On the golden mile that extends along the coastline between Estepona and Marbella there is still room for a 24 carat urban diamond. A place in which the terms ‘luxury’ and ‘exclusive’ do not go far enough, because of the great fortunes that are needed to reside there. In the 900 hectares of La Zagaleta residential development, in the municipality of Benahavís, not just any fortune is acceptable.
The 230 property owners have the right to veto prospective neighbours who might put at risk the anonymity of this happy Arcadia, which sits in the foothills of the Serranía de Ronda and has views of Gibraltar.
Even the simplest home costs ten million euros here and the most expensive costs three times as much. When somebody presents their credentials as a purchaser, the other owners do not ask how many times he or she has featured on the front pages of newspapers - they ask for a guarantee that they are worth ten times the price of the house they are going to buy.
With a philosophy like that, this residential development has become a place of refuge for the truly powerful who hold the reins of a substantial part of the world economy and who appreciate the worth of real privacy. People such as Oswald J. Grübel, for instance, who has exchanged handling the fortunes of UBS and Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s biggest financial institutions, for a much quieter golden retirement as CEO at La Zagaleta.
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