San Diego All that can be seen from the street of this home on Spindrift Drive in La Jolla is two sets of wooden doors on a four-car garage. It would not be discernible to the casual observer that the residence below is among the most exclusive and luxurious estates in San Diego County.
To get to the front door, a landscaped path alongside a tall stucco wall leads to a wooden gate, which leads down a few stairs and around the saltwater pool/spa area. Ahead, the arched wooden front door framed by beveled glass sidelights opens and the breadth and scope of the ocean view from every angle is heart stopping. It’s hard to step forward from the sheer impact of it.
It feels like you’re in the penthouse suite of the most luxurious private yacht in the world, cruising along a Mediterranean coastline in the French Riviera. There is no sense of anything else but the sky and the sea.
Shannon Hagan, an affiliate agent with the Del Mar office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, has the listing for 1828 Spindrift Drive in La Jolla for $19,888,888. It’s an exquisite estate on approximately 0.54-acre lot with 65 feet of ocean frontage on one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines.
The home is just eight doors up from the sand at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, yet, once inside, it feels completely removed from the vibrant village life that surrounds it. Nearly 100 feet above the water, the home is on a unique point of the La Jolla coastline that juts out over one of the sheltered coves along the sandstone cliffs.
Standing on one of the several heated limestone decks that are off nearly every room in the house, Hagan said: “Directly below there is a reef and tide pools, which are beautiful.” Pointing directly beneath the deck, she said when the tides are low the entire area is just rocks with people walking about observing the sea life.
The attention to detail and the passion to use the finest materials available in every choice, large or small, is throughout. Every convenience, luxury and practicality was painstakingly thought through.
The list is long, a few examples include: four masonry fireplaces, retractable shades on timers, exotic hardwoods, extensive stonework throughout, including a countertop embedded with ancient fossilized squid from Morocco and even small portals that open here and there in the walls throughout.
“When you’re living on the ocean it’s nice to be able to hear the waves, in addition to seeing it without freezing on cold days,” Hagan, who has 22 years in real estate, said.
In the center of the large great room area above a dramatic spiral staircase is a 100 gallon, saltwater fish tank that has its own feeding/cleaning system. Nearby off a hallway “there is a secret little door that opens to provide access to the roof and to feed the fish — kids love stuff like this, it’s like the ‘Harry Potter’ room.” Hagan said.
Stepping into the magnificent office that looks as if it should be a senior executive’s office on a movie lot in Hollywood, Hagan, who formerly was an analyst for the advanced cruise missile program for General Dynamics, said: “This is why I say ‘this is Howard Hughes meets Grace Kelly.’ You have the underlit, silver leaf soffit, gorgeous millwork, another beautiful art deco-style fascia fireplace, just gorgeous.”
And, fittingly, nearby is a luxurious 12-seat theater with the highest-grade projection equipment available for screening movies.
Even though the total square footage of the home is approximately 11,145 square feet, Hagan said the main house is approximately 7,600 square feet and the guest house is approximately 3,500 square feet (inclusive of a 2,000-square-foot bowling alley/game room). There are three en suite bedrooms in the main house and two bedroom suites in the guest house. Each room has its own theme with attention paid to the smallest details like the pulls on the drawers and the treatments on the ceilings and baseboards. Each guest suite has its own microwave and mini-fridge and is set up to be self-contained.
“The main kitchen has everything: a built-in wok, commercial range, a steamer, multiple ovens, multiple warming drawers, beverage/ice drawers, Italian wood-fired pizza oven and a commercial-grade fridge,” Hagan said.
She said the owner built it as a place to have fun. The house provides for intimate gatherings as well as entertaining on a grand scale. The entertaining spaces flow from one to the other, yet, elsewhere are more intimate spaces, some with full bars and casual seating.
In keeping with the extreme devotion to details in a house built for fun — even the bowling alley is equipped with a lever to remove the gutters, so no one has to experience the humiliation of a gutter ball.
“It’s kind of like living in your own Peninsula Hotel, timeless, classic,” Hagan said. “This must be what heaven feels like.”
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