By Michael M. Clements | May 17, 2018 | People
When gridlock and a voracious media become too much, these well-heeled politicos abscond to their enviable second (or third) homes.
President Donald Trump sets a high bar when it comes to luxury. It’s no different with his choice of vacation homes. But much like his presidency, it hasn’t always been sunshine and calm seas for his St. Martin tropical mega-home. But, perhaps in a fortuitous sign, it did narrowly survive the wrath of a hurricane last year. Known as Le Château des Palmiers, the compound has breathtaking coastal Caribbean views, two sprawling villas, 11 bedrooms and an ornate cabana all enclosed by an 8-foot barrier that would make Mexico envious. It’s the perfect place to weather any storm.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his spouse, Louise Linton, live a life of luxury at both their $12.6 million Washington mansion and $15 million 6,466-square-foot Southampton homestead. Situated on a 97,500 square foot lot, the twostory summer crash pad is decked out with a patio, a pool, a guesthouse and a large yard—all perfect for entertaining the eclectic network of power players one builds as a cabinet secretary, former investment banker and film producer whose credits include the Lego franchise and Mad Max: Fury Road.
When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi isn’t busy squeezing votes out of her caucus and concessions from her colleagues across the aisle, she’s enjoying the fruits of her labor at the 16.5-acre Napa vineyard that she shares with her husband, Paul. She’ll need a few bottles of her finest to read through the 2,000-plus-page $1.3 trillion omnibus spending deal she helped negotiate recently, too. The property is valued at more than $3 million and consists of a guesthouse and pool house. Should she have to tend to any pressing business, she can just use the on-site grape press.
If the walls of Sen. Mark Warner’s Hamptons summer property could talk, they would probably ask a few investigative questions—his not-so-humble seasonal abode was previously owned by the late Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes and is in the neighborhood that was once called “Writer’s Row.” Today, the thought of that many journalists owning second homes in Vineyard Haven sounds like fake news. Let’s just hope that the Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman’s sixbedroom, five-bathroom house situated on a 1.4-acre lot with its own private beach and dock has less leaks than the House Intelligence Committee.
A FOR EFFORT
Even after a rocky confirmation hearing and failed attempt to reboot her befuddled image on 60 Minutes, billionaire philanthropist and school-choice advocate Betsy DeVos remains steadfast in her mission to reform the Department of Education. The Education Secretary scored a big win in revamping the collective-bargaining agreement that governs the 3,900 employees in her department. She showed similar moxie in the face of public outcry when building her 22,000-squarefoot mega-lakefront palace in Michigan. The layout, however, seems to be, well, confused—the main house has three bedrooms, three kitchens and 10 bathrooms.
ECONOMIES OF SCALE
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and wife Hilary Geary might venture to Southampton to disappear from the public glare of Washington, but that doesn’t mean they are keeping a low profile. Their head-turning luxury address sits on 4.5 acres and was completely reimagined by New York interior designer Mario Buatta, who tasked landscape architect Charles Stick to augment the dining room by ripping out an adjacent brick terrace and replace it with a flagstone-paved loggia so it could seat up to 120 guests. Sounds like a lovely place for a Commerce Department team retreat.
Photography by: TRUMP LE CHATEAU DES PALMIERS PHOTOS COURTNEY OF LUXURY RETREATS