Issue Nº 3
:: Summer 2012
Hotels & Resorts
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• Austerity • Redundancy compensation • Keen on technology Diary in Paradise • Tourism trends • Visionary project
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INDEX 04 • Message from the director
06 • Tourism – Is the Government destroying its best asset? 10 • Vale do Lobo – a way of life 18 • Austerity – Is the cure killing the patient? 22 • Worx – Why property is still a good investment 24 • Redundancy compensation – controversial and complex 30 • Going beyond the call of duty – Dunas Douradas Beach Club 31 • Creating Gardens of Eden for 20 years – Jardim Vista
32 • Just another day in paradise – A Brazilian odyssey with MVC Hotéis de Charme 36 • Evergreen – Why the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel really is sustainable 40 • On top of the world – Carla Maximino on Hotel Mundial 38 • Putting clients first – Architect João Sousa Menezes 46 • águahotels – A Portuguese success story 50 • Tourism networking – An everything but the kitchen sink approach 58 • Keen on technology – The British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce Director | Luis Figueiredo Trindade • email@example.com Commercial | Catarina Meneses • firstname.lastname@example.org Editor | Chris Graeme • email@example.com design CONCEPTION | André Freire • David Martins DESIGN SUPERVISION | Isabel Alcobia Journalist | Kevin Rose Special Contributor | David Sampson • firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions | Acácio Pita Negrão João • Chris Barton • Valter Alcoforado Barreira Photography | Chris Graeme Printer | Produced at Uniarte Gráfica, SA (Porto) – nº DL: 341143/12 Distribution | 3,000 are distributed by hand to leading business people in the Greater Lisbon area, 1.500 copies are distributed by post internationally and 500 copes at the national and international trade fairs, events of the Chambers of Commerce. Hotels & Resorts | Issue Nº. 3 – Summer 2012
Front page illustration credits | João Menezes, Proximo Lda, 2012
Published bi-monthly and owned by Bravespiral – Comunicação, Unip. Lda. LX Factory | Rua Rodrigues Faria, nº. 103, Ed. I 4.02.01 | 1300-501 Lisboa Registo na ERC nº 126184 | Annual subscription fee: 25 euros / Bi-monthly www.partnersinbusiness.info Reproduction of material in this magazine in any form is prohibited without prior written permission from Partners in Business team. The view expressed in this magazine is not necessarily those of the publisher.
[ EDITOR IAL ]
Residencial Tourism A national strategic objective
Luis Figueiredo trindade | Director, Partners in Business
We need a strategy implemented in alignment with our experienced project developers, committed to developing the country not only as a city break or holiday option but also as a long stay destination.
Innovation is finally sweeping through the tourism industry in Portugal. The Portuguese hotel market is reacting to the growing presence of top-quality international chains by launching its own new quality brands and innovative concepts that have raised the benchmark and substantially boosted the market. Today, the major national chains are successfully penetrating and competing in international expansion markets like Brazil and Mozambique while budget tourism products are also raising their own quality standards. Portugal is now home to a cluster of some of the world’s best and most famous boutique hotels – many of them charming with a sense of history such as the pousadas and Quinta de Lagrimas, others contemporary, sexy and sophisticated, others still capturing the growing trend for sustainable, green and holistic philosophies. But most important of all, they are focusing across the market board, offering something for everyone and often at competitive prices. While many hotels still go in for traditional notions of luxury, more are understanding that a stay is as much about experience and feeling good as it is about puffed up dralon sofas and tasseled curtains. At the same time, the restaurant sector has kept pace with trends in the hotel and accommodation sector, investing in sophistication, customer service training and in increasingly diverse and creative concepts – various Portuguese restaurants have already marked out their place in international gastronomy circles.
Somewhat less well catered for in Portugal is residential tourism, a highly powerful, wealth generating industry and a genuine uncut diamond. Resorts with unique characteristics worldwide are located in Portugal and drawing upon its unparalleled factors such as a good climate, geographic location and low crime rates... We should also never underestimate the Portuguese golf travel market, which brings in over a million European tourists annually. Such a market should be channelled into other areas such as Portugal’s top-end resorts bound up with innovative concepts and in conjunction with local cultural inputs and pure quality services. This should all enable the Economy Ministry and AICEP – the Government’s foreign investment organisation - to draw up a sustainable strategic plan. This means putting together a strategy which is in tune with our experienced project developers, one committed to developing the country not only as a city break or holiday option but also as a long stay destination. I refer here to a strategy able to attract investment, create jobs, repopulate the various semi-deserted interior villages and regions, and enhance our heritage and national identity, not to mention the boost this would provide to our real estate and financial sectors. The international scale of our second home market should become our next major strategic goal. There is so much talk about exports, but why not create the financial and fiscal incentive conditions for foreign investors? Nurturing the right kind of image, just as our neighbour Spain has done, should result in the sale of many second homes in the international market place.
We have everything in order to become a destination of choice. We need only the strategy, the pragmatism and the will. There’s no time to lose, or others will beat us to it!
4 | Hotels & Resorts
A golden opportunity... Whether buying or holidaying, Dunas Douradas is one of the most alluring Algarve Resorts
Con tACt no u
Wr lIm e ou s I t r e d oFF er o speCIA BeA n eXClu l C ApA H CluB sIve rtm ent s.
Close your eyes. Listen. Hear the gentle breaking of the waves on the sandy shoreline. Feel the warmth of the sun flooding into your bedroom. Smell the ocean. Welcome to your holiday home at Dunas Douradas Beach Club, a privileged beach-front location within the Golden Triangle of the Algarve, set amongst 32 hectares of pine forest and flanked by the lush green golf courses of the Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago resorts. Enjoy yourself in and around the clubhouse with its gym, indoor and outdoor pools, Restaurants, Bar and TV Lounge. Whatever you do, do it all in complete comfort.
A few properties are still available for sale, should you not be able to resist after a holiday with us!
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Holiday or Property enquiries: Dunas Douradas Beach Club, Algarve, Portugal 路 Tel: +351 289 351 300
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Dunas Douradas Beach Club by Dunas Douradas Beach Club
[ SPECIAL REP ORT ]
Tourism where next for the resort, hotel and second home markets?
DAVID sampon | Special Contributor, Partners in Business
2012 is so far proving to be a difficult year for Portugal’s tourism. But government policies towards what should be one of its prime export earners are hardly fair compared to other European destinations. David Sampson explains why. The Portuguese economy is in the doldrums and the government looks to export led growth as the way forward. Tourism is as good an export as any but you would hardly know it from the way the government has treated the tourist industry over the last decade. The industry asks only that it be allowed a level playing field compared with other European destinations but the government has ignored such pleas. Hoteliers have to compete with hotels in neighbouring Spain where the rate of VAT is considerably less than that in Portugal, and the lower rate of VAT for golf was cancelled, thereby making Portugal one of the more expensive destinations for golf. The extension of the motorway network could have made Portugal a more attractive country to visit as it opened up 6 | Hotels & Resorts
the previously unknown interior. It is now only a 3 hour drive from Lisbon to almost anywhere in the country, whereas it used to take hours to reach the interior. The network has however become a curse and it is grossly underused. All the recent motorways were built by private enterprise using the private-public finance initiative. The government paid none of the cost and took on no borrowing, while it was free to the user (a so-called SCUT), but the government agreed to pay a “virtual” toll to the builder/operator for every car using the motorway. Given Portugal’s financial position this method of payment has become unsustainable and last year the government introduced tolls on all such motorways, including the motorway
running across the Algarve and linking Portugal to Spain. The result was a 50% drop in traffic, and chaos, as foreigners tried to find ways to pay the tolls. Only now is the government introducing an experimental booth near the Spanish border where owners of foreign registered cars can pay the toll in advance. Another belief of the government was that developers were being held back by bureaucracy and that what was needed was a fast-track system for major projects, whereby the government could ensure that everything ran smoothly. As it turns out the major problems have been economic. There was not enough demand for the second home and hotel/resort developments which did go ahead and many of them are in the hands of the banks.
The Main Hotels which opened in 2011 NOME intercontinental Porto - palácio das cardosas CS HOTEL DO LAGO MONTARgil onyria marinha edition hotel & Thalasso cascade resort cs palm village (vila do golf) cs flamingos cs morgado golf hotel cs salgados grand hotel pestana vila sol golf & resort hotel L`AND vineyards boutique hotel aquashow park hotel turim avenida da liberdade hotel água hotels riverside open village sports hotel & spa club ibis sintra B&B PORTO HOTEl Easy hotel porto
CIDADE PORTO montargil Cascais lagos albufeira albufeira portimão albufeira valamoura montemor-o-novo quarteira lisboa portimão guimarães sintra porto porto
CATEGORIA 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 2
QUARTOS 105 105 84 86 250 58 103 228 189 22 148 100 134 51 125 125 56
Standard Rates in hotels and 5-star hotels (2005-2011) 310€ 290€
210€ 190€ 170€ 150€ 130€ 110€
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: Portuguese Tourism Board
Tough times for developers the Western Algarve, have gone into Many of the major developers in the Algarve of the last decade have gone bankrupt. The Irish owned Oceânico bought all the golf courses in Vilamoura and added two more which it developed itself but all seven plus all their developments and land are now in the hands of either NAMA, the authority to which the Irish banks have passed their dud stock, or Portuguese banks, mainly BCP. Companies within the orbit of BPN, the bank which had to be saved by the government, bought many sites in the Algarve and all are waiting for buyers. Imocom which developed the Hilton in Vilamoura and was in the process of completing the Conrad in Quinta do Lago went bankrupt but it appears that the banks are completing the Conrad as it is advertising that it is opening this year. The Spanish developers have all gone. In fact most of the developments which were at all outside the main destinations did not even start construction. Alamada D’Ouro and Corte Velho on the banks of the Guardiana facing Spain never got the full permissions they had been seeking over 20 years and although Inland got clearance for their Verde Lago development on the coast in Castro Marim no houses have been built or sold. Some hotel groups are also having difficulties but the banks prefer to leave the current owners to manage them. The most notorious case is CS Hotels owned by developer Carlos Saraiva who opened five 5-star hotels in 2011. The banks have taken over the group’s real estate projects but have left him running the hotels. Even developers of successful developments who have sold most of their properties have struggled to keep their projects and associated hotels running. The management companies at Parque de Floresta, a well established resort in
liquidation. At Campo Real close to Lisbon developer Netto Almeida took over the running of the hotel there when Westin withdrew but his companies and the hotel are now in the hands of the BCP. He is negotiating with the bank to buy back the hotel at a steep discount. Close by at Praia d’el Rey Beltico is running the Marriott Hotel as a franchise but is struggling to justify the money it paid for permission to develop the adjoining Falesia d’el Rey. MSF are moving cautiously at Royal Obidos. They have opened a golf academy and practice range but have not started any houses or the planned hotel. Because of strong backing from the previous management at the Portuguese tourism board the construction of the new Hilton Hotel at Bom Sucesso in Obidos has gone ahead but it is likely to have to struggle to get good occupancy levels.
Numbers of tourists
The figures show that over the years tourism has been growing. In 2011 13.8 million passengers landed at the country’s airports, around the same number as in 2010. This was the result of an increase in foreign passengers (+9%) and of a fall in the number of passengers on domestic flights (-2%). The number of nights spent by guests in hotels fell but the occupation rates per room and per bed rose slightly. What has been declining since 2008 are room rates particularly in the 5-star sector. By the end of 2011 the standard rate for a hotel room had fallen to €117.54, the lowest price in the last 7 years, and for 5-star hotels the fall in rate has been even more substantial. After a peak in 2008 (€309.50), the standard rate per room fell in 2011 to €228.79 which meant that it has fallen by about 10% per year since 2008.
The intense competition arising from the opening of a large number of new 5-star hotels, particularly in the Algarve and Cascais, without a corresponding increase in demand. has been one of the reasons behind the falls in standard room rates. Unfortunately the extra supply arrived on the market just at the time when the economic crisis in the rest of Europe began to take effect.
