All about the most exclusive community in Europe: La Zagaleta

The pinnacle of luxury living in Marbella, Spain. This exceptional residential enclave, often acclaimed as Europe's most opulent, provides an unparalleled lifestyle experience. Here, the charm of meticulously crafted villas, world-class golf courses, and an elite community come together to offer you an oasis of tranquillity.

La Zagaleta, located in Marbella, is a distinctive locale frequented by many celebrities. Catering to the current trend of escaping urban bustle, it offers an unparalleled way of life, making it a preferred dwelling place for those yearning for tranquillity and serenity in their homes. Its inherent beauty, sustainability, and picturesque surroundings make it a highly desirable spot. For those who enjoy the luxury of working remotely, it is considered the perfect retreat for either permanent living or maintaining a secondary residence.

Table of contents

La Zagaleta: The Pinnacle of Luxurious Living in Marbella

Experience the zenith of luxury at La Zagaleta, an opulent residential hub in the heart of Marbella, Spain. A collection of bespoke villas, premier golf courses, and an exclusive community blend seamlessly to give you an oasis of comfort and tranquillity. Embrace a refined lifestyle, indulge in nature's bounty, and savour the serenity. An unmatched investment opportunity beckons you at La Zagaleta.

What is La Zageleta

La Zagaleta is an enclave of unparalleled luxury and prestige, positioned as one of Europe's most exclusive gated communities. Situated in Marbella, Spain, its origins trace back to 1991 when it began as a private hunting estate, encompassing 900 hectares of protected forested areas and lush valleys.

Currently, La Zagaleta boasts 230 properties within its secured boundaries, with available plots that have the potential to increase this figure by 190. This suggests that La Zagaleta could potentially house up to 420 properties, a vision once imagined by one of its investors, Enrique Perez Flores, during the 1990s.

This sophisticated residential complex seamlessly marries independence, seclusion, and serenity with a mesmerizing ambiance, offering amenities and services that stand in a league of their own. Residents enjoy private access to 50 km of internal roads winding through the valleys, and a plethora of recreational and sporting facilities. These include two golf courses, two clubhouses, an equestrian centre, a tennis club, and a concierge service. A distinct feature is its private helipad, catering to exclusive arrivals, emphasizing the essence of opulence that La Zagaleta embodies.

Yet, La Zagaleta is not merely a location; it has evolved into a way of life.

La Zagaleta: A Celebrity Haven in Marbella

La Zagaleta, a unique spot nestled in Marbella, has become a popular haunt for numerous celebrities. Addressing the contemporary desire to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, it delivers an incomparable lifestyle. This makes it a sought-after residence for those seeking peace and calm in their dwelling. The intrinsic allure, commitment to sustainability, and its scenic setting render it immensely attractive. For individuals who relish the privilege of remote work, La Zagaleta stands out as an idyllic sanctuary for both primary and secondary living arrangements.

When was La Zagaleta founded?

In 1990, Enrique Perez Flores, alongside a group of investors, acquired a 900-hectare plot in Benahavis. This land was previously owned by Saudi millionaire Adnan Khashoggi and was known as "La Baraka", serving as his private hunting ground. Perez envisioned creating a private estate surrounded by nature, planning to build 420 homes nestled in the foothills of the Serranía de Ronda. The development of the first golf course, internal roads, and homes commenced in 1992. By 1994, the original clubhouse was inaugurated and opened for use.

What is the history of La Zagaleta?

Originally, La Zagaleta, along with several other plots of land, belonged to Thierry Roussel, a French multimillionaire. Inheriting this vast estate, Roussel's family once owned what is now recognized as El Madroñal, La Zagaleta, and La Reserva de Alcuzcuz, amassing a total of 1,500 hectares of land. The sprawling estate began to be partitioned when Saudi multimillionaire Adnan Khashoggi took a fancy to it and proposed to purchase parts of the land from the Roussel family.

Khashoggi then designated the northern zone of the estate as La Baraka. Here, he constructed numerous lavish villas and hosted exclusive events and parties that mirrored the glitz and allure of Marbella during the 1980s.

In 1991, a consortium of investors led by Enrique Perez Flores acquired the estate from Khashoggi and renamed it La Zagaleta. This acquisition marked the rise of an upscale gated community spread over 900 hectares of land. Khashoggi's former residence was subsequently transformed into the clubhouse and restaurant for the La Zagaleta Golf Club.

The region is not only known for its vast estates and grandeur but also for being a testimony to Marbella's rich history, intertwined with tales of luxury, global intrigue, and the ever-evolving vision of its landowners. Over the years, La Zagaleta has become synonymous with luxury, privacy, and unparalleled beauty, drawing elites and celebrities from around the world.

