Zara Phillips, 2006 World Eventing Champion and BBC Sports Personality of the Year, has chosen the CampoReal Golf Resort and Spa on Lisbon’s Silver Coast as the location to build her first home abroad.
CampoReal was the site used in centuries past by Portuguese Kings to exercise their horses and is located just thirty minutes north of Portugal’s Cosmopolitan capital Lisbon. The resort was
established by Eduardo Netto de Almeida in 1998 and opened its doors in spring 2006. It now boasts 372 properties comprised of villas, townhouses and apartments, a luxurious five-star hotel, an 18-hole golf course and an equestrian centre.
Zara says of her decision to build at CampoReal Golf Resort & Spa: “Since we first met, Eduardo and his family have made me feel really welcome out here and I find I unwind quickly as everyone is very friendly but in a relaxed way. My villa will be built on the edge of vineyards that have been there for centuries, there are stunning beaches nearby and Mike [Tindall] and I can improve our handicaps on the golf course. The decision to build my holiday home here was pretty straightforward really.”
Zara is preparing to defend her title at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and given her busy training regime, convenience played a key factor in her choice.
“With my schedule it can be tricky to squeeze in time for holidays overseas but Lisbon is really accessible to Gloucestershire flying from Bristol or Heathrow. As the travel time from door-to-door is only a few hours, I plan to use the villa as often as I can.”
Founder of the resort and an accomplished rider in his own right, Mr Netto de Almeida says: “We are extremely proud to welcome Zara to CampoReal Golf Resort & Spa. I founded the resort with the vision of attracting international clientele to enjoy our rare combination of cultural city life, countryside and beach living. Working with Zara to build her holiday villa here is the embodiment of that vision.”
With the renovation of her Cheltenham property now well underway, the villa in Portugal will be Zara’s first new build property. She is currently working with the architect onsite to create a villa that will take full advantage of its unique position in the resort.
“One of the highlights of the section I’ve chosen is the view out across the rolling vineyards and fact you can see the sunrise and sunset. I would like the focus of the villa to be around relaxing and entertaining spaces. There will also be plenty of room for guests so I will be using the entertaining spaces for just that!”
As well as consulting with the architect on the villa’s layout, Zara is also working with a renowned Portuguese interior designer, Christina Martins, on the décor which will make the most of the sunshine and natural light and combine traditional designs with some more contemporary influences.
The villa, situated on the edge of a working vineyard, also features landscaped grounds, large outdoor entertaining areas and a swimming pool.
“Although I plan to come here as a break from my training regime, my villa will have a swimming pool so I can keep fit even when I’m relaxing and I know I won’t be able to keep away from visiting the horses at the Equestrian Centre!”
The Equestrian Centre in the resort has stabling for up to 60 horses, a covered arena and a show jumping course with facilities for riding lessons and training competition horses. Plans to redevelop the centre over the next three years have been drafted and Zara has already viewed the plans and commented on them.
Construction work on Zara’s villa will begin in the second quarter of 2010.