1. Pictured: A 12th-century castello transformed from a medieval castle to a family home. Click the slideshow to see several other imposing, impressive real-estate conversions currently on the market.

Property: Billionaire Pieds-à-terre

As part of a new series, looks at a series of gorgeous residences around the world — with price tags of US$20 million plus. For our second edition, we showcase the sharpest real-estate conversions.

Everyone loves a fresh start and what better way to bring in the New Year than giving your home a makeover.

Or, in this case, taking an old property and entirely revamping it.

From a Maryland monastery to a Hyde Park penthouse, here Billionaire collects the most lovingly and lavishly converted US$20 million-plus properties from around the world. Feast your eyes!

The Friary on the Severn, Annapolis, Maryland, United States
Price: US$32 million
Square Footage: 26,000
Bedrooms: 10
Former Life: A monastery
Agent: Sotheby's

Formerly a Capuchin monastery, this stately red-brick estate sprawls across 23 acres overlooking the Severn River, on the Annapolis East Coast.

The property underwent an historic renovation of the original home, plus a substantial contemporary extension.

With a total of seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and 11 fireplaces, there is an additional three-bedroom gate house and tea house in the grounds. There is parking for nine cars.

A commercial-size gourmet kitchen, over-sized ballroom, indoor spa and family room make this the perfect home for large-scale entertaining. And for those guests arriving by river, a six-slip private dock with boat lift and 2,000ft of river front awaits.

Parkside, Knightsbridge, London, UK 
Price: US$20 million (£12 million)
Square Footage: 2,851
Bedrooms: Three
Former Life: Two apartments

Agent: Douglas and Gordon

This eighth- and ninth-floor penthouse was previously two units, which the owner knocked into one. The result is nearly 3,000sqft of lateral space — a rarity in central London. Located in the city’s most exclusive neighbourhood of Knightsbridge, the apartment has far-reaching views of Hyde Park and is within skipping distance of Harrods.

There are three very private terraces leading off from the living area, master bedroom and second bedrooms, looking out over Hyde Park. The apartment has been meticulously updated with integrated sound and Lutron lighting.

One side is designated for entertaining, with a large open-plan reception space, while the bedroom quarters are in the other side of the apartment.

Castello di Scerpena, Tuscany, Italy
Price: US$21.8 million (€16.5 million)
Bedrooms: 14
Former Life: Medieval castle
Agent: Savills

This impressive 12th-century castello has been extensively renovated during the last two decades to transform it from a medieval castle to a comfortable family home.

The main castle has five bedrooms, a garden and swimming pool, and there are two additional villas of three and four bedrooms. An additional two-bedroom guardian cottage is hidden within the grounds.

The renovation has carefully incorporated a number of quirky features, including a glass-paved staircase up to a round watch tower, and a swimming pool surrounded by fruit shrubs and centenary fig trees.

A beautiful garden filled with roses and peonies is enclosed by the remains of an eighth-century defensive wall, now shrouded by ivy. An olive grove and a deer park also make up part of the huge grounds.

The penthouse at Du Parc Kempinski Private Residences, Geneva, Switzerland
Price: US$26 million (CHF24 million)
Square Footage: 7,000
Bedrooms: Five
Former Life: Hotel Du Parc
Agent: Rockefeller Estates

This Belle Époque Hotel built in 1907 was converted into 24 stylish apartments, run by the ultra-luxury Kempinski Hotel Group.

In its hey day, the Hotel Du Parc was a hotspot for the rich and famous, with a roster of well-heeled guests, including author Victor Hugo and designer Pierre Cardin.

Located at the top of Mont Pèlerin, there are three triplex penthouses available with unbeatable views over Europe’s largest lake and highest mountain, Mont Blanc. Interiors are designed by the renowned BBG-BBGM, famous for its work on W Hotels and St Regis Palace in New York.

Residents can enjoy a range of on-site facilities, including a concierge run by Quintessentially, a Davidoff cigar lounge, a 7,000sqft spa with a Givenchy treatment room and private wine cellars. 

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