Situated in the radiant Costa del Sol, La Zagaleta, often hailed as "the pinnacle of European luxury residential areas," promises an elevated living experience. The harmonious blend of luxury, solitude, and scenic beauty, makes it a chosen abode for the global elite.

As you approach La Zagaleta, prepare to be mesmerised by the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, the impressive Rock of Gibraltar, and the undulating Sierra de las Nieves hills. This breathtaking setting intertwines natural allure with exceptional facilities, creating a sanctuary for those who yearn for a lifestyle beyond ordinary.

The Expanse and Residences of La Zagaleta

La Zagaleta spans a massive 900-hectare (2,223 acres) expanse, once serving as a hunting ground. This vast area is characterized by valleys, wooded hills, and the pristine beauty of Andalusian nature.

As of now, La Zagaleta is home to 230 properties. These properties range in size from 3,000 m² to a sprawling 10,000 m², with price tags stretching from 2 million euros to an impressive 34 million euros. While 230 houses already grace the lands of La Zagaleta, the gated community still has ample plots available for further development. Once all the plots are developed, it is anticipated that La Zagaleta will feature 420 luxurious residences. Currently, there are still 60 plots available, which hold the potential for the construction of 60 villas in the future. Moreover, a lavish six-star hotel is planned to be developed on these plots, complete with its dedicated entrance. This hotel will be positioned in a separate sector within La Zagaleta, ensuring minimal disruption to the existing residents and established properties.

La Zagaleta's allure extends beyond the picturesque views. It is renowned for its exquisite properties that range from modern villas to traditional Andalusian estates. These architectural marvels offer unparalleled luxury and privacy.

Where is La Zagaleta Located?

La Zagaleta is nestled within the municipality of Benahavis, one of the most coveted areas in Malaga to reside. Its strategic location offers easy access to Marbella's amenities and beaches.

  • Marbella's city center is a 20km drive from La Zagaleta's southern entrance.
  • Puerto Banus stands just 12km away.
  • San Pedro de Alcantara is a quick drive, less than 10 minutes away.
  • Benahavis town is 14km distant.
  • The neighboring town, Estepona, is a comfortable drive, under 30 minutes away.

To reach La Zagaleta, the optimal route is via the A-397 towards Ronda. This path guides you to both entrances of La Zagaleta: the Northern and Southern gates. The southern entrance, located west of the A-397, is the closest to all amenities. It's essential to note that only residents can access the urbanization through this entrance. The northern entrance, 4km further along the A-397, serves as the main gateway for residents, guests, and staff. Here, security personnel meticulously identify everyone entering the urbanization who isn't a resident or hasn't been pre-registered.

For international travelers arriving at Malaga AGP airport, a 45-minute journey awaits via the AP-7 freeway, covering a distance of 71.8 km. If you're coming from Gibraltar's airport, it's an hour's journey along the main coastal road, equating to 72.4 km.

Additionally, La Zagaleta boasts a private helipad catering to those who prefer aerial arrivals and departures. From here, Malaga airport is a 15-minute flight away, Ronda is 10 minutes, Sevilla takes 40 minutes, and the Sierra Nevada is reachable in 45 minutes. This privilege underscores La Zagaleta's commitment to providing residents and guests with unparalleled convenience and luxury.

Cost of Acquiring a Home in La Zagaleta

In La Zagaleta, the price of acquiring a residence varies dramatically, with the most affordable villas starting at €2,000,000. In contrast, the most opulent villas are valued at over €30,000,000. On average, a property in Zagaleta is estimated to be worth around €9,750,000. While numerous properties fall within the €10,000,000-€15,000,000 bracket, there are not many currently available for sale. The prevailing price range for properties on the market now is between €2,000,000 and €34,000,000. It's worth noting that there are rare instances where one might come across properties listed below €2,000,000.

Many may be familiar with La Zagaleta's iconic mansion, Villa Cullinan. This architectural gem was listed at €32,000,000 and was honored with the prestigious title of "Best Residential Property of Spain and Europe" during the 2019-2020 International Property Awards. Drumelia, a real estate agency, had the exclusive listing of Villa Cullinan and managed to successfully sell it. Additionally, Drumelia has successfully brokered the sales of other renowned properties, including Heaven 11 and Villa Cipres, both of which were priced over €10,000,000.

Membership in La Zagaleta

Owning a property in La Zagaleta doesn't automatically grant you membership privileges. The La Zagaleta Country Club extends a separate membership to its residents, allowing them to indulge in the myriad of amenities available within the community. This includes unrestricted access to its two golf courses, tennis club, equestrian centre, upscale restaurants, and more. The price for this luxury? A cool €100,000. However, owning a house in La Zagaleta doesn't oblige you to buy a membership.

