Vacation Homes: Lying Low

Photo by Ciro Coelho/www.CiroCoelho.com

On the world circuit of celebrity haunts, Malibu is an anomaly. Where one goes to Aspen or St. Barts to see and be seen, one retreats to Malibu to blend in. Such is the concept behind the Southern California beach city’s latest luxury community. “Our goal is to frame the ocean and not mess up the view,” says Richard Morris, co-owner of the MariSol residential development. “This is not for everybody. This is resort-style living for those who truly appreciate natural scenery.”

Morris and fellow developer Ron Coleman spent seven years acquiring the necessary permits and preparing the land for MariSol, whose name is a stylized Spanish translation of “sea and sun.” The 80-acre property includes a walking path plus a botanical garden with 130 species of native plants. The developers divided the site—which is home to deer, chickadees, and monarch butterflies—into just 17 generously sized lots, all with unimpeded ocean vistas.

The lots include acre-plus bluff-top homesites (priced from $4 million to $9 million) and several 2-acre sites (pricing has yet to be determined). The plots closest to the ocean feature their own man-made “beaches,” complete with sand, native grasses, and views to the County Line surf spot. But the star of the community is a 57-acre estate that hovers above them all—and is available for purchase exclusively through Robb Report’sUltimate Gift Guide (see “Sol of Malibu“).

So far, only one home has been completed at MariSol. Created by Santa Barbara–based architect Barry Berkus—and available for $17 million—the showcase residence is a four-bedroom, six-bath estate with 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Next door, Berkus is creating a Balinese-style residence (which has already sold) and, just beyond, a Spanish-style house. Yet rather than create a visual cacophony of architectural incongruity, the homes’ varying designs should help MariSol fit in with Malibu, where multiple architectural styles coexist in harmony. “People have their own idea of what’s great, and we encourage that,” says Morris.


Buyers are offered courtesy construction-management services if they choose to work with the community’s team of architects and builders, which includes Berkus. According to Morris, MariSol’s 1- and 2-acre lots are exempt from the area’s infamously stringent building restrictions, so buyers can see their home go from groundbreaking to completion in as little as 15 months.

For out-of-town buyers, MariSol is made convenient by its close proximity to the Camarillo Airport, which holds several reputable FBOs and can accommodate aircraft as large as a Gulfstream G550. The area immediately surrounding MariSol is home to world-famous beaches, prime hiking spots, and a singular restaurant that perhaps best encompasses the local scene: Neptune’s Net, located just around the corner from the community, has for years been a hangout for Sunday riders, who roll up on Harleys and eat fried-shrimp dinners while watching the sun dip into the horizon.


MariSol, 310.589.8848, www.marisolmalibu.com

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