Hidden Hills lives up to its name. “Hidden” because it’s one of Southern California’s most exclusive enclaves that few — except horse lovers and A-list celebrities — have ever heard of. “Hills” because of the natural contours of the Santa Monica Mountains that surround the remote gated community.
The town has become especially appealing for its diminutive size (just 1.7 square miles), natural beauty and high level of privacy. At one time or another, Madonna, Ye (formerly Kanye West), a few Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Drake, NFL players and a slew of other luminaries have made it their home. Late broadcasting legend Vin Scully lived here too, occupying a French chateau-style house for more than a decade, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Star power aside, part of the area’s charm lies in its ability to meld exclusive homes with a carefully crafted small-town vibe. The enclave, which claims about 1,725 residents within its gates, holds three horse arenas and 25 miles of riding trails, but no sidewalks or streetlights that might detract from the feeling of being out in the country. Signs warn drivers to be alert for “horses & children at play.”
“It’s an idyllic neighborhood for families as the community is very tight-knit,” says listing agent Laura Kalb of Hilton & Hyland. “They have many community events throughout the year, including a community carnival that’s just for residents and their guests.”
Homes in Hidden Hills capitalize on the out-in-the-country setting.
For example, the almost 11,000-square-foot contemporary farmhouse complex at 23650 Long Valley Road makes the most of mature oak and olive trees that ring the property. Views from upstairs and downstairs at the seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom house overlook the surrounding trees and a lush backyard.
Though the community started in the mid-20th century by developer A.E. Hanson (who also developed Rolling Hills Estates on the Palos Verdes Peninsula), this corner house was built in 2020 and has never been occupied. The see-through front door, custom-made from iron and glass, leads into a spacious foyer with clean lines, a glass staircase and double-height chandelier with strands of tear-shaped lights.
The expansive kitchen, also on the ground floor, is a dream. Off-white marble atop an island and side storage areas keep the cooking space sleek and airy. Marble used for the sink’s backsplash and stove hood is set in book-matched patterns, meaning the veins of the stone are “matched” to mirror each other. The effect is dazzling.
The entertainment area, also on the first floor, creates a neat trick with pocket doors. Think they’re out of style? Think again. Fleetwood pocket doors make glass panels vanish when they are retracted, erasing the barrier between indoors and outdoors. There’s also a home theater with upholstered walls, guest suite and home office on this floor.
Upstairs, the open design continues. The primary suite features a balcony overlooking the yard and a large walk-in closet with custom cabinets made of aluminum and glass. An adjoining bath reintroduces the book-matched marble pattern in the shower and walls, with a floating, stand-alone tub in the center. Gold-colored fixtures by Graff add a touch of simple elegance. A family den and en-suite bedrooms also occupy the second floor.
The star of this home’s backyard is a resort-style pool and spa — complete with your own cabana. This one is stocked with a bar and built-in barbecue for easy meals or entertaining. On the edge of the property, a guest house stands near one of the community’s bridle trails. It has its own entrance — with kitchen, living room and two bedrooms — and, wait for it, more privacy.
The asking price is $17.85 million.
Outside the gates, things can get a little wilder. The Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, a former ranch land to the north, includes 5,600 acres filled with trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and running. To the south is the 19th-century home of Miguel Leonis, a wealthy landowner who bought up acreage and ran a massive ranch in what is now Calabasas. The home serves as a living history museum, which educates people about early California ranch life.
Although things have changed dramatically in 200 years, landowners and workers on old ranchos likely cherished the same thing as modern-day Hidden Hills residents: their privacy.
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