The 22,000 square foot (1,951 square meter) house is described as being in the "Gothic-Tudor" style by Forbes magazine, and sits on 5.3 acres. It was built by architect Arthur R. Kelly in 1927 and acquired by Playboy in 1971 for about $1.2 million. It sits close to the extreme northwestern corner of the exclusive Los Angeles Country Club, near UCLA and the Bel-Air Country Club. Over the years, approximately $15 million has been invested in renovating and expanding the mansion and the current market value of the home is $50 million.
The mansion has 22 rooms including a wine cellar, a game room, a private zoo and aviary (and related pet cemetery), tennis courts, a waterfall and a large swimming pool area (including a patio and barbecue area, the famous grotto, a sauna and a bathhouse). These features and many others have been frequently showcased on television.
The game room, a separate building on the property's north-side, is more properly called a game house. From the fountain in front of the main entrance, there are two sidewalks, which run past a wishing-well. The sidewalk on the right leads to the game house and runs past a Hollywood Star of Hugh Hefner. Its front entrance opens to a game room with a pool table in the center. This room has a number of vintage and modern arcade games, pinball machines, player piano, jukebox, television, stereo, and couch. The game house has two wings. Walking to the left, one finds a room with a soft cushioned floor, mirrors all around, television, and an exit. There is also a restroom with a shower. The right wing of the game house has a smaller restroom, and entrance to a bedroom. This bedroom is also connected to another bedroom, which has an exit to the rear backyard of the game house. The game house has a backyard with lounge chairs, and gates on either side.
It became famous during the 1970s because of Hefner's lavish parties. According to Bridget Marquardt on an episode of The Girls Next Door the Mansion is the only private residence in the city of Los Angeles with a permit for fireworks displays.
Although there may be others, a secret room known as the "Elvis Suite" is said to have been kept out of the public view, even for frequent and important visitors for more than thirty years. In a recent TV interview ( March, 2007), and when asked about the room, and why is it so secret, Hefner - who is an avid Elvis Presley admirer -, explained the suite is special to him because when the singer came to town one night in the early seventies, he stayed in that suite taking with him, to bed, no less than 8 girls. He further confirmed that whenever movie stars, or sports stars, and rappers come there to chill out, they always request the "Elvis Suite", but that it remains, and will most likely remain, off limits. Hefner also added "Yeah, Elvis loved women, of all colours"