The good news
Anyone visiting the cities of Lisbon and Porto cannot fail to notice the increase in the number of new hotels designed to appeal to the city break market. Like the Inspira Santa Marta in Lisbon they are well designed and pleasant to be in. In Porto 2 2-star units opened last year the B&B Porto Hotel and the Easy Hotel Porto – both with a philosophy of being low cost hotels. They are largely driven by the passengers arriving in Porto on low cost airlines and they have comfortable |7
[ SPECIAL REP ORT ]
2012 is a difficult year for Portugal and the performance of the hotel and residential tourism market must be affected. Not all the planned hotel units and second home projects can go ahead. accommodation with very competitive prices and reasonable levels of comfort. There is also a trend that the services offered by hotel units, such as restaurants and spa, need to be attractive to a local clientele which does not spend the night but uses the services regularly. Locally sourced customers are important for the hotels to stay busy all year round and be economic. The restaurant can then become a destination in itself, such as the Arcadas in the Quinta das Lágrimas in Coimbra, the Feitoria in the Hotel Altis Belém or the Olivier Avenida in the Hotel Tivoli.
Investment at a low level
The sector has also been penalised by the fall in the average value of hotel units. Investment as a whole in Portuguese property has fallen while investors wait and see how the euro crisis works out, and there is little or no bank financing available either to build new hotels or buy existing ones. The same applies to the sales of second homes which have become a way of financing the development of a resort. The recently created Portuguese Association of Resorts is working hard to demonstrate the quality of the second home market. They want to confirm Portugal as a brand and as a secure and high quality destination, and this process can help reposition the country as a target for investment. Recent successful openings include the Pestana Tróia Eco-Resorts & Residences, and L’and Vineyards Boutique Hotel in Montemor in the Alentejo. There has been some activity by recovery funds such as Explorer and ECS Capital, which is led by a former governor of the Bank of Portugal. They have bought the Hilton Resort in Vilamoura and are negotiating to take over the failed
8 | Hotels & Resorts
Colombo’s Resort on the island of Porto Santo. The issue is to get the banks to sell assets at the current value, as they do not wish to accept the large writedowns involved.
2012 is a difficult year for Portugal and the performance of the hotel and residential tourism market must be affected. Not all the planned hotel units and second home projects can go ahead or be completed in the short term. But the movement towards smaller hotels will continue, in response to clients looking for good design, a sophisticated and not mass level of service, and an experience rather than just accommodation as a product. Portugal is in line with the international trend. A growing number of units of this type and size having opened in recent years and more are foreseen in the short/medium term.
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“ Vale do Lobo offers unique and integrated service packages
” DIOGO GASPAR FERREIRA | CEO, VALE DO LOBO
10 | Hotels & Resorts
Vale do Lobo
More than a resort ... its a way of life! Chris Graeme | Interview
Vale do Lobo, the Algarve`s premiere resort, offers an extensive range of holiday rental and second home properties. Purchasing a property in Vale do Lobo is purchasing a lifestyle! It`s dedicated real estate experts are on hand to guide clients into purchasing the right property to suit personal requirements. Diogo Gaspar Ferreira, Vale do Lobo`s CEO, explains more. Vale do Lobo is recognised throughout Europe as world class luxury tourism and residential development and a pioneering resort in the Algarve. What is Vale do Lobo’s concept today? Is it viewed more as a resort for second homes or as a holiday destination?
Of course any buyer clearly wants to make a good investment. The range of products we offer is varied and we always try to provide a product for each type of client (apartments, town houses, semi-detached houses and villas) which helps us to try and reach any type of budget within the level of quality. Our main clients come from the United Kingdom and Germany. Holland, Ireland, the Scandinavian countries and Russia are important markets too.
What services do you offer as a resort that sets Vale do Lobo apart from other resorts?
Given that Vale do Lobo is a destination of choice for international golfers, have you felt or do you expect to see a fall in demand due to the increase in VAT to 23%? Will it reflect on your winter rentals occupation rate?
Vale do Lobo is both of these things and we try to explain to visitors on holiday here to think about the benefits of buying a second home here in the future.
Vale do Lobo has always developed its business model in a sustained and controlled manner from the start with regards to all of its resort operations (real estate, golf and tourism) since the all-inclusive services we provide represent the resort’s strongest selling point. Unlike other equally internationally recognised quality destinations (Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura), Vale do Lobo has never sold macro plots of land to third parties since this has led to projects being developed by third parties abdicating the chance to control respective quality and prices. Instead Vale do Lobo has always maintained control over its operations which has enabled it to offer unique and integrated service packages. In renting out houses to tourists and for our second home owners Vale do Lobo offers a range of services which are comparable to a concierge service that you would expect at a 5-star hotel, although this provides a greater challenge in a 500 hectare site. Among other things, we offer the following services: minibus that picks people up from home and drops them off wherever they want at the resort (24 hours a day), house cleaning services, pool and garden maintenance and associated equipment, babysitting, dogsitting, home catering services, bill payment services (electricity, gas and water, insurance and taxes), restaurant reservations, what’s on information, car hire, boat and plane reservations, 24 hour medical service, supermarket...
Our rental business linked to golf has increased over the past 5 years by rates of more than 10% and and we hope that with our strategy, even given this VAT increase setback, this growth won’t be affected. This year Vale do Lobo is absorbing the lion’s share of the VAT increase, which means that while not losing clients, profit margin has reduced somewhat. We still believe that the Government will go back on its decision, and in this case, the client won’t feel the increase.
Since you’ve been the President of the Portuguese Resorts Association, the residential industry enjoyed significant growth. What support is there in terms of international promotion for the sector?
We have felt from this Government and the Portuguese Tourist Board (Turismo de Portugal), considerable concern and interest in developing the industry. Together we are analysing and studying measures of a promotional and fiscal nature which will enable us to increase our competitiveness with regards our main competitors in southern Europe (Spain, France and Italy). Because of this we believe that Portugal has the unique conditions to up its reduced quota in the European market (we currently have a 5% market share in terms of second homes sold and rented to foreigners for southern Europe.
Residential tourism has been identified as a key product What investment opportunities does Vale do Lobo in Portugal’s National Strategy Plan for Tourism. What currently have to offer real estate investors? Who are your joint efforts and campaigns are going to be carried out potential investors and clients? with the Portuguese Tourist Board? Vale do Lobo has been selling second homes for over 40 years and has always seen its buyers as clients and not investors.
We are all working together in studying and preparing a strategy but it’s still too early to release concrete details. | 11
[ PART NE R S NEWS ]
Onyria Golf Resorts Group
distinguished with two Portugal Tourist Board awards The Onyria Golf Resort Group has been distinguished from among 150 candidates by the Portugal Tourist Board (Turismo de Portugal) with 2 awards at the 7th Portugal Tourism Awards. The awards, presented on June 26th, are: ‘Private Refurbishment Project’ awarded to Onyria Palmares Golf and ‘Service Quality’ awarded to Onyria Marinha Edition Hotel & Thalasso. José Carlos Pinto Coelho, president of Onyria Golf Resorts Group says: “These awards reflect the group’s investment in its projects. The ‘Service Quality’ award shows
the day-to-day work of a highly-qualified team which is 100% dedicated to its guests. The ‘Private Project Refurbishment’ award joins the two international awards that the Palmares Beach & Golf Resort had already received and recognises the strengths and differentiating characteristics that it has for the Algarve and Portugal.” The ‘Service Quality’ award presented to the Onyria Marinha Edition Hotel & Thalasso, a resort situated in Quinta da Marinha, Cascais, is based on various criteria such as client satisfaction, treating staff well and evaluating and monitoring
supplied services, all of which are based in its motto “A Dream Stay”. Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort, situated in the Lagos area and designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., received the award ‘Private Project Refurbishment’ based on the strict evaluation of various aspects such as the economic and social sustainability of the project; accessibility, quality of the accommodation, product innovation, environmental aspects and the product’s contribution towards the development of tourism in the region, as well as restoring a flagship golf course.
Broadway Malyan designs luxury condominium for Cascais
The Lisbon office of international architects, urban planners and designers Broadway Malyan is behind the designs for a new, modern and sophisticated €30 million closed luxury condominium in Cascais for the NH Group. Work has already begun on the infrastructure for the development and will be completed in May. The private town houses (9.600m²) are already being marketed for sale with an expected price tag of €5.5 million for the largest properties. The project was awarded to Broadway Malyan following a tendering competition which Broadway Malyan won in 2009, having since then been responsible for the architecture, design, and interiors and landscaping.
12 | Hotels & Resorts
[ PART NE R S NEWS ]
presents €13 million net result for the 1st quarter of 2012
Appointed country manager of Neinver Portugal Lurdes Martins has been appointed Country Manager of Neinver Portugal, replacing Álvaro Valiente. Formerly Commercial Director in Portugal, Lurdes Martins joined Neinver in 2002. and has a background in marketing. Lurdes Martins oversaw the entire Vila do Conde project, successful Outlet in Portugal which made Neinver a leader in this sector of retail in Portugal, creating the brand The Style Outlets which is an innovative and successful shopping and leisure concept.
Shopping centre management and retail experts Sonae Sierra posted net profit results for the first quarter of 2012 25% above the same period in 2011.
and amortization grew 4% against the same period in 2011, reaching €30 million. The company portfolio Total Occupation Rate is stable at 96%.
One of the reasons behind the Sonae Sierra’s net result was because of an improvement in its financial results and operational efficiency. Its Indirect Result decreased 20% as a consequence of the non-existence of assets evaluation for the quarter.
The company has recently successfully launched two large shopping centre projects: Le Terrazze (Italy) and Uberlândia Shopping (Brazil).
The direct result stood at €18 million, 24% more than in the first quarter of 2011 while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
B.Prime celebrates its third anniversary B.Prime, which has just celebrated its 3rd anniversary, closed 2011 with a turnover of around €650,000. The property advisors enjoyed a substantial growth in its transaction areas, namely agency and investment which saw a 20% growth compared with the previous year, which represented a market quota increase of 10.15%. Since its founding, B.Prime has concentrated on a specific niche area, the office sector in all its 14 | Hotels & Resorts
forms, namely Corporate– Tenant Representation, Investment, Agency, Architecture and Project Management, although it has helped clients in other areas such as Retail and Industrial. Jorge Bota, Managing Partner of B. Prime says: “We have always had a well-defined strategy and a team which is well-known in the area we specialise in. The company was set up at the peak of the crisis and so we have always had a strategy which adequately suits the times we’re in.”
In Portugal the company invested around €1 million in a new phase of expansion for GuimarãesShopping, adding 1.240m² to the GLA, permitting the centre to improve the range and attractiveness of its retail and commercial outlets.
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[ PART NE R S NEWS ]
Schenker launches rail service from Portugal to Germany
The Portuguese branch of the German group Deutsche Bahn (DB) is now running two freight trains a week between Portugal and Germany for imports/exports worth €10 million. The two trains, which will start running from September, will
each have 32 wagons (480m) with 703 tonnes. “When the second train departs it will be 100% loaded”, says Schenker director of sales, Jorge Carvalho. DB Schenker is the European leader in overland rail freight transportation.
16 | Hotels & Resorts
Situado em pleno coração da cidade de Lisboa, o Inspira Santa Marta Hotel representa um equilíbrio permanente com a natureza, a pensar nos princípios do Feng Shui e nos 5 elementos: fogo, terra, água, árvore e metal. Será convidado a entrar num mundo onde o design com recurso a materiais amigos do ambiente preenchem o espaço com energia positiva. Os quartos e suites, bem como o espaço envolvente, respiram harmonia e a tranquilidade de um verdadeiro oásis urbano. Uma cortesia aos seus sentidos, é o convite do Inspira Santa Marta Hotel.
www.inspirahotels.com Rua de Santa Marta, 48 | 1150-297 Lisboa | Portugal Tel. +351 210 440 900 | Fax +351 210 435 993
[ PARTNERS SPECIA L FEAT U RE ]
Chris Graeme | Feature
Portugal has some reasons to feel rather smug these days. Only recently it was praised by the Chinese during an official visit by Paulo Portas for the successful implementation of its structural reforms and austerity measures, while the Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, is widely respected and admired in Brussels and Berlin by the likes of Angela Merkel for being such a good pupil. But it’s one thing being awarded five golden stars and go to the top of the class after being the remedial dunce, it’s quite another things staying there. Is the cost for Portuguese society proving too high? Are the cracks starting to shown in terms of social cohesion?
government has been doing all three, but with mixed results. The successive tax hikes, which actually begun under the Socialist José Sócrates government – who, by the way, despite being the public’s favourite whipping boy right now, started Portugal on the road to reform – have resulted in record unemployment ( nearly 15%), a staggering number of company closures, stagnant
Interestingly enough, the gifted and competent economist and one-time PSD finance minister Manuela Ferreira Leite warned over two years ago, even before the word ‘austerity’ entered the national consciousness, that while Portugal probably needed a public sector salary haircut of around 20%, there were limits to what the ordinary man and woman in the street could bear.
consumer spending and a parallel black economy that is larger than ever (estimated at around 28% of all possible tax revenue.
