There are dream locations in Marbella but few that combine an impactful frontline beach location with a modern villa of this calibre. La Perla Blanca is just that – a white pearl on the Marbella shore.

The finest properties are not located at the side of the highway for all to see, but discreetly ensconced in exclusive residential areas. The very best also command the kind of settings upon which the classic real estate adage of ‘location, location, location’ is built. Prime among these is a frontline beach location right upon the sand, but if yours is a property with a wide frontage set upon a spacious private plot overlooking a very secluded stretch of beach, you really do belong to the upper echelons of the Marbella real estate market.

This is true of La Perla Blanca, a 12-bedroom villa that is luxurious in the true sense of the word. “We could have fitted two villas on this beachfront plot but the owner wanted to create something special that does justice to what is a uniquely beautiful location,” says Ian Waudby,  project leader of Crest Group International. And indeed, while the beautiful trees that surround one as you enter the grounds firmly place the home in the Mediterranean belt, the uncluttered, open views out to sea are somehow of an international standard.

Niklaus Haug, the owner, is a property developer with a large portfolio of projects in Switzerland. He specialises in creating added value through beautiful architectural design and top specifications, and has outdone himself with La Perla Blanca: “We have put an enormous amount of effort into the building and furnishing of this magnificent property and are thrilled with the results we have achieved. La Perla Blanca represents in many ways the culmination of my life experience in building quality homes, and I take enormous pride and satisfaction in it.”

Standing on the terrace overlooking the pool, garden and the sea that stretches out beyond, this could be Hawaii, California, the Cote d’Azur or some gem of the Australian coast, so while it is very centrally located between Marbella and Estepona, this sophisticated villa rises well above the norm even for a luxury resort area like this. What’s more, a modern beachside mansion of this kind is rare, and perhaps not surprisingly given the fact that the best spots are always chosen first, La Perla Blanca has arisen on the site of an older beachside villa.

The Project

Indeed, it would be against the odds to expect a site such as this to have remained untouched over decades, so when it became available the present owner took it with existing property and all. “We studied the market, but always from the premise that we wanted to create a truly special property on this spot,” says Niklaus. The location therefore demands a uniquely luxurious and sophisticated villa, but rather than follow the latest trends slavishly, Ian and his team looked at ways of creating a home that exceeds Marbella expectations.

“The first inspiration lay in the existing house, which was designed some decades ago in the style of an Arabic villa. While we knew the architectural style and decorative finishing of the new villa would be quite different, it became clear that the original home’s layout had a lot to offer.” Its low-slung look would provide the blueprint for the modern property, which makes the most of its broad sea-facing plot to shy away from a tall structure and offer more appealing proportions in which the property’s flanks provide a very efficient and pleasing distribution of living spaces.

As a result, the upper floor is mostly made up of the private master suite which, besides offering exquisite comfort and style within its own wing, also has direct access to the rooftop area with its extensive lifestyle zones. These include a panoramic bar and lounge area with a state-of-the-art Jacuzzi. Half a level up is another chill-out lounge from which the views across the garden, the park-like expanse behind the house and of course the sea add to the relaxing ambience. This area also includes a small indoor gym and spa with massage treatment rooms, sauna and steam bath, completing a sophisticated leisure zone that also communicates with the garden and terrace below.

A Rhythm of Life

Good architecture can produce a rhythm that sets the tone for a lifestyle in which the different parts of the home each evoke a particular atmosphere and mood. In the case of La Perla Blanca there is a discernable slowing down of pace as soon as you enter the forecourt surrounded by tall pine trees and views of lawns and the waves crashing on the beach nearby. This is also the soundtrack to this villa, which the largely level plot notwithstanding, the designer has endowed with several split levels that add intimacy to the living spaces and break down their volumes – linking them while also providing an intimate scale and mood for each room.

This is true of the rooftop lounge zone, the terrace and the cosy poolside seating area set half a level down from the surrounding lawn. The built-in seats are arranged in a circle around what can be a table or a warm glowing fire in winter, proving that creative features of this kind can add value to a home both in an aesthetic and a practical way. From this snug, chilled position you would look out over the immaculate lawn, the sleek swimming pool with its specially sourced sea green tiles, the wooden pool deck and the terrace that runs along the length of the villa and offers unique outdoor spots in which to lounge, entertain, dine, take breakfast or simply enjoy some peace and privacy.

If the flow of the house provides a peaceful, refined and very private ambience in a way that was partly inspired by the original property, then the surroundings round the process off beautifully, for this is a setting that is not just hard to beat, but also one where the waves, birdsong, the landscaped floral beauty and the blue hues of sea and sky combine to produce a very harmonious beachfront experience. La Perla Blanca exudes the sophistication and privacy of a personal estate yet finds itself within a few minutes of San Pedro, Estepona, Benahavís, Puerto Banús and Marbella. Moreover, as public parking and access to the area are limited, this is a very quiet stretch of coastline.

Design Worthy of the Setting

From the architect and the developer to the landscaper and the interior designer, this is a property where each was given a very particular brief: to create something especially unique, a home truly worthy of its privileged setting. Each worked in conjunction with the other to achieve this, led by Ian Waudby and his team: “We added a lower level to provide ample room for a private cinema, an indoor heated swimming pool and an area in which to create any combination of leisure spaces. As always, natural light, style, comfort and easy access to different parts of the property such as the garden were criteria we set ourselves, of course not forgetting continuing the pleasing flow of the villa on this floor as well.”

The result is a luxurious beachfront villa that follows modern Mediterranean architectural lines but manages to surprise even the trained eye with its use of light, space and features that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Thanks to its arrangement, the villa is spacious and imposing, with open, interconnected living areas that are also intimate and inviting. In this way the home is made up of different areas each with an ambience that follows its function, ensuring that the entrance hallway flows on to the elegant living room, dining room and kitchen, and on to two different ground floor wings that house the villa’s main bedroom suites and guest quarters respectively. Though it doesn’t seem so, this is a property with twelve bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, though none are to be found along a long, narrow corridor.

The decorative styling of a home of this calibre is the crowning glory of a design that runs all the way from original concept through to soft furnishings. Andrea Böck of Ambience Home Design in Marbella was chosen to undertake this important role and dress the different parts of this imposing villa. Using a blend of contemporary and timeless elements brought together with a knowing touch, she has created an interior that reflects the property in how it exudes quality and taste yet also manages to surprise and delight the senses. The tones are refined and well-balanced, the materials, furnishings and artwork solid and eye-catching, and though the décor follows the flow of each area of the villa, the overall feel is of contemporary finesse and distinction. Together with a singular location, they are the building blocks of beachfront splendour.

As Christopher Clover, Managing Director of Panorama Properties, which markets the villa, says:

“The qualities of La Perla Blanca, as well as the amazing décor, make this property one which is unique on the market and wonderfully suitable for a large family looking to live in a sophisticated modern beachfront property within a truly privileged setting. We are proud to be offering this home and believe it sets the benchmark for future villa construction in the Marbella area.”