Aerial view. The house is over 300 metres in size :: J-L
The house, which is currently being modernised, is on a 2,000 square metre site close to the beach and it cost about two million euros
It is possible that when he takes his morning exercise, José María Aznar will no longer be photographed running across the bridge over the road that divides Guadalmina into two parts. Nor will he have to go far when he walks his dog beside the beach, where he was surprised by our photographers during his Easter holidays last year. The former prime minister has bought a new holiday home in the area which has always been his favourite in Marbella: Guadalmina Baja, a luxurious, quiet and exclusive residential development which was built beside the sea in the 1950s and where the first golf course in Andalucía was created.
It is surrounded by hundred year-old trees and scattered with enormous mansions which are protected from the lenses of photographers and the gaze of the curious by tall boundary walls. It is clear that Aznar feels comfortable here, since he chose Guadalmina years ago as a holiday refuge. This is the third consecutive home he has bought in the area since 2008. The first one was an apartment, followed by a small villa beside the golf course in Guadalmina Alta, but it is possible that this new one will be the last because it would be difficult to beat: it is a spacious house just a few metres from the sea and in one of the areas which is most in demand among people who want to enjoy Marbella, which is just ten kilometres away, without being exposed to photographers’ lenses.
Few houses become available in Guadalmina Baja and even though the house which has been bought by the Aznars is old and far from being one of the most impressive villas which are scattered around the Marbella area, its locaction is one of the most sought-after by those who aspire to exclusivity and anonymity. It is not easy to buy a property there. The Aznars’ new neighbours will include, among others, Marisa de Borbón, Isidoro Álvarez, the Goizueta family and journalist José María García.
It was undoubtedly the location of this property that seduced the former prime minister and his wife, mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, who bought it in joint names and signed the contract at a notary’s office in Marbella in October last year, according to documentation to which this newspaper has had access. To make this purchase, the couple sold their former holiday home, a house beside the golf course in Guadalmina Alta where theyhave spent their vacations in recent years. Property experts we consulted say that in the Guadalmina Baja area prices are at least 700 euros per metre, so the plot alone has a value of at least 1.4 million euros and the value of the house is additional to that. Some sources say that the purchase will have cost the Aznars around two million euros.
The new house is not yet ready to live in and is undergoing improvement works which will last for several weeks. One of the first projects to be carried out was to provide the security that is needed by the new owners: a perimeter wall almost three metres in height has now been constructed around the property.
The new refuge of the Aznars is a single-storey house on a plot of more than 2,000 metres with a swimming pool. It has a large living room with an in-built fireplace, four bedrooms - the master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and a dressing room - an office, a 46 metre porch and a staff bedroom off the kitchen. In total, the house is 304 metres in size, not counting the patios, the hallway and the porch.
Once the outside wall was finished, the works continued. While the former prime minister is some distance away, attending to matters involving his political party elsewhere in the country, a team of builders are working every day, until late in the evening. It is not yet known whether the works will include placing a flagpole in the garden, as José María Aznar did at his previous house here. The Spanish flag was always flown when he was in residence, a sign to the neighbours that the famous owner of the house had arrived among them.