THE ADDRESS Magazine No16

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Winter 2013-14




A singular estate in Andalusia

Redefining elegant living in Belize



A world-class architectural villa in Barbados

Fine tropical villa living in Koh Samui



A prestige property that has it all in the French Alps

Spain’s “Golden Visa” – Visa and residency permits for non-EU investors



Guatemala’s Maya mysteries

Top chefs share their recipes


editor's note

Winter 2013 - 14 ON THE COVER Contemporary villa Barbados


Welcome to No 16 of THE ADDRESS magazine, a lavishly-presented assortment of the very best in real estate, design, food and travel. With its internationally savvy glamour and style, cutting-edge reports and luxe lifestyle features, it is a gorgeous celebration of fine living. This issue presents 388 pages brimming with inspiration and information from the international luxury property and lifestyle market to see you through Winter 2013/14. We take a look inside one of the largest and most extraordinary haciendas in the South of Spain and for design aficionados, a spectacular villa in Barbados articulates the ideals of contemporary architecture and style. Also in Barbados, this one-of-a-kind exquisite penthouse epitomizes the ultimate in luxury oceanfront living. The truly spectacular piece de resistance in this issue boasts a glorious setting in Provence. This fine bastide is in every sense the epitome of the good life. As ski season gets underway, you will find some remarkable chalets and ski apartments in Val d’Isère, Méribel, Courchevel and Combloux-Megève in France, and the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. Tight

supply and controlled development, combined with huge lifestyle appeal and a strong international market, mean ski homes in quality resorts, leaseback as well as classic freehold, will always be good long-term investments. The French Riviera has not lost its cachet, topping the list of prime residential enclaves for international property buyers. Francophiles will be delighted by this issue's many stunning French properties including a spectacular villa on Cap de Nice with direct access to the sea, a showpiece villa in Villefranch-sur-Mer, prestige villas in SaintTropez and stylish penthouses near Monaco. Barefoot luxury retreats, combining discreet, idyllic tropical surroundings with stylish design, a sustainable luxury lifestyle and attractive returns has become increasingly popular. In this issue, we discover the finest resort community in Belize, modern condos and villas in Koh Lanta and stylishly contemporary villas in Koh Samui. THE ADDRESS Magazine also includes an avant-garde designer villa in Algarve, one of Costa Brava’s finest oceanfront estates, elegant lakefront villas on Lake Maggiore, stylish villas in Phuket along with several other fine homes for sale. The market insight features in this issue include “Spain’s Golden Visa – Visa and residency permits for non-EU investors” and “Buying new off-plan property in Spain – Can you reclaim your deposit if things go wrong”. The travel section include two full-length articles with stunning photography that take you on a journey to Guatemala’s Maya Mysteries and to laid-back, beautiful Belize. And do not miss the ‘Insider’s Guide to Lisbon’, a city full of style, sophistication and old-world pleasures. Our Kitchen Confidential features famous chefs with grown-up palates and sophisticated taste. In this issue, Abdul Yaseen – Chef at Cinnamon Kitchen in London - gives you a chance to try some of his favourite recipes. And finally, as always we present some recent discoveries of global style, design and good living. Enjoy the latest issue of THE ADDRESS Magazine! Enjoy, ANN ADENIUS, Curator



6 REAL ESTATE TROPHY PROPERTY 6 Supreme Exclusivity BEST OF MODERN 18 A home with a Wow-factor BEST OF SKIING 26 Lavishly Scaled, Timeless Splendour


BEST PENTHOUSE 34 Penthouse Grandeur PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE 44 The Epitome of Provençal Living ALGARVE 64 Avant-garde design meets dazzling panoramas ANDALUSIA 74 Elegant, Magnificent, Grand Scale BARBADOS 80 Absolute Perfection & Quintessential Prestige Exceptional Home, Sublime Setting BARCELONA 100 For a Modern Lifestyle BELIZE 104 Beauty & Sophistication COSTA BRAVA 116 Beauty & Sophistication Old World elegance at its best FRENCH ALPS 124 Classically timeless & Understated contemporary Alpine Bliss - Fine Alpine Living - Luxury in the Alps




REAL ESTATE FRENCH RIVIERA 148 Inspired Living, Iconoc Views - A Showpiece of Architectural Elegance - Distinctly refined. Exceptionally rare. - An address of unparallelled prestige and distinction - Luxe. Lifestyle. Location. - Modern, yet classic - Life at The Top Stylish Penthouse Living The Luxury of Exclusivity ITALIAN LAKE DISTRICT 192 Luxuriously Exclusive - Lakeside Elegance Majestic & Elegant KOH LANTA 212 Flawless Design, Flawless Views KOH SAMUI 222 Limited, unsurpassed, irreplaceably modern at the ultimate beachfront address MADRID 234 Timeless design. Bespoke lifestyle. Enviable addres Grand Style Living PARIS 252 Distinctly Refined Elegance PHUKET 258 Glamorous & Absolutely Fabulous Impressive Proportions & Utmost Style - Distinctly Refined Beachfront Luxury - Undeniably Exceptional PROVENCE 280 An Exceptionally Rare Find in Provence Blissful Living SWITZERLAND 296 Lakefront Bliss WARSAW 304 Unabashed Glamour. Unparallelled Luxury.


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THE ADDRESS Magazine is published by W International Management Email: Tel: +44 20 7095 8700

© W International Management Ltd.



Supreme Exclusivity




A singular estate that provides the ultimate luxury, elegance, prestige and privacy


he luxury end of Spain’s property market is bucking the trend of a troubled real estate industry. High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) are picking up properties that satisfy their demand for the ideal location, sumptuous design and top quality construction. Away from the glitzy coastlines of Spain, luxury properties in the interior are appealing to the wealthy domestic market, often businessmen who are in search of privacy, security and good access. And while security and

privacy drive Spanish buyers to select a second-home property in Andalusia, lifestyle is the propelling force for those from other EU nations and Russia. Weather is a key driver for purchasing a holiday home in Spain and nowhere is the weather more beautiful than in Andalusia. With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Andalusia benefits from exceptionally good Mediterranean weather, making it a prime location for tourists and property buyers alike. 9



Andalusia enjoys blue skies, an unruffled siesta lifestyle, Mediterranean cuisine and wonderful national parks – just some of the reasons buyers are attracted to this region. Culturally, too, the region is a gold mine of options. This is where one may find loads of medieval treasures and ancient architecture, while at the same time, a thriving cosmopolitan lifestyle is readily on offer. From the fabulous coastal beaches to the charming white villages, from national parks to thriving cities, Andalusia has it all on offer. Here is a truly rare opportunity to own one of the largest and most extraordinary haciendas in the South of Spain. This superior country estate delivers Andalusian living on a grand scale. For those who insist upon exceptional style, the significant property excels. Paying glorious tribute to the magnificent architecture of Andalusia’s grand estate homes, the prestige property is a rare haven of luxury. The scenic views, magical location, grand size and elegant craftsmanship make it the ultimate trophy property for the discriminating elite. Seldom does a home of such calibre come onto the market. The superb country estate is truly the crème de la crème of Andalusia real estate. Sprawling over 900 hectares, the meticulously executed private property consists of a compound that includes a grandly appointed main house, cattle farm, equestrian facilities and stables, winery, guest house, barn, outbuildings, pastures, heavenly outdoor spaces and stunning vistas. Breathtaking scenery and inviting family idyll, this is a desirable setting. From its singular location, the premier estate offers unparallelled privacy, serenity and beauty. Easily accessible yet wonderfully private, the exclusive country estate is only 50 minutes from Seville. Privately accessed through a gated entryway, the commanding main home impresses from the outset, with a long private driveway and a welcoming arched portico ornamented by columns and a noble fountain. Beyond its brilliant whitewashed façade, the splendid mansion is a showcase of sumptuous elegance inside. 12




Spread over 3,000m² of unabashed luxury, the spectacular family home raises gracious living to stratospheric heights. Impressive in every way imaginable, the statuesque residence is a monument to refinement, opulence and style. As formal or as casual as required, the luxurious home is ideal for family living and gala entertaining. Melding tradition with sophisticated style, the 20-bedroom residence offers ample living spaces of exceptional grace and size. Extravaganza abounds, from the formal living and dining rooms, to the refined wood-panelled library, the lavish master suite and the great hunters’ hall. The property also features an enchanting tiled inner courtyard with arcades and a fountain. With period details that conjure the splendour of a bygone era, the residence's intricate marble flooring, large fireplaces and coffered ceilings create a sensational setting for fine country living. The highly ornate wall panelling, French doors and high ceilings add further to the majestic ambience of the property. The ultra-luxurious residence enjoys a lovely garden, enriched by verdant Mediterranean trees and other species of native flora. Adorned by a private swimming pool and a terrace, the elite country estate offers wonderful outdoor living spaces. Providing a peaceful haven, the multiple covered porches with stone columns and arches allow the awe-inspiring natural surroundings to be enjoyed throughout the year. This stunning home encapsulates what this beautiful part of the world is all about. Offering luxury living in grand style at its finest, few homes can compare with the scale and appeal of such an extraordinary property. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703





A home with a Wow-factor A world-class architectural villa that takes its place as the crown jewel of Barbados modern real estate




he tide is growing for those in search of luxury real estate in the Caribbean island paradise of Barbados. Granted, there was a period of recalibration in both sales volumes and valuations within the country’s luxury real estate market, although prices held stronger than in many other vacation spots. Now, buyers are returning in full force to take advantage of the many attractive property opportunities currently available. With a long history of parliamentary government, a well-respected legal system, excellent infrastructure, health and education facilities, Barbados has attracted High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) from Britain as well as other European countries, America and Canada, people in search of a vacation home or a permanent residence. All are searching for the pink coral sands, the dependable climate, the restaurants, the shopping and the welldocumented friendliness of the island nation’s 280,000 inhabitants. Barbados is synonymous with luxury living, with some of the finest properties in the world located along the West Coast. The island has long catered to the global elite and celebrities. With plenty of direct flights from Europe, the United States and Canada to select from, it is always easy to get here. New York is just 4½ hours away, while London is eight hours. Show-stopping appeal and lifestyle advantages aside, contemporary architectural properties have been sought-after investments. These contemporary modern-day masterpieces offer Zen-style purity, floor-toceiling glass windows and open-plan living. Such homes offer a clean slate. All those crisp lines and bright white spaces provide

a sense of lightness, unfettered by decades of history. Proud high-end buyers talk about their properties, and their provenance, as much as they would about a piece of art, a car or a yacht. That special appeal holds immense cachet. Good design should also be functional. Contemporary architecture is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is also highly practical. Contemplating “how we live” becomes the primary consideration for architects renowned for creating these showpiece properties. Contemporary spaces are typically light-filled, with flexible floorplans that flow seamlessly from one to the next, with features that ensure majestic panoramic views that bring the outside indoors. Buyers demand the qualities of space and natural light that only a modern house can provide. There is a growing group of discerning buyers to whom a house will always be judged on architectural merit, as the sum of its stunningly proportioned spaces, clean lines, attention to detail and aesthetic quality. Without doubt, most of those in search of a modern, design-led home buy for their own enjoyment. They are not speculators, but lifestyle buyers who value good modern design. Contemporary house designs allow the homeowner to make a statement about how modern living is being shaped. Describing the word “modern” in the context of house design could be summed up as a “statement of living”. Here is a rare and exciting opportunity to live the ultimate lifestyle surrounded by spectacular architectural lines, stylish finishes and a secure environment, mere


moments from the beach. Simply stunning, it is an architectural statement set to redefine the meaning of modern living in Barbados. The architects have created a striking achievement in contemporary design that is as superbly functional as it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Glamour, drama, soaring ceilings, wallto-wall glass and extravagant finishes highlight the immensely contemporary residence that has been packed with every imaginable luxury demanded by today's


most discriminating buyer. Awe-inspiring panoramic views of the ocean, afforded by an endless number of vantage points throughout the villa, are nothing short of breathtaking. The excellent design has created an impressively proportioned and luxurious low-maintenance living environment that offers sophisticated indoor-outdoor living. The modern masterpiece is the ultimate in visual appeal – here space, light and volume truly steal the show. The luminous

interior dĂŠcor creates a soft and intimate counterpoint, whilst not jeopardizing the dramatic and clean, geometric lines of the architecture. In a design thoroughly attuned to modern family requirements, the living and entertaining spaces are all exceptionally spacious and versatile. A study in superlatives, the spectacular and luxurious property unfolds over 5,271 sq. ft. on two levels. The sophisticated villa combines pure style with elegant interiors. From the Portuguese limestone used on all

surfaces in the designer kitchen, to bespoke bathroom fittings, it is the perfect space for entertaining and relaxing. The home’s centrepiece is the dramatic double-height living space affording stunning vistas that extend beyond the extensive outdoor areas toward the endless ocean waters. The stylish, newly built Barbados home consists of four spacious bedrooms, two of which are ensuite. Step out of the impressive master suite onto the glazed balcony to absorb the sunset views


over the Caribbean Sea, or else take to the covered terrace for relaxation. Designed around outdoor living and an informal lifestyle, the elegant home boasts a striking infinity pool and an extensive terrace. In addition to the ground-level terraces, there is a stunning roof terrace offering dazzling vistas of the West Coast. The luxury villa is set perfectly on a 21,572 sq. ft. ridge, affording amazing views across a protected gully of mahogany trees and out to the ocean. A place of serenity


and tranquillity, the breathtaking Barbados property is surrounded by lovely gardens that have been planted with indigenous species of palms, lilies, bougainvillea and flowering shrubs. The garden is accessed via a secure gate and the grounds include ample parking. Here at Barbados' most prestigious and desirable address, the ßber-stylish villa is located in St. James on the island’s famed West Coast, often called the Platinum Coast and Millionaires Row. As Barbados' play-

ground for the rich and famous, the coast is lined with luxurious hotels and mansions. St. James is widely considered the jewel in the crown of Barbados, with unmatched white sandy beaches, high-end resorts and dining that ranges from world-class restaurants to makeshift food stalls serving up delicious local fare. Other attractions and activities include water sports, horseback riding, the Holders Farmers’ Market and golf at Sandy Lane and Royal Westmoreland.

A true architectural home in every sense – here is an incredible structural work of art for those who appreciate modern design achievement. Price: USD4.75 million. CONTACT

Modern Homes Worldwide +44 (0)20 7095 8701



Lavishly Scaled, Timeless Splendour 26

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27 Image from an already completed chalet

A sanctuary of sumptuous architecture and natural beauty, the magnificent mountain home has been created to enjoy life at the highest level.


he real estate market in the French Alps remains one of the most robust in Europe, thanks to a combination of accessibility, year-round recreational opportunities and fabulous winter ski conditions. It is less expensive than Switzerland, easier to get to than Austria and better established and safer than Eastern Europe. While many are buying for the excellent and long ski season, they quickly become enchanted by the four seasons conditions, too. With pleasant temperatures perfect for an outdoor lifestyle, that well-known


French country charm and an increasingly international vibe, people are coming to enjoy the great hiking, biking, mountain climbing, white water rafting and para gliding activities. Whether they are searching for a great long-term investment, a second home or even a new permanent residence, buyers are flocking to the French Alps. Many buyers like the idea of purchasing a newbuild home. That way, they can get in on the ground floor, selecting design, materials and all the finishes themselves.

29 Image from an already completed chalet

Image from an already c

But first and foremost, the allure of the French Alps is the magnificent skiing. The region enjoys the largest piste network in the world and several excellent seasons have demonstrated the benefits of the high altitude climate in which most of the trails and runs are located, a place where the season runs longer than in many other popular ski resorts. Here is an exceptional opportunity to own one of the finest holiday chalets at the foot of the slopes of the Espace Killy. The benchmark in luxury alpine living, this prestige enclave embodies a blue ribbon lifestyle of unsurpassed convenience in central Val d’Isère. 30

Newbuild chalets within this internationally popular mountain village are among the most sought after pieces of real estate in the entire French Alps. They are very hard to come by in Val d’Isère, with just a handful being built each year. As such, this coveted collection of private ski chalets is the largest project the resort has seen for the last 15 years. The boutique community houses a limited edition of only eight newly built residences, each a fitting tribute to spaciousness and architectural refinement, with enchanting views. The outstanding ski chalets are being built by a highly reputed developer with over 20

completed chalet

Image from an already completed chalet

successful years of experience in building luxury chalets in the French Alps. The developer’s knowledge and expertise are unparallelled, part of the reason the boutique property developer is the most sought-after chalet construction firm in the French Alps’ key Courchevel and Val d’Isère districts. Construction is undertaken by consummate craftsmen, noted for paying meticulous attention to detail and using the finest materials chosen from around the world Rich in splendour and elegance, the ultra-luxurious ski chalet is the crown jewel of the prestigious enclave. A very unique opportunity,

here is a transcendent and decadent chalet for the highly discerning owner who demands only the ultimate ski property in Val d’Isère. Designed strictly for the sheer enjoyment of fine living and stylish entertainment, the extraordinary mountain home is a sanctuary where one will succumb to relaxation and a life of pure luxury. Timeless sophistication, flawless execution and unmatched finishes are hallmarks of the extravagant residence. Elegantly designed and impeccably styled with the finest craftsmanship and materials, the superior chalet effortlessly combines desirable


mountain living with a classic yet refined and modern aesthetic. It seamlessly incorporates state-of-the-art living within a traditional architectural vernacular. The typical Savoyard architecture that was inspired by the area's heritage, the noble materials and the warm tones employed all ensure an inviting and elegant atmosphere in the breathtaking chalet. Impressive windows that afford panoramic views, reclaimed and exposed wooden beams and high ceilings add to its distinctive character. Cleverly conceived, multiple windows have been used to maximise natural light throughout the entire property. Crafted with stunning and bespoke interiors, the incredible chalet offers 609m² of opulent ambience. Revealing an inspirational living-entertaining oasis that spreads over 200m², the sensational area flaunts Wow-factor space and unbridled luxury throughout. The expansive lounge with feature fireplace is connected via a glass bridge to the kitchen, a bar and dining area with an 18-seat capacity. The kitchen is a chef's dream, with professional grade equipment. Pure indulgence awaits in the wellness area, which is luxuriously appointed with a large indoor swimming pool (32m²), 32

Jacuzzi, sauna, hammam and treatment rooms. The deluxe mountain property also features a room, built into the rock face, with 4.5-metre ceiling which could be used as an indoor rock climbing room or a shooting range. The fine ski chalet boasts seven spacious bedrooms, all ensuite, and two with his-andhers sinks. There is an 18m² gym, indoor atrium garden, ski locker, utility room and access to underground parking. The private lift completes the ultimate in convenience and luxury living. For outdoor enjoyment, there are also sumptuous al fresco areas with multiple terraces and a garden. Built in a slightly elevated position just two minutes from the centre of Val d’Isère, the prestigious freehold ski property is situated in a convenient, yet private location. A showpiece of architectural elegance and distinction, this magnificent chalet is the epitome of an elite lifestyle statement. Price: €12 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703

33 Image from an already completed chalet



Penthouse Grandeur



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A luxury penthouse apartment that has it all, with a stunning interior rivalled only by its dazzling views


erennially popular among holidaymakers and second-home buyers, Barbados remains a strong and stable real estate market. Crystal blue waters and pink coral beaches, fabulous year-round climate bathed in sunshine and well established infrastructure combine to make Barbados an attractive contender for one of the best places for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) to purchase property, be it for personal use or investment.


British royalty has been coming for years. A-list celebrities, too. They love the ambience on offer here, as well as the first-class restaurants, nightlife, top-of-theline shopping, golf courses and sightseeing. And it is easy to get here, with plenty of direct flights from Canada and America as well as Europe. Add to that the wellknown friendliness of the Bajan people that is guaranteed to provide memorable experiences for any visitor. Barbados has become synonymous with the very finest living and for expats wanting to join in the quality of life, it lacks restrictions on housing purchases. Those who come to live all or part of the year are attracted by the low rate of corporate tax and the absence of capital gains and dividend withholding taxes. Barbados is a former British colony and has therefore inherited a sophisticated system of government and judiciary. There is a well-developed common law system while professional service companies in residence there are world class. When thinking of luxurious living, the name that comes to mind is Barbados. The island is famed for its natural beauty and quality of life and the celebrities and 38

royals who come to live and play. Barbados is one of the very top addresses in the Caribbean and because of high demand, prices have remained stronger than many other world playgrounds for the rich and famous. Ocean living is the dream tropical lifestyle and penthouse living is synonymous with style and glamour. This exceptional penthouse combines luxurious island living with blissful elegance and tranquillity, moments from the Caribbean Sea. The pinnacle of a luxurious beachfront lifestyle awaits at the breathtaking penthouse residence, affording priceless panoramas. Indulge in a lifestyle designed to impress in its coveted setting, where truly palatial living meets unrestricted seascape views. The stylish penthouse apartment is a real showstopper. Understated luxury pervades the serenely elegant living environment. Its desirable waterfront position works to maximise the breathtaking vistas that reach out over the ocean to the horizon. The interiors work in harmony, flowing seamlessly between fluid open plan living and expansive outdoor areas. From within, expanses of glass gracefully frame the ocean, set against a palette of neutral colours that enhance


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rather than compete with the panoramic vistas. Impeccably finished with high vaulted ceilings and marble flooring, the dĂŠcor oozes style and sophistication. Grand in both its size and premium finishing touches, the superior beachfront residence offers a rare chance to experience the absolute height of luxurious island living. Designed strictly for the sheer enjoyment of life and entertainment, the glamorous penthouse offers 6,100 sq. ft. of opulent living space. Sprawling family as well as formal living areas add to its desirable appeal. Boasting an abundance of natural light, each of the four spacious ensuite bedrooms seduces with its size, luminosity and serenity. The prestige penthouse also enjoys a fully equipped kitchen with adjacent staff quarters. For those ample days of sunshine and all those stunning sundowner sessions and evenings of dreamy stargazing, the wellappointed living area flows naturally outdoors onto the equally impressive and spacious terrace. A seductive oversized terrace pool and a stylish dining area add to the glamour of the elegant al fresco spaces.

Set on one of Barbados’ most magnificent West Coast beaches just south of Sandy Lane Hotel, the fine boutique community is reserved for those with uncompromising taste and demanding requirements. Overlooking the aquamarine waters and golden sandy shores of Paynes Bay Beach, expansive sea views provide the backdrop for an enclave designed for a rich, sophisticated lifestyle. Residents have access to facilities such as 24-hour security, communal beach butler, shared pool, gardens, sun beds and umbrellas. The highly-in-demand property is within close proximity to amenities, including Daphne’s and The Cliff restaurants, and is a short drive to Holetown, for shopping at the Lime Grove Lifestyle Centre, several restaurants and other shops and banking facilities. An ultra-luxurious penthouse for those who value exclusivity as much as prestige, it provides an unprecedented opportunity for beachfront living on a truly grand scale. Price: USD6.75 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




The Epitome of Provenรงal Living


At this wonderful country bastide of sublime luxury, one will experience the authentic Provence to the fullest


he Provence property market has largely shown steady growth, developing into a blue chip investment on the international real estate scene. Modern-day Provence is a region of contrasts. There are the medieval hilltop villages that seem precariously set on the edge of rocky crags, the vibrant cities of Marseille and Montpellier, and the tranquillity of the Alpilles and the Luberon. The region sparkles in luminescent colours, from the golden hills of olive, pine, and cedar trees, endless fields of purple lavender, and the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. These are the colours that have enchanted and inspired artists of world renown, most notably Vincent Van Gogh who created some of his best-known works here. For many, Provence stands as a potent symbol of the good life. But it is also an incredible amalgam of the old and the modern. There is ancient architecture as well as modern cuisine. Its authentic bastide properties can be found in the midst of the countryside, close to an 46

international airport and the high-speed TGV train stations that link the region with Paris and other European capitals. From food, wine, art and culture, to natural beauty and history, Provence is one of the best places to live in France. Few properties epitomise the languorous luxury of Provence more than this classic bastide. Set amidst rolling green hills near the junction of small villages, the property’s pastoral charm is rustic and casual, the ambience is timeless and understatedly elegant. A true gem, the bastide is full of 18th-century Provençal integrity. Capturing the romance of a bygone era, the home retains the traditional and timeless architecture, while introducing modern finishes and conveniences. This is about a way of life – cosy and comfortable, with a generous display of quality and refinement. The attractive character property comprises an ensemble of buildings, including a beautiful mas, an independent 2-bedroom apartment – complete with kitchen, living room and terraces – plus garages and other outbuildings.




Offering 480m² of living space, the splendid mas is sure to impress from the moment of entry, with its unquestionable charm and comfort. Decorated in a tasteful and understated manner, the house is composed of two parts and may easily be occupied by two families. Alternatively, a gorgeously stylish bed and breakfast can be created and it would of course present as a superb and large family house. The country house features nine bedrooms, two inviting kitchens, two lounges with fireplace and an office or TV room. Country living is blissfully indulged in this paradise, with captivating views of the awe-inspiring, verdant Provençal surroundings. It is an enchanting home steeped in respect for, and love of the regional charms of the South of France. Paying tribute to its idyllic location, the home epitomises the classic Provençal stone farmhouses, with the use of stone walls, terracotta flooring, exposed ceiling beams and exquisite design appointments. Its façade, featuring refined touches provided by pale grey shutters, its stone patios, and its windows that offer fine views of the surrounding nature, are an ode to Provence. Set on 1.7 hectares of serene park-like grounds, here is a sun-soaked oasis that has it all: multiple shaded terraces for al fresco entertaining and dining, a stunning 15-metre swimming pool, an artificial pond of 1,000m² and a spectacularly beautiful garden that provides a glorious backdrop to it all. With so much scenic beauty all around, it creates a natural seductive atmosphere. Occupying a wonderfully sublime setting near Caumont-surDurance, the fine bastide is located in the Golden Triangle of Luberon, in the Mountains of Vaucluse and Alpilles. Near Avignon and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Caumont-sur-Durance is one of those charming Provençal villages that have succeeded admirably in retaining their heritage and character. To acquire this property would represent much more than just a real estate transaction – it would be the fulfillment of a lifestyle dream. Price: €1.73 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




Spain’s “Golden Visa”

- Visa and residency permits for non-EU investors By Antonio Berdonces Vivancos, Inter Law Spain SL


pain has opened its doors to investors from non-EU countries interested in living in the country. Effective September 30, 2013, these entrepreneurs, employees of international corporations, qualified professionals and researchers may apply for expedited visas and residency permits for themselves and their families. The changes provide a great opportunity to invest and live in Spain, a modern and advanced country with excellent cultural and

economic opportunities in a politically stable environment. Situated in a key location between Europe, America and Africa, Spain is clearly at the “centre of the world.” Spain enjoys an attractive economic environment and acts as an international business hub, offering both a competitive business environment and a highly qualified workforce that enjoys an impressive first-class infrastructure as well as advanced ICT network. It is well known for its exceptional lifestyle and vacation opportunities.


Spain’s “Golden Visa” The new law allows applicants opportunities to invest in this enviable economy while at the same time enjoying permanent and unlimited visa access to Spain and the entire Schengen Agreement area. Investors may enjoy a holiday home while obtaining an excellent English-language education for their children, access to firstclass health services, the Spanish culture and lifestyle and, of course, the tempting opportunities to make excellent profitable investments. Spain has undergone a rough economic period during which the real estate industry suffered. At one time, there was a surplus of 600,000 new dwellings throughout the country, nearly 3% of the existing total. The lack of liquidity affected the banks that had financed these dwellings. During the last year, as a result of aid received from the European Central Bank, credit companies are disposing of most of that accumulated stock by way of deep discounts. In many cases, real estate prices are lower than the very cost of construction of those properties. It is therefore reasonable to expect a medium-term revaluation of those investments, particularly in tourist areas and major cities.

What procedure must be followed to obtain your 'Golden Visa'? It’s best to obtain an in-country advisor who specialises in Spanish immigration matters to help you through the process. But in general terms, the first thing to do is to make the investment. The steps to obtaining a visa and then a residency permit come in logical order thereafter. Ultimately, that process will result in the granting of an EU passport which may be obtained after Spanish nationality has been acquired. This provides freedom of movement within any country in the EU.


What is the most important thing to be taken into account by the investor? In our opinion, it is essential to properly plan the investment, so prepare for a process that will take several years. The most important factor is deciding the purpose of the investment, in order to get the most out of your money. Some entrepreneurs will likely prefer an investment related to lifestyle, some others will look for one that increases its monetary value as much as possible, while others will be interested in a steady and reliable source of income from the investment. Of course, the primary goal will be, in all cases, to make sure that the investor has made the best deal possible. Whichever one you choose can change the perception of how to invest. It is probably not just about finding a property that might look attractive, but about being sure of its actual market value as well, apart from being eligible for the Golden Visa. Keep in mind, for example, that the investment value must be €500,000 in order to be eligible for the visa program. There is consequently a risk that the price of properties with a lower effective value might be substantially rounded up in order to reach the level of €500,000 that would grant the right to apply for residence. It might not be to the advantage of the seller, or the bank, to warn the investor of such a circumstance. Actually, the offers of real estates that include the possibility to obtain the Visa for free are extremely likely to conceal an artificially inflated price, since immigration fees rarely exceed 1% of the investment. Investment options are extremely varied, and it is just necessary to have a link to a real estate located in Spain and registered with the Land Registry. Among others, investments can be made in: Houses, apartments, apartment buildings, parking spaces;

Commercial premises, shopping centres, multipurpose premises; Farmland, plots of land for hunting activities; Mining concessions, quarries; Industrial premises, factories, workshops; Urban sites, plots of land, and old houses eligible for improvements. An investment may even be made for a portion of the total project, provided that the value of your personal portion of the investment is at least €500,000. Buildings under construction or those awaiting improvements are also eligible, provided they meet the value requirement. The investment can be made through companies or other corporate bodies, and may even be made by several partners seeking visa eligibility, provided the investment for each meets the required level. This option is particularly convenient from the tax and operational point of view, especially if an investment is made to obtain profits. It is possible to make investments in real estate, to sell them, to reinvest all or any part of them, and to continue to expand the activity during the coming years. Under current circumstances, it is quite possible for a well-informed investor to make acquisitions at a very favourable price through the discounts that are available, with very strong prospects of an increase in value in future years. The chance of obtaining profits from the efficient management of the purchase is also very attractive. The investment portfolio may be dynamic, and with proper management, investors may even recover the entire investment within a very short period. Of course, it is essential to obtain comprehensive and informed financial, legal and tax advice in order to receive the best results from your investment. It is always smart to find yourself an advisor who understands Spain’s regulatory regime and all of the changes that occur over time.

The investment It is advisable, too, to obtain comprehensive advice about the investment itself. A minimum 500€ K investment per application is necessary, and carrying it out wisely is a must. This application covers the main applicant and his/ her family. Investments are retroactive under the new law: Previous property acquisitions in Spain are also eligible under the new law. If an investor owns a house or any other property which does not currently achieve the €500,000 requirement, he may make another purchase to reach that level. If a mortgage exists on that property, one method of achieving the €500,000 requirement might be to pay off the mortgage. In all cases, remember: It is crucial to obtain specialised legal and tax advice in order to design an efficient plan that fits your circumstances and complies with all legal requirements. Once again, it is of the utmost importance to know the circumstances of each particular case.

The Deed The purchase must be formalized in a public deed, and every movement of funds used must be shown to be legal and does not run counter to the laws concerning money laundering. The amount invested should be clearly identified and demonstrated with invoices and payment reports within the same public deed. Investors might wonder what exactly may be counted in the minimum investment of €500,000. Here are some examples: Excluded from the calculation of valuation would be taxes on the purchase and sale, as well as any other necessary expenses (lawyer, notary public, land registry). Expenses incurred to improve, restore or extend a property, etc., would in principal be excluded from the calculation. However, amounts invested in the building of a house



on a plot of land previously acquired may be included. Properties Allowed a. A portfolio: One or several properties, with a joint value of at least €500,000. b. Type of property: A residential, touristic, rural, commercial or industrial property. c. Uses: For rent, land to be developed, buildings under construction or decrepit buildings for renovation. Properties with different uses may be combined. There is no requirement that any property is intended for a specific use. Therefore, property intended for leasing purposes, totally or partially, or for use for business activities of any kind, is eligible.

principal application for permits at the time of, or after the principal applicant. Other administrative requirements are: a. Not to reside unlawfully in Spain. b. To be over 18 years of age. c. Not to have criminal records in Spain or in the country of residence. d. Not to be listed as unacceptable in Spain. e. To have valid public insurance or private health insurance in Spain. f. To have sufficient financial resources for the applicant and his/her family. g. Authorization or visa processing fee.

The procedure

Initial investment equal to, or higher than €2 million in Spanish government bonds, or €1 million in stocks or shares in Spanish companies, as well as bank deposits in Spanish banks.

This is a legal procedure, so applicants should make sure that they are receiving the best independent advice available for property, taxation and international law. For a comparatively small expense, it will be well worth the cost. Check the independence and reliability of the advisor chosen. A good advisor will help to avoid pitfalls when addressing the real estate investment. As a prior investment must be made, it is important to ensure that all the requirements are able to be fulfilled afterwards, and that, if needed, you will have legal representation to appeal any unfavourable administrative decision.

Ownership of Companies

Types of Permits

Financing At least €500,000 of the investment must be free of liens or encumbrances. Loans, financing charges or encumbrances may exist beyond that amount. A loan/mortgage on properties may be used to buy additional properties.

Alternative Investments

In order to be eligible, it is understood that the investment has been made through a legal person domiciled in a territory non considered as a tax haven whenever the natural applicant person has control over such legal person.

Administrative requirements The investment must have been completed prior to the application for permanent residency. The spouse and children under 18, (or older disabled children) may also be included in the

A series of permits will be granted to carry applicants through the process toward obtaining Spanish nationality. They are: interim visa (business visa), 90 days; investor’s visa, one year; investor´s residency permit, two years, renewable; permanent residency permit, more than five years; Spanish nationality (European Union national), permanent.

Stages and formalities The stages for obtaining a ‘Golden Visa’ are as follows, with the times noted based on a bestcase scenario:


Preliminary At this stage, and using approximately five working days, the investor should focus on: The investment´s details. That is, the type of property, the budget and, if necessary, the need to finance. Focusing on the geographical area of interest is a must. Any kind of limitations or requirements in origin for transfer of funds. It is essential to keep in mind strict rules against money laundering. Not doing so could bring official enquiry and fines. Define the properties´ portfolio, if applicable. Analyse the strategy to lease the properties. Decide to hire professional management. To carefully plan an exit strategy, based on personal circumstances. To decide between forming a company to invest, or to invest as an individual owner. Interim visa application If you want to come to Spain to identify on the spot your investment´s preferences, it is necessary to apply for a business visa (interim visa). The legal advisor you have selected should take care of providing all documents and carrying out the tedious paperwork required. This stage should be completed in 10 working days. Inspection trip This first visit should be used to identify properties, lifestyle issues and legal and tax schemes. Probably it shouldn´t take more than two working days if you are being well advised. Legal steps It is essential to grant a power of attorney, to allow your representative to act on your behalf. Certainly, it will be easier for you to grant it once you are in Spain. A draft may be sent in advance to be sure that any future need is covered. On that first short visit, plan 58

to obtain the necessary number of identification of foreigner (NIE), open a bank account and assign a legal representative. Typically, all of this will take one working day. I nvestment and completion At this stage, it is necessary to carry out all the standard steps to receive funds, to review the legal status of the property, and to proceed to the transfer of funds. The drafting of deeds and complementary documents, as well as the signature of official deeds, can take up to five working days. Application for investor´s visa Once the purchase has been completed, with all relevant documents in place, it is possible to apply for an unlimited visa. Authorization is processed in diplomatic missions and consular Spanish offices and can be issued for one, two or multiple entries. Visa applications shall be approved and notification sent within 10 working days, except in case of applicants who are subject to prior consultation. The investor´s visa allows the applicant to legally live in Spain for at least a year, but it is not compulsory for the main applicant to do so. The only requirement is to have travelled to Spain at least once during that year, for just one day, in order to apply for the residence permit for investors, which is explained hereinafter. This means a likely total period of six weeks for this procedure. At this stage, the 'Golden Visa' has already been obtained. Investor´s Residency Permit Once an investor is enjoying his investor´s visa, provided he has travelled to Spain at least once, and before its expiration, he can apply for an investor´s residency permit. This permit allows for living in Spain for two years, and after that period, it can be renewed for another two years and so on, with no limit on renewals. The investor may ask for a renewal even if he/she has resided in Spain for less than six months a year, so no minimum stay is required.

