Over the past few years the international property market, along with the global economy, has proved itself to be a volatile and uncertain area in which to invest. In these fluctuating financial times, when security of investment is of prime concern, those considering purchasing a holiday home or city apartment overseas are now being offered an alternative, through membership of The Hideaways Club. Instead of outright ownership, members pay an annual fee to invest in and stay at a wide portfolio of properties – a logical financial alternative to the higher risk traditional purchasing model.
Formed in 2007, The Hideaways Club is a global property company specialising in equity ownership and the management of a collection of international property investment funds. The first fund – the Classic Collection – has grown to become the largest club of its kind in the world, offering the opportunity to invest in and exclusively enjoy an entire portfolio of luxury villas and chalets throughout Europe, Africa, Mauritius and South-East Asia. With a lead-in membership fee of £132,500, investors in the fund automatically become members of The Hideaways Club, giving them year round usage of a wide variety of properties worth upwards of £1.5 million. These range from chalets in the Swiss and French Alps and Japan’s premier ski region of Niseko, to luxurious villas in the South of France, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, South Africa and Croatia. The club recently added properties in Ibiza, Mauritius, Bali and Phuket to its portfolio, with many more scheduled to be added over the next three years.
Properties in the portfolio are chosen with the area’s natural beauty and ease of access in mind. Furnished with great care and attention, all villas are family-friendly and have four or five bedrooms, private swimming pools and gardens.
In January this year the company launched its second fund, the City Collection – a private members’ club which will provide members with a new way to enjoy a high-end city lifestyle. The City Collection offers members a range of fully-serviced apartments in some of the world’s most vibrant and upmarket cities. Set to initially begin with ten apartments spanning New York, London, Paris, Venice, Miami and Prague, additional cities scheduled to be added to the portfolio include metropolises from Moscow and Rio de Janeiro to Bangkok and Sydney, with an ultimate target of 120 city properties over the next three years. Properties will be located in secure locations near the city centre, overseen by a five star Concierge Service.
The City Collection has been created for people who enjoy travel, an international lifestyle and make frequent city visits. It is of particular appeal to those with busy schedules who are looking for a few days relaxation, a family break or those wanting to experience the wide variety of shops, restaurants and nightlife on offer in these cities.
The key word in the The Hideaways Club’s description is ‘ownership’. With both club funds, investors buy a stake in the whole property portfolio which is selected, managed and maintained by leading experts in these fields. They also enjoy the benefits of a property investment without all the hassles typically associated with sole ownership. The majority of destination clubs often lack the security of investment and actual asset ownership, and only involve the purchase of a limited number of properties, thereby limiting any potential future growth of the investment.
The Hideaways Club Classic Collection currently owns 29 properties and, through its alliances with the US-based Equity Estates and Banyan Tree Private Collection, members now have the choice of over 50 properties around the world in which to holiday.
Aside from the investment, The Hideaways Club offers a unique and flexible travel lifestyle featuring a private Concierge Service, tailoring each holiday to suit members’ needs. The central Concierge will reserve the villa, chalet or apartment, book airport transfers or rental cars, make dinner reservations and organise any other activities guests wish to arrange ahead of time. Each destination has a local Concierge who will greet members upon arrival at the property in order to brief them on location and ensure all their needs are met.
The Hideaways Club Classic Collection offers three types of membership – Premium, Lifestyle and Associate. Premium membership costs £250,000 and allows members to enjoy properties four to eight weeks a year. Lifestyle costs £171,666 and gives members two to five weeks a year and Associate costs £132,500 giving up to four weeks usage a year. In addition members will pay a nominal Annual Cost Contribution (ACC) that covers all running costs. In order to preserve exclusivity the club will close at 600 members and 100 properties within the next few years.
The City Collection offers two levels of membership – Premium and Associate. Premium membership costs £120,000, giving members up to 23 nights a year in any one of the apartments (working out at £230 a night and up to 60 per cent less than comparable alternatives).
Associate membership, providing a half share in the company portfolio costs £65,000 and entitles members to 12 nights a year in any apartment in the collection.
The Hideaways Club’s second fund, the City Collection, offers members a range of fully-serviced apartments in some of the world’s most vibrant cities, including Venice and New York
Members of the Hideaways Club’s Classic Collection can stay at a wide portfolio of luxury villas and chalets including Villa Marianne in Provence, France (top); Asmara in Bali (middle), Indonesia and Bel Ombre in Mauritius (last)