Portugal’s Great Escape


Jane Slade discovers a new resort within the exclusive estate of Quinta do Lago

There is barely a blade of grass out of place on Portugal’s premier golf resort. And since Quinta do Lago boasts three top-class courses, that’s a lot of grass. But it’s not just the great golf and 300 days of sunshine a year that attracts people to pay millions for homes here.

There’s an exclusivity about Quinta. It evokes Bel Air more than Beverly Hills and the cachet of Chelsea over Mayfair. Poised to mark its 50th anniversary, Quinta has established itself as a stylish understated country estate in a fantastic location; covering 800-luscious acres on Portugal’s Algarve Coast.

It seems far from the noise and concrete of the modern city – but not too far. Lisbon is a two-hour drive away and Faro airport a mere 15-minutes with regular fights to London.

­There is nothing brash or flash about Quinta which ticks the box for ‘appeal’ when it comes to looking for a quiet, private holiday residence. ­There are no nightclubs or nightlife and just one way in and one way out so it is – safe as houses.

Quinta do Lago blends a relaxed family feel with a sophisticated je ne sais quoi. You may see the odd celebrity or sportsman on the golf course like the former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer who owns a home here, but they don’t want to be bothered – they are just enjoying a round with their chums.

Quinta is designed for those who love the great outdoors. ­ ere are tennis and Padel courts, bicycles, running tracks and the beach. Its architectural heritage mixes massive modern mansions with older colonial-style country houses, surrounded by a lush landscape on the UNESCO Ria Formosa Nature Reserve.

Strict rules dictate that only 9% of the land can be developed on the reserve. Demand for homes is rapidly exceedingly supply which means prices are soaring. ­

The developers behind One Green Way, a new enclave of 89 luxurious serviced apartments and 27 villas, think foreign home-hunters will pay €3.5million for a three-bed apartment and up to €9.25million for a six-bedroom villa facing the 12th hole of Quinta’s North Course. ­

This is because of Portugal’s attractive Non-Habitual Residence tax exemption scheme that exempts foreign homeowners from paying tax on overseas income.

Joao Fonseca, a partner of investors Green Jacket says; “We think people will buy the villas to use for themselves and their families and the apartments as an investment. You pay no income tax if you are a foreigner and buy a property.”

Typically, three-bed apartments, which will all have heated pools, could rent out for €1,500 a day and villas from €2,000. ­ ere will be 24 three-bed apartments and 38 four-beds which can be rented through a managed rentals programme. ­

The properties are certainly spacious. ­The Panorama apartments (three and four-bed) measure 380-560 square metres, have their own private entrances, roof-top heated pool and extend over three storeys.

Garden apartments, also three and four-bed, range from 380 to 650 square metres.

Designed for indoor/outdoor living, each home will have an indoor and outdoor kitchen, open plan living areas, heated pool, marble bathrooms, sound-proof cinema, two parking spaces (villas have four). Each building will also have a private lift large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

Owners will also have exclusive use of a clubhouse with its own restaurant, roof-top bar, pool with beach access, fitness centre, golf bays and pet grooming.

Interestingly, the One Green Way development, which is spread over 20 acres and due for completion in December 2024, is a mixture of old and new buildings.

The older ones which resemble a ‘commercial’ architectural façade will be transformed using sustainable wood and stone, as well as Portuguese ceramic tiles.

Garden lovers will want for nothing either. Some €9 million is being spent on plants and €15 million on landscaping. Dubai-based landscaper Paul Cracknell is charged with creating suspended gardens and planting only those trees native to the area.

“Rather than tropical palms we will be planting indigenous Mediterranean maritime plants,” he says. “There will be a water feature which will be an ecosystem on its own attracting ‑ ora and fauna. We will use mulch instead of bark which is better at keeping down weeds rather than pesticides.”

Creating a habitat for wildlife at One Green Way complements the surrounding conservation area.

Nearby a beautiful 60km-long, salt-water-fed lagoon used to have the largest colony of seahorses in the world.

Now there are far fewer, but it’s still an important fish-breeding nursery. It’s also a haven for clams, oysters, and crabs and rich in bird life. A walk by the lagoon makes for a fascinating wildlife adventure in itself. ­

The lagoon is also a resting point for many migratory birds and has flamingos all year round. A wooden broadwalk which runs beside it, is popular with runners, cyclists, walkers and bird watchers. You can also book a guide to take you on a family tour.

After exploring the wildlife, birdlife and marine life you should discover the local life in the nearby Quinta Shopping village.

Here designer boutiques, as well as fine dining and fine Portuguese wine tasting are on offer just a short walk from the development.


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