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I WANT A MOAT: The Latest Must-Have Mansion Feature

By Lauren Beale

If you thought Southern California mansions could hardly get more outlandish, consider the latest must-have feature: A moat encircling the property.

Other exclusive amenities include dental chairs, botox stations and wine “cellars” that somehow made their way into the kitchen. It’s all part of growing competition among designers, architects and developers for the attention of ultra-wealthy buyers.

Moats are making their biggest splash since medieval times.

At Jennifer Lopez‘s former home in Bel-Air, which recently resold for $10 million, an arched footbridge and a cobblestone driveway cross a stone-lined waterway that encircles the French-style villa.

In Brentwood, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady included the water element at their newly completed European-style estate. Luckily for the neighbors, the couple’s moat looks more like a winding stream than a means of defense.

And at a Beverly Hills contemporary built on a promontory, a narrow one serves a practical purpose. The moat around the $36-million property takes the place of a guardrail, which would have obstructed the stellar city views.

While some over-the-top home features offer function, others are just for fun. But tastes and trends are evolving more quickly since the advent of the Internet, designers say, making it harder to keep up with the proverbial Joneses.

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