Controversial Ombria Resort – first phase design plans released
The promoters of Ombria Resort, the real estate development between Tôr and Querença, in the Loulé Council area, have uncapped their eco-pen with a flourish to create the illusion that a villa, apartment, hotel and golf development in the formerly unspoilt Barrocal is a “sustainable” project that “values the region's culture and cultural traditions,” - which in the area in question, is agriculture.
The design of the first phase of the project has been released, an initial investment of €100 million, to include a 5-star hotel with 76 rooms and suites, the Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort, which include 65 tourist apartments, as well as Alcedo Villas and the Oriole Village.
The 153-hectare site used to be unspoiled countryside in a protected Natura 2000 landscape, under which lies the Algarve’s largest water source, the Querença aquifer.
The European Commission decided that this ecologically sensitive site could be developed by a Finnish property company and finally rejected formal complaints from environmentalists, resting assured that the company would follow a raft of environmental safeguards.
In 2014, the project management and future operations were contracted to a US group, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, which added greenery to the design in an attempt to assure everyone that the project would be, ‘integrated into the landscape’ and that an important aspect would be ‘environmental sustainability.’
Portuguese architects at Promontório have designed the new hotel, Alcedo Villas and Oriole Village as well as the landscaping, all inspired by “the characteristics, forms, materials and themes of the region of the Algarve.”