EXCLUSIVE: Sainsbury family snap up magical hideaway in Gaucin

Hollywood stars Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy spent their honeymoon at the former holiday villa

LAST UPDATED: 14 Dec, 2015 @ 12:19

BEAUTIFUL: El Nobo's pool has been hailed as one of the best in Andalucia
BEAUTIFUL: El Nobo’s pool has been hailed as one of the best in Andalucia

IT is anything but bargain basement.

Indeed, with its eight well-appointed bedrooms, stunning gardens and one of the best infinity swimming pools in Andalucia, it is definitely one for the Taste the Difference section.

Described as ‘heaven on earth’ and ‘a magical hideaway’, on TripAdvisor, it is perhaps not surprising that the former guesthouse has been snapped up by Britain’s wealthiest supermarket tycoon David Sainsbury.

The villa El Nobo, in Gaucin – where Hollywood stars Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy spent their honeymoon – has been acquired ‘for around €1.5 million’ according a local agent.

Proceedings have been very hush-hush – but the Olive Press can reveal that the beautiful villa has been acquired in a private sale from owner Sally von Meister with no agents involved.

It comes after the Sainsbury clan spent over a decade holidaying in the dreamy villa, which has amazing views across the straits of Gibraltar to Africa.

BUYING IN GAUCIN: David Sainsbury
BUYING IN GAUCIN: David Sainsbury

Von Meister, who had been living in the property for around 30 years and rented out the whole house in summer, confirmed the sale but did not wish to comment further.

However, a source in Gaucin said: “The Sainsburys love the home and have been going there for a month each summer for years, so it is a great buy for them.”

Another friend told the Olive Press: “The entire sale has been played close to the chest.

“It is a big property and has simply become a lot of hard work for Sally to look after.”

LOVED UP: Dancy and Danes honeymooned at El Nobo
LOVED UP: Dancy and Danes honeymooned at El Nobo

Estate agent Adam Neale of Terra Meridiana said: “It is great news for the village and for the local economy as a whole. It’s amazing to have people of that calibre buying here.”

Sainsbury, 74, was chairman of the chain between 1992 and 1998 and is worth €1.1 billion, coming in at number 1,638 on the Forbes rich list.

Also known as Lord Sainsbury of Turville, he is a married father-of-three and has been the Chancellor of Cambridge University since 2011.

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  1. To read about Gaucin and see photos of the view that I lived with for six years, is a cross between a beautifull kiss and a punch in the ribs. I had bought a ruined auberge in the Genal valley, in 1987, designed and built a farmhouse in it’s place, with unemployed labour from the village. The stories that were created by this one process gave rise to a shelf full of friendships, scandals, thefts, fun, lies, intrigue and corruption, such as to eventually push me to move back to Portugal. It was just too much!!
    However such is the indelibility of the Gaucin experience, that it is as they say, in my blood. I have to revisit there just to remake the images and story line, as if rewriting a book. I can’t put it away!!

  2. Gaucin for me appears like a crocodile. When approaching from Manilva you see a long chain of houses on top of the ridge forming the tail and body of the crocodile and at the right side the head and the mouth of the crocodile being modeled by Castillo del Aguila. I enjoy this silhouette of Gaucin every time when travelling from the Costa to the mountains of Grazalema Nature Park.