Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Voyage of Discovery

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Voyage of Discovery

Article excerpt

Byline: CATHY HAWKER

Buying into a smart beachfront development has never been easier.

Cathy Hawker looks at the affordable ways to buy a family holiday home in Portugal

PORTUGAL'S Algarve may seem predictable, with its golf courses and high-density resorts, but there is increasingly more to this accessible region, including some innovative schemes for second-home buyers looking to invest in one of Europe's premier holiday destinations.

Here, in Europe's most southwesterly corner, the Atlantic stretches to infinity. It was from here that Prince Henry "The Navigator" set sail on his voyages of discovers in the 15th century.

The view inland from the wind and sea-lashed cliffs is remarkably unspoilt, too. The Costa Vincentina Natural Park is a protected wilderness devoid of manicured golf tees with the only bunkers being nature's wide sandy beaches.

One of these beaches, Martinhal, is the site of an innovative new leisure resort from popular British hoteliers Nigel Chapman and Nicholas Dickinson of Luxury Family Hotels, the team behind Wooley Grange, Moonfleet Manor and upmarket ski business Meriski. They are partners in developer Four Winds SA with the husband-and-wife business team Roman and Chitra Stern.

Martinhal is a planned five-star beach resort, near the traditional fishing harbour of Sagres, with 129 houses and a 40-room hotel set in 2,583sq ft of landscaped grounds with tennis courts, pools and a separate spa building. The design, led by architects Conran & Partners, is cool modern, with grass roofs and a glass-fronted restaurant, all a refreshing change from traditional resort architecture.

Prices at Martinhal range from [pounds sterling]248,000 for a one-bedroom, 872sq ft garden cottage to [pounds sterling]435,000 for a 1,539sq ft three-bedroom Bay View house, all with terraces and garden areas.

Resort facilities include a village square, health centre and children's play area, which are aimed at providing comprehensive leisure facilities in an idyllic setting to appeal to homeowners and holidaymakers alike. …

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