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MARCH/APRIL2011

MARCH/APRIL 2010 •• £3.25


£3.25

LuxuryHomes
Luxury Homesand
andTravel
TravelMagazine
Magazine
The Premium Collection FRACTIONAL
BARBADOS BECKONS OWNERSHIP
A high class alternative
CHARMING
The MONTENEGRO
splendour of St Peters Bay
The jewel of Europe MALTA
Superb Luxury homes
TOUJOURS PROVENCE
Luxury homes beyond the French Riviera

BERMUDA BOUNTY
Fractional ownership makes its mark

HARBOURING AMBITIONS
Living the marina home dream

MAGICAL MALTA
Small island, big personality

BBC TV’S JAMES


CHRISSIE RUCKERCAAN
The founder of the
From
White Brick Lane
Company sharesto
herDragons Den palettes
passion for neutral
Welcome

THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE

The Good Titles Limited


1 Weirbrook, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7GX

Tel: +44 (0)1268 745682


Fax: +44 (0)1268 745682 Welcome
Web: www.thegoodpropertyguide.com Did any of you did get the opportunity to visit one of
Email: info@thegoodpropertyguide.com
London’s best events this month?
Rita Karia-Hopkins ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ at Earl’s Court was a resounding
Managing Editor
rita@thegoodpropertyguide.com success and buzzing with property buying potential. The
market-leading, three-day event is the biggest and best-
Laura Henderson
Features Editor attended overseas home show of its kind, with over 7,000
laura@thegoodpropertyguide.com visitors this year, highlighting the continuing appeal to the
Colin Halliday British public of buying abroad.
Production Manager Visitors looking for inspiration had plenty to choose from,
production@thegoodpropertyguide.com with over 150 exhibitors representing more than 40 countries. It’s an encouraging sign
John Dickinson against a backdrop of belt-tightening and coalition cut backs. More interesting perhaps,
Editorial Designer is the diversity of interest from a growing catchment of UK buyers. While traditional
production@thegoodpropertyguide.com
hotspots such as France and Italy are still very much in the investor spotlight, long-
Francesca Hammond haul remains in demand too.
Editorial Designer
production@thegoodpropertyguide.com With this in mind, we’ve dedicated a large part of this issue to exotic, far-flung
locations sought after by luxury second-home seekers. I have recently returned
Jules Oakland
Sales Executive from a trip to the exquisite Saint Peters Bay development in Barbados. The whole
advertising@thegoodtravelguide.com neighbouring area surrounding these elegant beachfront villas is gradually being
Emma Cousins upgraded thus enhancing the potential for future increases in property values. With
Accounts Manager Barbados becoming a celebrity filled Island, we may be able to tempt you to invest in
emma@thegoodpropertyguide.com the ‘high life’.
Scott Hartfield Earnestly British in culture, the genteel retiree haven of Bermuda has long been a
Web Developer favourite port of call for golfers and country club devotees. Now the island is beckoning
scott@thegoodpropertyguide.com
younger buyers with a new line in fractional real estate – see pages 22-23 for the full
Published by story. Despite much volatility in world markets, St Lucia’s real estate sector is also
The Good Titles Limited (6 times yearly)
(Registered office 25 Limefield Street, Accrington, weathering the storm well, with an increasing number of buyers choosing to invest in
Lancashire BB5 2AF) some of the best real estate the Caribbean has to offer. Laura Henderson outlines the
pick of the island’s beach front offerings on pages 26-29.
Reprographics by
Vortex Creative Ltd Traditional but never dull, France and Italy’s flagship regions of Provence and
1st Floor Business Centre, Tuscany are masters at reinvention. While the last decade
NWKC, Oakfield Lane, Dartford DA1 2JT of excess has seen fly-to-let devotees piling into Europe’s
www.v-creative.co.uk
baby tiger economies, both regions have been quietly
Printed by upping their tourism game. Turn to page 44 for the
Advent Colour Printers
19 East Portway, Andover insider view on the regions’ top investment spots.
Hants SP10 3LU Finally, with Easter just an egg roll away, we couldn’t let
Distribution by this issue go by without including a selection of the best
Citipost Ltd, springtime activity breaks on offer in the UK. Whether
Unit B Quebec Way, Surrey Quays London SE16 7LF it’s a luxury spa day in London or a great outdoors hiking
www.citipost.com
and horseback challenge – we’ve got a hit list to keep you
Special thanks goes to everyone who more than entertained!
has contributed to this issue of
The Good Property Guide Happy Easter!
All rights reserved. Except for normal review purposes, no part of this
magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the
publishers.Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but
the contents are only meant as a guide to readers. The proprietors of
this magazine are publishers not agents or sub-agents of those who
advertise therein. They cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a
result of information gained from this publication. The publishers of
The Good Property Guide recognise that the security of the reader’s
financial investment is of the greatest concern when buying a
property abroad. Great care is therefore taken in the preparation of
this magazine. However, it must be accepted that there is an element
of risk in undertaking overseas commercial transactions. We therefore
strongly advise readers to obtain reliable professional advice before
signing any documents or making payments to somebody hitherto
unknown to themselves. Copyright 2011 The Good Titles Ltd.
Rita Karia-Hopkins
MANAGING EDITOR
Visit The Good Property Guide The Good Property Guide
online at www.thegoodpropertyguide.com

March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE 3


Contents

Contents
3 Editor’s Welcome with Rita Karia-Hopkins

6 Property News - Latest from around the globe

10 Celebrity Interview - White Company founder


Chrissie Rucker talks neutral palettes and purist
interiors with Laura Henderson

14 Barbados Beckons - Second home perfection


on the island’s pristine Platinum Coast

22 Born Again Bermuda - Fractional ownership


makes its mark Front cover: St Peter’s Bay, Barbados
See pages 14-15
www.stpetersbaybarbados.com 36
32 City Slicker - Designer pads in the heart of the
Belgian capital
16
56 Malta Magic - Luxury waterfont living on the
small island with a big personality

63 The Good Travel Guide

64 Travel News - Where to go, what to see and


how to do it in style

68 London Luxe- Getaway breaks with five-star


trimmings

82 The Last Word - Improve Don’t Move - how to


reap the rewards of staying put

14

56

4 The Good ProPerTy Guide March/April 2011


44 72

10

March/April 2011 The Good ProPerTy Guide 5


Property News

Get A Foothold
in the Calabria
Region

I ncreased low cost flights into Lamezia airport


make Calabria an attractive option for the
buy to let market
In 2010 Lamezia airport passenger numbers
increased by 16.22%, the highest increase in
Italy and in 2011 the airport is expecting a
further increase to over 2 million passengers.
With increasing demand in the area, a lot of
money is being spent on improving Calabria’s
image. Key plans are being implemented
to improve direct flight connections and
infrastructure in the region.
James Dearsley, European Sales Director
of Atlas International states: “With growing
confidence in the area, Calabria is set to offer
an excellent investment opportunity. Ryanair is
making Lamezia airport one of its regional hub
ReclaimYourDeposit.com Launches airports and will be offering 46 flights per week
in the summer time. This will include direct

Low-Fee Bulgarian Property flights from London. Talks are also underway
with other low cost airlines. Completion of

Deposit Recovery Service road works on the A3 motorway connecting


Naples to Reggio Calabria will also make
Calabria more accessible and help increase

L egions of Brits have been lured into


buying property in Bulgaria due to the
low prices and a generous helping of media
much further.”
For prospective claimants, the initial
professional assessment is free of charge.
interest in the property market.” The location
of Atlas’ Jupiter apartments is perfectly placed
to take advantage of these improvements.
hype. But for many purchasers the fairytale ReclaimYourDepsosit lawyers will ascertain Being just a short drive away from the airport,
hasn’t had the scripted happy ending they chances of winning a payout before clients virtually on the beach and within walking
were expecting. Many have become victims commit any money to the process, giving distance to all amenities; these apartments
of various scams losing money in the process, them the option to decide whether to proceed provide a fantastic rental opportunity with
making ReclaimYourDeposit.com’s new low- or not. Should they choose to continue, one bed studios starting at just £40,000.
fee Bulgarian Deposit Recovery Service a reduced fees apply.
welcome support vehicle. For just £950 - to cover disbursements,
Daren Wallbank, Director of minimal fees and miscellaneous charges -
ReclaimYourDeposit.com explains: “Bulgaria has an initial legal claim process is initiated and
proven something of a minefield for exploitative ReclaimYourDeposit.com’s appointed lawyers
estate agents and unscrupulous investment will try to achieve success without the need for
practices. Whether hit by the global economic costly court cases. This fee does not cover the
meltdown, the vagaries of the Bulgarian lawyer’s time but they will not agree to move
legal system or just downright criminality, a claim forward unless confident of a win,
ReclaimYourDeposit.com receives its second thus protecting client monies. In the event of
highest level of enquiries after Spain relating to a victorious claim, ReclaimYourDeposit.com
this tricky property market. Our new low-fee will take a success fee.
Bulgarian Deposit Recovery Service will help
these desperate individuals recover their monies For further information visit:
without denting the battered bank balance too www.ReclaimYourDeposit.com

6 ThE GOOD PROPERTY GuIDE March/April 2011


UK Property Returns Low, “PIGS” Or
“BRICs” Better Property Hotspot?
U K investors, faced with the recent
downturn in the UK economy and
property scene, will do well to weigh up
good future, investment opportunity, but
it must have the potential to recover in the
medium term. This way property can be
developed versus emerging markets, the so- bought at keen prices and has the scope to
called “PIGS” (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) grow as an investment.
or “BRICs” (Brazil, Russia, India, China). They Choosing the bank you deal with could be as
must also review their attitude to risk and important as the country you choose to buy in,
reward if they are to see strong returns. for 2011 and beyond. Banks with low exposure
Individual European property markets vary to weaker economies and bad debt may be
dramatically, with country annual growth worth seeking out.
ranging from minus 14.8% in Ireland and
minus 3.7% in Spain, to stronger European
countries like Poland at 8.1% growth and hotspots for 2011: areas, with a good news story. Murcia, for
Turkey at 2%. Emerging markets might be poland example is benefiting from an announcement
considered higher reward than European Low labour costs and proximity to important at the end of 2010 by Paramount Pictures,
markets. However it is important to note that markets are making Central and Eastern which will be opening its first theme park.
they can overheat and also be higher risk. Europe an attractive manufacturing This will be a boost for the area, if all goes
Dubai is a classic example of this. destination and Poland is key to this. Salaries according to plan and potentially for
Europe, the PIGS and BRICs. The troubles in Poland are significantly below those of property prices, as visitors plan their holiday
encountered in the Eurozone, including Western Europe - there is an expectation it accommodation in the area.
financial bail outs, the banking review, the will take 15 to 20 years before wages catch up
establishment of a permanent, Eurozone to western levels. Property investors, seeking turkey
financial rescue mechanism, all played capital growth and promising rental prospects Turkey is an exciting property market to
a role in shaping the developed nations’ should think about city centres and special consider in 2011/12 with its economic success
property market in 2010. Add to the mix, economic zones, like Krakow and Łodz. of late. Its economy is expected to finish 2011
property buyers wanting to raise finance, with growth of over 6% continuing into 2012.
as well as watching exchange rates. For spain As the economy grows, the wealth generated
example, European banks’ exposure to the Spain has faced challenges. Construction will have a positive impact on the property
debt of Spain is €257bn, (according to FT/ accounted for just over 10% of the workforce market. With annual house price growth of
CEBS analysis) that is a sizeable sum. This in Spain, so the property downturn has had a 2% in 2010, this buoyancy is expected to be
will influence access to funding for overseas big impact on the economy. There are some sustained.
property purchases.
The Euro area is forecast to grow at 1.3%
2011, vs 6.8% and 6.4% for emerging
economies. Economic growth bodes well for
property markets, since the wealth generated
creates property demand and acts as a driver of
the property market.
On the face of it, the emerging economies look
a better bet, however they will need resources
to grow, both money and raw materials (witness
the spate of lead thefts to supply china with
base metal requirements). Some emerging
markets have not yet got a proven, “foreign
property buyer” track record. Sustainability of
the domestic, property markets will also be a key
question to bear in mind, as well as how foreign
property buyers are treated by regulation.

What does this mean for overseas


property buyers in 2011/12?
A country need not be showing booming
property growth right now, for it to be a

March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUIDE 7


Property News

‘New World’ Residential Markets Show High Risk


High Reward Compared to ‘Old World’ Stability

T he characteristics, type and quality


of a city’s residential stock are a key
component of its global competitiveness.
and four locally employed administrative staff.
yolande Barnes, head of Savills research
said: “We believe it is more meaningful to
administrative and director levels, London
looks to offer good value housing in a global
city context. it is the cheapest location for
A small number of world cities can count compare global centres based on the total local employees at this level, who are likely to
themselves among a truly global market, cost of property for a core executive group occupy the more far-flung ‘metroland’ suburbs
sought by the world’s richest households and since this is a key measure of competitiveness which characterise most of the outer boroughs.
behaving almost like a separate asset class to and a vital consideration for corporate global The reluctance of ordinary home-owning
a worldwide investor audience. decision makers.” in hong Kong, the total cost London families to occupy flats, as well
international property adviser, Savills, of the basket of seven properties is now £15 as a preference to own freehold plots with
has piloted a new Global Cities survey that million, compared to just over £10 million in gardens also pushes this population into the
examines four of these key cities. it very Moscow, £9.6 million in London and just £8 housedominated suburbs, Barnes believes.
clearly demonstrates that leading cities in ‘new million in New york. This relatively cheap (by global standards)
world’ emerging markets have significantly The average value of the homes occupied by housing may of course come at the price of
outperformed the more established prime the global super rich is around double that of a longer and costlier commuting times. The
residential markets in ‘old world’ economies regional Ceo on a standardised price per square unique characteristic of London is perhaps
over the last five years - but at the expense of foot measure, ranging from almost £6,500 per the opportunity to trade size and cost for
greater volatility. square foot in hong Kong to almost £2,500 in travel. Meanwhile the high-rise and more
instead of the usual standard price per square New york, just over £2,500 in Moscow and compact characteristic of Manhattan, coupled
foot measure used by other indices, the company £3,000 in prime London. with the willingness of families to occupy
has analysed the cost of an ‘executive unit’ or hong Kong is the most expensive centre for apartments offers ordinary New york workers
basket of properties comprising the typical homes every household type, including the global an opportunity to live in quite central areas
of a regional chief executive, two local directors billionaire. Surprisingly, for those working at of Manhattan.

8 The Good ProPerTy Guide March/April 2011


Rise in Demand for Villa and
Cottage Rentals

T he traditional spring peak in holiday


bookings has begun and holiday home
owners advertising with holidaylettings.co.uk
Emerald Isle is also benefitting from a desire
to holiday closer to home with a 78 per cent
increase in demand for holidays in Ireland.
holidaylettings.co.uk, comments:
homes in the UK are free of VAT, apartments
“Holiday

in Rome are free from the new tourist tax and


are already benefitting from a 20 per cent rise in Those seeking value plus sunshine are consistently the rate per person per night of a villa,
visits to the website, plus a 26 per cent year on causing a spike in demand for apartments and apartment or cottage rental is cheaper versus other
year uplift in enquiries. farmhouses in Malta and riads and apartments accommodation options. We know holidays are
UK holiday home owners are set to enjoy in Morocco. Also in the Mediterranean, imperative for many despite the pinch of the VAT
another year of high demand - current requests Turkey has risen to the sixth most enquired increase and general impact of the spending review.
for UK holidays are 54 per cent greater than this about destination so far this year, behind the So we’re delighted to see the growing
time last year. Within that growth, Northern traditional British traveller favourites. appreciation for the value-for-money benefits
Ireland is experiencing a 93 per cent hike. The Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies, spokesperson for booking rentals direct with owners can bring.”

March/April 2011 THE Good PRoPERTy GUIdE 9


The Premium Collection

Pale and Interesting


She has built a successful business empire on neutral tones and remains the
doyenne of the crisp, clean interior. Laura Henderson reveals why Chrissie
Rucker deserves her super-homemaker status.

C hrissie Rucker, creator of The White


Company, is the ultimate purist of the home
interiors world. A former fashion journalist
quality items for the home that were affordable,
and a company whose whole ethos was about
making its customers feel welcome.
prices down”, and it’s a principle that has paid
dividends over the years, transforming her
business into one of the UK’s fastest growing
at Harpers and Queen, she vividly recalls the In fact, putting the feel-good factor into home private companies, with a turnover in excess
day she purchased a white sofa for her flat and making is what Rucker does best. A busy mother of £100m. In spite of the recession, 2009-10
painted her walls white. Her family thought of four, married to Nick Wheeler, founder of turned out to be a “bumper” year and today her
she had lost her marbles – but her innate flair Jermyn Street shirt maker Charles Tyrwhitt, empire spans 37 stores, with five more in the
and acumen for turning a germ of an idea into she makes it her mission to co-ordinate her pipeline and an online business, although she
a universal style statement, has kept her in the life around her sizeable brood. Living in the reflects she’ll probably “stop at 60 stores.”
vanguard of interior fashion for almost two welly clad environs of rural Oxfordshire with a Take a tour of the company’s flagship
decades, not to mention giving a futuristic twist menagerie of dogs, ponies and all the associated ‘concept store’ in the heart of Chelsea and
to an outmoded UK home decor market. “In my kiddy paraphernalia that go with a full-on family, you get an instant snapshot of the way Rucker
twenties, the few white items I could find and would deter most people from creating a white- likes to operate. Crisp, clean bed linen remains
afford were of the cheap design variety and of out colour scheme in their home environment. the focal point of the business - along with
average or poor quality,” she explains. “All the Yet the cultivated neutral palette that drives signature scent candles, room fragrances and
gorgeous, high-quality ones I loved were only Rucker’s hugely successful business is not just luxury bath and body products. But she has
to be found in the designer departments and of a quirky marketing ploy – it’s an influence that enjoyed branching out into other homespun
course, with the designer label came the snooty defines her whole attitude to life. lines. “We have a clothes range that you wear
sales assistant and the high price tag!” So Rucker Her mantra for success when she set up her at home: wraps and dresses in neutral shades
embarked on a mission to create a business that bed linens-to-tableware mail-order company of white and greys, a perfect match for chunky
specialised in supplying stylish, white, designer in 1994 has always been “keep quality up and cable-knit cushions and blankets. We also have

10 THe GOOd PROPeRTY GUIde March/April 2011


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“keep quality up and prices down”, and it’s a principle that


has paid dividends over the years, transforming her business
into one of the uk’s fastest growing private companies

March/April 2011 The Good ProPerTy Guide 11


The Premium Collection

CHRISSIE’S TOP
HOMEMAKING TIPS:

✽ Layering is the buzzword for beds. Not


only is it a clever way to quickly adjust
the temperature, it’s also a fab way of
introducing different colours and textures.

✽ Getting the proportions right in a room is


a fine art. Use a floor plan and draw in key
furniture. That way you know how much
free flowing space you have to play with.

✽ Lighting plays a vital role in creating


atmosphere. Have different lighting for day
and night - candles and tea lights dotted
around, works particularly well.

✽ Change cushions, rugs and accessories


with the seasons. If you have a neutral
background, introduce berry tones in
the autumn/winter then change to paler
palettes in the spring.

a kids’ line The Little White Company, which room in the back of her husband’s office. “I plus three Selfridges concessions and one in
we launched in 1997, which encompasses was incredibly young and naïve,” she adds. Harrods and Fenwick, Rucker has a stake hold
everything from white wooden beds to soft toys “I had an idea and often acted on a whim.” in many influential locations.
and sleepwear.” Choosing mail order – a marketing tool with It’s a world away from her rural county
But it’s Rucker’s innate understanding of relatively low overheads, was, however, a savvy upbringing in Kent, where her father worked
the power of neutral, calm, pale colours and decision. With only a handful of competitors in commodities in the City and her mother
pared-back furnishings, that makes her one- on the market 10-15 years ago, Rucker was was a dance teacher and a pony-club girl. “My
stop concept both credible and investable. “I quickly able to build brand dominance. childhood was all about horses”. She adds. But
like everything to feel calm and peaceful,” she “For the first eight or nine years we recorded it’s a hands-on upbringing that has influenced
explains. “White – particularly a warm white amazing growth,” she explains. “The product her approach to family life. Finding a work-life
– does exactly that. It gives a comfortable range broadened. From bed linen and towels it balance, she explains, is enormously difficult and
informality to any living environment.” became a complete lifestyle brand.” Expanding requires “teamwork and organisation.” While
Her business strategy wasn’t always as fine- from mail-order to opening up the retail side of she has the benefit of a “wonderful” nanny and a
tuned. In the early days, she was packing small things has been a “necessity”. “More and more “wonderful” housekeeper to help run her home,
orders from a rented attic room where she’d set customers were visiting the warehouse,” she she’s refreshingly honest enough to admit that,
up a makeshift office. When the packaging and adds. “We had to find a way to deliver a walk-in “you’re only as good as the team you have around
goods started arriving in ever larger volumes, version of the brochure.” Now with 37 stores you – that goes for work or home. I’m lucky in that
she moved into a warehouse and took a spare nationally, twelve franchise outlets overseas, I have two fantastic teams. We always try and have

12 THE Good PRoPERTy GUIdE March/April 2011


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Chrissie ruCker
snapshot
What is the White Company
ethos?
Simple, classic design predominantly in
white!

