A regal residence in Bel-Air

Behind the walls of this gated Bel-Air estate lies a palatial compound fit for royalty. Its lavish entertainment space includes an outdoor pavilion with a kitchen between the tennis courts and swimming pool.

The property was bought in 1989 by Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, now the king of Saudi Arabia, who tore down the existing structure and built a French mansion with nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two half-bathrooms and a two-story guesthouse. A lot on the west side of the compound, large enough to accommodate a third house, completes the 2.38 acres of grounds.

The property was sold in 1992, and the new owner had it redesigned by North Hollywood architect Ron Firestone and remodeled. Plans for an additional 8,700-square-foot house, drawn by Firestone, are included in the $38-million list price.

Walking into the reception area, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, leaded glass windows and doors, gold-leaf moldings and flowered ceiling appliques are at every turn.

French doors in the marble-floored living room open onto balconies that wrap around the house and look onto sweeping lawns.

Opposite the reception area is a dining room that seats up to 50, lined by columns that create separate walkways on two sides of the room. A theater/great room features a floor-to-ceiling fireplace with a hand-carved mahogany rendering of a mountain and river scene above the mantel.

A butler’s serving room connects to a kitchen with two center islands and a breakfast nook under skylights. A secondary kitchen leads to the utility area, with access to staff apartments that have their own bathrooms and separate entrances.

Upstairs, the master suite spans 4,000 square feet, with the bed on a raised platform facing three big-screen TVs mounted in the opposite wall. A custom, built-in dresser and mirror cover another wall. Behind the bed is a dressing room.

The queen’s spa and boutique features silver and gold-leaf vanities with a shower, steam shower, spa tub on a platform and mirrored walls. The king’s bathroom is done with jade marble walls and flooring, a massive shower, spa tub, dressing area and a stained-glass ceiling.

A guest room with hand-painted flowers on a wall of closet doors is opposite a secondary master suite with sitting area, a bathroom with mirrored walls, and a dressing room.

The fitness center includes a hair salon, massage room, wet and dry saunas, and a bathroom/dressing area.

The guesthouse is split into two complete apartments, with a kitchen, dining area, three bedrooms and three bathrooms on each level. The downstairs level has an additional half-bath. There is a motor court for 20 cars and a four-car garage.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to