For those enamored with La Zagaleta's facilities but don't reside within, there's hope. The Country Club offers a select number of memberships to non-residents, allowing them a taste of the high life. However, it's crucial to note that when it comes to offering these memberships, the Club prioritizes its residents.

La Zagaleta's allure extends beyond the picturesque views. It is renowned for its exquisite properties that range from modern villas to traditional Andalusian estates. These architectural marvels offer unparalleled luxury and privacy.

La Zagaleta Golf Experience

La Zagaleta boasts an unparalleled golfing experience, nestled in the heart of a rich, eco-friendly environment. The clubhouse, a beacon of exclusivity, harbors two pristine golf courses encompassing 36 Parkland holes. These golf havens, harmoniously integrated with the surrounding wildlife and verdant landscapes, remain a privileged luxury for members and their distinguished guests.

The Old Course: Often nostalgically termed by residents, this 18-hole golf course has history etched into every curve. Originally crafted by Brad Benz in 1991, it underwent a transformative redesign by Marc Westenborg in 2016. This championship course gently meanders through the contours of what was once a hunting estate. With an average playing duration of 4 hours and 10 minutes, this par-72 course stretches over 6,000 yards, challenging players with its dynamic layout.

The New Course: Unveiled in 2005, this par-70 course is a testament to the harmonious fusion of golf and nature. Spanning 18 holes, the course challenges players with an array of intricate obstacles and cunning doglegs. Golfers can expect an average playtime of 4 hours and 30 minutes. Depending on the chosen tees, the total course length ranges from 4,300 to 5,300 yards. Its inception in 2002 marked the beginning of a five-year construction journey, culminating in a masterpiece that cost over €21,000,000 to bring to fruition.

Beyond the golf courses, it's worth noting that La Zagaleta offers a range of amenities to enhance the golfing experience. These might include state-of-the-art training facilities, pro shops stocked with the latest equipment and apparel, and dining options where golfers can relax and recount their game. The serene surroundings, coupled with the meticulously maintained greens, make golfing in La Zagaleta a truly elite experience.

La Zagaleta's Exclusive Heliport

La Zagaleta offers its residents the pinnacle of convenience with a dedicated private heliport. Designed to cater to those who prioritize speed and luxury, the helipad ensures seamless connections between the estate and the wider world. Located a mere 70 km from Malaga airport, with its vast array of European connections, residents can effortlessly traverse between the two, enhancing the exclusivity and accessibility of their La Zagaleta home.

The helipad's significance extends beyond luxury and convenience. Recognizing the importance of safety and rapid response, La Zagaleta has established collaborative ties with local hospitals. In the event of a medical emergency, residents can rest assured, knowing that medical teams are poised to dispatch a helicopter immediately. This ensures rapid medical intervention, transporting patients to the nearest medical facility, located less than 15 km away. Thus, the heliport stands not only as a testament to La Zagaleta's commitment to luxury but also its dedication to the well-being of its residents.

Proximity of La Zagaleta to Marbella and Its Attractions

One of the understated perks of residing in La Zagaleta is its surprising closeness to a myriad of attractions, despite its nestled position on the Serranía de Ronda slopes. The convenience of your property's location within La Zagaleta varies, with some residences being a brisk 1-minute drive to the entrance, while others, situated deeper in the enclave, might take up to 15 minutes.

The convenience doesn't end at the community's boundaries. A short 2 km drive from the South entrance brings you to the nearest shopping locales. Journey a bit further, and within 5 km, you'll find yourself in the charming heart of San Pedro town. For those who seek the allure of the coastline, the beach promenade is just 7.5 km away. The vibrant and renowned Puerto Banus, with its luxurious yachts and bustling nightlife, is a mere 9 km journey.

For aficionados of luxury and hospitality, two iconic establishments - the Marbella Club Golf Resort & Spa and the Puente Romano Beach Resort - are approximately 12 km away, nestled in the renowned Golden Mile. And for families prioritizing education, the nearest international school is conveniently positioned just 8.5 km from La Zagaleta.

In essence, while La Zagaleta offers the peace and privacy of a secluded haven, the buzz and amenities of Marbella are always within arm's reach.

Nestled on expansive plots of land, each home offers a unique living experience. Visualise owning a private golf course, equestrian centre, or even a helipad! The bespoke residences also feature Mediterranean gardens, infinity pools, and wine cellars, enhancing their grandeur.

Resident Services at La Zagaleta

La Zagaleta prioritizes the comfort and luxury experience of its residents, evidenced by the extensive range of services provided through its Service Management. This comprehensive concierge and hospitality service has been meticulously designed to cater to almost every need, ensuring residents feel pampered and well-taken care of.

Home and Garden Care: From ensuring your lawns are immaculate to making sure your home is well-maintained, La Zagaleta's dedicated team provides top-notch house and garden maintenance services.