Where do you glean your


inspiration for neW produCt
lines?
There is not an hour that goes by when I’m
not inspired by something or someone. I
sketch the whole time and, if I can, I take
pictures. I had a great day yesterday with a
friend who loves everything heart-shaped.
The White Company is working on a
range of heart shaped items to raise money
for Great Ormond Street Hospital’s heart
and lung unit next year.

do you think uk style has


Changed With the austerity
age?
I think we are investing in classic, quality
products that will last but don’t want to
spend a fortune. The White Company
style is versatile and it doesn’t matter if
your taste is sharp and modern or pretty
and traditional, our products add an extra
bit of luxury to any home.

hoW do you seCure Customer


loyalty through the on-line
medium?
We are a multi channel business and so
always try to do everything we possibly
can to make our customers feel really
special, whether they shop online, in store
or over the phone. We occasionally offer
special discounts, promotions and news
about local store events in our weekly
email newsletter and brochure.
some family time every day. We are very lucky as works to focus your energy on the things you’re
working parents go. We manage to make it work.” good at. I am still very involved with the product What is the most
Weekends are normally ring-fenced to spend side, which is my biggest strength,” she reveals. Challenging aspeCt of
with the children. But for Rucker there is also a “My energy goes into the form, the way it looks running the Company?
blurring of home-work boundaries – with lots of and feels and the way it is represented in the I think managing a good work/life balance
input from family members. “The children were books, brochures and sites.” As to whether her is an eternal battle for every working mum.
the inspiration behind the Little White Company, white obsession is likely to diminish anytime There are times when it works brilliantly
and still are,” she adds. “They love being involved soon; the answer is categorically no. “While I and times when it just doesn’t go to plan
and often give me ideas for new pyjamas or toys. don’t want a door on every high street, there’s at all.
They go in the Little White Company product so much more one can do to maximise quality.
testing room and we check things with them and What makes us special is that we’re still a family do you have any neW
take on board what they say.” run, family orientated business. White works produCt lines in the offing?
As to future plans, Rucker has branched out whoever you are, wherever you are, in ultra This summer has a very natural feel with
into black, brown and grey, although she has modern houses or in pretty traditional houses some great new wicker homes accessories
no yearning to go vibrant. “Garish colours just – it’s a life-enhancing colour.” and a new Fresh Thyme homes fragrance.
aren’t me. They make me feel manic.” More I am also very excited about our best ever
recently she has also started to delegate some of Summer clothing collection.
the areas of her business to her team. “It always

March/April 2011 THe GOOd PROPeRTy GuIde 13


The Premium Collection

Saint Peters Bay Barbados- A Slice of Paradise...


By Rita Karia-Hopkins
Have you ever wondered wHat it estimated population of 284,589 people, with Tactful elegance is complimented by a
would feel like to own a piece of around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown- collection of facilities including concierge
paradise? The largest city and the country’s capital. services, membership at the exclusive Port St.

T rust me-it is now most certainly possible


in Barbados.
I have just returned from my trip to the
In 1966, Barbados became an independent
state and Commonwealth realm, retaining Queen
Elizabeth II as Head of State. Barbados is one of
Charles Yacht Club, a fitness centre, a beauty
salon, and on site property management and
security personnel. Property Manager - Geoff
exquisite development of Saint Peters Bay set the Caribbean’s leading tourist destinations and Farmer was very obliging at all times, so there
in the beautiful island of Barbados, a naturally is the most developed island in the region. is no hesitation in saying that you would be
charming and sophisticated place, alive with Only a short journey from the airport sits extremely well looked after. From groceries
all kinds of possibilities, as boundless as its this exquisite development (which to be totally you may need, to swimming with turtles in the
turquoise sea and as endless as the sandy shore. honest blew me away when I first set my eyes deep blue sea-he is your man! Nothing was too
A warm friendly welcome awaited us upon our on it!). The three bedroom Beach front villa much to ask for at Saint Peters Bay. The outdoor
arrival in one of the most stunning places around was simply ‘to die for’....Its superb decor of swimming pool area offered the most luxurious
the globe. A straight forward and trouble-free eight an extremely high standard and delightful sunbeds to enable one to soak up the fantastic
hour flight takes you straight into Bridgetown ambiance gives it a superb edge and made it Barbados sunshine. I was totally in my element.
from UK to this remarkable island which has an for me one of the highest premier specification The staff are always there to help, whether you
places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. would like to book one of the finest restaurants in the
Saint Peter’s Bay is known to be a breathtaking area or even if you simply wanted to take a short trip
new development on Barbados’s exclusive West to the local supermarket in historic Speightstown.
Coast and offers 57 private beachfront residences Alternatively, you could travel in style and use the
nestled in 4 acres. Suitably positioned between classy complimentary water taxi to whisk you off to
the shopping, entertainment and service centres wherever you fancy. For a traditional lunch why not
of Holetown and Speightstown, this piece of try the Fishermans Pub-this is the place to visit to get
tropical paradise offers all the key essentials that a taste of true Barbadian food.
make up the classic Caribbean dream location – One of my favourite places was Port St.
peaceful surroundings, swaying coconut palms, a Charles Yacht Club. It was ideal for lunch or
sweeping panoramic view of the ocean, a beautiful dinner. I am sure my seventeen year old son
white sand beach and crystal clear water. has fond memories now of watching his mother

14 THE GOOd PrOPErTY GUIdE March/April 2011


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making a fool of herself dancing Bajan style by a waiter from the kitchen below, a state of “beach on Barbados’ platinum west coast.’
with the fabulous entertainers that they provide the art media room, and a home office. Standing in a class of its own, Saint Peters
mid-week. A sheer mix of people and a very The whole neighboring area surrounding Bay would be for sure you’re ‘very own piece of
pleasant ambiance for the whole family makes Saint Peter’s Bay is gradually being upgraded paradise’... remember life is for living.
the yacht club an ideal place for everyone. thus enhancing the potential for future increases A special thanks to Betty Cathrow
Designed by Ian Morrison, who is one of the in property values. These other developments
most highly respected and experienced Architects are focused at varying niches but will all be of
in the Caribbean. Ian’s skills are second to none. the highest quality. I can totally appreciate why
His design ability is of the utmost standard offering these properties are going to be immensely
the best views and spacious layouts that you popular. Barbados is now increasingly
would dream of. They are around 2,700 square becoming a celebrity filled zone with the likes
feet including a master bedroom with a large of the legendary Cilla Black and Simon Cowell
bath in the en suite plus two further bedrooms, investing in homes there. We did too spot a
laundry room, and my most favourite area the few celebrities on our trip and to no surprise
balcony with its own private Jacuzzi. I was utterly in fact, as we were undoubtedly staying in one
blown away by the amount of living space and of the most exceptional locations in Barbados.
top range commodities in the kitchen. What Saint Peters Bay is privately gated and totally
more could a girl ask for!? I spent most of the days secluded. This is the ultimate place for those of
drinking champagne relaxing in the private spa you looking to invest for total privacy. Available immediately Prices
pool watching the sun go down. Sheer heaven... . The Project Manager at the development is Betty start at:
There are an additional six penthouses on the Cathrow, I asked her why holidaymakers and US$2.3 Million - Standard 3-Bed
top floor which also feature a 400 square foot investors choose Barbados, her comments were Residence
private roof deck with spa pools. You would ‘Barbados is ranked number one in the Caribbean US$3.4 Million - 3-Bed Penthouse
unquestionably be totally spoilt for choice. for the greatest percentage of repeat visitors. One PRICE ON REQUEST - 4-Bed Deluxe
Plus for those of you with deeper pockets, lady who has been visiting the island for over 40 Penthouse
I believe there are a further three deluxe years told me the other day that Barbados is not
penthouses providing approximately 6,330 a vacation for her, it is a way of life!’ she went on For further enquires please contact
square feet of space including a spectacular to say ‘This is why more and more visitors choose info@stpetersbaybarbados.com
master suite with large walk through dressing to make Barbados their second home and Saint Tel + 246 419 9601
area and bathroom, three additional en suite Peters Bay fits in perfectly with this by offering www.stpetersbaybarbados.com
bedrooms, a terrace bar, and private roof deck beautifully designed beachfront homes and
with full size pool and barbeque area serviced an array of amenities set on a “picture postcard

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Grand Designs
Interior design might have been a second career for England’s most
celebrated costume and theatre designer Oliver Messel, but his iconic
style lives on in many of Barbados’s grand homes. By Laura Henderson.

T our the island and the architectural legacy


left by those gone before stands proud
from every seascape and hilltop balcony
to an affluent, middle-class English family, and
educated at Eton, where his fellow classmates
included the likes of Evelyn Waugh and Brian
decision to abandon his gad-about-town
existence and head to sunnier climes. Lured
by high society denizens Ronald and Marietta
– from the bijou chattel houses and pastel Howard, Messel’s artistic leanings shone forth Tree, he put down roots in Barbados, buying
coloured stilt cottages once transported from from an early age – his talents securing him a a dilapidated property on the coast called
one plantation to another by farm workers, to place at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Maddox House. Coaxing it back to life with a
the rambling Colonial estates dressed in styles Art at London’s University College. From there, heavy dose of theatrical flair, Messel’s elegant
that span Palladian Regency to neo-Gothic. an illustrious career as a portrait painter soon Coral-rimmed creation caught the eye of
One inspirational influence that perhaps followed. A born socialite with the ‘gift of the influential dynasties like Cunard and Guinness
encapsulates the island’s bricks and mortar gab’, commissions for theatre work heralded a and design commissions began to flood in.
heritage more than any other, however, is that new creative outlet for the multi-talented artist, Today, a healthy sprinkling of grand homes
of British theatre designer Oliver Messel. a window of opportunity that he put to good including Fustic House, Alan Bay, Cockade
Close friend and confidant of playwright use, showcasing his wider talents as a costume House, and Crystal Springs bejewel the island;
Noel Coward, fun-loving uncle of HRH Princess designer for ballet and stage productions in the each one drawing a certain artistic licence from
Margaret’s husband, Lord Snowdon, and country’s most prestigious venues. his flamboyant stage sets – big statement walls,
revered rival of photographer Cecil Beaton; few It wasn’t until the age of 55, when, exhausted Demerara windows, Bajan parapets all dusted
period personalities stand out in quite the same from a demanding theatre season and suffering down in his signature leaf coloured tone known
flamboyant manner. Born in London in 1904 from recurring arthritis, Messel took the radical as Messel green. “Messel was all about capturing

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‘The most beautiful house


a sense of laid-back, tropical elegance,” explains first step being to add aI have
two storey
everNorth Wing
seen.’ * has an immediate sense of grandeur yet is
interior designer to the stars Susan Levitt. enlarging its Moon Deck overlooking a tropical strewn with laid-back sofas and chaise longues,
“There’s always a wonderful sense of space in ravine, and the sea. With so many Fustic trees simple beige and white linen and billowing
each home, with different settings in which to in the gully – the property was also given a new muslin curtains for a subdued-glam effect. “The
dine and terraces and drawing rooms where name. “The house has a wonderful symmetry botanical garden setting is very much part of
guests can relax. He loved crisp, white-on- to it with its four distinct sections,” adds Levitt. the villa’s uniqueness and charm,” adds Levitt.
white lines, elaborate mouldings, latticework, “The flattened arch of the front door is topped “Messel loved bringing together house and
but he also injected a playful note with his by a fanlight, and flanked by two smaller, garden, using nature as a sort of cupid in the
mix of Palladian, Baroque and Classical styles arched windows – all of which are trademark guise of a theatrical backdrop.” The living room,
– each property presenting a different facet Messel features. So is his use of latticework encapsulated by the large picture window from
depending on his mood. He wasn’t without and coral ridge stone for the stunning lagoon where you can look down to the beach through
his eccentricities though. He was quite a short swimming pool. His love of the property also the jungle greenery, is also testament to his
man, and one of his quirks was the placement of prompted him to paint all of the woodwork a ‘outdoors-in’ match-making mind-set. Walls
light switches close to the ground, a feature that hallmark sage-green, which gives the place a dotted with Haitian oil paintings and bespoke
many home owners still find hugely amusing, naturally serene allure.” touches such as the two large Monkey planters
so much so, they keep them as a talking point.” A true aficionado of old world charm, Messel (another Messel trademark) also add to the
Of all his many magical transformations, was always keen to ensure any refurbishment tropical, yet tranquil theme.
perhaps his best known and most distinctive remained respectful of a property’s timeline. It’s a testament to the island’s many charms
is that of Fustic House. Formerly known as Nowhere is this more in evidence than at that Messel considered Barbados his true home
Seaview, this elegant plantation home dates the sprawling beachfront estate of Crystal and it was here that he lived until his death
back to the 18th century, although very little is Springs. Hidden away between Holetown in 1978 at the age of 74. Renowned architect
known of its first generation roots. Surrounded and Speightstown on the west coast and set Barbara Hill describes his work as “converting
by cane fields on a tree-lined ridge above the in two acres of landscaped grounds dotted ordinary houses into wonderlands.” For
north west coast, where trade winds cool the air, with mahogany, palm and ylang-ylang; this homeowners and holidaymakers fortunate
the house was bought in the 1970s by Charles sumptuous property (built in 1940 as a simple enough to stay in a Messel home; a healthy dose
Graves (brother of the writer Rupert Graves). beach house) was re-designed by Messel in the of fantasy is always guaranteed.
Graves commissioned Messel to refurbish it, his 1960s. Every one of the property’s breezy rooms

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ahoy Sailor
Marina developments can mean mega revenues these days with a new breed of investor
looking for a prominent spot to dock. So where’s the smart money heading?
Laura Henderson reports.

T hey say, if you need to ask the price of


a boat, then a life on the ocean waves is
probably not your bag. But as the super-yacht
millionaires on their gin palaces, there are
plenty of people tying up their pleasure boats
and enjoying the scenery: “While demand
coastline and one of the best charter areas in
Europe-Portugal’s gilt-edged Algarve region
has built up a serious ‘leisure and pleasure’
industry boasts record international sales for homes with pontoons or access to marina reputation over the years, not only for its
and marinas begin to rival golf resorts, the berths is rising, supply is also restrained by championship tees and greens, but also as
serious players are grabbing a slice of the best growing restrictions on development of canal host of several prestigious international sailing
waterfront action. “The luxury market for yachts side residential estates and waterfront marinas. regattas including the Algarve International
is booming,” says luxury yachting broker Ben This is adding greater scarcity value to this Sailing Tournament held every spring in
Ridge. “The number of individuals with assets type of property, so if you’re fortunate enough millionaire’s marina Vilamoura. Shoring up the
of more than £20m has grown by almost 50 per to find a dockside home you like-stick with it. boat hub portfolio, Parque Expo, the company
cent in the last three years and a good many Growing demand and constrained supply make responsible for revamping Lisbon’s northeast
of those are not just investing in a super-yacht, for a nice little nest egg for the future.” waterfront into Nation’s Park, has set about
they’re also buying a waterfront pad with a dock transforming the frontline east of Faro around
to showcase their floating assets.” According to Portugal Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, into a glittering
agent Matthew Fox however, it’s not all about Blessed with over 150 miles of superb sailing luxury marina complex to accommodate

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larger yachts and small cruise liners. “The city


has been seen as a poor relation to Lisbon in
the past,” explains Connie Vito of Quadrant
Overseas Property, “the latter having benefited
from the first tranche of regeneration funding
from the EU. Now all that is all set to change.”
Early bird investors looking to snap up a
property bargain are in good company, with
high-wattage celebrities such as Jose Mourinho
and Cristiano Ronaldo eyeing up property in
the area. “Land prices in the immediate vicinity
of the marina are already reflecting future
development,” adds Vito, “a 1,000sqm plot
selling for €£50,000 five years ago now double
the value.”

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A see-and-be-seen alternative close to Sicily there offers good capital growth prospects,
the Portuguese capital Lisbon, the former A top destination for inter-island cruising, particularly for those willing to renovate,
fishing village turned boating Mecca of Sicily’s capital Palermo is a popular launch pad with studios selling for as little as £75,000.”
Cascais, has become the weekend escape for the sailing grounds of Malta and Tunisia Dedicated exclusively to private and charter
for Lisbon’s well heeled-the town’s ‘good with the scenic Aegadian and Aeolian Islands yacht hire, the city’s full-service Marina Villa
life’ reputation supported by the price tags lying just offshore. “Hosting the preparatory Igiea, just a short distance from the centre, is a
in its boutiques and the number of stars on regattas of the Louis Vuitton Cup 2005, good buy-to-let area.
its hotel signs. Real estate next to the town’s triggered a significant increase in pleasure- Adding a touch of high seas glam at the
650-berth marina, which opened in 1999, boat traffic to the island,” confirms District prestige end of the scale meanwhile, is the
understandably commands a premium. Councillor Fabio Granata, “with a staggered chi-chi resort of Taormina. Overlooking
“The town has a vocation for staging major upgrading in port facilities around the two crescent shaped bays, this pristine town
international sailing events such as the ISAF coastline underway, including Riposto Marina with its giddy network of winding streets
Sailing World Championship,” says local north of Catania, which has a further 650 and bougainvillea-clad gardens attracts more
agent Paul Houston. “Now there’s a quay for berths planned.” “It’s all part of the island’s foreign buyers than any other resort on the
mega-yachts and additional moorings, which game plan to ramp up the quality of residential island. “Prices reflect this,” confirms Jeremy
will only serve to strengthen the resort’s tourism facilities,” confirms Ian Giddings of Smith of the Sicily Property Company, “and
second-home appeal.” Overseas Property Links. “Real estate prices you could easily blow £1m on an architect
Those on the lookout for a ready-to-move- have risen steadily in recent years, with EU designed villa, but you’ll get a lot for your
into designer pad can take their pick from the and Italian government money revitalising the money. Rentals are also lucrative, a three-
current portfolio of £1m+ frontline stock. capital Palermo on the north coast. Property bed villa netting you £1,800 per week peak

20 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUIDE March/April 2011


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season.” Six nautical miles from Taormina, America’s Cup, with new leisure facilities
Porto dell’Etna constitutes a modern, well- and a state-of-the-art port raising the bar in For further information, contact:
equipped yacht marina within the existing marina design to compete with the likes of www.sicilypropertyco.com
structure of the Port of Riposto. Open for Genoa and Marseille. Real estate regeneration www.overseaspropertylinks.com
business all year round, and just 30 minutes in traditional barrios like El Carmen, also www.algarvepropertysearch.com
from Catania airport, the marina boasts 150m mean growth capacity on a second-home
of quay berths as well as 570m of floating investment is a strong bet. One of several
wharfs, with moorings available for vessels up new build projects geared to the mainstream
to 40 metres. Architect designed glamour pads market is the immaculately groomed resort
are the staple of the area – the price tag? All of Port Saplaya. Located on the city outskirts
yours for a cool entry-level price of £1m. and sporting a 323-slip marina, turnkey two,
three and four-bedroom residences come with
Spain-Valencia ‘doorstep’ mooring facilities and excellent
Sleek yachts are in ready supply in Alicante’s rental prospects. Resort re-sales currently on
gothic capital Valencia, a ‘city break’ the books include a four-bed duplex in mint
destination, which has upped its profile condition for £300,000. Properties sports
of late as a rival to Barcelona and Seville. spacious lounges and master bedrooms with
Relatively new to the dockside game, the private terraces. Perfect for watching those
community has also benefited from significant floating pleasure palaces slip by…
real estate gains following the prestigious

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Born Again Bermuda


Earnestly British, this genteel retiree haven is beckoning younger buyers with a
new line in fractional real estate. Laura Henderson reports.

