Nightclub nightmare.jpg

Nightclub nightmare

‘illegal’ NOISE DISTURBS neighbourhood

FOLLOWING REPEATED allegations of noise pollution, residents and business owners in the vicinity of Klube K, an open-air nightclub located not far from the Vilamoura International School, between the Victoria Golf Club and the Vilamoura Equestrian Centre, are currently doing all they can to prevent the disco opening this summer. A petition, requesting the permanent closure of the venue, is being circulated and is shortly due to be presented to the club’s owners, Lusort, and Vilamoura GNR.

The Klube K, which opened five years ago, is apparently the favourite summer venue for the Portuguese jet-set and “the powerful people”, and opens for just six weeks of the year, normally in July and August. This year, according to the nightclub’s website (, Klube K is due to open on July 21.

Sally Sykes, the woman organising the petition, who has lived in a villa in Quintinhas, just down the road from Klube K, for 20 years, told The Resident’s Caroline Cunha: “For five years, we have suffered the torment of sleepless, stressful nights during six weeks every summer, due to the unacceptable and illegal noise coming from the nearby open-air discotheque, Klube K, which is situated within metres of our homes. The decibel count, many times above the permitted level, is so high that our windows shake and the beat of the music can be heard as far away as Loulé.”

Complaints from guests

The four-star Cegonha Country Club, which hosts 38 apartments, a swimming pool, tennis courts, children’s park and café bar, is located just across the road from the nightclub and the management receives complaints from guests every summer. The Resident spoke to general manager, José Lourenço. “We would prefer it if the club did not open again,” he said. “Each time that nightclub opens, we will have problems for sure. On average, during the summer, we receive two to three complaints every week from guests staying here and we have had families leave because of the noise. If a guest finds it difficult to sleep, we try to move them to the other side of the building, but this should not be necessary.”  

José Lourenço continued: “In previous summers, some guests, especially those with children, have complained to the tour operator and asked to be moved to another hotel or country club. So far, we have not been asked to give a refund, but when guests check-out early, we lose income and it is bad for our reputation.” Lourenço claims the decibel level must be very high because the windows at the Country Club are double-glazed and even with all the doors and windows closed, “the noise can still be heard”.

Also, what apparently aggravates the situation further, is that the club often hosts special events. “Although the normal closing time is 4am, when there are special parties, Klube K stays open until 6am, 10am, and even until 12 noon the following day. And the music just continues …. It is unbelievable,” he says. This year, according to the nightclub’s website, the opening hours this summer will be midnight until 6.30am.

When asked what he thought about the council authorising the building of the nightclub five years ago, Lourenço replied: “It is very strange and difficult to understand how this could happen.”

According to Sally Sykes, at least 200 people living in the vicinity of the club are affected by the noise: the residents of a further six villas in Quintinhas, the remaining residents living in 10 villas at Vilamoura’s Sociedade Agrícola, four staff members residing at the Estalagem Cegonha, guests at the Cegonha Country Club, as well as numerous people living in nearby Boliqueime. She claims that the GNR receive hundreds of complaints every summer about Klube K. That number may be set to rise, as 51 apartments are currently being built in the road leading to the nightclub, as part of a new development called Centro Hípico das Cegonhas.

“I can’t face another summer of it,” says Sally. “It is like a radio going full blast in one’s bedroom, with the sound being turned up and down, over and over again, for six hours all through the night. And this is followed by another two hours of blasting car horns and people shouting almost outside my window! All this goes on, non-stop, every night, even on Sundays, for up to six weeks! Even with earplugs and windows shut, it is practically impossible to get any sleep. I am unable to have my family or friends visit me during this time, because they cannot endure this nightly torture.”

Police visit Klube K

It appears the fight for peace and quiet has been going on for some time already. José Lourenço told The Resident: “In the summer of 2004, we complained to Vilamoura GNR, but they didn’t do anything about stopping the noise. They visited the nightclub and then showed me copies of the licences from Loulé Câmara, authorising the disco to open until 4am.” But apparently, according to Lourenço, they said nothing about the noise.

Meanwhile, Sally Sykes says: “We have all phoned the Vilamoura Police many times but, although they say they will deal with it, they have never, in five years, taken any action. We have sent letters to Lusort, Vilamoura GNR, the President of Loulé Câmara, the Ministry for the Environment and the Civil Governor of Faro.”  

Due to the alleged lack of response to complaints, Sally is convinced that what she and her neighbours are dealing with is a “very abnormal situation”. “Klube K is a favourite summer venue for powerful people and for those whose duty it is to enforce the law. Their priority is that it should remain open for the benefit of themselves, their families and their friends. It appears Klube K is above the law,” she said.

According to the Regulamento Geral do Ruído, the legislation relating to noise pollution, the legal limit during the night is three decibels, but residents allege that the noise coming from Klube K is much louder than this. Also, locals claim that, as it is a residential area, classed as sensitive under noise pollution law, the open-air nightclub’s owners should have been forced to take steps to ensure noise insulation when it was constructed, or perhaps never have been given planning permission in the first place.

