have plenty of time to wrap your head around it during the 84-storey lift ride to Penthouse #74 — the $57 million cherry atop this super-tall skyscraper.

Once you get there, and walk those white macuba stone floors, you’ll discover a wealth of wealthy riches. The master bedroom has its own entire wing, with dedicated sitting room and wet bar. The closet measures more than 230 square feet. But the crowing glory? The ‘great hall’ living space, which is large enough to fit nine Steinway Orchestral Grand Pianos side-by-side along the windows. Because who doesn’t want that?

Melbourne's Eureka Tower Penthouse is a stroke of genius

Eureka Tower Penthouse

Eureka! This, the highest penthouse in the Southern Hemisphere, is currently up for sale. So, if you’ve got a spare $22 million, this 86th floor apartment might be the one for you. Inspired by the Art Deco architecture of New York, the penthouse has 360-degree views of Melbourne and is surrounded by key cultural landmarks in the city; from the Botanical Gardens to the National Gallery.

Inside, you’ll find four bedrooms, all with spacious ensuites and walk-in wardrobes — not to mention a luxurious east-facing master suite, a private retreat area and spa. Elsewhere, a large living room features a fireplace — uniquely engineered and the only one installed in the entire building. Round things out with a library, vast dining room, office, and home theatre, and you’ve got the best living quarters on an entire continent.

The Tour Odeon Penthouse is Monaco's most opulent

Tour Odeon Penthouse

It’s one of Gentleman’s Journal’s favourite cities, and it’s the most expensive apartment on this list. Atop Monte Carlo’s Tour Odeon, this $335 million penthouse redefines luxury itself; perched in unbelievable grandeur at the pinnacle of the 49-storey tower.

Spanning five floors, the 31,500-square foot apartment includes a rooftop deck and pool, with its own water slide that descends one storey from the dance floor directly into the infinity pool. Oh yes, this is decadence at its Monegasque best.

At 432 Park Avenue, the penthouse takes luxury to new heights

432 Park Avenue

And, for our final penthouse, we’re back to New York. 1,396 feet above New York, to be precise. At the summit of 432 Park Avenue, this $95 million penthouse is the cream of city living. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, it took three years to build, and offers views of the entire city — from the Hudson to the East River, the Bronx to Brooklyn, from Central Park to the Atlantic Ocean.

This is the third tallest residential building in New York, and the penthouse sits on the 95th floor. Featuring six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, the apartment has solid oak flooring, a library, wood-burning fireplace and a private elevator. But the best part? Surely the luscious marble bathroom, offering the best views you’ve ever showered in.

Rather keep your feet on the ground? This Knightsbridge home is your serene escape from the city…

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