By SADIE WHITELOCKS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
A quiet stretch of Portuguese coastline, known for its rice fields, quickly became a popular property for wealthy American investors and celebrities, earning it the nickname the “Hamptons of Western Europe.”
Comporta, which is just over an hour’s drive west of Lisbon, is home to white sand, turquoise waters and a small town with quaint whitewashed buildings and traditional cobbled streets.
Thanks to its paradise setting, the coast has been invaded by luxury developers and the projects that have cropped up have attracted everyone from Madonna to Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank.
However, it appears locals are not happy with the multi-million dollar resorts and residential projects planned in Comporta – with the community having already managed to quash a $121 million proposal from luxury hotel group Aman.
Comporta, located just over an hour’s drive west of Lisbon, is home to white sand and turquoise waters.
A website for the JNCQUOI beach gated villa development says the estate will become “one of the most exclusive destinations in Europe”.
George Clooney and his wife, Amal, are reportedly in the running for a spot at CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club.
Thanks to its heavenly setting, the coastal area has been taken over by luxury developers
Beata Baumgartner, originally from Munich, who is renovating a three-bedroom property in the nearby village of Carvalhal, told the FT.com this new jet-set crowd out-priced locals, and now real estate and restaurants were virtually unaffordable.
She explained: “Charging €18 ($19) for a bowl of fried squid or €8 ($8) for a portion of rice is too much. Beach clubs have changed.
“There are now villas worth 5 million euros ($5.4 million) in nearby areas of people living in poverty. My neighbors live in a one-room house and cook on a barbecue every evening.”
Continuing the theme of fine dining, one of the newest restaurants to open in Comporta is Praia na Comporta.
The rustic-looking ski-themed beach house, built among the sand dunes, was designed by Philippe Starck, one of Comporta’s most prestigious residents, but the bohemian vibe didn’t add up. ‘equal with bohemian prices.
Instead of a website, the venue lists its menu via Instagram.
Among the more expensive dishes are king crab in butter sauce for $86 (€80), a squid ink rice dish with scarlet shrimp for $41 (€38) and a premium Japanese wagyu steak of 300 g for $205 (€190).
To top it off, a dessert consisting of chocolate biscuit, caramel cakes, pudding and macerated strawberries for $37 (€35).
Prices at Comporta’s new JNCQUOI beach club aren’t cheap, with a hot dog with lobster and truffle mayonnaise going for $42 (€39) and a crab cocktail starter at $48 (€45).
JNCQUOI Beach Club is part of a larger residential development yet to be completed
Another new addition to Comporta’s picturesque waterfront this summer is JNCQUOI Beach Club, part of a larger residential development yet to be completed.
The restaurant, described as “the ideal place to enjoy the finest fresh fish and seafood cooked with authenticity and flavor”, has an airy atmosphere with simple contemporary furnishings and high ceilings.
Complementing the restaurant, there is a cabana beach bar and day beds, which exude an air of Ibiza or Saint-Tropez.
As in Praia na Comporta, prices at JNCQUOI are not cheap, with a hot dog with lobster and truffle mayonnaise at $42 (€39), a crab cocktail starter at $48 (€45), and a scorpion fish with tartar sauce and a plate of fries for $81 (€75).
Michael Hainey, deputy editor of travel site and New York Times bestseller Michael Hainey, visited Comporta this summer and discovered Praia na Comporta on the second night it opened.
In a piece on the exclusive Portuguese enclave, his closing remarks concerned the restaurant’s exorbitant prices, and his shock when the check arrived and the two bottles of a “good local wine” suggested by the waiter amounted to at $378 (€350) per person. popular.
He reflects: “Now, I’m not an idiot. I live in New York. I know how the game is played. And I say from above: shame on us for not asking in advance how much the wine costs. Above all, shame on us for trusting him.
Upon consulting the server, Hainey was informed, “You asked me to recommend something. This is what I gave you.
The writer concluded: “I immediately felt what the locals must feel. Amidst an expanse of breathtaking beauty, you must be dealing with a guy better suited to Nikki Beach.
Complementing the JNCQUOI restaurant, you will find a cabana beach bar and daybeds, which exude an air of Ibiza or Saint-Tropez.
One of the newest restaurants to open in Comporta is Praia na Comporta. The rustic-looking, ski-themed beach house in the middle of the sand dunes was designed by Philippe Starck
Comporta’s development is set to continue, and many travel experts are advising people to go now before the price is completely sold out.
Much of the area was purchased in the 1950s by the Espírito Santo family, the founders of what was once Portugal’s leading banking group, but over the decades they sold swaths of land to developers.
A website for the JNCQUOI gated beach villa development says the estate will become “one of Europe’s most exclusive destinations” once completed, where “like-minded people will be able to connect”.
To make sure the elite felt at home, Alberto Amura, “space healer and energy balance consultant,” was hired to help with the project.
According to a description describing its role, it will help “facilitate and balance the flow of beneficial subtle living energies in an environment, to create a harmonious and conducive ambiance.”
The Atlantic Club is another chic estate in the pipeline with 21 plots.
George Clooney and his wife, Amal, were tipped to be in the running for a place at CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club.
Clooney was reportedly introduced to this investment opportunity by fellow tequila mogul Mike Meldman.
The two teamed up in 2013 to launch tequila company Casamigos and sold it four years later for $1 billion.
Meldman, CEO of Discovery Land Company, acquired the 722-acre land in Comporta in 2019, with an initial investment of $551 million.
The bohemian vibe of Praia na Comporta is not matched by the bohemian prices. Instead of a website, the venue displays its menu via Instagram
Far from the crowds, we can see the rice fields of Comporta in the distance
Having overseen the construction of 24 luxury golf residential communities around the world, he has now created the luxury resort community CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club.
Some offerings include a wellness center, equestrian center, community village, 18-star golf course, 146 single-family homes and 29 club-owned residences.
The estate also highlights its ecological character.
According to the CostaTerra website, it is a “thriving community and thriving ecosystem, firmly anchored in the values of sustainability.”
It describes itself to potential buyers as “your family’s private European escape.”
Buyers have the option to acquire one of the estate’s ‘ready-made’ luxury villas or take charge of designing their own property.
Property prices in Comporta have soared alongside its fame, and London banker Dan Dalton – who bought an unbuilt three-bedroom house with his husband in 2019 in the Spatia Comporta hotel complex – told the FT.com: “The infrastructure still has a way to go.
“But new restaurants are opening and it’s gentrification. Real estate prices have gone crazy. Villas like ours sell for three times what we paid.
Resale properties at the Dalton development have sold for between $1.9 million and $2 million in recent times, according to Vasco Cunha Mendes of developer Eurosuez.
FT.com notes that records from the Residential Information System, which tracks property transactions across Portugal, reveal that the number of housing units in Comporta increased from 27 in 2020 to 104 in 2022.
It also shows that the statistics back up Dalton’s claims, with the average asking price for a new property in the area rising to $2,887 per square meter in 2020, up from $7,634 in 2022.