I n its prime, the former British colony


of Bermuda was the favoured weekend
playground for dotcom millionaires and
albeit low-key, is also more in evidence as is
the growing array of visitor attractions from
heritage tours to beach tennis.
and owner of The Reefs Club Development
David Dodwell, “with tourism and international
business interests now permeating all aspects
captains of industry who’d fly in just to Located off the eastern coast of North America of island life. Hamilton the capital also has a
network their way round the tees and greens. and just a seven-hour flight from the UK, this growing blue-chip presence with many big
But like an elite country club, the island has 21 square mile island has an atmosphere of insurance and reinsurance firms relocating here
had to come to terms with the fact that it is serenity and safety that’s increasingly rare these thanks to the island’s favourable tax regime.”
simply too highbrow, and is trying to shake of days as brasher influences seep into the holiday Property values (underpinned by limited
its fusty image. Outdated customs are gradually mix. High-end real estate and a blue-blooded supply and little remaining land for
being replaced by a laid-back urban style, best pedigree of ‘A’ list owners including Michael development) are also holding up confirms
exampled by Bermudan businessmen clad Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones and David Buddy Rego of Sotheby’s International Realty,
in Bermuda shorts, jackets and ties. With the Bowie add a certain panache to the community down by just 5 per cent in the past eighteen
tourism focus now firmly on warm-weather atmosphere, while a robust economy is helping months: “The government have placed a cap
values and a £100m ‘golden hello’ from to shield local enterprise from the worst on housing stock sold to non-nationals with
government to upgrade hotel accommodation, excesses of the global recession. “The island just a handful of residences in 2010 made
it’s more flip-flops and sundowners these days has the third-highest per capita income in the available for sale to foreigners at an average
than tea and scones on the terrace. Nightlife, world,” explains former Minister of Tourism price of £2m.” It’s a prudent intervention that

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has helped to counteract a boom-bust cycle and


ensure that Bermudian residents are not priced
out of their own market. “Potential investors
can feel pretty secure about the intrinsic value
of property,” adds Rego: “If you’re a non-
Bermudian selling your house for just the right
price, it should sell, and we have a demand for
just that, without reaching saturation levels.”
Keen to ensure that the island is not beyond
the reach of aspiring second-homers, the
government has, for the first time, sanctioned
the introduction of fractional ownership for
non-nationals. Foreigners can own a deeded
part-share in a property, which can be sold,
willed or put into a trust like any other form
of real estate. Projects will offer a strict limit on
the number of resident owners per property

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to ensure that investors have maximum usage. sand beach. Spacious interiors boast floor to
“The attractions are obvious,” adds dodwell. ceiling picture windows, cantilevered stone
“it means buyers can effectively trade-up to a and glass walls, with rich fabrics and mahogany
larger holiday home without the prohibitive furnishings that evoke the island’s lush tropical
entry costs and the maintenance hassles that landscape. Luxury refinements include walk-
come with buying a place outright.” in closets and spacious private verandas with
Working to a completion schedule in 2012 outdoor whirlpool spas, while gourmet open-
a clutch of new projects are underway in the plan kitchens and spa bathrooms complete the
premier districts of Tucker’s Point, Paget and minimalist look. Communal facilities continue
the South Shore, studios in the golf resort of the luxury theme, with a Zen-styled owner’s
Newstead Belmont hills in Paget starting from lounge, infinity-edge pool, Spa and rooftop
just £100,000. Perched on limestone cliffs in putting green. owners also have the services
the cosy parish of Southampton, The reefs of a dedicated concierge to coordinate leisure
Club is one of the latest waterfront releases. activities from organising day-trips to securing
Partnered with the prestigious reefs hotel, dinner reservations. Prices start at £200,000 for
which boasts the highest repeat-guest rate a two-bed apartment rising to £245,000 for a
of any luxury hotel on the island, this eye- three-bed unit based on a 1/10th deeded share
catching community will comprise nineteen in perpetuity. Annual maintenance fees range
fully furnished two and three-bedroom from £6,000-7,500. Property access, based on
residences just steps away from a private pink average usage patterns, works on a rotating

24 The Good ProPerTy Guide March/April 2011


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the soothing greens of the surrounding


hilltop landscape and are complemented by Buying in Bermuda
plunge pools and ocean views. Villas on a
999-year lease basis start from a pricey £3m, ✽ Non-Bermudians wishing to purchase
with more affordable fractionals (based on a property must obtain a licence from the
minimum of four weeks per annum usage) in Bermudan government. The fee scale is
a fully furnished townhouse expected to fetch set at 25 per cent of the purchase price for
upwards of £550,000. houses, 18 per cent for condominiums and
Moving to the island from Surrey in 1997 10 per cent for fractional units.
for a “better quality of life”, Jennifer Johnson
is watching the upturn in investor contact ✽ Non-Bermudians may only purchase one
with interest. “it’s an eclectic place, with some residential property.
65,000 residents many of whom are expats.
Families looking to buy here will love it, as it’s ✽ Whole ownership purchase is restricted
priority system enabling members to book on a a safe and friendly environment. There are no to the island’s most expensive properties-
“planned”, “short notice” and “space-available” flashy casinos or mega resorts. Cars are limited those with a minimum Annual rentable
basis throughout the year. to one per resident family-and visitors are not Value (ArV) of £100,000 per annum for a
Attracting its shared of headlines on the allowed to rent cars. you have to hop in a taxi house and £21,000 for a condominium.
island’s sun-soaked South Shore meanwhile, or catch a bus, which adds an element of fun
is Ariel Sands a former 1950’s cottage-colony and gets you chatting with the locals.” As to ✽ Stamp duty typically divided between
turned stylish boutique resort owned by whether the latest development splurge might buyer and seller is charged on a sliding
hollywood golden couple Michael douglas and dilute the island’s laid-back ambience: “it’s scale of 2-7 per cent of the property value.
Catherine Zeta Jones. The dill family-one of unlikely. Bermuda is a year-round destination
Bermuda’s oldest clans came from ireland to the so the resorts rarely get crowded. rather like ✽ Legal fees range from around £3,500 for
island in 1630. Bermuda-born actress diana dill the beaches. you can stretch out, relax and a £400,000 property to £13,000 for a £5m.
and her Academy Award winning son, Michael enjoy the quality essence of the place.”
douglas who now lives with his family on the ✽ Agency fees are typically 5 per cent of the
island have taken on this prestigious real estate purchase price.
project expected to complete late 2012. The 14- ContaCts
acre estate complete with private beach club, www.thereefsclub.com ✽ Tax on rental income is at 7.25 per cent.
tennis courts and spa will support six three- www.arielsands.com
bedroom standalone deluxe villas and 60 two www.regosothebysrealty.com ✽ There is no Capital Gains or
and three-bedroom townhouses. Whitewashed www.newsteadbelmonthills.com inheritance tax.
vaulted interiors open wide to interact with

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Stunning sea views from The Landings balcony

Island of PossIbIlItIes

The Caribbean’s most understated island - St. Lucia’s latest collection of luxury resorts makes it
the ultimate place to play castaway. By Laura Henderson

T he sound of the crashing waves on the


rocks below the headland setting of Cap
Maison takes the al fresco dining experience,
of income, but with globalisation and subsidy
cutbacks in the European market, revenue from the
‘green gold’ industry has dwindled away, with the St.
coastal reaches around Rodney Bay Marina and
vintage capital Castries and the quieter south
around Soufriere. To date, property values in
an atmospheric notch higher. Cocooning its Lucian government stepping in to fill the gap with a the north have had the edge over their southern
guests in plumped-up pool lounger luxury is raft of investment sweeteners aimed at attracting new counterparts with more demand for re-sales,
what the hotel does best, but the resort has set sector interest, with residential tourism leading the particularly from Canadian, British and US buyers.
a precedent in other ways too. On an island way. “Tax incentives and ‘start-up’ grants fast-tracked Existing properties on resort developments in
long dominated by big all-inclusive brands resort construction in the early stages,” explains Marigot Bay south of Castries, for example, have
(couples-only player, Sandals, alone has four property consultant James Lomax. “Operating and doubled in value the last six years, with new
‘loved-up’ villages dotted across the island), the build costs are inevitably higher here than in many developments tipped to rise by 8-10% a year.
informal glamour of Cap Maison shows just middle-market destinations, so the focus on high Rental income is also high, with villas
how far St Lucia has come in its bid to become end products was inevitable, but it’s a formula that typically fetching up to £3,500 a week in
the Caribbean’s new hot spot for boutique has stood the sector in good stead.” high season, and two-bedroom apartments
developers and blinged-out sun seekers. Prudent planning and a measured pace of from £180 a night. “St Lucia has a five-month
Big on tropical greenery and marina life, the development have also enabled the island to peak season, but the other seven months are
island doesn’t boast the same beach inventory weather the worst of the recessionary storm over by no means barren,” confirms Oliver Gobat,
as some of the other Caribbean havens. Steep, the past few years. While places like Antigua Director of Sales for The Landings Resort. “In
corkscrew roads wending their way through and St Kitts are feeling the ill-effects of over fact, younger couples and retirees often prefer
steamy rainforest and mountainscape can make the supply, St Lucia’s focus on quality, has nurtured to visit out of the school holiday season –
simple quest of day-tripping, feel like an off-road a well-heeled per capita tourist spend, with a there’s always something going on, be it a golf
adventure. Yet it’s this unadulterated topography: record 300,000+ visitors in 2010. Improved tournament, music festival or yachting event.”
the primeval Piton peaks, rising out of the sea like airlift has been instrumental in swelling footfall Launched in 2007, the prestigious £100m
daggers, the rough hewn cliff tops, and the cosy, too, with British Airways recently increasing Landings resort near Rodney Bay Marina is in
drop-anchor harbours that set it apart. their direct schedule from London Gatwick to pole position on the UK investor radar, with
Tourism, while a dominant force in the economy five flights a week, and Virgin operating three. over 50% of existing homes British owned.
(currently accounting for 45% of GDP) hasn’t Buyers in the market for a beachfront pad will Spread over 19 spectacular acres of reclaimed
always been so prevalent. Until the early 1990’s, find two distinct investment locations vying for beachfront, it offers buyers a rare opportunity
banana production was the island’s primary source their attention – the more developed northerly to snap up a freehold pad. “The Queens Chain

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regulation states that all land within 20 metres Club, which is just a five-minute drive away.”
from the shoreline is owned by the government One of the first buyers at the resort, MTV
and can only be leased,” explains Gobat, “but and BBC presenter Trevor Nelson, whose family
in the case of The Landings which is built on is from St Lucia, purchased a two-bedroom
reclaimed land, this does not apply.” Designed apartment with “stunning views” over the beach
around a latticework of waterways and boasting and the calm waters of Rodney Bay. With a hectic
the only private marina in St Lucia (with 60 work schedule, Nelson decided to place his
berths), all homes sport scenic views of the property in the resort managed rental pool to let
beachfront, harbour, or lagoon, with a choice of out when he’s not there. “My game plan was to
one, two, and three-bedroom grand residences put my savings into property and to earn a rental
and four-bedroom townhouses, which range income from it,” he explains. “You could say that
in size from 1300 sq feet to over 4000 sq feet. The Landings is effectively my pension. But it’s a
Prices start from £340,000 rising to £2.16m. great place to chill-back too. It’s like coming home
Interior designs come with an haute-gamme each time I visit, which I try and do several times
pedigree - Alex Chapman whose work includes a year. Buying in a resort is a hassle-free choice
the exclusive Cotton House resort on Mustique too – it means you never have to worry about
has meshed traditional colonial and contemporary the upkeep side of things. I know my property is
Caribbean styles, incorporating bamboo and being looked after when I’m not around.” and privacy. That way, owners have the best of both
coral accents, hand-rubbed paint finishes Garnering its share of interest on the south worlds – a ready made community but peace and
and honed marble. Spacious open-plan living side of the island meanwhile and expected quiet whenever they need it.” Owners purchasing a
rooms and dining rooms sport vaulted ceilings, to complete in 2011, is the £60m top-to-toe buy-to-let villa can enjoy four weeks free holiday use
bedrooms come with Kohler accessorised en-suite transformation of the historic sugar producing per year and will receive a 37.5% share of the total
bathrooms. “Finishes are all about using natural Jalousie Plantation renamed Sugar Beach. room revenue which will be pooled, with individual
components,” adds Sales Manager Michael Green, Managed by internationally renowned operator owner’s split calculated on the purchase price of the
“with extensive use of solid wood, mosaic tiling The Tides, and dotted around 130 acres of villa. Residents, she adds, will also enjoy a minimum
and stone. Quite a few of the residences also have tiered terraces and canopied woodland, existing 5% rental guarantee from handover and for the first
four-poster beds in the master bedrooms, and all cottages are being replaced by colonial-style 12 months after hotel rebranding (December 2011).
ground floor and top floor apartments have heated villas designed by Caribbean architect Lane Says property owner, Neil Mannering:
jetted plunge pools, with satellite television, and Pettigrew, with a new five-star hotel complex to “Property choice on the island is wide ranging
high-speed Internet fitted as standard.” be run by the Kor Hotel Group. and still a good 40% cheaper than Barbados.
While yachting is unquestionably the focal 64 exclusive buy-to-let villas, in standard or I love the laid-back vibe. It disarms you. A
point of resort life at The Landings, home deluxe one or two-bedroom versions range between few days here unwinding and you start to feel
owners have plenty of other amenities to dip £400,000 and £1.2m and feature statement ceiling human again.”
into including a signature spa, state-of-the-art fans, white-out interiors and private plunge pools.
fitness club, tennis courts, water sports facilities 42 larger privately owned residences start from Further information:
and beachfront club lounge and restaurant. £1.5m. Says Sales Director Naomi Cambridge: “All www.thelandingsstlucia.com
Adds Gobat: “Owners also have automatic homes are nestled among the natural topography www.sugarbeachvillas.com
membership of the St Lucia Golf and Country of the development to create a sense of seclusion

Buying in St Lucia
✽ There are no restrictions on non-
residents buying property in St Lucia.

✽ An ‘Alien Landholding Licence’ is


required and costs around £1,200.

✽ Stamp duty is 2% of the purchase price.

✽ There is no VAT, capital gains tax or


estate duties.

✽ Under a special government concession,


rental income earned from some resort
properties are tax exempt for an agreed
period of time. In the case of The
Landings, it is 10 years.

lounge interior at The Landings

March/April 2011 THe GOOD PROPeRTY GUIDe 27


Tax Friendly St
St Lucia
Lucia Lures
Lures
CANNY LIFESTYLE AND
AND INVESTMENT
INVESTMENT
S tt Lucia,
Lucia, which
Indies,
which is
is
is part
part of
characterised
of the
by
the Windward
a
Windward Islands
lush,
Islandschain
tropical and
chainin
naturally
Indies, is characterised by a lush, tropical and naturally scenic
landscape
inthe
theWest
West
scenic fully
The
TheLandings
Landingsisiscurrently
operational as a
currentlyininphase
resort. Prices
phase33ofofconstruction
range from
constructionand
US$550,000
fully operational as a resort. Prices range from US$550,000
andisis

landscape that
that remains
remains unspoiled.
unspoiled. Visitors
Visitors to
to St
St Lucia
Luciaconsistently
consistently totoUS$3,000,000.
US$3,000,000.
remark
remark on the friendliness of the locals who genuinelywelcome
on the friendliness of the locals who genuinely welcomevisitors
visitors
and delight in telling them proudly about their
and delight in telling them proudly about their island. island.
Providing
Providing an an additional
additional benefit
benefit for
for property
property buyers
buyersisisthe
theisland’
island’ss
tax friendly regime. In an effort to accelerate tourism projects the St
tax friendly regime. In an effort to accelerate tourism projects the St
Lucian government stepped in to provide a rental income ‘tax holiday’
Lucian government stepped in to provide a rental income ‘tax holiday’
for property buyers. In addition there is no VAT on property, no
for property buyers. In addition there is no VAT on property, no
capital gains tax and no inheritance tax. There are also plans to allow
capital gains tax and no inheritance tax. There are also plans to allow
foreigners who invest in St Lucian property over £211,000 to become a
foreigners who invest in St Lucian property over £211,000 to become a
resident of St Lucia, which will bring with it further tax benefits.
resident of St Lucia, which will bring with it further tax benefits.
The Landings is St Lucia’s premier resort development situated
The Landings is St Lucia’s premier resort development situated
on Rodney Bay in the popular north-west of St Lucia on 19 acres of
on Rodney Bay in the popular north-west of St Lucia on 19 acres of
spectacular beachfront. As The Landings is built on reclaimed land it
spectacular beachfront. As The Landings is built on reclaimed land it
offers a rare opportunity to buy a freehold Caribbean beachfront property.
offers a rare opportunity to buy a freehold Caribbean beachfront property.
Luxury apartments are built around a 60-berth harbour and have
Luxury apartments are built around a 60-berth harbour and have
access to extensive amenities on site that include the elegant ‘Palms’
access to extensive amenities on site that include the elegant ‘Palms’
fine dining restaurant, a beach bar and restaurant with beautiful views
fine dining restaurant, a beach bar and restaurant with beautiful views
over the bay, a luxurious 7000 sq. ft spa which features indigenous
over the bay, a luxurious 7000 sq. ft spa which features indigenous
signature treatments made from local ingredients and hydrotherapy
signature treatments made from local ingredients and hydrotherapy
terraces, plus a fully equipped gym. Owners at The Landings also have
terraces, plus a fully equipped gym. Owners at The Landings also have
membership at the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club, which is a five
membership at the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club, which is a five
minute drive from the resort.
minute drive from the resort.
A 24 hour concierge service caters for every whim arranging
A 24 hour concierge service caters for every whim arranging
anything from travel and sightseeing activities to ensuring an owner’s
anything from travel and sightseeing activities to ensuring an owner’s
fridge is stocked with their favourite food before arrival.
fridge is stocked with their favourite food before arrival.
The apartments are built in a traditional Caribbean architectural
The apartments are built in a traditional Caribbean architectural
style and offer a choice of one bedroom (1319 sq. ft), two bedroom
style and offer a choice of one bedroom (1319 sq. ft), two bedroom
(1850 sq. ft), three bedroom (2638 sq. ft), three bedroom grand
(1850 sq. ft), three bedroom (2638 sq. ft), three bedroom grand
residences (3390 sq. f), and a four bedroom townhouse (3700 sq. ft).
residences (3390
Apartment sq. f), sizes
and balcony and aarefour bedroom
generous townhouse
with (3700 sq.
many properties ft).
having
Apartment and balcony sizes are generous with many properties having
To arrange a viewing please contact Oliver Gobat on :
balconies at the front and rear of the property for alfresco dining and UK Telephone 0207 079 1443 + 1 758 452 0422,
balconiessunset
enjoying at the cocktails.
front and rear of the property for alfresco dining and
Email: info@ thelandingsstlucia.com,
enjoying sunset cocktails.
Website: www.thelandingsstlucia.com
28 The Good ProPerTy Guide March/April 2011
C
CC
ome
omefor
ome foraaa
for drink
drink. .S.Stay
drink Staythe
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thenight. ..
night

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uyuyaaa
uy home
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life