Housekeeping: Residents can rely on professional housekeeping services to maintain the pristine condition of their homes.

Shopping and Delivery: Whether it's your weekly grocery list or a specific gourmet ingredient, the service ensures your shopping is taken care of and promptly delivered to your doorstep.

Personal Development and Recreation: For those looking to hone a new skill or engage in social activities, the Service Management offers language classes, among other enrichment programs.

Transport and Guest Management: Need a ride to the city or expecting guests? La Zagaleta ensures seamless transportation services and efficient guest management for residents.

Gourmet Experiences at Home: Residents looking to host private events or simply enjoy a gourmet meal in the comfort of their homes can engage private chefs and catering staff.

The hub of all these exceptional services, the Service Management office, is strategically located near the North entrance, ensuring easy accessibility for all residents. La Zagaleta's commitment to unparalleled service truly makes it a benchmark in luxury living.

The charm of La Zagaleta lies in the tranquillity it offers. Spanning 900 hectares of gated community, it ensures optimal privacy and security, a feature that has drawn high-profile personalities, including celebrities and business magnates.

Security Measures at La Zagaleta

The safety and well-being of its residents are paramount at La Zagaleta. This luxurious enclave is deeply committed to delivering unparalleled security, ensuring peace of mind for its elite community.

Robust Perimeter Security: La Zagaleta spans across 9,000,000 m² of land, all of which is safeguarded with state-of-the-art security and detection measures encircling the entire urbanisation.

Restricted Access: Entry to the compound is highly regulated. Those without residency or prior authorization are required to present valid identification upon arrival. Unauthorized entry is strictly prohibited, ensuring residents' safety and privacy.

Round-the-Clock Security Personnel: Armed security professionals maintain a constant vigil, offering immaculate 24/7 service. Both the South Gate and North Gate are perpetually guarded, while mobile security patrols regularly monitor the internal roads, ensuring a seamless and secure environment.

Advanced Security Infrastructure: Going the extra mile, La Zagaleta employed an Israeli firm to construct a 'high-tech electric fence', signifying their investment in leading-edge technology to fortify the urbanisation's safety.

Privacy Through Nature: Each residence is strategically separated by protected green zones. These spaces not only guarantee maximum privacy for homeowners but also ensure a harmonious coexistence with the local wildlife, allowing them to roam undisturbed.

Attracting the Global Elite: La Zagaleta's unmatched combination of sophisticated living within a serene natural setting, bolstered by its formidable security measures, appeals to affluent individuals from across the globe.

Given these stringent measures, residents can rest easy, assured of their security and seclusion in one of the world's most sought-after addresses.

Comparing La Zagaleta and Sierra Blanca: Luxury Living in Two Distinct Environments

Both La Zagaleta and Sierra Blanca are epitomes of luxury living, set in the stunning landscapes of Spain. However, they each offer a distinct living experience to residents, rooted in their locations, access, and exclusive amenities. Here's a breakdown of their differences:

Location and Municipality:

  • La Zagaleta: Located within the municipality of Benahavis, it is uniquely set on a private hunting estate that connects to the A-397 to Ronda.
  • Sierra Blanca: Nestled at the foothills of the iconic La Concha mountain, this urbanisation falls within the municipality of Marbella.

Security and Access:

  • La Zagaleta: Prioritizes exclusivity with a 24-hour guarded access. Non-residents must provide ID and vehicle registration details to the security personnel at the northern entrance.
  • Sierra Blanca: While it's a gated community, Sierra Blanca allows unrestricted daytime access. However, the community is closed off at night, with 24-hour roving security ensuring residents' safety.

Property Count and Expansion Potential:

  • La Zagaleta: It currently has 230 properties, with potential space to add another 190, making it a continually expanding luxury domain.
  • Sierra Blanca: With nearly 300 houses, it's almost fully developed, leaving little room for new properties or expansions.

Infrastructure and Connectivity:

  • La Zagaleta: Offers 50km of internal roads, allowing residents to explore the vast urbanisation and its myriad amenities with ease.
  • Sierra Blanca: Well-connected to major roads, it links directly to the AP-7 toll road and the N-340 coastal road.

Property Spacing and Price Range:

  • La Zagaleta: Houses are set at considerable distances from each other, ensuring unparalleled privacy. The properties range in price from €2,000,000 to a staggering €34,000,000.
  • Sierra Blanca: Though it offers luxury living, houses are closer together. The price range for properties typically falls between €2,000,000 and €20,000,000.

In conclusion, while both urbanisations cater to the high-end real estate market, La Zagaleta offers expansive spaces and a more secluded experience. In contrast, Sierra Blanca provides a mix of luxury living with more immediate access to the urban pulse of Marbella. Choosing between the two depends on one's preferences for exclusivity, connectivity, and the kind of community experience they desire.