Processing and granting of residence goes through the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry has 20 working days from the submission of the application in which to respond. If a denial is not delivered within that period, the application shall be considered to be accepted. There is no obligation to reside in Spain for a specific period within each term of validity, but it must be renewed during its term of validity, or immediately after each term has expired. Applications for renewal may be filed through a lawyer. Even if the main applicant does not effectively reside in Spain, any member of the family (spouse or children) may reside in Spain. Permanent Residency permit Once the investor, or any of the immediate family members, have effectively resided for more than 183 days a year over at least five years, he/she is entitled to apply for a permanent residency permit. This permit will allow for unlimited residency in Spain and it is also the key to becoming a Spanish national. Spanish Nationality (European Union Member National) The passport is obtained once Spanish nationality has been acquired. The normal manner in which one becomes a Spanish national is the continuous and permanent legal residence for at least 10 years. According to the options established by this new regulation, it would be necessary to prove: 1. One year of visa for investors; 2. Two consecutive periods of residence for investors: two years each; 3. Subsequently, at least, five years of actual permanent residence in Spain. For every case, an effective residency of at least six months, that is, not less than 183 days per year, shall be provided, unless there is due cause for an exception.

For children born in Spain to foreign parents, they may be automatically eligible for Spanish nationality, which may be compatible – or not, according to each case – with the nationality of one or both parents.

FAQ From the practical point of view, it is worth detailing some of the questions received from clients. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked: What are the criteria for getting an interim visa? To organise the inspection trip in order to analyse the alternatives on the ground, investors may use a standard business visa (interim visa), that allows up to 90 days (divisible into periods). To obtain this, applicants must justify the interest or business (usually with the assistance of a law firm), have obtained their travel tickets, justify the financial means for travel and accommodation in Spain, and apply for a visa at the Spanish Embassy in their own country. It looks as if you first apply for the entry visa, then after making the property purchase, the investor´s visa. Or is it the same visa, validated once proof of purchase has been validated? No, it is not the same. The interim visa (or business visa) is valid for only up to 90 days (divisible into different periods). It is necessary to apply for the visa at the Spanish Embassy of the country of residence. The requirements are: Proof of the cause for the visit (a letter from our law firm is suitable for this purpose). Roundtrip tickets (flights). A credit card, or any bank statement or certificate proving the means to live in Spain during the stay. Criminal records certificate.



Where do I submit my visa application? Visas are applied for at the Spanish Embassy in the country of origin. It is preferable to carry out this step through your chosen legal advisor. Do I need to show proof of funds? Yes, as explained above. Do they do the criminal record check at this stage so all that happens later is proof of purchase? Yes, it is advisable to obtain medical and criminal certificates, in order to proceed with the application afterwards. Having obtained a one year investor´s visa or an investor´s residency permit, can the holder and beneficiaries work in the first five years? This is complex. The rules say that applicants cannot look for a job, but they can form a company and develop a business. In fact, they are encouraged to do so. What is clear is that they cannot apply for public aid. The possibility of setting up business is part of the attraction to Spain of this investor´s residency scheme. And after that? After the first five years of effective residency in Spain (offering some proof of not having been more than 183 days per year outside of Spain), the investor is entitled to obtain a permanent residency permit. This automatically involves the right to legally work in Spain. Can applicants children attend state school? Yes, but only if the children are

effectively residing in Spain. If they aren´t, they wouldn´t need school. If they are in “padron” (legal permanent residents in their Spanish town or village), they have the right to school. Also, they may access the public health system, but they are required to pay for it through standard Social Security contributions. How difficult is it to obtain citizenship after five years? After five years (one year investor´s visa, plus two years investor´s residency permit [IRP], plus two years IRP renewed), applicants are entitled to a permanent residency permit, although not to citizenship. It will be necessary to demonstrate effective residency during more than six months per year during those first five years. After five years of this permanent residency (consequently 10 years of residency – 1+2+2+5), applicants are entitled to become Spanish citizens. It is nearly automatic, proving some integration in the country and the absence of a criminal record. How long does this process take? The whole process would take approximately six weeks to be completed. As your representative, we would carry out all legal, tax, administrative and financial issues. This applies to any place in Spanish territory. Can I apply for this six months or more after having bought a property portfolio of €500,000? Yes, the draft does not specify the age of your purchase, only that the document (Nota Simple) that proves


the acquisition should not be older than three months. If the property is still not registered, you should provide a copy of the Escritura (provided it was not granted more than three months earlier). This has special importance when applying for a renewal, as the authorities must be sure that all conditions are fulfilled. This will allow investors who already have properties (Russian citizens, for instance) to benefit from the new scheme. How do I need to justify the effective amount of my investment? Regarding properties, all is related to official price effectively paid and according to documents attached to the Escritura (transfers receipts, cheques, etc.). A legal and tax advisor must take care to avoid a denial of the application for residency afterwards. Are taxes included in the €500.000 limit? Probably not. Taxes and ancillary expenses should likely be excluded. However, this is a detail that should be carefully studied by a proper advisor, taking into account all the circumstances. If I invested some years ago, can I apply for the residency permit? Yes, it is possible to benefit from this new option, as the condition is that you become an investor first and a resident later. However, purchases made some years ago, before it was required to detail the means of payment – that is, to add payment documents to the deed – will require proof of the effective amount invested in Spain. You are also allowed to buy additional properties to fulfil the required amount, even if you already own a property in Spain. Can I obtain the investor´s visa before the investment is made? No, the new investor´s visa requires the investment be made beforehand. It has been 62

designed as a preliminary trial to stay in Spain up to one year, but only after the investment has been carried out. Is it €500,000 per investor, or per applicant? Are spouse and children considered applicants (for example, must each member of the family invest €500,000?) No, the investment benefits the investor and his immediate family (wife and children under 18 are included in the single investment requirement).

Inter Law Spain SL Antonio Berdonces Vivancos is a Spanish registered lawyer and a member of the Law Society of England and Wales (ID). He is an expert in international law and property and tax law, as well as the British Honourary Consul for the Region of Murcia. His experience as examiner at the Bank of Spain provides him with a privileged knowledge of the real estate sector and of the financial sector in Spain. Interlaw Spain is a highly specialised and independent law firm. Its lawyers deal with complex international cases in different jurisdictions linked to Spanish law or properties in Spain. The law firm is one of the first to deal with residency for investors. The firm maintains offices in Alicante, Murcia, Almería and Madrid and has associated offices in London, Malaga/Marbella, Barcelona/Balearic Islands and Canary Islands. Forming a fully operative group, the firm can provide support throughout all Spanish national territory. Acting as both Spanish lawyers and English solicitors, the firm’s working languages are English, Russian, Chinese, German and French



Avant-garde design meets dazzling panoramas An unashamedly modern villa in a spectacular location






nown for a salubrious microclimate that makes for a 10-month high season, the Algarve continues to attract buyers in search of a warmer place for a vacation home. Renowned for its sandy beaches, big game fishing, golf courses, sailing and surfing, Portugal’s Algarve is a place of exceptional beauty. Add to that the fine array of cuisine selections and the 3,000 annual hours of sunshine, and therein lies the recipe for making the Algarve so attractive as not only a vacation haven, but a place for secondary and permanent homes. Prices have held up better in the Algarve than they have in many European locations, with the lack of overdevelopment helping Portugal avoid the worst of the housing bubble that has so troubled its larger neighbour, Spain. Recently, Portugal has become more proactive in attracting expats to its shores through its







Golden Visa program. Non-EU citizens may set themselves on the path to Portuguese citizenship by purchasing property worth at least â‚Ź500,000. The plan is particularly attractive since a residency permit allows the holder to work or study, and travel freely within the Schengen zone and as a result, there has been an increase in Russians and Chinese. Overlooking the azure blue waters and the stunning coastline, here is a breathtaking architectural showpiece that is truly one of a kind, a cutting edge villa that is bound to appeal to the most discerning buyer. Designed to capture every aspect of waterfront living 70

in the most desirable position in the Western Algarve, this ultra-modern home will be guaranteed to elicit gasps of awe and wonder. The striking frontline villa will bring poetic purity and clarity of form to the Algarve real estate market, fusing minimalism and elegance to create a sleek, yet gentle flow and graceful appearance. Emotion stands as the platform for its design, a place where the architect created an entirely clean and unobstructed look. The aim was natural form, one that was soft, pure and the embodiment of sleek timelessness. In this, the architect achieved a colossal success.

To highlight the notion of serenity, the designer introduced a palette of flawless white. The villa’s soft exterior and gently formed interior will create a sense of spacious elegance. The exterior will be serenely curved and gently bevelled, in such a way as to create a delicate “wave”, while its overall shape will create a sense of effortless motion. The dazzling design seems to float, enhancing the villa’s ethereal qualities. Boasting 360m² of pure lines and bold symmetry, the sophisticated villa promises to represent the epitome of design excellence and contemporary luxury living. Tasteful in every detail and appointed with modern

amenities, the four ocean-view bedroom suites will be sensuous in their elegance and comfortably spacious. The 53m² master suite design is of truly grand proportions, created to provide a luxurious atmosphere that features a generous bathroom with a walk-in shower, luxurious bathtub and dressing area. Perfect for elegant entertaining and that übermodern lifestyle, the sensational main living space of 90m² – complete with sitting and dining areas and kitchen – will boast an open floor plan with large floor-to-ceiling sliding windows that offer exceptional views of the sea. Commanding centre stage in the magnifi-



cent home will be the suspended fireplace, a feature that comes with a guaranteed Wow-factor. The gourmet kitchen, with white lacquered doors and a high-quality Corian worktop, will provide beauty as well as function. Equipped with top-of-the-line appliances from Küppersbusch, the chef’s dream kitchen is masterfully designed. There will be an extensive basement that includes a laundry room and technical areas. The garage will be a spacious 63m². Boasting a union of stunning architectural elegance and modern, sleek technological innovation, every dimension of the exceptional home will deliver elite-level luxury. An impressive pivot door and expansive glass walls offering endless ocean views are secondto-none design elements that will add a touch of glamour to the home's stylish décor. State-of-the-art appointments include underfloor heating, ceilings with integrated cooling system, solar heating, internal electrical blinds, security glass windows and doors, LED lighting system, Sonos sound system throughout and domotic home automation system that allows remote access via smartphone, tablet and computer. The astute purchaser of this turn-key property will be in on the ground floor and direct its customised construction which will commence once the arrangements are complete.

Set on a singular location offering heavenly panoramas, the contemporary villa is perfectly poised on a private plot of 2,770m². Enviably positioned in the fashionable and in-demand Praia da Luz, the extraordinary property commands superb panoramic views of the sea and the Algarve coastline. Here is an opportunity to immerse oneself in sublime elegance and waterfront grandeur, in a pristine setting where the open sky and the infinite indigo sea come together in perfect harmony. The striking villa is in every sense the epitome of the good life. Outdoor living is foremost in mind with the fully landscaped garden, terraces, large barbecue area and a remarkable water feature. The centrepiece of the sunny exterior of the villa has to be the dazzling semi-suspended pool that seems to meld seamlessly with the ocean. The 11.7-metre x 4.2-metre pool is to be equipped with an integrated electrical cover. The property is offshore owned (Delaware), which makes the transfer of ownership quick and straightforward. Perfection. Escapism. Here is an über-stylish property that will be undeniably the most desirable in the Praia da Luz. Price: €3.2 million.


Modern Homes Worldwide +44 (0)20 7095 8701




Elegant, Magnificent, Grand Scale A prestigious country estate boasting striking beauty and sophistication: architecturally, artistically, naturally


ndalusia, Spain’s most southerly region, is an area of contrasts. Andalusia is filled with medieval treasures and ancient architecture, while some of its towns and cities, such as Seville, offer the utmost in cosmopolitan vibe. The area is dotted with the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada, which contrast with the lush inland hills, strewn elegantly with small white villages and sandy beaches.







Andalusia is Spain’s largest region in area, a place that traditionally evokes powerful images of flamenco, fiestas, bullfighting and that famous Spanish passion. The area is steeped in history and tradition, with each of the eight provinces that comprise Andalusia boasting its own unique character. Domestic and foreign buyers are drawn to the region by its more than 300 days of sunshine, its warm winters, its national parks, beaches and siesta lifestyle. While expats from Russia, Scandinavia and Morocco are searching for coastal properties, domestic buyers often prefer quieter inland areas, with security and ease of access primary selling points. Increasingly, there is buyer interest from the Arab states, China and India. Peace. Serenity. Majesty. These are the words that come to mind to describe this extraordinary country estate. Add to that luxury, elegance, natural surroundings and sensational beauty. A rare find, the world-class Andalusian paradise provides the definitive luxuries desired by those who live life to the fullest. Exuding understated refinement and very grand style, the gracious architectural gem will deliver the most privileged of lifestyles. Commandingly positioned in the magnificent countryside, the breathtaking hunting estate graces a sumptuous 1,030-hectare property that affords all the privacy and tranquillity one could wish for. It is located in the heart of the Sierra de Hornachuelos in Córdoba, the favourite hunting spot of the late Spanish king Alfonso XIII. Every year, some 70 deer and 50 boar are hunted on the incredible game-rich estate. From its scenic elevated vantage point, the elite hunting estate affords sweeping views of the Parque Natural Sierra de Hornachuelos.

The grand property was built and designed over a period of five years in the early 1970s by the eminent architect, historian and writer Fernando Chueca Goitia, who is renowned for many distinguished works such as Madrid’s cathedral, La Almudena and Pueblo Español de Palma de Mallorca – an outdoor museum and entertainment centre. Showcasing a stately and proud heritage of cultures, the estate has employed a rich amalgam of fine architectural styles, from Renaissance (El Escorial), to baroque Andalusian and Arabic (the Alhambra). Designed with timeless opulence, the sprawling estate’s majestic proportions are complemented by sophisticated accommodations and uncompromising quality. The splendid property consists of a main residence, stables and staff lodgings. The exclusive Andalusian estate also enjoys its own heliport and two private lakes. Boasting over 3,000m² of sumptuous space, the 25-bedroom property is comprised of various sections and apartments, all linked together by four glorious Arabic-Andalusian courtyards. Individual turrets and a prominent 16-metre-high Renaissance-style tower add to the grand ambience. With timeless architecture, refined design and sublime setting, the exceptional country home speaks of exclusivity and style. Everything about the property is impressive. From the spectacular great hunters’ hall to the magnificent living room, one will find elegance and grandeur in abundance. The gracious interior is highlighted by luxuriously sized rooms, including a hand-crafted entrance hall with gallery and domed ceilings, dining room with a bespoke wood-panelled ceiling, several imposing living rooms, a large games room, an over-sized country kitchen, utility room and wine cellar.


Characterised by the magnificence of the Andalusian palatial style, no expense has been spared to achieve a world-class living environment with its ornaments, vaults, archways, hand-painted ceramic tiles, multiple fireplaces and wooden ceilings. The grounds are no less impressive. Nested in the Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park – an area of outstanding scenic beauty – they are exceptionally private. The beautiful and immaculately landscaped gardens of 15,000m² include a variety of ornamental structures, orchards, pavilions, private pool and fountains that, together, resemble the great gardens of Los Alcazares of Seville or the Alhambra of Granada. The Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park is the largest protected area in the province of Córdoba. The park is a Mediterranean eco-system of low-lying mountains with a predominance of pine, holm and cork oaks. The expert preservation of the area’s vegetation has allowed local animal species to develop, including the Imperial Eagle, the Golden Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, goshawk and sparrow hawk, as well as mammals such as the mongoose, wolf and lynx. The park is now home to the second-largest colony of black vultures in Andalusia, as well as three colonies of Griffin Vulture. The abundance of game, such as red deer and wild boar, has led to the park being considered one of the finest hunting reserves in the country. It is a nature lover’s paradise, and yet conveniently located only 56 kilometres from Córdoba and 100 kilometres from Seville, both served by airports and high-speed train. Embodying the quintessence of luxury living, this country hunting estate is a rare property opportunity that offers the utmost in privacy, privilege and prestige. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




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Absolute Perfection & Quintessential Prestige


A spacious, elegant and sumptuously appointed residence, occupying an immensely desirable location


here is nothing new about the fact that Barbados is a popular destination for the international jet-set. It has long been frequented by High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), world leaders and celebrities from America and Europe. Barbados continues to enjoy a strong attraction among those groups as well as among discerning investors. All are drawn by the country’s stable political and economic systems, British-style legal system, mature infrastructure, beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear Caribbean waters, all wrapped up in a climate that delivers warm and sunny conditions the year-round. They find it easy to get here, with plenty of direct flights from Europe and America. The famous West Coast is a showcase of magnificent properties, some of the most exclusive and attractive in the world. Barbados residents love their sports, too. Known as Little England, chances are you will see a game of cricket or polo going on. And do not overlook the incredible friendliness of 82

the 280,000 local residents. Barbados’ popularity has increased in the past decade as a place not only for holidayers and second-home buyers, but for those in search of a high-end primary residence, too. The British, including Simon Cowell, have been traditionally the biggest segment of the expat buying public, followed by Americans. Now the number of Canadians is growing and tourism is growing among Germans and other Europeans as well as those from Trinidad & Tobago. Visitors are impressed by the low rate of crime, excellent roads, hospitals and schools as well as communication services. Barbados has a well-established and stable real estate market, too. While prices have fluctuated in many other world locales during the economic troubles of recent years, Barbados prices have remained stronger than most, in part because of the small size of the island and the fact that availability is limited.



For those looking to invest in a super-luxurious property in Barbados, this magnificent villa caters to a buyer who appreciates the ultimate in privacy, elegance and panache. Designed for peerless luxury living, indoors as well as outdoors, the upscale mansion enjoys an enviable address on Barbados’ worldfamous West Coast and features an outstanding collection of amenities that make it second to none. It is what makes this oasis of island living truly exceptional. Gracing a trophy setting on the prestigious Sandy Lane estate, the ultra-luxurious mansion affords unsurpassed elegance and luxury. When buying a property at the celebrated enclave, owners are acquiring the best of both worlds – a relaxed living environment that embraces the unique prestige and charm that Barbados has come to signify. Defined by impressive proportions, indulgent luxury and extraordinary elegance, the high-style residence creates a truly superior living experience. Representing the ultimate in sophistication, it is a grand family mansion set upon more than 1.04 acres of land, boasting timeless architecture, refined interiors and a dress circle position.

Orchestrated with impeccable taste, here is a residence for those who desire nothing less than the very finest. Beautifully crafted interiors and masterful design combine to create private, elegant spaces. Offering a perfect blend of Old World grandeur and timeless style, the abode embodies the quintessence of luxury living. The sensational home is the epitome of executive lifestyle excellence, wherein every discerning family member luxuriates in their own stylishly appointed space, and yet come together for effortless living and entertaining. Showcasing 9,796 sq. ft. of unlimited luxury, the family home offers a life of unquestionable grandeur and magnificence. It has been fashioned with a perfect sense of scale – large enough to be majestic, yet offering intimate and comfortable spaces for relaxation and contemplation. Presented fully furnished, the exclusive villa is an absolute showcase of perfection. Exquisite details intertwine in a rich tapestry throughout lavish entertaining areas and informal retreats, with the masterful floor plan blending seamlessly with stunning outdoor venues. The lovely foyer with a waterfall feature presents 85

an imposing prelude to the lavish decoration that awaits within. The majestically designed home with gracious proportions accommodates four guest suites on the ground floor, along with the impressive reception rooms and formal dining room, all opening to the gardens and pool terrace. There is a family room, powder room and state-of-the-art kitchen with stainless steel appliances and stone countertops on the same level. Creating its own private world of luxury, the grand master suite is 1,400 sq. ft. and spans the entire first floor. It boasts balconies overlooking the magnificently designed gardens, the pool deck and the Sandy Lane Estate. His and hers closets are to one side of the master bedroom, with the spacious bath fitted with a Jacuzzi tub on the other side. Two more guest suites are located on the lower level, along with a home theatre. In addition, a fully equipped laundry room, staff quarters and a garage sit on the same lower level. Securely and privately set on sensational manicured grounds, the immaculately presented residence communicates a sense of exceptional grace and refinement. The vast outdoor areas are truly stunning, with a large terrace for outdoor dining, private swimming pool and gazebo, along with a pool deck complete with bar and barbecue. The gardens have been beautifully designed to provide privacy and feature tropical plants and trees. When buying a property at the Sandy Lane Estate, one purchases far more than a luxuriously appointed 86

home in a stunning setting, one acquires an effortlessly elegant lifestyle, too. Owners may take advantage of the signature services and exclusive amenities that are available at the legendary Sandy Lane Hotel. Since 1961, Sandy Lane has been considered the premier address in the Caribbean – a haven of tranquillity, a luxurious romantic retreat and the perfect location for families who desire the finest holiday experiences with endless possibilities for recreation. The facilities, which include an extraordinary spa and three of the region’s finest golf courses, are nothing short of astonishing. The famed resort is just moments away by car, and Sandy Lane property owners enjoy access to the private beach facility adjacent to the hotel, where parking, change rooms and sun loungers are provided. Further amenities, including shopping, dining and entertainment, are plentiful in the historic city of Holetown, just a 5-minute drive away. An exceptional offering, this distinguished Barbados villa reflects the highest standards of beauty and luxury. Here, an unmatched lifestyle is enjoyed in a sought-after elite enclave. Price: USD7.5 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703



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Exceptional Home, Sublime Setting


A prestige property that has it all – a desirable location, luxurious elegance and perfect privacy


ith a modern, sophisticated and stable political system, a well-developed common law system and plenty of world-class professional service providers, combined with its fabulous weather and quality of life, Barbados remains in high demand among those in search of top-quality real estate in the Caribbean. Prices remain strong on this tropical island paradise, due to high demand and, because of its small area, limited supply of 90

high-end real estate. This all makes Barbados a safe place in which to invest in a family home, second home or vacation home. The island nation has in force many international tax and investment protection treaties and enjoys social and economic stability. And if there is any doubt, just look to the thousands of people who own vacation homes here: year after year, they remain the country’s strongest advocates.

The former British colony is still known widely as Little England, a place where cricket is still frequently played. It is a country that enjoys strong appeal for American, Canadian and British and other European buyers, not least because the large number of direct flights from around the world including New York, London, Frankfurt and Toronto. It is just a fourhour, 30-minute flight from New York and 7½ hours from London.

People are drawn to the island by its clear, turquoise waters, extensive sandy beaches, warm and sunny year-round climate, excellent infrastructure and friendly 280,000 residents. Add to that its low corporate tax rate, no capital gains or inheritance taxes and it all adds up to a very alluring place. Many wealthy buyers are attracted to the West Coast of Barbados, where some of the most attractive and exclusive properties to be found




anywhere in the world are on offer. Rental rates are strong, adding further to the island’s attraction for those who may be considering the purchase of a holiday home they may easily rent out during times they are not personally using it. Location, lifestyle and privacy, particularly at the top end of the luxury residential real estate market, are the hallmarks of value, and often more important than price for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) considering a property purchase. This incredible villa estate will prove to be the ideal destination for a discerning buyer on the lookout for a unique Barbados property to experience refined living in an ambience of exceptional luxury and excellence. With its remarkable combination of vast space, exclusively designed interiors, gorgeous materials, luxurious comfort and spellbinding views, the villa creates a wonderfully inspiring surrounding. The inspired Gillespie and Steel design is a symphony of Colonial beauty, beguiling light-filled spaces, superlative craftsmanship and innumerable details of blissful comfort. The epitome of a relaxed and casual lifestyle within sumptuous surroundings, the beautiful villa offers exclusivity with timeless style and grace. Elegant pavilion-style architecture, designed for laid-back, comfortable living, achieves aesthetic perfection and functionality. The masterful architecture carefully balances a carefree Caribbean feel with the sophistication and elegance of classical Colonial style. Built over a single spacious floor, the house is in flawless harmony with the environment, maintaining an intimate refinement. The exclusive villa estate enjoys a picture-perfect world of aquamarine ocean vistas and glorious golden sunsets. Complete with a wooden bridge that crosses a lily pond, the striking entrance and peaceful garden courtyard set the stage for comfort and refinement. With superior design and impeccable taste, the home is truly an entertainer’s dream, with 7,207 sq. ft. of luxurious space that blends perfectly with the outdoors. Gorgeous living spaces mix with capacious entertainment areas, providing an outstanding family home on a grand scale. The deluxe residence features a gym, study/library, kitchen and bar servery, as well as a den with a modern entertainment system and four ensuite bedrooms with covered patios. 94



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Immaculate interiors awash with natural light are defined by generosity of space, breezy open plan layout and meticulous attention to detail. The interiors are understated and reserved, but the result is a flawlessly elegant, serene mood that is more contemplative than showy. The dĂŠcor boasts a wide variety of textures and materials, the amalgamation of which creates an irresistible effect. The wide windows and high ceilings enable the external light to illuminate the interior space with a natural luminosity, inflicting a subtle and harmonious feeling. Sitting on a ridge overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the spectacular home boasts dazzling views out to the glistening ocean. Serenely 98

private, the fine estate sits in an impressive 70,914 sq. ft. of seductive tranquillity. The centrepiece of the villa’s sunny exterior is the stunning 15-metre free-form infinity pool, with a slide to the lower pool, and the expansive terraces, perfectly positioned to maximise owners’ enjoyment of sunny days and uninterrupted ocean views. The enchanting dining terrace, pool gazebo with bar and built-in barbecue inspire nothing but pure laid-back indulgence, with informal dining area and ample seating for visitors to round off the outdoor living experience. The panoramic vistas and the scintillating Bajan sunset: here is the perfect place to enjoy a truly tropical luxury lifestyle.

A children’s playhouse, games room and a detached 2-bedroom guest cottage are also set in the wonderfully landscaped grounds. One of the finest properties in Sugar Hill, the villa estate enjoys a residential address like no other, coupled with the quintessential resort lifestyle. Residents may take advantage of all the amenities that Sugar Hill has to offer. The lovely clubhouse with large pool, restaurant, gym and members lounge, as well as the firstclass David Lloyd tennis facilities, augment the idyllic lifestyle and refined architecture featured in the community, a place of manicured grounds and lush landscape. In addition, there is beach access at Mullins through the Royal Westmoreland Beach Club

at Mullins Bay, which offer sun beds, a private beach deck, restaurant/beach bar, water sports and spa. Sugar Hill is a secure community with guards at the gate and on patrol 24 hours a day. For someone looking for the finest in exclusivity and privacy, this exquisite residence is undoubtedly a buyer’s dream. Price: USD7.65 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703





A contemporary designed high-class villa enjoying dazzling panoramas


onsistently named one of the world’s most liveable cities, Barcelona can also boast what real estate experts consider very attractive prices for those in search of primary or secondary homes. With a wonderful climate and plenty of culture on offer, Barcelona has become a cosmopolitan gem, a place where there is fabulous food, thrilling nightlife and a great standard of living. Barcelona is a modern city with grand avenues and a beautiful beachfront. In addition, the city is filled with history, culture and magnificent examples of Gaudi’s architecture that set it apart from its rivals. As one of Europe’s premier cities, Barcelona is an excellent place for a second home, a permanent residence or a rental investment property. The city’s property market is being driven by international clients, although the makeup is changing: in the past, British and other European buyers were foremost whereas more recently, they have been joined by High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) from America, Russia, China and India. Those who have come recently feel confident that they are buying at just the right time, as prices have bottomed out and show good promise of future growth.


Immaculately presented for lowmaintenance living and blessed with sea and city views, this invitingly stylish villa offers a luxury lifestyle of quality and convenience. The fine residence is ideally placed in the heart of the highly desired and ever-popular precinct of Esplugues de Llobregat, next to the area of Sant Just Desvern and minutes from cosmopolitan Barcelona. From the villa’s advantageous location, the owners are close to some of the most prestigious international schools, such as Deutsche Schule Barcelona and American School of Barcelona, while having excellent access to the international airport. Esplugues de Llobregat is a quiet, secure, unique and exclusive area where privacy and anonymity are guaranteed. Stylish elegance defines the signature home, which was conceived with ultimate indoor-outdoor family living top of mind. Presented with tastefully executed casual sophistication with an undeniably modern flair, the splendid villa boasts towering panoramic coastal views. With an equal accent on style and comfort, the elegant interiors are contemporary, yet warmly liveable, with a sleek design, impeccable taste and undeniable class throughout. The property is conceptualised around clean, flowing lines, a palette of soothing colours and light, airy spaces. Built over three floors, the living areas are open plan, yet maintain their distinct identities. Top-of-the-line fittings and masterful construction complete the sophisticated environment. Enjoy high-end finishes, appointments and décor throughout the luxury villa’s generous floor plan. A perfect blend of understated elegance and comfortable informality, the luxurious villa boasts 525m² of modernity. 102

The stunning, sun-filled living room – complete with sweeping vistas, a fireplace and direct access to the garden and pool – is a real standout feature of the property. Luxe materials and practical layout create a striking and functional kitchen. An entertainer's dream, the sleek kitchen boasts fabulous cabinets and an oversized island with built-in cooktop and counter stools. The accommodation is a blissful sanctuary providing a spa area complete with sauna and chromotherapy. The master suite invites one to unwind, with its direct access to a terrace that boasts sea and mountain views. The suite also has a dressing room. There are five additional bedrooms. The exclusive villa comes with both indoor and outdoor parking. There is a loft guest apartment connected by elevator to the parking area and to the main house. The wonderful home provides a desirable lifestyle where indoor and outdoor living flows seamlessly. The al fresco areas are highlighted with a lovely garden of 60m², a stunning 130m² terrace and a beautiful pool with waterfall. The deluxe villa is set on a tranquil and private plot of 625m², boasting far-reaching views of the mountains and sea. Innovative and inspirational in its organic design, this elegant villa stands out for its aesthetically pleasing durability and comfort, as well as a location that is undeniably convenient. Price: €2.9 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703



Beauty & Sophistication



Offering the utmost in privacy, luxury and bliss, the exclusive residential resort community redefines elegant living in Belize


s a stable, democratic and English-speaking country that readily accepts the U.S. dollar, Belize is one of the most attractive countries in Central America for expats in search of a relaxed lifestyle. The compact country enjoys a subtropical climate with year-round temperatures hovering around 79F, beautiful beaches, Mayan ruins, natural parks and rainforests teeming with fascinating wildlife. The country's benefit-laden tax structure is aimed squarely at those 45 and over who wish to exit the job market and settle down to rest and relaxation in an affordable economic climate. Belize real estate laws welcome foreign buyers and its English-based legal system is simple and straightforward. It is also a country made for enjoying the out of doors. While the country, the former British colony once known as British Honduras, is small, it has 230 miles of stunning coastline. No wonder Belize has been called Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret. With the Western Hemisphere’s longest barrier reef and second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, it is a fisherman’s, diver’s and snorkeller’s view of heaven on Earth. For years outdone by Mexico’s Yucatan to the north and Costa Rica to the south, Belize has recently come into its own as the alternative Caribbean destination and a peninsula situated in the south-east portion of Belize is 106


quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought-after regions. Known as the Placencia Peninsula, it is a 3-hour drive from the capital city of Belize, or an easy flight. Situated on this peninsula is the tiny, perfect village of Placencia, a place that offers the best of island living and small village appeal. It enjoys 16 miles of natural and sandy beaches, plus untouched mangrove lagoons, virgin rainforest crossed by rushing rivers, and coral cays off the coast. No wonder the region has been called “barefoot perfect.” Others simply call it the jewel of Belize. Comparisons have been drawn with an earlier time in what was once the tiny fishing village of Cancun, Mexico. On one side sits the magnificent Caribbean Sea while on the other is a resplendent freshwater lagoon, filled with wildlife. The added bonus never experienced in Cancun, however, is that beyond the lagoon can be seen the beautiful Maya Mountains to the west. Placencia is in close proximity to both the Mayan and Kriol cultures. Here, in this idyllic village, they come together to create a one-ofa-kind experience. Getting to Belize City’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is easy with direct flights from America taking anywhere from two to less than five hours, depending on whether one is coming in from Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, or Los Angeles. Connections are quick and easy 108

from Canada and several European hubs. Once in the capital, there are hourly flights to Placencia via two domestic airlines, flights that take about half an hour to transport visitors in to a world of peace and tranquillity that has been lost in so many other tropical locations. For those in search of an unforgettably gorgeous tropical setting, inviting luxurious spaces, peace and privacy, here is a property that is sure to captivate and enchant the most selective buyers. A highly sought-after villa development, offering an incredible location and luxurious materials, the exclusive property is sure to deliver a quality of life not to be found anywhere else in Belize. No expense has been spared to ensure a privileged lifestyle. Having secured what is considered to be the most stunning coastline Belize has to offer, the premier residential property is set on an untouched piece of the Caribbean Sea. Located right on the waterfront with a private sandy beach, masterfully blending the surrounding landscape with direct access to the crystalline waters, the enclave represents the perfect integration of architecture and design with its environment. The exclusivity of this world-class community, limited to just 58 villa homes, is one of its most alluring draws. That factor, coupled with the property’s offer of a lavish, lowmaintenance lifestyle, ensures that residents are rewarded for their savvy purchase.