Promises, promises …

After writing to Lusort, which owns the Klube K building, complaining of the noise, Sally Sykes received a letter from them stating: “As owners, we are undertaking all actions within our authority, in order that the referred discotheque complies with all the legal applicable qualifications, stipulated in the Regulamento Geral do Ruído.” However, Sally claims to have received a similar response from the company for every year that the nightclub has been open, and that nothing ever changes. As the nightclub is in a residential area and is open air, Sally believes that it is actually impossible for it to comply with the noise pollution legislation.


Residents in the vicinity of the nightclub are very frustrated because they believe that Lusort, as landlords, should ensure their tenant “uses the building lawfully” and that the company should “evict a tenant should the premises be used unlawfully”.

It seems that what particularly angers those affected by the noise each summer is that Lusort promotes itself as being a Green Globe Destination and, therefore, environmentally friendly.

On Lusort’s website (, under the company information section, the following is stated: “Environmental sensitivity is a priority and a duty for Lusort, which will reconcile the demands, characteristic of its construction activity, with the maximum degree of respect for the environment. Its protection is a commitment entered into by the company, establishing an Environmental Policy, which is applied to all the activities undertaken by the company. Lusort will guarantee compliance with the environmental legislation, rules and regulations prevailing in each one of the operations it undertakes.”

Nightclub on a nature trail?

Still on the subject of environmental issues, The Resident was told by local residents that a nature and environmental study centre is located metres from the nightclub’s entrance and that a nature trail begins from the same location. On visiting the Klube K site, The Resident’s Caroline Cunha was able to see the nature study centre, Centro de Estudos da Natureza e do Ambiente (CENA), and the information boards for the percurso natureza (nature trail), situated 50 metres from Klube K. Unfortunately, the study centre was closed on that particular afternoon, but rules for visitors taking the nature trail were outlined on the notice board. Among them is the following instruction: ‘You should be silent or make the minimum amount of noise during the nature trail in order to observe the fauna of Vilamoura Environmental Park’.

Lusort responds to criticism

The Resident met with Jorge Moedas, head of environmental and quality department at Lusort, to hear what he had to say about the complaints concerning Klube K and its unusual location.

“We rent this space out and, in the contract, the noise legislation is mentioned.

We are concerned that some of the residents are disturbed with the situation. We have alerted the people who have rented this unit that they must comply with the legislation and we are assured they will comply.”

However, after having said this, Jorge Moedas told The Resident that his company is “not the police and that there is not much we can do”. He also said that he didn’t believe it was a big problem, that he had not heard about many complaints, and that perhaps we had been “led to believe it was a bigger problem that it really is”.

When asked if the company was worried that the alleged noise pollution might affect its “green” image, Moedas made it clear that he felt the environmental policy, outlined in the company’s website, did not relate to the nightclub and that it wasn’t fair to question the company’s environmental ethics, considering all the work that had been done to achieve environmental quality in Vilamoura, at the beach and marina for example. He also said he did not feel that Lusort could do any more with regard to Klube K and the sound levels. “We passed on the message and we are not required to do more,” he said.

When The Resident showed Jorge Moedas the photographs of the nightclub and the nature study centre, which are around 50 metres from each other, along with pictures of the notice board situated in front of CENA, displaying the rules for the nature trail, he said: “The nature trail does not start from CENA where that notice board is; it begins more than 500 metres from there. Also, the birds in the nature reserve are 6km away from Klube K.”

Protected species

The day after meeting Jorge Moedas, The Resident returned to CENA to ask about the nature trail and spoke to the environmental technician on duty, Ana Luísa Quaresma.

“The nature trail begins from here, in front of the CENA building,” she said. Walking outside, she pointed to the exact set-off point, less than 50 metres in front of the building, to the left of Klube K, where a stork’s nest can be seen on top of a chimney.

When asked about the length of the route, The Resident was told: “To the bird watching observatory and back is a walk totalling around 6.6km”. Ana Luísa also confirmed that protected species such as the Purple Heron and Purple Gallinule can be seen around 3km from CENA.

When the subject of the nightclub was brought up, she said: “It is a problem, we receive many complaints from people living around here. The nightclub doesn’t really fit here with the nature park. We hope it doesn’t open this year.”

No comment

At the time of going to press, Loulé Câmara had not responded to questions posed by The Resident, and Lusort had not replied to requests asking them to supply the contact details of the nightclub promoter.

With regard to Vilamoura’s Green Globe status, The Resident contacted the Green Globe organisation and received the following response from Claire Hendrie, customer services manager: “Vilamoura is not currently Green Globe Certified. They are entitled to use the Green Globe Affiliate logo at this time, but not the Benchmarked or Certified logos.” The last time Vilamoura was certified was in 2003 and, in order to achieve this certification again, Lusort must, according to Hendrie, among many other things, adhere to guidelines outlined in a document entitled Community Standard, which outlines requirements with regards to community consultation.

Sally Sykes has asked The Resident to print her telephone number and asks readers to contact her if they are interested in signing the petition or can offer any help or advice – you can call her on 289 321 397.