The Landings is St. Lucia’s prestigious 5-star luxury private harbour resort on its finest beach. Unrivalled quality,
TheTheLandings
Landings is is
St.St.
Lucia’s
Lucia’s
prestigious
prestigious
5-star
5-starluxury
luxuryprivate
privateharbour
harbour resort
resort
onon
itsits
finest
finest
beach.
beach. Unrivalled
Unrivalled
quality,
quality,
finishes and amenities. A fabulous freehold home with all the trimmings that is yours alone – no time-sharing
finishes
finishes
andand
amenities.
amenities. AAfabulous
fabulousfreehold
freeholdhomehomewith
with
allall
thethetrimmings
trimmings that
thatis is
yours
yoursalone
alone – no
– no
time-sharing
time-sharing
– with tax advantages others only dream of, such as 0% tax on rental income. So beautiful, it’s unreal.
– with
– with
taxtax
advantages
advantages others
others
only
only
dream
dreamof,of,
suchsuch
asas
0%0%taxtax
ononrental
rental
income.
income. SoSobeautiful,
beautiful,it’sit’s
unreal.
unreal.
For a private showing, please visit www.thelandingsstlucia.com or contact
For
Fora private
a private
showing,
showing,please
please
visit
visit
www.thelandingsstlucia.com
www.thelandingsstlucia.comoror
contact
contact
Oliver Gobat on 1 (758) 452-0422 or email: info@thelandingsstlucia.com
Oliver
Oliver Gobat
Gobat onon
1 (758)
1 (758)
452-0422
452-0422 oror
email:
email:
info@thelandingsstlucia.com
info@thelandingsstlucia.com
for the GenerAtionS SkimhAmPton roAD
east hampton South. Enjoy the current 5 bedroom house, rolling east hampton South. This 5,000 SF+/- homes features a double
lawn, specimen trees and extensive flowering gardens while from height paneled entry, 2 story great room with fireplace, dining
the unique 45 ft tall tower look out over the existing countryside. If room, master bedroom and country kitchen. Second floor includes
your needs dictate a new house, you'll be glad to know that there is four spacious guest rooms. Finished lower level includes theater,
ample room for a significant residence, pool, pool house and tennis bar, full bath, wine cellar, pool room, gym area, massage room, and
court enhanced by the grandeur of the existing landscaping. much more. Attached garage with room for all your Hampton Toys.
Exclusive $5.95M WeB# 24677 Exclusive $3.495M WeB# 45734

fithiAn lAne coBB roAD trADition


east hampton South. This 6,000 SF+/-, 6 bedroom residence Water mill South. A long drive leads to a 9-bedroom residence on
offers living room, dining room, den, master bedroom and guest 2.2 acres that captures the spirit of a Hamptons tradition now gone.
bedroom, all warmed by fireplaces. The kitchen is flanked by butlers Common rooms include gracious living room, formal dining room,
pantry and large eat-in-area. The master bedroom with bath and den and sunroom. Numerous bedrooms allow ample accommodations
sauna joins 5 additional bedrooms. Covered porches overlook the for guests and staff. With pool, room for tennis, proximity to villages
gunite pool with spa and pool house. Close to town and beaches. and beaches, this offering is guaranteed to generate interest.
Co-Exclusive $6.495M WeB# 51949 Co-Exclusive $4.995M WeB# 27759

Gary DePersia, SVP, Associate Broker, 516.380.0538


clASSic GeorGicA comPounD
east hampton South. Warm summer days and sultry nights await that lucky buyer fortunate to snag this turn of the century compound on
a rare 3+/- acre lot south of the highway in East Hampton’s Georgica. Stroll to the beach, village shopping or places of worship from this
beautifully restored 3-story, 6 bedroom property that features 2 parlors, country kitchen and large dining room. The newly renovated 3
bedroom 2 story guest house with full kitchen, living room and fireplace will make weekend entertaining effortless. After days by the heated
Gunite pool you’ll be able to stroll into town for some much needed shopping. And oh yes, tennis is also an option.
Co-Exclusive $4.995M WeB# 10032

Southampton to Montauk...Sagaponack to Shelter Island


With over $80 million dollars worth of properties sold and another $6M in contract in just the
first six months of 2010, Gary DePersia has shown why buyers, sellers, renters and investors
continue to contact him for all their needs in the Hamptons. In almost 15 years on the East
End, Gary has participated in over a billion dollars of real estate transactions with more than
170 of his exclusive listings sold and closed, as well as matching hundreds of his own buyers
and renters with the right properties. His inventory of sensational exclusive listings from
Southampton to Amagansett and from Sagaponack to Shelter Island includes such standouts
as the 55 acre water front oasis Tyndal Point, the 40 acre enclave known as Sagaponack
Greens as well as a dozen new construction projects. While being Corcoran’s 2008 Top
Broker by Sales Volume and by Rental Units, Gary was recognized by the Wall Street Journal,
Real Trends and lore magazine as the 4th top ranked broker by sales volume in their annual
list of the “TOP 200” of real estate professionals nationwide in November of 2008. With
three full time assistants Gary has no problem with covering over $400 million dollars worth
of property currently listed with him. Contact Gary today to discuss listing your property
or finding your perfect place in the Hamptons.

Gary DePersia, SVP, Associate Broker


d: 631.899.0215 m: 516.380.0538
gdp@corcoran.com corcoran.com/gdepersia
Equal Housing Opportunity. The Corcoran Group is a licensed real estate broker. Owned and operated by NRT LLC. * Prices are as last advertised.

THE HAMPTONS SHELTER ISLAND NORTH FORK


The Premium Collection

Brussels Breaks the Mould


Laura Henderson tours the capital where top architects
are reinterpreting residential design.

T he penthouse’s designer credentials have


been compared with the Weissenhof
Estate in Stuttgart made famous in the 1930’s
good the walls and laying down stone flooring.
I wanted a clean look-superfluous features were
strictly taboo.” As to what works: “Pure white
kitchen units for one.”
A winning concept when it comes to cool
styling, Bracke’s shiny home adaptation has
by Le Corbusier and Mies Van der Rohe. It’s as a backdrop and raw elemental materials such caught the wave of demand in the capital for
a flattering association for property owner as steel, chrome, marble and glass are visually unapologetically modern real estate, with
and developer Peter Bracke, but one he is effective. I also chose flooring that could be developers and architects customising both
quick to dismiss. “Living space for me is first easily cleaned-wood and stone, and softened commercial and residential units for a growing
and foremost about comfort,” he explains, the look with large geometric and plain rugs.” sector of young design conscious investors.
“although I prescribe to ‘clutter free’ philosophy His taste in furniture with boxy timeless shapes “Loft apartments have been around for years,”
for ease of use.” A vision in minimalist white, and modular sofas also gives a streamlined look, explains Javier Van Kerrebrouck of Metropole
Bracke’s home, hidden behind the unassuming as does the non-obstructive storage to hide Properties, “and have particular appeal with the
walls of an apartment block in downtown everything away. “You can easily spend time expat market. The minimalist look however,
Brussels, has taken time to evolve: “When I and money on details that don’t add value,” is now becoming more egalitarian, spreading
bought the place in 2003, I effectively had a he adds. “The trick is to invest in things that to haute gamme districts like Avenue Louise,
blank canvas on which to decorate-making are really going to create impact-eye-catching and up-and-coming areas such as Jette, St

32 THE Good PRoPERTY GuIdE March/April 2011


The Premium Collection

Gery and Molenbeek.” Modern, confirms


Kerrebrouck, accounts for a good 10 per cent
of the residential market, prices starting from
around £2,000-3,000sqm but often exceeding
the £3,500 mark. Celine Brachwitz of Trevi
Immobilier Neuf has also been monitoring
the rise in new investments and welcomes the
trend: “Downtown has some of the funkiest
districts with a constant stream of hip bars,
clubs and boutiques opening up, so why should
real estate be left out of the loop? The Belgians,
especially the young are increasingly setting the
tone, evolving. When they read about designers
and architects, they want to own some of their
work or at least to emulate the lifestyle in some

March/April 2011 The GooD ProPerTy GuIDe 33


The Premium Collection

way. Buying a chic apartment is one way of


achieving that.”
Built in 1850 on the site of a former watermill
in the Chaussee d’Anvers, Loft Boheme is one of
the best examples of an industrial conversion
refit. Crowned by a zinc roof and sporting 10-
foot high ceilings and oversized windows, the
six-floor 1m property’s central feature is a brick
staircase and stairwell decorated in graffiti by
local artists. Open-plan living spaces on the
top three levels allow for ‘design and create’
entertaining, working and sleeping areas. “It’s
an innovative project,” says local agent Abigail
Cherrier, “but it’s also a renovation style that’s in
tune with residents’ way of life-the whole idea
being to allow owners to entertain, to conduct
business and to relax at home, optimizing the
popular live-work concept.” Simple structural
changes have also made a difference; replacing
4 by 4 posts with cast iron ones to retain a

34 THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE March/April 2011


The Premium Collection

semi-industrial feel. Recessed display cases in comfort,” explains Beaufort House MD Philippe starting from £160,000 rising to £250,000 for
the lounge area, (previously a small wall), have Weidner, “without neglecting the private a three-bed. Their Watermeal portfolio of seven
been seized by the developer as an opportunity character of each apartment, from natural open-plan apartments ranging from one to
for display. Polished wooden floors complete stone floors to large picture windows providing four bedrooms with stunning roof terraces and
the minimalist look, with sliding doors, access to the terraces. Each apartment has fully panoramic city views, Starck designed kitchens
exposed brick, and wooden beams creating a fitted designer kitchen and bathrooms, with and private gardens start from £200,000 rising
functional, low-key atmosphere. air conditioning throughout and a meticulous to upwards of £325,000 for a spacious three-
Renowned for his talking point residences in and adapted decoration to accommodate bed split level unit.
Ibiza, Switzerland and Gran Canaria, Brussels- custom appliances.” A first also for downtown Says Cherrier: “Contemporary designs are
based architect Marc Corbiau is also blazing a residential community projects in the area, is thought-provoking, and that’s a good thing. A
contemporary trail closer to home, with award a communal roof terrace with panoramic city formulaic approach can kill property values-
winning projects such as Le Grey in Avenue views. something investors won’t have to concern
Louise. One of his most recent ventures in Five minutes from the Grande Place, themselves here.”
collaboration with real estate company Beaufort developers Trevi Immobilier Neuf are bringing
House, is Residence Downtown, an eight-storey their own brand of turnkey simplicity to the
urban integration jewel comprising 40 deluxe district, transforming four original warehouse CONTACTS
two-bed apartments. The architecture inside buildings into trendy, style conscious units. www.trevi.be
as well as outside is a pleasure to look at, with Their delicious Charles Rogier Building project www.residencedowntown.be
its subtle blend of sunlight and straight lines. comprises a limited edition collection of 28 www.immobilierneuf.be
“Everything has been designed for personal apartments with high ceilings, studio apartments

March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTy GuIDE 35


The Premium Collection

Full of Eastern-Bloc Promise


Taking their cue from a heavily regenerated Berlin, other ‘Iron Curtain’ cities
are now being targeted for their growth potential. Laura Henderson reports.

O ne of the first industrialised nations


to claw its way back into the black,
Germany’s escape from recession boot camp
which ranks German cities by their economic
potential, confirms this picture. While Berlin
remains a mid-table staple, the nearby historic
last year was welcome news in more ways town of Potsdam has shot up from 148th place
than one, with heightened real estate activity out of 439 to number 15. Top ranking eastern
pumping the feel-good factor for the first time hubs Dresden and Jena also fare better than
in months. Taking the heat off the country’s West German cities like Cologne, Hamburg and
flagging export-driven Western states, Frankfurt/Main. To give praise where praise is
“pockets of potential”, have been coming to due - real estate regeneration, has, been carefully
prominence since, in the former Iron Curtain orchestrated: grand homes and monumental
regions of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony Stalinist apartments giving rise to innovative
Anhalt. “Cities with a growing nucleus of renovation projects, with vast swathes of
‘sunrise industries’ in innovative sectors such outlived, poor quality property raised to the
as new technologies and renewable energy ground, leaving little vacant housing stock.
are going from strength to strength,” explains “Cities like Dresden and Leipzig have potential
Judith Schreyer of agents Grund Boden and for a range of investors,” states Carsten Hamm
Fundus. “These medium-sized urban hubs CEO of agency City Makler Dresden. “With
not only have vibrant cultures and rapidly finance rates around 4-5%, net yields of 7% or
growing labour markets, property prices also higher ensure a positive cash flow, plus there’s
remain a good 30-40% below western German a stable tenanted rental structure.” Transaction
equivalents, with rent levels steadily gaining costs, nevertheless, remain high compared to
ground attracting yield-focused investors.” the UK, with 10% - 12% as a rule of thumb
Research company Prognos’s annual survey, to be budgeted for. The mortgage market has

36 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUIDE March/April 2011


The Premium Collection

“Cities like dresden and leipzig have potential


for a range of investors,” states Carsten
hamm Ceo of agenCy City makler dresden

also yet to fully mature, with overseas investors Altstadt (old town) hoards the lion’s share of bed apartments from £30,000.
restricted to repayment mortgages (typically grand public buildings crowned by a classical Jena - after a post-reunification slump lasting
70% LTV), which can stifle cash flow. From a skyline of spires, domes and steeples. many years - aggressive business promotion
pan-European perspective, however, the ratio in the “green” central state of Thuringia has
of salary to property prices in East Germany is a top investment distriCts paved the way for a high-tech region, with the
hard benchmark to beat, stresses Mat Littlecott, Neustadt, Blasewitz-Striesen and Weisser traditional university town of Jena on the River
MD of UK based investment consultancy Pro Hirsch Saale, taking centre stage. The city looks and
Venture Property: “A safe and secure 8% yield Average Price per sqm: £700 - £2,000. feels much like an affluent West German town –
in an attractive, smaller city with long-term One-bed apartments from £35,000. pristine red roofed buildings and empty spaces
growth potential has the edge over an unsecure Leipzig - located in the northwest of Saxony left by wartime bombing dressed with spanking
4% - 5% in a larger one. In the current climate, - pristine parks, contemporary art galleries and new architecture. A thriving cultural scene is a
East Germany’s ‘late developer’ status should be an age-mellowed old quarter, mesh with state- further draw: the annual “Kulturama” attracting
seen as an opportunity, not a handicap.” of-the-art research facilities for medicine and ‘A’ list celebs to sample the city’s burgeoning
biology as well as spanking new 13,000sqm museum and art house theatre scene.
Cities in Credit ‘Media City’. Top of the real estate agenda is an
Dresden - ranked in the top 10 best cities to ambitious revitalisation programme to demolish Kernberge, Landgrafen and the Central
live in Germany, with a GDP per capita equal unsuitable prefab homes and 20,000 outdated Quarter.
to many West German communities, the Saxon apartments by 2012, with listed building Average price per sqm: £400 – £800.
capital’s ‘new town’ north of the River Elbe, is restorations drawing increasing numbers of One-bed apartments from £30,000.
slowly being rebuilt in the footprint of WWII UK, Irish and Italian buyers.
devastation; its outer fringes a Bohemian quarter Further information: www.property-
of narrow lanes, filling up with trendy restaurants Gohlis South, Sudvorstadt and Plugwitz source.eu and www.ndga.de
and boutiques. Head south of the river and the Average price per sqm: £500-£1,000. One-

March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUIDE 37


Beauchamp
estates
www.beauchamp.com

London, UK: +44 (0)20 7499 7722


Mykonos, Greece: +30 22890 24797
Cannes, France: +33 (0)4 9706 0697

Exclusive properties in Mykonos

Mykonos Magic
Voted one of the most popular island destinations in Europe by Conde Nast,
Mykonos hits the spot for offshore property bounty.

T he Cyclades are home to some of the most


famous and beautiful islands in all of
Greece. Mykonos is perhaps one of the most
market is constantly increasing, as more and
more people look to either relocate or invest
in what is arguably one of the world’s most
from the UK, States, South America, Australia
and the Far East. Despite many changes and
upgrades, the island has also managed to retain
famous of all; an idyllic offshore haven that exclusive holiday playgrounds. its authenticity.”
attracts visitors from all over the world. The Says property agent Neil Ward: “Interest in Boasting a population of some 6,000, the
island is one where the real estate and property the island is now very broad – with buyers island ramps up a notch or three visitor wise

38 ThE GooD ProPErTy GUIDE March/April 2011


Villa Paradisia - Mykonos
4 bedrooms Asking price: €7.000.000

in the summer months, with upwards of considerable way to reinforce the brand image but buyers looking for a decent family-sized villa
40,000 holidaymakers putting down roots for of the island as an upmarket offshore getaway in good condition will be looking at a starter price
their annual fun-in-the-sun fix. But the island – a playground for well-heeled holidaymakers of around £450,000, larger luxury residences
is also refreshingly devoid of package-tourism and kaftan chic sun-seekers. with private pools and terracing, upwards of
presence. Strict planning and development Property hot spots are in plentiful supply too £1.5m. Plump for a beachfront plot and you can
rules have prevented high density construction - Lazaros, Kalo Livadi and Psarou, three of the add a 40-50% premium.”
– with a requirement that all residences are most attractive areas and all within a short drive Concludes Ward: “Mykonos will always
constructed in the classic Cycladic style – from Mykonos Town: the heart and soul of the have cachet. Rather like the South of France
whitewashed cubes in local stone with wooden- island. Price wise, despite recessionary pinched or Tuscany, property prices are unique to the
framed windows and flat roofs less than 8 times - buyers can still expect to shell out in the area – you can’t make comparisons with other
metres high. region of £4,000 to £8,000 per sqm – a sizeable places. Most investors are high-net-worth
While homeowners have their pick of leisure investment but, as Ward explains, it’s the age old individuals who know what they want and are
and pleasure amenities to choose from – the law of “supply and demand”. “You may manage to happy to pay the price it takes to secure their
opening of the super yacht marina, will go some pick up a small apartment for around £180,000, dream home. The sky’s the limit as they say.”

March/April 2011 The Good PRoPeRTY Guide 39


TURKEY STILL ONE OF THE
TOP PROPERTY HOTSPOTS
Check out our website for a wide selection of
apartments, villas and resales, or contact our UK sales
office for help and advice on 01772 735151
Beachfront Residence,
Altinkum
There are still a few of these fantastic
apartments available. Built to a very
high standard, 2/3 bedrooms, large
family bathroom, swimming pool,lift
turkish connextions
and live-in maintenance man, ideal
holiday location and only 50 metres
to the lovely sandy beach, many
have sea views.
Price from £49,000 T urkish Connextions, is both a Developer and Estate Agent, offering
property in most of the hotspots of Turkey, it has offices in the UK,
Northern Ireland, and Turkey.
Panoramic View Villas,
Bodrum The company is a fully licensed estate agency, and are members
These villas are new to the UK market of the chamber of commerce both locally and internationally, we are
and have stunning views of Yalikvak also members of the AIPP (Association of International Property
and the bay. Walk along the pathways Professionals).
to the waters edge in minutes. The
Our aim is to give you peace of mind throughout the buying process
villas are constructed and just ready
and beyond. Buying a second home is an important step and we
for you to put your own mark on the
inside ttings. Visit the Show Villa to endeavour to make this an enjoyable experience, all are staff are fully
appreciate the nished article. trained and have many years experience in this industry, with a wealth
Prices from £375,000 of local knowledge, we try to take the stress and anxiety out of buying
and owning a property abroad. Let us use our experience to find you
Greenhill’s Gumbet, that perfect property
Bodrum You can rest assured, that all the legalities will be thoroughly checked,
These apartments are set in a
we are also able to offer mortgages and insurance through our network of
fantastic location close to all the
amenities of Gumbet. They are set working partners. We can help with the management of properties, rentals
in lovely grounds around a central and travelling arrangements, leaving you with just one point of contact.
swimming pool and are spaciously set With Turkey being outside the Euro Zone, it is an ideal location to
apart. The apartments are large purchase, we provide one to one tailored viewing trips to all areas, all
inside nished to a high quality.
year round, allowing
Prices from £74,000
you to view a vast
selection of property,
Yesiltepe Villa, off plan, new builds
Altinkum and also resale’s, just
New to the market, fantastic resale tell us your criteria
Villa, set in the small village of
and we will endeavor
Yesiltepe, huge detached villa, with
its own swimming pool and large
to help you find your
gardens. This villa is individually perfect property in
designed and once you step inside, the sun.
it resembles a show house, has to be Lovely executive
viewed to be appreciated.
villa in Yalikavak
Price £127,500
with stunning sea
views, three sets of
patio doors open out
onto a wonderful
terrace area and
private swimming
pool.
£500,000 buys
this lovely villa.

40 ThE GOOD PrOPErTY GUIDE March/April 2011


Happy
100th
Birthday £15.99

The MICHELIN guide


Great Britain & Ireland
celebrates a centenary
of good food

The Annual Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2011


celebrates its 100th year anniversary
To make the most of this special anniversary,
the guide includes a FREE book on the history
of the MICHELIN guide.
The free book contains a colourful and enjoyable depiction
FREE of the evolution of the Michelin Guides, from their debut in
BOOK 1900 as a motorists’ guide, to today when they are recognised as
the international reference for hotel and restaurant information.
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How to Bank on a Good Exchange Rate

Buying in France can be a costly enough affair without losing out on


currency fluctuations, says property expert Laura Henderson.

