Ombria isn’t your typical resort in the Algarve as it is nestled squarely inland, far from the beach scene that has become synonymous for the region. In fact, it is the only inland resort in the Algarve. The CEO of Ombria, Julio Delgado, has been running the show for the last five-and-a-half years and has built the resort with the intimate knowledge of a southern Iberian Peninsula local. Hailing from Sevilla, Delgado took the helm of Ombria after hearing about the core values of the resort from the founders based in Helsinki. At that stage, he had already arranged to take a similar job in Puerto Rico but made the decision to shift his focus there and then.
Delgado explains, “I eventually asked about the core values of positioning the resort, so when we started evolving the concept, the thought that I could be starting from scratch with this focus in mind was appealing to me. It was like having a baby!”
So what core values does this project have that would cause someone to trade in Puerto Rico for Portugal? The answer is sustainability. This word gets thrown around a lot these days, with little evidence to back up its use, but in the case of Ombria, the word sums up everything just as it should.
“In the south of Europe, developments both large and small claim to be sustainable, but what is different for us is that from concept to construction and even management, everything needed to be sourced from this area to support the local amenities and to be fully green. We are raising the flag that we can make the world better by covering these values from a 360-degree angle,” Delgado says. “Sustainability shouldn’t be a trend, it should be a must.”
In order to respect the identity, culture, and natural location during development, Ombria contracted New York City’s WADG architects to design the project. The architects hit the ground running, creating a resort that takes the maximum benefits from the sun to create the largest geothermal construction on the Iberian Peninsula. Delgado notes, “Seventy percent of the energy needs of the resort will be covered by geothermal methods. This means less contamination with all upcoming construction.”
For their attention to detail and work on making this endeavor truly sustainable, Ombria Resort was honored at the European Property Awards held at the Royal Lancaster in London in 2018 and 2019. It was awarded “Five-Star” status for Best Residential Development, Best New Hotel Construction & Design, and Best Sustainable Residential Development.
Portugal at large is also behind their core values. The country’s policy is to grow in the energy efficiency sector by leaps and bounds, having laid out strategies that will be implemented during their Presidency of the European Council which will go until June. “The town halls will not give you a license to do anything unless you are heading in a green direction,” according to Delgado.
Only 3% of the resort will be developed, leaving an expansive green space among olive groves and oak valleys ripe for the enjoyment of the residents when it opens in 2022. According to the website, it is staged to be the “perfect escape for those looking to connect with nature. Preserving the region's natural beauty and cultural heritage, [it] includes a luxury hotel managed by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts alongside an 18-hole golf course [while offering] an exclusive selection of wellness experiences and outdoor activities, along with recreational facilities specially designed for families and children.
Those interested in enjoying this lifestyle can choose between branded apartments with full management services, luxury villas, townhouses, and apartments with rental management services.
If you are looking for a different Algarve experience, you might want to check out Loulé. We aren’t near the beach. We are doing something altogether different.”