Constructed with the finest materials and designed with exceptional taste, the superior 2- to 5-bedroom villas showcase natural stone and European fittings. Design elements, such as wooden trellises, entryways with water features, solid cedar and mahogany doors, floating stairs and oversized Egyptian white shell stone floor tiles lend international style. The luxury bedrooms feature built-in wardrobes in cedar and mahogany, floor-toceiling windows of tempered glass, large beds and pitched, Balinese ceilings with exposed cedar beams. The spa-inspired bathrooms offer white shell stone flooring, oversized tropic Delta rain showerhead, Kohler 6-foot rectangular sunken tub and contemporary twin ceramic vanity sinks with designer faucets and fixtures. The second bathrooms feature large glass walk-in showers. 112

The gourmet kitchens showcase brushed stainless steel countertops, integrated sinks and backsplashes, as well as premium stainless steel appliances and a Teppanyaki-style mahogany island. Designed for seamless luxury living indoors and out, the elite community surrounds owners with unmatched beauty, style and indulgence. Holiday homebuyers have the option of choosing from among three distinct experiences: marina homes and villas, beach villas and the crown jewel of the enclave, the exclusive private island beachfront villas. Each spacious residence has been designed to provide buyers with their own little slice of paradise, custom-built to their needs and created with sustainable building practices. The luxurious, fully furnished residences offer ease of ownership with impressive resort

amenities and a rewarding rental and turnkey maintenance program. For added peace of mind, the developer guarantees materials and labour (two years), building envelope (five years) and structural components (ten years). Spanning 25 acres of marina property, vacation home buyers have two options: marina villas and marina homes. The modern design of both villas and homes interprets the Caribbean lifestyle and setting. Huge expanses of glass have been used at the villas, seamlessly blending the pristine outdoor spaces with well-crafted interiors. Marina villas offer at least 3,000 sq. ft. of interior luxury space while the marina homes are at least 1,400 sq. ft. in interior size. Each residence comes with two to five bedrooms and features a generous laundry room, indoor and outdoor Bose speakers, Apple wireless

system and enclosed garage. Designed for inspirational indoor-outdoor living, each residence features over 2,457 sq. ft. of exterior entertaining area and comes with a 30-foot infinity pool, 4-person Jacuzzi, deck area, roof terrace and zone-controlled Bose speakers. Lagoon or marina views and lush tropical gardens add a finishing touch to the luxurious private havens. Specially designed for those seeking the ultimate nautical escape, many of the marina villas boast frontage boat slips for private vessels. The marina villas and homes are offered turnkey and come fully furnished. There are seven custom-built private residences on the property’s stunning beach, one of the most beautiful stretches of white sand in Belize. This is clearly the quintessential Caribbean


luxury villa. Designed to make the most of the sumptuous beachfront location, the 3- to 5-bedroom residences feature an airy and sleek flow-through design that maximises both the dazzling ocean view and the natural lighting. Situated footsteps from the Caribbean Sea, each beachfront villa offers open living and dining areas, state-of-the-art kitchen, media room, modern bathrooms, infinity swimming pool as well as Jacuzzi, rooftop terraces, outdoor shower, beautiful lush gardens and a 2-car garage. The custom-built beach villas boast 7,000 sq. ft. of indoor-outdoor living in a residence that sensuously flows from interiors, to pool, to beach. Everything ever required for living the good life is offered at these tropical beachfront villas. For the ultimate in luxury and tranquillity, there is a limited edition of ten prestigious private island beachfront villas located on a pristine 114

12-acre island retreat lined with white sand beaches, crystal clear water and stunning coral reefs. It is an idyllic hideaway where one is transported to a world of laid-back, barefoot luxury. Offering a new sense of refinement, opulence and style, the ultra-luxurious residences provide three to five bedrooms. Seamlessly blending form and function and creating a superb balance between entertainer, designer domain and comfortable family home of exceptional proportions, these extraordinary villas offer a lot to the discerning buyer. Designed with the owner's privacy in mind, all lots boast direct beachfront access and average one-quarter acre in size. With its coveted oceanfront setting, this is a haven of pure sophistication and indulgence. Resort amenities and services add to the luxury appeal of the deluxe community. The property's planned state-of-the-art gym will be fully equipped, with full-time staff on hand for

personalised training sessions and yoga classes. The main swimming pool is being designed as a focal point of the property and will be surrounded by manicured tropical gardens. The waterfront restaurant will provide unobstructed ocean and sunset views, while offering the country's finest cuisine and a unique wine selection. For those looking for additional relaxation, the spa focuses on traditional healing techniques that use natural herbs and spices for signature treatments. There is also a private marina that can accommodate yachts up to 70 feet long. For added comfort and safety, services include 24-hour guarded entrance with security attendant, concierge service and full property management. The resort property is not only a unique lifestyle choice, it is an exceptional lifestyle investment, too. Owners will have the option of maintaining their residences for personal use

or include their vacation homes in the rental program. Having great potential for rental yield, the villas’ short-term rentals are currently bringing in the highest revenue per night in the country. The developer remains debt free and continues to reinvest in the area. Developer financing is available. These are decadent villas for sophisticated buyers seeking a superior lifestyle investment along with the ultimate in private luxury real estate in Belize. Prices: From USD698,800. CONTACT

International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701




Elegant Oceanfront Living on a Grand Scale A magnificent waterfront estate that is truly one of Costa Brava’s finest


o place is better suited to the enjoyment of life than the Catalan coast of Spain, the Costa Brava. The rugged coastline is rich with hidden coves, rocky headlands and beautiful sandy beaches. Summers are long and hot while winters are mild. And everywhere there are enchanting villages of whitewashed homes. It is almost incredible that the best parts of the Costa Brava have avoided the hand of overdevelopment. The market is still not flooded with newly built properties. This fortuitous circumstance is due largely to the fact that until now, the region has not been as easily accessible as other regions favoured by holidaymakers but with the

completion of the high-speed train link between Madrid and the French border, all of that could soon change as buyers from both Spain and the rest of Europe are showing increased interest for the area. As always they are in search of the best location. They know that high quality properties will always be sound investments, as well as fabulous places to enjoy life. Costa Brava is rapidly becoming known for its fabulous lifestyle, security and safe investment prospects. There are fishing villages, medieval towns to visit and fabulous farmlands on which wonderful local food is produced. It is the perfect place for that ideal luxury home.


While tourism began to take off in the Costa Brava in the 1950s, large sections of the region remained untouched. It is an area where the beauty has long attracted artists, including Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. Today, the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres is one of the top museums in Catalonia. Just an hour from the city of Barcelona, where broad avenues, Gaudi’s architecture and a magnificent waterfront combine to turn out an incredibly modern and livable city, Costa Brava retains much of its original charm. The area from Roses to Tossa de Mar, especially, is dotted with delightful little coastal towns. Offering the quintessence of luxury waterfront living in a magical setting, this incredible 19-bedroom estate is situated on a premier Costa Brava location affording its highly coveted views of the Mediterranean Sea. A truly beautiful property offering tremendous space for grand entertaining and refined living, 118

the exclusive compound exudes timeless elegance and extraordinary flair. With over 1,130m² of fine living, the luxurious waterfront estate is comprised of an elegant main residence, two attractive 4-bedroom guest apartments of 120m² each, and a separate 3-bedroom staff quarters of 90m². The imposing façade prepares visitors for the lyrical soaring beauty that awaits within the main residence. Classic style is tastefully expressed in the 8-bedroom residence, unfolding over a grand total of 800m² as an impressive showplace for indoor-outdoor entertaining. It is welcoming, sophisticated, comfortable and richly imagined for discriminating owners of international vision and incomparable taste. Oozing a distinctive charm and warmth, combined with the finest of materials, the interiors are sophisticated, yet imbue a sense of total relaxation. The luxurious residence features timeless Mediterranean architectural

accents, including terracotta flooring, wooden beamed ceilings and graceful archways. High style meets serenity with the picturesque Cala Llafranc as its backdrop. Each room appears as the quintessence of effortless grace and balance. The home features a wonderful living room that is perfect for entertaining on a large scale, but is equally conducive to smaller, more intimate gatherings. Adding to the delightful atmosphere, owners will enjoy a spacious kitchen with dining area, a wine cellar with tasting area and a formal dining room with capacity to seat 24. The games and TV room delivers the ultimate family indulgence for luxury living. The well-appointed living area flows naturally onto the equally impressive and ample outdoor sea view terrace of 300m². The idyllic outdoor oasis – complete with a gorgeous porch area that includes access to the garden and pool – offers a seductive and relaxing setting. The lovely outlook to the endlessly

blue Mediterranean Sea and the enchanting Bay of Llafranc are right at the doorstep. The prestige estate resides magnificently on a massive private plot of 7,825m2, which is graced with a glorious garden that takes up most of that area. Built for family fun, there is a sports area of 527m², featuring a tennis court, lake and children's playground. The superb manor estate includes the convenience of covered parking that accommodates ten cars. Those who have been looking for a front line property of such style, size and capacity will be most certainly impressed. This one-of-a-kind estate flows effortlessly, lives graciously, and speaks of the ultimate lifestyle. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703


Old World elegance at its best An outstanding and historic villa boasting exquisite design and style, with stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea


pain’s Costa Brava is a large area of the Girona province (part of the Catalonian autonomous community) that extends from the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean to the hilly inland countryside dotted with picturesque medieval villages and fertile cropland. Its international appeal as an exclusive and highly desirable holiday destination has been increasing steadily and the new high-speed (AVE) train links can only help. Homebuyers in search of a safe and solid investment as well as a privileged lifestyle often turn to the Costa Brava. The region is world-renowned for its scenic beauty, its 120

golden beaches and its aquamarine waters. It boasts a dramatic coastline filled with beautiful bays, coves and headlands. It is dotted with villages of strikingly white homes. The area around Palafrugell, stretching from Pals and Begur in the north to Fornells, Aiguablava, Tamariu, Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell in the south, is the most highly regarded. It is widely believed that prices have bottomed out and from here, the only way is up. When the final 131-kilometre branch of the AVE opened, it linked Figueres, home to the Dali Theatre and Museum, to Barcelona and completed the 804 kilometres of high-speed



line from the Spanish capital of Madrid to France. This means the region was opened up in dramatic fashion to the rest of Europe and travel times have been greatly reduced, with ease of transport much improved. All of a sudden, the gastronomy, cultural heritage and quality golf courses of the Costa Brava are readily available. Live life to the very fullest in Costa Brava at what is an extremely rare property, one of the truly great homes of the “Wild Coast” of the Spanish Mediterranean. Here, the allure of this splendid residence is immeasurable and irresistible, its beauty and grace beyond compare. Villa aficionados will appreciate the estate's uninterrupted privacy in a gracious Old World setting. Flaunting its classic colonial elegance, the exclusive villa oozes grandeur and perfection. The classically proportioned, ocean view home bespeaks of a lifestyle of utmost grace and refinement. The majestic outlook to the endlessly blue Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful coastline, together with the idyllic Bay of Llafranc, are right at the doorstep. The elegant property offers sheer distinction and beauty whilst it exudes an air of respectability, exclusivity and privacy. Enter a world of timeless elegance and understated luxury, where sophistication is standard and excellence is the benchmark. The magnificent mansion has an air of exquisite and grand style. It is impossible not to be captivated by the sumptuous refinement and comfort. A profound statement in style and elegance, this is where the lucky owner will lead a charmed and pleasurable lifestyle. Elegant and refined, yet purposefully functional, the historic property is comprised of a luxurious main residence, an annex and an enchanting chapel. Built on a grand scale by a wealthy businessman in the late 19th century, the imposing home features 987m² of extravagant living space. Timelessly elegant reception rooms accompany relaxing and sophisticated

family spaces, whilst sleeping quarters are designed to the highest standard, with nine luxurious bedrooms. A home of comfort and character, the sophisticated residence also enjoys a rustic kitchen, wine cellar, service area and parking. Architectural details, period features and well-proportioned rooms grace the interior. Consummate quality is evident at every turn, from the classically styled entrance hall to the elegant stone flooring that flows from indoors to glorious terraces. High ceilings and French doors compound the magnificent sense of scale throughout. Peacefully sited on a plot of 4,817m2, the extraordinary villa is a piece of luxury escapism. The quintessential Mediterranean lifestyle continues outdoors, where a spectacular setting, arranged to accommodate every lifestyle need, awaits. The sea-facing villa's lovely porches and gardens create an awe-inspiring setting for outdoor entertaining. Breathtakingly situated to boast sensational ocean and coastal views, the gorgeous mansion estate combines natural beauty with an idyllic and private location. Near the lovely towns of Begur and Pals and moments from the beach, the superior villa offers a special world of secluded luxury in a sophisticated setting that is rich in quality and distinct in style. When it comes to grand residences, this colonial estate on the seafront is one of Costa Brava’s premier real estate offerings. Every single aspect about the residence spells luxury and exceptional living. Price: €3.95 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




Classically timeless & Understated contemporary Limited edition living with only four ski in ski out chalets of great style


istorically low interest rates and a stable real estate market continue to fuel interest in France. This stability is due in no small part to the strict lending criteria France imposes, meaning those who take out mortgages are not likely to be overstretched and will be better able to withstand any economic slowdown. Now, with the new ski season commencing, purchasing a mountain property in France is high on the radar screens of many second-home buyers and investors, with prime areas in the Alps coming to the forefront once again. Ski properties are in limited


supply and prices remain strong in comparison to many other types of real estate. Many buyers are purchasing for classic lifestyle reasons and intend to use their properties in all seasons. This is particularly so in the French Alps, where long ski seasons are complemented by beautiful summer weather with plenty of outdoor activities to keep the whole family busy. The French Alps always draw heavily on buyers from the UK and other European destinations, as well as the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. Here is a property that is the essence of exclusivity, offering a rare opportunity to be one 126

of the privileged few to own one of only four luxury ski in ski out chalets to be offered at this elite address. Set in an immensely desirable location, the fine mountain homes are situated near Megève, in the postcard-perfect village of Combloux. Offering awe-inspiring panoramic views of Mont-Blanc, Fiz, Aiguilles Rouges and the Aravis Mountains, the alpine vacation homes create an exceptional living experience. Masterfully designed by a well-known architect, the exquisite jewels speak of classic mountain style with an elegant contemporary inflection. An inspired revelation of space,

light and form balances grace and noblesse, boldness and restraint, rich complexity and spare refinement. Aesthetically engaging, the homes reflect a sense of sophistication and elegance, blended with all the sensibility of modern convenience. Here the Alpine lifestyle is combined with stylish luxury. The extensive use of traditional wood and stone echoes the heritage of the property’s Savoyard surroundings, whilst large expanses of glass embrace the scenic views. With meticulous attention to detail, the striking interior presents a well thought out layout that provides superb space for entertaining or

relaxing, or simply living. The sweeping glass windows and soaring ceilings make the place stunningly open and light. Showcasing up to 231m² of elegance, the newly built mountain chalets represent the height of sophistication. The stylish lowmaintenance ski chalets come with open plan living areas, refined kitchen and dining spaces, up to six ensuite bedrooms and private indoor garage. Here is a wonderfully unique abode that is replete with the comforts and amenities that define modern living. The desirable ski properties come fully fitted to the highest standards. To make the most of


its idyllic alpine setting, each signature home enjoys a generous private terrace. Situated in a picturesque and tranquil area of Combloux, the exclusive boutique community provides a sunny setting for a coveted mountain lifestyle. The fine ski in ski out mountain homes are convenient, peaceful and private, yet they are close to the amenities, shops and restaurants. Overlooking Mont Blanc, Combloux is a traditional and charming picturesque Savoyard resort, popular with visitors for its mountain village authenticity. French poet Victor Hugo referred to Combloux as the “Pearl of the Alps, nestled in a jewel box of glaciers”. It is an evocative description of one of the Alps’ most enchanting alpine villages and remains as apt today as it was in Hugo’s time. 128

Before Combloux became a sought-after ski resort, it was a traditional mountain village with a predominantly farming economy. Its farming culture lives on today, both in practice and in mood, with the chocolate box architecture that is so well preserved throughout the village. Ideally located in the heart of Europe, one hour from the Geneva airport, Combloux is easily and quickly accessible. Only four kilometres from Megève and 30 kilometres from Chamonix, Combloux lies at the foot of two separate ski areas, the expansive Evasion Mont-Blanc domain and the smaller but equally challenging Les Portes du Mont-Blanc domain. Most of those who reside in Combloux spend their days sampling the endless skiing in the Evasion MontBlanc ski area. Mile upon mile of exquisitely

manicured pistes (and some challenging off-piste) stretch from 580 metres to 4,808 metres altitude, with authentic alpine chalets and beautiful pine forests nestled along the way. Covering six resorts, 116 ski lifts and 445 kilometres of slopes, the vast Evasion MontBlanc is covered on just one lift pass, giving skiers and boarders access to a huge variety of skiable terrain. Boarders can enjoy the Mont Joux Snow Park at the heart of the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area. The area also offers the steepest slopes and off-piste experience. The Portes du Mont-Blanc domain combines Combloux, Le Jaillet (Megève), La Giettaz and Cordon, offering 100 kilometres of ski runs and 32 lifts. These two areas bring together some of the finest skiing available in the Alps.

These stunning ski in ski out chalets offer the opportunity to purchase an exclusive ski property in the Evasion Mont-Banc region to those who do not wish to pay Megève prices. With their architectural brilliance, unparallelled comfort and ideal location, the luxurious chalets guarantee the finest quality of life available. Prices: From €1.475 million. CONTACT

International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701



ALPINE BLISS Authentic Savoyard charm meets mountain elegance in these fine ski residences



ost will think of the French Alps in their traditional role as a winter destination, with many kilometres of pistes, ample snow, a long season and fabulous resorts. While all of that is true, some of those resorts attract as many, if not more people in the summer for outdoor activities. With plenty of sunshine

and pleasant temperatures, the summer months attract outdoor enthusiasts in search of the excellent mountain biking and cycling opportunities, as well as hiking and walking, paragliding, climbing and white water rafting. And do not forget the incredible mountain air and scenery.


The Alps in summer enjoy some of the highest number of hours of sunshine in all of France. Add to that the accessibility and good longterm investment opportunities and everything is in place to make the real estate market in the French Alps one of the country’s hottest tickets. The region is a major draw for not only holidaymakers, but many who are interested in making a permanent move to a very pleasant spot, no matter what time of year. Wonderfully located in the centre of Méribel Village, here is an opportunity to enjoy four seasons of beauty and splendour in an idyllic setting. These mountain homes capture the 132

dream of living minutes from pristine ski slopes, set against the inspirational backdrop of one of the world's foremost alpine resorts. With just a select number of private ski apartments on offer, the luxury property is a thoughtful blend of authenticity, exclusivity and intimacy. The residences’ ambience is elegantly casual, enhanced by traditional features and materials that evoke the classic Savoyard architecture that has defined these mountain regions. The architecture showcases an abundance of fine wood and local stone, blending effortlessly with the serenity and beauty of the surrounding village and Les Trois Vallées.

Indulge in the choice of six well-appointed residences, ranging from 1-bedroom designer apartments to 5-bedroom luxury mountain homes. Offering between 40m² and 162m² of elegance, each stylish residence is a delightful blend of modern living and traditional charm. Homely with plenty of alpine charisma, each holiday home exudes an authentic mountain feel and individually styled bedrooms that epitomise alpine luxury. The elegantly rustic appointments summon the allure of a private mountain retreat, where every aspect has been thoughtfully considered.

Each ski apartment (apart from the 1-bedroom) will offer large terraces and balconies to take advantage of the exceptional open southerly and south-westerly orientations, affording expansive views onto the valley and over the beautiful alpine forest. The classic freehold development gives owners the freedom to use or to let their property as they see fit, as well as the opportunity to resell with no restrictions. The property represents not only a premier place to call home, but also an outstanding investment opportunity. It has fantastic rental potential due to its stellar location and high construction quality.


The desirable new collection of luxurious apartments enjoys a lovely location within the charming resort of Méribel Village, one of the premier addresses within the Three Valleys ski domain. A beautiful and peaceful spot with a fantastic mountain atmosphere, Méribel Village is an enchanting residential location composed mainly of large traditional Savoyard chalets. It is small and everything is within easy reach – shops, restaurants and the slopes are less than 100 metres from these new properties, and the Golf ski lift linked to the Three Valleys is only 150 metres away.


There are plenty of reasons to love Méribel, not the least for its pretty architecture, wooded surroundings and friendly atmosphere. Primarily, though, is its central location. To the east lie the resorts of Courchevel and La Tania, while Val Thorens sits to the west. Three Valleys is the largest ski domain in the world, with 600 kilometres of interlinked slopes and 130 kilometres of cross-country skiing. The domain stretches from 1300 metres to 3230 metres altitude, with Val Thorens the highest resort in Europe and Méribel and Courchevel some of the most prestigious ski destinations in the world.

Les Trois Vallées offers the perfect mix of traditional Savoyard charm, luxury, and exceptional skiing. Fully 85% of the slopes lie beyond 1,800 metres altitude, which guarantees fabulous snow conditions from the beginning of December to the end of April. The combination of extensive slopes, superb location and attractive architecture makes Méribel one of Europe’s safest bets for buying a great holiday home. Limited numbers of building lots, plus strict planning regulations mean that newbuild property in the centre of Méribel is an extremely rare commodity and much in

demand. The elegant boutique enclave with private ski residences for sale is a rare find. Less expensive than Méribel Centre and close to the slopes, this represents an amazing opportunity. Nestled in a wonderful setting, this ski property is an invitation to exclusivity and style. Prices: From €567,000. CONTACT

International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701


136 Image from an already completed chalet

Fine Alpine Living A superb ski chalet of impeccable quality and international style


n times of economic instability, buyers usually like to stick with tried and true property markets, which is a central reason that buying activity remains strong in the French Alps. A survey reported in the UK newspaper The Independent earlier this year listed Europe’s top 50 resorts and, not surprisingly, nearly half of those resorts are located in the French Alps. The mountains, known for their excellent long-season skiing and salubrious climate yearround, always retain their international cachet. A significant portion of buyers hails from France, Switzerland, the United States, the UK and other European countries. Expats from key international financial centres such as London, Geneva, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong are also showing increased interest in French Alps real estate.

Increased numbers of property transactions point to an excellent 2013 for the French Alps in the second-home market. This surge is due largely to historically low interest rates and strong prices, leaving buyers confident that their investments will continue to strengthen. This is particularly significant when compared to the volatility that has dampened enthusiasm in many parts of the world. Now, with the new ski season on the horizon and with the experience of last season’s fantastic snow conditions still fresh in memories, the French Alps are more popular than ever before. There is no place better for a longterm lifestyle investment. There are limited supplies of top-notch ski properties, which can only drive up prices. Regard the exceptional opportunity to secure an exclusive ski chalet in Val d’Isère's most



139 Image from an already completed chalet

highly prized boutique development. Unrivalled in location, luxury and prestige, the ultimate limited edition lifestyle is being created with only eight exceptional mountain homes available for private ownership. Never before has there been such a collection of exquisitely built chalets in Val d’Isère. In fact, with only three to five chalets being built here each year, these brand new chalets are held in particularly high esteem. Situated in a prime location in central Val d’Isère, the beautiful Alpine homes showcase what superior mountain living should be. Flawlessly finished and elegantly presented, the bespoke mountain properties have been designed to meet the expectations of today’s most discerning ski property buyers. Crafted to combine Savoyard authenticity with timeless sophistication, the unique ski properties blend perfectly with the old village of Val d’Isère. Skilled local craftsmen, traditional materials and age-old techniques are being brought together under the guidance of the French Alps’ most respected private developer. The result is an exclusive collection of properties built with passion and attention to detail, each providing first-class living spaces that maximise the views and use of light. The chalets combine the best of traditional Alpine design with modern comfort and technology. A celebration of artistic brilliance, stateof-the-art living and astounding detail, this elegant ski chalet is one of those rare mountain homes that truly defines alpine luxury. The architectural gem of a residence is a stylish 120m² retreat distinguished by its array of generous 140

living spaces, exceptional craftsmanship and attention to quality. The centrepiece of the refined chalet is the expansive open plan living space consisting of the kitchen with bar and separate pantry, stylish dining area and living area which opens onto the private terrace. The four luxuriously appointed ensuite bedrooms boast an abundance of natural light. A warm and understated colour palette imbue the bedrooms with a highly inviting atmosphere. The deluxe mountain vacation home also comes with a utility room, cellar, garage and ski locker. The décor is instilled with a sense of calm and serenity. Daylight permeates the interior to highlight the use of natural materials such as stone and wood, and gives the mountain holiday home an organic luxury that soothes the soul. Expansive windows offer sublime views, whilst high ceilings make the place wonderfully open and light. The superior indoor living space is complemented by lovely outdoor areas. Multiple private balconies allow one to wind down the day in style and beauty. The location is perfect, secluded enough to be peaceful, yet only 400 metres from the slopes. Exemplifying great style and timeless allure, this home will appeal to that elite group of buyers who insist upon the highest levels of luxury and sophistication. Price: €2.5 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703

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Luxury in the Alps

Elegant mountain homes that offer high-end style and premier location

Photography: Rich Evans - Altitude Holidays


erious skiers know that France has the largest piste network in the world. And with many of the largest ski areas situated at high elevations, they delight in the knowledge that the French Alps enjoy an exceptionally long season of good snow. Therefore it is no wonder that holidaymakers and property buyers alike flock to the French Alps. The biggest ski area, French country charm, incredible cuisine, efficiency and high-quality snow create an undeniably winning formula. Those seeking second homes in a proven ski region can find no better selection. The region enjoys a number of key benefits over other ski areas: It is more accessible than Austria, more affordable than Switzerland and a safer haven than Eastern Europe. Add to that several exceptional seasons of record snow and it is easy to understand why real estate in the French Alps is in such high demand. But do not think for a moment that the appeal of the French Alps is based solely on its winter recreational value. While the skiing is fabulous, never overlook the region’s appeal during the summer months, too. With pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine, buyers are drawn by the opportunities for mountain biking and cycling, walking and hiking, white water rafting, climbing and paragliding. Together as a package, this is what ensures the strong and growing appeal of France’s

mountains among the international set seeking a second property and a sure-fire investment. Even those looking for a new experience in a permanent abode are buying up properties here. Boasting the highest peaks in Western Europe, the French Alps are accessible, affordable and an excellent long-term investment opportunity, with plenty of charm and cosmopolitan atmosphere for those in search of a holiday home or a full-time residence. Courchevel, in Les Trois Vallées, has become synonymous with great skiing, fabulous dining and entertainment par excellence. Part of the largest ski area in the world, Courchevel boasts stunning views from 3,230 metres altitude, views that look out over not just the French, but the Italian and Swiss Alps, too. There is no place better in the world for those seeking a property in a world-famous ski area. Considered the Saint-Tropez of the ski world, Courchevel boasts not just fabulous recreational opportunities, but an unsurpassed nightlife with world-class clubs and Michelin-starred restaurants. Without a doubt, it ranks as one of the finest allround resorts anywhere on the globe and over the course of the next seven years, €118 million will be invested to make it even better. Courchevel is actually comprised of five villages, the most fashionable of which


is Courchevel (1850). The others are named Courchevel Moriond, Courchevel Village, Courchevel Le Praz and Saint Bon. All are incredibly accessible. The airports at Geneva and Lyon are just two hours away, while the TGV train from Paris to Moûtiers takes four hours, with Courchevel another halfhour by taxi. Alternatively, many fly privately to Courchevel’s famously short runway, featured in James Bond’s Tomorrow Never Dies. The Valley of Courchevel is famed also for its high snowfalls and north-facing slopes, which protect the snow from the sun and extend the season well into spring. With 600 kilometres of ski pistes, unsurpassed equipment and superb snow coverage, the area offers fun for every level of skier, from beginner to advanced. Despite the glamour, the luxury shops and the world-class dining options, there is a tranquil air over Les Trois Vallées, an atmosphere that encourages relaxation and informality. For those who come to invest, to vacation or to live, Courchevel offers a compelling combination of style, quality and laidback lifestyle. It is a place to see, and to be seen, in France’s premier ski resort. This limited collection of 11 exclusive ski residences represents a superb real estate offering in Courchevel with the power and style to attract even the most discerning homebuyers. It is the perfect blend of refined alpine living that refuses to compromise. The luxurious alpine property offers a rare and desirable combination: brand new ski apartments located right in the centre of Courchevel 1650, featuring exceptional comfort in a mountain ambience. The superior residences, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and the captivating beauty of the mountain landscape and the dreamlike atmosphere of the resort’s serenity, are only to be marvelled at. The luxury ski property creates a unique sanctuary with a magical sense of the Alps, blending traditional elegance and tasteful modern elements to create the most inspired indoor-outdoor alpine living. Surrounded by panoramic views, the premier property will prove to be a destination of choice for year-round indulgence. Designed in a typical Savoyard style, the ski residences will be in blissful harmony with their enchanting surroundings. The exquisitely crafted ski holiday homes fuse fine architecture with environmentally responsible design, offering a high level of comfort, functionality, luxury and sustainability. The chalet-style apartments have a Savoyard feel through the use 144


of exposed wood and mountain stone, reflecting the area’s unique heritage. Ranging from stylish 2-bedroom apartments to the coveted 5-bedroom penthouse duplex, the spaciousness of the deluxe ski holiday homes is only one fantastic aspect of the property. Under the inspiration of “luxury meets comfort” and “style does matter”, the interiors will showcase an emotive contemporary, yet timelessly classic elegance. Indigenous materials and colours reflect the mountain character, while compelling architecture adds to the allure and charm. The spacious and airy layout offers open-style living, complete with an expansive lounge, a fully fitted, fully equipped modern kitchen and generous bedrooms with built-in closets. For added indulgence, each ski apartment will boast a private terrace or balcony, while optional fireplace or wood burner will accentuate the warm and inviting atmosphere. Attention to detail is witnessed in every space, where calm and serenity reign. Additional luxurious features provided to enhance the experience include parquet flooring, quality tiling in the bathrooms, wooden doors, underfloor heating and satellite television. Private underground parking ensures comfort and peace of mind. Homes may be customised to suit the homeowners' tastes and unique requirements. A location of undeniably convenience, the deluxe ski properties are ideally situated in the centre of Courchevel Moriond (1650), with direct access to shops and restaurants, bars and the Centre Aqualudique. The property is brilliantly positioned just a 2-minute walk – about 150 metres – from the lifts and pistes, with direct access by escalator. The ski property comes with freehold ownership, a status that enhances the security of buyers’ investment and one that can facilitate resale. Offering a comfortable, effortless and enjoyable lifestyle, this boutique collection of gorgeous mountain properties is the ideal vacation home destination for those with discriminating taste and high expectations. Prices: From €620,000. CONTACT

International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701





A spectacular villa highlighted by its heavenly panoramic views and artful flair


he Côte d’Azur continues to enjoy its historic love affair with discerning property buyers. Tucked in between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps, high-end house hunters the world over flock to the French Riviera, in search of a wonderful lifestyle. According to the Candy GPS Report by Candy & Candy, Savills and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, the French Riviera beats out Italy and the Caribbean as the preferred spot for buying a luxury second home. It is here on the French Riviera where these select and selective property buyers can combine a safe investment


with the luxury lifestyle factors that are most important to them. While buyers from Russia, the Middle East and Northern Europe dominate the luxury real estate market on the French Riviera, it also remains popular with discerning investors from rest of Europe and the US. They come for the gastronomy, the shopping, the beaches, places to dock their glitzy yachts and partake of the throbbing nightlife. The area provides that amalgam of warm blue seas, beaches and vibrant resorts. 150

Whether in search of a shrewd investment, a second home or both, buyers are confident in the knowledge that property in Côte d’Azur holds its value far better than it does in many other popular vacation regions of the world. With that in mind, it is hard to resist the allure of a waterfront villa on the French Riviera. For decades, wealthy buyers have been picking up prime waterfront real estate along this famed coast, to enjoy its fashionable lifestyle, stunning environment, rich cultural heritage and enviable climate year round.

Here one may discover an idyllic world where incredible beauty fuses with blissful comfort. This striking villa boasts many of the earmarks of luxury waterfront living, perfectly embodying the very desirable lifestyle of the French Riviera. The home’s panoramic setting is the pièce de résistance – a pinnacle location on Cap de Nice with direct access to the sea. Presented in the most cinematic way possible, the Cap Ferrat, the Bay of Villefranche and the Cap d'Antibes are on display in one unobstructed, sweeping

view. Occupying arguably one of the finest locations in the very heart of Côte d’Azur, the luxurious villa sits on 1,500m² of private, elevated grounds. Architecturally inspiring in both appearance and function, the stylish villa radiates a warm, Mediterranean allure draped in sophistication and delight, while conveying an unmistakable sense of strength, volume and boldness. Exterior and interior transitional spaces flow seamlessly, so that the capacity to enjoy and entertain is effortless.



Designed with style and flair, the timeless villa strikes a perfect balance between form and function. With a mix of artful style and modern comfort, the colourful and character-filled home reflects the owners’ passion for vibrant design. The fabulous aesthetic style that emanates from the unique villa proves to be as functional as it is beautiful, through features that complement the sought after lifestyle that the owners so fully enjoy. Beautifully presented throughout with well-proportioned rooms, the stunning villa boasts 300m² of casual yet elegant style. The wonderful villa showcases an exceptional triple living room with a fireplace, plus three bedrooms, study and laundry room. Luxury amenities include a wine cellar and sauna. Parking space for several cars is offered. The intelligent floor plan provides a balance between openness and privacy, on a luxurious, yet comfortable scale. Large picture windows usher in the abundant views and light, making the most of the dazzling sea panoramas. The enchanting villa also comes with a lovely guesthouse of 45m², complete with glittering sea views, bedrooms and a terrace. There is also a caretaker’s apartment with one bedroom and a kitchen. Commanding one of the most beautiful settings on the Côte d’Azur in an exclusive, private seafront domain, the desirable villa was expressly designed for stylish indoor and outdoor living. The panoramic terrace provides unsurpassed views of the sea and offers a sumptuous space for entertainment. The fine residence also boasts a breathtaking heated pool that affords endless blue vistas and fresh sea breezes. The new owners will not only enjoy all of the benefits of life at the heart of one of the French Rivera’s most sought after locations, they will also be able to appreciate some of the finest vistas that the Mediterranean Sea has to offer. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703



A Showpiece of Architectural Elegance Stylish, sleek and thoroughly spectacular, the villa sits in a glorious and utterly exclusive panoramic setting


rance has long been the most visited country in the world and the South of France is one of the most popular locations for second homes and no district is more frequently selected than the Côte d’Azur, often known better as the French Riviera. French Riviera real estate has become a magnet for international property buyers, who are attracted by its seductive beauty and glamour, elegant architecture and the reassurance of an attractive investment.


Days and days of brilliant blue skies and sparkling Mediterranean waters, incredible locally grown produce, scented fields of lavender, sailing and swimming, luxuriant hillsides, exquisite local cuisine: Côte d’Azur has it all. Buyers come from all over Europe and the UK, and, increasingly, from Russia and the Middle East, in search of their private sanctuary. The market remains strong and as 2013 progresses, there has been a steady increase in buyers, driven by the lowest interest rates 156

in more than 60 years and scarcity of quality inventory. The Côte d'Azur has lost none of its allure as a place to live. Located in a secure domain in the ever-popular seaside resort of Villefranche-sur-Mer, the stunning design and beautiful lines, the top quality materials, exquisite finishes and superb craftsmanship make this home a true standout. Conceived by a well-known architect, the strikingly attractive façade, with its bold symmetry and generous proportions, makes

a striking style statement. Created as a relaxed family home that can also serve as a full-on party house, the extraordinary villa is the perfect example of impeccable modern architecture. Every square metre of the fully customized property has been tastefully finished, with bespoke quality and design the key ingredients. The impressive proportions are enhanced by uncompromised perfection, whilst the flawless design reflects a sophisticated aesthetic that is both elegant and refined.