W hile the British love affair with la belle


France continues; so too does demand
for low-cost euro loans. The flip side for UK
property purchases.
Those changing pounds to euros have two
main options open to them, teaming up with
amount of euros. Minimum buying amount is
usually between £2,000-5,000.

investors of borrowing for that rural pied a either a high-street bank or a foreign exchange Forward ContraCt
terre however, is currency risk. Fluctuations specialist. Specialist brokers invariably offer a This provides security against future exchange
in the exchange rate can significantly affect better deal: more competitive rates, lower (if rate fluctuations. “Once you have committed
the sterling price of your French home, which any) transfer fees and no commission charges. to purchasing a property, you’re exposed to
makes finding the best exchange rate and Because they solely deal in foreign exchange, currency fluctuations until you secure an
methods of transfer key considerations. Many you’ll also benefit from a number of exchange exchange rate,” explains Mark O’Sullivan
buyers avoid playing currency roulette by perks that most banks are unable to offer at Currencies Direct. “A forward contract
either tapping into existing savings or taking is effectively ‘a buy now pay later’ scheme,
out a second mortgage on their UK residence. Spot ContraCt allowing you to ‘lock into’ a favourable rate
This is by far the cheapest and easiest way if This literally involves the buying of currency for up to two years. The added benefit of this
you have equity in your current home, as there and then at an agreed rate (valid for two type of contract is flexibility-you can draw
long as you bear in mind currency conversion days) usually for immediate delivery and can down some or all of your currency up to three
costs, as large deposits (normally 10 per cent be beneficial if, for example, the rates offered months prior to the forward date that you’ve
of the property value) are required on French by your broker are low when buying a certain set in place, which is particularly useful if your

42 The GOOD PrOPerTy GUiDe March/April 2011


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completion date is pushed back.” hand, allow you to set an optimum exchange
Contacts
Regular Payment Plan: This works best for rate, which if achieved, enables you to purchase
www.currenciesdirect.com
those who have regular payments to make your currency.
www.caxtonfx.com
in France such as a pension or mortgage As always, it pays to shop around. Choosing
www.mortgagesoverseas.com
payments. A direct-debit payment is normally the right company can also be made easier
set-up, with a minimum monthly transaction of by drawing up a basic check-list taking
£150 and the flexibility to up the amount as and into account service levels, country-specific
when needed. Again, short-term competitive expertise and best combination of rates. It is
exchange rates can be fixed. also wise to request a personally signed dealer.
If there is a rate that you desire, your broker
Orders will ensure that the rate is ‘booked’ when it
These are ideally suited to buyers who are not is achieved. Brokers’ abilities to access ‘live’
in a rush to transfer money or to buy currency, exchange rates means that they should be able
and who can wait for an optimum rate to save to undercut banks, which work to built-in
money. Stop Loss Orders enable you to fix a margins. That said, if you are a long-standing
minimum rate at which the euro is bought or customer with one of the major high-street
sold. If the exchange rate drops below this level, names, you’ve nothing to lose by putting in a
you are not affected. Limit Orders on the other call to see what’s on offer.

March/April 2011 The GOOd PROPeRTy GuIde 43


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Old Blue Skies


Traditional but never dull, France and Italy’s flagship regions keep investors
coming back for more. Laura Henderson reports.

W hile the last decade of excess has seen


fly-to-let devotees piling into Eastern
Europe’s baby tiger economies, traditional
year, “but it’s perhaps best suited to those
looking to immerse themselves in culture and
integrate into the local community. Everything
weekend breaks now common currency thanks
to the proximity of motorway networks and
major airports-location influencers, which also
destinations closer to home have been quietly is based around the family here–those with dictate rental patterns. A five month season is
upping their game and nowhere more so children will find they are welcomed with not uncommon in ‘Chiantishire’ hot spots like
than Provence and Tuscany, where first class open arms.” Provence by contrast, epitomises Siena, while the Cote d’Azur can stretch to
infrastructure, healthy rental yields and solid rustic chic. “Cities such as Nice, Avignon and six or more, attracting overseas and Parisian
capital growth offer a bedrock of sustainability. Aix became culturally autonomous early on,” clientele for whom the Midi way of life is pure
Midi climes lured a healthy 18m to the French says Patrick Joseph of My-French-House.com, Elysium…
Riviera last year, while ‘no-frills’ hopper flights “and consequently have the social cohesion and
have fuelled a Tuscan tourist train, with over established traditions that make provincial living Provence
20 million visitors now hot footing it to the so good.” “Community life goes on regardless of Ever since Lord Brougham stumbled upon
province every year. “Tuscany can be as quiet what time of year we visit,” adds Jo Perkins who the deep blue waters and cassia plantations
or hectic as you want to make it,” says Rick has a three-bedroom farmhouse in the village of of Cannes in 1834, Brits have been flocking
Chapman, who bought a three-bed village La Croix-Haute, “it’s a very social environment.” to France’s southern belle. The 1960’s firmly
house in Lucchio in the Lucca province last Both regions score well on communications, established the area as Europe’s ‘ultimate’

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Provence - An
InsIder’s vIew
O ne of the best known Englishmen to
have settled in Provence described
it as a ‘place where it’s possible to find
everything except a bargain’ and the
peaceful French backwater that inspired
writer Peter Mayle retains a reputation for
exclusivity to this day. Daubed with colour
throughout the year, the vibrant Provencal
landscape with its fields of lavender,
sunflowers and olive groves satisfies the
senses of the many British visitors who
stroll leisurely along its sleepy lanes.
“Provence has some of the most expensive
properties in France,” says Patrick Joseph of
My-French-House.com. “It offers an idyllic
French country lifestyle and although house
prices are high, they hold their value well
because of its popularity and the fact that
new construction is so highly regulated.”
The laid back charm of Aix-en-Provence
with its museums and hot water springs is
typical of the many towns and villages in
this part of France where the days revolve
around long, leisurely meals enjoyed al
fresco under the welcome shade of ancient
trees. Understated and elegant, it is often
hard to comprehend just how exclusive this
part of France has become.
“For those with money to invest, this is
somewhere to enjoy real French country
living within close proximity of larger cities
such as Orange and Avignon with their lively
cafes and good restaurants,” adds Joseph.
Spectacular properties nestle in the
summer retreat, and house prices have by 2012, have led to an overhaul of key charming hilltop villages of the Luberon,
been spiralling ever since, now comfortably infrastructure which looks set to run for the where one of the most enjoyable pastimes
competing with, and often outstripping London next four years”. is a late afternoon browse in the antique
and Paris. “Provence is a micro-market,” says Buyers looking to escape the Riviera glare will shops for unusual artefacts or classic
Joseph, “the added bonus being easy access no doubt favour the gites, farmhouses and old French country furnishings.
with high speed Eurostar links from London villas of the arriere-pays. The aromatic garrigue- “Good rail links and regular flights
and upwards of fifteen flights a day to the covered hills provide welcome respite from the between the UK and Provence’s three main
region. Well-located properties also command coastal buzz and typically cost a third less, airports, Nice, Marseille and Avignon, make
high rents from May through October.” with detached period properties starting from it a good choice for second homes or those
Running from Hyeres in the west to La Napoule £300,000. Landlocked Vaucluse encompassing wanting to take advantage of the fact, that
in the east, the Cote d’Azur remains the region’s the Parc Naturel Regional du Luberon has a properties attract high rentals between May
most desirable stretch, embracing a cluster of wealth of picturesque villages scattered across and October,” says Joseph. “Twenty years
quaint fishing villages turned pleasure ports its rugged countryside, while the principal ago this was a place where people escaped
such as Le Lavandou and St-Raphael. Demand towns of Orange and the departmental capital to undertake a renovation project. Now
has fuelled growth in sales of apartments in Avignon offer a cultural fix with their lively café those renovations have been completed,
stately Belle Epoque mansion blocks and new scenes. “Avignon has growth potential,” adds we are seeing a new breed of buyer looking
build managed resorts with locations ranging Logerot. “There’s a high speed train direct from for luxury and interior design alongside
from the more traditional Corniche d’Esterel to Waterloo plus plans are underway to upgrade the herb garden and the Aga. People will
the showy chic of St Tropez. the airport to absorb extra overseas traffic.” pay a premium for properties that are ready
“Property values are sustained due to limited Property dynamics are also shifting in the to move into and within a 50 mile radius
building land available,” confirms property Alpes Maritimes department, resorts to the of Avignon and the trend for comfortable
consultant, Ludovic Logerot, “plus government west of Nice such as Tourrettes-sur-Loup, country living looks set to continue.”
predictions of a 5 million population increase Cagnes-sur-Mer and St Laurent-du-Var rivalling

March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUIDE 45


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the stellar price hotspots of Villefranche-sur- but still personifies urban chic. “Anything up vineyard, the area has numerous authentic
Mer and St-Jean Cap Ferrat. “St Laurent has to a twenty minute drive from the centre is towns such as Chiusi della Verna and Poppi,
all the attractions of a marina resort,” says popular,” says Logerot. “Property has doubled while the north of the province is zoned national
Logerot, “plus it’s just minutes from Nice in value in the last four years in districts such parkland. Farmhouses requiring renovation
airport.” Hillside villages behind Cannes such as Le Tholonet.” start from around £170,000, renovated from
as Mougins, Villenueve-Loubet and Biot boast £250,000, while the lively well-preserved
access to several international schools and Tuscany hillside city of Arezzo has two-bedroom
estates are increasingly popular with those Once an elite hideaway for wealthy eccentrics, apartments on the outskirts fetching £225,000.
looking to relocate; two-bedroom apartments Tuscany’s wholesome reputation, classic culture Close to the Liguria border Lunigiana the ‘land
with communal pool and tennis courts selling and high fashion have drawn wave upon annual of 100 castles’ is now a classified green-zone. An
for £250,000. Prices dip between Toulon and wave of suburban escapees from northern hour’s drive from both Pisa and Genova, clusters
Marseille in the Bouches-du-Rhone, the hills Europe. Pre-recession was buoyant with a 15 of small villages straddle the valleys which link
overlooking Toulon town boasting a cluster of per cent per annum increase in property prices the mountains and the coast. “Property choice
eye-catching villas from £350,000. Marseilles, in the more popular areas of Siena, Arezzo and here is wide,” confirms Anna Curtis of Unicasa.
an edgy city with lashings of history, has the Florence, but the market has since flat-lined “The area also has a flourishing rental market
region’s highest and fastest real estate capital despite growth in lesser-known districts to the which is consistent with demand for character
growth. “It looks set to stay like that,” explains north. “Prices remain quite high within a thirty properties within striking distance of the coast
local agent Sarah Kahn, “because of new business mile radius of Florence, Pisa and Siena,” explains and cultural places like Lucca, birthplace of
and the expansion of air and TGV train access Karen Roos of Casa Tuscany, “but places like Val Puccini.” North of Lucca, the Garfagnana in the
with fast links from Paris in three hours. The d’Orcia near Montepulciano are starting to pick lush Serchio Valley has two-bedroom village
coastal cornice and harbour is improving, plus up, northern Tuscany having seen investment homes selling for as little as £150,000. Pretty
it has all the cultural benefits of a big city.” New values rise in the past two years. Authorities are stone villages perched on hilltops especially
developments like Pavillon Massalia located in also keen to maintain the integrity of the region, around Bagni di Lucca and Barga have a good
La Belle de Mai in the heart of the city are a so their approach is to find properties suitable stock of renovation bargains, sporting rugged
hit with off-plan investors. The complex offers for restoration and renovate them according to views of the Apuan Alps, but the area is by no
one-three bed luxury apartments with 80% buyers’ tastes.” means remote, just one hour’s drive from Pisa
finance available. Prices start from £135,000. One of a handful of affordable areas, prices and forty minutes to the coast.
The region’s capital city Aix-en-Provence, has north of Arezzo in the Casetino Valley are
witnessed major change in the past decade, half those of ‘Chiantishire’. More forest than

46 THE GOOd PROPERTy GUIdE March/April 2011


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On the Market PrOvence


Near Cavaillon in the Luberon near Avignon studio) and three self-contained flats as well as
(23km) and Aix-en-Provence r2,450,000 a number of annexes, including a laundry and
workroom, and a 300 sq m organic swimming
Where pool. The property has eight bedrooms in
Set in 2.5ha of grounds, only 10 minutes from total, six bathrooms and an indoor sauna.
Gordes and 4 kms from one of the most typical
villages of Luberon, with all amenities. Why
A perfect rural retreat that typifies the Provence
What region and which is surrounded by fields of
Restored 18th Century Provencal farmhouse lavender and vineyards. The apartments attract
offering 450 sq m of living space and a large rents of between e600 and e900 per week.
indoor courtyard. The buildings are divided
into several dwellings, a main residence (with www.my-french-house.com

Near Saint Remy de Provence, in the Alpilles guest houses, outbuildings and two swimming
region of Provence, 20km from Avignon, pools as well as a wine cellar, pool house, tennis,
r7,490,000 golf and horse paddocks.

Where Why
In a completely preserved rural environment, For those searching for luxury, tranquillity and
beautifully built from traditional materials close space in the heart of Provence this property is
to St Rémy de Provence, in western Provence. a real find!

What www.my-french-house.com
Rare luxury Provence country home set in 35ha
of land, this property includes two independent

March/April 2011 The Good PRoPeRTy GuIde 47


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Sicilian Serenade
Bathed in breathtaking scenery and a civilised distance from the tourism hum of the Italian
mainland, the offshore idyll of Sicily is ripe for a property boom. Laura Henderson reports.

R umour has it that Kate Moss and long-


limbed rocker fiancé Jamie Hince are
planning a discrete honeymoon in Sicily this
tale-a past beset by poverty and the infiltration
of the Cosa Nostra (mafia), leading many
Sicilians to skip town in search of a better life.
Vitellino of Etna Immobiliare, “but you won’t
get formulaic tourism blurring national identity.
Sicilians remain tremendously proud of their
summer, away from prying eyes in the exclusive Decades later, pump prime government funding heritage, so while there’s a growing awareness
hilltop town of Erice. The rumour mill has is giving the island a new lease of life. The cost of the need to change planning attitudes and
brought with it a fresh wave of interest for the of living remains a fraction of islands such as policy, market saturation is unlikely to become
sun-kissed island, a glistening getaway bathed Crete, and mainland hotspots like Tuscany an issue.”
in Baroque charms, only now with a growing and Umbria. But the island also has increasing Investment wise, the island is best
roll call of celebrities and lesser mortals smitten appeal to investors keen to get in on the ground understood as a series of micro markets, with
by its wholesome charms. As property markets level and turn a profit through rentals, a spike some areas starting to hot up while others tick
go, the island has followed a similar trajectory in interest fuelled by the introduction of no over. “Prices have risen by an average of 10-12
in terms of increased buyer interest. In general frills flights from the UK into Palermo, Catania per cent in the last three years,” confirms Ian
however, the Italian contingent still largely and Trapani. Giddings of Overseas Property Links, “almost
outnumber European and international visitors, An island that doesn’t stint on looks, doubling per sqm in the southeast around
a state-of-play, which points to a healthy market inland boasts its share of rolling hills, craggy Ragusa and Siracusa, but still well under value
for property, and a local confidence in the island mountains and vineyards, with the brooding in the less accessible south.” Along the west
as a second-home destination. (but harmless) Mount Etna dominating the coast, served by flights into Palermo, towns like
Drifting contentedly off the toe of Italy and skyline, while the coast has its share of unspoilt, Erice, Marsala and Trapani are seen as emerging
separated from the mainland by the Strait of sandy beaches. “Quality leisure facilities are investment opportunities, in particular, bagli,
Messina, Sicily makes a great rags-to-riches being discretely added,” explains Fabrizio (former wine warehouses), that ape traditional

48 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUIDE March/April 2011


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An islAnd thAt doesn’t


stint on looks, inlAnd
boAsts its shAre of rolling
hills, crAggy mountAins
And vineyArds, while the
coAst hAs its shAre of
unspoilt, sAndy beAches.

Tuscan hilltop villas only for considerably less


money. Those with a budget of £800,000 will
find plenty to choose from in the estate line,
but renovations projects are also in ready
supply – vintage farm estates and rustic villas
in characterful locations such as Modica and
Ragusa ready for the taking at £350,000.
If a mini-me offshore idyll is your ultimate
fantasy, then the Aeolian Islands to the north,
of which Lipari is the largest, have a choice
selection of hilltop mansions, many sporting
annex accommodation, ideal for guest house
conversions. Real Estate Modena is marketing a
stunning hilltop property, Villa Casali on Salina
the greenest of the Aeolian Islands consisting
of two independent ultra-luxury apartments
surrounded by terraces, a Mediterranean
garden and circular pool for £1.2m. The good
life has arrived.

March/April 2011 ThE Good PRoPERTy GuIdE 49


Buy in Sicily

WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE

Buy in Sicily real estate is an online real estate agency specialising in the sale of luxury
residential homes and private estates on the captivating island of Sicily.

F abrizio Vitellino, General Manager and


Founder of Buy in Sicily, is a member of
FIAIP (Italian Federation of Professional Real
Estate Agents) and the London Chamber of
Commerce. Fabrizio started his real estate career
in 1996 in Milan, gaining first-hand insight into
the workings of the luxury city-based real estate
market before deciding to return to his native
island of Sicily, where he launched his online
property portal aimed at both domestic and overseas buyers.
Through www.etnaimmobiliare.it and www.buyinsicily.co.uk and as
Managing Director heading up a cohesive and dedicated multi-lingual
team of agents, Fabrizio is able to offer a bespoke service to foreign clients
in search of their dream home in Sicily.
All BIS agents have an in-depth knowledge of the island’s regions and
can select the best properties to suit specific client needs. This tailored Says Fabrizio: “We’ve had an increasing number of enquiries from
service includes short listing potential properties for viewing and making overseas of late, in particular from UK clients looking to snap up a holiday
sure that all documentation is legally secure in order to complete a home on the island. As locations go, Sicily has a huge amount to offer.
purchase, from title deed checks, and requisite surveys to technical-legal Property price points are also broad ranging – our high-end portfolio,
and notarial duties required to complete the conveyancing process as for example, can be viewed on our website dedicated to exclusive luxury
smoothly as possible. properties: www.sicilianluxuryproperty.com as well as the ‘luxury’ section
of our Buy In Sicily portal: www.buyinsicily.co.uk
Would-be holidaymakers can also try-before-they buy by taking their
pick from a choice selection of rental homes dotted across the island on
www.domusvacanze.com. Property options range from simple B and Bs
to cottages on the beach, and grander serviced villas with pools.
Says Fabrizio: “choice can very often end up being the tricky part
when choosing to put down roots here – with everything from designer
apartments to rustic country villas, from turnkey new build townhouses
to vintage villa estates with land. Whatever your ideal home in the sun
may be, however, you can be sure that Buy in Sicily will find it for you.”

50 THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE March/April 2011


SICILIAN LUXURY PROPERTIES
TEL.+39-098-8841471 CELL.+39-349-3707563
E-mail: info@buyinsicily.co.uk
www.buyinsicily.co.uk
www.sicilianluxuryproperty.com

SICILY, TAORMINA Boasting a panoramic location, this tastefully restored character Villa, built at
the end of the 1800s, is spread over 15,000 square meters of land, and sports five large terraces, one of which
measures some 750 sqm - ideal for al fresco dining. Nestling in mature landscaped grounds including lawned
areas, the property also boasts two swimming pools (one internal ), and a spacious fitness area. P.O.A.

SICILY, SIRACUSA PLEMMIRIO Natural Reserve an exclusive and rare


opportunity to own a marvellous villa in the Plemmirio Natural Reserve (an ideal second home) located directly on
the beach with private access to the sea. This sumptuous property sits in a plot of about 1750 sqm and comes with
a large outbuilding/garage (30 sqm) ideal for conversion into a two-bed guest house. The main Villa (just 2 metres
from the waterfront) comprises two bedrooms, bathroom, a spacious corner veranda, living room, and small kitchen
with sea views. Some renovation work required. P.O.A.
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discover the wonders of lAtin AmericA


with Air europA

O ver the last two years more and more


UK travellers have fallen for the delights
of Latin America. With buzzing cultural cities,
Air Europa offers return flights from London
Gatwick to Buenos Aires via Madrid from
£684.70. For more information go to www.
stunning beaches and mountainous regions aireuropa.com or call Air Europa’s reservation
to explore, it’s no wonder that destinations in team on 0871 423 0717 for a personalised
Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are on many a service and instant seat confirmation.
traveller’s wish list. Air Europa has introduced
Mexico City to its offering for Summer 2011, sAlvAdor de BAhiA
while also increasing routes to Buenos Aires and Salvador is famous for its fabulous annual
Salvador de Bahia to make it even easier for UK carnival, which draws thousands to its streets to
travellers to plan their Latin American holidays. dance along to samba tunes and beating drums.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite places However, even outside of carnival time, there’s
in Latin America to enjoy a trip like no other. plenty to attract you to the city. Salvador was
once the capital of Portugal’s New World colony
Buenos Aires and the city still retains a sense of its African/
Known as the most European of Latin America’s Colonial roots with its unique cuisine, powerful
cities, Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city with music and dance. Of course the other draw is
world-class museums, restaurants and night life. the city’s beaches, of which there are many to
With quaint cafes to people watch in, bustling kick back and enjoy.
outdoor markets to browse and colonial streets Air Europa offers return flights from London
to wonder down, in Buenos Aires you can do as Gatwick to Salvador de Bahia via Madrid from
much or as little as you like. £686.80 For more information go to www.