There were only three ways to put the nation’s finances in order – raise taxes, reduce government spending and push for exports. So far the current PSD
There have been some attempts at reforming the bloated public sector, largely through natural wastage, retirement and less hiring, but even so,
18 | Hotels & Resorts
Portugal’s public administration, which actually ballooned under the last PS government, still stands at around 750,000 employees, far too large for a country with a population of just 10 million and falling. Of course exports, which have overall increased over the past two years (exports worth €1.34 billion increased 8.4% for the first quarter overall while
imports fell 7.7%) are encouraging, especially to Brazil, Angola, the United States, China, the Far East and North Africa, but with Portugal’s main European partners in the doldrums, particularly Spain, the gains made in the past 12 months were substantially slowing by April compared to the same period last year (from 5.2% to 3.1%*National Statistics Institute). There are also worrying signs that Portugal, despite the valiant efforts of its finance minister Vítor
Gaspar, is struggling to keep its budget deficit under control (7.9% of GDP or €3.2 billion in March), representing a year-on-year increase of 4 decimal points (7.5%), despite a round of cuts, as the country’s health and welfare bills soar and its tax revenues plummet (down 3.5%). There is also considerable opposition to its local government reforms.
answer? Obviously not. Possibly the only statesman to emerge in Portugal since 1974, former president Mário Soares, has publicly, if not to the Government, voiced concerns at the cost on what is arguably one of the poorest societies in the Western developed world. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the country is in a worst economic and social state than it was a year ago. We have become largely a protectorate of the European Union and While the prime minister insists the Germany and this Government’s strategy country is on track to its European is failing,” he said on national television partners and claims there will be no at the start of July. One might expect further need for more austerity measures, this kind of reaction from a dyed-inhis finance minister, Vítor Gaspar admits the-wool socialist, but unfortunately for more austerity measures may be necessary the Government comments of a similar while the BES economist and PSD nature are emerging from none other parliamentary MP, Miguel Frasquilho admits the “risks in keeping to the
budget target are “significant” because of falling tax revenues and a soaring social welfare bill. And even the European Commission in early July warned that Portugal needed to increase the number of goods and services taxed at the standard 23% VAT rate. Even so, public expenditure is down by 2,2% while Portugal’s external deficit is now only 3.9% of its GDP. But these are due to cuts rather than growth and growth is what the country needs. So can austerity and good old-fashioned Thatcherite housekeeping be the sole
take on staff when companies need them, and let them go when they don’t. But there are those who believe they have not gone far enough (*see opinion piece by lawyer Acácio Pita Negrão, PLEN Sociedade de Advogados) and others who think they are destroying any kind of protection employers struggled to win through a revolution. The author and social analyst Miguel Sousa Tavares is cynical at the results. “Contracts are being destroyed on purpose. We are seeing serious law-ofthe-jungle capitalism. Portugal is taking the very poison that caused the problem
in the first place,” he said, alluding to the kind of deregulated, unsupervised neoliberalism that grew up in the second half of the 1980s and continued unabated until the Lehman Brothers debacle in 2007 made people question if Reganism had been such a good thing after all.
than the PSD president, Ánibal Cavaco Silva himself, who warned at the end of June that he believed the Portuguese had reached their limits in terms of austerity and wouldn’t support further austerity measures or more changes to the country’s reformed Employment Law. Tavares, while admitting that the Greeks and Portuguese must accept their fair Changes to the nation’s notoriously rigid share of the blame in terms of overEmployment Laws, which it was agreed spending, warns that while attempting to needed to be relaxed under the Treaty of cure the crisis with the current medicine, Lisbon with the so-called introduction “we areall in danger of fulfilling Karl of flexi-security, has undergone various Marx’s 19th century predictions.” changes in the past year following troika guidelines designed to make it easier to “We’re living in a reality where there is no
[ PARTNERS SPECIA L FEAT U RE ] moral conduct, politicians and business leaders who have no concept of morality, while countries like Portugal and Greece are basically laboratory rats in a huge and untested ideological experience,” he says. Another former finance minister and widely respected banker and economist, Luís Mira Amaral has also warned publicly that while in clinical theory the
sort the problems out no matter what the what they want and need to do. They short-term costs are for Germany, Finland and the banks are victims of the markets and ratings agencies. The crisis is their and yes, the UK. responsibility and they are guilty as And he’s right on this. We’ve all heard everyone knows.” And he doesn’t spare the arguments, and they are valid, that the horses when it comes to the Germans Germany has an built-in terror of the who Viriato Marques believes are the dekind of rampant inflation it suffered in facto rulers of Athens and Lisbon. “Angela the 1920s and led to the ascension of Merkel could have resolved the situation Adolf Hitler. And of course there is some in the very beginning. The Germans
mileage to the argument that why should prudent Germans pay off spendthrift Lisbon and Athens’ credit card bills and Madrid’s bank overdraft? But that’s no longer the most important question now. Often seen as one of the ‘Old Men of There’s no point arguing over who spilled Restelo’ along with his colleague Henrique southern European milk. The time has Medina Carreira, he has stated publicly that come to act and act quickly and decisively the Government’s attempts to balance the otherwise Germany too, along with the public deficit are being done “to fast”. He, United States, will go down with the rest like Medina Carreira, correctly identifies of the sinking ship. Viriato Soromenho that to resolve the nation’s finances there Marques, a Lisbon University professor a has to be economic growth. But asks philosopher, believes that the one-cure-all the question that if you tax people and kind of chemotherapy being administered companies to death, where is that growth to European financial basket cases reflects going to come from? a “misdiagnosis”. Amaral, the current CEO of Banco BIC Português, criticises what he calls the Government is on the right track in terms of measures, the medicine just might be killing the patient, something Manuela Ferreira Leite warned about three years ago.
“exaggerated increase” in the VAT rate to 23% decided by the Government and says this is threatening to “drown the Portuguese economy at a time when there needs to be growth”. This is because it causes more unemployment as people stop hiring, stop buying and stop investing. In his opinion the right solution would be a European solution and strategy for growth, one that creates demand and for that European leaders need to finally get around the table and 20 | Hotels & Resorts
“We have carried these policies promoted by irresponsible economists and politicians to the point of recklessness. We really do have to accept the risk now that the EU could actually end. We either face that or say “No!” The way that the EU is looking at the problem is wrong. We need a strategy and if the truth be known we’ve needed one since the 1990s,” he said on national television in early July. Mário Soares goes further in his analysis: “Capitalism is in crisis, governments are finding it increasingly difficult to do
forgot that the Reunification was paid for by all the member states and on top of it all we have to bow to them,” he slams. “We have to reform the capitalist system as it is, we have to tighten up on fiscal paradises, and we need a logical pan-European strategy. But whether we have a strategy or not, Portugal shouldn’t be treated like this and if Pedro Passos Coelho continues pursuing neo-liberal strategies the current government will fall because the Portuguese are only going to be fools up to a point,” he adds. But isn’t the Government between the Devil and the deep blue sea? If, as so many suggest,
Portugal is a protectorate of the IMF, EU or Germany – take your pick – and it is undeniably bankrupt or pretty close to it, does it really have any choice but to continue on the same path for good or bad? No one can criticise the Government for not trying. The health minister is trying to reform the system there, the justice minister, despite huge opposition from lobbies, has been doing more to overhaul the Portuguese legal system than any of her predecessors since the times of Eça de Queiroz, and as Carlos Moedas, the wizard behind the throne, told the American Club recently, “more reforms and cutting of red tape has been introduced to make Portugal more attractive to investors
and competition than ever before”, but rightly points out that such reforms only work if similar walls of protection are demolished in all other EU countries. It’s not an easy task for the present PSD government. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t and will probably, like Margaret Thatcher, only get a fair and balanced appraisal a generation from now while suffering the slings and arrows of an outraged public now. So what needs to happen next? How much can a largely bankrupt country with a shrinking and elderly population and record unemployment really do? Apart from talking about the need for a European and even global strategy, Portugal needs to get back to basics; to grass roots and probably demolish a castle that was largely built on sand over a good two or three centuries. People need, through the courts and press, to hold their politicians, local government mandarins and business leaders to account. There needs to be transparency and honesty and those current politicians that are damaging the Government’s image because they are in the press for all the wrong reasons need to go. Some serious headway at reforms has been made since 1974. First political, social and educational reforms – no mean feat. Then in the 1990s infrastructure modernisation plans: roads, railways, airports, shopping centres, business parks, urban development – all of which helped bring Portugal out of the Salazar dark ages and into modern Europe. Finally both the Sócrates and Passos Coelho governments had and have begun the long and painful path to decentralising and reforming the bureaucracy: justice, health, tax, education, rental market and employment code systems. But Government hasn’t gone far enough in these respects. After a year in government the only sweeping structural reform have been those that apply to the employment market, and there not everyone agrees at its effectiveness despite grudged tolerance from the unions.
The Portuguese love to moan about their government figures and their mediocrity. But Tolstoy once wrote that a people ‘get the leaders they deserve’! It is also up to the Portuguese people to start taking responsibility, adopt a sense of civic pride; to recognise they need to pay their taxes and not pass undeclared cash under the table Above all they need to have some shred of belief in themselves and not wallow in the kind of defeatist self-pity and passive resignation that has marked them for time immemorial. As PS party whip Carlos Zorrinho told the International Club of Portugal recently, the Portuguese are perceived as two people: the adaptable, warm, hospitable hard workers who never fail to surprise wherever they go in the world; and the melancholic, negative folk, prone to corruption and mediocrity, fated to be under the suzerainty of variously Spain, Britain and Germany. It’s up to Portugal now to decide what it wants to be and how it wants to be seen in the world and neither Germany, the EU or anyone else for that matter has got anything to do with it | 21
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“ The new legal framework will bring
benefits to the market a whole, helping it to become more flexible... PEDRO RUTKOWSKI | CEO, WORX
22 | Hotels & Resorts
The importance of seeing property
as an alternative form of investment Chris Graeme | Interview
By running a tight ship with a professional team real estate agents and consultancy WORX has managed to weather the downturn and adapt its business model. Chris Graeme finds out from CEO Pedro Rutkowski the key to its success. Given the current economic and market outlook, what are your company’s strategies for consolidation, survival, adaptation and growth?
WORX has a selective but extremely consistent and professional team and as such is used to dealing with the countless challenges that the market demands in the current climate. The constant consolidation of our team as well as the working methods adopted has enabled us to grow even in a difficult market.
What opportunities and challenges has the downturn brought WORX?
We daily face challenges that are presented to us by clients. Thanks to our ability to innovate and come up with new solutions, we’ve shown what we’re capable of given these challenges. At WORX we always seek to offer a quality, professional service, adopting a very personal approach. This has increased the confidence our clients have placed in us. Then we were the first national consultant to be regulated by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), this year our valations department received the latest RICS certificate, the Valuer Registration Scheme (VRS), contributing to reinforcing service standards and property evaluation.
and we think that it will bring important assets to the real estate market and WORX as a specialist in these matters.
How is Government policy with regards to justice and taxation affecting your business for good or bad?
In terms of our day-to-day work at WORX, I would say there hasn’t been a direct and lasting impact. However these are questions that affect the wider economy across the board including the real estate and investment areas and can only bring positive results for the market and wider economy in helping them to get back on the road to recovery in a sustainable way.
Given that banks are not lending credit at the moment, what other sources of alternative investment do you envisage?
Financial restrictions and costs have restricted real estate investment. However new investors have emerged, particularly family offices and others with their own capital that have had a more active role in the last year and the expectation is that this trend will continue this year. It is important to work the real estate product so that it is effectively an alternative investment, capable of attracting it own sizeable capital.
What projects/sales have you been or are you involved in this year so far which are interesting?
