Home Tours

Billy Joel’s Florida Retreat: We Love It Just the Way It Is

The award-winning singer-songwriter’s Florida Gold Coast residence is a seaside stunner

Six-time Grammy winner Billy Joel may have once released a platinum album called “Glass Houses” (1980), but his taste in homes is certainly less “transparent.” Joel’s very private waterfront estate on the Intracoastal Waterway in Manalapan, Florida, is currently on the market, and Luxury Defined was recently granted the opportunity to take a look at one of the Piano Man’s favorite getaways.

Joel’s expansive 13,000-square-foot compound on Manalapan’s exclusive Ocean Road straddles both waterfronts—the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway. The home itself looks out on the Intracoastal, while an additional parcel across the street allows ocean access. The residence presents its noble Mediterranean façade to visitors immediately upon entering the gated driveway, yet it partially conceals the surprising airiness of the interiors once the threshold is crossed.

After opening the magnificent front doors, visitors are ushered into a foyer with a dramatic turret-style marble staircase, whose intricate wrought-iron banister curves its way upward, brightened by a double-deck of oversized arched windows.

A marble staircase leads guests to a grand gallery overlooking the dining hall and waterfront vistas beyond.
A marble staircase leads guests to a grand gallery overlooking the dining hall and waterfront vistas beyond.
Further inside, a majestic two-story dining hall is reached via a gleaming, colonnaded walkway. This grand dining space looks out through multiple French doors on to the pool terrace and waterway beyond, and enjoys an elegant woodburning stone fireplace and a hand-stenciled coffered wood ceiling.

At the southern end of the main level is an immaculate, European-style kitchen, with a barrel-vaulted ceiling of Chicago brick, gleaming white-granite counters, and rich mahogany cabinets. Kitchen amenities are all state of the art: a six-burner Wolf gas range with double ovens; dual Miele dishwashers; Wolf steamer; duel Sub-Zero refrigerators and freezers; and a Summit wine cooler. A breakfast bay off the kitchen opens out into a loggia facing the waterway. Adjacent is a family/club room with a wet bar and seating at a wraparound onyx counter. The room also harbors a piano frequently played by Mr. Joel himself.

The second story, which may be reached by staircases or an elevator, is notable for its gallery overlooking the dining hall and benefits from both Atlantic and Intracoastal views. Farther down is the stunning master suite, which enjoys an inviting sitting area and a fireplace, a private balcony with water views, walk-in closets, and two marble-and-onyx baths. Another wing of the second story hosts three en suite bedrooms, each with its own balcony.

Perhaps just as significant as the indoor spaces are the grounds, which virtually double the entertaining area of the estate. An outdoor colonnaded loggia and terrace is perfect for gatherings, with a generous seating capacity and a fireplace nook overlooking the saltwater pool, fountained spa, summer kitchen and bar, and cabana bar. A dock on the Intracoastal Waterway accommodates the boating enthusiast.

On the north end of the property is a detached, air-conditioned four-bay garage, and above it is a guest house with two bedrooms and a bath. Across the street to the east are the oceanfront grounds that include a dune walkway and 150 feet of beach.

Having undergone a total renovation in 2015, Joel’s fully furnished Florida beachhead is now ready to welcome a new owner. But whether it’s used for entertainment, contemplation, relaxation, or celebration, this home still bears Joel’s imprint, and is still “Rock and Roll” to us.