Created to foster the ultimate in indooroutdoor comfort, vast living areas are highlighted with clean, sleek lines, premium details, lustrous open spaces and expanses of glass that evoke a sensuous blend of warmth and coolness. Maximising its ocean view orientation, the open floorplan is fluid, flexible and underscored by an elegant ambience of contemporary class throughout. The newly built home takes the no-expensespared approach to high-end luxury and


personal comfort. The postcard views are only the beginning of what the outstanding mansion has to offer. Offering 400m² of luxury, here is a private world of indulgence and glamorous entertaining. Towering ceilings and walls of glass create an overwhelming feeling of spaciousness in the open plan family living-dining area that incorporates the cleanlined kitchen into its design. The Boffi kitchen is ultra-stylish and well proportioned and comes complete with luxury appliances by Gaggenau. A state-of-the-art home cinema adds a further touch of glamour. The six ensuite bedrooms include a resplendent private master suite with an oversized bedroom and magnificent bathroom. The exclusive villa comes with a garage and parking for four cars. The quintessential Mediterranean way of living continues outdoors where a spectacular setting, arranged to accommodate every lifestyle need, awaits. Designed to blend beautifully into its scenic surroundings and panoramic position, the grounds of 1,850m² are peaceful and picture-perfect. From its impressive 158

elevated vantage point in the hills just above Villefranche-sur-Mer, the elegant villa enjoys dazzling views of the Mediterranean Sea and the brilliant azure skies. Outdoor entertaining is staged as an unforgettable experience next to the gorgeous pool or on the fabulous terrace with its stunning sea views. Maintaining its historic cachet with its port, the colourful façades of the Old Town and its Citadel, Villefranche-Sur-Mer remains one of the premier destinations for the quintessential French Riveria experience. Not to mention its location is ideal. Set in the heart of the Côte d'Azur, between Monaco and Nice, home to prestige and affluence, this is a prized neighbourhood that can truly enhance residents’ quality of life. Embodying the very essence of bliss and indulgence, this stunning ultra-modern villa is a showcase of contemporary design living at its finest. Price upon request. CONTACT

Modern Homes Worldwide +44 (0)20 7095 8701



Distinctly refined. Exceptionally rare.


A sumptuous, spacious and truly magnificent home for those seeking the very best on the French Riviera


he Côte d’Azur is a region that excels in attracting interest amongst second home buyers. It is easy to understand why with its spectacular landscapes brimming with sunflowers and lavender fields, incredible blue Mediterranean vistas, world-renowned gastronomical delights, wonderful architecture, cultural events that fill the calendar and a mesmerising history. Warm Mediterranean waters and more than 300 days of sunshine per year make the French Riviera a place that is always in season.


Blue chip investors come searching for topnotch properties in places such as Saint-JeanCap-Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Éze and Cap-d'Ail. Besides the Euro-zone, buyers come from the UK, Scandinavia, America and Switzerland, as well as developing nations such as Mexico, Brazil and China. This strong demand ensures that Côte d'Azur remains top spot for luxury properties in the world. Globe-wide popularity and its vast range of attractions for tourists and residents have

helped to command the highest priced residential properties in France and ensured its strong position as a place to buy second homes. Cap d'Ail is one of the most sought-after locations in the Côte d’Azur and the real estate market has been highly stable amidst trying times elsewhere. Located at the gateway to Monte Carlo and just 20 minutes from Nice and Italy, there is a strong and thriving demand for exclusive properties here. Clinging to the cliffs that soar 500 metres and then drop dramatically to the Mediterranean, Cap d’Ail has a population of just 5,000. Its Mala Beach is popular among those in the know as one of the Riviera’s most beautiful and exclusive. Its splendid setting offers views of Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Cap-Ferrat.

With its pleasant Mediterranean climate, Cap d’Ail also presents many fine examples of architecture that has attracted and seduced personalities from around the globe. It has lured Greta Garbo and Jean Cocteau, the prince of Wales and the Lumière brothers. Now, it is a muchsought place for overseas buyers who wish to be near – but not inside – Monaco. Showcasing the irresistible allure of the Côte d’Azur, here is an opportunity to secure a permanent vantage point from an exclusive Mediterranean villa located in a prestigious and highly coveted locale. From its premier location on Cap d’Ail, this distinguished villa radiates a sense of exceptional grace and refinement. Flawless in every aspect, the splendid home achieves




the pinnacle of elegance, luxury, privacy and prestige. Its extraordinary sophistication and spaciousness so abundantly present in the commanding residence will allow its new owners the ultimate in luxurious comfort and a desirable lifestyle. Ideal for family living and entertaining, the superior residence exudes timeless elegance and grandeur, reflecting the generous sense of space and sophistication. With rich and opulent architectural detailing and breathtaking ocean views, the elegant residence represents all the qualities associated with luxury living. It is an imposing and impressively large home with a truly grand appearance. The exterior embodies the charming spirit of the 166

Mediterranean, with its ochre-hued façade, adorned with pastel-coloured shutters. Huge expanses of glass have been incorporated and act to seamlessly blend the pristine outdoor spaces with well-crafted interiors. Offering 600m² of pure elegance and artisan touches, the light-filled mansion bestows three levels and two magnificent principal rooms of superb proportions and impeccable presentation. There is a graceful flow throughout the formal and informal living spaces, with an equal emphasis on domestic comfort and stylish entertaining on any scale. A stellar master suite of impressive proportions is complemented by seven bedrooms, a large entry hall, refined dining room and kitchen. With the added luxury of a snooker room and

a library, the elegant villa is clearly the epitome of luxurious living. The exclusive appeal of the deluxe residence is further enhanced by fine fireplaces, mouldings, impressive volumes and massive arched windows that complement its classic grandeur. For added convenience, there is a laundry room, garage and an independent caretaker’s flat. The elite villa is impressively situated on 3,000m² of lush and sprawling grounds, ensuring privacy and seclusion. Moments from the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the glorious villa stands on a scenically elevated plot, surrounded by impeccable gardens. Those lovely gardens, the sparkling pool and the terraces with their sweeping panoramic views provide ample space for entertaining and

relaxing. The vistas, in never-ending hues of blue, complete the picture to perfection. The atmosphere is one of pure laid-back indulgence. Exemplifying premier Riviera living, this fine residence is the perfect match for those seeking an uncompromised experience from all points of view. It represents everything one could look for in a villa: a great position and stunning interiors, enriched by all the modern comforts and spectacular panoramas. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703



An address of unparallelled prestige and distinction A private and classic 1920s oasis where elegant living is enhanced by its coveted waterfront location and spectacular sea views


ith demand continually outstripping supply, a new report by property developers Candy & Candy, Savills and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, confirms the French Riviera is holding its position as a top destination for a second home. The report identified the 20 top investment destinations in the minds of the Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) and is based on real estate values, exclusivity and high-end tourism. The report also includes Italy and the Caribbean in its list of favourite spots, revealing that it is still these traditional residential destinations that continue to capture the imagination of the world’s High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) from Europe, North America, the Middle East and Russia. Prestige residential real estate continues to surpass the general property market in momentum.

That momentum is largely driven by the scarcity of quality inventory with demand from international buyers pushing prices ever higher in the world’s most desired areas. And the Côte d’Azur has lost none of its lustre as a high-end place to live. The stunning blue sea that lends the region its name and the year-round good weather are significant draws. Its proximity to the Monaco, the renowned international playground of the rich and famous, is certainly no hindrance, while the dramatic coastline, fabulous ports and seemingly unending open water for yachting simply add more to the region’s reputation. With an important international airport for easy access, the Côte d’Azur seems to have it all. Graced with a prized French Riviera address, where the oceanfront setting affords awe-inspiring panoramic views, this rare jewel on


the water's edge is what Côte d’Azur lifestyle dreams are made of. The epitome of exclusivity, the gracious and elegant mansion is spectacularly positioned on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. There can be few stunning settings more desirable and immensely impressive than the retreat, situated on the waters of the glittering ocean, overlooking one of the most iconic coastlines with its endless horizon of Mediterranean blue. The glorious views are truly spellbinding. Fine architectural design and unsurpassed interior poise are often a matter of defying expectations, a task this prestige mansion achieves to the satisfaction of the most discerning connoisseur of sophisticated living. The outstanding property makes for a truly 170

indulgent luxury holiday home or a highly desirable permanent residence. Sumptuous space, lavish luxury and timeless glamour unite in elegant grandeur in the magnificently classic-styled home. Designed for gracious living and entertaining, the splendid villa is enveloped in a seductive allure. Dating back to the 1920s, the historic house effortlessly marries haute style with Old World elegance. The luxurious accommodations, fine appointments and attention to detail are evident everywhere within. Adding to the elegant sense of space and light are an impressive staircase, marble floors and French doors. Offering 300m² of world-class waterfront living, the lovely interior of the house is tastefully appointed with five bedrooms and refined

living and dining rooms that lead to a wonderful terrace. The premier house also enjoys independent staff quarters and a 4-car garage. The prestigious property has been designed with Mediterranean living in mind: Gorgeous and expansive outdoor areas help make the most of the area’s year-round warmth and sun. Discretely set within fabulous mature Mediterranean gardens of 1,700m² and adorned by a stunning infinity pool, the elite villa offers superb al fresco living spaces and glorious vistas of the azure sea. Boasting an unbeatable setting with direct access to the sea, there is absolutely no doubt that the home embraces the ideals of a classic Riviera lifestyle – swimming, relaxing in the sun by the water and entertaining family and friends in style.

Ideally placed in the heart of what is one of the most prestigious spots on the French Riviera, the deluxe villa is located in Cap d’Ail. The seaside resort enjoys an enviable location in the Côte d’Azur due to its proximity to Monte Carlo, Nice and the Italian border. A luxurious oasis of serenity and breathtaking beauty, this deluxe villa offers a privileged, absolute waterfront lifestyle at one of the French Riviera’s most desirable addresses. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703


Luxe. Lifestyle. Location. An ultra-stylish villa in a truly glorious setting that affords sensational views



he world’s most discerning investors continue to be drawn to the international real estate market, with a growing number of destinations on offer around the globe. In a report conducted for the banking group BNP Paribas, it was revealed that overall sales in France to foreign investors increased by 4.5% in 2012, at a time of an economically challenged market and political changes that made the country’s tax structure more challenging. Figures also showed that the average price per transaction increased by an incredible 12% in the most popular regions. In terms of where international buyers selected their properties, the three most

popular destinations were listed in the report as Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur (33% of buyers), Rhône-Alps (15%) and Île-de-France (12%), which includes Paris. Time after time, investors turn to the South of France in search of the best on offer. Time after time, they look to the Côte d’Azur, popularly known the world over as the French Riviera. The cities here are among the most beautiful, the landscapes are some of the most breathtaking anywhere and the opportunities to select a high-end property in a time-honoured market are unparallelled. History is certainly on its side. The region along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea was the


first globally acclaimed resort destination anywhere. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, film stars flocked here to enjoy the lifestyle and escape the prying eyes of the paparazzi. For generations it has charmed celebrities, business moguls and royalty. The climate, the restaurants, fresh local produce and excellent wines, the mountains and the sea all combine to lure those in search of the very best of the good life. This elegant property occupies a panoramic position in the beautiful setting of Cap de Nice. The fabulous villa offers a tasteful blend of understated luxury and stylish aesthetics and owners will enjoy an enviable address that expresses timeless French Riviera elegance and contemporary international influence. Nestled between Mont Boron, the port and the sea, the small residential area of Cap de Nice is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious in the capital of the French Riviera. 174

The splendid villa's allure lies in its mix of casual and formal elements, fusing simplicity with modern luxuries in a manner that makes it irresistible. Uncompromising in quality and effortless in style, the timeless design creates not only a refined living space, but a warm and welcoming home infused with extraordinary light and spacious dimensions. The home provides the perfected balance between form and function, proportion and natural light. The aesthetic and detailing of the house are intended to be quietly sophisticated, using a limited palette of materials. The design incorporates large glazed areas and extensive use of outdoor spaces. The fabulously chic abode also offers plenty of privacy for family living. Featuring the perfect ambience for a sophisticated yet informal lifestyle, the 3-bedroom villa offers 170m² of great style. In the sun-filled living and entertaining area, modern blends

seamlessly with comfort and practicality. Combining architectural form and contemporary functionality, the American kitchen offers smart styling and durable construction. The deluxe villa features a mezzanine, which can be used as a home office or a TV-watching area. There is also a generous garage. The elegant villa is very much what Côte d’Azur truly stands for: outdoor living, stunning panoramas and stylish exclusivity. Equally as fashionable and modern are the villa's gorgeous al fresco living areas. Superbly sited on 500m² with panoramic views overlooking Cap Ferrat, an ambience of quiet contentment encompasses this ocean view home. With its garden graced by a private swimming pool and sun decks, the luxurious villa is ideal for relaxing with friends and family. Combining the mesmerising sea views with beauty, privacy and serenity, an idyllic lifestyle awaits the discerning buyer.

Cap de Nice is coveted not just for its prime location, but for its sheer exclusivity. Nestled midway between Nice and Villefranchesur-Mer, Cap de Nice is perfectly situated close to all the executive amenities of metropolitan Nice, the casual sun-drenched bliss of the fine beaches and the sophistication of Monte Carlo. Great entertainment, high-end shopping, world-class performances, fine dining and the hottest nightlife are right at the doorstep. With an address that elevates holiday lifestyle to year-round indulgence, here is a real estate offering of unquestionable elegance and flawless quality. Price: €1.79million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703


Modern, yet classic

Location and luxury meet in a sophisticated and stylish villa



ver since Hollywood’s Golden Age, America’s film stars have flocked to the Côte d’Azur. They came for the glamour and the romance, attracted in the same way that generations of artists had been before them. In time, the Côte d’Azur attracted High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs). Traditionally, along with the Americans, citizens of the UK, Italy and other Western European countries – from Switzerland to the Nordic nations – were the primary players in the area’s

real estate market. More recently, those sources have spread to other nations and now there are plenty of wealthy clientele from the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe searching for the French Riviera’s fine lifestyle. Buyers continue to be attracted to the region, looking to enjoy the incredible scenery, gastronomy and more than 300 days of sunshine a year. And it is all easily accessed, thanks to excellent infrastructure and transportation links.



One of the most sought after towns is the once quiet fishing village of Saint-Tropez which was made famous by the French screen legend Brigitte Bardot in the 1950s. When Bardot appeared in And God Created Woman, SaintTropez gained an overnight reputation for illicit pleasures and a libertine lifestyle. In summer, the rich and the party crowd dock their yachts and populate Saint-Tropez’s nightclubs and lavish private parties. While at one time these partiers were most likely to be European and American, today they are joined by Russians, Chinese and Brazilians. Come summer’s wind-down, the partiers depart for the ski slopes and the Caribbean beaches, leaving Saint-Tropez once again a quiet little village, a place where the locals take their shopping baskets for a stroll to the market. Winter or summer, though, Saint-Tropez exudes a prestigious lifestyle and here, some of the Mediterranean coast’s most luxurious and exclusive properties can be found. Undoubtedly, the environs of Saint-Tropez are beautiful, set as they are upon their forested and rocky peninsula. Nearby on the peninsula can be found picturesque hilltop villages, vineyards, beaches and meandering coastal pathways. Saint-Tropez real estate is in hot demand, with EU residents joined by the Swiss, Russians and expats from the Middle East in search of that perfect location. This brand new villa represents a unique opportunity to indulge in an extravagant lifestyle in Saint-Tropez in the South of France. The deluxe villa entices with its relaxed and privileged lifestyle and urban convenience. The luxury property is prestigiously situated in the heart of Saint-Tropez’s beautiful Old Town, just 300 metres from the glitzy harbour and vibrant cosmopolitan streets. Set in a singular location, the exclusive villa is a showcase of ultimate comfort, state-of-the-art facilities and elegant ambience. Yet it is a true

family home, with all the luxury perks that allow for fine living without compromise. Under the traditional Provençal-style exterior of the home lies a thoroughly modern and sophisticated villa that offers style, space and contemporary elegance in opulent measure. Displaying faultless design and timeless quality finishes, the stunning family home embraces the ultimate in stylish indooroutdoor living. Offering premier privacy and glamour, the superior villa boasts 333m² of unequivocal elegance. The stunning property is loaded with Wow-factors, including the 73m² living area resplendent with great light and tremendous scale. The imposing open plan sittingdining room opens out onto the sun-filled garden to create a ground floor entertaining space unlike anything else available in this part of Saint-Tropez. Bulthaup cabinets with Miele and Gaggenau appliances (American fridge, wine fridge, three ovens, two dishwashers, two sinks) are the highlights of the marvellous custom-designed chef’s kitchen. An ideal playground for the family, the fine residence comes with a 36m² media/games room. In addition, there are six sumptuous ensuite bedrooms. The décor delivers a rare blend of understated sophistication with a relaxed, modern flair. Elegant shapes are infused with a light colour scheme, contrasted by natural tones and dark surface accents, allowing a spacious and graceful air of comfort. The 3-level villa has been built to the highest imaginable standards, using only the best quality materials, leaving nothing for even the most demanding to desire. The finish is refined and prestigious, with spotlights in all rooms and oversized French stone tiles (60x60 centimetres) throughout, except bathrooms. All bathroom floors, walls, wet areas and basins are finished in authentic stone or marble, while the luxury fittings come from Dornbracht and Ritmonio.


The property provides a full home automation system for every possible electrical device, including anti-intrusion system and security cameras. The system can be remotely controlled from a computer or mobile phone. The property has also been designed to be highly energy efficient. The house is connected to intercom, videophone and controlled access. It enjoys reversible heating/ air conditioning, underfloor heating, double glazing, anti-burglary outer glazing, window frames and French window frames in rot-proof treated exotic wood. A single-car garage, private off-road parking space and several utility rooms add to the convenience. The luxurious villa features all the necessities for glorious outdoor living, boasting a wonderful, spacious south-facing garden complete with a large built-in 6-person hot tub, outdoor shower and terrace area. The beautifully private garden, abundant with mature trees, bushes, flower boxes and integrated lighting, provides an idyllic setting for al fresco dining. Enviably positioned at a very quiet and private cul-de-sac in the centre of Saint-Tropez, the desirable villa offers premium living moments and easy access to all of the renowned town’s vibrant spots, cosmopolitan ambience and amenities. Here is a place of peacefulness and calm, right in the centre of town, close to the celebrated Place des Lices and within a few moments’ walk of the port and boat moorings. This gorgeous villa combines urban excitement with a tranquil and private location. Prestige, class, elegance and sophistication are all there, with this rare French Riviera real estate offering. Price: €4.9 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate


+44 (0)20 7095 8703


Life at The Top - Stylish Penthouse Living Wonderfully located, finished to the highest quality specification and offering an exclusive lifestyle, three ocean view penthouses provide a unique opportunity to acquire a desirable address on the French Riviera 182


restige and reliability are the watchwords for the discerning high net worth property investor who turns to the French Riviera. Upscale buyers know the long-time and continuously strong market is a portent for the future, too. The Côte d’Azur is the epitome of a glamorous lifestyle, one that speaks to a long and glorious history of luxury living. Clients in search of a primary residence or a second home property come from the

Eurozone, the UK, Scandinavia and America and, increasingly, from Russia and the Middle East, with additional clientele from the developing world. Stable and desirable, Côte d’Azur is by far the most sought-after place in Europe, and has been throughout the global troubles. Buyers come to the region for many of the same reasons that 10.4 million tourists come annually to Côte d’Azur: climate (300-plus days of sunshine), spectacular landscapes and


wonderful seascapes, top-notch local cuisine and farm-fresh produce, history and culture. But wise high net worth buyers come for other reasons too, including knowledge that their investment will be a solid one and that the region offers a superior quality of life. The evidence suggests that many buyers keep their properties for the long term and are therefore little affected by temporary tax structure variations. For those who enjoy living the high life, the benefits of a penthouse home in the heart of the French Riviera are readily acknowledged. In addition to the regular breezes, generous amounts of natural light and panoramic views across the Mediterranean Sea, there is the unique sense of space that is nearly impossible to replicate. Located next door to Monaco, in the picturesque village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, a suite of three brand new penthouses is now available for connoisseurs of fine living. The sovereign state of Monaco on the French Riviera has remained the most expensive real estate market in the world for the second year running, with the average price of real estate here anywhere from €43,174 to €47,774 per square metre. Yet whilst Monaco continues to attract international wealth, its burgeoning market is also having an effect on surrounding towns, by driving to them buyers who have been priced out of the immediate area. Monaco’s market is prohibitive to most lifestyle and investment buyers, yet it remains one of the most popular destinations in the Côte d’Azur. The result is that there is a considerable market overspill into the surrounding towns, especially by those who want that dream property on the south coast of France. Monaco’s neighbouring town of RoquebruneCap-Martin is a perfect example: it has the beach, the bay and the harbour, it is only five kilometres from Monaco and yet prices are a fraction of those in the principality. 184

Famous for the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament and an imposing castle, thought to be the oldest in France, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a charming coastal town. Its rich Roman history is felt everywhere, with narrow streets, ancient stone houses and gorgeous fountains. From its commanding hillside position, the town offers breathtaking views of the coast toward Monaco. Roquebrune-Cap-Martin has always attracted an international clientele in search of natural beauty and absolute exclusivity mere minutes from the sophistication of neighbouring Monaco. International access is made easy, with Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport just 30 kilometres away. Here is an opportunity to elevate one’s lifestyle in a coveted penthouse in Roquebrune-CapMartin. Designed with contemporary specifications and aesthetic detailing, there are only three penthouses in this luxurious complex. Boasting dazzling panoramic ocean views and occupying a dominant position – just 300 metres from the Mediterranean Sea, with Monaco right on the doorstep – the luxury penthouses provide an affordable way to own a brand new and highly desirable Riviera property. The location is the epitome of convenience, being just minutes from the beach and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin’s many excellent shops, restaurants and cafés. Stylish design, clean architectural lines, airy open spaces, expanses of windows, sea view panoramas and fabulous light are hallmarks of the luxury penthouses. The penthouses’ décor combines beautiful wood with smooth stone to create a calming palette of elegant muted tones and distinctive textures. Each penthouse will be crafted to an excellent standard. Each will be fitted to the highest specification, with top quality finishes and the latest technology. Ranging from 62 m² to 81m² of impeccable modern living space, the three stunning pent-

houses boast two or three bedrooms as well as two parking spaces. The standout penthouse, located on the top two floors, is a sensational duplex apartment with harmoniously proportioned spaces, integrated outdoor living and expansive, awe-inspiring vistas. Combining elegant finesse with modern functionality, the first-class penthouse boasts its own private entrance and splendid sea view terraces. With a magnificent pergola and lush plantings, the gorgeous outdoor area provides the perfect setting for enjoying the finest Mediterranean al fresco lifestyle. It is a truly custom dream home in the sky. Offering priceless panoramic views, a luxurious ocean view lifestyle awaits at these exceptional penthouse residences. The generously sized private terraces of 35-119m² accommodate every desire of outdoor living and perfectly complement the superb setting.

With such proximity to the sea, the deluxe property is set to become Roquebrune’s most sought-after new development. It will be built by France’s premier residential developer, whose track record is impeccable. The developer’s reputation for building homes of the highest quality and finest design are the key signature values, which will be evident throughout the property. For those who have earned a lifestyle that is as exciting as it is relaxing, one that is equal parts beauty, sophistication and convenience, here for the taking are these luxury penthouses on the French Riviera. Prices: From €681,000. CONTACT

International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701


The Luxury of Exclusivity A rare opportunity to custom-build that dream home on a parcel of land that is unsurpassed in its location


ore popularly known far and wide as the French Riviera, the Côte d’Azur has been attracting the moneyed and the famed for generations. It was one of the first globally acclaimed resort destinations. It is one of those timelessly popular destinations thanks


to its incredible weather, its scenery, its food and wine and its culture. Between the sea and the mountains, the French Riviera seems to have it all. The wealthy and the celebrities have also been attracted by the relative anonymity in which they


may live and enjoy themselves. Now, more and more savvy families and expats are taking notice of this sense of respect for privacy that is on offer here, and are searching for the ideal real estate purchase that will help them set up a permanent base or a second home. The Mediterranean climate, azure waters, glamour and sensuality have attracted scores of famous and powerful residents to such exclusive seaside towns as Cannes, Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cap d’Ail, Saint-Raphael and Saint-Tropez. This strong demand has helped to protect the region from the rocky landing that has struck 188

real estate markets in many other locations around the globe. Stable and attractive, Côte d’Azur remains the most sought-after place to buy for those with a penchant for the extraordinary and the taste to select the finest properties. Most buyers in the Côte d’Azur hail from Europe and Russia, with an increasing number of investors from the Middle East. European second-home buyers are predominantly from the UK, Scandinavia and France. When investors buy a luxury property in SaintTropez, they are not only securing a unique French Riviera location, they are investing in

a prestigious lifestyle. Saint-Tropez, the jewel of the French Riviera, boasts some of the most exclusive and luxurious properties along the Mediterranean coast and consequently real estate here is a very hot commodity. The trend recently has been toward a more international clientele with nationals from Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, the UK and Scandinavia, as well as the Middle East, searching for just the right property in Saint-Tropez. Saint-Tropez is a seasonal town, with summer residents usually heading off to the ski slopes of the French Alps, or to the warmer

Caribbean climes, come winter. Visitors are often surprised by how small the town is. There are no glitzy casinos, no fast-food restaurants and no sprawling hotels. And once the summer season is past, it quietens down and begins a long slumber in anticipation of the next influx. Despite its seasonal character, the town is probably the most famous of all resorts in Europe. It was Brigitte Bardot who first placed Saint-Tropez on the radar of the rich and the fun-seeking back in the 1950s. Still, despite all of the ensuing publicity, the town has managed to maintain much of that small fishing village feel that has over the years


captured the imaginations and the hearts of so many artists and writers. The golden rule in real estate is location, location, location and on the Riviera, there is no better location than Saint-Tropez. Within that milieu, here is a property that offers the rare chance to acquire a highly sought-after plot with building permit in that much coveted locale, just a short distance from the beaches and the city centre. Occupying one of the most substantial private plots in Saint-Tropez, this modern property represents an exceptional lifestyle opportunity. Properties in these types of extraordinary settings are very tightly held and seldom put to market. From its exceptional setting amidst vineyards, the panoramic plot commands the most majestic outlook over Baie des Canebiers. 190

Known as the bay of multimillionaires, Baie des Canebiers is where Brigitte Bardot's famous house, La Madrague, is located. Just minutes from Saint-Tropez’s charming old port town, bustling main square and glamorous beachfront, the unique plot of land comes ready with planning permission for a customdesigned and built house of up to 350m². The impressive plot itself totals over 1.2 acres and occupies a dominant position overlooking the awe-inspiring bay. The legendary Pampelonne Beach, with its exclusive beach clubs, is close by, and beyond lies the rest of the beautiful bay’s white sand and turquoise water. Surrounded by lush vineyards and fragrant pine forests, the prestigious sea-view villa will set the stage for an exquisite experience, combining seductive beauty, natural charm and captivating vistas.

Showpiece architectural brilliance and elite luxury will define the spectacular villa and offer a coveted executive lifestyle. With contemporary open plan design, expanses of glass and intelligent, uncompromising living spaces, the villa will display an innate sense of refinement and luxe sophistication. Designed to maximise the expansive views and light, the stunning home will offer impressively versatile family accommodation, all wrapped in modern luxury. Since it will be completely custom built, there will be plenty of scope for owners to create a supremely stylish villa filled with their own views of elegance and glamour. The brand new designer property will perfectly embody the promise of such an extraordinary parcel. The villa’s contemporary architecture and enviable setting are bound to impress.

The property is conveniently positioned, offering easy access to three airports at SaintTropez (15 kilometres), Toulon-Hyères (49 kilometres) and Nice (91 kilometres). Perfect for families, executives and second home buyers seeking prestige and exclusivity, this dazzling property is a rare opportunity to indulge in a lifestyle of unquestionable elegance. Price: €5.95 million for the plot, which can be bought on its own and then developed privately. Estimated build cost for a high-end villa of 350m² is €2 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




LUXURIOUSLY EXCLUSIVE An exemplary and beautifully presented residence, featuring stunning views of Lake Maggiore


s one of the “fab four” of Italy’s Lake District, Lake Maggiore has long been the haunt of artists, poets and naturalists. Visitors will be astounded by the wonderful Belle Époque villas that fringe its edges, the graceful gardens and stylish resorts. Visitors come to enjoy the mild climate that supports a lush, Mediterranean vegetation along the shorelines while in the hinterlands,


the mountain landscapes offer breathtaking views. They come to enjoy the endless beauty of the lakes, their crisp waters and the wonderful little lakeside towns and villages there are to explore. Milan’s three airports offer easy access to Lake Maggiore and make it an attractive weekend and holiday commute from many of Europe’s major cities. Not far away from Lake Maggiore 194

are Lakes Como, Garda and Lugano, the other members of the “fab four”. The beauty of Lake Maggiore is a big part of its appeal for property buyers. A lake home remains top of many wealthy Italian's wish lists, making them a key driver in terms of Lake Maggiore real estate. There is also demand from Russian, British, German, Scandinavian and US purchasers.

Holiday home owners and residents are also drawn by the region’s proximity to Milan’s top-end fashion and shopping, St. Moritz’s renowned skiing and Portofino’s coastal charms. Peerless elegance combined with incomparable scale and grandeur define this magnificent mansion, designed to capture sparkling views from a coveted position in Lago

Maggiore. The tranquil lake atmosphere is beautifully balanced with the grand elegance and Old World charm of the fine estate. Located in a glorious and utterly peaceful setting, the incredible property provides owners with privacy, beauty and living areas of exceptional grace and size. With the stately main house as its centrepiece, the property features combined living spaces of 1,300m²



that includes ten bedrooms and an independent guesthouse. Enclosed in serenity and surrounded by beauty, the lake property is sumptuously graced with a lush 6,000m² park replete with many original trees and varieties of flowers. The very privileged property beckons to a private dreamscape that indulges every luxury of the much-admired Italian Lakes lifestyle. Classically inspired from the exterior and gracefully elegant within, the refined retreat evokes a sense of gentler times. Presenting an exclusive and luxurious living experience, the spectacular home is nothing short of remarkable. The luxury main house dates from the turn of the last century and is the quintessence of five-star quality, epitomising gracious family living and entertaining. With its sumptuous blend of spaciousness and sophistication, it is the perfect spot to call home. Its commanding, stately presence sets the stage for the exquisite interior of the family home. Radiating calm, beauty and refinement, the manor house is pure class on a massive scale. It showcases a delightfully decadent ambience, filled with luxury and panache. Boasting 950m² of timeless elegance, the historic and noble mansion pays tribute to the days when space was not a luxury, but a way of life. Staggeringly luxurious accommodation on a truly grand scale is set across four floors. The prestige villa features a wealth of grandly proportioned entertaining rooms, majestic living areas and a total of eight bedrooms. The deluxe family home also features a dining room, a spacious kitchen, laundry room and utility room. A private elevator, connecting all floors, completes the picture of opulence and luxury. Original detailing has been delicately preserved and built upon during a meticulous 5-year renovation that melds the home's period nobility with the needs of the most

demanding modern lifestyle. Restored to its former glory, the no-expense-spared renovation has ensured that the result is exemplary and characterised by flawless artisan workmanship and precious materials. Resplendently sophisticated and sumptuous ornate ceilings, original frescoes, wood panelling, carved plaster reliefs and marble and travertine flooring are the hallmarks of the opulent abode. An impressive wooden staircase, original fireplaces and an imposing driveway add historical beauty and a real feeling of grandeur. The property also enjoys a newly constructed 350m² building, which houses the caretaker's apartment, which includes two rooms for guests, technical rooms and a 5-car garage. The luxurious property’s pool area – which, besides the pool includes a teak deck, large terrace, summer kitchen and barbecue – creates a sensational ambience for outdoor entertaining. At night, the al fresco area takes on a magic glow as the dramatic wall lighting highlights the stunning architecture. The astounding beauty of the scenic surroundings creates a flawless setting for the elegant villa, affording glorious vistas of Lake Maggiore. Private and serene, yet minutes to Lugano and the international airport of Lugano-Agno, owners benefit from the best of both worlds. Be enchanted by the magic of the special architecture and premier location. The property’s beauty and indulgent luxury are simply magnificent. It represents extravagant living at its best. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703



Lakeside Elegance



A highly desirable historic mansion defined by dignity and prestige


taly's Lake District has lost none of its glorious sparkle. The timelessly elegant Italian Lakes have long basked in their reflective splendour. With a combination of magnificent mountain scenery, mirror-like stretches of water and balmy climate, it is no wonder that the region has attracted its fair share of poets, writers, musicians and noble families. The beauty of the Italian lakes is, quite simply, breathtaking - crisp waters and quaint little lakeside towns and villages to explore.

Less than an hour from Milan’s bustle and haute couture lifestyle sits the idyllic Lake Maggiore, one of the most beautiful places in all of Italy. It is famous for its Belle Époque mansions, dramatic scenery and classic lakeside towns. Lake Maggiore is top-of-mind among Italians as a weekend getaway or retirement dream residence, while buyers from the UK, the United States and Germany, and more recently Russians, Chinese and Indians, have come to join them.


The quintessence of this magnificent mansion lies in its luxurious, sophisticated and elegant architecture – a character that is enhanced even further by the dazzling views. Refinement and timeless style meet the comfort and luxury of classicism in a prime, secluded location overlooking the majestic Lake Maggiore. The elegant family home bestows an ambience of exclusivity and privacy. Providing an atmosphere of blissful harmony and unrivalled charm, here is where luxury, serenity and lifestyle converge. The sophisticated villa is the perfect reflection for an uncompromising and elite lifestyle. Dating from the 1920s, the prestigious villa captures all the romance and grace of a bygone era, maintaining the authenticity and historical atmosphere of the period. While the structure holds a very commanding presence, it does not overwhelm its scenic setting. The strikingly beautiful residence personifies a time of sheer elegant poise and pure radiance. Its refined beauty is achieved with great attention to architectural detail, such as understated exposed stone façade, fine balconies and ornamental arches. Most of the windows are mullioned, arched, and intersected by striking granite columns with carved capitals. Period features highlight the splendour of light-filled rooms with high ceilings. The imposing staircase connecting the floors of the villa is made of precious pink granite from Baveno (currently covered by carpet). The enchanting little lakeside town of Baveno is famed for its quarries of pink granite that has been used in some of the finest noble buildings around the world. Offering a spectacular 670m² of luxury, the grandly scaled property is a classic home with a stately presence and seemingly endless living space. Behind the imposing façade, a look of eloquent prestige is captured in the series of gracious living areas. The well-proportioned two-storey home accommodates 202

refined living rooms, an elegant dining room, kitchen, study and five bedrooms – three with lake views. Exceptionally private with out-of-this-world vistas, the master bedroom is housed in the tower of 79m². It boasts graceful proportions designed to provide a luxurious atmosphere and includes a generous bathroom and walk-in closet. The spacious basement of 185m² would be perfect to be transformed into lifestyleenhancing amenities, perhaps a home cinema, wine cellar, gym or spa, as well as chambers with more traditional functions such as play and family rooms. The fine villa comes with three garages and a 68m² guesthouse. There is the possibility to extend the property by 60m². Boasting a coveted, idyllic position, the historic mansion is only 300 metres from the edge of Lake Maggiore. Occupying a vast 2,975m2 park-like setting, the elevated family sanctuary with gorgeous outlook is defined by a relaxing sense of space, style and privacy in its prime lake view position. The luxury residence enjoys a private panoramic terrace of 14m², an ideal place for marvelling at some of the most majestic scenery that Europe has to offer. The unique and peaceful setting is replete with flower gardens and emerald lawns, surrounded by mature trees. Whilst in need of some refurbishment to return it to its former glory, the desirable mansion is most certainly an exclusive property, retaining many of its original features, and would make a discerning buyer a very special historic residence. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703





A luxurious lake residence boasting a distinct signature of style and grace


rom Catullus to Clooney, visitors of note have long flocked to the Italian Lakes. Their beguiling mix of sophistication and scenic charm earning them enduring allure. Lifestyle buyers come to take in the unspoilt countryside, the blue lake waters, the sunny skies and the sleepy, flower-filled villages. The market is driven by an international mix of buyers as well as by a historic interest from wealthy Milanese. The Italian Lakes are hot favourites with all nationalities - British, Germans, Scandinavians and many Italians retire to the region. More recently, the region has attracted interest from Russian and US buyers. To the north-west of the region lies Lake Maggiore, the most elegant of the North Italian Lakes. This is where a fascinating combination of scenery and heritage are always on display. Less than an hour from Milan and its airports, Maggiore is highly accessible, not just to those from other parts of Italy, but to many major cities across Europe. Known as one of the prettiest spots in the world, Lake Maggiore attracts A-list celebrities as well as wealthy businesspeople. Its shoreline is dotted with villas and mansions, its inlets lined with picturesque villages. The glamour of a Lake Maggiore address is something that captures the imagination of many High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) searching for a second or primary home, or even a good long-term investment property they can rent out. While prices have been flat during the recent economic difficulties that have plagued many 206

of Europe’s housing markets, they have at least remained steady, held up in no small part by the limited supply that exists in such an in-demand region. Situated in the vicinity of the stunningly beautiful village of Stresa and surrounded by other premier homes, this commanding property is a sophisticated blend of history, high-style luxury and gracious allure – the ideal location for a quintessential Italian Lakes experience. Internationally recognised as the jewel of Lago Maggiore, Stresa is one of the most exclusive destinations on that fabled lake. The monumental property, with its grand standing and elaborately ornamented architecture, is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of individuals. Strikingly handsome and romantically elegant, it affords living at its finest. Built in 1908, the magnificent property exudes the charm, refinement and nobility of its time. A unique and lush lake view park setting of 5,000m2 creates the stage for entry into the refined home. The architecturally beautiful villa has a splendid first-floor apartment of exceptional luxury, one that exudes timeless distinction and a classic design. The historical residence is alive with the romance, grandeur and extravagance of a bygone time. Boasting immense volumes and rooms of wonderful proportions, the fine home is richly detailed in Old World elegance and charm. Making an elite lifestyle statement, the beautifully presented home showcases 300m² of majestic and seductive elegance.





