While the beachside homes of Malibu receive most of the attention, the oceanfront community offers a number of secret neighborhoods. Located on the north side of Pacific Coast Highway, these properties stun with breathtaking views, generous acreage, and unparalleled privacy.
While set sway from the prying eyes of paparazzi and casual day-trippers, discerning homeowners are quick to appreciate the balance of amenities here: accessibility to the area’s natural and man-made charms—boutiques and specialty shops, restaurants, beaches, hiking paths and winding horse trails, with a bonus of generous acreage and seclusion.
Malibu Park, bordered on the north by the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area and on the south by Zuma Beach, is one of those areas. Quiet roads swing by well-hidden homes. Here, the lively and sophisticated center of Malibu, let alone the chaos of Los Angeles, seems like a distant memory.
Turning onto Merritt Drive from Busch Drive, the verdant basin of land that underlines the mesmerizing vista of mountains and sky enhances this impression. Perhaps it’s the solid wall, tinted the faint yellow tone of a European summer, that runs along two sides of the property, but Southern California seems to vanish, replaced by the quiet countryside of Italy.
The gate opens, confirming this feeling. The one-story ocean-view home, washed in the same glow, is at once grand and welcoming, its almost 12,000-square-foot size only dwarfed by the splendor of the incomparable setting.
Composed of three generous parcels, the property totals close to seven acres. Veiled by distance and foliage, neighbors seem nonexistent. Impeccably landscaped, the grounds conjure up memories of Europe’s legendary formal gardens—The Villa Borghese, The Tuileries—with flower-lined pathways meandering throughout, past lemon and orange trees (one, conveniently situated just outside the home’s kitchen).
There are pomegranate bushes, laden with ruby red fruit, here too. Benches beneath decades-old shade trees are picturesque spots for reading or meditation. As the weather warms, the flower garden, planted with roses and agapanthus, vibrates with color, while a vegetable garden with raised wooden beds serves up an abundant array of vegetables and herbs.
Why leave the tranquil comforts of a lazy Sunday morning at home for the drive to the Malibu Country Mart and weekly farmers’ market when the produce here rivals anything you might find there?
The world, in fact, is happy to come to this doorstep—where it can be easily accommodated. The driveway holds up to a dozen cars; a subterranean garage has parking for a half-dozen more (with its double-gated entryway, it’s the perfect place to stash a burgeoning collection of vintage vehicles). Those arriving to play in a casual tennis tournament will find a full-size tennis court with a backboard for solo practice.
A covered pergola with stadium seating overlooking the playing field is the perfect place for guests to enjoy strawberries and cream, a nod to Wimbledon’s storied tradition. Of course, snacks here mark a serious upgrade: fruit harvested from the garden. Later, friends enjoy a dip in the pool and relaxing in the spa before dinner is served; others can express their energy on the bocce ball court.
Nano doors that fully open the dining room to the pool eventually beckon the party inside. A glass ceiling filters the light to cast a glow over the room, while flames in the fireplace ease the transition from day to night. With the dining room situated towards the park-like grounds, dinner here is buoyed by the incomparable serenity and peace of the surroundings. Later, there will be drinks in the grand setting of the formal living room, coddled by the warmth of good conversation and, as the evening’s ideal top-off, a movie in the home’s media room with its oversized motorized screen and plush furniture.
Entertaining, however gracious, is only one aspect of what a home must accomplish. It must also demonstrate an ability to support a family’s daily activities. To this end are generous bedrooms with walk-in closets that allow everyone a space of their own, guest rooms to host friends and family, an inspiring place in which to work and, in a house of this size, comfortable quarters for live-in assistance.
Exceeding expectations, this home also is poised to take advantage of Southern California’s pleasant weather: each bedroom opens to the outdoors, framing magnificent views. En-suite bedrooms feature generous soaking tubs, steam showers, and bidets.
Yet, unlike many homes of this size, which attempt to overcome their shortcomings with showy features, this residence has an air of informality that is ideally suited to a community where jeans and a t-shirt is the appropriate uniform for every occasion. Similarly, here luxury is in the details—fine materials and flawless craftsmanship.
Consider the marble in luscious, rare colors (rose, racing green) that elevate the home’s 10 bathrooms; the mother of pearl tile in a powder room; the custom Provencal-inspired kitchen; the library, with its hand-carved built-in bookshelves; and, the expansive master suite, where two bathrooms, two dressing rooms with cedar-lined closets and a gym create a private sanctuary.
Features, from the custom screen doors to the home security system, which commands everything from the light patterns to the music—is of the highest quality. There are even outdoor dog houses and a dog washing station for family pets. Truly, this home has it all—and then some. Let others come here. With all of this at one’s fingertips, why ever leave?
OF COLDWELL BANKER, MALIBU
LIST PRICE $18,000,000
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF SIMON BERLYN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL JONASON