52 THE GOOd PrOPErTy GUidE March/April 2011


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aireuropa.com or call Air Europa’s reservation aireuropa.com or call Air Europa’s reservation call Air Europa’s reservation team on 0871 423
team on 0871 423 0717 for a personalised team on 0871 423 0717 for a personalised 0717 for a personalised service and instant seat
service and instant seat confirmation. service and instant seat confirmation. confirmation.

Mexico city LiMa


As the world’s third largest urban area, Mexico Loud and hectic, Peru’s capital has an irresistible
City might not seem the most obvious place and palpable energy, but as it’s located on the
to spend a holiday. But behind the fast pace Pacific Coast, its craziness is somewhat calmed
and all the chaos lies a wonderful world just by the presence of the sea and the beaches.
waiting to be explored. Once the centre of Many tourists tend to overlook the city and
Aztec’s civilisation, modern-day Mexico City is head to the cool heights of the Andes which is
a fabulous mix of old and new, where colonial a real shame because if you look beyond the
palaces are met by world-renowned museums, surface you’ll find some real gems. Brimming
green parks and a vibrant night scene. This with culture and history, condominium high
colourful city offers plenty of urban adventures rises are punctuated by surviving colonial
for even the most intrepid traveller. And since streets and there are some excellent Spanish
Air Europa will now fly to Mexico City via churches in the centre of the city. History,
Madrid from Summer 2011, getting there has culture, adventure, modern shopping and great
never been easier. food: Lima has got it all.
Air Europa offers return flights from London Air Europa offers return flights from London
Gatwick to Mexico City via Madrid from Gatwick to Lima via Madrid from £660.80. For
£835.80. For more information go to www. more information go to www.aireuropa.com or

March/April 2011 THE GOOd PrOPErTy GuidE 53


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Catalonia Calling
Boasting two sun-kissed costas and a thriving rentals market, the Spanish region of
Catalonia has a good deal to offer second-homers.

N estling across the border from France,


with the Pyrenees on its doorstep, just two
hours flying time from the UK, Catalonia is a
Nearby, Girona’s recent airport upgrade with
budget flights also now operating from the UK,
has given a fillip to property prices with short
hard region to beat for lifestyle and accessibility. term rental potential, especially for apartments,
For a good many buyers, this great outdoors showing excellent growth. Nearby investment
vista is more important than the sun-kissed hotspots for larger residences and villas include
staple of sand and sea, which probably explains the soon-to-be-hip resorts of Begur and
why a growing number of British investors are L´Estartit, both of which are benefiting from
choosing to put down roots in the area. Girona’s airport development, not to mention
The region can perhaps best be seen as the vintage city of Girona itself.
a series of micro-markets. In the far north, Further south, the costa below Barcelona
Catalonia’s Pyrennean range tumbles all the way earns its name by virtue of its beautiful
to the sea, much of the property on the Costa swathes of fine golden sand (Dorado means
Brava stretch resting on rugged headland rather gold). Still relatively unknown to the UK
than, more predictably, on sandy beaches. This market, most holiday homes in this region
topography also gives the coast its name (brava are owned by Spaniards and Catalans, with
meaning wild or savage). surprisingly little variation in price between

54 ThE GooD ProPErTy GUIDE March/April 2011


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Daily Express

coastal and inland locations. PGA Catalunya Resort is tucked


North of Tarragosa, where the Dorado beaches fuse with the amongst the beauty of mature
pines, majestic mountain tops
A Sterling Offer
Costa Brava, would-be homeowners will notice a marked spike and two world-class golf courses for UK Buyers
ranked No. 2 in Spain, No. 3 in Europe
in property values – all of it down to the ‘Barcelona effect’. “The and No. 88 in the world. All this just Guaranteed exchange
popularity of the city as a weekend break destination isn’t the only minutes from Girona, a quick drive rate of d1.25 on all plot
from Barcelona and an hour from purchases through
driver of prices,” explains local agent James Sampson. “Although the Pyrenees. With the infrastructure
September 30, 2011*
tourist demand is significant, with lucrative rents for apartments and amenities in place, the estate is
poised to become Spain´s premier
in good locations, demand for student rentals also adds to this residential resort community.
The residential collection includes
hugely strong market, and is expected to continue.” golf-front plots starting at d380,000,
Heading further down to the bucolic southern half of the single-family turnkey villas from
d950,000, a private enclave of
region around Penedes and buyers have their pick of quality townhomes from d625,000 and
renovation projects, whitewashed finca estates with acres of olive apartments starting at d325,000.
*Offer valid only on La Vinya and La Selva
groves and vines can be snapped up for as little as £150,000, plots purchased by September 30, 2011.
Prices subject to change.
while the untouched Ebro Valley (a haven for sports lovers and
bird watchers) with its wending river still offers bargains for Brits www.pgacatalunya.com +34 972 472 957 www.lifeatpga.com
wanting to relocate.

March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE 55


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Bricks and Malta


An established haven with retirees, the bite-sized island of Malta
now has younger second-homers in its sights. By Laura Henderson

S mall, lively and welcoming, Malta is smothered in boutique bays


and snug resorts-its very name an anagram of the original letters -
the Phoenicians, one of many patrons down the years, called it Malat,
past two years – “2008/2009 was hard for everybody,” adds Cutugno,
“but real estate hasn’t faired too badly overall. Mid to lower priced units
dipped by as much as 20%. The luxury end of the sector however, has
meaning safe harbour. Residential tourism has applied a similar niche seen little correction. Prices flat-lined for eighteen months or so, but
strategy; the first recorded ‘boom’ dating back to the 17th century when confidence is returning across the board with an upswing both in number
the Knights of St John embarked on a dedicated building programme of sales and also values.”
producing much of the architecture prevalent across the island today. One inspired real estate initiative contributing to the island’s continued
‘Modern day’ additions surfaced in the 60’s and the real estate market has popularity has been the introduction of Specially Designated Areas
been diversifying ever since. “Malta ticks a lot of boxes as a second-home (SDA’s); government approved regeneration zones of which waterfront
destination,” says John Cutugno of Homes in Malta. “It boasts a great and marina developments aimed at foreign buyers are a key component.
climate, excellent quality of life and most European capitals are just a “Malta’s Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) have done a
three hour flight away.” Close ties with former colonial power Britain, and rigorous job in nurturing the initiative since its launch in 2003,” explains
the Maltese Permanent Residents Scheme established in 1998 have seen a property consultant Paul Barnett. “Portomaso in scenic St Julians was
steady stream of expats setting up home on the island. “Foreign residents the first resort. But many more have come on stream since. Each has
have no tax levied on their worldwide income or wealth,” Cutugno adds, its own very individual personality and style.” Prices, adds Barnett, are
“and are subject to a flat income tax rate of 15 per cent on remitted that bit steeper than buying a stand-alone property. “You can expect to
income. Stamp duty is also low, and pension funds are easily transferable, pay around £150,000 for an apartment, to upwards of £1m for a luxury
which makes relocation an attractive proposition.” penthouse, but annual rental returns of between 4-5 per cent are more
Like most locations, the island has felt the recessionary pinch in the or less guaranteed, plus you have the luxury of on-site amenities and

56 THE GOOD PROPERTY GuIDE March/April 2011


The Premium Collection

• Your buyer’s agent • Over 25 years in the business


concierge-level service, so you can settle into holiday mode as soon as • Thousands of properties • Free advice on living in Malta
you arrive.”
Authentic St Julians, where Maltese ‘Luzzu’ fishing boats still bob up
and down in the small inlet of Spinola is a popular spot for UK buyers.
Boasting a healthy stock of period townhouses, with restoration projects
from £200,000, the turnkey delights of Portomaso has also enticed many
Brits to put down roots. The flagship residential community covers an
area of 128,000sqm, its meandering design of the three-basin 110-berth
yacht marina stretching along 1.6km of waterfront.
The brainchild of hospitality and leisure giant the Tumas Group,
complementary components include a five-star Hilton hotel and beach
club. Two-bed apartments start from £395,000 rising to £2.1m for a
spacious penthouse.
Close by, occupying the peninsula directly north of the capital
Valletta, Sliema is a lively seafront resort, its wide promenade hugging
the shoreline for almost 3km. Tigne Point (SDA) is an exclusive complex
meshing some 500 residential units lining the north and south shores,
with retail and commercial space as well as a 400-berth marina and
casino on neighbouring Manoel Island. Styled by Italian design house

March/April 2011 THe GooD ProPerTy GUIDe 57


The Premium Collection

Pininfarina, two-bed duplexes start from


£400,000 rising to upwards of £1m for a five-
bed luxury penthouse with pool.
One of the newest additions to the island’s
luxury resort mix - Fort Cambridge - has just
handed over the keys to its first tranche of
residents. Located next to Tigne Point on the
historic site of the Cambridge Battery, seafront
apartments combine contemporary urban
design with a peaceful spacious environment.
Over 80% of the development is dedicated to
landscaped open spaces that incorporate the
original battery building and features. The
resort boasts a private swimming pool, fitness
centre, indoor spa pool, gardens and 24 hour
security. One, two, three and four bedroom
apartments, duplexes and penthouses (380 in
total) are spread between three freestanding
blocks. Almost all have waterfront views,
many with wide terraces and balconies; the
uppermost floors offering spectacular vistas
over Valletta. Large windows and facades of

58 The GOOd PrOPerTy Guide March/April 2011


The Premium Collection

recycled greenish glass contribute to the overall title guaranteed. Overseas investors are only Buying in Malta - Fees and taxes
effect of sea and sky, light and air. Prices start permitted to purchase one property, the single ✽ Stamp duty 5 per cent.
from £97,000 for a one-bed. exception being in SDA resorts where multiple ✽ Notary fees 1 per cent.
20 km west of Valletta, Mellieha’s main sales are common. An AIP (Acquisition of ✽ Searches and registration £300.
attraction is Golden Bay, the longest stretch Immovable Property) permit will only be ✽ Ministry of Finance fee is around £150.
of uninterrupted golden sand on the Maltese granted if the minimum value of the property is ✽ There are no annual property taxes.
coast, its welcoming shallow waters a result LM 39,000 (approx £60,000) for an apartment ✽ If you don’t live in the property and then
of a natural sandbank lying just offshore. and LM 66,000 (approx £103,000) for a villa. come to sell it, you may be liable for property
Tas-Sellum Village (SDA) is a car-free resort “The exception to the rule is if you reside in transfer tax at a rate of up to 35 per cent. This
featuring clusters of low-rise semi-detached Malta on a permanent basis for five years, is dependent on the length of time you have
apartments overlooking the beach. “The resort explains Cutugno, “then you can purchase owned your home and how much it has gone
has less than 45 per cent site coverage and will additional property without an AIP.” up in value. An alternate option available to
act as a buffer between Santa Maria Estate on As to what’s in store in the near future: buyers is to pay a flat rate up front of 12 per
the east and the high-density build area of the “Malta’s tourist industry still has plenty of room cent of the selling price.
west,” explains local agent James Shepherd. for growth,” concludes Cutugno. “The southern
One-bed units start from £150,000. reaches are starting to come to life, with a new For further information, go to:
Buyers taking the Maltese plunge will stretch of motorway connecting north to south www.homesinmalta.com
find a streamlined purchase process - the and a new SDA Ta Monita in the boutique resort www.portomaso.com.mt
island boasting one of the safest and most of Marsascala. Would-be buyers have a lot to www.tasselum.com
undemanding legal systems in Europe with tempt them. But then the island wouldn’t be www.tignepoint.com
contracts written in English and property doing its job if it didn’t have one or two dream www.fortcambridge.com
transfers deemed unbreakable and security of home tricks up its sleeve.”

March/April 2011 ThE GOOD PrOPErTy GuIDE 59


The Premium Collection

Home-sWeet-office
Garden offices not only add value to your
property, they’re the perfect division between
work and play.

W hile high profile artists and writers such


as Roald Dahl and Philip Pullman have
upped the profile of the benefits of working
to buy an off-the-peg model from one of the
many suppliers around the country. Try The
Garden Room Company, Smart Offices, Taylors
desks, filing cabinets (there’s no such thing
as a paperless office), even a small stationery
cupboard to avoid clutter. Give yourself space
from home, these days you’re just as likely to Garden Buildings and Rooms Outdoors. for books, reference material and files, and,
find accountants, lawyers and web designers Garden offices usually take a lot less time to where possible, allocate a separate space and a
joining the ‘WFH’ club: the past decade alone finish than the same size extension. A flat-pack desk for visiting clients and colleagues.
witnessing a revolution in working practices modular building can be completed in three • comfort invest in really comfortable
with more than 2.5m businesses being run weeks. adjustable chairs - and a desk large enough
from home. A natural extension of this trend The trend towards eco-friendly offices is to spread out your work. Having your floor
has been the growth in garden offices. Seen strong with options to generate electricity insulated is also time and money well spent
as a viable alternative to the cost, time and through solar panels on the roof and eco- – it’s surprising how cold a concrete floor can
general upheaval of a traditional extension, upgrades such as sedum planting. High-density feel during the winter.
well-appointed versions can add as much as 5% insulation also makes structures thermally • security consider rigging up a camera
to the value of your property. So how do you efficient, so there are no excessive heating or and monitor for spotting deliveries and general
choose the one that’s best for you? air-conditioning costs. Try Energy Space and callers. Do you need a security alarm for the
Vivid Green. office separate from the house? Ask neighbours
Home office fast facts to keep an eye on your property when you’re
Costs vary from self-build models at £2,500 to top tips by Home office Guru on holiday.
bespoke versions designed by an architect from peter Weaver • finally ensure work stays in the office -
£30,000. The most popular option however, is Don’t underestimate the space needed for: don’t let it stray into the house!

60 THE GOOD PROPERTy GuiDE March/April 2011


The
ThePremium
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Home, Office, Paddock, Heated Pool and Fishing* All In One Package!

A rare opportunity to change your lifestyle - working from home in the fabulous Wye Valley
Nestling in ~ ½ acre of the Wye Valley AONB just along from Hobby workshop
Goodrich Castle, Stoneway House – south-facing four bedroom *Possible Fishing Rights available
extended cottage overlooking the River Wye. Monmouth and Ross on Wye within 15 mins
Separate Office and double garage in the grounds with mains The existing owners have completely re-built the kitchen/
electricity & water breakfast room and added a pool (sauna stpp) room plus
Paddock (1 acre with planning permission for stables) workshop and utility store. Cheltenham, Hereford, Cardiff,
Heated swimming pool with barbecue patio Newport and Gloucester are within easy reach by car.

For more details, plan views and pictures browse:


www.stonewayhouse.co.uk
or tel: 07831 395 345 for a brochure

March/April
March/April 2011
2010 The
THE Good
GOOD ProPerTy
PROPERTY Guide
GUIDE 61
17
Activity Holidays

hoLIDAYS To InSPIRe
Fancy a different kind of holiday? The Good Property Guide has the perfect
solution in the sun-kissed South of France

“Frances has somehow created an extraordinary sanctuary, a


restorative haven of such utter peace and tranquility . . . “ - CMS
With extensive studios and workshops, gentle teaching, inspiration
and practical guidance and encouragement on hand, guests are amazed
at what
The they achieve,markets
mountains, each finding
anda unique
medieval creativity.
villagesAlternatively
are richthey pieces and paintings, to relaxing en plein air in the age-mellowed French
can explore the mountains, with abundant fauna and
resources for me; it’s a joy to see them stimulate guests’ flora, medieval countryside - holidays are tailored to maximise enjoyment and creative
villages, paléolithique
creativity. Frances caves, and Roman villas, with a minibus available
Marsden fulfillment while meeting individual client needs.
for group outings. Returning home each evening, tired but refreshed
knowing
The Lowa wonderful
Down welcome awaits, where everything and everyone The SToRY
is just quietly taken
Holidays to Inspire arecare of.
inspirational breaks offering expert pottery, art and Ten years ago, Frances Marsden found a new home amongst the
ceramics tuition, amazing food, and gentle, unobtrusive personalised splendour of the Pyrenees; a stunning maison de maitre, with panoramic
“We came to pot; and left with much more - friends, pictures,
attention, all in the scenic surrounds of the Pyrenees in the heart of views, peaceful gardens and extensive outbuildings.
ideas for other creations, and increased waistlines …..” - JW
southern France. From translating the shapes, forms, tones and textures Totally smitten, she upped sticks with her potter’s wheel and
of the magical and dramatic French landscape into works, ceramic Labrador puppy to start a new life in southern France. Frances, a
highly experienced and inspirational art and ceramics teacher, found
k stimulation for her sculptural pieces in the rhythms and forms of her
g surroundings.
Friends arrived and just wanted to ‘have a go’. The house was
y clearly meant to be shared, so Frances set up her warm and welcoming
Chambres d’Hôtes. With a passion for arts and ceramics, a love of food
and spontaneous ability to care for her guests, Holidays to Inspire
, naturally evolved. The rest, as they say, is history.

whAT TheY SAY


er ✽ We came to do pottery; and left with much more: friends,pictures,
lots of ideas for other créations and, increased waistlines ... » Jw

✽ A unique place - I felt embraced by the atmosphere and magic -


largely due to your special touch, Frances, and the lovely people you
gather around you. Relaxing, stimulating, and unforgettable .. « KR
www.artcoursesfrance.com
me
sy, To find out more visit: web: www.artcoursesfrance.com

62 The Good PRoPeRTy GuIde March/April 2011


Luxury UK and International travel guide
Travel News

Play At The Home Of


Golf In Exclusive Pro-Am
C lub golfers are being given the unique
opportunity to play competitive golf
on the Old Course, St Andrews, thanks to
Fairmont St Andrews and the Old Course
Experience. The five-star resort is hosting the
exclusive St Andrews Pro Am from June 25-30
which takes in some of the Home of Golf’s finest
layouts, including 18 holes on the Old Course.
Competitors will have the dream opportunity
to make the pilgrimage to the famous old town
and sample its courses and atmosphere while
following in the footsteps of legends.
The five-night package includes a 72-hole
competition played across St Andrews Old
and New courses, Kingsbarns and Fairmont St
Andrews’ Torrance course.
Players’ performances will contribute to a
team Stableford score while there will also be
prizes for the best professional and amateur
stroke play performances, with pros off scratch.
As a special memento of the event each golfer
will take home a souvenir photo of their team
on the Swilken Bridge as well as a range of
official souvenir merchandise.
The exclusive package costs a team £2,815
Tune In To The BBC And Then
per amateur, which includes five nights’ five-
star accommodation at Fairmont St Andrews, Transport Yourself To Wild
Madagascar
four competition rounds of golf, and a
complimentary place for their professional.
Prices are based on teams of four sharing two
twin rooms and include daily breakfast and
lunch as well as drinks receptions and dinner
on the first and last nights, with prize giving
T he BBC Natural History Unit’s latest
wildlife spectacle will shortly be hitting
TV screens bringing the extraordinary
and reptile population.
Some of the wildlife featured in the BBC2
programme appears on film for the first time,
and entertainment on the latter. wildlife and dramatic landscapes of one of whilst surprising stories are brought to light
Room upgrades and extra rounds of golf are the world’s most astonishing islands under surrounding perennial favourites such as the
available on request, as are airport transfers. the microscope. Narrated by Sir David lemur. Highlights include frogs that turn from
Attenborough, the three-part ‘Madagascar’ brown to bright yellow, wasps that pluck tadpoles
For more information visit: series uses the latest in filming technology from tree-nests, fish that swim upside down and
www.oldcourse-experience.com. to explore strange and fascinating wildlife the romantic life of the world’s tiniest chameleon.
found nowhere else on the planet. Reef & Rainforest Tour’s 13-night ‘Bare
Reef & Rainforest Tours (www. Necessities Overland Tour of Madagascar’
reefandrainforest.co.uk) is the UK’s longest- includes the wildlife-rich rainforests of
established and most experienced specialist Andasibe and Mantadia National Parks, the
tour operator for Madagascar, with 16 years’ varied landscapes and villages of the Hauts
first-hand knowledge of this remarkable Plateaux along with the stunning Ranomafana
Indian Ocean island. A land of lush rainforests, and Isalo National Parks and the beautiful
desert scrub and beautiful coral reefs, coast and spiny forest at Ifaty. The trip has
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the been designed with independent travellers
world. The land mass broke from continental in mind and costs from £1,836 per person
Africa 65 million years ago, leaving its flora and includes: Accommodation, some meals, a
and fauna to evolve in isolation and resulting number of tours and excursions and private
in an almost completely endemic mammal transfers. Flights are not included.

