Although Michael Jackson’s most famous home is, of course, Neverland Ranch, he spent his final years at this 1.7 acre compound in Las Vegas, Nevada known as Hacienda Palomino (also known as the “Thriller Villa”).
I have a wonderful opportunity to visit the mansion thanks to the Liberace Foundation President, Jonathan Warren, who invited me for a special tour. Warran knows the history of this place as well as anyone, because he is in charge to the iconic mansion.
I was incredibly impressed with everything I saw, and of course, took a lot of pictures. One the famous gloves that he used to wear in his concerts, his favorite spot, paintings, antique items, the chapel, the living room and more were among the things that I saw while visiting.
The “Thriller Villa” compound, with seven bedrooms and 12 full bathrooms is northwest of the famous Strip, at 2710 Palomino Lane, northwest of Charleston Boulevard and Rancho Drive.
The Las Vegas residence, once known as “Hacienda Palomino,” is now nicknamed “Thriller Villa” in reference to Jackson’s sixth studio album (released in 1982) and its namesake hit song, “Thriller.”
The main entrance into the Spanish Mediterranean-style estate leads to a sunlit foyer that features a custom wood ceiling, arched windows and a wrought-iron door offering access to an expansive courtyard. Off to the left is a life size portrait of Jackson sitting on a red chair, reminding visitors of its most famous tenant.
Although basements are a rarity in Las Vegas, Schmidt built one anyway — a large one at that, measuring 7,394 square feet. Called the “artist’s vault,” the basement’s temperature, low humidity and lighting make it a good place for art storage.
The supersized basement served a secondary purpose: It also provided an underground passageway between the mansion and the guest house.
Another area where Jackson displayed his art was an unusual room called the “chapel” that is reminiscent of an old-fashioned theater, where second-story balcony seating overlooks the first floor. The acoustics and sound quality of the room is described as “pitch perfect.”
Ornate interior elements reflect a massive redesign by Thriller Villa’s current owner Aner Iglesias, a businessman who is the honorary consular of El Salvador in the Nevada Consular Corps. He purchased the property in 2004 for $3.5 million as a second home.
Ironically, two of the most intriguing performers ever to be associated with Las Vegas never shared the same stage in life. But now, years after they’ve both passed, you can find the legacies of master showman Liberace, and Michael Jackson together under one roof, with some diplomatic help from the consular community.
One was the pianist, “Mister Showmanship,” who performed here from the mid-40s to mid-80s. The other was a singer and dancer, the “King of Pop,” who first played Las Vegas with the Jackson Five in the early 70’s and grew to love the city.
Today, you can find the collection from the Liberace Museum in the mansion that was home to Michael Jackson in his final years. Some of his fancy clothes, albums, jewelry, paintings, furniture and more are on display there.
Jackson’s home occasionally hosts private events for the Las Vegas and international community, but is not open to the public. However, if the chance ever arises, be sure to check out this sprawling hacienda with an amazing and storied history.