Originally part of an extensive hunting domain, what was later to become La Zagaleta was bought by French industrialist Thierry Roussel in the 1960s, parcelled off and acquired by Adnan Kashoggi in the latter 1970s, and in 1991 became the luxurious country club we know today.
The man who made this all possible is Enrique Pérez Flores, who recently passed away and has bequeathed Marbella with a lasting legacy. A Spanish banker who had spent most of his career in Switzerland, Pérez took control of the huge country estate that had been floundering in the final years of Kashoggi’s ownership due to the reversal of the latter’s fortunes. Where once this had been the private playground of a colourful tycoon, the urban planning actually allowed for the construction of several hundred villas and apartments, but already armed with a clear vision of the future of La Zagaleta, Pérez rejected it and instead implemented a plan that saw a drastic reduction in the number of homes to be built here.
The making of a vision
It would prove visionary, for what Enrique Pérez Flores created here would become not only one of the finest residential areas in the greater Marbella area but also a truly exclusive country club whose luxury, security, privacy and amenities rank among the very best in all of Europe. La Zagaleta is now a concept of refinement, and as such a jewel in the crown of Marbella. This, above all, is the lasting legacy of the visionary, and a testament to his stubborn determination.
Normally the most expensive and prestigious properties in sea side resorts are always close to the sea and, needless to say, the closer the better. La Zagaleta, contradicts this theory completely, not only really being in Marbella itself and a then also being quite drive away up into the mountains. It does have nice views (as one expects to usually from mountain level) but it isn´t actually close to the sea at all. Therefore, it is even a greater personal and commercial achievement to have created what La Zagaleta is and means today.
Under Perez guidance, the villas at La Zagaleta feature large private gardens surrounded by their own cordon sanitaire of open land. The latter, managed by the estate, sees deer roaming through wooded groves where river streams cascade towards the sea. The international cream of celebrities and businesspeople flock to La Zagaleta for the beautiful mansions and villas, the magnificent country, sea and golf views, the concierge services, the security, space and refinement, the state-of-the-art horse riding centre and elegant clubhouse – but above all for the exclusivity that Pérez created by focusing on quality above quantity.
In the process, he turned a troubled estate into a celebrated one, and one that evolves with the times as it welcomes new HNW buyers with homes that feature not only the latest architectural design but also the ultimate in technological comforts and amenities. La Zagaleta is successful because it offers the ultimate in 21st century luxury and exclusivity and there will be more to come in the future.