This year and 2013 are likely to be years of change for lettings and urban rehabilitation. What opportunities have WORX, associated with the multinational Knight Frank these presented or will present for your business? Newmark, has reinforced its position in representing clients The market has changed a lot in a very short space of time. When it comes to the rental market and urban rehabilitation, the new legal framework will bring benefits to the market a whole, helping it to become more flexible, while ensuring greater security in the residential rental market – in the commercial rental sector this flexibility and security is already common practice. These factors and urban rehabilitation incentives will contribute to opening up new business opportunities. We’ve been studying urban rehabilitation to see how it can work for us
such as PwC, Generali, Siemens, Novabase, Chamartín, among others. We have been a first provider since 2009 to BPN Paribas Real Estate in Portugal. In the valuations area we have grown considerably in all market areas. Last year alone we evaluated over 12,000,000m² and more than 7,000 assets in business worth €8.650 million. We’ve evaluated 20 shopping centres and retail projects, 70 4* and 5* hotels and various asset portfolios as part of the Troika’s involvement, not to mention pension funds, FII and insurance companies. | 23
[ BUSINE SS OPINION ]
Redundancy compensation Will be reformed – but the impact
will be only in the future!
ACÁCIO PITA NEGRÃO | Lawyer – Founder Partner, PlEN
aw n.º 23/2012 was published on June 25, further to the third change to the Portuguese Employment Code, approved by Law nº 7/2009, on February 12. This change, which comes into force on August 1, had been trumpeted for some time, and was not only anticipated by the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Troika and the State on May 17, 2011, but was also in the Commitment to Growth, Competitiveness and Employment signed by the current government and the trade unions.
€9,700,00, taking into account the current amount of minimum wage); b) The total sum of compensation can not exceed 12 times the employee’s base monthly salary or, in the event that the limit foreseen in the preceding paragraph a) applies, 240 times the amount of minimum wage (i.e., taking into account the minimum wage currently applicable, €116,400,00).
For contracts signed under the said Law n.º 53/2011, the provision that prohibited that compensation should be less than three months base salary was eliminated Of the most important measures of this (so permitting an employee with two years reform, it is worth highlighting those relating to legal compensation in the case of employment history to receive only the equivalent of 40 days pay). Furthermore, of termination of employment contract, it was established that the compensation on which I will expand later on. should be paid by the employer, except This review of the Portuguese for the part thereof to be be borne by the Employment Code has been imposed employment compensation fund, to be in the Memorandum of Understanding established pursuant to specific legislation whereby Portugal undertook to reduce which was never enacted. These rules of the amount of compensation due to Law n.º 53/2012 apply to compensation employees made redundant. due to the termination of the employment contract as a result of expiration, insolvency In relation to employment contracts entered into from November 1, 2011, Law of the employer, collective redundancy, n.º 53/2011, dated October 14, had already redundancy due to extinction of the employment post, redundancy due to reduced the amount of compensation for termination due to employees in such cases. unsuitability and, also, as a result of the termination of service and the cessation According to this law, regarding employment due to definitive transfer of work location. contracts signed after November 1, 2011, Law n.º 23/2012 aligned the regime compensation shall be equal to 20 days applicable to compensation for termination base pay for each year employed (contrary relating to contracts signed before November to the 30 days then applicable), the daily 1, 2011, with the regime regarding contracts compensation amount being equal to the base daily pay per month divided by 30. On signed thereafter and, accordingly, signed the other hand the said law established that: pursuant to Law n.º 53/2011. This alignment did not, however, correspond to a full a) The amount of monthly pay per harmonization. Indeed, according to article 6 employee to be taken into account when of Law n.º 23/2012, in the case of termination calculating the compensation may not of an employment contract signed before exceed 20 times minimum wage (i.e.
24 | Hotels & Resorts
November 1, 2011, the calculation of the compensation due until October 31, 2012 shall be made in accordance with the previous rules. This means that, in relation to the contract period up to October 31, 2012, the amount of compensation will correspond to a month of base salary for each complete year of service. This amount may not be less than three months base pay. The rules resulting from Law n.º 23/2012 apply, which are identical to the aforementioned rules of Law n. º 53/2011 shall only apply in relation to the period of duration of employment contracts following October 31, 2012. This special regime applicable to termination of employment contracts entered into prior to November 1, 2011, also contemplates additional specific rules foreseeing specific limits to the amount of compensation due. The establishment of a specific regime for compensation due from the termination of employment contracts before November 1, 2011 is expected to generate some controversy. Although established with a view to safeguarding expectations of parties to contracts which came into force prior to November 1, 2011, the establishment of this specific regime would not, in my view, be imperative from a constitutional standpoint. On the other hand, given its complexity, the regime creates difficulties to those who have to apply it and also to those at whom these rules are aimed. Finally, the problem of the excessive burden of compensation due to employees as a result of the termination of employment contracts has been solved only for the future. In relation to the vast majority of employment contracts currently in force (i.e., those signed before November 1, 2011), the burden of compensation, identified by the Troika, remains applicable.
[ PART NE R S PROMO ]
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26 | Hotels & Resorts
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“ Worldwide the keyword has been sustainability –
designing not just for now, but for the future also....
RICHARD WESTCOTT | CEO, JARDIM VISTA
28 | Hotels & Resorts
with the Green fingers Chris Graeme | Interview
With the best green fingers in Portugal, Richard Westcott’s Jardim Vista has grown over the past 22 years to become the Number One landscape gardening outfit nationwide. Despite the recession, the company has never been busier. Chris Graeme finds out why. You have over 20 years of experience in landscape gardening. How have fashions and trends changed and what are the trends now and for the future?
Actually it’s 30 years as I spent the previous decade, after graduating from Reading University, landscaping in the Middle East – first Saudi Arabia and then Dubai. Fashions in landscaping have not changed dramatically over the last two decades. Worldwide the keyword has been sustainability – designing not just for now, but for the future also. Naturalised schemes have also become prevalent and, like sustainability, undoubtedly linked to environmental awareness. Architecture has undergone a similar transformation – clean lines, minimalist façades and the use of sustainable materials. Gardens have taken a cue from this, adapting to become more minimalist, less complex in planting scheme and relying on solid perennials that perform well for most of the year – ornamental grasses such as Fountain Grass (Pennisetum) and herbaceous perennials such as the Allium – like Tulbaghia have been immensely popular over the last few years. Add stalwarts such as varieties of New Zealand Flax (Phormium) and you already can create a composition that not only has colour, texture and form, but will appear in reasonably good condition throughout the year. Relatively cheap to install, user-friendly species have been much adopted in schemes for developers and municipalities in the last decade for obvious reasons. Often accompanied by pebbles and possibly even an artificial lawn - this typifies much landscaping over the last few years. It is a style – a trend – that will probably persist for some years to come. What separates the good from the mediocre – or even bad – is how these materials are used and assembled within the space, and the landscape site within its surroundings as a whole. Colour is always perennially popular with clients, though it is a challenge as it often involves higher maintenance in these transiently austere times.
You have successfully “exported” your expertise to other countries. Could you tell us about some of your projects at home and overseas that you are particularly proud of?
How has the economic crisis affected your turnover in terms of business in the past few years?
Our turnover has decreased since 2007 and we – accordingly – have reduced our structures, like just about every other business in Europe. Having said that it seems that we have never been so busy – we have recruited an additional 25 people since March. Our margins have decreased, contributing to our decrease in turnover. Turnover is not the important bit – it’s providing a good design, build and maintenance service – profitably.
Could you tell us something about the public projects you’ve been involved in?
The biggest public project Jardim Vista was involved with was Expo ‘98, and two particular projects at Expo ’98: the Pavilhão de Macau whose gardens were a recreation of the Liu Lim Leoc Park in Macau, the biggest challenge was the time-frame, probably one quarter of the normal timeframe for such a project, as were the Oceanario, specifically because the gardens were built in a very elevated building so everything needed to be transported by crane, including the soil and the plants, so logistically and time wise both of those projects were big challenges.
How has technology, particularly computer-aided design technology improved and changed your business?
Obviously hugely. We are focusing more on moving, walkthrough landscape presentations. Presentation for us is everything. It’s the clients first real opportunity to study you and your operation. Many people simply cannot visualise how a space will eventually appear and so “before” and “after” shots – accurately done – are important.
Lastly, you are certainly the most successful landscape gardeners in Portugal. To what do you owe your staggering success?
Good design, well presented projects which are accurately priced, well built and properly maintained. Our “product” is Within Portugal there are many, many projects from the last 22 not an easy one – many components, the majority of them years that we are proud of – The Oceanario, Quinta da Fonte, living – and therefore perishable – and all exposed to the Convento do Espinheiro, the many Querido Mudei a Casa elements. Throw into this its transient nature and it is not creations, a 25000 m2 garden that we recently created in Quinta do an easy service to provide. I guess our success is also down Lago, the new Conrad Hotel at Quinta do Lago... Outside Portugal to attention to detail, good service in – to be honest – a projects are more limited, but I am especially proud of Ocean not very service oriented country such as Portugal, our geographic diversity and finally – and most importantly – Village in Gibraltar – mainly built as a series of roof gardens, and our people. I am very lucky as I have a truly exceptional and directly in front of the sea, this was a huge design and logistical challenge but the results are there for all to see. dedicated team. | 29
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“ The market is looking at value for money and Portugal has got a lot of things in its favour.
EVY OUGENDAL | CEO, DUNAS DouRADAS BEACH CLUB
30 | Hotels & Resorts
Dunas Douradas Beach Club
Always good value for money Chris Graeme | Interview
Evy Ougendal, CEO of Dunas Douradas Beach Club, tells Chris Graeme why, even in a downturn, the 5-star resort located on the Golden Algarve Coastline is, not only surviving, but thriving. The secret? Exceeding guests’ expectations Generally, how does Portugal need to reposition itself in the international tourism market given stiff competition in an economic downturn.
The market is looking at value for money and Portugal has got a lot of things in its favour. Compared to the Mediterranean, we have clean air and water with golden sandy beaches. Compared to North Africa, we are a more organised society, have strict health and safety standards and a low crime rate. These are very important for families and the elderly.
Dunas Douradas Beach Club always maintains interest both for locals living in the Algarve as well as visitors from further afield by having an all-year-round packed programme of activities. What activities have you got lined up for the rest of the year?
All year round we have wine tours and cycling tours, in the hinterland or locally, and other seasonal activities as golf, tennis, visits to museums and art galleries.
Have you had to readjust your pricing policy to deal with the downturn?
How have you been fairing in the downturn. What Fortunately not at all. Saying that, I make sure we are strategies are you employing to bring in tourists and what always good value for money. interest has there been from new markets other than the traditional British, Irish, Dutch, German markets? More than just a holiday resort, Dunas Douradas Beach Club has always provided a whole host of different Our strategy in this climate has mainly been to increase our web marketing activity with new search engines in new products from golf packages, weddings, parties, special events, seminars and conferences. What is new and markets. But we always had a high occupancy. Our main innovative in terms of products or approach that you have strategy is in keeping/getting repeat guests and in that respect we put a lot of effort into giving the clients the very developed or are developing? best experience.
We are doing more and more in terms of sports packages with football and cycling teams in particular. The Tour of the Algarve had its starting point in Dunas Douradas Beach Club this year.
One of the strengths that Dunas Douradas Beach Club has is that it really is a family resort with lots of things to do for kids. What facilities and activities How are tourists changing in their needs and habits? do you offer? Are today’s tourists more sophisticated and how are you In all school holidays we have a Kids Club which offers activities all day. This summer we’ve got an extended service addressing changing profiles? in the evening and a supervised kid’s area in the restaurant. We have children’s pools, a playground and extensive safe and protected green areas where the youngsters can play. Our summer programme is packed with entertainment, SPA specials and kids activities.
In this climate our guests are expecting more and right they are to do so. People who can afford to holiday in a true 5-star resort are quite sophisticated and we supply all the bolt-on services to keep them happy - be that free internet throughout the resort or a picnic hamper to enjoy on our beautiful beach. | 31
[ PA RT NE R R E P ORT ]
AAdiary diaryininparadise paradise
MVC MVCHotéis HotéisdedeCharme Charme——Casa CasadedeSão SãoJosé José VICKY WILSON | Report
The colonial charm of MVC HOTÉIS DE CHARME`S CASA DE SÃO JOSÉ HOTEL conjures up Brazil’s Imperial past — a time of colonels and the departure point from which the Portuguese set out to discover virgin territory: endless, deserted tropical beaches bathed by warm waters and topped by vast sand dunes, in an amazing journey between Jericoacoara, Camocim and Delta do Rio Parnaíba.