Overwhelming dignity and grace accompany each space, from the entrance hall to the living room, billiard room, kitchen with dining alcove and three bedrooms. The sprawling, light-filled apartment has been expertly renovated to high standards to preserve the charm and authenticity of its time. Steeped in history and beauty, the sophisticated apartment exhibits the finest possible original period features portraying intricate details, great volumes with impressive ornate high ceilings and distinctively stunning high arched windows. The prestige apartment also enjoys a balcony, parking spaces, cellar and attic storage space. Offering lavish proportions of remarkable liveability, here is a home of exceptional grace and refinement. Soaring ceiling heights combined with extensive glazing ensure the magnificent prime lake views are brilliantly apparent. Offering a glamorous space for entertainment and relaxation, the panoramic terrace of 20m² peacefully overlooks the exquisite reflecting lake. The terrace is accessible from the kitchen and the living room. The abundant scenic setting of the property near the spectacular Lake Maggiore provides glorious views that beckon one to revere the beauty of living in such an incredible location. Here is that rare opportunity to secure the luxury and prestige of an enviable Lago Maggiore lifestyle with this coveted period villa-style apartment, in the heart of the Italian Lakes. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703





Flawless Design, Flawless Views




For those in search of exceptional style, designer properties that set a new standard of excellence


oh Lanta is about to get a brand-new premier address. Offering a level of quality and excellence never before offered to holiday home buyers seeking the finest in living on the Andaman Sea, this sensational residential resort development will prove equal to the task of doing the incredible location justice. Showcasing a superior quality of life with excellence in design and uniqueness of setting, the property comes with breathtaking views from its oceanfront location, stunning architecture and comprehensive on-site amenities. The boutique resort development will set new heights in tropical island living. The awe-inspiring selection of ultra-stylish villas and condos sets the bar high for Koh Lanta perfection. 216

Set against the impressive backdrop of Koh Lanta's verdant primary forest and perched atop an idyllic oceanfront cliff overlooking the internationally acclaimed Kantiang Bay, the luxurious residences perfectly complement the magnificent location of endless sea and sky. Fashioning a seductive realm with an ensemble of boutique hotel-inspired comforts, the resort villas and condos are not only a unique lifestyle choice, they afford an exceptional lifestyle investment with rental guarantee and foreign freehold ownership. The low-density development is limited to just 19 condominiums and nine pool villas, each with its own truly panoramic sea view. Boasting striking design features and



offering a functional and versatile floor plan, the turn-key holiday homes have been created with luxury living in mind. Open-style modern design, with vast floorto-ceiling windows, takes full advantage of the magnificent, natural, ever-changing seascape environment. Flawless finishes and uncompromising attention to detail promote an air of elegant simplicity throughout generous, beautifully proportioned living areas that flow seamlessly to al fresco domains. With commanding views towards Koh Phi Phi and Koh Haa across the Andaman Sea, the extraordinary contemporary clifftop pool villas are the ultimate in style and design. The spacious 2-bedroom homes are the latest word in modern tropical living, with exquisitely designed and functional layouts. A particular feature of the exclusive ocean-view villas is the double height ceilings and massive picture windows which, together with the beautiful fixtures and fittings, become the personification of design excellence. Situated on plots ranging from 480m² to 669m², the oceanfront villas are impressively proportioned at either 314m² or 398 m². Owners enjoy their own private swimming pool, beautifully landscaped tropical garden and high-end furnishings. Every minute detail has been accounted for, from cutlery to fine linens. The stylish condominiums showcase panoramic water views.

They come fully furnished in a high-end, modern style. Some of the oceanfront apartments come with freehold ownership. The studios and single-bedroom apartments are from 37m² to 56m², with the addition of large swimming pools for the exclusive use of the building's residents. Uniquely, the ground floor units have direct access from the decks to private pool areas of between 26m² and 48m², whilst upstairs, units enjoy a personal Jacuzzi on their sea view balcony. Setting the new benchmark for luxurious tropical condo living, the splendid duplex apartments are truly in a class of their own. Oozing glamour and extravagance, the duplex residences feature a mezzanine with master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Presented with the indulgences of a worlds-away island resort within the comfort of home, owners have access to an impressive array of on-site amenities. Facilities include an upscale spa and wellness centre, oversized infinity pool, fine dining restaurant and bar, lobby, library, equipped business centre, 24-hour security and fully landscaped tropical gardens. Villa owners may also opt into the rental program, which provides a 4-year rental guarantee with an 8% net return. Owners may stay for free for up to 60 nights per year, at any time during the year, including peak times. Members of the rental scheme will benefit from complimentary private 219

transfers for up to six people from Krabi Airport to their tropical hideaway. The residential boutique resort is set on an awe-inspiring headland on Koh Lanta’s west coast. The amazing property overlooks Kantiang Bay, a gorgeous crescent of white sand that has won huge acclaim from many travel writers and won several “best beaches” awards. Koh Lanta – Jewel of the Andaman – forms the most southern district of the Krabi province in the sparkling Andaman Sea. Quiet and unspoilt, this is the real Thailand, mixed with laid-back island life. Koh Lanta offers spectacular beaches, stunning sunsets, great snorkelling, tasty and authentic Thai food and fantastic diving. The uncrowded island's proximity to Phuket, Phi Phi, Krabi and even Bangkok and its low-key character, makes it a great tropical island holiday destination. The west coast, where the resort is located, faces the Andaman Sea with a string of fabulous white sand beaches and offers the most unforgettable sunsets. The east coast is less developed and offers glimpses of life before tourism. Facing the mainland, it has a coastline largely consisting of mangroves and large limestone rock formations that function as a spectacular natural postcard. Koh Lanta’s excellent and pristine beaches are truly magical, resplendent with soft sand and 220

the crystal clear and warm waters of the sea. Dive world-class sites, ride elephants, visit deserted castaway islands, enjoy game or deep-sea fishing or visit Lanta's Old Town and spend time soaking up the atmosphere of the 100-year-old fishing village. Offering some of the best diving and snorkelling offered anywhere in Thailand, if not the world, Koh Lanta is a national marine park and includes many exotic islands to explore – some inhabited. All of Koh Lanta´s interior is untouched jungle and protected forest, complete with all the flora and fauna one could hope for. There are daily flights between Bangkok and Krabi International Airport, provided by both AirAsia and Thai Airways. Bangkok Airways operates a daily flight from Krabi to Koh Samui (Surat Thani). Tiger Airways connects Krabi and Singapore, and AirAsia connects to Kuala Lumpur. The luxury resort property is the paragon of island resort living. It is the ideal spot for a vacation home or investment property, with a wonderful lifestyle mere metres from the ocean. Here is truly a tropical investment to savour. Prices: From THB 6.8 million. CONTACT International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701




Limited, unsurpassed, irreplaceably modern at the ultimate beachfront address


A designer statement of the finest in tropical villa living


even state-of-the-art, limited edition oceanfront villas offer the discerning buyer the utmost in waterfront luxury in the highly coveted Koh Samui. These are breathtaking properties that promise some of the most luxurious amenities and features ever to grace the luxury Koh Samui real estate market. For pure beauty, supreme exclusivity and gorgeous tropical setting, nothing could be finer. From the 17 metres beach frontage to the magnificent interior design, this is where luxury indulgence is a way of life. Style, elegance and practicality are embedded in each home. Crisp architecture, luxurious appointments and the latest technological innovations make these perfect for that ideal second home or holiday villa.


While the architecture reflects traditional Thai design, here it is transformed into a strict modern geometry. Epitomising open, free-flowing modern living, the contemporary houses combine sleek and clean aesthetic lines in a highly desirable beachfront setting. The remarkable architectural beauty and cutting-edge designer finishes in each luxury home is as functional as it is beautiful, since each has features that complement the laidback tropical lifestyle residents of Koh Samui demand. Each of the exclusive villas has its own private courtyard, offering approximately 350m² of living space, with 17 metres of direct beach frontage private plots ranging from 800m² to 900m². Focusing on the exceptional views,




the residences enjoy a series of open spaces that are supremely functional, whilst visually connecting with the panoramic environment. Each pool villa features three bedrooms with an impressive floor plan that flows seamlessly from indoors to outdoors. The bedrooms boast private balconies with clear glass railings, maximising the amazing views and sunny aspects. The master suite, with its vast veranda, was designed to provide a luxurious, yet understated retreat. It is the perfect foil for the expanse of sea and sky on offer. For the ultimate in luxury pampering, all the ensuite bathrooms bear the hallmark of 228

the Hansgrohe’s Axor Urquiola collection, featuring its distinctly modern, sensuous and elegant design. The heart of each villa is the stunning open plan living area, where the sleek contemporary kitchen, dining room and lounge form one integrated space for entertaining and relaxing. The indoor and outdoor living areas are seamlessly connected with gigantic sliding glass doors that open the living and dining area to the garden. With clean defined lines and Zen-like simplicity, the gourmet kitchen by Kßppersbusch provides beauty as well as function. Equipped

with top-of-the-line, built-in appliances – compact oven, fully automatic coffee machine, induction hob, Teppanyaki griddle, integrated dishwasher and wine cooler – the kitchen is a masterfully designed chef’s dream. For added comfort, the refined residences feature a breakfast bar, maid’s room and yoga/ Pilates space. For those interested in expanding their exclusive beach residence, there is a possibility to re-design the villas to make way for five to six bedrooms on a double plot. The modernist ideals of simplicity, neutrality and tranquillity are further expressed with a cool and neutral colour palette that reflects

the pristine atmosphere contrasted sometimes with edgy, unique and bold design accents. The open floor plan boasts high ceilings and dramatic over-sized windows, creating a sense of space, luminosity and serenity. The beachfront villas are stunningly decorated with designer furniture from high-end brands such as Pedrali and Dedon. Design features include a massive rock wall, thin worktops, matte and glossy surfaces, and terrazzo and sand-washed flooring. The luxury residences feature state-of-the-art technology throughout. They are constructed in accordance with the specifications of a




smart home in which all operations – including lighting, shutters, video surveillance cameras, multi-room sound system and air conditioning – are enabled by remote control, in most cases via iPhone/iPad. Each villa is fitted with Bose speakers, Yamaha 2 Zone receiver, 3D Smart 46" Samsung LCD television, Samsung 3D BluRay player, Bose docking stations, LaunchPort system, fiber television service, 6-camera CCTV system and wireless intercom. The deluxe villas are a statement of sustainable, ethical and green luxury features, including energy-efficient and eco-friendly measures such as heat exchange system for producing hot water, indirect low-consumption LED lighting, eco-friendly bamboo floors, and pools that are mineral treated with copper/ silver ionization (eliminating the extensive use of corrosive chemicals such as chlorine). Only 232

plant-based herbicides and pesticides are used in the garden and grounds. Biodegradable cleaning products are exclusively used. Spacious interiors and sublime outdoor areas provide a magnificent setting for easy entertaining and a privileged lifestyle in enviable surrounds. Strategically positioned, each exclusive villa boasts the ultimate vantage point from which to absorb, in style, the dazzling seascape views. The verdant tropical gardens provide a haven of seclusion and privacy. Completing the luxurious outdoor environment are the pristine infinity pool, as well as the spacious sun deck with lounge sofas and sun lounge. Courtesy of the renowned Nikki Beach, all future owners will receive a complimentary Nikki Beach VIP Platinum Card entitling the

holder to a lifetime of enjoyment and privileged service at all Nikki Beach locations worldwide, as well as invitations to exclusive events. The luxury retreat offers not only the most superb lifestyle purchase opportunity, but also an appealing investment with attractive returns. With an optional rental management programme in place, the property offers the best of both worlds. The luxury villas are located on Koh Samui’s north-west corner, next to the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui and just five minutes from the capital of Nathon. Koh Samui International Airport is 20 kilometres and approximately 30 minutes by car from the property. Spectacularly situated, the gated enclave faces the white sandy expanse of Laem Noi Beach, backed by stands of lush palms.

Exceeding the ultimate aspirations of today’s sophisticated, design-conscious individuals, people who demand the finer things in life, the limited edition residences at this boutique community make the one-of-a-kind property a truly exclusive lifestyle addition. Here a privileged few will be able to live a life beyond extraordinary. Price: From USD1.5 million (including the comprehensive turn-key designer furniture package). CONTACT International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701




Timeless design. Bespoke lifestyle. Enviable address.


An exceptional architect-designed villa in a prestigious location, amidst perfectly manicured grounds


on-EU nationals will find it easier to obtain a qualified Spanish residency permit thanks to a new law that has been passed by that country’s national legislature. All it will take is an investment of €500,000 or more in Spanish property. It will also grant Schengen-area access – meaning free travel within 26 countries. The new law is designed to encourage foreign investment to help Spain’s real estate market, 236

boost job creation and alleviate the public debt. Certainly, the impact on foreign nationals’ purchase of higher-end property is expected to be significant. Madrid, Spain’s capital and second-largest city, could particularly benefit. It is a city of cultural and political importance and the third most important economic centre in Europe. With its strong economic output, standard of living and market


size, Madrid is undoubtedly the premier financial centre on the Iberian Peninsula. Some of the characteristics that arise as a result of this importance also make Madrid particularly attractive to buyers of property. Barajas International Airport is a major transportation hub and gives the city excellent links to other European capitals. The city also enjoys all the modern infrastructure required to serve that market. Its cultural riches, too, are a significant incentive for foreigners to invest in Madrid property. Madrid has preserved many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. Landmarks such as the Royal 238

Palace of Madrid, the Teatro Real and three significant art museums – Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – add to the quality of cultural life in Madrid. It is also famous for its parks and green space as well as its vibrant nightlife. Designed to meet the most discerning buyer, this sensational villa presents a rare opportunity to luxuriate in a lifestyle of absolute position and prestige in one of Madrid’s most glamorous locations, La Moraleja. The home is tailored for family excellence with its spacious accommodation, while remaining in perfect

harmony with its surroundings. A sanctuary of opulence, privacy and indoor-outdoor entertainment options. Traditional yet modern, the indescribably magnificent mansion is ideal for quiet living and grand entertaining. The prestigious villa is masterfully crafted to create quality living through a symphony of class, glass and space that overlooks the beautifully landscaped gardens. Dramatic spaces illuminated by skylights, plus the large walls of glass, evoke the height of international style. The distinguished colour palette adds warmth to the stunning design

by master architect Fernando Higueras. As one of the most famous architects of the 1970s, Higueras’ work is recognized worldwide as an original and interesting union of constructivist, rationalist and organic architecture. Magnificent in scale and design, the fine residence makes a bold statement. It faultlessly delivers 1,000m² of sumptuous space and luxury. Rendered to perfection, the 5-bedroom home hosts every imaginable luxury – from the modern kitchen to the gracious dining room, the gorgeous library and the breathtaking top-floor sunroom. One of the many highlights of the property is the




breathtaking double-volume living room, overlooked by the multi-functional mezzanine. The luxurious villa boasts an impressive, glazed entrance hall with an imposing and sweeping staircase. Throughout, the living spaces have been meticulously crafted with an aesthetic that is bold and sophisticated yet graceful and warm, where fine finishes and hand-selected materials evoke understated elegance. Here, a luxurious atmosphere pervades. Immaculately presented with impressive proportions and spaces, the refined villa is blessed with soaring ceilings that provide an immense sense of scale. Contributing to the elegant ambience are distinctive ceiling treatments, large beams, stone flooring, old tiles and exquisite architectural appointments. The gracious and truly spectacular villa incorporates virtually every convenience and luxury one would expect in a house of such calibre. The south-facing villa’s mature garden establishes an ambience of timeless elegance and sophistication. Adding to its refinement, the stunning garden contains a large collection of topiaries, including gorgeous sculptured trees. Lavishly spread across 10,000m2 of exquisitely manicured gardens, the fine villa is immersed in peace, tranquillity and beauty. The serenely private plot affords ample space for extensive outdoor living, entertaining and recreation. An awe-inspiring covered patio offers outdoor dining options and cool shade throughout the day. The elite property also comes with a beautiful swimming pool and a rectangular pond flanked by majestic trees. Childfriendly lawns complete the al fresco experience. Prestigiously positioned in the best part of La Moraleja, here is a truly desirable property. The exclusive villa is a cultured and refined piece of real estate, offering the alluring Madrid lifestyle in all its grandeur. Price: ₏5.5 million. CONTACT Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




Grand Style Living A superior cortijo on an impressive plot in Madrid’s premier neighbourhood




he Spanish capital of Madrid is a cosmopolitan city that can boast the latest infrastructure and an international reputation as a centre for economic, administrative, financial and service activities. Yet beyond all of the modern conveniences, the city has succeeded in fostering an Old World charm based on centuries of history. It has magnificent old neighbourhoods that exude the culture and artistic heritage of Spain’s illustrious past. Apart from the Spanish themselves, Madrid real estate has been largely purchased by Latin Americans, primarily from Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia. Real estate here is an excellent investment, with buyers often the employees of the many multinational companies that do business in Spain. They bring their families and quickly learn to enjoy the lifestyle, the excellent international schools and the top-notch transportation links. The Spanish government has now made qualified residency for non-EU nationals much easier by the passage of a law that accepts anyone who invests €500,000 in Spanish property. Later, permanent residency can 246

be granted, provided certain conditions are fulfilled. The law also grants Schengen-area access which allows free travel within the 26 member nations. In particular, the residency law has generated new interest from Russia, India, China, Middle East and America. As the political and financial centre of the country, Madrid is gaining significant new attention as a result of the new law. Here, the range of properties on offer is broad, with luxury apartments in the historical city centre, large suburban homes and elite villas in prestigious neighbourhoods and gated communities gaining widespread attention. Elegance and style abound in an Andalusian farmhouse set within a neighbourhood so exclusive it is known widely as Madrid’s Beverly Hills. With peerless attention to detail, a design that can only be described as brilliant and such a superb location, here is a residence that will appeal to the most discerning buyer. The 'cortijo' (farmhouse) is located on a 10,200m2 plot in La Moraleja, the preferred suburban Madrid address of Spain’s rich and




famous. With its imposing proportions and elegant style, the refined 9-bedroom, 1,300m2 villa is exceptional by any measure. Only the best quality materials have been utilised to create the Andalusian masterpiece. Discerning interior design and magnificent location come together to create a spectacular home that is far more than the sum of its parts. Spaciousness, layout and classic sophistication form an exceptional living environment. Here one finds a perfect sense of scale: large enough to be impressive, yet never sacrificing intimacy and comfort for relaxation and contemplation. With just one level, the supremely functional floor plan is both practical and convenient for a modern lifestyle. 250

An imposing entrance is a perfect prelude to the high life that awaits inside. A sense of refinement predominates throughout, from the luxuriously appointed bedrooms to the grandly proportioned entertaining rooms and majestic living areas. Enjoy complete tranquillity and relaxed conviviality. In addition to the dining room and kitchen, there is an office and indoor pool. There are several outbuildings and a large garage, a gorgeous garden and a huge swimming pool allowing for satisfactory indooroutdoor living. The deluxe residence is flooded with grace, beauty and Andalusian decoration. The staircase is striking. There is a feature fireplace

and terracotta floors. Many of the materials come from artisans in Seville. Designed and constructed in the tradition of the old Andalusian country estates, the cortijo is centred around a lovely courtyard and boasts a tower that houses one of the bedrooms. The superb home blends the benefits of the glamorous surroundings and a peaceful and private setting, enveloped by natural beauty. Located in the heart of La Moraleja, here is a lifestyle for the privileged few at one of Madrid’s blue-chip addresses. La Moraleja is a coveted residential area located between the centre of Madrid and Barajas International Airport. The stylish suburb is the one-time neighbourhood of David

Beckham and family. The suburb is packed with spectacular gated villas, huge private gardens and pools, luxurious shopping malls, restaurants, tennis and golf clubs. Exuding understated luxury and timeless refinement, this executive-style villa offers the premium lifestyle sought by those in search of fine urban living. Price: â‚Ź5.75 million. CONTACT Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703



Distinctly Refined Elegance




A stylish and extravagantly appointed luxury apartment, meticulously crafted to exacting standards


igh net worth property buyers recently ranked Paris third in the world on their list of the top 40 cities in which to invest, behind only New York and London. It is an eloquent tribute to the city’s stability and enduring appeal. Even during periods of tax turmoil that have struck France recently, the wealthy have never lost faith in the country’s real estate. One of their primary focuses has and continues to be Paris, with its unique attractions and its exceptional


quality of life. Multimillionaires from Russia, Eastern Europe, China and Brazil are joining the traditional British, Italian and American buyers – as well as the French, of course – in snapping up high-end Parisian properties. In the City of Light, demand always seems to exceed supply, particularly in the most-sought arrondissements. Even during the rocky period that many of the world’s real estate markets have and are still undergoing, the world’s wealthiest individuals remain committed to buying Paris real estate, often as a hedge against unpredictable stock markets. With a flamboyant sense of design and an uncompromising commitment to craftsmanship, this extraordinary residence elevates gracious living to its loftiest level. Making a profound statement about luxury, sophistication and sumptuousness, the singular residence entertains a privileged lifestyle in Paris’ ultra-exclusive 16th arrondissement. A flawlessly presented and ultra-luxurious masterwork, the immensely impressive home showcases magnificent décor and haute style at a highly sought after address. Situated in the über-prestigious, highly coveted 1930s Walter building, the opulent space evokes effortless and timeless grandeur. Located in front of Le Jardin du Ranelagh, iconic views of the Eiffel 256

Tower complement the luxury of the truly one-of-a-kind property. Extravagantly expansive and lavishly appointed, the exceptional residence boasts generous, beautifully proportioned living areas. With spectacular volumes and large, refined rooms, the ultra-luxurious apartment offers 425m² of absolute elegance and distinction. The breathtaking and vast reception area is complete with an entrance hall, lounge, dining room and guest powder room. The fully equipped La Cornue master kitchen is a statement-making area, complete with wine cellar and Nespresso coffee machine. Many culinary connoisseurs look to La Cornue – artisan-crafted and famed for its stunning beauty – as the height of luxury. With jewel-like dazzle, the dining room is covered in gold leaves from wall to ceiling and graced with two fireplaces. Highly indulgent, it is perfect for that special occasion. The splendid home also has a master suite with a walk-in dressing room and a whirlpool tub, as well as three gorgeous guest suites. The bathrooms are luxurious and indulgent, resplendent with RainSky waterfall shower with an essential oils diffusing system. Two renovated and furnished service apartments with bathroom and kitchen (33m²), a fully

equipped laundry room, two cellars and a covered parking place for three vehicles complete the offering. Masterfully renovated and decorated with no expense spared, the elite residence is lavishly furnished in plush and timeless design. Brought to a virtually irreplaceable level with the finest European finishes, high-tech extras and luxe appointments, the world-class apartment combines Old World grandeur with high-end modern living. Oozing glamour, the prestige residence defines Wow-factor. The level of appointments is commensurate with the design and the fine home is smartly completed with the best in today’s comfort, equipment and home automation system. Amenities include reversible air conditioning system, double flow ventilation, underfloor heating in all bathrooms plus electric window shutters with individual and centralized controls. There is also the benefit of highly insulated and anti-break-in double glazed windows, as well as dimmers throughout the residence. The automation systems for lighting, shutters, audio and alarm can be remotely controlled from a smartphone, computer or tablet. The alarm system includes movement radar and alarm sensors on the shutters, windows and front door. Video surveillance cameras offer

the possibility of live viewing on an iPhone/ iPad from anywhere in the world. Enjoy any of the seven fully equipped TV systems installed. The house comes with 3D TV, universal remote controls, satellite TV, Apple TV, Blu-ray player, PlayStation 3 and iPad2, with Waterfall speakers. This is a place where a dedicated concierge service promises to reward owners’ highest aspirations with superb luxury and convenience. Supplying its residents with maintenance contracts, decoration, bespoke welcoming, grocery shopping, flower arrangements and administrative support, the property offering is a perfect blend of beauty and comfort. An impeccable example of a luxury Paris real estate offering, here is an opportunity to enjoy the good life in sumptuous, unabashed extravagance and grand style. Price upon request. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703



Glamorous & Absolutely Fabulous



A magnificent ocean view home with architectural highlights and great style galore


huket has quickly become Southeast Asia’s favoured island destination, with an international airport racking up 9.5 million clients in 2012, up 13% from a year earlier. With its stunning beaches and pristine forests, modern services, excellent and affordable healthcare, real estate and English-language education opportunities, Phuket is in high demand. Much of the buying interest has come from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Russia, Scandinavia and the Middle East. Australians are also frequent buyers and Indians have recently been adding to the influx. It is easy to see why buyers are flocking to Phuket. Besides the stunning scenery and pristine environment, Phuket offers an array of stunning properties along with three international schools, seven golf courses, two private and three public hospitals, shopping malls and high-speed internet. And it is still remarkably affordable to enjoy Phuket’s unique blend of Western-style high-end luxury amidst a society boasting a high standard of living, and an exotic tropical lifestyle. 260




With an increasingly sophisticated infrastructure, including four big marinas, two catering to super yachts, Phuket has also become incredibly popular with sailing enthusiasts. This spectacular villa created by famed Thai architect Charupan Wiriyawiwatt of the HongKong based firm of Naga Concepts is a showpiece of architectural brilliance and elite luxury. A design statement to own, the exclusive villa resonates with the cosmopolitan elegance and refined traditional charm that characterise Phuket. Set on 2,000m² of lush grounds, the designer villa is perched majestically on a private cliff overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. The sensational villa is located at Phuket’s most prized address, on the Millionaires' Mile of the Kamala headland. Attracting a growing number full-time expatriates and high-end jet-set visitors, Kamala presents the most sought after real estate in Phuket, if not all of Asia. Truly one of the most exquisite and holistically designed residences in Phuket, the concept, craftsmanship and construction quality of


the villa represent a master's level of perfectionism. Timeless and enduring design create a synergy of casual, affluent living with strict attention to detail and a warmth of everlasting appeal and style. Designed with the utmost modern sensibility and sophistication, the luxurious villa blends striking architecture with flawless quality and distinctive features. Understated glamour is the signature style of the deluxe villa, underlined by its aesthetic beauty, elegance and refinement. Impeccably presented with designer finishes, the glamorous décor fuses traditional and ancient Thai architecture and world-class modern style. Classic, soft-lined Thai design is mixed with the sleek, crisp lines of contemporary design and luxury décor. An elegant and harmonious blend of glass, dark hardwood, marble and granite invite the interplay of light, ocean breezes and captivating seascapes. The fine 4-bedroom villa offers expansive living spaces, affording sea views from almost every room. The bedrooms are lavishly fitted with ensuite bathrooms, walk-in closet and private

ocean view deck. A desirable family lifestyle is enhanced by the sleek open plan Minotti kitchen, dining and living area. The indoor space opens onto the lounge deck that fronts the shimmering marble infinity pool, which seemingly converges with the Andaman Sea. As one would expect in a home of such calibre, there is every conceivable luxury, from air conditioning and intelligent toilets, to glass stairways and a 2-car covered parking space. With open floor plan, walls of glass and high ceilings, the villa offers the finest in everyday living and fluid indoor-outdoor entertaining. Surrounded only by the trees and the ocean, here is a tranquil and verdant haven of serenity and captivating sea views. Undoubtedly, the home embraces the ideals of a classic tropical lifestyle; relaxing on the ocean view sala or on the seaside deck, while entertaining family and friends in the ultimate style.

lounge areas and ocean views. Situated within walking distance of the beach completes the picture of relaxed tropical bliss. Ideally situated in a secluded seafront community, the prestige villa is just 30 minutes from the international airport and 15 minutes from the nightlife of Patong. A quintessential vacation retreat, the fabulous design and stunning décor, set in a coveted setting, mean this über-stylish villa is destined to be an exemplary Phuket villa. Price: USD4.25 million. (There are also two sea view plots available for sale next door that can be bought for that extra privacy or space to create that mega-home.) CONTACT Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703

Offering a seductive and laid-back setting, a standout feature is undoubtedly the villa’s striking 15-metre infinity pool with sun deck,



Impressive Proportions & Utmost Style An ocean view villa estate where Old World glamour and grandeur abound


ear-round warm climate, white sand beaches and pristine environment combine to make the Thai island of Phuket a tropical paradise. Increasing attention to infrastructure has ensured Western-style services and quality of life, with the island now becoming a yachter’s haven. And with the plentiful supply of luxury villas on offer, Phuket is now the undisputed No. 1 island luxury resort in Southeast Asia. Discriminating buyers are attracted to Phuket by a combination of the magnificent scenery and the facilities and services. Restaurants serve every type of world cuisine, there are shopping malls and cinemas. Fine hotels and luxury spas abound, as does a first-class nightlife. English is widely spoken. Phuket is a sophisticated tourist destination with global appeal.



Even with all of the development that has occurred here in the past decade, strict regulations have ensured the maintenance of the beautiful beaches and quiet coves, and 80% of the island remains forested. This provides for amazing mountain vistas, sea views and jungle walks that are often lacking in other major tourist destinations. Despite its location, Phuket is well connected to the outside world, with the airport offering links to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. It is about an hour to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, where connecting flights go to anywhere in the world. The airport is also well equipped to handle private jets. Phuket is well positioned and well served to accommodate executives working in Asia’s commercial and financial hubs. For sailing enthusiasts, new world-class marinas are equipped to handle even super yachts. The broad array of luxurious properties on display provides discriminating investors the best in choice among villas and homes built to high international standards, boasting the latest modern conveniences and magnificent vistas, yet still priced well below their counterparts in other places in Asia and the West. Classic, understated elegance and spacious indoor-outdoor tropical lifestyle with lovely views are the hallmarks of this fine Colonial villa estate. Designed with sophisticated opulence, the exceptionally elegant and masterfully appointed villa is a rare haven of luxury. A unique presentation of unequivocal elegance and timeless distinction, the noble villa exudes an exquisite ambience of understated, old-school luxury and very grand scale. Large open-air living spaces are integral to the design of the property. The expansive estate combines modern luxury with gracious splendour to deliver a sophisticated sanctuary. Appointed with the highest quality fittings, the exclusive villa will appeal to those who wish to luxuriate in high style. Elegant stone floors, majestic columns and pillars and sumptuous balconies create an atmosphere of restrained sophistication that will appeal to the most discerning owner. With a predominantly monochrome colour palette, the overall impression is that of space and sophistication. The refined pristine whites and pale creams, with elements of black and grey, provide a stylish definition to stunning effect. The architecturally beautiful villa estate is perfect for


relaxing and entertaining friends and family in high style for any occasion. Boasting 1,502m² of gorgeous space and luxury, the impressive floor plan affords unlimited possibilities to create an extraordinary and distinguished mansion. The spectacular one-of-a-kind estate is spread beautifully across three lovely buildings: a main house, pool house and staff quarters. Spaciously designed rooms and suites offer exceptional grace and comfort. There are nine bedrooms, including two master suites. Family life and entertaining is made elegant and easy by gorgeous living rooms, a 25-seat dining room, an open-air foyer and two kitchens, including a Thai kitchen. Sauna and steam rooms, a gym, driveway, garage and parking complete the exclusive residential offering. The elegance continues outdoors with 3,008m2 of private grounds featuring an immaculately landscaped garden graced with several fruit-bearing coconut, banana and mango trees. In its totality, it creates a wonderful oasis of peace. Perched gracefully on a hillside, the premier estate commands dazzling panoramic sea views across the Bay of Karon and its lush tropical headlands. Designed to host up to 100 guests, the fabulous outdoor entertaining spaces – complete with barbecue and pool area, sun decks and two external sound systems – are truly impressive. The sparkling swimming pool, spacious balconies, a garden lounge with water feature and lots of comfortable outdoor spaces inspire nothing but pure laid-back indulgence, with ample seating to round off the al fresco living/entertaining experience. Emphasising a profound statement about luxury, style and gracious living, this outstanding property makes for a truly indulgent family home. Price: THB75.5 million. The superb villa estate is fully furnished and equipped and move-in ready. Current staff, a maid and a gardener/handyman, may be retained if required. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




Distinctly Refined Beachfront Luxury An imposing villa represents the pinnacle of luxurious living and the fulfilment of the tropical lifestyle dream


ver the past decade, Phuket has become increasingly popular as an investment choice for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) looking for second homes out of the hustle and bustle of daily life. Europeans, Russians and Australians have been beating a path to the island and more recently, the discerning from Singapore and Hong Kong have been joining them. Phuket provides the perfect lifestyle with all the comforts of modern living and the island's incomparably coastal beauty and modern international lifestyle are hard to beat. Buyers have been encouraged by the availability of low-density housing in a beautiful natural environment of white sand beaches and lush forests, all wrapped up in a package that includes excellent infrastructure, including hospitals and international schools, shopping malls and a thriving nightlife.

