Coastal Haven

Located in the luxury community of Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach, this four-bedroom house showcases exceptional oceanfront views, honoring nature in a glorious way 


Written by Karine Monié

8 N La Senda - front rock shot.jpg

Endeavoring to find the right home is a difficult task. It is not only about square footage, pricing, style and design, but above all, the feel and first impression of a new house. While not always perceptible in the usual way, the latter factors figure more significantly in the overall equation as it is the intangibles that make a beautiful house a true home. What are the possibilities that a home’s layout offers? What do the surroundings and lifestyle provide? It is the considered search that yields the most spectacular result. 

In Laguna Beach, spectacular is the oceanfront home at 8 N. La Senda Drive. Located in the luxuriously discreet community of Three Arch Bay, and on the market for the first time in almost 70 years, this unique, 2,631-square-foot property initially built in 1953 on a 17,080-square-foot lot is organized around two levels, and has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and four parking spaces, including a detached garage. What’s more, the ideal family residence soaks in breathtaking views of Catalina Island and the glistening coastline.

Perched above the water and rocks over a private cove, the home was designed to make the most of the landscape and the sublime setting within one of the most prestigious gated communities in the area, Three Arch Bay, which takes its name from the natural outline of a cliff that forms three arches over a sandy beach and hosts nearly 450 exclusive homes with various styles, from classic to Mediterranean to contemporary. The entire 29-acre site was purchased in 1926 for only $135,000, but had star quality even then. (In 1929, film producer Edward H. Griffith created the first rock pool and built his property and a lighthouse, using them as a backdrop in his early movies Captain Blood and Give Us This Night.) Today, Three Arch Bay is a desirable community of stunning private residences, perhaps none more so than this sanctuary by the sea.

From the street, the house is almost invisible, providing the highest level of privacy. At the entrance, on the left of the detached garage, stairs lead to a charming courtyard adorned with plants and an outdoor fireplace. From there, protected from the wind (on the occasion there is any), the exceptional panorama becomes visible and is an invitation to walk in. Once inside, everything is about the crystalline view. The open plan of the upper level directs the eye toward the sea. The updated kitchen with walk-in pantry, and the dining and living areas are all bathed with natural light, thanks to expansive picture windows that seem to bring the outside in and the inside out—blurring the lines between the two. From the balcony at the far end of the living room, the rhythmic sound of waves and views of the ocean give one the fascinating feeling of being at the front of a boat. The parquet, beams and wood fireplace create the perfect atmosphere for watching the sunset on cozy winter nights. The neutral palette emphasizes the myriad shades of blue in the water and the sky, which delicately vary depending on the season, weather and time of day. This floor also features two baths, along with two resplendent and spacious bedrooms, both with glittering vistas. 

Like a persistent shadow, the view follows. While heading downstairs, which hosts two additional bedrooms and one bathroom, a large floor-to-ceiling window offers a glimpse of what’s taking place outside. Another large open space that can easily transform into a master suite or a family room opens to an expansive outdoor terrace, where the proximity to the ocean helps put anyone at one with nature. Stingrays, seals and whales are frequent passersby, giving those on the terrace the opportunity to observe them in their mesmerizing natural environment. 

The scene outside the home—beyond its magnificent ocean outlook—is part of living in Three Arch Bay, which offers residents access to two tennis courts, a basketball court, a park and a beautiful beach—only accessible from the community via staircases—that make for a relaxed family lifestyle that is quintessential Southern California. Surfing, paddling, boogie boarding, swimming at dawn or at dusk, or simply relaxing barefoot in the sand is a true privilege—often a dream—that can be achieved here. 

Day after day, this peaceful environment is a reminder to take time for and protect the beauty of the natural world. This home is truly a refuge where one can do this in comfort and serenity. Calm and contemplation takes on their full meaning here, from the cerulean views of the sea, to the living areas, to the outdoor space. At the same time, the property is in close proximity to the most artistic and enchanting town in Orange County. Cultural events, art galleries, a dynamic food scene with quaint cafes and stylish fine dining restaurants, and darling boutiques make Laguna Beach a coveted gem. This home is its sparkling complement.

Presented by Frank Hufnagel & Heidi Cleveland, Surterre Properties ~ | 949.444.8718