32 | Hotels & Resorts
HEADING FOR THE TROPICS AND FORTALEZA On leaving Lisbon expectations are running high. On reaching our destination a long swathe of some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, a trip around the largest open ocean delta in the Americas, crystal-clear lakes and sandy dunes ‘surfed’ by buggy await us. All of this from the comfort of a charm hotel situated by the small fishing town of Camocim in the state of Ceará in north-east Brazil. On arrival at Fortaleza airport, a gust of tropical warm air announces our arrival in the new world. The capital of Ceará state, built by the sea, is today a cosmopolitan city which has retained all of the charm and informality that is so particular of the people of the northeast. FROM FORTALEZA TO CAMOCIM At 7am the team from MVC Hotéis de Charme awaits us so that we can begin our adventure in a 4x4 heading for Camocim. The journey reveals a Brazil that seems to have jumped straight out of the pages of a Jorge Amado novel — a landscape full of palm and coconut trees, huge country
estates from where one can imagine old colonels sat in rocking chairs — lakes and small fishing huts. Between Lagoinha and Flexeiras is the coastline which stretches along endless beaches while to the north our eyes meet green hills and catching the first glimpse of Camocim is unforgettable. Further on, at Rio Coreaú, an almost indescribable scene unfolds: sandy dunes fall gracefully above the sea, forming the Ilha do Amor (The Island of Love) — an absolute picture postcard. We’re staying at the Casa de São José Charm Hotel in the historic centre of town. Right by the entrance is a refreshing tunnel of bourganvilias which opens out to a tropical garden where we are served with fresh pineapple juice with mint. A terrace with a hammock facing the pool forms the courtyard to the Jardim Real (The Royal Garden), the name for the chalets where we are staying. Our charming room takes on a completely different perspective on opening an enormous wooden door with
access onto a private outdoor garden with reclining chairs and an open-air shower. Slumping into a hammock, one is lulled by the sound of the banana trees rustling in the wind and the water dancing down a nearby cascade. The attention to detail — the décor, the service and the atmosphere is homely. SETTING OUT FOR BARRA DOS REMÉDIOS BY BUGGY The morning begins with a tropical breakfast: rich in fruit, fruit juice, sweets and bread rolls baked in the hotel. We immediately set off by buggy in the direction of Barra dos Remédios, following the Camocim shoreline which is dotted with fishermen. Passing the lighthouse, we drive onto the beach and the buggy almost touches the breaking waves as it races along the endless deserted sands. Thoroughly refreshed, we head off to stunning Maceió beach. The journey continues through inlets, beaches, dunes and an expanse of sea, until we start climbing a pure white sand dune that takes us to another dimension. | 33
[ PA RT NE R R E P ORT ] Barra dos Remédios The landscape here is breathtaking. The fine sand beckons is to linger, carried away on the breeze that caresses our bodies. On the way back, at Baía dos Kites, the Casa de São José Charm Hotel surprises us with a romantic picnic served by the beach where we watch the sun go down. Lying in a hammock in a cabin, listening to the sound of the sea and sipping coconut juice, I surrender to the vastness of this paradise. ENJOYING CASA DE SÃO JOSÉ Early the next morning, using bicycles provided by the hotel, we take a ride along the Camocim coastal road. Scores of sailing boats dance in the distance in the light of the aurora reflected in the river. Back at the hotel we opt for an outdoor shower in the private garden where the feeling of open-air freedom sets us up for a day of relaxation. I head for the Gourmet Terrace in front of the pool which is so inviting that it has become a cosmopolitan haven where guests of various nationalities come to take their morning coffee. I share in the children’s enthusiasm as they are led off to canoeing and kitesurf lessons while the toddlers stay behind with babysitters. I’ve decided on the SPA — a massage and a treatment based on marine algae and clay, both which are products specific to the region, leave my body and soul feeling revitalised. On day I’ll try a spot of yoga on the beach at sunset. To the right of the impressive living room is a small library that awakens my curiosity. I pick up the classic ‘Grand Sertão: Veredas’ (‘The Devil to Pay in the Backlands’) and crossing the garden, I settle down in the corner of a wonderful sofa. Lost in reading, I barely notice the delicious flapjack biscuits and fresh tamarind juice that has just been served. In the background the dulcet voice of Brazilian folk singer Caetano Veloso accompanied by a well-known band pervades the atmosphere. I resist the temptation to have a nap. How can anybody sleep in the morning! Everything in this hotel is carefully thought out to the smallest detail. A friendly member of staff offers me cool flannels to freshen up. It this kind of attention that makes all the difference.
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GOING DOWN THE PARNAÍBA DELTA A new day, a new destination: The flourishing city of Parnaíba. We make a stop at Praça de Santo António, a national heritage site, to visit the future charm hotel belonging to the MVC Hotels chain — Casa de Santo António. In a period building which has been sympathetically restored one can imagine the same level of good taste and attention to detail that we’ve encountered at the Casa de São José. From Porto dos Tatus we set off for Rio Parnaíba and the interior, from the arms of the largest delta feeding into the open ocean in the Americas. Its five tributaries surround 73 islands — it’s an extraordinary trip! We journey through calm waters along Amazonian water courses, spotting crabs, sea horses and various species of fish. We forge ahead in the direction of the river mouth as far as the Ilha dos Poldros, where the river meets the ocean. We stop to take a relaxing swim in the warm waters. On our return to Casa de São José we are again surprised — this time by a classy dinner on the Terraço Gourmet. We enjoy a delicious meal consisting of a delicate cream of pumpkin and cauliflower soup, an impressive sea bass done in the oven, and an irresistible egg pudding, rounded off with saputi, a local fruit. THE BEACH HUT It’s a glorious day. Before morning coffee we decide upon the hydro-gymnastics class that the hotel has suggested before heading off for Baía dos Kites and Casa de São José beach where MVC Hotéis de Charme is developing a new hotel project with bungalows on stilts. We arrive in time to see the fishermen pulling in their shrimp nets while some hotel guests are preparing to practice kitesurfing — the region’s main sport. We withdraw to the peace and quiet of the wood and reed cabin and its hammocks for a chilled coconut juice and notice a fire being prepared. A while later, a fine, freshly-grilled fish served with a tomato and avocado salad beckons us to the table.
FROM CAMOCIM TO JERICOACOARA ALONG THE BEACH It’s still dark when we awake, hungry for adventure. We set off by buggy in the direction of the ferry that will take us to the Ilha do Amor on what was a lovely crossing. On the other side we head off in the direction of Jericoacoara. Out trip takes us past sand dunes that give way to large lakes of transparent water. We cross the Rio Guriú by ferry and continue along the beach until Jeri. The light, the refreshing breeze and the narrow sandy streets make this place really special. We stroll along the beach until reaching Pedra Furada, meeting groups involved in various activities like capoeira dancing, yoga or singing to the sound of a violin. Before returning via the forest path to the Ilha do Amor we stop off at Lagoa da Torta. It’s almost twilight and from the top of the dunes we look out to a horizon clothed in tones of gold and scarlet over Camocim. Back at the comfort of Casa de São José, enjoying a chilled beer, we recall some of the unique moments we have experienced over the past few days. We haven’t even left yet and I already feel like coming back...
An exclusive wellness getaway Suites and chalets with 60m2 areas Wireless internet service in the pool and garden areas Zen Zone, massage and beauty treatment academy Hydrogymnastics and Kitesurf lessons for beginners Babysitting service Buggy trips around the region’s beaches www.mvchoteisdecharme.com.br
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â€œ In this ever more virtual world, we are not only competing against hotels in Lisbon but also against other markets and other European cities.
Nick Roucos | Ceneral Manager, Inspira SanTA marta Hotel
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Inspira Santa Marta Hotel
A surprising urban retreat based on
green life style principles
kevin rose | Interview
In the very heart of Lisbon, the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel has swiftly become a point of reference not only for wellbeing but also for urban rehabilitation and global sustainability. It recently received the Best Environmentally Sustainable Project award from the Portuguese Tourist Board. Nicolas Roucos, General Manager for Inspira Hotel, explains the challenges and opportunities of this groundbreaking national hotel brand. The Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, inaugurated around two years ago, stands out for its innovative concept. Could you tell us about your brand positioning as an ecologically sustainable hotel?
The hotel won this environmentally sustainable position at its official inauguration in October 2010, not only through communicating the message but essentially from its work in achieving the relevant certificates (ISO 9001 & 14001, Green Globe, Travelife Sustainability, Carbon Zero). It’s true that a hotel like ours, having such a high number of environmental features, has a higher initial investment and cost structure and our clients are willing and able to pay the difference for being in a hotel of this category. Having said that, it has not been easy to achieve this brand positioning.
Within the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel concept, sustainability is a strong presence on many levels together with equally important attributed principles of Feng Shui combined with state-of-the-art technology. Could you explain why these three factors appeal to your clients?
Certainly the concept is based, on the one hand, by the 3 sustainability pillars, these being: the economic, social and environmental, which are all present in the hotel’s culture, organisation and daily activities. There is a 4th pillar, well-being, which is fed by, among other things, the hotel’s balanced energies - Feng Shui. The combination of sustainability and Feng Shui shapes what we refer to as our holistic vision.
Who are your clients? What is your occupancy rate and average daily room charge? Our clients are generally from a medium-upper socio-economic background and are split equally between leisure and business. We closed our first full year of operations (2011) with a 60% occupancy rate. Our goal for our second year is to get to 70%. The average daily cost per night is slightly over €100.
With regards to Food & Beverage, the quality of your
services is excellent. Have you been able to attract many local residents? What are your clients looking for?
We have proven able to host various events of all types and have worked at bringing local companies on board. We have various competitive advantages and facilities at our hotel. For example, we are the only 4-star hotel with a SPA in the centre of Lisbon in addition to a small (and also unique) auditorium, ideal for product launches and press conferences. We have a gaming room and conference rooms fully-equipped with the latest technology. In terms of restaurants, the Open Brasserie Mediterrânica provides a particularly pleasant experience in terms of the menu and service concepts and within a relaxed and highly informal atmosphere more typical of an independent restaurant and far from the heavier ambiences normally prevailing in hotel restaurants.
What phase is your Oporto hotel project at?
The Oporto project is currently on standby primarily due to the difficult market conditions. Our present objective is to consolidate the investment put into the first hotel.
Given the prevailing economic conditions, what measures have you taken and adaptations have you made? How do you see the future?
The current economic climate makes things difficult, but we also know how to adapt to market-based demands and we continue to believe that there will be, whether in the business or leisure sectors, plenty of customers wishing to book into our hotel. Above all because they still seek quality service and are prepared to pay a little extra despite the difficult conditions, to guarantee a memorable experience whether they are here for an event, a business trip, a short break or holiday. In truth, there is an overall reduction in the demand level and so it is increasingly important to raise our visibility, to offer still higher quality, and to promote not only our own hotels but also Lisbon as a destination. It is important to remember that, in this ever more virtual world, we are not only competing against hotels in Lisbon but also against other markets and other European cities. | 37
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L’AND Vineyards, Wine Resort
A VISIONARY PROJECT Inspired by Alentejan nature and culture Set in the peaceful and stunning landscapes of Portugal’s Alentejo landscape, L’AND VINEYARDS is a charming luxury wine resort paying full homage both to its surrounding environment and the eternal magic of winemaking.
38 | Hotels & Resorts
nclosed by vineyards and a lake, L’AND VINEYARDS Hotel, belonging to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) network, incorporates an exclusive country club atmosphere with only 22 suites, including the L’AND View Suites and the Sky View Suites. In the latter, guests sleep “under the stars”, with an opening to the skies an integral feature of these rooms in tribute to the nocturnal ambience of the Alentejo, a European reserve on account of its low pollution levels. The design of shared interiors is courtesy of Márcio Kogan with a range of original pieces in a style highlighting the sobriety of luxury.
The properties have been carefully planned into small clusters which blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape and the gently rolling Alentejo hills. Five internationally renowned architects – Promontório; Sergison Bates; João Luís Carrilho da Graça; Architekturbüro Peter Märkli; José Paulo dos Santos – have marked their own distinct style onto each gathering of properties in reinterpreting the traditional Mediterranean-patio house. In addition to the serviced villas (T3 to T6), priced between €350,000 and €800,000, and the €205,000 to €310,000 serviced townhouses (T2 to T3), the Lake Villas very much stand out. Costing from €350,000 to €450,000, they are set around the development’s central lake feature with 141m² and 172m² GLA two-bedroom and threebedroom properties in average plots of 1,500m².
