Investing abroad can have its pitfalls, but as Alanna Lynott discovers – if a hotel is prepared to take the edge off then it might be a dream worth pursuing.
Nestled in 8,000 acres of pristine nature reserve, with panoramic views over a sparkling blue lagoon, the Villas Valriche lie on the wild south coast of Mauritius. It’s the dream destination; the perfect hideaway and it comes with a minimum US$1.1million price tag. It seems this little piece of paradise could be a prudent investment.
Ingenious ‘leaseback’ schemes mean you can buy your island bolt-hole, which you then just lease back to the hotel to rent out while you’re jet-setting around the world. The hotel will take care of the marketing, the letting and the management, while you enjoy the rental revenue. And with infinity pools as standard and spa treatments “at home,” this property investment feels a lot like pampering with financial perks.
Of course, there are things to consider, as Louise Reynolds, Director of Property Venture, highlights “you may have to comply with interior furnishing standards of the hotel group,” so you may not have total control over decoration. Secondly, as hotels need advance bookings, there is no flitting off to your St Lucia pad on a last minute whim. Lastly, Louise tells us to watch out for long term leaseback contracts, although – breathe a sigh of relief – “these are usually assignable if there is a change of ownership”.
However, the long term investment potential is there: the attraction of a private property with the use of luxury hotel amenities entices investors and renters alike. And as Louise adds, “you have the added security of being tied to a big hotel group; they’re not going to invest somewhere they aren’t convinced is going to be a success. ”
From the Sugar Beach villas of St. Lucia to the Baan Yamu resort in Thailand, property companies are offering some great leaseback deals to entice our investment, including rental income guarantees, developer financing and partnership programmes, so overseas investment has never been so easy, so exciting – or so luxurious.