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For a home brimming with Rat Pack lore, this Frank Sinatra party pad outside Palm Springs, California, has been a hard sell.
Sinatra commissioned the home himself in 1967, naming it Villa Maggio for his Oscar-winning role as Private Angelo Maggio in "From Here to Eternity." The home become known as a party pad for the Rat Pack and his other celebrated friends. It has been "meticulously preserved" by the owners, according to the listing, and even little details—like the bold bathroom wallpaper and the built-in food processor—are original to Sinatra. The current owners are the only occupants since Sinatra. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)
Yet despite the home's illustrious history, they've had some trouble unloading the place. It's been on and off the market with a fluctuating price tag for about a decade, first popping up in the media in 2008 but appearing quietly on at least one exclusive real estate site, Hilton & Hyland, as early as summer 2004.
The estate just made its most recent appearance on Zillow, asking $3.95 million, down about 20 percent from its high of about $5 million.
Sinatra had donated the deed during a career renaissance in the 1980s to Loyola Marymount College, which sold it to a couple based abroad in 1989, according to the Desert Sun newspaper. That couple never moved in, and records indicate the property entered foreclosure before the current owners acquired it for $350,000 in 1998.
Though the listing doesn't name the current owners, previous news reports as well as property records show that a woman named Naomi Ritz bought it. She was a longtime friend of Sinatra, the Desert Sun said.
Ritz told the L.A. Times she didn't change the home much because she "felt it was important to keep it pure Sinatra."
For a party pad, it’s pretty classy. The desert hideout property includes three buildings—the main house, a guesthouse and a pool house—at an elevation of 4,300 feet, overlooking the Coachella Valley. Together they comprise eight bedrooms, 12.5 bathrooms, nine stony fireplaces and about 6,428 square feet of living space.
Sinatra picked the spot not only for its privacy but because temperatures are about 20 degrees lower than they are on the desert floor, the listing says. When the heat grew too much in Palm Springs—where he kept a better-known residence—he could fly his guests up to this Mountain Center compound, which has a helipad.
The five-bedroom main house takes the form of a rustic lodge. It’s stuffed with fireplaces and includes multiple viewing decks, as well as two separate kitchens.
The guesthouse features three separate suites that each have their own mini-kitchens, baths, fireplaces and decks. A little secret: Two of the suites actually connect through a passageway in the closets, perfect for keeping romantic trysts behind closed doors.
Amenities for entertaining include a lighted, rock-lined pool with sauna and pool house as well as a tennis court.
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