L’AND & MY OWN VINEYARD
On the broad plots of terrain belonging to each L`And residential home, owners may plant their own vineyard with the full support of the onsite team of oenologist specialists. The L’AND winery, equipped with the very latest technology, then turns these grapes into wine in a process that may be personalised at every single phase – from selecting the grape variety through to the design on the bottle’s label.
This wine culture promotion initiative is purpose designed for owners and hotel guests. Beyond access to the winery, there is the sharing of wine production related experiences, courses in tending vines, oenology, wine competitions and thematic events in addition to ordering L’AND wines with personalised labels.
The kitchen, overseen by the renowned chef Miguel Laffan, is inspired on the natural environment enveloping L’AND VINEYARDS and thus serving up Alentejan influenced dishes but with a contemporary interpretation. Menus are reworked monthly to draw upon journeys and meetings with cultures and flavours combining Mediterranean and Alentejan traditions with fusion and oriental influences.
l`and vinotherapy by caudalie
Enclosed within the L’AND Vineyards landscape, the Spa provides an experience of serenity and pleasure, with exclusive beauty rituals, massages and treatments based on vines and natural products and including Crushed Cabernet Exfoliation, Honey and Wine Immersing and the Vinoperfect treatment.
L’AND Vineyards provides a wide range of enriching experiences. Beyond its wine making and tasting events held at Adega L’AND, specialist led tours of local vineyards provide insights into the traditional methods in effect at the L’AND winery. Other options begin with an organic cooking course, a hotair balloon trip through the Alentejan skies, picnics amidst the vines or atop hills and not forgetting boating on Alqueva Lake or historian accompanied cultural visits (Alentejo, Évora...). | 39
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“ We’re investing in projects that value the destination and enable us to promote Portugal abroad ...
Carla MaximINo | CEO, HOTEL MUNDIAL
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The best views in town Chris Graeme | Interview
Last year Lisbon’s city centre Hotel Mundial underwent refurbishment including a smart new roof top terrace bar with unbeatable views over the city. Starting from next summer the group plans to open its latest acquisition – the nearby emblematic Hotel Portugal. Chris Graeme finds out more from the Hotel Mundial’ s CEO, Carla Maximino. The Hotel Mundial underwent refurbishment in 2011. Was this investment made to reposition the hotel?
The Hotel Mundial opened its doors in 1958 and as the reference it has always been in terms of traditional quality Lisbon hotels it has undergone refurbishment, modernisation and extension programmes various times throughout its history. The latest ones involved building a new building opened for Expo 98, the construction of a third building for Euro 2004 and a total refit of the original building in terms of fixtures, fittings and décor in 2007. In 2011 the redecoration of the hotel and its 350 bedrooms was done along new lines of comfort and trends in decoration. We don’t see this investment as a way of repositioning the hotel in the market. We are a four-star tourist hotel and our main concern is to maintain and improve standards of quality that our customers have come to expect.
where the whole of Lisbon’s downtown area can be admired while enjoying a drink and listening to great music. We recently launched our Friday Night Sunsets with special DJs while on Thursday evenings we’ve got live jazz.
The acquisition of the Hotel Portugal represents your second hotel. How has this hotel been repositioned?
The company that owns the Hotel Mundial has always been open to new business opportunities in this field. There were times in which other buildings were acquired and we began work on very interesting projects but then they were sold on to other organisations. The Hotel Portugal case is different because it is right next door to the Mundial and means we can close not just a cycle, so to speak, but a block! This is a hotel with a long history but has fallen into a bed state of repair, located in a fairly rundown street Who are your main customers, what is your take-up rate and which is crying out for refurbishment. On the one hand this is our how much does it cost on average to stay in the Hotel Mundial? contribution towards improving the image of the city’s downtown The Hotel Mundial’s commercial strategy has always been about market area, while on the other we’ve invested in a product that we can diversification and seeking out opportunities in emerging markets. turn into something really special in that it will be completely Changes in demand depends on the economic situation in the countries revamped, keeping its original 19th century architectural façade. where our customers come from; if we concentrate our sales efforts The hotel will naturally retain its name since ‘Portugal’ is on a particular country and something changes for the worse there synonymous with a strong corporate brand which exudes national from an economic, structural or social point of view, that could put the pride and reflects some of its cultural and historic symbols. viability of our operation at risk. That’s why we have an interesting mix of customers from more than 30 different nationalities. On the other What else can you tell us about the project? Who is the hand we’ve also got a wide diversification of segments. The majority architects and designer? What will the concept be, boutique, are obviously with reservations via traditional tour operators, some design or small hotel, and when is hotel slated for opening? direct bookings, and a fairly high percentage of customers who book The building will be completely refurbished while keeping its their reservations with internet operators. We are also sought after by original façade. Because it is an old building the majority of rooms some small traditional tourism groups as well as incentive, conference will have a larger than average area (around 30m²) which had to be and special interest groups. The reasons are always the same; the quality adapted to the existing space. There will be 52 rooms in all, a light and diversity of services, a product they can trust and rely on, and the breakfast room and a bar, in a comfortable, elegant and original hotel’s location in Lisbon which couldn’t be more centrally located! environment designed by Cristina Santos Silva architects. We think This ensures us an above average occupation rate at an average price per room/night in terms of the Lisbon competition which is extremely that the four-star hotel segment is the one which bests serves our public and the Hotel Portugal will also have this classification. strong and offers the same high levels of quality. The modern hotel industry today feel the need to receive other At a Food and Beverage services level, the quality of your services classifications, labels and denominations and be associated to and reception rooms is excellent. Have you attracted many locals? brands and international chains so that the market can identify them better. Whether or not it is seen as a boutique, design or A good percentage of our customers at the Hotel Mundial’s restaurants and bars were always Portuguese. They are in the main small hotel isn’t in the forefront of the managements mind at present. We’re looking at a summer 2013 opening and it will be the customers who have blessed us with their presence on a fairly product, our service and our customers who will classify it! regular basis over the years and have proved the most respected and efficient advertising agents for us in terms of the quality of What adaptations or measures have been taken given the our services. We’re very proud of this and many customers have economic situation we’re going through? Do you have any ended up becoming friends and that’s how we like to receive projects at an international level based on your national success? them! However we have captured the attention of new customers; We haven’t got any plans for international projects; we totally we’ve modernised the panoramic restaurant Varanda de Lisboa – maintaining its menu of traditional cuisine and its famous and rare believe in Portugal’s future and the importance that tourism has for the country’s economic growth. That’s why we’re investing wine list – and we’ve opened the Rooftop Bar, a unique space in in projects that value the destination and enable us to promote Lisbon, described recently in the travel and tourism press as one Portugal abroad, secure in the knowledge that our quality, of the city’s best-kept “secrets”. What we’ve done is transformed the hotel’s roof into an extraordinarily comfortable place from unbeatable range of products is complete. | 41
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“ One always has to bear in mind
exactly what the client wants, avoiding any unnecessary excess.
| Proximo LDA JOÃO SOUSA MENEZES Architect,
42 | Hotels & Resorts
Dedicated to helping investors Chris Graeme | Interview
Leading hotel and tourism development architect João Sousa Menezes talks about his projects for Lisbon’s Altis Avenida, the Hotel Onyria Palmares and the hotels Palace Douro & Spa and Palace & Spa in Soure. Throughout your professional career you have concentrated on tourism and residential tourism development projects. This was the case with Onyria that you have been involved in from the beginning, and Temple SGPS. Could you tell about your career path?
I’m dedicated to helping investors turn the proposed investments they’ve gambled on into projects, showing motivation, respect and an understanding of the challenge at hand because these projects have to be very well costed, both in terms of developing them and later in their marketing and sales phases. One always has to bear in mind exactly what the client wants, avoiding any unnecessary I started out working as an architect in 1986 when I was excess. I recently completed a 4-star hotel project on the Douro at university, as was common practice among many of my with 100 rooms and a spa which will enable it to welcome groups colleagues, not just to gain practical professional experience of clients seeking wellbeing and regional tourism whether they but also as a way of winning independence. At the time I got are Portuguese, Spanish, French or English. The spa’s facilities, involved with Quinta da Marinha working on tourism and including an indoor pool, spa and bathing treatments, hot residential developments that the property offered and which spring treatments, massages and health and beauty treatments, new shareholders wanted to make a reality. We experienced a time of renaissance in the real estate and tourism sectors after a represent an attractive plus for existing clients since they enjoy very reasonable prices as one would expect. Building work on this period of post-revolution stagnation. As a projects and works manager I helped to develop and further hotel began recently and it is expected to open next year. those urban projects and tourist developments that had already In Lisbon the Altis Avenida in Rossio is being refurbished been started, such as the Tourist Village and the Golf Course. and extended. What can be expected for this project? Later on we built the 200-room Hotel Quinta da Marinha and This project, which I have continued, following the death of more recently the Onyria Marinha & Spa, the Edition Villas the man who started it, colleague and friend, João Vasconcelos and the new Club House. Apart from Modernising the Tourist Marques, involves extending the current 5-star Hotel Altis Village (Phase B), the project that I planned for the revamping Avenida, so that it will occupy the entire top end of the block, in of King Carlos’ Hunting Pavilion deserves a mention as it was turned into a multi-use hall for the resort, one which has proved the midst of the city’s famous Rossio and Restauradores squares, in front of the train station. The hotel will now have double the very popular among its clients and guests. number of rooms and public areas than it had and has recently In the Algarve I developed the Palmares Development in Lagos been opened and is a great success. It will have a terrace by the from scratch on almost 200 hectares next to the beach, with 2 bar and restaurant with a stunning view of the River Tejo and golf courses, 2 hotels and tourist villages and villas. With regards part of Lisbon down town including Rua do Ouro. In other to this 5-star development and on the heels of the golf course words it is located and overlooks the city’s most fashionable inauguration around a year ago, we will soon begin work on the part. Since Lisbon is currently one of the most popular cityHotel Onyria Palmares in a project I have been coordinating as break, weekend and business travel destinations, with this hotel well as building at the same time some of the villas which are in excellent locations. I would also mention the 200-room Hotel Meia combining luxury, a contemporary twist, and the results look promising. Clearly the experience of a hotel group, which knows Praia project, which has already received planning permission. the area and this type of market, also bodes well. At Temple SGPS I have also been involved in fairly large residential city developments in Greater Porto and Lisbon. Could you tell us about your experience at an I would highlight the development of a master plan with an international level? American team for tourist and leisure facilities (a small marina, My experience has been greatest with sector experts investing in a golf academy and a film studio) on a fantastic 100 hectares property in the Algarve. I also designed a services and industry Portugal. I was involved with internationally renowned names: Juan Morro, Foster and Partners, S.O.M., Scot Rykiel and from the golf development in the centre of the Algarve at the intersection world, Donald Steel and Trent Jones jr. I acquired experience with between the Via do Infante and AE Sul motorways. There isn’t them in developing tourism, residential and golf developments in another like it in the south of Portugal. stunning locations and which were directed at a wider target market. You’ve currently got some projects in the Center and North, Some time ago, I began studies for a new 5-star hotel by the beach like the Hotel Palace Douro & Spa. What makes it different? in Natal, Brazil and a resort with a golf course in Palma de Maiorca, but they didn’t advance since at that time the Onyria Group decided Well, despite current restrictions on investment there are some to invest first in Portugal and also in resorts in France and Turkey business leaders in the sector with vision who are willing to already done. As an architect I’ve started to make some contacts take risks. It’s this that sets them apart from the others, as well in Mozambique and Brazil where there’s the possibility of being as the knowing how to execute such projects properly, by, for involved in projects with Portuguese entrepreneurs, but for the time example, keeping a tight rein on construction costs, having being I’m keeping my plans with local ateliers. adequate financing and having a clearly defined target market. | 43
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Conference with the minister of Finance
Vítor Gaspar CHRIS GRAEME | Photos
Finance Minister Vítor Gaspar addresses business leaders at a dinner conference co-hosted by the American Club of Lisbon and the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal in May, calling on the EU to create stable conditions for the Euro during Portugal’s financial readjustment and structural reforms and expressing confidence in Spain’s banking system. 44 | Hotels & Resorts
1. vÍtor gaspar | Finance Minister 2. marco afonso | Executive MBA student, aese/IESE • António Agrela | Partner, Sqimi 3. Pedro LAncastre | Manager Director, Jones Lang LaSalle • Mariana SEABRA | Head of Office Agency, Jones Lang LaSalle 4. MANUEL BRITO • VASCO DUARTE SILVA| Executive Chairman, AngLE capital • Lourenço viera de campoS | Director, EspÍrito Santo Private Banking • miguel maldonado covas | Director, EspÍrito Santo Private Banking 5. Manuel Ramalho | President, ICPT • Joaquim Oliveira | President, AMCHAM PORTUGAL • AnnE taylor | President, American Club • António GONÇALVES | Board member, icpt • José Araujo | Millennium bcp 6. Heromina Teixeira | Consultant • Manuel de Bragança 7. viKtor Riedl | Senior Director, Lilly portugal • sandra riedL 8. Domingas carvalhosa | Board member, GRUPO Lift 9. Jorge olalde | Director, Nestle Portugal • Luís ferreira pinto 10. José Gonçalves Roberto | MRW Soc ROC
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Revitalise your senses at águahotels With 4 hotels in Portugal - 2 4-star and 2 5-star - águahotels Mondim de Basto and the recently-opened águahotels Douro Scala in the north, and the águahotels Vale de Lapa and águahotels Riverside in the Algarve, the expanding águahotels Group is today a success story for the Portuguese hotel industry
aulo Lourenço, águahotels Group Managing Director, stresses that “the crisis has undoubtedly provided an opportunity for growth for the águahotels Group which is continuing to grow in a sustained way, and is being confirmed as a prestigious hotel group at a national level.” Set in unique landscapes, the two águahotels in the north are magical places where discovering moments of sheer relaxation and harmonious family time is possible. At águahotels Mondim de Basto you’ll experience truly emotional, adrenalin-charged mountain activities. At águahotels Douro the taste of tradition and richness of the historic and cultural heritage of a region designated a UNESCO Landscape of Humanity Heritage site, can be discovered. The two águahotels hotels in the south, águahotels Vale de Lapa and águahotels Riverside, next to some of the most lovely beaches in the Algarve and picturepostcard tourist villages, are the perfect hideaways for a few fantastic days rest and relaxation, by the beach with fun for two or with the family. The excellent service and welcoming atmosphere are always present at águahotels and all visitors feel totally at home. 46 | Hotels & Resorts
águahotels Douro Scala 5 stars of Culture and Tradition
With 43 magnificently decorated and fitted out rooms, including twin rooms, suites and a presidential suite, águahotels Douro Scala is the result of an extraordinary restoration of the historic Quinta do Paço, a mansion dating from the XVIth century with a view over the River Douro. The hotel also boasts a panoramic restaurant and esplanade, bar, library, XVIth century chapel, events room, outdoor pool, SPA with indoor heated pool, gym, children’s playground, games room, multimedia room, laundry service, 24-hour reception, concierge, luggage and room services. Visiting águahotels Douro Scala provides the perfect opportunity to explore the region - a UNESCO world heritage site - its unique port wine producing tradition and the extremely rich cultural heritage of Quinta do Paço. The hotel will soon have two museums, one of them will display the Almeida de Carvalhais collection to the public. Investment in the Quinta do Paço restoration project cost around €5 million, 70% financed by European Community funds and involving the Regional Directorate for Culture in the North (DRCN), Mesão Frio Municipal Council and the real estate company Prata Parque Investimento Imobiliários S.A.
