The peaceful Portuguese beach town being taken over by wealthy Americans known as the ‘Hamptons of western Europe’
A tranquil coastline in Portugal known for its rice paddies has quickly gained popularity among wealthy American investors and celebrities, earning it the nickname “Hamptons of Western Europe.”
Just over an hour’s drive west of Lisbon, Comporta is home to white sand, turquoise water and a small town complete with quaint whitewashed buildings and traditional cobbled streets.
Thanks to its paradisiacal setting, the coastal spot has been taken over by luxury developers and the projects that are popping up have lured everyone from George Clooney and Madonna to Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank.
However, it is reported that locals are not happy with the multimillion-dollar resorts and residential projects planned for Comporta – with the community having already succeeded in quashing a $121 million proposal from luxury hotel group Aman.
Just over an hour’s drive west of Lisbon, Comporta is home to white-sand beaches and turquoise waters
A website for JNCQUOI’s gated beach villa development says this estate will become ‘one of the most exclusive destinations in Europe’
George Clooney and wife Amal have been tipped in the running for a spot at the exclusive CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club
Thanks to its paradisiacal environment, this coastal spot has been taken over by luxury developers
Munich native Beata Baumgartner, who is renovating a three-bedroom property in the neighboring village of Carvalhal, told the FT.com that new jet set crowd has made locals more expensive, and now real estate and restaurants were virtually unaffordable.
She explained, “Asking €18 ($19) for a bowl of fried calamari or €8 ($8) for a portion of rice is too much. The beach clubs have changed.
“There are now €5 million ($5.4 million) villas in areas next to people living in poverty – my neighbors live in a one-room house and cook on the barbecue every night.”
Continuing the food theme, Praia na Comporta is one of the latest restaurants to open in Comporta.
The rustic-looking ski-themed beach house, built among the sand dunes, was designed by Philippe Starck, one of Comporta’s glitterati residents, but the bohemian vibe doesn’t come with bohemian prices.
Instead of a website, the venue lists the menu via Instagram.
Some of the more expensive dishes include king crab in butter sauce for $86 ($80), a rice dish with squid ink and scarlet shrimp for $41 ($38), and a 300-gram premium Japanese wagyu steak for $205 ($190).
To top it off, there’s a dessert of chocolate chip cookie, caramel tart, pudding and macerated strawberries for $37 (€35).
Prices at Comporta’s new beach club JNCQUOI aren’t cheap, with a lobster and truffle mayo hot dog for $42 (€39) and a crab cocktail entree for $48 (€45).
The JNCQUOI beach club is part of a wider residential development that has yet to be completed
Another new arrival this summer on Comporta’s scenic waterfront is the JNCQUOI beach club, part of a wider residential area yet to be completed.
Described as the ‘perfect place to enjoy the finest fresh fish and seafood, prepared with authenticity and flavour’, the restaurant has an airy feel with simple modern furnishings and high ceilings.
Complementing the restaurant is a cabana beach bar and sunbeds, exuding an Ibiza or St. Tropez vibe.
Like Praia na Comporta, prices at JNCQUOI aren’t cheap, with a lobster and truffle mayo hot dog for $42 (€39), a crab cocktail entree for $48 (€45), and a scorpion fish with tartar sauce and French fries main course for $ 81 (€75).
New York Times bestseller and travel website Air Mail deputy editor Michael Hainey visited Comporta this summer, visiting Praia na Comporta on its second night of opening.
In a piece left the exclusive Portuguese enclave, his closing remark was about the restaurant’s sky-high prices, and the shock he received when the check came and the two bottles of “a nice local wine” suggested by the server came to $378 (€350 ) per year. pop.
He mused, “Now I’m not a sucker. I live in New York. I know how the game is played. And I say from above: Shame on us for not asking beforehand how much the wine costs. Above all, we should be ashamed of ourselves for trusting him.’
When he consulted the server, Hainey was told, “You asked me to recommend something.” That’s what I gave you.’
The writer concluded, “I immediately sensed how the locals must feel. In the midst of breathtaking beauty, you’re dealing with someone better suited to Nikki Beach.”
Complementing JNCQUOI’s restaurant is a cabana beach bar and sunbeds, exuding an Ibiza or St. Tropez vibe
One of the newest 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 will continue, with many travel experts advising people to go now before the price sells out completely.
Much of the area was bought in the 1950s by the Espírito Santo family, the founders of what was once Portugal’s main banking group, but in recent decades they have sold tracts of land to developers.
A website for JNCQUOI’s gated beach villa development says this estate will become ‘one of the most exclusive destinations in Europe’ once completed, where ‘like-minded people can connect’.
To make sure the elite feel at home, space healer and energy balance consultant Alberto Amura has been hired to help with the project.
According to a description outlining his role, he will help “facilitate and balance the flow of beneficial, subtle living energies in an environment, towards the creation of a harmonious and auspicious atmosphere.”
The Atlantic Club is another swanky estate in the works with 21 lots, while George Clooney and wife Amal are expected to be in the running for a spot at the exclusive CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club.
Clooney was reportedly informed of the investment opportunity by his fellow tequila mogul Mike Meldman.
The pair teamed up to launch tequila company Casamigos in 2013 and sold it four years later for a reported $1 billion.
Meldman, the CEO of the Discovery Land Company, acquired the 722-hectare property in Comporta in 2019, with an initial investment of $551 million.
The bohemian atmosphere at Praia na Comporta does not come with bohemian prices. Instead of a website, the venue lists the menu via Instagram
Away from the crowds, the rice fields of Comporta can be seen in the distance
Having already overseen the construction of 24 luxury residential golf communities around the world, he has now established the luxury resort community of CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club.
Part of the offer includes a wellness center, an equestrian center, a community village, an 18-star golf course, 146 single-family homes and 29 homes associated with the club.
The Clooneys will no doubt be reassured by the green credentials claimed by the estate they plan to move to.
According to the CostaTerra website, it is a “thriving community and ecosystem, firmly rooted in the values of sustainable development.” It describes itself to potential buyers as ‘your family’s private European escape’.
It’s clear, though, that the Clooneys don’t want one of the estate’s turnkey luxury villas, but want to take over the design of their own property.
Property prices in Comporta have skyrocketed in line with the rise of fame, and London-based banker Dan Dalton – who bought a three-bedroom vacant home with his husband in the slick resort complex of Spatia Comporta in 2019 – told the FT.com: ‘Infrastructure still has a long way to go.
“But new restaurants are opening up and it’s gentrifying. Real estate prices have gone crazy. Villas like ours sell for three times what we paid for them.’
According to Vasco Cunha Mendes, of developer Eurosuez, existing properties in the Dalton development have recently sold for between $1.9 million and $2 million.
FT.com notes that data from the Residential Information System, which tracks property transactions across Portugal, shows that the number of homes in Comporta has risen from 27 in 2020 to 104 in 2022.
It also shows that the statistics support Dalton’s claims: the average asking price for a new property in the area will be $2,887 per square foot in 2020, up from $7,634 in 2022.