Ombria Resort – from project to reality

A bespoke sanctuary for Earth lovers, Ombria Resort will soon be welcoming golfers, hotel guests and property owners

The first phase of Ombria Resort, a project created to become Portugal’s premier sustainable resort, is quickly taking shape with the luxurious Viceroy Hotel and Residences on schedule to open by the end of 2021. Interest from buyers has been strong, with over 10% of the investment properties already reserved ahead of the official sales launch.

As of a recent visit to the resort, it was already possible to see all infrastructures and the 18-hole golf course that was completed earlier this year, whilst construction work is currently starting on the buildings of the first phase. This comprises the five-star Viceroy Hotel with 76 guestrooms, 65 Viceroy serviced apartments, restaurants, a spa, kids zone, conference centre and swimming pools. The golf clubhouse is also being built as part of the first phase, along with the first of the luxury Alcedo Villas.

A sustainable resort

The 150-hectare (370 acres) estate is only a 20 minutes’ drive from Faro airport, just 7km from the market town of Loulé, surrounded by gentle forested hills with quaint whitewashed villages such as Querença on its doorstep. When complete, the resort will comprise a total of 381 residencies, representing an overall extremely low construction density of 3.5%. It will also include an organic farm, astronomical observatory and hiking trails. The 18-hole golf course is already technically ready but will only open for play once the Clubhouse opens in 2021.

The owner and developer of Ombria Resort is the family-owned Finnish private equity fund and real estate developer Pontos Group, operating in Finland, the Baltic States and Portugal. Founder Ilpo Kokkila is also the founder of one of Finland’s largest construction companies, SRV. The first phase of Ombria Resort represents an initial investment of some €100 million, whilst the overall investment in the resort is in the region of €250 million.

Ombria Resort will set the bar as a new generation of resort developments where sustainability, the environment and support of nature and local heritage lie at the heart of the concept. One of the most impressive aspects of the eco-conscious development is the pioneering, low-impact near-to-surface geothermal system, which works by transferring the geothermal heat to pumped water through the ground and, in combination with reverse heat pumps, used for climate control, both cooling or heating. Additionally, vacuum solar tubes will provide hot water supply and pool heating throughout the resort. Making use of clean, environmentally friendly renewable energy will lead to reduced heating and cooling needs and lower costs for property owners.

Real estate opportunities

The project has been conceived from the outset to appeal both to investment buyers and to those looking for either a permanent or part-time home in the Algarve. The Viceroy Residences are 65 luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments operated as part of the hotel and ideal for those who plan to spend limited time at the resort each year, with maximum investment return. These buy-to-let apartments, which will be the first Viceroy branded residences in Europe, are also ideal for international buyers under Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme. Owners have up to 10 weeks (70 days) usage of their property per year, whilst benefitting from privileged use of all hotel amenities, and for the first five years are guaranteed a healthy annual 5% net return on investment (including all service and management charges). Prices range from €300,000 for a one-bedroom suite with a build area of 73sqm to €850,000 for the premium two-bedroom apartments with a build area of 174sqm plus private pool and garden space. Furniture and appliances packs, identical for all units in keeping with the luxury standards of the hotel rooms, are priced from €35,000 (plus VAT) for the one-bedroom suites to €65,000 (plus VAT) for the largest of the two-bedroom units.

Nearby, the Alcedo Villas site comprises 12 individual plots from 1.735sqm to 3.324sqm for private turnkey villas. Expertly designed by Portuguese studio Promontorio Architects with large private pool, garage and fully landscaped gardens, these villas will be built to order, enabling buyers to personalise certain aspects of finishing. Prices range from €2,550,000 for a three-bedroom villa with a build area of 481sqm and €3,950,000 for a seven-bedroom villa with a build area of 747sqm. The show villa will be ready by the end of 2020.

The next residential units to be released will be at Oriole Village, planned to start construction in 2020 and comprising 83 units, including spacious apartments, townhouses and villas with between one to four bedrooms. These units, like the luxury Alcedo Villas, offer totally flexible usage. Some owners will no doubt choose to live year-round at Oriole Village whilst others will opt to rent their property, working with Ombria’s rentals and management team. Although sales have not yet begun, these properties are already in strong demand from buyers taking advantage of Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident tax regime.

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