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The Santa Pola Life Resort

In Spain, they call them 'Life Resorts'. Is it time you got a Life?


What is it about the subject of retirement homes or sheltered housing that makes us want to go back to the ironing? Face it. Unless you’re looking for it, this subject is about as welcome as a prolonged discussion on quantum mechanics! For a lot of us, the notion rarely stretches beyond a grim semi-detached, full of bemused elderly relatives, ending their days, lonely and isolated behind the faded curtains. If you are over 55, perhaps you should consider the Spanish version..!

Sunny terrace on the Santa Pola Life Resort

If you’re imagining the autumn of your years, living it up like the Calendar Girls, don’t hold your breath! If there were any warm, cloistered, red-brick, retirement homes; decorated with swinging flower baskets and a few sun-loungers round a heated outdoor pool, I certainly didn’t find any in Elgin. And, judging by the Yellow Pages, things were no better in Worksop, either. Before I’d let my fingers do a cross-country marathon, I settled upon another country altogether. One that had already been globally-warmed to my satisfaction. Spain.

The rear of a terraced bungalow at the Santa Pola Life Resort

On the Costa Blanca, in Spain, sheltered housing or retirement homes might earn you a puzzled look. They prefer the term: ‘Life Resort’, going a long way to confirm you’re a long way off dead! Two things will hit you on your first visit: First, the warmth radiating from the bungalows finished in terracotta that line the pretty, curving streets and secondly, another kind of warmth radiating from some artful planning conspiring to create the perfect balance of privacy and community to change your life for the better. Here is a selection of properties in landscaped gardens with communal recreation areas that could make your life more enjoyable and guarantee your safety. Santa Pola is a splendid part of the Mediterranean, close to airports at Alicante (just 7km away) and Murcia – both beautiful cities in their own right. Cheap flights from all major and regional airports will make you feel near to home. (That’s if you really want to – just look at the way the slugs attacked the lettuces last summer)!

The Costa Blanca has been a sort of ‘life resort’ since Roman times when they enjoyed the therapeutic qualities of the mud baths as much as the pink flamingos that used them.

Sophistication and charm in a delightful setting

The 'Life Resort' offers bungalows, villas, one or two-bedroom terraced houses and one-bedroom apartments, each equipped with the very latest home automation equipment (domotics). We think you'll be particularly surprised at the low the running costs! The communal fees are a fraction of what you'd expect to pay for similar care in this country (usually between €100 to €200 a month). Take your pick of any of the bicycles you find parked here, they are free for you to use whenever you like.

A beautiful bedroom with glass doors that slide open onto your terrace

The lounge/diner for entertaining

The spacious lounge

Properties here start at around €150,000 and they can often be financed with a mortgage. There is a shopping home delivery service and a regular shuttle bus service that connects you to shops at Santa Pola or the beach (you are just 500m from the sea) for those lovely picnics with friends.

Anyone for the beach this morning?

There are also connections to buses and trains serving other cities and destinations like Alicante, Elche, Murcia, Benidorm, Torrievieja, or, if you're inclined to be a bit more adventurous, Madrid or Granada.

Villas at the Life Resort

A closer look at one of the villas

One of the exceptional things about your investment means that you can pass your property on by assignment, legacy or donation - to family or friends when you do... pass on, that is! But there's no hurry... Besides, you've got too many golf courses/garden centres/shopping malls/boat trips to do! Pets are welcome, but remember one user has to be over 55!

The bathroom

Of the two phases, the first offers 180 bungalows and 20 apartments and a 6,500m² leisure centre. And the second, which is now finished, offers 195 two-storey apartments with one, two and three bedrooms. There are spacious gardens and a 24-hour security and surveillance service. The social and leisure centre is free to residents and where you will find restaurants, shops, supermarket, a firm of solicitors, dry cleaners, travel agency, flower shop. (As these are private businesses, they are subject to change). There is also a clubhouse with a library, a 150-seat theatre, Internet room with video conference facilities, TV lounge, exhibition hall where resident's art can be displayed, meeting rooms, reception room, private bar, spa and fitness centre with a 'Cleopatra bath' and Aqua gym, barbeque area, tropical indoor and outdoor heated pools and welfare and emergency services that are second-to-none. The properties are built on land designated for 'welfare' use which provides long term benefits to users. The medical centre is divided into two: Physiotherapy and medical services both manned by professional, qualified English-speaking staff. Medical services include dentistry, diagnostic testing (including radiology with digital imaging, ultrasound scanning, electrocardiagram, densitometer and other laboratory test), preventative medicine and specialist care including cardiology, gynaecology, dermatology, urology and surgical. The Physiotherapy department handle orthopaedic, neurological treatments, cardiovascular treatments, cardio-fitness training, hydrotherapy in the swimming pool and pilates, back strengthening and chiropody in the gymnasium.

The model shows part of the leisure centre at the top

The kitchen, or ‘cocina’ in Spanish

There is a communal satellite dish so you don’t have to miss Strictly Come Dancing, but before you do, check out the activities menu... It'll be on the TV! What a great way of making new friends! There’s also a broadband connection if you want to take advantage of free video-calls to friends and family at home. (Please be advised: Avoid picking up your webcam and pointing it out the window at the swimming pool. It only encourages them).

Your terrace is your own private space

Fast forward a few years and you’ll be driving down to the garden centre with your new neighbours for tea, cakes and a tub of red bougainvillea to cover the terrace pergola. Either that or, we dare say you’ll be wrapped in a warm, white towelled dressing-gown, lying down by that limpid pool, lined with pebbles, listening to New Age music whilst someone prepares something slimy and mud-like to apply to your body. Don’t let us stop you…! Call Let’s Live Abroad! now on 0845 22 55 777 for a brochure and we’ll arrange an appointment for you to go and have a look.