There are many stories about determined and entrepreneurial young people leaving their home countries to take on the challenges of starting a new life and launching a business in the U.S. Young Rudy Malka, originally from Marseille, France is one of the risk takers who has followed that exact path. The owner of Masterpiece villa, one of Luxury Retreats’ Beverly Hills vacation rentals, this ambitious twenty-something has not only made a go of it, he is the poster boy for youthful ambition.
Masterpiece Beverly Hills, a 4,000 square foot home on nearly four acres in tony Beverly Hills is only one of 20 villas he and brother in law, Shay Gozlan, have built or renovated as part of their business, Living the Dream. But Masterpiece, one of their company’s latest ventures, held a special place in Rudy’s heart from the first time he saw it. “I said to myself, ‘This is amazing!’ I fell in love with this house. It’s as simple as that. I really fell in love.”
It is not difficult to see why the property on which now sits on the newly renovated Masterpiece Beverly Hills stole Rudy Malka’s heart. He admits though the original house on the property at the time was clearly outdated (something he and brother in law Shay would attend to early on), the setting was magical. Standing there on the overgrown property just off the iconic Mulholland Drive, Rudy was taken aback. “You have 180-degree views of Los Angeles. You can even see the mountains behind the city, The view is just breathtaking.”
When Rudy (with his developer brother-in-law, Shay) set out to remodel what was an interesting but old-fashioned previous build, that dramatic view that first captured Rudy’s heart and imagination is what drove the design of what would become a minimalist masterpiece. He and Shay wanted to create an airy and light-filled home that would completely define the spirit of indoor-outdoor living. They wanted visitors to experience that same jaw-dropping view. And they wanted visitors to have that experience from the moment they entered the house.
They accomplished their mission, Rudy says. “Everyone coming into this house when they step through the front door and see the city and the valley below has the same reaction. ‘Wow’!” Rudy says. Four of the five bedrooms of this single-level home (Rudy increased the number of bedrooms of the pre-existing home) also have similar unobstructed views of Los Angeles and Rudy says even the bath in the first master bedroom has a big window looking out over the city.
The white-walled interior with its soothing neutral palette of creams and whites with touches of black and gold enhances rather than detracts from the main attraction, the outdoors. Cream colored sofas trimmed with black piping, white marble table and countertops and light hardwood floors add to the atmosphere of calm at the home that sits high above one of the world’s most frenetic cities.
Floor-to-ceiling windows offer abundant natural light and views of the completely modernized pool area and trees beyond. Outside, guests of this Beverly Hills hideout can relax on bright orange pool chaise lounges by the firepit or swim in the fifty-foot pool overlooking the city. Those wanting to venture further afield on the home’s park-like grounds can hike through stands of palm, citrus and olive trees. And, Rudy says, “There are roses and orchids everywhere!”
Surprisingly, although the house and grounds offer such serenity and privacy, Masterpiece Beverly Hills is actually only a five- to ten-minute drive down the long gated driveway to some of the most interesting attractions in Beverly Hills. Of course, visitors must go to the shops on Rodeo Drive, Rudy says. There are many places to conspicuously consume in L.A. but shopping (or window shopping) at classics such as Prada, Cartier, Chanel, Gucci on this iconic street featured in so many movies is just plain fun.
Stop for breakfast at the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel to get a feel of glamour days of the film industry. You are likely to overhear producers at a morning meeting batting around ideas for new films and even spot a couple of celebrities while you dine on a wild mushroom and Boursin cheese omelets. For something new and glitzy, visitors to Masterpiece villa might want to check out the Beverly Center’s Cal Mare for caviar and mozzarella with warm zeppole and prosciutto. Rudy recommends Chef David Féau’s Wally’s for its branzino and, a true Frenchman, Rudy says he appreciates Wally’s for its astonishing variety of cheeses. For people watching, though, he says don’t miss il Pastaio.
Beverly Hills is certainly about restaurants and high end, eye-popping shopping, but do visit some of the cultural sites too such as the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of TV and Radio) and, don’t forget, says car-loving Rudy, the nearby Petersen Automotive Museum with its collection of luxury vehicles even grander than those seen even on the streets of Beverly Hills.
The incredible thing about Masterpiece Rudy reminds us is that visitors can easily enjoy the buzz of Beverly Hills but also make a quick escape to his favorite place in town, the cozy sofa by the firepit where visitors can watch the day turn into night. “When it’s sunset, the view is just wonderful. All the colors appear in the sky between the mountains and over the city. It’s just amazing,” he says quietly and with a soupcon of awe. “You have the feeling you are in the middle of nowhere, but here you are in the middle of Beverly Hills.”