Created by Lavele, El UNICO Marbella is a made-to-measure lifestyle villa in La Zagaleta that belongs to an elite class of real estate in southern Spain, offering a new level of technical and aesthetic finishing, amenities, luxuries and deluxe villas surrounded by nature.

Words Michel Cruz, Photography Courtesy Of Lavele

Created by Lavele, El UNICO Marbella is a made-to-measure lifestyle villa in La Zagaleta that belongs to an elite class of real estate in southern Spain, offering a new level of technical and aesthetic finishing, amenities, luxuries and deluxe villas surrounded by nature.

Words Michel Cruz, Photography Courtesy Of Lavele

The road to La Zagaleta winds its way past golf courses and hillside communities amid wooded mountain slopes. The lower gate of one of Europe’s most select country clubs leads on to the prized southern section of what was once a hunting estate and is now a highly exclusive 900-hectare domain where the individual villas and mansions are separated by natural scenery, and deer and pheasants roam. “In winter, you can see a rainfall cascade from the east-facing side of the villa,” says Stephani Zambrano, who founded the boutique development company Lavele exactly to create the kind of one-off masterpieces that EL UNICO Marbella embodies.

“For us, designing and building this home is a serious business, but also a labour of love, for what could be more special than creating such an idyllic living environment?” As a young woman leading a team of builders, architects, engineers and technicians, you might think she provides only aesthetic input, but while EL UNICO Marbella is very much the product of her vision, Stephani is totally au fait with the technical side of things too. You see, this highly qualified civil engineer used to spend her time building bridges, shopping malls and commercial real estate, and it is this experience together with an innate sense of style and proportions that is driving her unique projects in Marbella.

A Complete Living Concept

EL UNICO Marbella occupies a concave hillside curve; a very private setting surrounded by the wooded greenery of La Zagaleta and marked by a simply breathtaking amphitheatre of views that sweep down across golf courses and countryside to the sea. You often hear that a house was designed to make the most of the views, but the rounded shape of EL UNICO Marbella truly follows the panorama that unfolds below it. In fact, there is nothing about this property that does not impress – to the point where this is a villa that clearly belongs to another level of luxury living in Marbella. More than that, EL UNICO Marbella represents a new kind of elite home that brings the international super category to our shores.

From the moment you pull into the driveway, park in the elegant forecourt and step through the six-metre front door into the imposing glass entrance, you’re entranced. Fountains and a cascade enliven one side of the entrance as the villa takes form in front you – a mesmerising interplay of architectural design, high-quality textural materials and the view shimmering through the glass frontage. In the evenings, the villa comes to life through richly ambient lights that shine out just as the sunlight illuminates the interior spaces during the day. Sleek in style, EL UNICO Marbella offers so much to see, so much detail to take in.

Opulence And Functionality

Architects will speak of form and function, and the importance of balancing these two fundamental components of a home, but working together with her husband Steven Leyzac – the founder of the KARTELLé Corporation, a major Canadian commercial developer – Stephani is creating a super class of home in which elements such as style, comfort, quality, space and amenities are matched by a level of functionality in construction, design, layout and practical facilities that is hard to find. “I build on my many years of experience in property development to include lots of storage space, ensure a good interior flow and use of space, as well as introducing new technologies and technical standards not commonly used here,” says Steven.

Together, they are a formidable team and it shows in EL UNICO, the ultimate evolution of their work in Marbella so far. “We’ve built spectacular villas in Canada, California and other parts of the world, but this is the finest yet. It’s simply a very complete home in the top segment, and one with multiple wow factors throughout.” The modern convex curvature of the villa’s design opens up an even more impressive window to the views, as well as creating a wonderful flow for the terraces and interior spaces on the four levels that make up the home.

The imposing entrance leads to an open living space fronted throughout by a panoramic deck, itself overlooking a rather spectacular 22-metre infinity pool with built-in seating area and bar. The elegant living room, with its ‘floating’ gas fireplace, the formal dining room and the expansive kitchen are all interconnected, linking also to the lounging and dining areas on the terrace. Two large islands create a social hub within the kitchen, which also features a stylish butler’s pantry complete with professional gas-fired appliances, revealed as panels slide away – should you want a chef to provide the catering for a private party. The sommelier will find a large collection of vintages in the stunning glass wine cellar, which is a design feature in its own right.

The other wing of the ground floor features a connected entertainment area with bar, indoor and outdoor relaxing spaces, an outdoor shower and bathroom/changing room. Linked but secluded, is a stylishly modern office with private entrance from the exterior and the hallway leading from the gently sloping multi-car garage. Not only is the latter fitted with a charging station and car washing equipment, complete with drainage system, but its glass frontage makes this a stylish modern gallery of beautiful cars – contemporary or classic.

A Jewel In The Crown Of La Zagaleta

EL UNICO Marbella is undoubtedly a jewel in La Zagaleta’s crown; one of the most impressive properties ever seen in Marbella, and part of a new generation of super living in the region. Art adorns the corridor that leads to the impressive glass staircases taking you up or down a level, in case you don’t wish to use the lift that connects four levels of luxury living. The lower floor is dedicated to entertainment, and its heated indoor pool with integrated Jacuzzi, spa circuit with sauna, Turkish baths, changing rooms and private massage space all enjoy natural light and inspiring Zen-like views of the wooded hills. This is also true of the adults’ entertainment bar and lounge, with movie room and private bowling alley, all adjacent to a children’s playroom that opens up to a comfortable outdoor garden and exterior cinema area. This level also features private guest and staff quarters.

The rooms that house the technical infrastructure of the property are discreetly tucked away, as is a potential panic room, while a discreet and comfortable staff apartment completes the lower level of EL UNICO Marbella. Of the total of nine bedroom suites in the villa, the first floor contains those that form part of the inner circle – the private domain of the family, with three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, dressing areas and terraces for children, a large second master suite for other family configurations, and a master suite that is an apartment in its own right – with a coffee corner, superlative his and hers dressing areas and a state-of-the-art bathroom, not to mention a private terrace with some of the best views from the house.

EL UNICO Marbella is a modern mansion that makes the jaw drop, and is resplendent in art, noble materials, modern luxuries and sculpted views. It is also highly practical and family-friendly. Few villas this size feature so much storage space, and as Steven says, you can never have too much of it, so he’s discreetly provided it throughout the house, as well as a total of four bars and two laundries – including a suction system in all rooms that delivers worn clothes to the washing machines. The pinnacle of this four-storey villa in La Zagaleta is, however, the rooftop leisure space, which includes a bar area, outdoor kitchen, elegant lounging and dining spaces, a floating Jacuzzi that appears to overhang the property, and a solar plant producing roughly 35kWh – making EL UNICO Marbella energy self-sufficient.

Without a doubt a villa that sets new standards, EL UNICO Marbella is the product of the design and construction vision of Stephani Zambrano, who brings a fresh concept of modern luxury and style to these shores, and building expertise of Steven Leyzac.

The result – a new jewel in the crown of La Zagaleta.


Tel: (+34) 610 315 729.