The math is astoundingly good: You buy a house for $7.3 million, then get paid $500,000 to let someone use it—for a single week. That's the situation Spyro Malaspinas found himself in, accidentally it seems. As the Wall Street Journal reports in a photo-filled piece, Malaspinas didn't set out to rent his 6,400-square-foot Paradise Valley, Arizona, home—a property management firm called with the inquiry ... on behalf of Rihanna, who was coming to town to perform at the Super Bowl. It's an anecdote that kicks off EB Solomont's piece on the poshest brand of rental, in which celebrities are finding that the space, privacy, and security offered by private homes trumps what even the most exclusive hotels can provide.
In Solomont's telling, it's almost never the celeb directly doing the asking, but rather an assistant or travel agent, and the turnaround can be quick, say, with a request coming in on a Thursday for a weekend rental. Some of the details are truly those of the 1%—consider one A-lister who shipped their bed to their Hawaii rental for ultimate comfort. Other details are just as delicious, like the owner of a Bedford Corners, New York, home who rented his 10,500-square-foot house with violin-shaped swimming pool to Mariah Carey for the summer of 2020. She paid $125,000 a month but lost $90,000 of her security deposit, with the homeowner explaining the house was left in fine condition except for the floors, which were full of "pock marks" from Carey's high heels and needed to be replaced. (Read more luxury living stories.)