As we headed out by tender from Antibes to board Lürssen’s new 88-metre Quattroelle, we passed an informal and iconic guard of honour of Lürssens. Anchored between us and the latest launch were Polar Star, Ice, Dilbar, Katara, Arkley and Titania. There were no ugly sisters among these sisterships, but there was no doubting the star of this show, and also of the Monaco Yacht Show in September.

On the water Quattroelle has a dynamic, sporty appearance – for a big yacht, she cuts a surprisingly lithe figure. It’s tempting to see the stylishness and elegance as a direct result of her exterior and interior designers, Nuvolari & Lenard. They had not worked with Lürssen before, but had a strong relationship with the owner, who has previously owned a 60-metre Lürssen and chartered regularly and knew exactly what he wanted from his new yacht. “All the family was involved with the design and trusted me from day one,” says Nuvolari & Lenard designer Valentina Zannier. “Now I often receive touching emails from the family’s side telling me that the yacht surprises them every day.”

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There’s a certain playfulness in the name itself: Quattroelle means ‘four Ls’ in Italian, which the owner defines as the key elements of what the yacht means to him: love, life, liberty and luxury. “The owner wanted a design that reflected his personality in a very precise and positive way,” says designer Dan Lenard. His brief was for a yacht that needed to perform well in all conditions, and offer a safe environment for all on board. Rob Moran of Moran Yacht & Ship, who sold the project and wrote the technical specifications, came on board to project manage this challenging build, and the owner also had his captain Paul Bell involved.

You don’t have to spend long on board before you notice clever engineering solutions underpinning all the stylish elements: a fold-out stepped platform at the stern with a couple of steps in the water, for example, is a safe area for diving and mounting water toys. Perhaps the ‘liberty’ element in the ‘four Ls’ is best reflected in the wide-open deck spaces that allow guests outside to do whatever they fancy, whatever the size of group. There’s some occasional seating on the main deck aft and a more formal table outside on the upper deck, but it’s the bridge deck that really attracts. Soft, mallow-like sunbeds, positioned under bespoke cantilevered sun canopies, flank a 6.6-metre jet-flow infinity pool.

Stairways port and starboard lead to the sundeck, which on Quattroelle is a wellness deck with a state-of-the-art gym, sauna and massage rooms, as well as a forward hot-tub for post-workout relaxing. The low protective glass surround allows for spectacular 180˚ views from perhaps the best seat in the house. Hugging the hot-tub are yet more ‘mallow’ sunbeds, creating a cosy and relaxing area.

For Peter Lürssen, Lürssen’s managing partner, the key to the yacht is making the best possible use of the huge volumes. “The process of building this yacht was all about studying the proportions and carefully distributing the volume,” he says. A distinct winner in the distribution process is, of course, the owner, who occupies a vast space on the upper deck, with a private lounge that offers panoramic views. The look is contemporary, light and lively.

A deck below is the owner’s suite – although occupying half the deck, this is really a self-contained family deck, with a lobby amidships, a dedicated office and sleeping cabins for the children. The forward sleeping quarters, with blue and mauve bedding, scatter cushions and throws, offers a refreshing vibe, while the sand-textured carpet brings the seaside on board. The owners have immediate access outside through a door to starboard, and a comfortable seating area here offers total privacy. Further steps down to the foredeck are the owner’s route to the helicopter deck.

The facilities here are spectacularly generous. Aft of the master stateroom, the his’n’hers bathrooms are beautifully finished in a variety of fine-grained woods and glass, with large windows. The owner’s office has a practical layout with lots of storage and eye-catching silver artworks, including an intricate model of a galleon. In the two cabins designed for the owner’s children, rolls of soft fabric along the wall add a cosy touch. Each cabin has its own ensuite and bath.

Through a lobby is the salon, a more formal space with a grand self-playing Steinway piano for after-dinner recitals. Forward in this area, lots of soft cushions and a discreetly hidden large-screen television invite guests to relax. A beautifully etched glass aquarium lines the back wall of the small bar here, and curved glass doors open at the touch of a button, leading out to a terrace with a dining table for up to 14. Glass walls form an enclosed air-conditioned area, allowing guests to stay outside whatever the elements decide to do.

The main deck hosts the VIP and guest suites, with the main entrance on the lower deck leading to a foyer with a wave-formation wooden floor – the unique bespoke covering requires a painstaking procedure of wetting and bending strips of wood that are pinned then glued into place. A hand-crafted staircase balustrade uses bronze rope-like extrusions and is worth the effort of climbing, though there is an elevator.

Formal dining is on the main deck, dividing the salon from the guest areas. The table top is constructed from a textured metal sheet, engraved and covered with a thick glass top. Up to 20 guests can sit comfortably around the table, though the normal configuration allows for 16. A hand-made glass chandelier hangs centrally over the length of the table, with the table’s glass surface below capturing the light and utilising it to glorious effect. For private fine dining, the room can be completely separated from the main salon and the library on the other side of the dividing wall.

Both the library and the enormous formal main salon have a tempting array of sofas, and once again the unique wave formation flooring carries guests through to an exhibition space containing works by Japanese glass artist Ritsue Mishima. A long corridor runs between the guest areas and the spacious cinema with its inviting half-moon seating. Guests can choose between three large VIP suites and two smaller twins that convert to queens. On the lower deck, the yacht’s 29 crew members are accommodated in 15 cabins; the galley and a nanny cabin are situated down here too.

With so many on-board diversions, it’s useful to be reminded of the options for on-water excitement. Two Colombo LT tenders – one limousine and one open, both designed by Nuvolari & Lenard – launch sideways through the hull. There is also a dedicated dive-equipment room and plenty of toys for the owner and his family to enjoy. The start of the beach club area offers a day head, changing room and sofa area with TV.

This is a yacht that puts family enjoyment before everything else. Playing with the idea of conventional layout, it reflects the owner’s personality and lifestyle “positively and precisely”, just as intended, on each of its decks. For future guests, one thing is certain: on this yacht, they can expect to be surprised every day.