The year has begun with record sales at EPIC Marbella, whose FENDI Casa-branded homes are selling for more than €20,000 per sq metre, double the price the first properties went on sale for in 2021.
It’s evidence of a thriving super-prime niche market in Marbella – and this winter’s warm weather has undoubtedly been a catalyst for prospective property buyers in recent weeks, who have been able to see the best of Marbella’s outdoors lifestyle in full flow, beneath cloudless blue skies.
Buyers in high-end projects such as EPIC Marbella also want to get a taste of the lifestyle they are buying into on that particular resort, and with the first residents set to move in to their properties in April, the development is now sufficiently advanced for them to appreciate the full offering.
More than just investing in a FENDI Casa-designed home, they are buying into a resort that functions like a world-class hotel, with the facilities to match. “The services are a massive selling point. Buyers know that if they are getting everything they want and need, the price makes sense and they are willing to spend much more than ever in order to have it,” comments Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of Sierra Blanca Estates.
The FENDI Casa brand lends great weight to the project too, Rodriguez adds. “Having a luxury brand on board is a seal of approval, and a guarantee of quality. You are buying into the true luxury of accessing a brand experience in which everything is designed to be the height of convenience and comfort for residents.”
The brand partnership with FENDI Casa and, in coming months, Karl Lagerfeld, means these two projects by Sierra Blanca Estates’ can offer a level of amenity that hasn’t been seen before in Marbella, thinks Rodriguez. There is the sports offering, including indoor and outdoor 25-metre pools, Spain’s only authentic, wooden basketball court and a golf simulator designed to suit even professional players. The leisure and relaxation side includes a spa to be run by a world-class name in the sector, a social club where owners can get together for dinner parties and events, and Pilates and yoga spaces where sunrise or sunset sessions among the trees come with panoramic sea views.
The resort’s landscaping also takes the resort’s outdoor space to a new level, designed as a series of zones for relaxation, exercise and appreciating nature. There are dedicated areas to encourage bees and butterflies and, inspired by the latest pet-friendly developments in Miami, a dog park with food and water stations and exercise equipment. You can relax in a lagoon pool fringed by tall palms, exercise in the outdoor gym or take a night-time stroll along beautifully illuminated paths.
Security is a priority for buyers too, adds Rodriguez, so the resort is fully-gated, with 24-hour security, and accessible only by those who live there, or to visitors accompanied by a resident.
Such amenities and attention to security promise the exclusivity and peace of mind that high-net-worth buyers are seeking. It’s the concierge team, however, or ‘angels’ as they are known, who will guarantee a personalised experience designed to make each resident feel “special and unique”, says Laura Tielve, Sierra Blanca Estates’ hospitality department manager who previously worked for the Four Seasons brand in Miami and Paris.
For Tielve, luxury isn’t just about having the best; it’s also about “the absence of worry” she says. Buyers at this level want everything to be easy and fast, and they want to know that any requests – including, in one case, stage-managing a lavish wedding proposal for the following day – can be handled at a moment’s notice. At EPIC Marbella, the concierge team are already preparing for the arrival of the first residents and being able to meet any demand, whether it’s arranging personal drivers, making last-minute bookings for the best restaurants or, thanks to FENDI Casa’s involvement, arranging exclusive experiences such as privileged access to fashion shows.
Trust also plays a big part in the relationship between resident and concierge on a branded resort. Owners often form a close bond with one ‘angel’, who will know how to prepare the home exactly as the owner likes it, ready for their arrival, and who will be so familiar with their tastes that they can second-guess which plays or exhibitions they might like to see, or which new openings in Marbella they shouldn’t miss.
“Building beautiful homes is the start, but taking it to the next level is the hard part. It means hiring the right people who will give the right type of attention to guests,” says Rodríguez. In the coming months, the first residents at will have the chance to live the EPIC lifestyle for themselves and see how designer homes, hotel-style amenities and personalised attention can combine to provide the perfect Marbella experience.