The history of mankind bathing in self-made containers goes back nearly 6000 years to the Indus Valley in India, where archeologists have found copper water pipes within the ruins of a palace. In ancient Crete 3000 years later, the wealthiest Greeks bathed in pedestal tubs made of hardened pottery and almost 5 feet long. The Roman Empire took the indulgent ritual of bathing to new levels from 500 BC to 455 AD with lead and bronze popes, marble fixtures, and luxurious bathhouses.
In early 20th century U.S., the plumbing systems were sorely lacking, with only 1% of homes enjoying indoor plumbing as late as 1921. Most people still used outhouses, and it wasn’t until the housing boom post WWII that most houses had bathtubs – usually claw foot tubs at first.
We’ve come a long way, as these days almost every home has multiple bathtubs and showers as well. But luxury home builders, designers, and owners are getting back to the therapeutic and regenerative powers of bathing, with high-end bath tubs that are sure to impress.
To celebrate the art and aesthetics of bathing, here are the top 10 luxurious and most expensive bathtubs in the world:
10. EAGO by Blue Bath
This 6’ long ultra-modern bathtub delivers all of the amenities and luxury of more expensive tubs, but easy to install and at a price that’s reasonable for the average luxury homeowner. The EAGO even has a TV screen on board!
9. Le Cob Glass Bathtub
Designed by Joseph Licciardi, this unique minimalist tub is made of transparent glass, acrylic and metals, and curved to match the contours of the body. One side of the tub is slightly lower to crate an infinity pool effect, with a sheet of water cascading down into a bed of pebbles.
8. Diamond Bathtub
It took designer Lori Garner three years to complete this iconic work of bathing art, with the outer layer alone highlighting 45,000 individually-arranged Swarovski crystals. With some custom overhead lighting, these crystals will reflect and refract in a million distinct patterns and colors, creating a unique visual experience.
7. Kallista Archeo Copper Bathtub
This tub may appear modest at only 5 foot long and 2.5 feet wide, but it was actually designed by the same people who refurbished the Statue of Liberty’s torch. This solid copper bathing vessel can hold 71 gallons of water and emulates the look of ancient Greek bathtubs.
6. Serenity Bathtub
Only two feet long, this Serenity Bathtub is constructed from bronze, with gold and silver embedded stones. Only a small number of these limited editions tubs were ever made, ensuring they are luxury collector’s items.
5. Baldi Amethyst Bathtub
Following the trend of custom carved gemstones in the luxury home world, this tub is carved entirely from pristine amethyst, with 24K gold legs. You can even purchase matching amethyst lotion dispensers, soap dishes, and other accouterment.
4. Baldi Malachite Bathtub
This exquisite tub was made by iconic designer Luca Bojola, built entirely from fine turquoise malachite with 24K gold legs. Legend has it that the Malachite crystal emits energies that protect children, but you don’t need to be superstitious to enjoy this elegant crystal vessel.
3. Baldi Rock Crystal Bathtub
Another notable tub by the Italian interiors firm, Luca Bojola for Baldi, only three of these Rock Crystal tubs were ever made. Each one spans more than 8 feet and was carved from a 10-ton Amazonian crystal, then garnished with diamonds for good measure.
2. Golden Bathtub – Price: $990,000
The first tub to reach the near-million dollar mark, the legendary Golden Bathtub was first commissioned by the Kominato Hotel in Japan, where it was available for select high-end guests. Weighing in at more than 175 pounds, made from pure gold and carefully guarded by security, it would seem that it was immovable, yet the Golden Bathtub was stolen from the Kominato Hotel in 2007, and still no arrests or even leads exist.
1. Le Grand Queen
With a nearly two million-dollar price tag, the Le Grand Queen is considered the most expensive bathtub ever produced. Designer Simon Krapf carved the Le Grand Queen from 10 tons of a rare gemstone called Caijou, thought to have mythical healing properties, with a shape inspired by a traditional Indonesian canoe. Caijou is so precious and rare that Krapf kept the source of their mine a secret, even when it was purchased by an anonymous Arab buyer at the Dubai International Jewelry Festival for $1.7 million.
If you've enjoyed these bathtubs, look for part two of this blog where we introduce 10 luxurious bathtubs you can afford to put in any home!