Global Edition

Desert developments

8.42am 23rd September 2008 - Course Development

A wider choice of holidays is to be offered at Desert Springs, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almanzora region of Almeria in south-east Spain, it was announced this week.

Resort developer the Almanzora Bay Group is to embark on a €40 million scheme to build a 166-bedroom lakeside hotel and a second 18-hole golf course within the 300 hectare (750 acre) resort on an elevated plateau overlooking the coast near the Mediterranean town of Cuevas del Almanzora.

“This announcement underlines the developer’s long-term confidence in the resort on which it first cut ground to build the existing golf course and resort facilities in 2000,” says Bridget Rosser, sales and marketing manager of Cheltenham-based The Almanzora Group, the main European sales agent. “Since then over 300 luxury homes have been completed, along with the first course, club house, resort centre, and other facilities. Desert Springs is of the view that now is precisely the right time to start investing once again for the future.”

“Currently only high specification self-catering holiday accommodation is available on the resort itself – offered through The Lodge @ Desert Springs – – and comprises 50 individual privately-owned apartments, cottages and villas. With the new hotel – The Beach House @ Desert Springs – we will extend the choice and style of resort accommodation to meet the needs of a wider market,” says Bridget.

Featuring a five-storey stone tower and a four storey central courtyard, with two wings topped by roof gardens, the luxury suites hotel takes its name from its beach location on the eastern bank of Steamboat Lake, at more than 20 acres, the largest of the three natural-looking man-made lakes forming the heart of Desert Springs. It will also be alongside the resort’s golf club house.

Guest accommodation will be in 83 high quality two-bedroom, two-bathroom, apartments, arranged so that rooms can be effectively separated and the accommodation let as a flexible mix of two bedroom suites, one bedroom suites and single rooms. Self-catering options are also provided for.

Provisional plans for the hotel – subject to refinement once an operator has been selected – indicate a large bar and grill restaurant with extensive open air dining terraces, a deck and beach bar on the lake, an activities room and bar opening onto a large ‘Roman’ style swimming pool, reception areas and boutique, spa and treatment rooms, banqueting and meeting rooms and a night club

The planning and funding process means that it is likely to be the end of 2009 before construction work starts on site, but the resort developer has Easter 2012 as the target date for the hotel to open.

Meanwhile, initial plans for a second golf course at Desert Springs are being drawn up in conjunction with former Great Britain and Ireland Golf Team Captain Peter McEvoy who designed the resort’s first 72 par 18-hole USGA Indiana golf course, inspired by the desert courses of Arizona and California.

Properties currently for sale at Desert Springs include apartments, townhouses, cottages, villas and country houses. Prices start around €233,000 for an apartment, rising to €2.5 million for the most spacious country house.

Desert Springs

To avoid confusion, please note that this story refers to two organisations with names which are similar but different. They are The Almanzora Bay Group [THE DEVELOPER] and The Almanzora Group Ltd [THE AGENT].

The Almanzora Bay Group, named after the Almanzora region of Eastern Andalucia where it has been active since 1985, is an Anglo-Spanish sister group to the award-winning Cheltenham-based developer, the Robert Hitchins Group. Established in 1958, the Robert Hitchins Group specialises in large-scale strategic land planning and commercial development in the West of England and South Wales.

The Almanzora Group, which is a subsidiary of the Robert Hitchins Group, is the main European sales agent and acts exclusively for the development companies which comprise the Almanzora Bay Group, marketing new properties developed by The Almanzora Bay Group in resort, village and beach locations.

None of the above have any connection with the Spanish development known as The Almanzora Country Club.

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