Empires of the Sun
via The Sunday Times
Tempted by a beach house in paradise? Take advantage of the strong pound and make that dream come true. We find 10 fabulous pads to suit all budgets
Golden sand outside the front door has long been a fantasy for urbanites stuck in the daily grind. And it seems more of us than ever are keen to live the dream: driven by the strength of sterling, inquiries from British buyers about beach houses abroad have risen by 109% in the past year on Rightmove Overseas, according to Aimee Valaitis, a data analyst at the property portal.
There has also been a hike in inquiries about homes with private beaches, she says. But buyer beware: whatever the brochure claims, your “private” strand may be invaded by hordes of sunbathers — this summer, King Salman of Saudi Arabia sparked mass protests on the French Riviera when he tried to close the nudist beach in front of his holiday villa. “Unless you are on a private island, it’s rare to find a beach that really is for your use only,” says Edward de Mallet Morgan, an associate at Knight Frank estate agency. “In many places, particularly on the Mediterranean, the public has a right of access on the coast. Almost no beaches in the Caribbean are truly private.”
That said, some are more secluded than others. Here’s our pick of the best beach houses on the market right now.
Pool or sea? It’s the biggest dilemma you’ll face at Villa Bonita, a new six-bedroom property in Prospect Bay, St James, on the Platinum Coast. It has more than 9,000 sq ft of living space, direct beach access from a staircase, lashings of white marble and an inner courtyard. The cream and grey interiors are offset by the almost shocking blue of the Caribbean — and for added peace of mind, the villa has an alarm system and security shutters.
Mallorca from £253,275
Once a fishing village, Puerto Andratx is now a Balearic hotspot, known for bling, superyachts and A-list visitors. A short walk from the beach at Camp de Mar, on the edge of the golf course, there’s a collection of 30 townhouses built in Mediterranean style, with a shared pool and gardens. They are part of a gated community, so a two-or three-bedroom home here would make a good lock-up-and-leave.
On the seafront in Kalyves, a buzzing — but still traditional – village near Apokoronas, this three-bedroom Venetian villa has high ceilings and original floor tiles. It’s in need of TLC, but the mountain backdrop is stunning and there’s plenty of room to put in a small pool and off-road parking. You’ll have instant access to the area’s miles and miles of sandy beaches, while Chania airport is just a short drive away.
Lined with luxury villas, Broad Beach, in Malibu, counts Steven Spielberg, Goldie Hawn and Pierce Brosnan among its A-list residents. The LaFetra Beach House, the last building designed by the modernist Pierre Koenig, sits on a clifftop at the northern end of the beach. The solar-powered glass, steel and concrete home has four bedrooms, huge oceanfront decks, a plunge pool and retractable beach stairs.
Make like Mark Zuckerberg and buy a piece of paradise in Hawaii. Hale Ali’i, on Maui, is a 7,475 sq ft home a few steps from the white sands of Oneloa Bay; it’s a short walk from Kapalua Bay, often voted one of America’s best beaches. Built according to feng shui principles, the four-bedroom villa has a soundproof theatre and a limestone lanai (open-sided porch) with an infinity pool and a hot tub. The price has been reduced by £2.55m.
The owner of this 20-acre private island can use the facilities at the five-star Soneva Kiri resort, on Ko Kood, just across the water. It’s for sale on a 30-year lease (with three automatic 30-year extensions), with plans for a 3,000 sq metre house that will have large terraces and a waterslide into the pool. The flight from Bangkok to the local airport takes 60 minutes by private plane; the resort’s speedboat will whisk you over to your home.
Cayman Islands from £1.9m
Designed to provide a cosy enclave for UHNWIs — that’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals to you and me — Casa Luna is a development of 18 open-plan homes in a secluded cove on Grand Cayman. It’s dotted with waterfalls and there’s a pond stocked with ornamental koi carp. For £1.9m, you’ll get three bedrooms and views to the shores of South Sound; a front-line villa will set you back £2.4m.
This contemporary three-bedroom townhouse is in the Vale do Lobo golf resort, a 20-minute drive from Faro airport. It has sweeping beach views and nearly 1,800 sq ft of clean, bright and mainly white open-plan interiors, including a well designed kitchen, as well as terraces and a garden. There’s no pool, though, so you’ll need to cool down in the surf — or use the resort’s facilities.
Bodrum may be rammed with tourists, but Gumusluk Bay, at the tip of the Bodrum Peninsula, has plenty to recommend it: large-scale development is not permitted, so there’s a low-key, traditional feel, and its fresh fish restaurants and scattered antiquities make it an idyllic holiday retreat. This three-bedroom, two-bathroom villa has beach access and a private pool; the weekly food and crafts market is within walking distance.