64 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUIDE March/April 2011


I n light of tightened airport security measures,
there’s never been a better time to cut back Cheapflights. co.uk
on time spent at the airport, as well as on your
overall journey from doorstep to destination. Reveals Time
Saving Travel Tips
“With events like Easter coming up, airports
are about to get busy and recent events have
put security measures into focus yet again,”
says says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for
Cheapflights.co.uk. “Putting a little extra
thought into packing as well into time of arrival scanner and requires no further inspection.
at the airport can go a long way to ensuring a Bag it well: Bags with easy access flaps and
smoother overall journey.” plenty of different pockets make belongings easy to
Check in: Save time in the check-in queue
by checking in online, printing out your own
locate if necessary. The currently highly fashionable
messenger bag was created for people on the go, and is
Boot Camp Beauty
boarding pass, and securing your seat selection
during that process. If carrying hand luggage
recommended for time saving and improving comfort.
Apply logic: Avoid carrying forbidden items
In Five-Star Style
only, you can bypass bag drop too and proceed to
security. Remember that busier airports will have
longer check-in procedures, so being familiar
such as sharp objects in the form of nail scissors
as well as aerosol deodorants, lighters and
anything else that may not logically pass security.
I f your aim is to get fit and fabulous for
the summer, then why not kick start your
new regime in style at the luxurious five-
with the rules and preparing for them will help Rules pertaining to permissible liquid star, Castlemartyr Resort in County Cork.
save time. Travellers who are flexible with hours measurements may vary. If in doubt, check Set within 220 acres of serene countryside
should try to avoid peak days and times. both airport and airline websites for security but only half an hour’s drive from Cork City
Security check: Dress to avoid the pat down. and hand baggage regulations, and remember centre, this stunning stately house hotel is
Metallic items in the form of large belt buckles that rules may vary by airline and airport. the perfect place to dust off your running
will set off the detector, and high heeled or thick- Beverages of any kind including water will not shoes and get active.
soled shoes will mean they have to come off. If they be permitted through security, and should be Each day guests can be put through their paces
must be worn, then selecting a pair that’s easy to purchased once you have been cleared. with an hour-long boot camp under the watchful
remove is the next best option. Additionally, having Reduce lotions and potions: Avoid taking eyes of the resort’s qualified instructors. After a
loose change, keys, mobile phones, watches, and unnecessary items such as shampoo, soap, and hard morning of exercise, you’ll be rewarded
liquid items already placed in plastic bags or in conditioner as most hotels will provide these. with a relaxing detox treatment in the health and
easily accessible places makes them ready for the If staying in alternate accommodation, check wellbeing centre, with products from the exclusive
conveyor, and saves time. Travellers should also whether these items are supplied, and, if not, Anne Sémonin range.
avoid over packaging items carried in hand luggage travel sizes can be purchased at the airport once Post treatment lunch is served in the Knights’
so that everything inside is easily identifiable by the through the security check. Bar with the remainder of the day given over to
sampling the spa – guests can take a dip in the

New Tour Of Colombia’s Coffee Triangle


ozone-treated swimming pool, relax in the sauna
or steam room or just take in the views of the

H ome to the most delicious coffee in the


world, Colombia is set to be one of 2011’s
hottest destinations. Bespoke travel experts Black
Quindio, the heart of the coffee region, guests get
exclusive access to working coffee plantations and
haciendas, to see how the coffee beans are grown
magnificent gardens whilst unwinding on one of
the day beds.
Two-night stays in a deluxe room including
Tomato have put together a new five night tour and sample the finished product before journeying breakfast and lunch in the Knights Bar, boot
around Colombia’s coffee country - the perfect deeper into coffee growing country. They stay at the camp and two detox spa treatments start
experience to twin with Bogota or Cartagena. Hacienda Bambusa, a boutique hotel in Quindio’s at £282 per person, based on two sharing.
The new tour travels through the rolling hills countryside with a magnificent view of the Andes. Visit www.castlemartyrresort.ie
of the coffee plantations and reveals the unspoilt The following days are spent exploring
colonial towns of Colombia’s Coffee Triangle the hills and valleys of the area in traditional
whilst staying in top boutique hotels. Starting in Willy jeep and on horseback with a private
guide. Stops include the quiet and untouched wooden structures and vivid colours.
town of Cordoba, which sits on the peak of The journey leads to the National Park Los
the central mountain range; the coffee picking Nevados, where the symbol of Colombia,
town of Pijao; Buena Vista, situated 1450 the Wax Palm tree grows. With a private
above sea level with views over the Andean guide, guests will explore the mountain
Mountain range and the coffee town of ranges, dormant volcanoes, hot springs and
Filandia in the Valle Cocora with its primary El Valley de Las Tumbas (the Valley of the
coloured painted houses and coffee shops that Tombs), a truly striking natural phenomenon
have remained unchanged for decades. of bouncing sounds and echoes. The five
On horseback, explore the valleys of the night coffee tour in Colombia with Black
Manizales, riding through the pine forests and Tomato (www.blacktomato.co.uk 0207
stopping to relax in the local hot springs. Stay at the 426 9888) costs from £2,299 per person,
Hotel Boutique Sazagua, which effortlessly reflects including flights, transfers and
early coffee history with its colonial architecture, accommodation with breakfast.

March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTy GuIDE 65


Drakes Hotel

a hotel as
individual as
you are

W hen 43-44 Marine Parade was


sympathetically renovated
form drakes, a luxurious, contemporary
to

boutique hotel with hints of the orient,


they immediately set the standards for style
in Brighton and soon established an award
winning fine-dining restaurant. MacKenzie has succeeded in achieving
Aiming to be a “home from home”, drakes several accolades for the restaurant at drakes,
43-44 Marine Parade, Brighton
offers exceptional levels of service, comfort including the highest score of all Brighton
BN2 1PE
and more than just a touch of decadence. restaurants in the 2011 Good Food Guide and
01273 696934
Most guest rooms boast impressive sea views 2 highly coveted AA Rosettes. His Modern
or fabulous free standing baths, whilst all European menus are created with only the
www.drakesofbrighton.com
room have monsoon “wet rooms” or well finest, seasonal ingredients and each dish
www.therestaurantatdrakes.com
appointed traditional bathrooms. Hand- is a delight to the palate. Specially selected
made beds are draped in velvet throws and Old and New World wines are available from
Egyptian cotton bedding, with goose down a comprehensive list to compliment each
duvets and pillows to ensure a perfect course. For that special touch, a Private Dining
night’s sleep. Guest facilities also include Room, with dedicated waiter is available for
wireless connectivity and air conditioning in parties of up to 12 guests.
each room, plasma screen television, i-pod drakes hotel and the restaurant can be hired
docking, dvd and cd player, room service and either together or separately for formal and
a discrete concierge for any extras required. informal events. Whether for an Exclusive Use
With international experience and romantic Wedding or Corporate Event, you can
exceptional standards, Head Chef, Andrew be sure it will be perfect.

66 THE GOOD PROPERTy GUiDE March/April 2011


Boutique Hotels

Boutique is Best

While larger hotel chains battle for market share –


intimate brands are raising the bar for customer satisfaction.

T he hotel industry is a fiercely competitive one, but not all getaway


havens are cut from the same cloth. Following the tremendous
success of the boutique hotel concept in the U.S, where large hotel groups
impact on the big chains, spurring them into changing their often
formulaic approach to service into a ‘bespoke’ alternative. “Many chains
are successfully stepping up to the challenge of a new leisure tourism
have lost market share to the more personal style of service and amenities environment, by letting go of the cookie-cutter approach to service,” adds
that smaller establishments can provide – the UK is witnessing its own Layman. “The Four Seasons Group, for example, increasingly reflects
growth spurt in bespoke accommodation. “People take their leisure time the country and locality of its hotel locations, something that nimble
a lot more seriously these days,” explains hotel guru, Jonathan Layman. boutiques already do supremely well. Big chains are also becoming less
“Not only are guests tastes more discerning, the majority, are also more stuffy and over-cosseting in response to the new service of style required
worldly wise in terms of personal experience. For cash-rich, time-poor by both business and leisure customers. Making a clear distinction
holidaymakers, it’s all about instant gratification: the turnkey guarantee of between the two groups in terms of services and facilities required, is a
intimacy and quality of personal service from the minute they check-in. step change in progress terms and one likely to prove lucrative. The long
It’s little wonder demand for smaller hotel outlets has increased four-fold term outlook for the boutique brand is already rosy. Now with growing
in the UK in the past five years, with a further spike in boutique outlet global affluence and a more demanding Generation Y contributing to a
volumes expected across the regions in the near future.” permanent shift to hotels that are lifestyle driven; it’s up to individuals in
One knock-on effect of the small is beautiful boom has been its the industry to capitalise on those opportunities.

March/April 2011 The GOOd PrOPerTY GUIde 67


London Luxury Hotels

Lessons in Luxe
The London luxury hotel market is a fiercely competitive one – so how do individual brands
stay at the top of their game? The Good Property Guide goes undercover to find out.

A -list celebrities have a nose for rooting out


the best and the quest for hotel service
par excellence is no exception. It doesn’t take a
luxe establishments are falling by the wayside,
tried and tested hotel havens in the capital are
successfully rising to the challenge; upping their
what it believes is London’s “most glamorous
smoking area”. A “discreet” outdoor space for
just 35 guests, the area counteracts the UK’s
genius to work out why; sumptuous surrounds, game with a new line in tasteful refurbishments, smoking laws, which bans smoking in public
indulgent interiors and charm incarnate backed by a switched-on management and areas, by offering the “freedom to smoke in
concierge services, such establishments provide value added services. five-star luxury”, an experience “enhanced
an impeccable experience that keeps well- Part of the prestigious Starwood Resorts by a selection of the finest cognacs and
heeled clientele coming back for more. But Group, one hotel leading the quest for quality champagnes”. Not only that, it also features a
sustaining interest and building a loyal client is The Lanesborough, located in Knightsbridge. walk-in humidor — the first ever to be installed
base, particularly in today’s recession-clipped This hallowed golden postcode establishment in London — which houses 1000 cigars and
climate, is far from easy. But while many lesser has refurbished its Garden Room to create 25 private lockers for top guests’ personal

68 The Good PRoPeRTy GUIde March/April 2011


London Luxury Hotels

cigar collections. The Lanesborough’s head “That means paring down extra fees and
of sales and marketing, Paula McColgan has complementary services, while maintaining
acknowledged that wooing new markets are an customer service quality and loyalty
“extremely important” clientele source for the programmes.” As to reconfiguring of prices:
property. “We’ve seen an increase in business “Excessive pricing in a fragile economy can
from the Middle East and it’s important to create ill will and tarnish a brand. By the same
improve and broaden our services to ensure token, slashing prices as a reaction to the
The Lanesborough always exceeds new client recession is never good for business in the long
expectations. Our chauffeur service is also run, and could also erode brand image. Part of
popular and we have recently acquired a Rolls the price strength of luxury hotels is its segment
Royce Phantom to our selection of cars.” size. It’s finite, yet the market share of guests
In a similar vein, Grosvenor House, located able to afford luxury accommodations has risen
on Park Lane, Mayfair, is gearing up to embrace dramatically in the past few years. It’s a good
new clientele from several new markets dynamic as long as property volumes don’t
across the globe, including the States. Having grow faster than the number of persons willing
recently undergone a multi-million pound to pay their premium prices. The good news,
refurbishment and re-branded as a JW Marriott in the case of London and other keynote global
Hotel — the brand’s first in the UK, the £100 cities is hotel room rates look likely to hold
million makeover has been extended to the their price points as demand outstrips supply.”
hotel’s 494 rooms and suites and its conference
and banqueting facilities. Its new look mantle So juSt how are top hotelS
appears to be working, with a spike in visitor keeping their market Share?
numbers in the past two quarters. Seductive offers: Off-peak and work-to-leisure
“Market share is more important than rates can be snaffled even in the plushest of
ever in a downturn,” explains leisure and establishments. Sundays nights at Mayfair
tourism industry consultant Richard Burton. grandee Claridges, start from just £245 per

March/April 2011 THE GOOd PROPERTy GUIdE 69


London Luxury Hotels

room per night. www.claridges.co.uk Pick of the Luxe Bunch


Glass half-full clientele: A year ago, in the The Zetter
depths of recession, ‘make do and mend’ was Located in the cultural hub of Clerkenwell, the
the mantra du jour. With the climb back to Zetter first opened its doors in 2004. originally
recovery, ‘a little of what you fancy’ is back in a Victorian warehouse, a multi-million pound
fashion – hoorah! renovation has seen the property transformed
City slickers: The banks and financial service into a deliciously uber-modern residence,
sectors are on the prowl again, which means with a Conde Nast Traveller ‘coolest hotel’
an increase in spend on hospitality services award to match. The hotel’s diligent in-house
including accommodation. ‘Doing’ corporate management team has gone to great lengths
deals with the promise of repeat business, is a to instill a dose of eco-friendliness. Design-
strong incentive for key establishments. conscious rooms offer good value for money,
Global growth: The Savoy, Connaught and while the Bistrot Bruno Loubet restaurant
Landmark have been full to brimming with with its urban-chic atmosphere is a great spot
international travellers lately. Strengthening for a spirited, gourmet night out with friends.
world economies are giving a fillip to new www.thezetter.com
markets and putting the life back into keynote
travel and tourism markets with London as the The May Fair Hotel
most visited city in the world, top of the pile. opened by King George V in 1927, the May Fair
hotel brings its own unique brand of luxury

70 The GooD ProPerTy GuiDe March/April 2011


London Luxury Hotels

five-star comfort into the 21st century. The 39 guestrooms is contemporary english in style out with Philippe Starck furniture, crisp linens,
official hotel of London Fashion Week, the May and varies in size from the honestly named; central columns ringed with bookshelves
Fair has hosted numerous exclusive parties and ‘Tiny’, to ‘Small’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Bigger’. All and the requisite (i’m in the) mood lighting.
events. its luxurious screening room is one of beautifully decorated with bespoke furnishings Minimalist T-shaped cabinets house chests
the capital’s largest private cinemas and its hotel and linen, silk and calico upholstery – a good of draws with built-in TVs and dVd players,
bar one of London’s most popular celebrity night’s sleep is guaranteed. Sporting bijou and bathrooms have statement-piece porcelain
haunts. The hotel sports 400 sumptuous facilities in keeping with its boutique roots sinks, deep freestanding baths and Korres
hotel rooms including 12 of the capital’s most - there’s also an excellent restaurant serving toiletries. www.stmartinslane.com
memorable suites, together with a discreet spa, seasonal Modern British cuisine, with a divine
fine-dining restaurant and the quintessential American-style bar serving delicious cocktails.
London Casino. www.themayfairhotel.co.uk www.deanstreettownhouse.com

Dean Street Townhouse St Martins Lane


The brainchild of Nick Jones, founder of This quirky designer hotel boasts verdant
London’s ultra-glamorous Soho house Group garden rooms, panoramic city views and a
and richard Caring (proprietor of the equally decadent bar, beaming shafts of multi-coloured
fab see-and-be-seen hotspots Le Caprice, the light. effortlessly groomed in other areas too,
ivy and J Sheekey restaurants), this beautifully the hotel has established itself as London’s see-
restored Grade ii-listed Georgian townhouse in and-be-seen venue for press events, photo-
the capital’s lively Soho district, is charmingly shoots and star-spotting.
elegant yet resolutely homely. each of the hotel’s All of the 204 white-out rooms are decked

March/April 2011 The Good ProPerTy Guide 71


Activity Holidays

Wish You Were Here?


Fancy a spot of microlighting, canoeing or coasteering? If the Britain’s
great outdoors is beckoning, the Good Property Guide has the pick of
adrenalin-junky thrills to get you moving.

SurfS up a timely-placed A-Z of insider information on Cornish afternoon teas and amazing three

I f you fancy riding the white horses but have


no idea where to start, or, if you’re already a
surfer and just want an easy way to access the
the best places to surf, shop and hang out.
Big Friday has weekend experiences for
wannabe surfers of all levels. The company
course gourmet dinners. For those on a budget
and up for surfing fun, the bright lights of
Newquay and Big Friday’s surf lodges beckon
waves, then check out www.bigfriday.com. The uses only the very best accommodation spots with a perfect Atlantic surfs up backdrop.
concept is a good one – extricating stressed-out and surf & activity providers - plus there’s lots www.bigfriday.com
city folk from the work-hard play-hard smoke more to do if you don’t fancy a full on dawn til
and helping them to make the most of their dusk surfing weekend. Hike tHe WelSH 3000S
leisure time on the beach, breathing fresh clean Those hankering for luxury will enjoy the On a par for drop-dead gorgeousness with
air and catching the waves. Surf Chic package in stunning bed & breakfast the Scottish Munros, but a tad easier to climb
The BF team takes care of everything – from surrounds in Trevone, Cornwall, with Reiki if you’re a limbering up for something mega
transport, beds, and instructors to boards and massages and champagne breakfasts on request. steep, the Welsh 3000 challenge involves
wetsuits – and all you have to do is get yourself Rick Stein’s gourmet restaurants are just a short conquering the 15 peaks of 3,000ft or more that
to Hammersmith and board the funky Surf Bus. hop away in nearby Padstow. crown Wales’s lofty crags. It’s a three-day full-
Alternatively, you can make your own travel For larger groups who may be skiers or on agenda, starting below Aber Falls, climbing
arrangements and the Big Friday crew will co- boarders, The Surf Chalet offers an activity seven peaks on the first day followed by an
ordinate everything for you on arrival including cum foodie weekend with delicious breakfasts, overnight stay in the delightful Ogwen Valley.