águahotels Mondim de Basto 4-star nature in trás-os-montes
High up on the mountain with a rare view over the Tâmega River, the first águahotels has already been in operation for 4 years and is considered one of the best hotels in the north of Portugal. This mountain design hotel has 49 rooms, including twin rooms, suites and tworoom Mountain chalets, all totally fitted out and tastefully decorated along simple lines. A truly surprising and stunning view of the mountain skyline as far as the Tâmega River awaits at the águahotels Mondim de Basto.. The hotel also features a restaurant with a esplanade, a bar, and a fantastic SPA with an indoor pool, ideal for a few days of relaxation. For those looking for the excitement of adventurous mountain activities the choice of activities is endless. Adventure is guaranteed for those so inclined, and surrounded by a breathtaking landscape too...
águahotels Riverside 4-star hotel in the Algarve for everyone
With the Arade River as a backdrop, a magnificent view of Monchique and the city of Portimão in the distance, the águahotels Riverside is the ideal place for a few days away in the mild Algarve climate. Open since April 2012, the águahotels Riverside has 134 totally equipped rooms, decorated to a luxury minimalist concept. Built in a modular way, these can be divided into twin rooms, Junior Suites and Riverside Suites which can accommodate 5 adults. Accessibility was a key point when designing this project. At águahotels Riverside all guests, regardless of their mobility constraints, can fully enjoy all services and facilities, therefore making the most of their days of relaxation. With its unique location on the banks of the Arade River, águahotels Riverside has a small quay and a boat available for its guests, providing river trips and crossings as far as Praia Grande in Ferragudo. MONDIM DE BASTO
Discover more about the águahotels Group at www.aguahotels.pt and book your next holidays
águahotels Vale da Lapa 5-star Luxury hotel in the Algarve
The águahotels Vale da Lapa is a luxury resort which has been running for two years. Close to Carvoeiro, a tourist town par excellence, it is a benchmark in luxury family holidays in the region. The suites and single family villas with private pools were designed with a view to comfort and functionality, without cutting corners in terms of the detail and tasteful furnishings. All are beautifully decorated and fully-equipped to make guests feel comfortable so that they can totally enjoy days of relaxation. With extensive gardens, lakes and streams, the águahotels Vale da Lapa is the ideal place for children’s summer games whilst surrounded by nature and for adults to unwind. The resort recently increased to its wide range of services with the opening of águaviva SPA with a range of completely new treatments and massages, an indoor heated pool with a jacuzzi and an exercise room. These new facilities, combined with the existing rest room, sauna, Turkish bath and sensations shower provide all guests with moments of pure relaxation and well-being. The resort also offers a Terrace Restaurant, Bar, Mini market, free Kids Club (seasonal), playground, games room, two paddle tennis courts, a multi sports field, a miniature golf course and a wide range of services including 24-hour reception, room service, free shuttle to the beach, among others. At águahotels Vale da Lapa you’ll find everything you’ll need to enjoy your holidays to the full. | 47
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Portugal has always had to suffer
to achieve success
CHRIS GRAEME | Photos
The parliamentary leader of the PS socialist party told the International Club of Portugal that the Portuguese always respond well during a crisis
48 | Hotels & Resorts
1. Manuel RamalhO | President, ICPT • Carlos Zorrinho | General Secretary of PS 2. LEONEL neves | REN • Carlos Zorrinho | General Secretary of PS • Manuel Pombo Cruchinho, Former Finance Minister 3. José Sousa Cintra • António Ponces de Carvalho, Director | ColÉgio S. João de Deus 4. Mahomed Iqbal | BANCO EFISA • João Pulido • Abdool Vakil | Finantial Consultant 5. Carlos Zorrinho | General Secretary of PS • Maria da Luz Rosinha, Mayor | VILA FRANCA DE XIRA council • Manuel Ramalho | President, ICPT 6. João Beleza • António Gonçalves 7. Duarte Marques • Margarida Lopes • José Coimbra • Pedro Saraiva • João Marecos • Carlos Zorrinho General Secretary of PS • ManueL Ramalho | President, ICPT • Ana Luísa Fernandes • Hélder Correia • Gonçalo Carrilho 8. Joaquim Justino • Manuel Ramalho | President, ICPT 9. Mário Coelho • Rita JORDÃO Barreiros • Helena Guerra • Miguel Alvarenga 10. advisor of Japonese Embassy • Gabriela • Regina • Nelson Faria de Oliveira 11. Laura Pereira • José Pereira • Analisa Costa Reis 12. António Gonçalves • Margarida Sousa Pereira • Susana Vieira • João Beleza
[ PA RT NE R S OPINION ]
THE POTENCIAL BENEFITS
for tourism companies
VALTER ALCOFORADO BARREIRA | Executive Director, KNOWING COUNTS
Networking in tourism needs to be both formal and informal, using trusted and established friends, colleagues and partners as well as acquaintances. All is grist for the mill argues Valter Alcoforado Barreira, Lisbon’s foremost networking expert.
ourism sector networking is today an effective solution for players in this area (including SMEs), for the actual competitive challenges they face, namely competition between destinations and a battle to win tourists from source markets.
Tourism companies’ network of relationships is fundamental both for their efficiency and effectiveness. In some cases, the relationships are fairly restricted to a social, familiar or ethnic group where everyone knows everyone else and moves in the same circles, united by strong bonds. In these situations they benefit from a high level of confidence between all parties and can count on one another, but Types of networks can be grouped according to various lose out in terms of the wealth of information that acquaintances parameters: Informal, formal, horizontal and vertical. but not friends (with whom they have weak links), could contribute in bringing new experiences, information and resources from Examples of formal networks are the alliances established particular social circles. An example of these communities with between wine cellars and respective associations, whilst informal networks are those resulting from a reciprocity created strong links are the Chinese communities abroad. by word-of-mouth marketing given by its visitors from other Other types of networks are those based on cooperative cellars in the same region. relationships or ‘coopetition’ concentrated in specific wellHorizontal networks can be formed, for example, by collaborative defined geographical areas, where company clusters have developed which share similar values and goals, or are aligned activities between cellars, marketing agencies and the various in some way with each other, like, for example, Silicon Valley. organisations linked to wine, in the sense that together they can Another aspect of networking are the SMEs held by the same promote a specific wine tourism destination. Vertical networks capital holder, like, for example, in the case of economic may be created and fostered through the cooperation of cellars and groups, joint ventures, consortia, or some other type of formal tour operators, with accommodation providers, restaurants and association with a large company. organisers of food festivals, in the sense of increasing the activities of visitors and tourists and improving their experiences in the wine Yet another relational network is made up of bonds between a tourism destination. SME and a chamber of commerce to which it belongs to or its professional association in which it is an active member. Finally, This business networking strategy seems to be very productive there are the types of networks known as ‘buyer-supplier’ which for those involved, indeed the collaborative relationships between tourism companies and other organisations has been correlated with are formed through contractual relationships and the day-to-day relationships of the exchange of goods and services and which are a the strategic development of tourist destinations, like, for example, the alliances formed between an association linked to the wine sector, relevant network for the SMES. wine producers and government entities, to create and promote a I wanted to share with you the countless possibilities of tourist destination. For example, in the Finnish case, it was shown collaborative networks in the tourism sector in order to that networking between SMEs and universities increased potential challenge you to reflect on identifying those networks that are and the creative innovation of tourism products. more attractive to your organisation’s or your personal goals, and study whether it makes sense to create or participate in Companies seek to get involved in informal or formal network networks whatever their type, be they transactional, information relationships because they want to get access to resources which are beyond their own reach but which are available to network members or socially led. in the form of goods, services, information, advice, help and This will be a first step in a worthwhile journey made up of three support so as to enable a better and more timely reaction capacity components in the process of effective network management: to competitive challenges. These relationships may be established Creation, Cultivation and Capitalization. with different individuals such as family members, friends and acquaintances, within or outside of their local communities. firstname.lastname@example.org 50 | Hotels & Resorts
Where all threads come together. 8 –10 October 2012 Messe München, Germany 15th International Trade Fair for Commercial Property and Investment www.exporeal.net
Common theme: Your success Take advantage of the unique networking potential that EXPO REAL has to offer to make valuable contacts and cultivate existing business ties. Some 37,000 real-estate professionals representing the entire value chain meet at the industry’s indispensible business platform. Be there! Order your ticket now:
[ BUSINE SS R E P ORT ]
Aguirre Newman Searching for Lisbon office demand CHRIS GRAEME | Photos
Aguirre Newman & Vida Imobiliรกria organise conference at GUARRIGES Lisbon office where the Lisbon Office Market Study 2012 was presented 52 | Hotels & Resorts
1. Nelson Paciencia | Architect, AGUIRRE NEWMAN • Eduardo Fonseca | Offices & Retail Director, AGUIRRE NEWMAN • Clara Silva | Coordinator Corporate Solutions, CHAMARTIN • Joao Leal Barreto | Board Member, CHAMARTIN • Paulo Silva | Managing Director, AGUIRRE NEWMAN • Luís Reis | Industrial & Logistics Director, AGUIRRE NEWMAN 2. Victor Meneses | Director, FINIVALOR • Carla Coelho | Business Relations, FINIVALOR • Pedro Reis | Director, FINIVALOR 3. Frederico Romão | Property Manager, JLL • Maria José Vaqueiro | Associate Director, JLL • Mariana Seabra | Head of Office Agency, JLL 4. Luis Soares | F&C Investments • Bernardo Simões |Analyst & Property Controller, F&C Investments • Eduardo Fonseca | Corporate & Retail Director, AGUIRRE NEWMAN 5.Marco Fernandes | Commercial, Castelhano & ferreira • José Luís Neves | Local Manager, Armstrong 6. João Ferreira | URBANOS • Salmão Amado | URBANOS 7. Franz Josef Kaltner | Engineering Manager, TECHNIP • Maria Helena Kaltner 8. Andre Gomes de Sousa | Associate, ECS Capital • Paula Sequeira | Research Senior Consultant, AGUIRRE NEWMAN • Mónica Bastos | Investment Consultant, AGUIRRE NEWMAN • Nelson Paciencia | Architect, AGUIRRE NEWMAN • Pedro Lucas | Architect, Aguirre Newman • Nuno Condinho | Country Manager, REGUS 9. Frederica Reis | Managing Director Assistant, AGUIRRE NEWMAN • Paula Sequeira | Research Senior Consultant, AGUIRRE NEWMAN 10. Pedro Andre | Coordinator DNI, Millenium BCP • Paulo Vieira | Comercial, Schmit & Sohn • José Araujo | Marketing Diretor, Millenium BCP 11. António Português | Manager, Armstrong • António Gil Machado | General Director, VIDA IMOBILIÁRIA • Pedro Silva | General Manager, CITY MOVER 12. Marco Fernandes | Comercial, CASTELHANO FERREIRA • Pedro Costa Ferreira | Comercial, CASTELHANO FERREIRA • Paulo Amado | Real Estate Manager, FINIVALOR • Ricardo Costa Ferreria | Comercial Director, CASTELHANO FERREIRA | 53
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[ BUSINE SS R E P ORT ]
Innovation... the key to success
VIVA IN PORTUGAL workshop on Portuguese Tourism Chris Graeme | Photos
In a difficult period for Portuguese tourism the path to success lies in new market perspectives and innovation says tourism consultant Len Silverfine at a VIVA IN workshop held in Lisbon in May. Additionally, more effective marketing tools are needed to create a competitive advantage. 56 | Hotels & Resorts
1. PEDRO SEABRA | President, CBRE • CARLOS LEIRIA PINTo | Branch Director, EUROHYpo • ANTÓNIO GIL MACHADO | General Manager, IMOMETRICA 2. joão jacinto | Administrador, Frontinho • Len Silverfine • JOSÉ MANUEL DE MELLO | President, SELECTA 3. ARMANDO ROCHA| Board Member, NEOTURIS • CARLOS LEIRIA PINTo | Branch Director, EUROHYpo 4. Bruno Effrent Costa • Len Silverfine 5. EDUARDO ABREU | Board Member, Neoturis • Miguel simões de almeida | Board Member, Aqua pura hotels 6. Teresa ferreira | turismo de portugal 7. LUÍS FIGUEIREDO TRINDADE | Director, PartNERS IN BUSINESS • ANTÓNIO GIL MACHADO | General Manager, IMOMETRICA 8. Rita Ribeiro | Manager, rita ribeiro comunicação • Avin ECCLES, NEOTURIS
[ PARTNERS OPINION]
BPCC – helping members reach a global market through
iPhone Applications CHRIS BARTON | President, BPCC
British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Barton explains how new IT smart phone technology is helping its members to improve their networking and business.
