First-class amenities, elegant and expansive grounds and unparalleled privacy equal an elevated view of Malibu living, with a French twist.
While many properties assume estate status to project a notion of expansiveness and glamour, few truly deserve the moniker. A true estate denotes a home that ticks every crucial box: breathtaking views and expansive acreage with a beautiful house whose design is at once timeless and contemporary, where gracious public rooms and elegant private quarters are perfectly harmonious.
This property also must support a full range of activities, from tennis to horseback riding, swimming to sunbathing. It must be impeccably landscaped with beautiful gardens that are both a visual and gustatory delight. Of course, location, privacy and accessibility must be accounted for too. The final flourish: that the property standout among its perceived equals, offering that je ne sais quoi that makes it truly memorable. So it is that 3250 Serra Road positions itself as the ideally imagined estate.
Overlooking the Pacific, the estate’s French-inspired chateau lords over nearly 5 acres. Located in Malibu’s prestigious Serra Retreat, and nestled within the hills of lower Malibu Canyon, it is as its name suggests: a true respite from the hustle and bustle of city life with two well-guarded entrances (one on Cross Creek Road, the other off Pacific Coast Highway). An exclusive enclave limited to 100 lots, its winding roads, mature sycamore trees and fragrant eucalyptus groves settle a Zen sensibility over the area that is underscored by the Franciscan monastery at the center of the neighborhood.
While well-hidden from the long lens of paparazzi cameras and casual-day trippers, the location nevertheless offers easy accessibility to Malibu’s natural and man-made charms—its high-end boutiques and specialty shops, well-loved restaurants (Malibu Farm at The Pier is mere moments away), pristine beaches, winding hiking paths, profuse of horse trails and weekly farmers’ market. Such centrality means that even the Palisades, Santa Monica and Venice are only a short and pleasant drive south. Straddling residential sophistication and solitude, this estate enjoys the best of both worlds.
But while location is pivotal to the real estate picture, a home of its echelon demands more. This home exceeds expectations before one arrives at the front door, with the soft golden glow, variegated landscaping, wrought-iron touches, stone fencing and warm wooden window and door frames all exterior elements that speak to southern France. This initial impression is only reinforced inside the main residence, which, despite its palatial 7,814 square feet, is immediately inviting. Rooms here manage that European trick of being at once grand and architecturally well proportioned, never crossing the fine line separating generous from cavernous.
One will be quite keen to welcome a professional chef into the home’s kitchen, which works well for casual cooking and grand entertaining. Designed by master chef Wolfgang Puck, the space is equal parts form and function, working as beautifully as it looks. From carved custom wood cabinetry to the views, the splendor of this behind-the-scenes room matches that which is also seen throughout the rest of the home. A long preparation counter, tasting island, and separate cooking station, along with plenty of square footage for a battery of waiters and prep cooks, will impress even the most veteran catering crew.
Certainly this home is beautifully suited for entertaining, if not the ideal vision of the word, when the wrought-iron gates swing open to usher guests past the home’s security outpost and into a fairytale land of ornate fountains, cascading water features, winding paths, rose gardens, and Monet-inspired lily ponds that conjure up the palaces of French nobility. This is underlined by a 17th century architectural folly, a whimsical feature of only the grandest homes, and the two-story ballroom, punctuated by a sparkling crystal chandelier. Glass pivot doors line the living spaces, capturing awe-inspiring mountain and ocean vistas.
Dazzle guests with a plethora of activities: there’s a six-stall equestrian facility and a riding ring; lighted tennis court with view terrace; Crestron-engineered cinema; resort-style pool with bathhouse; wood-paneled library; and barbecue area, where winding down the day means soaking in the warm glow emanating from the fireplace. No need for a jaunt to the farmers’ market, other than as an excursion—this home’s organic vegetable garden and fruit orchard ensure that the delights of fresh produce are always on the menu. Separate staff quarters, meanwhile, guarantee that every occupant of this home is well pampered.
While this home encourages creating occasion as a frequent exercise, whether hosting the memorable event to a simple get-together, this house was made for whatever the moment. With a glass filled with the last drops of a premium vintage plucked from the climate-controlled wine cellar, and indulged with a view from the master suite’s terrace, it’s clear: amid all this bliss is the sine qua non of luxurious estate living.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF SANDRO DAZZAN
Sandro Dazzan 424.249.7040
and Cooper Mount 310.351.9002
List Price $19,950,000