72 THe GOOd PROPeRTy GuIde March/April 2011


Activity Holidays

Day two involves a scramble up Bristly Ridge, liberal helping of kayaking, climbing, abseiling boasting fifteen entrances and exits including
five peaks and a stopover in Nant Peris, with the and for the real hard core participants: improved the biggest in South Wales, you’ll be guided
grand finale climbing Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), at raft building: two teams, two lots of ideas, two through an extensive underground system
3,560ft. A trip with Wandering Aengus Treks frantically paddling raft teams and loads of to cave nirvana. Afternoon pursuits include
includes two much-needed limber-up days, wet fun as you race across the lake. Adrenalin- sporting caving challenges including The Death
with accommodation in characterful inns and fuelled guests can stay an extra day and explore Ledge, Cork Screw and Rat Trap. You have been
guest houses, with meals and climbing gurus Devon’s fantastic river estuaries by kayak or warned. www.blackmountain.co.uk
on tap. www.wanderingaengustreks.com canoe. www.spirit-of-adventure.com

Devon Dare Devils Caving Cravings


A weekend of fast-paced action and adventure The Southern part of the Brecon Beacons
in the beautiful Dartmoor National Park, with National Park in Wales is perfect for
activities that are exhilarating, challenging and caving. Riddled with caverns, pot holes
fun. Specifically designed for people with little and passages, including the largest cave
or no previous experience and who may not passage in the UK, activity gurus Black
feel very fit: great outdoors company Spirit of Mountain Activities will help you explore
Adventure offer multi-activity weekend breaks the subterranean world that was formed
for aspiring go-getters of all persuasions. Their over three hundred million years ago.
action-packed weekend in Dartmoor includes a The top cave for visitors is Porth Yr Ogof –

March/April 2011 The GOOD PROPeRTY GUiDe 73


Hampshire

hampshire heaven
With its lush rolling countryside of the South Downs and beyond, Hampshire’s bucolic
hinterland offers the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the coast

E very vintage town and sleepy village in


Hampshire has its own unique personality.
Because of this, determining the top destinations
designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest
and ecologically outstanding as a wildlife
sanctuary, these attractive villages in East
not only raiding it for timber - hence the large
areas of open heathland - but preserving the
historical practice of pasturing ponies, cattle
to visit is a hard task to master. But the Good Hampshire combine historical interest with a and donkeys, who roam the byways with all the
Property Guide loves a challenge. Here we take contemporary way of life. The area has been freedom - and disregard for traffic - of sacred
a look at three of the more popular tourist a centre of military importance since 1863 cows in India.
destinations for a great day out. when the War Office purchased 1,600 acres of Late spring is a sublime month to visit,
training land. when winter’s white-out blanket gives way to
Winchester The best way to explore the area is on foot. fields of vibrant daffodils and colourful shrubs.
Oozing old-school character, as a former capital The Deadwater Valley Walk is in a 50 acre area Exbury, just beyond Beaulieu, at the eastern
of Britain and legendary home of King Arthur (of of heath and woodland rich in wildlife, and is end of the Forest is worthy of a detour. Famous
the Round Table fame), Chichester offers charm easily accessible. Edwardian and Literary Town for its National Motor Museum, it also has a
and history in abundance. Culture vultures can Trails are packed with information about the fine 16th century mansion in Palace House.
visit the 13th Century Great Hall, which houses history of the town and its literary connections. Secret Agents were trained on the estate during
The Round Table and the medieval cathedral in The Woolmer Forest Heritage Society, who World War II prior to being dispatched to join
the heart of the city, before catching a period put together the trail based on Our Edwardian the Resistance in Europe, and an exhibition
performance at the award winning Festival Town, are passionate about the ancient and shows how their “finishing school” operated
Theatre. The old town is also brimming with recent history of the Whitehill and Bordon in secrecy for four years. For those with a
fantastic restaurants, antiques shops and area. A selection of artefacts found locally is on penchant for hearty home fare, the picturesque
boutiques scattered through its winding lanes. display in the Bordon Library. towns of Beaulieu (home of the British Motor
For day-trips out nearby, Twyford, Alresford Museum), Lyndhurst and Lymington boast a
(home of the Watercress Line) and Cheriton are neW Forest tasty collection of vintage pubs.
delicious places to explore for walkers, real ale This sprawling area of woodland and heaths
lovers and those of a snap-happy nature. is the quintessential green and serene getaway
for families on-the-go, be it on foot, bike or For more information,
Whitehill and Bordon horseback. A favoured spot with royalty down visit: www.visit-hampshire.co.uk
Set in the Woolmer Forest, an area of heathland the generations, the Crown has held onto it,

74 THE GOOD PROPERTy GuIDE March/April 2011


UK Holidays Hampshire

In a New Forest Frame of Mind


When you have had enough of sea and sand,
pack a picnic of fresh strawberries, local
Fancy blowing away the Xmas cobwebs with some cheese outdoor pursuits?
and bread, hire bikes or horses and
make your own trails across these wonderful
Then the New Forest is the place to head.
islands. Or take a trip to the world famous
Tresco Abbey Garden, a botanical paradise
created around the ruins of a Benedictine

L ike most stretches of coastline in the United Kingdom, the region


where the New Forest touches the sheltered inlet of the Solent is a
site to behold with its ever changing bucolic landscape. This wooded
priory in 1834. Dubbed “Kew with the roof
off”, corridors of palms, topiary, flame trees
and borders peppered pink and purple make
coastal fringe of Hampshire is as idyllic a weekend break spot as anything this garden a “must see”.
mainland Europe has to offer. Flights include spectacular views of the
It perhaps comes as something of a surprise then to hear that covens Cornish countryside and coastline and on the
of white witches have put down roots in this corner of ancient Wessex – approach to Scilly you will see the islands,
but that should be taken as a good omen. When you stroll beneath acres their white sandy beaches and the sparkling
of beautiful tall trees which stretch as far as the eye can see, you feel the turquoise sea.
special magic energy unique to England in leafy midsummer.
This stretch of wooded land running down to the south coast has also To book call 0845 710 5555
been a favoured spot with royalty down the generations, so much so, or for more information visit
the Crown has held onto it, not only raiding it for timber - hence the www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk
large areas of open heathland - but preserving the historical practice of
pasturing ponies, cattle and donkeys, who roam the byways with all the
freedom - and disregard for traffic - of sacred cows in India.
Touring at a leisurely pace - indeed, meandering and on occasion
taking a detour - is what the area is all about. Gazing at trees, enjoying the

March/April 2010 THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE 67


74 THE Good ProPErTy GUIdE January/February 2011 March/April 2011 The Good ProPerTy Guide 75
Best of British
UK Days Out

must sees
décor; each one subtly infu

iSle of Plenty Bodnant


references
hand
acres
from Gardens
stitched
with views
the seashel
coastal-them
of Rive
Thecanperfect bucket the
stroll through andter
families.
informal www.driftwoodhot
lawns fringed w
Boasting an abundance of wildlife and plants from across the glo
Lake District - samLi
National Trust status, Lundy Island is a gardens.co.uk
The joy of Samling’s pasto
nature lover’s paradise. youConwy’s
can don your Castlewellies–
door and walk
between 1283for andmile
1287 u
mile through
St George’ canopied
s design remaiw
sixty-seven
achievement secluded acres
of medieval

B obbing off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic Ocean meets
the Bristol Channel, the National Trust-maintained island of Lundy
is one of the most secluded holiday havens going in the British Isles.
Lake Windermere,
ture.
rooms is surprisingly differe
Home Front museu
ahoy sailor to
each of t
www.castlewales.com

Victorian
SA
Thr
bot
Recently declared England’s first Marine Conservation Zone, the island theback
spotinfor five-star
time to WWIInigh comfo
at
is car free, with only one shop and a single pub. Cottage industries are themuseum
hotel’s award winning
in Llandudno. runrD
rife with everything from farming to holiday home rentals and tourist forand
the sounds
poetic views of lifeandon
thefr
conservation projects – all it takes is a few hours to slip into the hypnotic varieties in the area, from razorbills to guillemots –for
you themay
through even
hotel’historicspotreplica
s outdoor hotd
rhythm of island life. the odd peregrine falcon. spot
its.for simmering after
www.homefrontmuseu onea
Climbing enthusiasts can take advantage of the spectacular rock
www.thesamlinghotel.co.uk sigh
SightS and SoundS formations, with a choice of over 60 rock faces with Conwy panoramic Valley views ma
wee
An area of outstanding natural beauty, keen birdwatchers can wile away of the surrounding land and sea. Seasoned climbers VaLe can
largestoftackle
gLamorgan
maze the
covering tw
an afternoon counting the variety of feathered friends in residence; the challenging Devil’s Slide – a vertiginous wall of rock so steep,
– HoLm
magical it House
resembles
countryside setti
island’s trio of cliff, land and sea a favoured ‘half way house’ for migrating an oversized slide. This imposing 12-bedroom F
canopied woodland walk
birds, a place to rest and feed before continuing on their journey south. Rambling trails are numerous - one highly recommended Penarth’s Marine Parado
stop-off
on direct.co.uk point
The big wildlife event of the year is the nesting puffin colony by Jenny’s is the granite rock of Brazen Ward on the island’s east coast, a favoured
views across the Bristol
Cove on the western shore. There are, however, numerous other bird location for grey seals who often come to play in the waters. Scuba-

76 ThE GOOD PROPERTy GuIDE March/April 2011 86 THE GooD PRoPERTy GuIDE July/August 2010
s Property Services
Best of British
UK Days Out
In July and August, peak season for Wales and the major school-
holiday period across Britain, attractions, accommodation and roads
diving is also popular; one of the biggest draws
get choked with visitors, prices rise and even the kindest of locals can
being the basking sharks – although they don’t
get annoyed with the crush. However, this is prime time for a long,
congregate in Lundy’s waters until late summer.
lingering night at one of Wales’ countless festivals or a concerted assault
If you’re planning an underwater excursion, be
on its highest peaks.
sure to organise well in advance as access to the
In general, spring and autumn are the best times to visit, combining
marine conservation area is restricted.
pretty good weather with glorious countryside, but avoiding the
crowds, clogged roads and accommodation rush of midsummer.
Stay and Play
Despite its diminutive size, Lundy offers a
wide range of accommodation from vintage
fisherman’s chalets to luxury fairytale castles.
All hotel and hostelry services are run by Lundy
residents, who live on the island to service the
tourism trade, but a number of hostelries, are
managed by the Landmark Trust, with options
that cater for larger groups.
SAMPLE PACKAGES INCLUDING A TOU
Three star hotel with London Sightseeing run - £77.50pp stay
nights at the three star Imperial hotel on a b/b basis with a sigh
Out and Back
al, From April to October, Lundy’s very own ship run included. Based on two sharing and valid any day of the w
w. the MS Oldenburg departs several times a week the end of April.
on from Bideford or Ilfracombe in north Devon, Four star hotel with London Sightseeing run - £87.50pp s
a with a journey time of approximately two- one nights at the four star Grafton Hotel on a b/b basis with a
les hours. Bristol Channel waters can, however, sightseeing run included. Based on two sharing and valid any
er) be unpredictable – so be sure to check the week until the end of April.
weather forecast in advance. If the sea crossing
of looks unlikely, passengers have the option of For more information or to book call Superbreak
travelling by helicopter from Hartland Point. on 0871 222 3055 www.superbreak.com
ch Visits between the end of October and March For further information contact: www.lundyisland.co.uk
ng are by helicopter only.
is
ath
ket an area Of OutStanding
ng natural Beauty, keen
are
oa BirdwatcherS can wile
en away an afternOOn
his
all.
cOunting the variety
he Of feathered friendS in
uay
ott.
reSidence
by

March/April
March/April2010
2010 THE
THEGOOD
GOODPROPERTY
PROPERTYGUIDE
GUIDE73
69 March/April 2010 THE GOOD PROPERTY
95 May/June 2010
July/August 2010 ThE
THE GOOD
Good PROPERTy
PRoPERTy GuIDE
GuidE 91
87 March/April 2011 THe GOOD PrOPerTy GuIDe 77
UK Days Out
UK Family Holidays

In J
hol
and built in 1708 for the then mayor who get

In the Mood for Maldon went on to collect the taxes to pay for the
construction of nearby Blenheim Palace,
get
ling
Hope House is one of just a few remaining on
grand homes built in the Vanbrughan style.
The hotel’s three exquisite suites have pre
Rich in maritime history and the proud holder been of the Green
sympathetically Flag
restyled withAward
antique since 2001, crow
the historic market town of Maldon on Essex’s scenic
furniture, Moulin Blackwater
Noir sleigh beds,Estuary,
fine is fast
becoming one of the UK’s top weekender destinations.
Beltrami linens; their original oak beams and
bay windows still in tact. Breakfast is served
in the chandelier-clad Vanburgh Restaurant

I
– the
f a long weekend or family day out with a difference beckons, then high Longabove
as 24m Crendon black
sea level, smoked
which bacon
over the years has proven itself to be
and Hope House’s special recipe sausages
the age-mellowed town of Maldon in the county of Essex might just an ideal climatic site. New Hall Vineyards are open daily for wine tastings
areguided
fit the bill. Climbing up hill from the banks of the River Blackwater and guaranteed to perk
walks along you up.
the Vineyard Trail.www.
www.newhallwines.co.uk
and just an hour’s drive from the capital, big skies, open waters and hopehousewoodstock.co.uk
surrounding sweeping vistas offer an unexpected sense of tranquillity Maldon festIvals
Norfolk
Maldon – StrattoNS
and
and some are
isolation, while still
the in
townuseitself
commercially as back
is like stepping charter vessels.
in time; The
cobbled Take your Festivals
pick from the ever popular Mud Race, Maldon Carnival,
distinctive colour of the barge sails is due to a dressing of yellow Tucked
Take away
your off the
pick fromhigh street
thetheever inpopular
the olden Mudday Race, Maldon Carnival,
streets, pastel-hued townhouses and a well-preserved architectural Maldon Beer Festival and Maldon Festival of Arts, to name but a few.
market town
Maldon Beer of Swafham,
Festival and thisMaldon
the small family-run
Festival of Arts, to name
ochre,
fabric cod oil
steeped in (for
Saxon waterproofing),
history. and seawater. One recent fixture brought back due to popular demand is thebut a few.
Maldon
hotelrecent
One set infixture
a majestic Queen
brought backAnnedue Palladium
to popular demand, is the Maldon
Classic Motor Show. Due to return in July 2010, the show features a variety
topSt Peters on the Wall
attractIons
villa, isMotor
ofClassic
the former Coming
pristine classicShow.
home oftoarchaeologist
cars and commercial townand in military
July, thevehicles
show features
includinga
Built by Sir Cedd from the ruins of Othona, St Peters Church has HowardofCarter,
variety pristine discoverer
classic of and
cars Tutankhamen’
commercial s and military vehicles
Promenade Park the Ford Gran Torino and the General Lee (Dodge Charger) from the TV
stood overlooking the entrance to the Blackwater Estuary for over tomb. Eight
including thebeautifully
Ford Granappointed
Torino androoms mix Lee (Dodge Charger)
the General
This remodelled 100-year old Edwardian park sports an ornamental shows Starsky & Hutch and the Dukes of Hazzard.
1,300 years. One of England’s oldest ecclesiastical buildings, the lush contemporary
from the TV showsand boudoir
Starsky chic, while
& Hutch the Dukes of Hazzard.
and the
lake, new Amphitheatre, performance area, model boating lake, Splash
church boasts much of its original grandeur. turnkey apartments
hotel’s indulgent and upmarket
afternoon teas are tourist
legendaryattractions with the aim of
Park and magnificent river views and walks with designated picnic areas.
luring
For
well
further
heeled
information
Londoners and
visit: www.maldon.gov.uk
weekenders
thanks to the
ForCoastline
further atboozy cheesecake
Newquay,
information Cornwall, and
visit: lavenderfrom the southeast.
England
Special events run throughout the year with boat trips and Maldon or www.touruk.co.uk
New Hall Vineyards One of thewww.strattons-hotel.co.uk
shortbread. flagship districts
www.maldon.gov.uk spearheading regeneration is Fistral Beach
or www.touruk.co.uk
Districts Museum close by.
This charming 37-hectare English Vineyard is one of the oldest and (far left). Dubbed ‘Surfbury’ for its big swell waves, the area is fast garnering
largest English Wine Producers in the Country. Vines grown, have a reputation as the place to stay and play. The area’s natural setting is
Moot Hall
been planted as high as 24m above sea level, which over the years an obvious draw: a stunning 630-mile long South West Coast Path
This Grade One 15th Century listed building has dominated civic
has proven itself to be an ideal climatic site. New Hall Vineyards are running across trademark bleak cliffs. Trendy boutiques and upmarket
life in the town for over four centuries. Sporting numerous unique
open daily for wine tastings and guided walks along the Vineyard eateries including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, are attracting a more discerning
architectural features including a brick spiral staircase, Dickensian
Trail. www.newhallwines.co.uk clientele, while luxury apartments in communities like Ocean’s Gate are
Well Court and Georgian dado panelled council chamber, the building luring investors in search of a weekend pad with rental potential. “To a
also houses the remnants of the old borough gaol with prisoners
Moot Hall large extent, Newquay is benefiting from the ‘Eden effect’ that has seen
exercise yard. The panoramic roof top views over the Blackwater £700m of extra spending injected into the Cornish economy since this
This Grade One 15th Century listed building has dominated civic life in
Estuary are well worth the climb. project opened nine years ago,” explains Teresa Timms of Visit Cornwall.
the town for over four centuries. Sporting a number of unique architectural
features including a brick spiral staircase, Dickensian Well Court and “Padstow and St Ives have undergone successful revamps thanks to the
Hythe Key likes of Rick Stein. Now, expectations are running high that Newquay
Georgian dado panelled council chamber, the building also houses
Home of the sailing barge, Maldon’s living heritage, many of Hythe will follow suit.” “Time will tell,” adds travel consultant Richard Mynott.
the remnants of the old borough gaol with prisoners exercise yard.
Key’s barges have been lovingly restored by devoted owners and some “There’s plenty scope for improvement, but if Fistral is anything to go by
The panoramic roof top views over the Blackwater Estuary are well
areworth
still in
theuse commercially as charter vessels. The distinctive colour
climb. – the resort is undoubtedly on the right track.”
of the barge sails is due to a dressing of yellow ochre, cod oil (for
waterproofing), and seawater.

Viking Saga Boat Excursions


Hop on a roomy 50ft cruiser from Maldon Promenade out past Heybridge
towards Osea Island before heading back via buzzing Hythe Quay.
Excursions run daily ranging from 40-minute snap-happy trips to leisurely
two-hour lunchtime cruises. Charters are also available for private parties.

St Peters on the Wall


Built by Sir Cedd from the fabric of Othona, a Roman fort, St Peters
has stood overlooking the entrance to the Blackwater Estuary for
over 1,300 years and is one of England’s oldest churches boasting
much of its original fabric.

New Hall Vineyards


This charming 37-hectare English Vineyard is one of the oldest and largest
English Wine Producers in the Country. Vines grown have been planted as

March/April 2011 THE


May/June 2010 THE GOOD
GOOD PROPERTy GuIDE 79
GuiDE 95
UK Days Out

In search of
Santa Claus
on a December
holiday to Lapland
www.santa-holidays.com
01923 822 388
Call for a brochure
0739

Canterbury Travel
V6364 Merging Fan†asy with Reality

78 The Good ProPerTy Guide March/April 2011


UK Days Out

A Five-StAr Flight to iSlAnd PArAdiSe

If kick-starting your holiday with a helicopter trip sounds like fun – British
International Helicopters might just have the solution.

A s companies with a passion for taking to the


skies go, British International Helicopters
have plenty to crow about. Operating the longest
operator to fly direct to both Islands.
The service flies daily (except Sundays)
from Penzance. After a quick and easy check-
running scheduled helicopter service from the in process, a member of the cabin crew escorts
mainland UK to the beautiful Isles of Scilly, the passengers to the impressive Sikorsky S61
company also has a longstanding relationship aircraft. Once onboard, passengers can choose
with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), a where they sit; there are single seats on the left
relationship that has seen the company offer of the cabin, and double seats on the right. Large
helicopter support to the Falkland Island windows ensure everyone gets a great view.
Garrison and Flag Officer Sea Training and Joint The trip lasts just 20 minutes, but there’s
Maritime Courses in Plymouth and off the west plenty of scenery to spy from the window. The
coast of Scotland. beginning of the journey provides passengers
Its award-winning helicopter service to with a bird’s eye view of Penzance, Newlyn,
the islands of St. Mary’s and Tresco provides Mousehole, Porthcurno, and wow-factor
holidaymakers with a hassle free, efficient Cornish landmarks like the Minack Theatre and
transfer from Cornwall; as well as the chance to the Long Ships Lighthouse. Lands End, the tip
get an exhilarating first-look aerial view of the of the British Isles, completes the scenery floor
stunning islands. show, and Cornwall is left behind as the pilot
The Penzance – St Mary’s route has been begins his descent to the beautiful archipelagos.
operated by helicopter since 1964, making Let the holidays begin!
it the world’s longest running scheduled
helicopter service. The Tresco service
For further information, go to:
was inaugurated in 1983, and British
www.islesofscillyhelicopter.co.uk
International helicopters remain the only

80 THE GOOD PrOPErTy GUIDE March/April 2011


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March/April 2011 THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE 81


Last word

“There’s always room


for improvement – you
know it’s the biggest
room in the house.”
Louise Heath Leber

The LasT Word


Improve For Good

“Improve, don’t move”, has become something of a new age mantra, but not all
‘improvements’ reap the expected rewards, says Laura Henderson.

B ling bathrooms and kitchens – extravagant Jacuzzis and super-size


wet rooms cost a small fortune to install and may well wow the
neighbours, but unless you have a rambling country pile where space (and
running for The hiLLs - bespoke interiors that indulge the
eccentricities of the owner can have prospective buyers running to the
hills. Purchasers look for understated quality, not garish gimmicks. So
money) is no object, they’re likely to be ripped out by your successors, keep the red-hot upholstery and mirrored ceilings to a minimum.
because they’re tantamount to dead space. Bespoke kitchens are a further
cash sapper - buyers seldom distinguish between a well-designed high- poor mainTenance - prevention is better than cure. So check your
street brand that costs £5,000 and a souped-up alternative that costs chimney, clear your gutters and make sure the central heating and wiring
£15,000, so unless you’re planning to stay put and live the dream, reign are up to scratch. If buyers see that work needs doing the instant they
in your extravagances. move in – they’ll scale back their offer.

open pLan LayouTs - houses tend to be valued by the number of BoTTom Line - Improvements are all well and good, but not at the
rooms rather than the square footage, with an extra bedroom adding a expense of your property’s character, floor space, and liveability.
disproportionate amount of weight in market value. Trendy open plan
kitchen/diners can be an effective way of combating space limitations, but Tricks and Mortar: The Little Book of Property Wisdom by Laura
may limit your buyer base and have a negative impact on the selling price. Henderson is out now.

82 The Good ProPerTy GuIde March/April 2011


March/April 2010 THE GOOD PROPERTY GUIDE 61