s the title of this magazine implies, businesses thrive on partnerships.Connecting people in order to develop commerce or share concerns has been one of the key objectives of chambers of commerce since their inception. Although the BritishPortuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) recently celebrated its centenary with enormous pride, it was keen to show that it embraces the latest technological advances to deliver its services. Traditional search engines pride themselves in instantly offering the searcher thousands of of choices – and therein lies part of the problem – information overload. The BPCC designed iPhone application (the App) succeeds in enabling the user to search for service providers by sifting by sector of activity then by geographical location. The results give a concise description of the company together with names of the key personnel and their direct e-mail addresses – pure simplicity! The casual internet surfer runs the great risk of stumbling across a company merely because it has the flashiest site, but except for the company’s own claims on its website there is no assurance that the company is an honest and viable one. Belonging to a chamber of commerce which prides itself on having flourished for over 100 years brings with it a sense of credibility and trustworthiness. Reinforcing this sense of security is the fact that by clicking onto the address the
58 | Hotels & Resorts
The BPCC designed iPhone application (the App) succeeds in enabling the user to search for service providers by sifting by sector of activity then by geographical location.
App switches to a map facility showing the exact location of the premises. Admittedly this does not guarantee the company’s credence but it does provide some important initial checks in the due diligence process.
which type of event, or in which part of the country, they receive mobile alerts for.
The British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce is a bilateral organisation with members of both nationalities (and others) active throughout mainland Portugal. Consequently its membership and client base may prefer their working language to be English or Portuguese. For those users which have their device configured in Portuguese the default language of the App will be the same. Conversely those whose configured language is not Portuguese (i.e. English or any other language) the App will function in English.
Those who register via the App may also see who else has done likewise which encourages attendees to contact each other beforehand thereby making networking even more effective.
Each year the BPCC organises approximately 50 events in different parts of the country. These vary in format and include lunch debates featuring politicians, entrepreneurs or business gurus; conferences, workshops, seminars, training courses; invitation only power networking lunches; breakfast briefs, networking cocktails hosted by members themselves; golf tournaments and other sporting or social gatherings. Whilst members appreciate the volume and diversity of our activities, it is understandable that many events may be outside their area of interest and receiving notifications for so many events may become a nuisance. The App therefore allows the user to select
Furthermore users may register for events and receive immediate confirmation that their booking has been safely received.
Although websites serve a very useful purpose as they can give access to an infinite amount of data they are not practical for the businessman on the move who is much more likely to appreciate the convenience of rapidly accessing information presented in an easy-on-the-eye format optimized for the limited screen size of a smart-phone. During these times of economic strife getting a bargain is even more important than ever, so knowing which service providers are currently offering special
promotions is much appreciated by cost-conscious businessmen, hence the Member2Member listings offering deals on everything from car hire and office rental through to wine, restaurants and hotels. Other useful functions include the ability to add to your existing personal database by selecting individuals from the App’s list, thereby avoiding the laborious task of having to key in all the information manually. Applications to become a member of the BPCC may also be submitted via the App with comprehensive explanations of the benefits for the different levels of membership available. Within 10 days of being launched on the iStore, apart from users in Britain and Portugal there were also numerous downloads from Saudi Arabia, Israel, Angola, Canada, South Africa, USA and Denmark – giving a clear indication of its global reach and marketing potential for the Chamber’s existing 500 members. Other bi-lateral chambers have also recognised the potential for their own networks and negotiations are currently underway to see how the multi-lingual and regionalisation might be tailored to their local requirements. If successful this marks another example of Portuguese technology and ingenuity at the forefront of IT solutions on the global stage. The App may be downloaded from the iStore by searching for BPCC or by scanning this QR code. | 59
[ BUSINESS COMM UNITY RE P ORT ]
A taste of America
at 4th of July picnic Chris Graeme | Photos
Members of the American community in Portugal joined Portuguese friends to enjoy beef burgers, hot dogs, baseball and American football at the annual American Community Independence Day Picnic in the gardens of the Marquis de Pombal Palace in Oeiras, organised by The American Club with the help of the US Marines, sponsors and charities 1. João Pestana Dias | General Manager, fadus special events • Anne taylor | President, American Club 2. Charles Buchanan | Vice-president, American Club • Dana Redford | Managing Director, redford research international • Madalena Lordelo | American Club 3. Blane Tavares | American Club • Andreia Tavares | American Club • Mariana Abrantes de Sousa American Club 4. Adhara • John SCOTT Johnson, Treasurer | American Club • Oriana 60 | Hotels & Resorts
Dreams come true
The American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal celebrates 60 years Chris Graeme | Photos
Gala Amcham Tributes evening at the CCB raises funds for children’s charity make-a-wish. Rui Manchete, flad, leadership, hovione and principal power all recognised for their role in strengthening Portugal-USA bi-lateral relations. 1. josé joaquim oliveira | President, portuguese-american chamber of commerce • Paulo portas | Ministry of Foreign Affairs • alan katz | Embassador of United States of America 2. Luís Nogueira | MIL CAPITAL • Cristina Serão | Mercer • Maria João Louro | Mercer • RUI GUERRA 3. RUI MAnCHETE, Lawyer 4. José Joaquim Oliveira | President, AmCham PORTUGAL • AnnE taylor | President, American Club • Pedro Penalva | CEO, AON 5. mário nobre • graça didier • jaIme Cerejeira | 61
[ BUSINE SS R E P ORT ]
Carlos Moedas at the American Club
Europe will be very different in three months CHRIS GRAEME | Photos
Carlos Moedas, the Secretary of State to the Prime Minister, warns of a ‘hot summer’ in European politics but affirms Portugal is on the right track in terms of reforms and deficit control 1. AnnE taylor | President, American Club of Lisbon • CARLOS MOEDAS | Secretary of State to the Prime Minister 2. Jorge Pereira de Almeida | MRW Soc ROC • José Gonçalves Roberto 3. CARLOS LEIRIA PINTo | Branch Director, EUROHYpo • FILIPE AMADO | Board Member, sagestamO 4. António Ponces de Carvalho • Manuel de Bragança | Netdominium • Constantino Ferreira 5. João Tello Garçia Pulido 62 | Hotels & Resorts
[ BUSINE SS R E P ORT ]
Portugalâ€™s structural reforms on track
Chris Graeme | Photos
The President of EDPâ€™s board of directors, Eduardo Catroga, addresses the French, British, Dutch and Swedish chambers of commerce on the imperative for growth for Europe and Portugal at a lunch at the Hotel Sheraton in May. 64 | Hotels & Resorts
1. BERNARD CHANTRELLE | President, CCILF • EDUARDO CATROGA | Chairman, EDP 2. PEDRO REBELO DE SOUSA | Lawyer - Managing Partner, SRS Advogados • ERIC VAN LEUVEN | Managing Partner, CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD 3. João Antunes Bartolo | GENERG SERVICES • Ilídio Pinho | President, FUNDAÇÃO ILÍDIO PINHO 4. Françoise Le Quer | Managing Associate | SOCIEDADE REBELO DE SOUSA & ADVOGADOS ASSOCIADOS • Paulo Bandeira | Managing Associate, SOCIEDADE REBELO DE SOUSA & ADVOGADOS ASSOCIADOS 5. Roberto Levy | FERREIRA & LEVY • Jean Jacques Maurice | Managing Associate, CODEACTIVOS – GESTÃO DE COBRANÇAS 6. José Araújo | Director, MILLENNIUM BCP • Helena Fernandes | BRITISH PORTUGUESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 7. ERIC VAN LEUVEN | Managing Partner, CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD • Carlos Aguiar | Lawyer, CARLOS AGUIAR FerEIRA DE LIMA & ASSOCIADOS • Maria João Reis | BANCO BPI • Norberto Mendes | Commercial and Marketing, LEGRAND • Fernando Mendes | Managing Director, LEGRAND 8. Martinho Dutschke | President/CEO, SYNCREA ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS • Norberto Mendes Commercial and Marketing, LEGRAND 9. Filipe Cardoso | BANCO POPULAR • José Coutinho | BANCO POPULAR | 65
[ PARTNERS CAR]
E 250 CDI CabrioLET
t the wheel of this fantastic cabriolet, so smooth and user friendly, we only really feel the car on throwing back the roof. As might be expected from any Mercedes of excellence, with the hood up, there is no noise and only the surge of the simply extraordinary 2.2 turbo 204hp diesel motor, with the efficient automatic 7G Tronic Plus gearbox. This motor offers an optimal combination of power versus consumption and recorded an average in the region of 9 lts over a varying route. Comfort, in conjunction with good finishings, establishes a perfect ambience for those seated in the front whilst in the back, even if somewhat limited, two adults fit to perfection.
66 | Hotels & Resorts
With the hood down, the wind drag is not felt courtesy of an aircraft wind efficiency system (extra), which really does provide the wellbeing of immersion in sun warmed and gentle air currents. The harmonious aesthetic design quality to this Mercedes is unquestionable. The only real drawback is the cost of its extras – for many, getting their hands on this car will remain a dream – even though most certainly justifying the investment involved. Price: from €62,680
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