The outdoor life is remarkable. Phuket is a paradise for diving, snorkelling, kayaking, kite surfing and surfing, with several destinations on offer, including Khao Lak, Khao Sok, Lanta and Phi islands. Phuket is safe and private, yet well connected to the outside world through its bustling and efficient airport and excellent yachting facilities. Frequently, visitors first arrive as tourists and, quickly seduced by the laid-back lifestyle, beauty and incomparable climate, return to purchase property. There is no greater pleasure than that of owning one’s own private seaside residence, expressly created to captivate the senses and indulge every desire. Understated elegance, a breathtaking oceanfront location and the ultimate in sophisticated architecture combine to create this extraordinary house. Truly the finest in beachfront


homes, the property boasts 60 metres of white sand frontage, where the ocean and beach become the owner’s private playground. Designed explicitly for that special buyer in search of the executive lifestyle and serene privacy, the Thai-inspired domain takes beachfront living to the height of luxury, with no expense spared and no detail overlooked. The luxury villa delivers tropical living on a grand scale, with one of the biggest private land plots in Phuket. Sprawling over 4,800m2 in an almost impossibly beautiful setting on Natai Beach, the elegant villa estate directly fronts one of the Andaman Coast’s most peaceful and appealing stretches of powdery sand. The singular setting offers a grand panoramic view of the sea and, just a few steps from the ocean, here is beachfront living at its finest. It is a place to celebrate family and friends while enjoying an unparallelled tropical lifestyle. 274

Indoor and outdoor living spaces interweave seamlessly in a grand total of 736m² of space, all perfectly scaled and detailed in elegant simplicity, with a pervasive sense of serene ease. Refined, yet unpretentiously casual, the mesmerising ocean views are on display in the vast expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows, while rooms are impressively oversized. Tastefully decorated throughout, the light and spacious villa, with its cathedral ceiling and airy layout, is the epitome of grandiose living in an idyllic and sun-soaked location. Designed for entertaining in grand style and balanced with intimate spaces and thoughtful details, the beachfront villa estate covers every aspect of a luxurious lifestyle, with stunning open plan living, entertainment area and kitchen. It features four separate traditional-style living and sleeping pavilions. There are six impeccable bedrooms, including owner’s suite. The

impressive master suite is one of the villa’s many highlights. Housed in a separate pavilion for added privacy, the suite is connected to the pool deck, overlooking the swimming pool and the sea beyond. The master suite also comes with an attached second bedroom, ideal for those with small children, or easily used for an office. A stunning wine cellar, a gym with spa room, a maid’s room, and a 2-car garage complete the picture to perfection. The floor plan offers enormous liveability and is perfectly suited for the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that is Phuket’s hallmark. Sublime luxury and privacy characterise the superb estate that boasts gorgeously landscaped grounds, resplendent with tropical plants and water features. The outdoor area, with its striking lap pool (25 metres by 6.75 metres), dining sala and barbecue, overlooks an awe-inspiring expanse of sea and sky.

Located just north of the island, Natai Beach, within the tranquil Phang Nga province, has rapidly become the most sought-after location for large beachfront villas in Greater Phuket and is already tagged as the Hamptons of Asia. Seemingly far from the crowd, yet less than 25 minutes from Phuket International Airport, multimillion-dollar villas line the shore, rubbing shoulders with exclusive resorts and spas. Natai Beach is ideal for a luxurious beachfront getaway. One of Phuket’s great estates, this rare oceanfront compound reveals a world of unbridled luxury and magical beauty on one of the island’s most highly prized beachside enclaves. Price: THB175 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




An exclusive villa where the true essence of escapism is to be discovered for endless enjoyment


he Thai island of Phuket boasts a stillpristine environment with white sandy beaches, hidden coves and astonishing coral reefs. It is as close as most people could ever imagine to living in paradise. Yet Phuket has made incredible strides into the 21st century in its short modern history as a destination for vacationers and second home-seekers. It has managed to provide up-to-date infrastructure and a high standard of living that appeals to the upscale buyer searching for someplace that is close to nature’s finest features while offering sophisticated amenities. Phuket real estate presents the discriminating property-seeker with world-class design at prices that are still well below their counterparts in other Asian and European locations. That is why property here remains highly appealing to international buyers. This rapid growth has contributed to a quickening in improvements made to facilities and services available on the island. There are two international hospitals and quality health care is available at much lower cost than in the West. English-language education is available at international schools that are based on the British and American curricula. Often, visitors grow so enchanted with what they discover here that they return as property buyers, either for investment purposes or for their personal use. Seduced by the wonderful year-round weather, legendary scenery and

attractive living costs, many cannot wait to begin the search for that perfect property. Phuket International Airport connects directly to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. It is just an hour to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, where connecting flights may be taken to the rest of the world. Buyers, therefore comforted by the ease of access these transportation links offer, are coming from all over Asia as well as Europe to share in the exceptional standard of living here. Even in an enchanting place such as Phuket, where luxury lifestyle, world-class style and sophistication are the norm, sometimes there comes a home that is set apart from the rest. Glorious, stunning, exquisite and magnificent. Those are some of the superlatives lavished upon a property that comes along only rarely. Featuring a timeless architecture, elegant interiors and situated in a coveted position, this luxurious ocean view villa is sure to impress. Located in an award-winning boutique resort, the privately owned villa has been designed to accommodate the most fastidious owner. Here, perfection is a fact of life. Situated in a setting of photogenic excellence, show-stopping sea views set the stage for the consummate resort-at-home lifestyle in the tropical paradise. The extraordinary villa is an oasis of calm and luxury in one of the finest locations on Phuket. The huge family home is beautifully rendered with every attention to detail throughout,


detail that integrates design and comfort with elegant custom features. It represents a perfect melding of polished formal elements with a casual, low-maintenance island attitude. Grandly scaled and impressively sited amidst a spectacular landscape, the premier villa holds a position of prominence along the Cape Panwa coastline. The panoramic views impart a modern flair whilst existing in perfect harmony with the natural environment. As formal or as casual as required, the deluxe home is ideal for family living as well as fine entertaining. Spanning over 1,500m² of built area, everything needed for a luxurious lifestyle has been considered. Its impressive floor plan features lavish living and dining areas that open onto an expansive outdoor terrace. There are modern kitchens and, of course, staff quarters. The state-of-the art, fully fitted European and Thai kitchens are a statement in themselves, a chef's dream, but also a dream for even the more casual cooking aficionado. The 278

two kitchens bring together architecture and refined materials in an imaginative way, creating beauty and functional design. The impressive owner’s suite indulges, with its commanding views of the Andaman Sea and Lon Island, a sumptuous private Jacuzzi and an outdoor rainforest shower on the terrace. State-of-the-art Bose entertainment systems and 50-inch plasma TVs complete the interiors of each of three further extravagant mastersized bedrooms – each with its own ensuite bathroom and balcony. Showcasing premium living at its best, the home offers air conditioning, oversized contemporary bathrooms and a dressing room. The stylish interior spaces flow seamlessly to the outdoor areas through the extensive use of glass, allowing the lovely surroundings to be embraced from inside or out. Crowned by a spectacular sun-soaked deck, a gorgeous sala and a fabulous pool, the elite

villa provides the ultimate in outdoor living, with breathtaking ocean views as its backdrop. The scenery is equally alluring by day or night, and the stunning infinity pool affords a sublime setting to enjoy the famous Phuket sunsets, the surrounding islands and aquamarine Andaman Sea. Relaxing under the sun by the pool, or in the cool shade, is an all-day luxury choice. Entertain guests al fresco on the awe-inspiring wooden veranda as the aromas from the sizzling barbecue waft through the air and the sun sets above the warm tropical sea. Just another glorious day at the private villa in Phuket. Nestled high atop Cape Panwa’s lush and verdant hillside, the resort commands stunning panoramic views of Phuket’s south-eastern peninsula and the Andaman Sea. Situated within 40 acres of abundant vegetation, the resort boasts the utmost in privacy and superior, unpretentious service.

Designed to perfectly match their fine lifestyle, owners have access to all the facilities on offer at the celebrated resort. There is every amenity one could wish for, including several restaurants, rooftop bar, spa, herb garden, international guest DJs, pool, children’s pool, fitness centre, tennis courts, room service and 24-hour security. A rental and management program makes holiday home ownership easy and rewarding. With growing international demand for grandscale vacation homes, this executive residence is the pinnacle of prestigious resort living. Price: THB150 million. CONTACT Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703




Supreme BEAUTY A splendidly luxurious wine estate that delivers fine living on a grand scale in one of the most charmed regions in all of France


rovence is a region of contrasts. There are the medieval hilltop villages impossibly perched on rocky crags, the vibrant cities of Marseille and Montpellier, and the tranquillity of the Alpilles and the Luberon. The region is very much a lifestyle-driven market and it is not just attractive to buyers of second homes. Many opt to purchase permanent homes here, too, especially after they get a taste, and let themselves ease in to the fabulous lifestyle.

There is a unique micro-climate, postcardperfect views, romantic and seductive beauty. They are all part of Provence’s highly enviable Mediterranean lifestyle. Internationally known as a place of blue skies, enlivened by the song of the cicadas, rich in local products and produce, Provence delights artists and tourists alike. Beyond the natural beauty is the history: It is a place that retains and jealously guards its historical charm and character.



Timeless. Elegant. Graceful. Resplendent. While few properties elicit such superlatives, here is a sensational wine estate that deserves them all and more. At the centre of the estate is undeniably one of the most stunning and spectacular houses in all Provence. In its glorious setting, it is impossible not to be captivated by the understated elegance and comfort. Few homes can compare in scale and appeal. Every luxury has been executed with thoughtful detail and the finest of quality, ensuring the extraordinary country home is just right for that most discerning homebuyer with an eye for excellence and impeccable lifestyle. Set on 172 exclusively private hectares in the heart of Provence, the magnificent showplace home is the epitome of idyllic Provençal living. Providing supreme exclusivity and privacy, here can be found an unrivalled atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. The immensely impressive estate features a spectacular bastide, a caretaker’s house, barn, helipad, tennis court and its own lake. It also boasts four hectares of vineyards with the possibility to cultivate two more hectares. There is also an extensive olive grove of 1,000 trees. As beautiful inside as it is out, the magnificent and unique bastide embodies aesthetic beauty, splendour and sophistication. Dating from the 18th century, the breathtaking country home is exquisitely renovated to retain its Old World grandeur while delivering all of today's luxurious amenities. Planned around private living and entertainment on a grand scale, the country mansion reflects a pervasive sense of refinement and elegance. The timelessly classic, elegant architecture, use of luxe materials and the top-quality design are reflected in each of the ample and sophisticated rooms that encompass 600m² of living space that never loses its homely feel. The premier country house is carefully appointed

to combine numerous reception rooms, six ensuite bedrooms and a gorgeous countrystyle kitchen. Refinement is the watch-word. Located in an exclusive and private setting, the property’s picturesque grounds are truly something to behold. It offers a privileged environment. The acreage sits beneath a faultless azure sky. It is a truly memorable experience to simply sit in the landscaped garden, beneath the dappled shade of the ancient trees, looking across the luxuriant vines and the scenic country surroundings. The sublime setting for outdoor living features a striking 22-metre swimming pool and large terraces. A delightful pergola, covered with luxurious vines and an abundance of plants, creates a picture-postcard perfect setting for that magical al fresco dining. The exceptional estate is located in Brignoles, a lively market town that lies at the heart of the Provençal wine lands. The town is colourful and vibrant, as well as offering a charming and authentic slice of old Provence. Its position in the Var department means that it is surrounded by all the alluring Provençal glories, and thus makes a wonderful base for enjoying everything that the sun-kissed region has to offer. The world-class property is ideally positioned for ease of access to the Saint-Tropez and Nice airports, which are just one hour away. This unashamedly exclusive offering is a sophisticated sanctuary that pays homage to the fine art of living, the pleasures of entertaining and the enjoyment of exquisite winemaking. Here is a truly rare opportunity to own a quintessential Provençal country and wine estate. Price: €9.6 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703


An Exceptionally Rare Find in Provence The magnificent and historic castle estate is steeped in history and boasts vast proportions with timeless distinction 284



he world’s real estate market generally has suffered severely from the recent spate of years featuring poor economic performance, but the top end of the market has never been healthier. That is especially so for a particular niche in that upper-end market: historic properties remain in very high demand. Sometimes it seems as though all the world is in love with France. And there is no place in the country where that love affair is stronger than in the far South of France, in Provence. Buyers in search of a holiday home, or those planning that permanent move, are quickly enchanted by the hilltop villages, beautiful mountain ranges and incomparable Provençal lifestyle. Buyers come from various countries and backgrounds but they all have one thing in common: they recognise the value of owning a truly unique property. For many price is really no object: what they are searching for is a sterling example of opulence from a bygone era. Set in the idyllic hills of Provence, this splendid castle estate boasts a rich heritage and the refined charm of historical times. This is an extremely rare chance to acquire a land-


mark residence in a premier location, a property of inestimable historic and cultural significance. Refined atmosphere, timeless flair and panoramic views make the property an elite country estate that speaks eloquently of style and class. The superb and prominent estate offers everything even the most discerning buyer could wish for – and more. With more than 1,400m² of living space, the property consists of a castle, orangery, chapel, stables and two outbuildings, plus a swimming pool. One of the most luxurious, dreamy escapes in the South of France, this is a property where the 360-degree views take in the surrounding mountains. Views toward Saint-Raphael and Cannes complete the majestic setting. Dating from the late 15th century, here is a unique chance to enjoy the stately architecture and the extravagant lifestyle the luxurious castle estate affords. It virtually oozes an ambience of exclusive elegance, sophistication and grandeur. The spectacular Provençalstyle castle features 950m² of pure luxury and distinction. The superb chateau offers generous accommoda-


tion over three floors and features an impressive 15 bedrooms, plus several living rooms. The fine chateau comes resplendent with many lavish details, such as large spaces and dominating volumes, elegant chimneys and arched ceilings. The four towers face the four cardinal directions and cast a fairy tale atmosphere over the magical estate. Exuding period charm and character, the commanding building is constructed of local stone, which gives it the quintessential feel of rustic Provence. Also noteworthy is the grand entrance, which was 288

constructed during the reign of Henri IV, King of France and Navarre. It has been said that the inlaid red bricks on the terrace were left over from the construction of the Cathedral Dome in Florence. Radiating an elegant refinement, graced by natural beauty and inspirational panorama, the chateau sits grandly amongst the greenery and splendour of its 25-hectare plot. The lovely 500-year-old topiary garden is another highlight. The garden layout, of Italian origin, forms a Maltese Cross. The boxwood hedges are thought to date back to the early 1600s,

making the topiary garden one of the oldest in the South of France. The 500m² stables offer the possibility to provide additional accommodation – such as staff quarters or guest houses (subject to obtaining any necessary consent). The prestige property is set in the stunning Fayence countryside in the peaceful hills behind the Côte d’Azur between Cannes and Saint-Tropez. The idyllic location ensures total privacy and tranquillity, with captivating views of the scenic landscape all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The estate is just 60 minutes

from Nice and 30 minutes from Saint-Tropez by car. It can also be accessed by helicopter. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure a coveted piece of real estate, one that has a historic pedigree that makes it a standout offering in terms of Provence real estate. Price: €6.8 million. CONTACT Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703


Blissful Living A seductive Provenรงal bastide that combines country elegance with an exquisite setting



n a nation with a vast array of pretty villages, it is no small feat to be designated one of the most beautiful. And any visitor to Gordes will quickly recognize why such generous praise has been bestowed on this hilltop village set in the northern Luberon region. A medieval community surrounded on all sides by vineyards and fragrant fields of lavender, Gordes is hailed as one of the most enchanting gems in Provence’s crown.

Standing proudly on the southern slopes of Monts de Vaucluse, Gordes will never fail to impress, regardless of season. It is near here where Peter Mayle wrote his classic A Year In Provence. The village is a place of cobblestone passageways known as calades, winding streets destined to lead visitors back to a distant and colourful past. It would seem to be quite impossible for anyone not to fall for its charms.





Gordes is the frequent choice of both Parisian and overseas buyers intent on joining in on the quintessential Provençal lifestyle. They come to share something with the many artists who have been inspired over the centuries, people such as André Lhote, Marc Chagall, Jean Deyrolle, Victor Vasarely and Pol Mara. It is not just the beauty and charm that lures outsiders, however: galleries and fine restaurants abound. Practically speaking, too, Gordes is a location that makes sense. It is just an hour from Marseille-Provence Airport, half an hour from Avignon, 2 hours and 40 minutes from Paris and 2 hours from Nice and the Riviera. With excellent train and highway connections, Gordes is an easy place to get to and from. Situated in a timeless corner of Provence, close to Gordes, this fine country house estate is certain to provide the dream lifestyle. The sheer quality within the luxurious property, combined with the sublime setting, makes it a perfect holiday home in the South of France. For lovers of nature and the good life, Provençal living is blissfully indulged in this paradise that consists of an elegant main house, pool house and guest house. The superb bastide provides an alluring hideaway graced by nature, with stunning views over the surrounding rolling hills and the scenic valleys of Luberon. Offering 300m² of timeless beauty, the desirable country house accommodates large and small crowds with equal intimacy. It features three bedrooms, a spacious living room with fireplace, a beautiful library, dining room and a rustic kitchen. Despite its bona fides, there is nothing ostentatious about the property. Every room is tastefully and practically decorated, allowing the original features to shine through. A variety of traditional Provençal elements – from the old stone façade and classic shutters, to the visible wooden beams and tiled floors – provide

that sense of authenticity. It is a property that speaks eloquently, yet understatedly, of its rustic comfort and charm. Outside, one may relax in style while enjoying the pastoral setting. A wonderful stone patio and garden are ideal for casual summer entertaining and al fresco dining at any time of the day or night. Boasting a setting with uncompromised privacy in a world of its own, the gorgeous country house stands idyllically amidst the lush Mediterranean greenery. It is impossible not to be captivated by its glorious and utterly peaceful setting. The wonderful grounds of 9,980m2 of private grounds are studded with a forest of oaks and truffle that stirs the senses. Lavender and other aromatic herbs perfume the air. The lovely terrace glints in the sunshine and beyond lies a fabulous 10-metre swimming pool ready for taking that refreshing dip. It is the ideal location from which to enjoy the beauty of Luberon’s scenic majesty, considered the quintessential Provençal landscape. The independent single-bedroom guest house features a living room with fireplace and kitchenette. The pool house is a loft style and comes with a bedroom, bathroom and utility room. A large garage provides added convenience. Beautifully presented, here is the perfect country house for anyone in search of the real essence of Provence – one who appreciates the very best in luxury and good taste. Price: €1.38 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703






Stylish apartments at the water’s edge, with idyllic alpine views


hile its economy is strong and quality of life is high, expats have long found themselves limited in their ability to purchase property in Switzerland. Regulations put the squeeze on acquisition of real estate by nonresidents and limit purchases to certain regions, usually the most popular tourist destinations in the cantons of Bern, GraubĂźnden, Ticino, Valais and a few others. Even these, however, impose property acquisition permission quotas. Still, Switzerland is a much-sought location in which to own property. Residents enjoy favourable taxation as well as a high degree of 298

personal security and privacy. Also, the country enjoys political and economic stability and has traditionally been looked upon as a safe financial haven during challenging economic times. It has a long history of neutrality in world affairs. Physically, Switzerland offers grand, sweeping landscapes. It boasts pristine natural areas, a pleasant climate, great food and is seen by many as being family friendly. It is considered a well-run and efficient country with a high per capital GDP, excellent quality of life, low unemployment and a low ratio of debt to

GDP. Its banking system is known the world over for being highly efficient and secure, it enjoys excellent wealth management services and it has an excellent legal system. Many international organisations maintain their world headquarters in Switzerland, primarily Geneva, which has gained a reputation as one of the world’s leading financial and diplomatic centres. Swiss Alps mountain homes are perfect for homebuyers who are looking for a safe and solid investment and a secure and privileged lifestyle.

Set snugly in the Swiss Alps, this property has been created for those wanting to enjoy the finest the Interlaken area has to offer, whilst indulging in first-class lakeside living and gaining a premier investment in the heart of Switzerland. Here is a luxury lakefront property that fuses the timeless beauty of mountain architecture harmoniously with nature to create an impressive selection of 155 penthouses and apartments. The Interlaken is set between the sparkling turquoise-green waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, or Brienzersee, and enjoys a magnifi-


cent setting on the banks of the River Aare. The desirable property is situated in Bernese Oberland, one of the most spectacularly beautiful regions of Switzerland, in a setting that boasts everything one could wish for in a luxury vacation home. It is a much-in-demand address, on the pristine shores of the crystal-clear Lake Brienz, where the beautiful natural setting and stunning lake views provide an idyllic lifestyle. Surrounded by magnificent scenery with a backdrop of the famous snowy peaks of the Eiger, the Mรถnch and the Jungfrau, the property emphasises harmony and tranquillity. The apartments and penthouses feature wonderful floorplans offering luminous living 300

rooms and two to five bedrooms. The kitchen is functional and designer perfect. Fireplaces in some of the residences add to the inviting ambience. A paradigm of timeless classic style, the meticulously designed residences make dramatic use of glass, clean modern lines, a soothing colour palette and sweeping views of the breathtaking surroundings. The transition from the interior to the exterior is eased by the use of generous windows that introduce nature to the indoors. The fine apartments and penthouses are characterised by expansive living spaces, floor-toceiling windows and light-filled open spaces. Imbued with style and comfort, the handsome

woodwork adds subtle warmth to the living spaces. Private and generous outdoor areas allow for appreciation of the vista and a decadent mountain experience. Some of the residences boast the most coveted location directly facing the lake. Due to strict building regulations and careful planning controls in Switzerland, this may be one of the last chances to secure a dream home so close to a Swiss alpine lake. The exclusive property is being built to advanced Swiss engineering standards, using the best materials and quality finishes. Offering sophisticated, modern onsite amenities alongside untouched, pastoral nature, owners will have access to an indoor swim-

ming pool, a wellness centre complete with sauna, solarium and Jacuzzi as well as two restaurants – one housed in a historic and listed building. There is also a large children’s play area, an impressive outdoor horizon pool with sun loungers, shops and a central reception desk. Owners access the lake itself from a small "beach". The resort property basks in its glorious setting that includes lovely gardens of shading trees and luxuriant greenery. The Swiss management company offers a hassle-free, low-maintenance lifestyle, ensuring that the property is operated, maintained and supervised to high standards. In addition to owning a desirable vacation home in the Swiss


Alps, owners may also enjoy villa rental income when they are not there themselves. It is possible to purchase an apartment privately as well as through a company, which is unique in Switzerland. Buyers will become part owners of the associated land and communal areas of the buildings, as well as having their own apartment. The Swiss Alps are one of Europe's most spectacular and desirable vacation home destinations. The scenic area is a four-season playground for those in love with the outdoor lifestyle, offering a harmonious blend of pure mountain splendour, historic charm, idyllic lakeside allure and unsurpassable beauty. In winter, it is a fairytale landscape that is not just a feast for the eyes, but also ideal for world-class skiing. Magic, majestic, spectacular, sensational – these are just a few of the many words used to describe the breathtaking beauty of the Jungfrau ski region. There are several key ski resorts in the areas surrounding the resort. Grindelwald, with 160 kilometres of pistes, and Wengen, with 110 kilometres of pistes, are truly two of the world's greatest and oldest winter sports destinations. A special point of pride is the legendary Lauberhorn in Wengen – the longest downhill trail on the World Cup circuit – said to be the most picturesque run in the world. Schilthorn, part of the Grindelwald/Wengen ski area, is also world famous. The revolving restaurant Piz Gloria, at 2,970 metres altitude, was prominently featured in the James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Conveniently located, Interlaken is only ten kilometres away, Luzern 60 kilometres, Bern 65 kilometres, Zürich 100 kilometres, Basel 160 kilometres and Genève 240 kilometres from the deluxe property. This is a gorgeous and scenic property at the forefront of luxurious lakefront living in Switzerland. Prices: From CHF482,880. CONTACT

International Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8701





Unabashed Glamour. Unparallelled Luxury. Architectural refinement, uncompromising quality and paramount location make the city apartment a true piece of art


oland has taken enthusiastically to the fall of communism, becoming an ever more important player within the EU. In fact it enjoys the fastest growing economy in the organization and today has the largest economy in Central Europe. With solid national institutions and a diversified

economy, Poland has responded with gusto to the loosening of the central controls that once stifled creativity and regional autonomy has flourished. With 3.2 million people in Warsaw and environs, the Polish capital is the largest urban area and the 305



economic and cultural centre of the nation. The city’s growth in the past 10 years has been nothing short of astonishing and its potential for future growth remains enormous. With greater consumer wealth has come an eagerness to embrace luxury real estate in the capital region. Strong demand began to become evident in the late 1990s and more recently has become a veritable flood. Increasingly sophisticated and discerning buyers are pushing the envelope and creating 308

a demand for more and more high-standard accommodation set in prime locations. The Warsaw of the new millennium is a charming amalgam of modernity and the historical. It plays many roles, from art and culture centre, to business driver, with new opportunities opening up all of the time. It may come as a surprise to outsiders, but while Poles from other parts of the country are gravitating to their nation’s most important city, a strong proportion of luxury buyers

coming to Warsaw are expats. Some are diplomats who have been assigned to the Polish capital. Some are business executives and entrepreneurs wishing to grab a piece of the expanding economic pie. Many of the foreigners have come from Western Europe. Warsaw, once known as the “ugly duckling” of Europe, today is known better as the “phoenix city”, a place where wealth and sophistication are turning the metropolis on its ear. In the Powisle district of Warsaw’s city centre,

wealthy clients are coming to live in an area where most of the important museums, galleries, restaurants, theatres and cinemas are located. This is becoming the city’s most desirable address and it will only be getting better. Plans are to revitalise the boulevards that run along the river, as well as finish work on a new underground rail line. All of this bodes well for the district. Here, a showpiece of international style with timeless Art Deco influences and unmatched




luxury and beauty sits magnificently and pre-eminently amongst the fine homes of the coveted area. The apartment is housed on the fifth floor of a new-build structure and boasts the flawless design of Andrew Winch Designs, an award-winning British studio. Andrew Winch is responsible for some of the most exceptional yachts, jets and private residences in the world today. The apartment exemplifies extraordinary elegance and spaciousness and awaits purchase by that special buyer on the lookout for a piece of the city’s indulgent and luxurious lifestyle. Oozing magnificence and perfection, the residence is not only a spectacularly beautiful home, it is a showstopper par excellence. Visionary architectural design, bespoke master craftsmanship and premium finishes seamlessly come together within the singular residence. Connoisseurs of dazzling glamour will savour the generous living spaces, handselected furnishings and elegant interiors. Exemplifying urban elegance and sophisticated opulence, the aesthetic refinement of the apartment makes it a genuine work of art. Nothing was spared in its creation. From marble floors and stunning rich wooden joinery and custom furnishings, the interior living spaces are opulent and unique. With a timeless atmosphere of glamour and luxury, the prestige property showcases 286m² of sumptuous style. Plush living areas provide a fantastic sense of space, as well as the ideal environment for both family life and entertaining. Commanding ambience is mastered in the formal dining room by recessed lighting, an exquisite chandelier, rosewood flooring and direct access to a terrace. Custom-fitted blue agate splashback, rich wood cabinets and a wine cooler are used to produce one of the most stylish kitchens in Warsaw, all set off by the latest top-of-the-line appliances. 312

The spacious master suite is a sanctuary, offering an ensuite bathroom and a walk-in dressing room. There are three further opulent bedrooms. The Crema Marfill marble bathrooms are no less decadent, featuring deluxe hardwood cabinets, double vanity units and luxurious soaking tubs. The gorgeous terrace of 34.5 m² offers a wonderful space for al fresco entertaining. Packed with the latest home automation technology, the world-class property integrates KNX lighting and audio control systems for utmost comfort and convenience. The luxurious apartment is also equipped with alarm, videophone, internet access and cable TV. The exclusive property is monitored around the clock by CCTV, while access to the building is restricted to residents and the friends and guests they choose. In addition to the impressive living area, the refined residence has an independent 40m² room that can be used as an inlaw, nanny or staff room accommodation. It has its own entrance. The apartment comes with a 2-car garage and a 25m² storage space for luggage, ski equipment, bicycles, etc. Extravagantly furnished and decorated with fine customised furniture and precious fabrics, the lavish property provides the opportunity to purchase an exclusive turnkey city apartment. Exclusively for the property’s residents, there are several communal areas, including saunas, a hammam, pool and fitness room. The stunning downtown residence offers a prestige lifestyle and beauty in a city that boasts an exciting future. Price: €3.7 million. CONTACT

Leading Luxury Real Estate +44 (0)20 7095 8703


Buying new off-plan property in Spain - Can you reclaim your deposit if things go wrong? By Susana Lajusticia and Lindsay Kinnealy, Pannone LLP Solicitors 314

Buying an off-plan property in Spain is attractive for a variety of reasons. The climate, the opportunity to have a brand new property and being able to choose fitments, finishing touches and furnishings, together with

potential discounts and a longer period of time to gather finances and organise the purchase may be an attractive proposition. But what do you do if things go wrong and how can you reclaim your deposit.


Buying a holiday home or investment property off-plan is an attractive proposition for many reasons but it is not always a problemfree option. Caution should be exercised when entering into such a venture as large sums of money have to be handed over before the property is completed. These can include a deposit, usually in the region of at least 10% of the property price, and stage payments paid to the developer at various stages of the building’s progress. It’s essential to remember that once a private contract of sale (“Contrato Privado de Compraventa”) has been signed, the parties are respectively committed to purchase and sell the property in question. They can only rescind the contract in accordance with the terms outlined in the contract, if one of the parties is in breach of these or by mutual agreement. The developer (the seller) would be entitled under most purchase contracts to either take steps to force completion of the sale and receive interest at the applicable rate or to rescind the contract and keep the money already paid should the purchaser fail to fulfil his obligations; hence, there is no way for a purchaser to rescind the contract unless the developer is in breach or the parties agree amicably to do so. By law, the developer is obliged to guarantee funds paid to them as a deposit or stage payments by having in place either a bank guarantee (“aval bancario”) or an insurance policy (“contrato de seguro”). Buyers often do not realise the relevance of these if handed over to them with their paperwork but the importance of retaining the original guarantee/policy and storing it in a safe place cannot be over-emphasised. If the developer is in breach of contract eg where construction works for the development had not been started or finished within 316

the agreed timescale, you may be in a position to rescind the contract and request a refund of the monies paid to the developer plus interest calculated at the legal rate and applied to the period of time the developer has had hold of your funds. Alternatively, should you have safely retained your original aval bancario, you could request execution of the bank guarantees in order to recover the funds which are guaranteed by them. The problem that can arise, however, is that the developer may refuse to refund your monies and the only course of action to try to have your deposit reimbursed would be to take the matter to Court. There are a number of circumstances which could arise that would allow you to have your deposit/monies refunded. Often these will be issues arising from delays or failure to conform to the description of the property you agreed to buy.

Timescale If such a situation should arise, initially, you would need to prove that the developer is in breach of contract. If this is for late completion and failing to keep within the contractually agreed timescale, it is imperative that you notify the developer as soon as possible, failing which you would be deemed to have accepted the delay. Delays in building completion and delivery of the property are not uncommon. Spanish case law, however, demonstrates a certain reluctance to deem a contract to be terminated for this reason. A delay may not be considered a breach per se, and thus not a sufficient reason to cancel a contract. In most cases the Court will only grant a right to receive damages but this is not an automatic result; evidence of loss must be provided. A common instance would be one in which a family contracts to acquire a house which is not subsequently completed and handed over

in good time, resulting in the family being obliged to rent alternative accommodation. In this case, damages would include the rental monies from the date on which the property should have been ready for occupation and handover. It would be necessary to demonstrate proof of the amount in question and the rental contract. In order to assess any case, your lawyer must study the background and documentation in connection with the potential breach.

Different description Should you feel that the property does not exactly resemble the plans and description of the property you contracted to buy, the main issue would be to determine whether the changes in question would be considered to be an essential change or breach before you could take action to try to rescind the contract and obtain a full refund. If you decide to take further action it will ultimately be a judge who will decide whether or not the changes are essential, deemed to be a breach of contract or if they would only permit you to ask that the developer should finish the house, conforming to the agreed design, as shown in the marketing leaflets, plans, etc.

Legal Regulations Private Contracts of Purchase are ruled by the Spanish Civil Code which expressly establishes that where a contract obliges one of the parties to deliver something within a fixed period of time, if a delay is incurred, the defaulting party shall be liable to pay damages to the other side, in line with the loss suffered. The Civil Code also governs termination of reciprocal obligations, where one of the parties fails to fulfil its obligations, and it grants the other party the right to choose between fulfilment of the contract or termination. In either case, damages and interest can also be requested.

Penalty payments are entirely legal and are often included in contracts. The Judgment issued by the Supreme Court on 8th June 1998 indicates that the Civil Code authorises the inclusion of penalties in contracts with the aim of ensuring they can be fulfilled, as they encourage the required parties to carry out the services or activities which they contractually undertook to carry out. Thus, these clauses may be applied when a breach occurs and may replace any compensation and interest clause. Awards for damages are common and fully applicable where it can be proven that losses have indeed been suffered and the extent/ value of the loss can be quantified. It is not possible to base these on a hypothetical loss that might be suffered, but has not actually occurred, as that would lead to an unfair enrichment of one of the parties. Nevertheless, the Courts often consider that a penalty clause in respect of delay in handover of the works replaces an award for damages, deeming that this clause already anticipates, within the contract itself, the damages that the parties estimate might be the result of a hypothetical delay. Another protection for the buyer (consumer) when entering into a contract with a supplier/ developer is the defence of Consumers’ and Users’ Rights and Interests Act. It is not uncommon for companies, when contracting with individuals or consumers, to introduce unilateral clauses which are nonnegotiable in most cases so consumers are left with little choice but to accept them. Given that such clauses have not been individually negotiated, this implies a contractual limitation, pursuant to this Spanish legislation. Under the aforementioned Act, such terms are deemed abusive or unfair, contrary to good faith and thus damaging to the consumer as they create an important imbalance in the rights and obligations of the contracting parties.


A clause can be defined abusive clause if: it is a general condition that the parties have not negotiated between them the purchasers have been obliged to accept it it is a clause that prevents the existence of a fair balance between the parties. Consequently, each breach must be treated differently and it is obvious that this would affect the damages possibly due to the consumer. The risk would be that the purchaser’s claim would not be accepted by the judge either because the developer’s alleged failures are not considered to be actual contractual breaches or because they are not considered sufficiently important. Another factor to consider relates to the insurance guaranteeing the amounts paid. If this is not in place, it could be deemed to be a breach of one of the developer’s obligations imposed by Act 57/1968 of 27th July relating to the receipt of stage payments in connection with the building and sale of properties. The main issue to consider is whether or not the modifications or delay are sufficiently serious as to grant the purchaser a right to cancel the contract and, consequently, to obtain a full refund. Once again, this is a decision that only a judge can ultimately make, as it is only a judge who can evaluate the significance of the changes and whether or they can be deemed a breach of contract. Should you consider your developer is in breach and the developer rejects the claim, you would need to take further legal action in the Spanish Courts. In such a situation, it would be prudent to send a formal, certified letter to the developer, as soon as the potential breach becomes apparent, in order to immediately notify the developer of any defects, failures or purported breach of contract. Evidence of such notifica318

tion would also be required if you were to commence proceedings for breach of contract before the Spanish Courts. It would also provide a good opportunity to put pressure on the developer to negotiate, by making reference to any clauses in the contract that could be considered “abusive” by a court and consequently deemed null and void. Buying off plan can be an exciting project and may offer a good investment opportunity as long as you do your homework, ensure that you have all the required original paperwork and remain vigilant, keeping an eye on the construction progress or otherwise … If things do go wrong, you should then be in a better position to take remedial measures and protect your interests. Susana Lajusticia is a dual-qualified Spanish abogado/solicitor and Lindsay Kinnealy is a Legal Director in the International Property Department at Pannone, one of only a select number of solicitors' practices specialising in overseas’ property and succession matters. With over 30 years’ joint experience in this field, Lindsay and Susana provide a bespoke legal service to private clients nationally and internationally. The International Property team advises on a broad range of French and Spanish property law issues eg purchases, sales, gifts, transfers on divorce, Wills and inheritance (including minor heirs), cross-border estates and powers of attorney. Pannone is recognised as one of the UK’s leading regional law firms and provides a wide range of legal services across its five divisions: Corporate Services; Dispute Resolution & Regulatory; Family, Personal & Financial; Injury & Negligence and Affinity. Our teams advise clients throughout the UK and internationally.


