The bunnies have spoken: The Playboy mansion is falling apart. That's right, the Beverly Hills estate once as famed for its unique disco-era brand of decadent, overstuffed opulence as for its lavish parties hosted by Hugh Hefner has seen significantly better days.
That's according to Carla Howe, a 25-year-old Playboy Bunny who confessed to The Sun that she was less than impressed by the now 89-year-old's digs: a sprawling 14,217-square-foot, Gothic-style, seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom home in the exclusive Holmby Hills area with a game room, tennis courts, zoo, pool, and infamous grotto (complete with -- yes -- waterproof mattresses!).
All of which seemed spectacular once upon a time, but these days seem, well, a bit musty.
Hef "refuses to change anything in the mansion, and the whole place feels like it's stuck in the 1980s," Howe said.
The mansion isn't the only thing from Playboy's glory days that's now pass. Last week, Playboy Enterprises announced that it would be ditching its cutting-edge naked Girls of the PAC 10 magazine franchise, along with all of the other nude pics, starting with the March issue.
But while the publication is making at least token efforts to morph with the times, Hef's home remains a living time capsule of a bygone era. And he likes it that way!
Not everyone is so enthusiastic. In 2009, Bunny Izabella St. James, who met Hef in 2002, published "Bunny Tales," a tell-all about the dilapidated state of the randy octogenarian's home.
"Everything in the Mansion felt old and stale," St. James wrote. "And Archie the house dog would regularly relieve himself on the hallway curtains, adding a powerful whiff of urine to the general scent of decay." Nice!
It seems like a few small but key changes could give the crumbling icon (the mansion, that is) some new life. Hey, Hef, here are a few (DIY?) home improvement suggestions:
The game room
These days, the Bunnies say, Hef prefers to play chess, a quiet game requiring intense concentration. So maybe it's time to clear out all the noisy 1980s coin-operated arcade games such as Ms. Pac-Man and Frogger (um, Frogger?) and the half-dozen or so Playboy-licensed pinball machines. Instead, turn the place into a den of solitude. Or at least a quiet, well-appointed study reflective of a man of taste and means. Add some comfy chairs, shelves of first-edition books, and antique chessboards. Perhaps toss in some backgammon boards, too. Because you love backgammon!
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This world-famous swimming cave once packed with bikini-less Bunnies is now a sad, often empty reminder of steamy high jinks from days past (grotto groping is so '70s). So why not revamp the place as a holistic health center, where Hef and some of his similarly elderly best buds can ease the damage of decades of debauched living with relaxing dips in the whirlpool, followed by a hot stone massage and some herbal therapy.
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Zoos are so un-P.C. these days. And private zoos? Downright archaic. So Hef should let the cockatoos, peacocks, and squirrel monkeys run free -- better yet, find them a proper sanctuary far from Beverly Hills. Ditch the cages altogether, and give the area over to some schnauzers!
While it's kind of sad to see the Playboy mansion in decline, we think this former party central still has tons of potential. At the very least, Hef, change out those curtains.