A palatial property fit for a Prince

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The former home of international pop star ‘Prince’ is currently on the market. The property – located in El Paraiso, West Marbella – is offered for sale at a price of 4.25 million euros. Liz Southall takes a look inside the house and reveals its history.

Working within the real estate industry on Spain’s Costa del Sol allows me to indulge in my passion for property by viewing some of the region’s most spectacular residences. For me, the opportunity to look around the homes of the rich and famous is especially exciting, particularly when the home in question is the former Mediterranean retreat of the eccentric US pop star known as Prince.

“Villa Adorna Tierra” is situated just west of Marbella in the hills of El Paraiso and was originally acquired by the flamboyant pop star in 1998 as an extravagant wedding gift, bestowed upon his then wife Mayte Garcia. Only four years later and the couple’s turbulent marriage had ended, thereby resulting in the eventual sale of Adorna Tierra in 2004 to its current owner. This year the villa is once again being offered for sale, and could be yours providing you have the “princely” sum of 4.25 million euros to spend.

On a typically warm, sunny Marbella day I entered the grounds of the property via the deceptively discreet entrance gates to be presented with what can only be described as a fairytale mansion sitting amid idyllic subtropical gardens. With its pale pink and white exterior, marble terraces and colonnades, Adorna Tierra is everything you would expect from the home of an international superstar, remaining unaltered since Prince and Mayte’s occupancy in the late 1990’s.

Inside and the property is fantastically ostentatious – visitors are greeted with an enormous colonial style double staircase with white marble balustrades sweeping down to the grand, chandeliered entrance hall. Indeed this same degree of opulence is apparent throughout the rest of the villa, where seemingly no expense has been spared in creating the perfect pied á terre. The elegant dining hall and three interlinked reception rooms would certainly have provided a stylish backdrop for the lavish showbiz parties which were a regular fixture at the house during Prince and Mayte’s time here.

In addition to the principal living areas, the villa also boasts a full scale bar, gymnasium, study, wine store and walk-in safe, not to mention the fully equipped hair salon specifically installed by the quirky performer (who always travelled to Marbella with his own personal hairstylist!) bedecked with mirrors, dryers and basins and elevations fashioned out of black and pink marble.

Upstairs, the sleeping quarters are in the form of three huge bedroom suites, each with an ensuite marble bathroom and private terrace enjoying breathtaking panoramic views over the valley and sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea beyond. The villa’s vast master suite is reminiscent of an Arabian boudoir, spread over two levels with a mirrored ceiling above the bed, ornate painted headboard and harem-style muslin drapes with sumptuously swagged curtains adorning the windows.

The property’s interior style epitomizes the former owner’s eclectic personality, featuring both Arabian and Egyptian influences. And in spite of the generous use of pink and purple hues throughout the villa’s interior, the house feels surprisingly bright and fresh, mainly due to its high ceilings and south-facing position allowing natural light to pour in through the full height windows from morning till noon.

The property has a host of luxurious features which include a Bang and Olufsen central music system, sunken bath, outdoor jacuzzi and marble floors throughout. There are also some fantastic pieces of memorabilia remaining in the property that will be included within the sale, such as a bold portrait of Prince and Mayte measuring several meters in size which still hangs on the wall of the main hall and a set of grandiose purple velvet chairs in the study, each embellished with the star’s infamous symbol. Fans of Prince would probably have liked me to find a “little red corvette” in the stand-alone garage; however, what was actually revealed to me was a pale pink BMW complete with fluffy seats and gold wheels – apparently the couple’s preferred mode of transport for cruising the streets of Marbella. Again, the car will be left as part of the sale should the new residents wish to do the same!

The villa lies within approximately one and a half acres of mature landscaped gardens that incorporate a tennis court, outdoor pool and extensive terraces – all of which can be illuminated when the sun goes down, perfect for those evening soirees. Bordering cypress trees and a boundary wall ringing the entire plot also provide optimum privacy and security. The elevated setting is supremely serene and its not hard to imagine how this peaceful sanctuary would have inspired the artist creatively, writing most of the songs for his critically acclaimed “Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic” album whilst relaxing here.

With all this in mind, the question is who would make a suitable buyer for a property of this caliber? Adorna Tierra is unquestionably unique; not only in terms of the architectural style and location but also its history, with the added kudos of being a former “celebrity” home. In its present untouched state it’s possible that a wealthy benefactor could purchase the villa with the intention of preserving it as a place of pilgrimage for Prince enthusiasts in years to come – but I suspect that this will be an unlikely scenario.

With more millionaires currently residing in Spain than in any other European country (Marbella the preferred hot spot), Villa Adorna Tierra is certain to attract plenty of interest – most likely from east-European businessmen, international sports stars and wealthy Arabians, all of whom have been keen to invest in the area over recent years.

However, prospective buyers with a budget of this magnitude may expect more than three bedrooms for their money, though the villa’s sizeable plot can easily facilitate a substantial extension if desired.

Whatever the outcome, Adorna Tierra is bursting with charm and character, and whoever the future buyer may be, I’m sure they will be drawn by those same enchanting qualities that first attracted Prince and Mayte here more than a decade ago.

Villa Adorna Tierra is offered for sale through Easierproperty.com.

Liz Southall is a real estate consultant and property journalist living and working in Marbella.