Guatemala’s Maya Mysteries

Text and photographs by Anisha Shah

Luxury Emerging Destinations Travel Journalist Anisha Shah luxuriates in the mysterious Mayan marvel of Guatemala… On the trail of the world’s most colourful and authentic markets, Anisha Shah embarks on a journey through Latin America’s ancient Mayan tribal heartland, taking in famous and undiscovered corners of Guatemala along the way. Guatemala may not seem an obvious destination for a luxury-loving solo female traveller. But it’s an active and intuitive choice that’s rewarding beyond all expectation. On foot, about to enter the most highly anticipated region of my trip, I reject security and dismiss company. Armed only with my instinct and an innate willingness to meet the last of the Maya tribes people, off I set into Central America’s largest native market, situated in the cool mountainous highlands, where 95% of the population is indigenous.

Chichicastenango: world’s most vibrant Maya market An hour in, I’m more than a little lost. Entangled deep within the web of stalls that span an entire town, the constant chatter of bartering locals and dazzling spectrum of 320

multicolour overwhelm the senses. Carts, sacks and boxes whiz past in a chaotic choreographed dance, just streaks of light. Somehow, each knows its place in this narrowest of alleyways. The ladies are adorned in psychedelic flowers, woven onto textile tops, fusing with ornate embroidery skirts; each style representing a specific ethnic Mayan tribe, mainly the Quich’e. Further in, a circle of women vigorously pats stone-ground tortillas in the sound of a standing ovation. Bold red hair bows brighten up elderly women’s long plaits. I begin to delight in losing my bearings. Chichicastenango (‘Chichi’) is arguably the world’s most authentic market. Deep within the throbbing Latin heart, the last bastions of ancient Maya tribes play out their lives before me. I investigate dingy alleyways to find dark caverns, allowing in just enough light to illuminate stockpiles of produce. On the ground, babies with soiled faces suck on mango slices




under splintered tables in the shade. Elderly stall-keepers doze off on rickety plastic chairs, straight out of the pages of a history book. The hearty laughter of gregarious female stall-keepers echoes through the air. The Maya people live an unfettered life, oblivious as I browse their Jade jewellery stands. I’ve made this pilgrimage to be amidst the epicentre of the Mayan world and these, the last bastions of Mayan civilisation. Guatemalans are the friendliest people I’ve encountered. I tour the country in a convoy with local guide, driver and security from the fantastic Guatemala Tourism Board. But here, in this market, I shed all the extras to freely roam. And it pays off as people respond with kindness, if a little bewildered at a girl strolling alone. Thrown off the scent by an image built on sporadic troubles, many travellers miss a dazzling country that’s deeply rich in culture, colour and effortless charisma. Mother Nature has blessed it with mist-capped highlands exposing 37 mighty volcanoes, lush forest, epic lakes, rolling plains, secluded beaches of Robinson Crusoe envy, remote villages, Mestizos and this vibrant Maya culture, all within it’s petite circumference. But Guatemalan markets are the country’s real natural wealth. Here, I’m surrounded by an onslaught of telling culture.

Misty highlands working market As famous as Chichi is, is as unknown as is neighbouring Almolonga. But, this working vegetable market retains my fascination an entire morning, as I take off with my guide, Willy Posadas, zoom lens camera and disappear into the thick of the action for several hours. Beguiling in it’s frenetic pace, work at market halts for nothing as blood, sweat and tears are drawn before my eyes. I meander 324

through the bodies in the open dusty square and brush past elderly women, doubled over, transporting boxed vegetables on their backs. Beads of sweat roll off their foreheads in a laborious thud to the ground. The sounds are a wild rumpus of clanging metal, yelling and bartering quarrels, interrupted only by the sound of notes being exchanged. Almolonga screams a steely determination to survive.

Iconic yellow church Close by is one of the country’s most breathtaking and famous landmarks. The iconic Catholic Church of San Andres Xecul Church is shrouded in mystery, with unknown origins, date-stamped only from 1900. The sight is one of the most famous of Guatemala. Painted the boldest brightest Cat’s Eye yellow and festooned in Christian, Mayan and agricultural images, the façade is a picture of enlightenment and optimism. It’s situated on a busy market square. The sounds are as electrifying as the sights; Short sharp strokes of a street barber’s razor, shaving the beard of a man in a Panama hat, the chatter of Maya people sitting lining the roads selling baskets of goods and cars honking and revving as they squeeze past. Getting lost in the quieter surrounding streets is an absolute treat. Away from the market square, elderly men on bicycles and colourful women with straw baskets vanish into ghostly steep winding alleyways. I try to follow but their physiques are clearly better accustomed to steep hills than mine, as they rapidly disappear. Beyond them lies a sleepy peaceful town with magnificent views from the top. Midway, I stumble across the public outdoor ‘Lavanderia’ or laundry. A row of large basins is built around communal natural hot water springs. Women convene her to wash clothes by hand, the old-fashioned way. Slapping garments against the stone with one hand whilst tending to babies with the other, the natural way of life here is startling.

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The beauty in loss Close by, I discover one of the country’s most breath-taking, yet largely unknown, sights. Having a private guide is a huge advantage as I’m able to point out sights, stop and explore. Crowning it’s own hilltop, Zunil cemetery is a storm of shades and seemingly infinite. Coated in a creeping fog during my visit, the atmosphere is befitting. At the summit, I’m greeted by an ocean of fresh flowers and rainbow palette of gravestones for kilometres in. Heartstoppingly vivid, it’s impossible not to be transfixed by the contradiction of beauty and sadness. A local lady bearing flowers explains the profound reason for so many flowers; Father’s Day has just passed. Ambling through, the staggering beauty, care and attention that Latin Americans pay to loved ones lost are dumbfounding. The end is not the end.

Crumbling colonial Antigua Already, it’s a huge contrast to the first few days spent in UNESCO-designated Spanish colonial Antigua, which basks in the shadows of three majestic volcanoes. The former Capital is a majestic landscape of crumbling facades: earthquake legacies. And the result is strikingly beautiful, namely Colonial Baroque churches and ruins. Being in Antigua is like being on a film set with its surreal beauty. It’s a world of colourful walls, flanked by cobblestones and wrought-iron balcony clad alleyways, where rays of light and shade compete for space. Some streets are utterly silent. I can imagine it as the backdrop to a Latin American Western movie. But turn a corner to enter the throngs of market. The abundance and choice of wares is as spellbinding as the controlled frenzy of the operation. Though Antigua’s market caters more for tourists, the handicrafts are good quality and authentic. And 328

you simply can’t help but take photographs of the traditional Maya ladies in elaborate headdresses and punchy prints, displaced here from across the country. Filled with elaborate sumptuous boutique hotel conversions, Antigua is a tourist magnet. But I rise at dawn for a solo stroll. At this hour, people are sparse; early-risers go about their daily business, two-table coffee houses set up, old men with sun-worn wrinkled faces ride by on bicycles, beaming as they sing, ‘Hola’ to greet me. The sun is just rising, casting a radiant golden glow on the vivid town and warming it to life. I return to the decidedly upscale ‘El Convento’ boutique hotel, for breakfast on the intimate stylish terrace with views of surrounding volcanoes (which one can choose to trek). By nightfall, El Convento’s stone walls and walkways are filled with candlelight and floating petals, lightly perfumed with bougainvillea, creating the feel of a converted monastery. My wellappointed spacious suite is adorned in plush Maya-crafted furnishings, adding exclusive touches of authenticity.

Serenity at volcanic Lake Atitlan Flashes of the interiors are mirrored later at the sensational Casa Palopo, my home from home at the world’s most beautiful lake, ‘Largo de Atitlan.’ Think Italy’s Lake Como with natural embellishments. The most luxurious and private residence, Casa Palopo is a boutique villa conversion built into sheer cliff-side. Floor-to-ceiling villa windows, an open-face lounge terrace and open-air restaurant give way to exasperating volcanic views, perfectly framed like a painting. The most idyllic spot on the lake monopolises on dawn & dusk views, which appear to be the creative genius of magical beings. Ominous pink-grey skies shroud the horizon when everyone seems to




be asleep and everything is at peace. Seeing the lake so placid as the sun starts to peek from behind the volcanoes, a single early market seller silently navigates the Lake to sell his wares.

Lakeside tribal market towns At dawn, I leave aboard a private ‘Lancha’ motorboat, with peeling paint and a crooked anchor. The lake is lined by a ribbon of traditional Mayan market towns. Putt-putting through the stillness of the deep waters, scissoring through a low-mist clinging to the still surface, I’m gently awoken by the crisp breeze. The lively atmosphere of some market towns is in stark contrast to the peaceful sleepy lanes of others, seemingly untouched by the modern era. Santiago Atitlan has the largest market, part open-air part indoor, with a menagerie of handicrafts and delectable delicacies. As I circumnavigate the maelstrom of Maya, along twists and turns, tangible food smells strike the back of my nostrils; herbs and sweet fruits to frying plantain. Submerged beyond recognition, sprightly handicrafts vie for attention alongside ethnic jewellery, pots and pans and, deeper in, I watch as butchers shoo flies from hanging carcasses of meat. By now, there’s no ((I lose any)) hint of tourists. In the distance, a distinctive cross strikes out from the mesh of stalls, scouring the skyline. Church is the focal point of every market town. 332

Time stands still and I imagine myself to be transported to another era. Guatemalan market towns hark an overwhelming sense of innocence; a simpler more loving life. Eventually heading back to the boat is like stepping out into the ‘real’ world.

Rugged black sand coastline For a far more rural affair, make for the remote and rugged Pacific Coast at MonteRico. The windswept shoreline is barren and undeveloped and is particularly striking with miles of jet-black volcanic sand. Browse sparse scattered fishermen’s huts for fresh catch of the day. I’m fortunate to watch one family catch it’s own at dusk. There isn’t a soul in sight on a weekday; a very private sensual black powder-sand beach with the crashing waves of the Pacific foaming ashore at my feet. It’s the place to feel very removed from the woes of the world; a surreal sense of isolation in a rugged powerful environment. A fisherman maintains a fixed gaze at the crest of oncoming waves. As he flings his net, timed to perfection, casting it into the horizon, the mesh momentarily fills the sky, as time freezes mid-air. Drawing it in, he’s netted a substantial catch. Watching him fish to feed his family is astonishingly evocative, a reminder of the transience of human life.



Manoeuvre through mangroves A top-secret spot lies just one kilometre inland, one which the guide himself only discovered three weeks prior. It’s an intricate waterway system where the scene drastically changes. He tracks down a local fisherman who takes us on his humble wooden boat. Little sunlight gets in here. It’s silent, humid and mysterious. Navigating tiny narrow canyons we’re quickly besieged by dense towering Mangroves, so close their spindly fingers scrape the boat. Ducking to avoid being lashed by cattails, the oars become machetes as we push through inch-wide spaces. The pleasure of surrendering entirely to nature is exciting, as the engine switches off and we row through shallow waters. A biodiversity hotspot, glimpses of Marabou and Iguanas flash past. Totally off the tourist map and even that of most locals, this is a sublime and surreal discovery.

Capital markets Back to the Capital, Guatemala City has a bad reputation. ‘Guate’ is a series of shantytowns disguised in every shadow but does have some eclectic urban spots that are known as the hip trendy hangouts. ‘Mercado Central’ or Central Market is unmissable. The concealed entrance is deceptive of the depth of this underground metropolis spread over several floors. It doesn’t get more local and you’ll certainly get to practice those Spanish skills. I have a fantastic time meeting Guatemalan artisans, giggling with my guide in the maze, salivating at the food court and disappearing into colourful corners.

UNESCO world heritage Mayan ruins No trip to Guatemala is complete without a short flight from the city to UNESCO

World Heritage Site, Tikal. The sprawling pre-Colombian Mayan archaeological zone in El Peten department is the country’s singlemost famous landmark, featuring intriguing wall carvings, mysterious pyramids and colossal columns. Incredible temples, ball courts and pyramids are ensconced within wild jungle for a true Indiana Jones experience. For many, this will be the only exposure to and raison d’etre for a visit to Guatemala, as visitors stop in from neighbouring countries. A small handicrafts market ensures no one misses out on local goods. If time is on your side however, the Yaxha archaeological site is a fantastic spot with fewer visitors and stunning photographs of sunset over the lagoon. For those who take the time to discover the true Maya tribes, mestizos and ancient markets of Guatemala, Latin America will take on a whole new meaning. Anisha Shah is an experienced TV & Radio News Reporter, having worked with the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist for 6 years. Her career highlight is TV News Reporting on the London 2012 Olympic Games. An incessant traveller, Anisha's name has graced the byline of leading international publications from Asia to the Channel Islands. Her niche is ultra-luxury & extremely emerging destinations and conflict zones, stemming from her childhood dream of becoming a War Reporter. This has seen her pick unusual destinations: Bahrain, Kuwait, Beirut and Guatemala. She describes her travels as a beautiful contradiction, from the grand luxury of European chateaux, Indian royal palaces, African wilderness lodges and private island sanctuaries to truly emerging destinations of Ethiopia, Guatemala, Myanmar and Tamil Nadu, documenting the last remote tribes on the planet. As a published photographer with a penchant for portraits,Anisha is Editor of ‘A Niche World’,, where she publishes stunning sets of images. Follow her real-time travels on Twitter @anishahbbc.



When in ...

Lisbon By Greg Boegner Managing Director of

Perhaps surprising to many, Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, predating such international capitals as London, Paris and Rome. Phoenicians traded in Lisbon, before Romans used the city as a strategic port. Germanic tribes later raided the region, before they were ousted by Arab Moors. Finally, in 1147, Alfonso I besieged the city and once again claimed Lisbon for the Portuguese. During the Age of Discoveries in the late 15th century, Portugal sent expeditions to the Americas, India and Asia. The seafarers returned with treasures of gold, spices, sugar and textiles, which transformed Lisbon into an international hub for commerce. This distinctive history of occupation, exploration and trade, fused with centuries-old traditions of the Portuguese people, make Lisbon a city rich in culture and personality. From Manuelian architecture and stone “calçadaâ€? streets, to delicious seafood-based cuisine and passionate strains of Fado, Lisbon is steeped in old world charm. Yet, Lisbon is also a vibrant cosmopolitan city. Trendy cafes and boutique hotels are abundant. Designer shops and art galleries are busy and cultural and popular events fill the calendar.


No wonder Lisbon is consistently at the top of travel experts’ lists for best European destination and city breaks. To help us get to know Lisbon better, we recruited Greg Boegner, Founder and Managing Director of online resource As self-proclaimed “purveyor of everything cool in Portugal,” no doubt he can provide a fresh look at an old city. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and the westernmost city in continental Europe. It sits on the edge of the Atlantic, where the Tagus River meets the ocean. Seven hills rise up from the banks of the river, creating steep inclined streets and walkways, but also providing beautiful vantage points from a multitude of locations. There is no city centre, per se, in Lisbon. Many neighbourhoods (or bairros), each with their own unique character, stretch out from the Praça do Comercio at the river. The Baixa, perhaps the oldest part of the city, is the former business centre. Chiado attracts hipsters to its fashionable restaurants and trendy shops. Bairro Alto offers bohemian chic by day, and a bustling bar scene at night. Quaint Alfama leads up to the Castelo São Jorge, with some of the most spectacular views of the city. And, Parque das Naçoes, former dockyards revitalized for the 1998 World Exhibition, offer a modern perspective of the city. Every facet of Lisbon has its own story to tell. Museums detail the rich heritage through art, fashion, carriages, tiles and Asian artefacts. Ancient ruins reveal former castles, monasteries, aqueducts and catacombs. Monuments relive histories of navigators, discoveries and conquests. Each café and every street uncovers the soul that permeates the city. Explore and enjoy Lisbon.


WHERE TO STAY Best Hotel Four Seasons Hotel Ritz The Four Season Hotel Ritz is considered to be one of grandest hotels in the city. In fact it was recently named in the “Top 100 Best Hotels in the World,” in a Travel + Leisure readers’ survey. The 10-floor mid-century design structure sits atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills. It enjoys views of Eduardo VII Park, St. George’s Moorish Castle, the Old Town and the Tagus River. All rooms are exquisitely decorated and include luxurious marble bathrooms. Most have terraces overlooking the park. Perhaps our favourite amenity is the rooftop gym and running track with 360º views of the city.

Best Boutique Hotel Hotel Bairro Alto This sleek 55-room, 5-star boutique hotel sits at the point where the trendy and fashionable Chiado neighbourhood meets the artsy and bohemian Bairro Alto district. Built in the 18th century, Hotel Bairro Alto was known as a world-class hotel, hosting artists and intellects, including famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The hotel was renovated in the 21st century, with modern decor and hightechnology amenities. The attic (Mansard) rooms with their own design characteristic are guest favourites.

Best New Hotel Beautique Hotel Figueira Cool, boutique, design hotels are springing up all over Portugal. In this case, a 4-star “beautique hotel” has sprouted at Praça da Figueira (“plaza of the fig tree”), in the Baixa district. The fig tree figures prominently in the design of the Figueira, becoming the “soul” of the hotel. Superstar interior designer Nini

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Hotel Bairro Alto

339 Four Seasons Hotel Ritz

Beautique Hotel Figueira



Beautique Hotel Figueira Forteleza do Guincho

Andrade e Silva is the creative mind behind the concept. She literally shaped the walls and notched out niches, producing an organic effect resembling fig tree trunks, branches and leaves. The 50 rooms are mid-century modern in inspiration, with a nod to the earthiness of the 1970’s, yet finished in pure 21st century comfort.

Best Hotel in an Old Fortress Forteleza do Guincho For three centuries, the Fortaleza do Guincho in Cascais (outside of Lisbon to the west) stood as security for the people of Portugal. Today, the fortress stands as a meticulously remodelled 5-star hotel masterpiece. Architectural elements of the former structure remain in place adding charm and an air of nobility. Yet, modern amenities secure its place as a contemporary hotel with elegant and boutique qualities. The chambers of the old fortress have all been transformed into luxury guest rooms with views to the sea. A stay at the Fortaleza do Guincho would not be complete without having dinner at their Michelin Star restaurant.

WHERE TO EAT Best Haute Cuisine Belcanto In the 1950’s and 60’s, Belcanto was Lisbon’s most fashionable restaurant. Decades later, the restaurant fell out of favour and out of site. Just a couple years ago, popular Portuguese chef José Avillez renovated the space, transforming Belcanto into a sophisticated cosmopolitan restaurant. In the kitchen, Avillez’s innovative variations on lamb, beef, veal, crab, lobster and ray, earned Belcanto rave reviews and a Michelin star within the first year of

reopening. Today, Belcanto is once again one of Lisbon’s top restaurants.

Best Traditional Portuguese Pap’Açorda Pap’Açorda is where Portuguese socialites go for Portuguese food. The small restaurant on a narrow street in the artsy Bairro Alto district, is usually crowded with Portuguese celebrities and society sophisticates. The name is taken from one of Portugal’s favourite dishes: Açorda – a stew thickened with bread and seasoned with garlic and coriander. Of course, at Pap’Açorda, açorda is the house specialty. Try the, codfish açorda, or indulge in the “Açorda Real,” made with lobster and shrimp. Be sure to book in advance! Papa%C3%A7orda/230548140319584

Best Contemporary Portuguese Can the Can In Lisbon, the humble little can of fish is celebrated as haute cuisine in a cool, modern restaurant in Terreiro do Paço at the waterfront. Chef de Canned Cuisine is Kleanthis “Akis“ Konstantinidis, a native of Greece. Akis creates innovative dishes such as slices of cod confit with cornbread on a bed of greens sautéed with garlic, and grilled beef loin with olive oil infused with citrus zest, thyme and anchovies. Fado performers entertain on most evenings.

Best Trendy Casual Guilty! In recent years, Chef Olivier da Costa has become a “rock star of cuisine” in Portugal with highly-lauded and extremely popular restaurants Olivier, Olivier Avenida, and Yakuza. With Guilty!, he turns his attention to casual food with a twist. The result is an innovative


The Terrace Bar at Hotel Bairro Alto


Casa de Linhares

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Can the Can

menu of salads, burgers, pizzas and pastas, which have both food snobs and budgetwatchers grinning. Pizza dough rolls with black truffles, ham and cheese are favourites, as is the pappardelle with leitão (suckling pig) and snow peas. At night, the bar becomes a hot spot for hipsters.

to the beautiful Jerónimos Monastery, is a little café that has been producing a prized pastry since the 1830s. This little puff-pastry tart filled with a custard cream is the pride of Lisbon. Typically, they are served warm, fresh from the oven. Advice from the locals: sprinkle your Pastel de Belém with cinnamon.

Best Fado Restaurant Casa de Linhares Dine amidst rich Portuguese culture at Casa de Linhares. Vaulted ceilings, stone pillars and a large fireplace in the former home of the Count of Linhares is the perfect setting for traditional cuisine and music. Portuguese variations of fish, beef and pork are on the menu, as are several options to savour the much-loved bacalhau (codfish). The meal is accompanied by wellknown and amateur artists performing beautiful and passionate Fado. It is an evening that appeases the appetite and touches the soul.

Best Ice Cream Santini’s In 1949, Italian immigrant Attilio Santini started producing handmade gelato from a little shop in Praia do Tamariz. The Portuguese immediately started queuing. Today, ice cream lovers continue to form lines outside Santini shops in Cascais, Estoril and Chiado. The 100% natural product is still made using the original recipes. Flavours change with the seasons, but some outstanding favourites include: bitter orange with chocolate, passion fruit, cinnamon, blood orange and sweet egg with pine nuts.

Best Traditional Pastry Pastel de Belém It’s a little bit touristy, but everyone will tell you it’s a “must do” on any trip to Lisbon. In the Belém neighbourhood of Lisbon, just adjacent

NIGHTLIFE Best Roof Top Bar Terrace Bar calls the Terrace Bar at Hotel Bairro Alto the “4th Best Hotel Terrace View in the World!” It’s easy to understand why. Sitting on the sixth floor rooftop, the Terrace Bar offers stunning views across the city and to the Rio Tejo. Chill out music is playing and chaise lounges are waiting. The atmosphere is trendy, but with a relaxed vibe. Bring a book for afternoon tea, or come with friends for after work cocktails. Terrace Bar is a perfect location for sunsets.

Best Cocktails Cinco Lounge Cocktail culture is alive and well at this sleek nightspot. Located in Príncipe Real, just a short walk from the Bairro Alto, Cinco Lounge is a cool hangout to unwind in an uptown atmosphere while sipping on a perfectly blended beverage. The menu of over 100 cocktails includes classics from the 20th century as well as innovative new concoctions created for modern trendsters. Check out the “Utterly Butterfly,” made with fresh nutmeg, butter, apple, cloves, lemon, all spice and Element 8 rum heated up with pressed apple juice, or the “Hot Tub,” prepared with Pampero rum, Grand Marnier, orange oil and a hint of cinnamon and flamed in a brandy balloon.


Best Disco Lux Fragil If you’re Madonna, Cameron Diaz or Prince, and you’re in Lisbon for the night, where do you hang? The stylish and fashionable Lux-Frágil, of course. There are two floors of entertainment. Top DJs spin edgy tracks on the ground level, whipping dancers into a frenzy on the large dance floor. Upstairs alternative music sets a different tone for guests who want to relax a little and take in the scenery. Keep going up, though. On the roof is a terrace with expansive views across the river. Hint: Lux-Frágil has a very strict and subjective door policy. For the best chance at entering, get there between 23:00 and 02:00. The busiest arrival time is between 2:00 and 3:00.

Best Live Music Musicbox It’s a nightclub, music stage, lounge and bar all in one space. It’s rock and roll. It’s cocktail cool. It’s party rockin’. It’s Musicbox in the newly revitalized Cais do Sodré neighbourhood. Musicbox programs an agenda of diverse musical acts--sometimes funky, sometimes punk-y, sometimes old school, sometimes futuristic. Either way, guests are always guaranteed the freshest acts and great music. Don’t miss the club’s resident band, Cais Sodré Funk Connection, recreating the sound and sensation of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.

Best Pub Crawl Bairro Alto Imagine Temple Bar in Dublin, Soho in London or Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and you will understand the nightly festivities in Bairro Alto. In the 16th century, this neighbourhood was one of the first “suburbs” of old Lisbon. Today, Bairro Alto is part of the city centre. It is popular for bohemian-chic shops by day, and a lively bar-after-bar nightlife 344

late into the morning hours. The typically younger crowd pours into the cobblestone streets, chatting and mingling as they hop from one cool hangout to the next. The fun begins around midnight.

SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP Best Luxury Labels Shopping Avenida da Liberdade Built in the late 1800’s and modelled after the wide boulevards of Paris, Avenida da Liberdade is a majestic avenue in the heart of Lisbon. Ten lanes wide, with pedestrian gardens on either side, Avenida da Liberdade has become the preferred address for luxury retailers. International designers such as Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Burberry and Armani, all have shops here, along with many other international and Portuguese labels. Enjoy a long, relaxed stroll on the avenue and treat yourself to a little something special. Click for a list of shops on Avenida da Liberdade

Best Boutique Shopping Chiado Located between the lower Baixa district and the higher Bairro Alto, Chiado is Lisbon’s chic and trendy neighbourhood. Fashionable restaurants and hip bars share the streets with Lisbon’s coolest shops. International labels such as Diesel, Boss, G-Star Raw and Hilfiger are here, as are popular Portuguese brands such as Ana Salazar, Lanidor, Cubanas and a Vida Portuguesa.

Best Concept Shop Fashion Clinic If looking for the latest in designer fashions is on the agenda, but the itinerary leaves limited time to shop, hop on over to Fashion Clinic. These concept stores are stocked full of the very latest trends in ready-to-wear shoes,


Ler Devagar Cinco Lounge

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accessories, perfumes, jewellery, eyewear and more, from the most popular designer labels. There are two Fashion Clinic locations on Avendia da Liberdade. A shop for women is in the Tivoli Forum. A companion men’s shop is at No. 192.

Portuguese identity with old-style products that are still manufactured today. Unique items like soaps, teas, toothpaste, bolts of fabric and cake forms are handmade or Portuguese-crafted. Most gifts are wrapped in charming retro packages.

Best Wine Store Garrafeira Nacional Established in 1927, this family-run merchant in Lisbon’s Baixa district has become the foremost supplier of the rarest Ports, Madeiras, whiskeys, champagnes and cognacs. Over the last 80 years, they have acquired such a sizable and unique collection of priceless vintage wines and liquors, they decided to create a museum within the shop. Some bottles date back to 1795. A must stop for oenophiles.

Best Book Store Ler Devagar “Ler devegar” is Portuguese for ”read slowly.” Book lovers will want to heed the advice at this unique space within a reclaimed fabric factory in the Alcantâra neighbourhood. A large collection of books in many languages, especially with themes of arts and culture, are shelved across two floors. Additional cultural amenities include an art gallery, seminar space and a café. Special events and performances are programmed throughout every week.

Best Souvenir Shopping A Vida Portuguesa So, you need a souvenir but a refrigerator magnet of a cockrell, or a T-shirt with an image of Cristiano Ronaldo is not what you have in mind? Step inside A Vida Portuguesa in the Chiado. The store celebrates 346

CULTURE AGENDA Best Museum National Museum of Ancient Art The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is considered to be among one of the most important art museums in Europe. Works in the museum span a period from the 12th to 19th centuries, reflecting the history, culture and role played by Portugal in the world during those eight centuries. Housed inside the 17th century Palácio de Alvor-Pombal (a work of art itself ), the museum includes painting, sculpture, metalwork, textiles, furniture, drawings, and other decorative art forms. Perhaps the most famous works in the museum are the Saint Vincent Panels, which date from before 1470 and are attributed to Nuno Gonçalves, court painter of King Afonso V.

Best Modern and Contemporary Museum Berardo Collection This beautiful facility, located in the Centro Cultural de Belém, houses the vast collection of Madeira-born businessman, art collector and philanthropist José Berardo. All forms of modern and contemporary art fill this space from art deco and advertising art, to photography and pop art. Paintings and sculptures in the collection include works by Dubuffet, Picasso, Warhol, Bacon, Miro, Mondrian and more.

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Santa Justa Elevator

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Best Funky Museum Museum of Design & Fashion MUDE is a unique institution celebrating modern design of the 20th century. Household items and garments are exhibited in chronological themes from art deco to modernism, continuing to pop art and post-modernism. Represented are product designers such as Russel Wright, Jean Prouvé, Hans Wegner, Le Corbusier and Charles & Ray Eames. Fashionistas will delight in seeing garments created by style icons André Courrèges, Paco Rabanne, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano.

Best Art Gallery Galeria São Mamede Galeria São Mamede is one of Lisbon’s oldest


and most respected art galleries. Located on Rua Escola Politécnica in the elegant Príncipe Real neighbourhood, Galeria São Mamede specializes in Portuguese modernism and contemporary movements. Established national artists are well represented via paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics and photography. Yet, new, innovative talent is also given opportunity to express and impress.

DON’T MISS Best Lift Santa Justa Elevator The Santa Justo Elevator is one of Lisbon’s most interesting, and perhaps, beloved, landmarks. It was built in 1902 as a means of transportation between the high Bairro Alto and the lower Baixa business district. Berardo Collection

The steel frame architecture and close resemblance to Paris’ Eiffel Tower can be attributed to Portugal-born French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (who coincidentally, was an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel). The elevator ride only takes about a minute, but it’s worth the experience…and the steps saved.

Best Attraction Lisbon Oceanário The Oceanário is an homage to Portugal’s close relationship to the sea. Built for the Lisbon World Exhibition in 1998, the Oceanário continues to delight visitors today. Multiple tanks around the building offer a global perspective of sea life, including many varieties of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and marine mammals. The highlight, no doubt,

is the massive central tank, completely surrounding visitors.

Best Historical Landmark Jerónimos Monastery 500 years ago, this monastery was the site of a modest chapel used by seafarers to pray before departing and after arriving from their perilous journeys. In1496, King Manuel transformed the site into this remarkable structure as a prayer to the Virgin of Belém, for the success of Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India. Today, the monastery stands as a monument to the great navigators who lead the Portuguese Discoveries. Due to its historical significance as well as fine examples of Portuguese sculpture and architecture, UNECO has designated the monastery a World Heritage site.

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Best Day Trip Sintra There are many reasons to take the half-hour drive or train trip to the northwestern village of Sintra. Ruins of an 8th century Moorish castle survive as reminder of the Portugal’s Arab past. The Palácio da Pena is a stunning 19th century castle built by monarchs as a summer retreat. The Chalet Condessa d’Edla is an alpine-influenced structure made for the Countess as a recreational house. The village of Sintra is honoured by UNESCO as the first centre for 19th century European Romantic architecture. But, perhaps our favourite reason to visit Sintra is to savour the queijadas (sweet cheese cakes) and travesseiros (almond pastries) at Casa Piriquita.

FUN FOR KIDS Best Play Day Kidzania KidZania is a small-scale city built inside a safe facility for kids aged 3-15. Here they “pretend play” in a highly-realistic adult environment. Kids check-in at an airport gateway, and proceed to a make-believe world, participating in over 60 different professions. Activities as diverse as banking and nursing, to cooking and TV producing, are designed to be both fun and educational.

Best Unique Experience The Doll Hospital Since 1830, dolls of all kinds, from antique cardboard to modern Barbies, have been brought to the Lisbon Doll Hospital when they need special atten350

tion. “Caregivers” attend to the special needs of each mishandled or damaged doll, with the utmost in care and love. Kids can observe restoration of broken limbs or loose stuffing, as well as see a large selection of dolls’ clothes, shoes and wigs. An onsite Toy Museum displays many types of playthings from times past.

Greg Boegner is an American content producer and marketing executive living in the Algarve, Portugal. With a background that includes producing space shuttle TV at NASA in Houston, acquiring films and developing home video programming at Warner Bros. and Fox in Los Angeles, and supervising children’s content for eKids Internet in San Francisco, Greg is now focusing on international business and media from his European base. As Founder and Managing Director of, Greg is developing an intellectual property around the promotion of Portugal as a contemporary and trendy destination. With original online content and ancillary products, such as the recently published ebook, “Haute and Cool Cuisine in Portugal,” the Portugal Confidential brand is quickly gaining acceptance by those searching for everything cool and current about Portugal. Greg has recently launched a companion site,, “Everything FUN for Kids in Portugal.”

The Doll Hospital

Jer贸nimos Monastery

351 National Museum of Ancient Art



Photo: Anisha Shah

By Anisha Shah

‘Wow!’ This hackneyed word has always irked me. My range of vocabulary is usually extensive and, as a Journalist, I’m never lost for words. But Belize hit me with some spectacularly stunning moments, replacing my vocabulary with amnesia thus reducing me to ‘Wow’ on repeat. How simple I must have sounded. But in Belize, simplicity is the grande dame of luxury. The tiny country, wedged between Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is blessed with virgin beauty. Vast untouched whitesand beaches give way to translucent azure waters bearing the largest barrier reef in the world after Australia (longest in the Western Hemisphere). 2 hours inland, dense rainforests and remote rivers shelter endangered species, many indigenous and unique to Belize, and conceal rich historical Mayan sights. From the astonishing array of marine life to its dazzling display of jungle

life, the Caribbean way of life completes the allure. Renowned for luxury eco-lodges and retreats, the Government has been praised for its early tourism policy, having designated large swathes of the land ‘protected.’ Now, things are changing fast. But, eco-conservation remains at the heart of hoteliers, who see value in retaining the Belizean soul. And what soul it has! Distinctly different to neighbouring Guatemala, which feels passionately Latin to the core, Belize is an exception to the Central American rule, culturally and historically. The sole English-speaking nation exudes a notable Caribbean laid-back ambiance amongst its ethnically diverse population of Mayans, Mestizos, Mexicans, AfroIndians and expats from across the globe; the latter attracted to the myriad palm-lined Cayes and Atolls, happily finding that elusive work-life balance in this narrow strip of the planet. They 353

all understand the key to success in Belize – individuality with a Belizean flavour. To this end, there isn’t a single multinational chain in the country, no Starbucks or Hilton hotels, for example, which is remarkable for a destination a 3-hour flight from Miami. And that flight is among my favourite plane journeys in the world, with sights to make the eyes bleed. Coming in towards Belize, white-sand fringed islands are surrounded by progressive shades of turquoise and aquamarines so dazzling they’re surreal. And so, ‘Wow’ begins. To do Belize justice, it’s crucial to get off itinerary and get around. Luckily getting from the subtropical rainforests, which enshroud more than 50% of the country, to the furthermost beaches is a matter of hours via car, tiny plane (sit in the co-pilot, optional) or private helicopter. I opt for the latter, one of the most breath-taking experiences of my life. A plethora of luxury properties is peppered throughout, offering some serious R&R in thatched-roof finery. None finer than the 2 award-winning ultra-luxury retreats of Hollywood film director Francis Ford Coppola: Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn.

Enchanted Rainforest Coppola is the Godfather of hoteliers in Belize. With ambitious vision and determination to match, decades ago he converted his private 70—acre home in the forest into an enchanted fairytale retreat, which consistently tops travel polls. It’s a bumpy road up to Blancaneaux Lodge through remote isolated wilder354

ness. No sign of life for hours or miles. This seclusion is preparation for the atmosphere to come. The warnings about the final bumpy stretch to the Lodge gain life. Being hurtled around the backseat, off-roading for the last hour, is rather fun! Just be sure to have an empty bladder before attempting the journey! Arrival at Blancaneaux is a fantasy. Nothing short of a film set, the dramatic hideaway is captivating, shrouded by the wonderland of the jungle-clad Cayo district. Coppola has created real-life picturesque whimsy, as in his movies. Every element of the wild somehow appears perfectly placed. Unlike the rest of the country’s wild and exotic jungle, which brims with orchids, vines, bromeliads and creepers, here we’re in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. 20 luxurious casitas are woven into surrounding tall elegant Honduras pine trees. The Sun glimmers through the fine lush needles in the hillside at dawn and dusk. Below, rainwater glides off granite boulders into swirling cascades of Privassion Creek, collecting in turquoise pools. Thunderous echoes of distant waterfalls and wild animals nibble at the senses.

