A quiet stretch of Portugal’s coastline, known for its rice paddies, quickly became a popular property for wealthy investors and American 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 heavenly setting, the coast has been invaded by luxury developers and the projects that have sprung up have attracted everyone from George Clooney and Madonna to Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank.
However, locals are reportedly unhappy with planned multi-million dollar resorts and residential projects in Comporta – with the community having already managed to scrap 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 gated beach villa development says the area will become ‘one of Europe’s most exclusive destinations’.
George Clooney and his wife Amal are said to be in the running for a place at the CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club.
Thanks to its heavenly setting, the coastal area has been invested by luxury developers
Munich-born Beata Baumgartner, who is renovating a three-bedroom property in the nearby village of Carvalhal, told the FT.com this new jet-set crowd overtook local prices, and by now real estate and restaurants were virtually unaffordable.
She explained, “Charging €18 ($19) for a bowl of fried calamari 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 neighboring areas of people living in poverty. My neighbors live in a one-room house and cook on a BBQ every night.”
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 amidst the sand dunes, was designed by Philippe Starck, one of Comporta’s most prestigious residents, but the bohemian vibe hasn’t bothered me. equates with bohemian prices.
Instead of a website, the place lists its menu via Instagram.
Among the most expensive dishes are king crab in butter sauce for $86 (€80), a rice dish with squid ink and scarlet prawns 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 lobster and truffle mayonnaise hot dog at $42 (€39) and a crab cocktail entree at $48 (€45).
JNCQUOI Beach Club is part of a larger residential development yet to be completed
Another newcomer this summer to Comporta’s scenic waterfront is JNCQUOI Beach Club, part of a larger residential development yet to be completed.
The restaurant, described as “the ideal place to taste the best fresh fish and seafood cooked with authenticity and flavour”, exudes an airy atmosphere with simple contemporary furnishings and high ceilings.
Complementing the restaurant, there’s a cabana beach bar and daybeds, which give off an air of Ibiza or Saint-Tropez.
As in Praia na Comporta, prices at JNCQUOI are not cheap, with a lobster hot dog and truffle mayonnaise at $42 (€39), a crab cocktail entrée at $48 (€45), and a scorpion fish with tartar sauce and dish of fries at $81 (€75).
Michael Hainey, associate 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 were about the restaurant’s sky-high prices, and the shock he got when the check arrived and the two bottles of a “good local wine” suggested by the waiter came up at $378 (€350) per person. popular.
He reflected: “Now I am 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.
Consulting the server, Hainey was informed, “You asked me to recommend something. That’s what I gave you.
The writer concluded: “I immediately felt what the locals must have felt. Amidst a breathtaking expanse of 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 give off an air of Ibiza or Saint-Tropez.
One of the most recent restaurants to open in Comporta is Praia na Comporta. The rustic-looking ski-themed beach house amidst 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 exhausted.
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 swathes 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’ when completed, where ‘like-minded people can connect’.
To make sure the elite feel 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 “to facilitate and balance the flow of beneficial subtle living energies in an environment, in order to create a harmonious and conducive ambiance”.
The Atlantic Club is another classy estate in the works with 21 plots, while George Clooney and his wife, Amal, are expected to be in contention for a place at the CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club.
Clooney was reportedly introduced to this investment opportunity by fellow tequila magnate Mike Meldman.
The pair 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 posts its menu via Instagram
Far from the crowd, we can see the rice fields of Comporta in the distance
After overseeing the construction of 24 luxury residential golf communities around the world, he has now created the CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club luxury resort community.
Some offerings include a wellness center, equestrian center, community village, 18-star golf course, 146 single-family homes and 29 club-owned residences.
The Clooneys will no doubt have been reassured by the ecological credentials claimed by the area in which they plan to settle.
According to the CostaTerra website, it is a “thriving community and thriving ecosystem, firmly rooted in the values of sustainability.” It describes itself to potential buyers as “your family’s private European escape”.
However, it is understood that the Clooneys do not want one of the estate’s ‘ready-made’ luxury villas, but intend to take over the design of 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 resort – told the FT.com“The infrastructure still has a long 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.
According to Vasco Cunha Mendes of developer Eurosuez, resale properties in the Dalton development have sold for between $1.9 million and $2 million of late.
FT.com notes that records from the Residential Information System, which tracks property transactions across Portugal, reveal that the number of homes in Comporta fell from 27 in 2020 to 104 in 2022.
It also shows that the statistics support 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.