The ultra-luxurious home in Marbella won a major design prize presented by King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia
The award was handed over to Italian-British entrepreneur Joe Ricotta, who built the mansion, for ‘best villa in the world 2022’ at the Macael Awards for architecture, crafts, and design.
However, Mr Ricotta has now decided to put the 13-bedroom villa on the market as family commitments mean he will be spending more time at his home in the English countryside, an hour away from central London. He said: “I always felt this was my forever home, which I would share with my wife Josie and our family. However, since the project first began three years ago, we realised we needed to be in the UK much more often than we had previously, so it made sense to put the villa up for sale.” Named after the owner himself, Villa Ricotta II’s lofty position affords both, mountain and coastal views, including the Straits of Gibraltar. It is only ten minutes from Puerto Banus, the playground of Europe's rich and famous. Mr Ricotta has spared no expense on the property, which is situated in Sierra Blanca, one of Marbella’s most exclusive residential districts. The mansion has 6,000 square metres of floorspace arranged over three floors, set in 11,000 square metres of grounds. Think of the White House (6,200 square metres) situated on a site bigger than an average-sized football pitch (7,140 square metres)!
There is an elegant double sweeping staircase, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from the ground floor. All bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes, a lounge area, and private terraces.
Visitors are greeted by a portico of the world’s only seven-metre-tall one-piece marble columns. Mr Ricotta's special touches for this one-off villa include entrance fountains modelled on those at the Bellagio resort hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where the water jets ‘dance’ in time to music.
There is a huge barbecue area featuring a wood-fire pizza oven as well as a family main kitchen and an industrial-size kitchen. The garden is filled with tropical flowers, as well as an enormous swimming pool and children’s pool. Plus, in the basement, there is a 21-seater cinema room, two lane bowling alley, bar and games area, a large spa including a wave machine, hammam and sauna. There is also parking for 50 vehicles.Mr Ricotta, who is handling the sale himself, said: “I had lots of interest in the villa even while I was building it, but it wasn’t for sale at the time.”