Mystery and intrigue has always surrounded the infamous Playboy Mansion – especially when it comes to the property's notorious grotto.

The sprawling pad is one of Los Angeles' most iconic properties and welcomed a host of celebrities and socialites before it closed its doors a few years ago.

Holmby Hills was the home of Hugh Hefner, who lived there for more than four decades with a group of "girlfriends", that he called the "bunnies."

But it wasn't until the magazine mogul was laid to rest in 2017 that many of his former acquaintances came forward to share their experiences.

And this year, his former butler released memoirs to share his experiences in the notorious property.

Stefan Tetenbaum, Hef's employee in the late ’70s and early ’80s, exposes “the dark underbelly of the treatment of his girlfriend and the other women who wanted to be part of the Playboy world professionally and behind the bedroom doors".

And in his book, Stefan spoke candidly about preparing the Playboy Mansion and grotto for sex parties.

Recalling setting up the scene for the first time, he said: “Inside the grotto, I lit dozens of small candles.

“I set the towels and robes in their place and spread the baby oil around the cave where it would be convenient to get to.

“The grotto itself was constructed with Palos Verdes stone. Six separate bathing areas were set into the floor… two passages lay under candles reflected on the surface of the water. A million stars.

“I started the jacuzzi engines. Soon the grotto was a sea of churning water, steam rising to the ceiling. I exited.

“Nearby, a butler walked into the bathhouse, a few steps behind him was one of the centrefolds, wearing a short terry bathrobe.”

The grotto not only needed setting up – it also needed a big clean up every night.

He penned: “Jon (head butler) called over instructions to clean up the grotto from last night’s bathing orgy.

“Out in the grotto, two girls floated in the warm bubbling water, like turtles, their breasts rising above the surface, then sinking down again…

“I had to replace all the baby oil bottles. They must be drinking the stuff, I thought.

“I would discover most of the oil ended up in the water, eventually clogging the Jacuzzi filters, no matter to the Great Playboy. Bring on the oil.”

Stefan isn't the only one to give an insight into what visiting the grotto was like.

Playboy star Melissa Howe revealed that the infamous mansion Grotto saw that much sex, the water became infected.

The Berkshire born model, 31, lived at Hefner's famous Los Angeles mansion between 2013 and 2017, alongside her twin, Carla.

She told the Daily Star: "I knew things were going on because we had a grotto in the garden, there would be craziness going on in the grotto with random people hooking up.

"The water was infected because they shut the grotto off…

"We'd be chilling in groups because it was like a sauna, boiling up but when we heard that we were like 'okay, we're not going in there', people were having sex in the grotto."


Katie Price is another celebrity who made her mark on Hef's grotto.

The former glamour model, 42, stayed in Hugh Hefner's iconic former home for six weeks when she was younger.

And during her Cardiff tour in 2017, she admitted: "When I was younger I lived with Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion for about six weeks, but to be a girlfriend you have to do the deed and I did not want to do the deed.

"He's a really nice guy though. I just didn't want to do it.

"But I went to the famous grotto and I marked my territory – I p***ed in it."

Hugh Hefner died in 2017 after living until he was 91 and since then the house has been sold and is empty, a shadow of its former glory.

The Playboy Mansion now has no one living there.

It has been bought by billionaire Daren Metropoulos, who agreed to restore the house to its "original grandeur" when city officials rallied to make it a designated historic landmark.

We wonder if they'll be bringing the infamous grotto back to life!

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