Jungle Oasis By nightfall, the jungle comes alive with the ceremonial resounding reverb of a roster of wildlife on loudspeaker. The loudest culprits I see are the tiniest frogs! Then dawn breaks and with it the shrill of nature’s operatic alarm clock. An entire concerto of birdlife echoes; knocks, clicks, whoops and trills, as Green Jays, Red-Lored parrots and Melodious Blackbirds announce the day.


Photo: Anisha Shah


Various high-end lodges offer varying activities so any rainforest experience will depend on the choice of stay. Living at Blancaneaux Lodge, I feel I’ve been let in on a Hollywood secret. Not that it’s a Universal Studios set, as much as I feel I’ve stepped into one. Coppola uses the subtlety and drama of nature to play on surrealism, stimulating the subconscious mind whilst pandering to every conscious desire; all with a serious behind-the-scenes eco-friendly lead.

Solitary Solace Outdoor and nature-lovers will delight in the rainforest. The soft limestone bed, under the damp exotic canopy of sail-like fronds and huge palms stretching skywards, is punctuated with caves and Cenotes; sunken water caves, which the ancient Mayans believed led to the underworld. Now, they’re whimsical swimming sanctuaries to challenge Enid Blyton’s imagination. Whilst taking a dip alone in a deep dark pool, I half expect fairies to emerge. Hiking, mountain biking, cave tubing and zip lining are among the choice of adrenaline-inducing activities. Cave tubing is a speciality in Belize and an extraordinary experience; dangling, through a lifebuoy, along natural waterways in and out of a blackened intricate lattice of caves into the unknown is an almost meditative process. Through the natural caves, pitch-black emptiness prevails, only the sound of my little legs paddling in deep waters as I drift through darkness. A paradoxical experience; exhilarating in it’s serenity.

Photo: Anisha Shah

Horseback riding is my passion and Blancaneaux Lodge has its own stables complete with guide-trainers. Trotting down muddy slopes surrounded by dense wild bush, ducking for branches, into a canter through flowing brooks and dusty pathways on horseback is pure exhilaration. Even better, when the final spot is a mountain ledge from which to watch the sun sink into the jungle. Or the spectacular Big Rock Falls, an hour away on horseback followed by a short hike down steep boulders to a deep expansive natural pool under waterfalls. Whilst there, the weather suddenly changes to monsoon rain so saturated I can barely open my eyes; a reminder that this is no controlled environment, but rugged rainforest. For the truly brave, night walks near the lodge hope to spot the elusive jaguar as well as tapir, howler monkeys, armadillo and coati, which can be heard remotely.



Spa Sanctuary In Belize’s jungle, I savour every moment, as time is filled only with pleasure. By dusk, I head to my haven, ‘Waterfall Spa.’ The most incredible setting of any spa on the planet, an open-faced natural light treatment room steps directly into a long semi-circular outdoor infinity pool, heated by hydroelectricity, peering over cascading waterfalls and enveloped by dripping vegetation of tropical jungle. Before my Balinese massage, by a powerful Indonesian therapist, I soak in the hot pool. Mist evaporates off the surface drifting downstream over natural sandy beaches on the banks of the gushing Creek. The splendour for the senses achieved by eco-luxury is phenomenal. Ancient Mayan ruins pepper the jungle. Caracol is historically the most important in Belize and is close to the lodge. It warrants a half-day trip from base by 4x4 and on foot. This is one of few sites where visitors can still climb the pyramid temples to astounding views right over Guatemala. Belize’s largest Mayan archaeological site once rivalled Tikal in Guatemala, which can also be reached from the rainforest. From the top of the 136ft temple, which rises out of the jungle floor and is the tallest structure in Belize, the views are majestic, projecting above the jungle canopy as far as the eye can see. With few tourists, it’s not difficult to imagine this place as it once was.

Placencia Peninsula After a few days in the rainforest, I leave to uncover a contrasting face of Belize. 130 miles away on the Caribbean Coast, lies a long, narrow, sleepy peninsula, lined by idyllic white sand beaches and azure seas to the West and mangrove lagoon to the East. Placencia, a village of one long main road, was named for its shape by Spanish travellers. It started out with a few families subsistence living off the sea. Now, it has an estimated 1,000 residents.

The tight-knit community survives off cutesy beach bars, boho boutiques, laid-back restaurants serving divine seafood, and affordable massage and yoga retreats. ‘Placencites’ were brought closer together by Hurricane Isis, in 2001, which destroyed 95% of the village. Since then, development has been on the rise, as have property prices. I feel as though I’ve re-wound time to 17th Century Barbados or Florida Keys of yesteryear. People get around by foot, bike or golf cart, as one end to the other takes 20 mins. Bicycling into the hub of the village, colourful pastel wooden shops pass in view, people smile and greet one another, and I can’t help but chuckle at a sign warning against walking too fast! Reggae is always playing, a soothing backdrop to the views either side of crystal clear Caribbean waters and natural lagoon harbouring Manatee. 5 miles away, the harbour brings in expensive yachts and wealthy families from across Central America and the States.

Beachfront Refuge A property that was completely destroyed by the Hurricane was Coppola’s only other Belize boutique hotel, Turtle Inn. In 2003 it re-opened, entirely re-built, raising the bar high for Placencia, with his usual prerequisites of the best materials from around the world, local staff and fairytale settings. Understated and lavish, Turtle Inn is a labour of love. This beachside refuge attains luxury whilst still embracing nature and all that’s rustic about Belize. Behind an uber-relaxed façade runs a slick operation, headed up by an unlikely candidate, at least upon initial meeting. Martin Krediet is the Johnny Depp, in Coppola’s beach set, appearing in a white linen shirt, trilby hat and shorts. He’s watching guests try their hand at kite surfing, and, it appears, itching to get in. Our informal friendly greeting in this blissful setting induces relaxation from the moment of


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arrival. That’s part of the charm of Turtle Inn and Martin assumes his role like a natural. A handful of individual thatched cabanas are mere steps from the beach. I particularly delight in my airy private deck for the serene option of in-cottage breakfast. Coppola wins my award for coolest contraption in a hotel room, the ‘Shell Phone.’ Don’t expect traditional phones in the rooms of either of his properties. The Shell phone is a large beautiful Conch shell attached to what look like a gramophone base. It connects directly to Reception as the shell echoes the voice on the other end; a quirky way to order coffee to my room.

Luxe Living With so much beauty outside, it’s difficult to find an excuse to stay inside. My preferred spot is the open beach bar for lunch. Dining on gourmet Red Snapper burger or Garlic butter Lobster, whilst feeling the powdery sand between my toes and listening to the motion of the sea just a metre away is, quite frankly, my idea of heaven. I find Turtle Inn staff impeccable too as the service is standalone excellence, above and beyond requirement. For example, bringing a change of shoes from my room to a nearby bar whilst on an evening out (don’t wear heels to Barefoot Bar – the clue is in the name), which is met speedily and with finesse. Outside my cabana, I while away the hours on a hammock on the beach, tucking into fresh Shrimp tacos on the baby chairs and wooden table in the shallows of the sea and swing myself to a lull before bed on a twinkling tree-swing.

Photo: Anisha Shah

Virgin Beauty Long walks on the vast rugged beach are a given in Placencia. Without a person in sight, they’re picturepostcard views, passing sparse rustic beachfront homes and the odd natural log, tree or shell which breaks up endless white sand beach. This is the Caribbean dream. At sunrise, I take 2-hour beachfront strolls at low tide to the end of the peninsula, before wandering 30 seconds inland for my morning coffee at ‘Above Ground.’ The one-of-a-kind treetop coffee shop on stilts lies just off the beach and is run by a friendly Scottish man who




Photo: Anisha Shah

moved to Belize decades ago. With working Wifi and morning banter amongst a handful of locals, this is my favourite haunt for a fresh brew directly sourced from the highlands of Guatemala. Next stop, a big hearty breakfast of ‘Huevos Rancheros’ at colourful beachside hut café, ‘The Shak’ with some sweet conversations and gossip with curious locals on the beach. After lunch, late afternoons are best spent socialising with locals at ‘Barefoot’ beach bar, a beachfront stroll or bike ride away (Turtle Inn provides guests with free bikes). For a small village, Placencia is very sociable, as weekends continue into the early hours. Barefoot Bar is the liveliest hub, spilling over to next-door ‘Tipsy Tuna,’ a beachfront nightclub, Placencia-style.

Caribbean Lifestyle On a calmer segment of beachfront where the water is so still, there’s nothing but one line separating the horizon, lies a luxury boutique hotel of a different style. ‘Chabil Mar’ has the feel of an 80’s Caribbean holiday home but with the modern interior comforts of new apartments. My vast 1-bedroom suite features a wrap-around balcony and veranda directly overlooking the Caribbean Sea. With air conditioning and a fully equipped kitchen, I feel right at home. Nice touches add to the ambiance, as a driver in a little minibus collects guests from the village after an evening out. And, should you head out by bike but unwittingly have one too many to ride back, the bus can collect you and your bike... or just the bike leaving you to carry on. Needless to say, I rather appreciate this service! With a multiple award-winning customer service staff member, Natalie Ranguy, every whim is catered to in this very local property. Within 3 days, I know half the village by first name, greeting people in the street and 364

stopping for chats. The locals embrace this atmosphere and cherish it. But for those who find it too insular, the Northern Island of Ambergris Caye is the most popular spot in Belize. Famous for San Pedro town, the topic of Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita,’ this is a little more commercial, with bars, restaurants and cafes spilling into the streets and on the beach. Still, no multinationals though, as they’re all local and individually owned.

Private Helicopter Barrier Reef Tour Placencia has a tiny airport. Cessna planes transport passengers cheaply to and from Belize City. I get the option of sitting in co-pilot, benefitting from incredible views over rivers, beaches and forest. A seriously sexy option from the city to Ambergris Caye is private helicopter ride. My journey takes in glistening exquisite blues, greens and every shade in between of the 190-mile barrier reef and even lands directly in the gardens of my hotel, Victoria House. Astrum Helicopters offer 3 different tours. I choose the one flying over offshore Cayes and Atolls. Rising out of Belize City feels particularly Bond-esque and I can’t hide my excitement as I peer below my feet to glass-bottom views. Gustavo, my rugged handsome pilot, and MD of Astrum, is as relaxed as can be. He radiates the lifestyle through a suave laid-back demeanour. Passionate about the country and beauty, he beams through our headphones about passengers who’ve saved up for years to visit Belize and take this helicopter ride. Proposals, vows, big announcements…he’s shared some incredibly personal moments with his guests. Off-land and hovering across the sea, I’ve never known such a staggering variation of the colour blue. Swirls of shallow sandy islands appear milky under the water’s surface. Speckles of land litter the sea as a thousand dark dots amidst piercing cats eye coloured water. From above, the water


Photo: Anisha Shah

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Photo: Anisha Shah

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is virtually transparent. I shriek as we spot a family of Sharks and rays over the aptly-titled Shark Ray alley, a very popular snorkelling diving spot. Gustavo flies low over Hol Chan Marine Reserve as we spot more sea-life, then shows off a 360 panorama right along the barrier reef as far as the eye can trace and then straight out to endless deep blue. A once-ina-lifetime experience, this is an absolute highlight of my Belize trip and worth every penny. A helicopter ride is also the perfect appetiser to getting in the water. The prelude leaves me eagerly anticipating the sea. Coming into land, Victoria House appears as a pretty white property, gracing a wide stretch of pristine beachfront. I spend the afternoon dipping in the sea, joined by huge rays and colourful Parrotfish, just off the pier by the hotel’s beachfront bar, in between munching on delicious Lobster Ceviche and supping cocktails. 10 minutes in the distance is San Pedro.

‘La Isla Bonita’ Madonna’s famous song ‘La Isla Bonita,’ thrust this Caye to fame in its heyday in the 90s. San Pedro is as hedonistic as Belize gets. Even then, the party scene is easy-going and casual with waterfront open-walled clubs radiating more of a drop-in and duck out feel. It’s all very welcoming and you’d be pushed not to unwittingly make friends in San Pedro, as everyone is warm and talkative. The main strip consists of 2 parallel roads bordering the sea, lined by shops, coffee shops, bars and restaurants. Here’s where you’ll find all the cool kids, beautiful boy and girls and Ruby’s tearoom! The latter becomes my regular après-midi haunt as I hire a buggy to drive there every day! From the outside it appears unassuming. But Ruby’s is familyowned and bakes all cakes on-site fresh every day. The cheesecake is pure decadence!

The only way to get around Ambergris Caye by land is by golf buggy, which I rent from the hotel. Ignore their suggestions. I have way too much fun taking off alone, crossing the ‘border’ – a toll bridge over a channel in the sea, heading North of the island, which is considered far by locals. With no paved roads, deep wide potholes ensure a tumultuous ride. Alone through remote wilderness, I find solace in the greenery and mosquitoes become my familiar friends. At a crossroads, the choice is mind-boggling; ‘Main Road’ points left, ‘Dead End’ points right. Such is the enviable simplicity of life here. I put my foot down to continue until I stumble across ‘Akbol,’ a yoga retreat. On closer investigation through unassuming dirt track through the woods, I discover a charming beachfront retreat serving delicious healthy homemade meals. My breakfast includes wholegrain pancakes with banana and cinnamon, at a gorgeous quaint beach hut on a scenic little stretch of beach. I get chatting away with the owner who’s originally from Chicago. Close by is Palapa Bar, situated on stilts half a kilometre into the sea. It’s perhaps my favourite spot to watch sunset. And further along is the upmarket Rojo Lounge – another chill out beachfront bar and restaurant with beds in the infinity pool. This is the 30s+ preferred party spot, away from the throng of San Pedro and it’s cheesy clubs and karaoke bars. The fastest way to get around Ambergris Caye is by speedboat. Everyone uses the taxi ferry, which picks up at piers along the seafront. By evening, however, be warned that the service is every 1-2 hours. When I tire of an evening at Rojo Lounge, there is literally no way to get back other than to charter a speedboat from my hotel, Victoria House. For the cost of a London taxi, it’s an affordable and exhilarating feeling, slicing through the inky black sea at night, watching the lights on land turn into dazzling jetstreams.


Photo: Anisha Shah


Adult Playground Island in the Sea No trip to Ambergris Caye is complete without time on, in and under the water. I hop on the fun and inexpensive water taxi from San Pedro, for an hour’s journey through crystal blue Caribbean Sea to Caye Caulker. Every cliché and stereotype associated with a tiny island applies here. Caye Caulker is a sandspit of palm trees and clapboard cabins. On approach, the first thing I notice is the multicolour dolls houses just past the jetty. These are actual homes and guesthouses. Everything seems scaled down to pint-sized and painted candy colours. Lapped by still translucent waters and fringed by white sand beaches, I can see why people end up staying longer than planned. A bunch of girls sail by, on the placid waters, on paddleboards. Topless men are playing volleyball and drinking beers. The locals are fishermen or restaurant owners and the foreigners are mostly backpackers. All are as laid-back as horizontal. The second I step off the boat, I ’m sucked in by the casual party vibe. A view down a side street leads the eye straight to a bracken lagoon on the other side of the 5x1 mile islet. Literally, a limestone coral outcrop in the sea, nowhere in Belize is the pace of life more informal; reminiscent of Margaritaville in Jamaica. A collective of the quintessential party all night, beach all day types find their haven on this detox/retox island. And be it day or night, everything happens at the beach. But that’s not all. It’s as though Disney, or the like, has transformed the entire island into a big kid’s fantasy. Walking into a café for some freshly caught seafood and cocktails, I’m led to my seat swings on the sea. The alternative is a large round table in the sand surrounded by swings as seats. Or I could choose to sit on their hammocks on the boardwalk on the sea for

lunch. Toasting Pina Coladas on colourful wooden swings above the sea, toes skimming the warm water’s surface, is an amazingly alluring way of life! The restaurant next door has stools and tables in the shallows of the sea. Understandable then that they all have a Dress Down policy. Caye Caulker is an adult playground for grown up children. With cute and quirky accommodations aplenty, it’s easy to visit on all budgets. But the truly remarkable aspect is that it hasn’t been overrun by travellers. Local life is still predominantly visible as Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna and Creole cultures are engrained here. Lobster fishing is a 3-month livelihood. I buy a tub of ice cream from a little stall, where the lady tends to her baby and 5 year old behind the counter. The grandmother emerges from a modest house, just steps beyond, blurts a few words of Spanish and hushes the baby. You see directly where your money is going. And people are friendly and open, making it easy to fall in love with this dreamy islet in the ocean.

Sharks, Ray & Other Large Fish Back to my hotel, Victoria House is an established and well-loved property on Ambergris Caye. It is the epitome of classic luxury. Established in 1981 and spanning 10 acres, I learn that it’s a name synonymous with barefoot luxe. My duplex suite comes with a fully equipped kitchen; a touch I appreciate for afternoon tea or coffee in my own comfort. The wide stretch of beach is pristine and private, which is a coup on Ambergris Caye, just minutes from San Pedro. I find it an ideal spot for ease of access to San Pedro whilst distant enough to be its own oasis of serenity. The hotel’s private pier is always busy as Ambergris Caye is Belize’s closest point to the Barrier Reef, just a kilometre into the sea.


Photo: Anisha Shah


Hiring a VH reputed speedboat and diving instructor, it takes just minutes to begin snorkelling on the world’s largest barrier reef, second only to Australia. Stretching North to South, the reef shelters all the interior Cayes with deep canyons of staghorn, elkhorn and brain coral, starting at 90 feet at dive sites. I’m a little nervous at the thought of Sharks, so we begin gently by getting comfortable with the beautiful reef fish, turtles and coral so vivacious, it reminds me of Mozambique and the Maldives. Next, we set off towards Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, both world-famous spots for diving and snorkelling and, for many, the main draw to Belize. Approaching a long narrow slit a couple of kilometres out at sea, the waters turn a deeper shade of blue, still translucent. I see a few boats with orange floats bobbing on the sea. Hol Chan is Mayan for ‘Little Channel’ and is a deep cut in the barrier providing access to sites outside. The reserve is fiercely protected and patrolled, which has helped retain abundant marine life and the rare Elkhorn. The shallower ‘Shark Ray Alley’ is a sandy plateau inside the reef. Fishermen used to clean their catch here, attracting swarms of nurse sharks and squadrons of stingrays. The effect has lingered. ‘Welcome to sharkland… but they are very friendly and you can touch them as they brush past you,’ exclaims my instructor. ‘They feel like sandpaper.’ Admittedly, this is where I panic and deem it best not to enter the water in that state. I don’t miss out much though as they’re circling the waters, dorsal fins protruding, making a splash together. At 6ft+ each, I do feel calmer observing from above water level, as my heart thuds from here. The Sharks appear to be playful and boisterous, not minding human interaction at all. Back on land, at the foot of the famed San Pedro action, I discover ‘The Phoenix’ hotel, an award-winning oasis of luxury and privacy. As a relative newcomer, I’m left wanting for nothing

in this Conde Nast Johansens recommended property. Manager, Mark Maggioto, welcomes me to a sumptuous 2-bedroom Caribbean Seafront modern apartment. Decked out in the latest technology, fully equipped with utilities and plush furnishings and with the luxury of space – 1500 sq ft - this is an ideal spot for the young, sassy and demanding, with the best Concierge in town. Luxuriating by the beach on my final evening, watching the Sun melt into the sea, I’m startled at Belize. Rainforests to beaches, tiny planes to helicopters and properties of effortless luxury and Caribbean warmth, this dot on the map nation encompasses everyone’s ideas of dream holiday. It’s a matter of time before Belize features highly on every traveller’s destinations of a lifetime. Anisha Shah is an experienced TV & Radio News Reporter, having worked with the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist for 6 years. Her career highlight is TV News Reporting on the London 2012 Olympic Games. An incessant traveller, Anisha's name has graced the byline of leading international publications from Asia to the Channel Islands. Her niche is ultra-luxury & extremely emerging destinations and conflict zones, stemming from her childhood dream of becoming a War Reporter. This has seen her pick unusual destinations: Bahrain, Kuwait, Beirut and Guatemala. She describes her travels as a beautiful contradiction, from the grand luxury of European chateaux, Indian royal palaces, African wilderness lodges and private island sanctuaries to truly emerging destinations of Ethiopia, Guatemala, Myanmar and Tamil Nadu, documenting the last remote tribes on the planet. As a published photographer with a penchant for portraits,Anisha is Editor of ‘A Niche World’,, where she publishes stunning sets of images. Follow her real-time travels on Twitter @anishahbbc.


Kitchen Confidential Top chefs share their recipes

In each issue of THE ADDRESS Magazine, leading chefs from some of the world's most highprofile restaurants share their recipes. In this issue, meet Abdul Yaseen, Cinnamon Kitchen, London, UK


Cinnamon Kitchen, London, United Kingdom Cinnamon Kitchen is the sister restaurant to celebrated modern Indian restaurant The Cinnamon Club • Cinnamon Kitchen is a great destination for food lovers • Each meal is masterfully composed, expertly executed and beautifully presented • Modern twist on traditional Indian cooking create a taste journey of unforgettable flavours • A basket of homemade naan breads — each filled with a different delicious filling — and homemade chutneys offer an aromatic prelude for an innovative meal • Highlights may include Smoked haddock and Jerusalem artichoke cake; Steamed lobster momos with coriander and chilli; Duck breast with sesame, tamarind and peanut; Tandoori spiced 'Oisin' red deer with pickled vegetables, yoghurt sauce • The dessert menu deserves a special mention as well, the Valrhona warm dark chocolate mousse with cinnamon ice cream and fennel short bread is sensational • Fittingly located in what was once the East India Company spice warehouses, the dining area is a high-ceilinged industrial space decorated with polished wooden tables and intricately hand-perforated globe lights cast dappled patterns and textures throughout the room • A well-chosen wine list • Service is polite, informative and efficient • Anise is the excellent destination bar and their unique, spiceinfused cocktails are faultless




Photography: Christian Barnett

Courtesy of Cinnamon Kitchen, London, UK

Although made in most of Punjab and northern India, this recipe has its origins in Kashmir, the northernmost state on the border of Pakistan, where the winters are severe. It is a simple yet warming everyday recipe using turnips, carrots and other familiar vegetables. It may well have been the starting point of what is usually known as saag gosht in the Western world, minus the root vegetables, but try it with the vegetables and see the difference for yourself. INGREDIENTS 500g (1lb 2oz) spinach leaves 4 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 teaspoon cloves 2 large onions, finely chopped 4 tbsp finely chopped garlic 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger 2 tsp red chilli powder 2 tsp salt

750g (1lb 10oz) boned leg of lamb, cut into 2.5cm (1-inch) cubes 4 green chillies, slit open lengthwise ½ turnip, cut into 1cm (½-inch) cubes 1 carrot, cut into 1cm (½-inch) cubes 300ml (11/4 cups) lamb stock or water

METHOD Blanch the spinach in a large pan of boiling water until wilted, then refresh in cold water and drain. Squeeze out the excess liquid and blitz to a smooth purée in a blender or food processor. Set aside. Heat the ghee or oil in a large, heavy-based pan and add the cumin and cloves. When they start to crackle, add the chopped onions and sauté until light golden. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 2–3 minutes, until the garlic begins to change colour, then add the chilli powder and salt and stir for another couple of minutes, until the spices begin to release their flavour and the fat starts to separate from the mixture. Now add the lamb pieces and cook over a fairly high heat, stirring constantly, for 8–10 minutes, until the meat begins to brown at the edges. When most of the liquid has evaporated and the lamb is well coloured, stir in the green chillies, turnip and carrot. Add the lamb stock or water, then reduce the heat, cover the pan

2 tomatoes, finely chopped 1 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour 100g (3 ½ oz) small pickling onions, peeled 1 tablespoon cold butter juice of ½ lemon 1 tsp ground spice mix (equal parts of clove, nutmeg, mace and green cardamom, ground in a mortar and pestle)

and cook gently for 30–40 minutes, until the lamb is almost cooked. Remove the lid, add the tomatoes and cook for 10–12 minutes, until the lamb is cooked through and the tomatoes have been incorporated into the sauce. Add the gram flour and cook, stirring, for a minute, to eliminate any raw flavour. Add the small onions and cook for a minute or two, until glazed but still crunchy. Now add the puréed spinach, increase the heat and stir to mix thoroughly. Check the seasoning, then stir in the butter, lemon juice and spice mix. Serve immediately, with chapattis or other bread. Cook’s notes Do not cook for too long after adding the spinach purée, or it will discolour and look horrible! You could substitute diced paneer for the lamb. The cooking time will reduce drastically but the flavours are just as enjoyable.


Baked LEG OF RABBIT with YOGHURT and CORNMEAL SAUCE Courtesy of Cinnamon Kitchen, London, UK


INGREDIENTS For the rabbit 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste 4 rabbit legs left whole with bone in 2 tbsp vegetable oil 3 green chillies, slit lengthways ½ tsp black peppercorns 1cm piece of cinnamon stick 1 bay leaf 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp red chilli powder

For the crust 2 tsp black peppercorns 6 cloves 2 tsp fennel seeds For the sauce 1 tablespoon garlic paste ½ tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp salt 5cm piece of fresh ginger; peeled and chopped 2 tbsp fine cornmeal 250ml strained braising liquid 80ml ghee or vegetable oil

8 cloves 2 black cardamom pods 1 bay leaf 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped 50g plain yoghurt 2tbsp chopped fresh coriander; leaves and stalks Juice of one lemon

METHOD Firstly, prepare the marinade for the rabbit legs. Mix together the turmeric, salt, ginger and garlic paste, spread over meat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. In a deep heavy-based pan, heat half the oil and sear the legs for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned and pour in enough water to cover the legs. Add the chillies, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer, covered over low heat for about 45 minutes or until the legs are tender. Remove the rabbit legs from the heat, drain and reserve the stock. Pat dry the rabbit legs and place on a wire rack. Brush with the remaining oil. Prepare the spice crust by grinding together the spices in a mortar and pestle; you want a fairly coarse texture. Sprinkle over the rabbit and place in a low oven to keep warm. Now make the sauce. Mix together the garlic paste, turmeric, salt, chopped ginger, corn-

meal and braising liquid in a bowl until well combined. Set aside. Heat the ghee in a heavy-based pan on a medium-high heat until smoking point. Add the cloves, black cardamom and bay leaf and when they start to crackle, add the onion and cook on a medium heat for 4-6 minutes until it is translucent. Add the garlic, spice and cooking liquor mixture and cook, stirring well for 3-4 minutes until everything is thoroughly combined. Gradually add the yoghurt, stirring well after each spoonful. Once all the yoghurt has been incorporated, bring the sauce to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes until thickened. Check the seasoning and finish with the coriander and lemon juice. Finally, put the rabbit legs on a grill rack and place under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes, until the legs are warm and the crust begins to crisp. Divide the sauce between the 4 plates and serve with the rabbit legs on top.


Fabulous Foodie Inspirations

Here we serve up gourmet food, nifty tools and stylish tableware for the ultimate dinner party Heavenly Artisan Honey

Entertain in Style

Artisan honey is creating a buzz. Danish honey maker HELT may very well be the most stylish artisan honey brand on the market. Infused with the founder’s love for bees and nature, the hand-crafted honey is made in small batches from different parts of Denmark. Pure and divine, rare and inspirational. Besides HELT’s delicious pure honeys, it fashions unique infusions never seen or tasted before, such as exciting blends with cacao nibs, liquorice, cinnamon and cranberry. The award-winning labelling and packaging is eye-catching, fun and different. Each jar contains unique illustrations and icons based on its special flavour and the flowers from which the particular bees collected the nectar. Time to discover the colourful world of HELT.

Elegant white dinnerware never goes out of fashion. The “À Table” rectangular and square plates by ASA Selection have a timeless design with pure minimalist lines that adds to the elegance of the dining table. The plates offer a clean, understated backdrop that highlights the colours, shapes and textures of food, whilst adding a touch of contemporary sophistication to the table. Complementing both casual and formal table settings, the stylish dinnerware is made of fine bone china, as durable as it is beautiful. The beauty of the collection lies in its purity of form, putting these modern plates at the top of our shopping list.

Precision Slicing Guaranteed Appealing to gourmets and aesthetes alike, the fantastic hand-held slicer boasts finesse and style. Highly functional and designed for superior performance, the gourmet slicer from Rösle produces ultra-thin slices of truffles, garlic, champignons, chocolate and other exquisite items. The sharp blade is freely adjustable and can be set to produce the desired thickness. The food grip/hand guard ensures safe slicing of even the smallest slivers. It is a stunning piece of engineering in its own right, and will look fantastic in any kitchen. 378

Elegant Mortar and Pestle with a Minimalist Modern Sensibility We harbour a crush on white kitchen tools. Timeless and sculptural, here is our favourite mortar and pestle. Elegantly crafted in smooth white marble, the stunning mortar and pestle designed by Magnus Lundström is a highly practical objet d’art. Beautiful in its simplicity and function, the mortar and pestle features minimalist design, yet it is durable and heavy enough to get the job done. It is a must-have for grinding spices, mashing garlic, guacamole, pesto and peanut butter. Sleek and smooth, it is modern design aesthetics at its best.



ASA Selection

Magnus Lundstrรถm 379

For the Wine Lover There is more to the enjoyment of a full-bodied glass of wine than simply buying a great vintage. Appropriate temperature, a suitable wine glass and the right decanting process are equally crucial. Anyone who wants the best from their wine should own a decanter. Decanting releases and maximises aromas and flavours, allowing the wine to aerate. Designed by wine enthusiast Tom Nybroe for Holmegaard, the essential decanter will help discover a wine’s true flavour. With its modern, understated elegance, the Perfection decanter will be a beautiful addition to any dinner party. The decanter oozes distinctive elegance and purity and represents the very best in Scandinavian design.

Sinfully Indulgent Chocolate Beautifully packaged and presented, the Chocolatier’s Selection by Iain Burnett is a decadent treat for all die-hard chocolate fans. Burnett, who has become known as The Highland Chocolatier, is an award-winning artisan chocolatier, specialising in gourmet truffles and spiced pralines. Fresh and elegantly hand-crafted, some of the selection's flavour highlights are: Raspberry & Black Pepper, Orange & Clove, Garden Mint, Lemongrass & Lime, Assam Tea & Green Cardamom, and Espresso. Our favourite of this box was the sublime Dark Velvet Truffle, an offering that melts in the mouth and is utterly delicious. It is not only the fabulous texture, but the flavour profile of a uniquely flavoured, singleorigin chocolate from the island of São Tomé, mixed with fresh Scottish cream, which make 380

it stand out from all other offerings on the market. Everything is made in the Scottish Highlands where fresh herbs, red fruits and apiaries abound in the fertile Tay Valley. Extraordinarily scrumptious, just make sure that at least once in this lifetime, try one of Iain Burnett's Velvet Truffles.

Smart Designer Measuring Cups A fabulous foursome that makes food preparations so much easier. Designed by Jordan Murphy for Umbra, the super-handy and stylish set of measuring cups adds precision to cooking. Smartly designed, it stacks and divides into a four measure cup set: one cup, half cup, third cup and quarter cup. The stackability is a great space-saver. Functional, stylish and smart, this set is a must for any kitchen.

Colourful, Stylish and Functional Terrine Moulds The funky and colourful pâté and terrine mould by Yoko Design is a stylish addition to food lovers’ kitchens. The flexible, durable, non-stick mould is ideal for creating impressive pâtés, terrines, cakes and frozen desserts with ease. Thanks to its large size, it is also perfect for stews, meats and casseroles. Platinum silicone lasts a long time without shrinking or cracking. It is also odourless, stainless, non-toxic and withstands extreme temperature changes, so it will go from the oven to the freezer. Eye-catching and practical, the versatile terrine mould is a must when entertaining with style.

The Highland Chocolatier



Yoko Design



Style & design discoveries for your home A stunning pendant lamp combining modern, clean lines with stylish artistry It always seems difficult to find really perfect minimalist lighting solutions. The Cross pendant designed by Resident is at the top of our list for suspension lighting solutions. The essence of the lamp is streamlined simplicity – a sublime and seductive minimalism. It will be an inspiring fixture that elevates a room from average to impressive. Designed in the shape of a cross, the elegant pendant lamp is made up of four intersecting arms of finely


crafted aluminium that meet at a central point. Fitted with recessed LEDs and suspended from ceiling fixtures with thin metal cable, the delicately balanced pendant light seems to float in the air as it gently glows. A beautiful piece executed with an emphasis on materiality, here is paredback aesthetics at its finest.

Designer cooker hood for kitchens with style Destined to catch the eye of the performance- and design-minded alike, this stunning cooker hood from



383 Jean-Marie Massaud

Kuppersbusch is the perfect statement piece for any modern kitchen. It flawlessly integrates without compromise and produces the ideal combination of high efficiency and elegance. Wonderfully engineered with sleek lines, the cooker hood offers cutting-edge features such as rim suction technology and swing-out glass panel. This would be a stylish addition to any new kitchen.

Striking chairs with clean, modern aesthetics In search for the perfect seating solution, the Bond chairs designed by Jean-Marie Massaud for Offecct combine beautiful aesthetic with stylish functionality. The timeless pieces are equally at home in a living room or an office. Offering a distinctively modern style, the design features seamless, softly rounded square edges. Massaud wanted to create the illusion of an object that floats and moves with ease. The chairs are a design of today and a classic of tomorrow. Here is modern design breathing Scandinavian simplicity at its best.

Pristine shower box synchronizes beauty and practicality Simplicity and elegance combine in the perfect lines of the reversible storage solution by bbuddy. Fusing good looks with functionality, the handy helper keeps soaps and shampoos easily contained or readily displayed. Modern design, excellent craftsmanship, ingenuity and everyday appeal are the hallmarks of the multi-functional bathroom accessory. Hand-made in Finland, the minimalist storage box or shelf is designed to be functional and 384

stylish and proves that pure genius lies within simplicity and beauty.

Beautiful bowl with sublime Bauhaus-like geometry A stunning object of desire, the bowl by Lassen will make a striking centrepiece in any home. With restraint and elegance, the beauty of minimalism could not be more clearly depicted in the simple, yet pure and aesthetically pleasing bowl. With iconic design and elegant functionality, the bowl’s geometric purity and simplicity bring to mind echoes of the German design school Bauhaus. The bowl’s minimal aesthetic is beautiful within itself, but can also be used to hold anything from fruit to flowers The Kubus Bowl fits just as well into 21st century interiors as it did when it was designed by Mogens Lassen in 1962. Timeless design at its best.

Supreme bathroom minimalism For those in love with minimalism and clean lines, here is the ultimate sink from Victor Vasilev. The Kub will stand the test of time and outlives fads with its elegant simplicity. A sublime example of when less is more, the refined sink is a true sense of minimalistic balance and beauty. The solid character of the marble base is stunningly accentuated by the contrast with the cantilevering transparent bowl. Incredibly beautiful, this sink is definitely on our wish list.


by Lassen

385 Victor Vasilev

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