More akin to a French chateau than a Southern California-style home, Villa Nafissa transports you to a bygone era — and that was always the goal.
“The owner and current seller built the home in the late 1990s and wanted it to feel like it’s been there for centuries,” says the property’s listing agent Jerome Kerr-Jarrett of Hilton & Hyland. “It was just dirt when he bought the land with one singular pepper tree.”
Listed for $35.8 million, the property, just 40 minutes north of San Diego, is located within the exclusive, guard-gated community of Fairbanks Ranch and sits behind its own private gates. The sprawling 39-acre estate is truly spectacular and reminiscent of the finest chateaus and gardens of Europe, thanks to its well-kept gardens, the landscaping and the resort-like amenities.
“The owner built it for a place for his family to come,” Kerr-Jarrett tells Robb Report. “He wanted a place that could house everybody. He has a very large family and wanted a place for extended family to come and the generations to grow into so he built this enormous compound. It’s the largest property behind the gates of Fairbanks.”
The 16,000-square-foot main residence presides over the stately grounds and has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The home is built with the finest European craftsmanship and materials, and each living space is carefully designed to welcome in natural light and open onto the outdoors. The living room in particular is exquisite, with its dramatic domed ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows and marble floors. There is also a clubhouse with a kitchen, media room, pool and hidden hot tub grotto. An outdoor kitchen by the lake, complete with a wood-burning pizza oven and fire pit, is the ideal setting for large parties. The opportunities to entertain feel endless.
Another big draw are the exquisite gardens inspired by painter Claude Monet’s famous gardens in Giverny, France, a village in Normandy that inspired his works. The property features romantic paths, a manmade lake with around 1.5 million gallons of water and waterfalls. There are more than 3,000 species of flora, fruit and mature trees. One of the most beautiful sights is the bridge over the lake covered in wisteria and lined with colorful flowers.
“The main idea was that you could explore the property and get lost in nature,” Kerr-Jarrett says. “The owner hired an amazing landscape firm, sent them to Europe and had them do a tour around Monet’s gardens in Giverny and at several French chateaux to really understand the look that he was going for.”
The owner also had trails, creeks, and waterfalls installed. “There is an English climbing rose garden and another garden he modeled after one of his favorite gardens in Alhambra,” Kerr-Jarrett says.
In addition, there are two guest houses totaling 10,000 square feet and a total of 10 bedrooms. Guests are encouraged, and the property accommodates garage space for up to eight cars and has motor court space for 13 additional vehicles. It’s like its own self-sufficient resort with a gym, tennis/basketball court, children’s play area, staff quarters and offices. Villa Nafissa was also zoned for up to 50 horses, as the owner was an avid equestrian since a young age. The home also has a fruit and vegetable garden that supplies all the food for the family.
“He has a chef who works with the gardener, and her sole job is tending to the organic produce garden,” Kerr-Jarrett says. “They discuss which fruits and vegetables they want and everything is grown organically and seasonally.”
You could spend hours scouring the grounds and enjoying its gardens and shaded fruit trees or wandering around the lake. Who knows, perhaps these backgrounds could serve as inspiration for future works of art.