Surrounded by rolling hills of lovingly cultivated land, where sunflowers add a splash of van Gogh brilliance to the undulating terrain, stands this beautiful country property that has been tastefully restored to offer sumptuous comfort, style and refinement in the most stunning of settings.

Those who have lived in Marbella for a while and/or ventured into the beautiful interior will be familiar with the Serranía de Ronda, the chain of mountain ranges and green valleys that stretch inland from La Zagaleta upwards. It is a world of little white villages and elegant country towns such as Ronda, but head in a north-westerly direction and the terrain begins to change, the gradient softening from mountain ranges to gently rolling hills and open fields dotted with wooded groves.

Here, where the sky is filled with the song of pretty little birds darting around wild flowers and brightly coloured bushes, Marbella is a little over an hour distant but you might as well be in another world, for this is a place devoid of heavy traffic, maddening crowds and cramped spaces. Little country villages dot the surrounding plains, ensuring there is always a rustic town centre or authentic eatery to head for, with the bright lights and international airports of Seville and Jerez 40 minutes away.

Surrounded by natural beauty, you come off a provincial road linking two nearby villages on to a well-tended gravel track that leads directly to a country property that stands proudly amid beautifully tended land. All around are a delicate blanket of orchards, olive trees, farmland and wooded groves, and they hold the property in a lush, fertile embrace that makes this a very peaceful, pleasant and authentic place – indeed, an idyllic spot that offers a paradise of relaxation and quality of living.

Classical Style with a Contemporary Twist

Entering the property in this way creates a sense of arrival that is heightened as you follow the gravel driveway to a forecourt that already exudes the tasteful refinement and superbly relaxing ambience of the estate. A single glance at the property and its grounds tells you that it is the product of a skilful and detailed renovation project – indeed, a labour of love. The owners have both a knowing touch and lots of experience, having renovated country homes of all kinds and sizes before in the UK, France and this region of Spain. And it shows, for the reformed Palacio de Montellano is the coming together of natural talent and design flair coupled with the practical and technical skills acquired over many years.

“This is the finest property we have ever restored and as such is the crowning culmination of everything we have done before,” says Adrian Day, who loved the setting as soon as he saw it and recognised a gem in the country home. “It just needed a loving touch to restore it to its original state of beauty, so we decided to remain faithful to authenticity and add elements in the spirit of the traditional style rather than changing it too much. Naturally, this was all matched to modern levels of comfort and amenities, so in essence we created a contemporary home with a modern interpretation of country chic in a classically styled building.”

The result is captivating, for as you access the large patio, with its manicured orange trees and traditional stone tiles underfoot, the manor rises up in all its splendour, fresh against the clear blue sky in whitewash edged with dark terracotta detailing. Before you stands the main house, flanked on both sides by low-slung cottages that accommodate a total of five beautifully decorated suites with individually styled bedrooms, bathrooms and relaxing private terrace overlooking a glorious section of open countryside. The vantage points to be enjoyed from this property are many, including those seen from the raised position of the very private ‘winter’ terrace, which forms a perfect spot for relaxing, entertaining or hosting intimate events throughout the year.

A Country Estate with Modern Comforts

One of the wings also houses a surprise, but I will come back to that later, for open the large front door and what you see is like an image leaping off the pages of a design or travel magazine. The entrance hall, with its tall ceiling, used to be a passage for horses but now connects both sides of the senorial home. The two doors that link the patio at the front and the pool deck and terrace at the rear of the house are usually ajar, allowing the refreshing breezes typical of the area to keep the temperature perfect throughout the long warm season – and they provide a stunning visual as your gaze is drawn to the swimming pool and the little Moorish-inspired nook from which you look back across the pool to the villa, while enjoying a shaded and cool setting.

The entrance includes a storage room and cloakroom, all in the exquisite style of this remarkable property. Head to the left and you come to a spacious living room that is a picture of elegance and tasteful refinement. The wooden beams that line the tall ceiling add just the right note, as do classical shutters and window sills, a grand fireplace with woodburning oven and beautifully finished bay windows from which to take in the marvellous scenery beyond. Step out onto a very private terrace and you feel the natural setting begin to ooze away the city stress. In perfect harmony and symmetry, the opposite side of the home is an equally spacious and stylish country kitchen with modern touches and appliances that complement a fantastic restored Aga oven.

A Smeg fridge rounds it all off, making this a wonderful spot in which to gather as you cook, enjoy breakfast or have a formal meal. For the latter two, you can choose between the indoor dining facilities and another delightful terrace, which like all the others in the property, blends wonderful country views with a very intimate, relaxing feel. Upstairs, the symmetry and balance continue in the form of two large, luxurious suites connected in the middle by an open-plan study with inspiring vistas. Each of the two generously proportioned bedrooms has its own style, completing the feel of a private apartment within the house. The suites each consist of an opulent bathroom, a large bedroom with wood burner, a sitting area and a private terrace.

Resort Luxuries

The overriding style is Spanish-Mediterranean, with other European and also Moroccan touches. “Though we have remained true to the authentic feel of this home, we did introduce some Moroccan décor elements, because they add a sensual touch to the interior décor and also have a cultural connection with this region,” says Adrian. This is most visible in the final part of the property, the pièce de résistance of a private hammam bath housed within one of the wings facing the charming patio courtyard. Featuring an indoor pool that is heated in the winter, along with massaging and relaxing spaces, endows the property with its own spa facility – a luxury that, together with the other amenities, makes this refined country home not just a wonderful year-round residence or private country retreat in which to get away from all the madness, but also a property with business potential, for it lends itself to being a luxury boutique hotel and/or a venue for retreats and special events.

In fact, the property’s beauty and potential have already been spotted by location scouts for fashion shoots and luxury brand launches, providing the gorgeous backdrop of a new Chester Barrie Savile Row tailor’s catalogue as well as a product launch venue for Bentley. With such modern pedigree and its classical heritage restored, this is one of the finest country homes in Andalucía today.


Click to see a video recently shot at the property.

For events contact: Instagram @thepalaciospain For sale with Cluttons Andalucia, Centro Comercial Cristamar, Local 1, Puerto Banús, Marbella. Tel: (+34) 951 400 298.