Paradise Found by Uta Abendroth | 8th March, 2019 | Prime Properties
The residence “Dama de la Noche” sits on an estate of some five hectares in Punta del Este in Uruguay. The owner Paola Marzotto has furnished the charming country house in a mix of gaucho and colonial styles, together with contemporary art. Less than three kilometres from the ocean, it is impossible not to become immersed in this rural idyll. With breathtaking views of untouched nature to be enjoyed.
Dama de la Noche’ is a belvedere – a house that is envisioned entirely around “enjoying the beautiful views and surrounding natural scenery,” Paola Marzotto enthuses. The Italian lady’s country residence is located in Punta del Este. This peninsula in Uruguay is one of the most beloved seaside resorts in the whole of South America and especially popular with Europeans, Argentinians and Brazilians. The resort is located at the end of the mouth of the ‘Río de la Plata’. It has two different coastlines: the river and the Atlantic coast in the east. Motor yachts, sailing boats and surfers all find ideal water sports conditions here. One particular highlight of a completely different kind is the International Film Festival, which never fails to bring glamour to Punta del Este every February. Almost 20,000 people live here in the resort all year round.
Paola Marzotto acquired the property back in 2003. Her family owns the long-established Marzotto Group, which is specialised as an Italian textile manufacturer and at times has included the fashion labels Hugo Boss and Valentino. The house is located some three kilometres from the coast amid “hinterland” scenery and is diverse in terrain. There are no neighbouring houses anywhere to be seen, and being here feels like residing in one vast park – with extensive lawns, palm trees, fruit trees, flowers and a vegetable garden. The mansion has been designed to welcome a host of friends and accommodate a large family. Like Paola’s daughter Beatrice Borromeo, for example, who is married to Pierre Casiraghi. “I like the peace and quiet here,” she says. “At the same time, this is a very social house. I often have visits from my children and grandchildren, or friends from New York, Holland and, of course, Italy. But it’s never formal here, everything is relaxed. And I love to organise and throw parties in these surroundings – you don’t ever bother anyone.”
“This is not a formal house. I’m most happy here when I’m surrounded by lots of friends and my family, all very relaxed.”
It is the property’s carefully conceived architectural design that forms the basis for the successful mix of different areas, from the private to the more public realms. A pathway lined with palm trees and white lilies leads up to the central entrance portal. From this perspective the perfect symmetry of the building becomes clear. It extends over two levels and is painted entirely in a radiant white. The ground floor here is in fact the upper floor, with the sloping terrain revealing a kind of lower ground floor that opens onto the garden. In accordance with the climatic conditions and the architecture so typical of Mediterranean homes, covered patios and terraces have been created in various places; spaces that allow for outdoor living and ensure seamless transitions between the indoors and outdoors. In fact, ‘Dama de la Noche’ consists of three main areas. The central mansion plays host to a spacious entrance area, a salon, dining room and study. An impressive gallery with two terraces running along the entire width of the property faces out onto the garden, where the view falls across the 252 m2 pool. This is one of Paola Marzotto’s favourite places: “I just love sitting on the edge of the pool with my feet in the water, it has a calming effect on me. And I swim a lot.” The lower ground level of the house presides over various rooms including a men’s and women’s changing rooms, and a sauna. Utility rooms and technical facilities are also accommodated here, such as the water tank and filter systems.
“This house does it all: from parties to peaceful hours by the pool. And the stargazing to be had at night is simply incredible!”
Three suites have been furnished on the upper floor in the right wing of the house, each with bathrooms and dressing rooms. Two of the suites have their own terraces. On the lower ground level there is another suite with a bathroom and dressing room, as well as a workshop. Meanwhile, the left wing is home to the approx. 53 m2 kitchen, which is always a popular meeting point in the house, whether there happens to be 20, 30 or 100 friends visiting at any given time. The kitchen leads on to a pantry, office and laundry. There is also room to accommodate two suites with bathrooms and dressing rooms. One floor below this, there are another two bedrooms and bathrooms to be found. In addition, there is a designated house for domestic staff situated on the 5-hectare plot, which comprises a living room and bedroom, a kitchen, bathroom, barn and engine room.
The style of the interior design is as original as it is elegant. Paola Marzotto did not hire an interior designer to realise this visions. She decided to consult with her mother Marta instead. “I had an entire container of furniture and accessories shipped over from Italy,” she says, recalling the early days when she had first arrived here. “I like the colonial style, and it works well in these high, airy interiors. The colours natural white, beige and brown each have a calming and harmonious effect, and I have incorporated leather and wicker, which I find to be such wonderful materials. I have supplemented all this by putting a multitude of contemporary works of art on display”.
But for the globetrotter, the interior of the house is almost a secondary consideration. She is most enraptured with the property’s utterly unique location: “‘Dama de la Noche’ sits in a slightly elevated position, so you really have extraordinary views from here that aren’t impeded by any other building or distraction. You are privileged to be able to watch the most beautiful sunsets. Exotic birds come into the garden and at night you can see the stars in a way you would never be able to in Europe. I am most inspired in Punta del Este by the spectacles of light and wonderful nature here.” According to Paola Marzotto, the neighbourhood has a very European flair, but in her house one quickly gets the impression that the whole world is at home.