Holiday homes in the Algarve: Why invest in stocks and shares when you can invest in fun?
Even as the Christmas decorations are being put up in many households across the country, the waft of warm air so associated with summer holidays still hits you as you get off the plane. But once getting to the coast, you realise exactly why the area has captivated so many holidaymakers over the years.
We stayed at Pine Cliffs Resort, a stunning five-star hotel which also has town houses, apartments and villas available as holiday homes and solid investments for the savvy business people looking to get something more than just money back from their layout.
The resort, which has 12 restaurants, a deli, tennis courts, gym, spa and nine-hole golf course, also offers incredible views of the ocean which get even better as the sun rises and sets. My hotel room, which was impeccably furnished and had a large, modern bathroom, looked across the cliffs and made for a wonderful start to every morning.
Sales manager Ben gives us a tour of Pine Cliffs in a golf buggy, and regales us with tales of some of the famous businessmen, celebrities and high flyers who have invested in properties on the estate. He tells us his pitch to those interested in buying is “why invest in bonds when you can invest in fun?”
Current properties at the resort range from a luxury apartment on the market for €1.1m to an incredible villa for €4.5m. With such lofty prices, you can see why they are rented out when not in use, but the deal includes a guaranteed return on your investment over a five or ten-year period. A terrace can bring in around €85,000 a year, while a villa can recoup around €195,000, minus fees.
But when it comes to investing in fun, it doesn’t take long for us to work out exactly what Ben means.
The first night, eating in the resort’s O Pescador restaurant we were treated to some exquisite wines and the best sea bass – nay, the best fish – I have ever eaten. With the ocean right on its doorstep, you’d expect an array of great seafood, and the area doesn’t disappoint.
The next morning, like every morning, I woke up and headed to the balcony to take in the incredible view across the cliffs out into the ocean. It’s a mirage of the deepest blues and crystal clear water.
Later each night, I took a look across the same view but this time, it’s painted in stunning yellows, reds and oranges. It’s a scene you would do well to tire of. I doubt many ever have.
It’s a similar feeling as we make our way around the wonderfully manicured nine-hole golf course.
The Algarve is a hotspot for golfers and the course is a handy way of honing your game if you don’t have time to play a full 18 at one of the many championship courses in the area.
But what started off as a normal round of golf in bright sunshine gave way to an exercise in deciding which hole was the most beautiful. The signature sixth – a par three over a ravine with quite incredible views of the ocean – was a favourite, but in the late evening sun this part of Portugal never fails to look beautiful in some way or another.
Heading inland, there is no diminishing return on views, landscapes or luxury. After visiting the picture perfect market town of Loule, we head slightly north to take a look at the Ombria Resort. If Pine Cliffs is one of the originals, then Ombria is one of the new kids on the block.
It has properties starting at €600,000 and going up as high as €2.75m for the luxury villas. This is another opportunity for those who fall in love with the region to invest in fun as well as property.
Although still in the building phase, a look around one of the show apartments makes it clear that these properties are for those who enjoy the lap of luxury. The views from the balcony (and even the bathroom in some cases) look across the new 18-hole course and onto what feels like miles and miles of woods, countryside and vineyards.
It is being built with the future in mind, even though there is still plenty of work to be done in the present. Work on the site began in 2019 and is set to be finished in 2030.
The swimming pools, hotel and rooms will be heated with geothermal energy, while the resort will take advantage of the Algarve’s 230 days of sun by utilising solar power. A complex water management system will also allow rainwater to be collected and used for irrigation on the golf course.
And for owners and visitors, there will be a beach club opened at the nearest beach – around 25 minutes away – while there are also plans for an astronomical observatory to be built in due course.
Again, owners will be able to use the properties for a finite amount of time each year, with the remaining time being devoted to rental and the returns being shared among the owners.
When the time comes for me to start making some savvy business investments, I know I’ll be investing in fun.
Current prices at Ombria Resort start from around €600,000 for the Viceroy Residences apartments and from €2,750,000 for the Alcedo Villas. Visit www.ombria.com for more information. Apartments at Pine Cliffs Residence are available for €1.1m and €1.395m, while villas are currently for sale for €3.2m and €4.5m. Visit www.pinecliffs.com or call +351 289 500 300 for more information.