Render of birdseye view of a harbour from the top of a building
Luxurious estate home in the Italian countryside

Italy retains its place as one of the most desirable second home destinations in the world, says Andrew Hay. This property, Le Bandite is located in Umbria with easy access to Rome

Portrait of a man in a suit

Lord Andrew Hay

Lord Andrew Hay is Global Head of Residential at Knight Frank, the international real estate consultancy, and has built up property portfolios for some of the wealthiest people in the world. In a new regular column, he is handed a theoretical sum of money by LUX and asked how he would invest it. We kick off by handing Lord Hay £100m and requesting a global residential property investment portfolio

When LUX’s Editor-in-Chief generously offered me the opportunity to “invest” £100m into property, I was unsurprisingly delighted to accept. I have had free rein on where and what I buy, but have decided to invest with both my head and my heart. The reason being – I want to enjoy the properties I purchase but also have a clear focus on investment returns.

With this in mind, I have divided my allocation into equal thirds, between high-end luxury residential property, residential investments with a focus on capital growth and rental returns and investment into student property and senior living. The final 10% I would invest into an agricultural portfolio.

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I have to start in London. Often the best investment strategy involves an understanding of which markets are the least fashionable at the moment – and with Brexit and tax hikes London has been underperforming in recent years.

With few London neighbourhoods having a global brand as strong as Chelsea’s, I firmly believe that Chelsea is the perfect example of an area that has been underperforming and which is now ripe for reassessment.

Prices here have fallen 20% since late 2014, compared with a 12% fall across the wider prime London market. While new-build property in this category achieves a premium, established property trades at between £1,200 and £1,800 per sq ft. With many properties now edging below £1,000 per sq ft, Chelsea is back in the spotlight and cheaper than some less central and glamorous neighbourhoods.

Luxury interiors of a stately home

Interiors of a luxurious villa residence overlooking Lake Como

Yes, the area still lacks the connectivity of other prime neighbourhoods. However, with easy access to the river, unrivalled shopping on the King’s Road and Fulham Road and some of London’s best schools within walking distance – including the Lycée Charles de Gaulle and the London Oratory School – and the promise (or maybe hope) of a station on the future Crossrail 2 underground railway, Chelsea is set for rediscovery.

The next place I would invest is the other side of the world: New Zealand. New flights and rapidly increasing connectivity to Asia means the country is increasingly becoming a go-to destination. Auckland is the logical entry point and investment destination. One location in particular stands out to me – home to the 2021 America’s Cup, Wynyard Quarter is changing fast. Over the past decade, this waterfront precinct, once the heart of Auckland’s marine and petrochemical industries, has emerged as a major hub for national and international corporates, including Fonterra, Datacom, Microsoft and ASB Bank, as well as for the city’s innovation and co-working scenes.

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Staying in Australasia, I have to include Sydney in my portfolio – a market that has seen a huge growth in investment over the past two decades from around the world. The city may be remote, but education has been a driving force in attracting Chinese purchasers. The one location I would target is One Barangaroo – Crown’s new development. One Barangaroo is one of the most beautiful developments in the world currently being built and is achieving record prices on the shores of Sydney Harbour overlooking the bridge and the Opera House. It has brought a new global standard of facilities and services to the city.

Luxurious interiors of a penthouse apartment

New York design firm Meyer Davis have crafted designed the interior layouts of residences at One Bangaroo

Render of birdseye view of a harbour from the top of a building

View down to the harbour from One Barangaroo, the latest residential development in Sydney

In Europe, Italy retains its place as one of the most desirable second home destinations in the world. The new flat tax initiative however has cast the country in a new light as a potential permanent base for the world’s wealthy. Italy is certainly worth a closer look. Property prices in many Italian prime markets declined 40% in peak-to-trough terms following the financial crisis, interest rates remain at record lows and the country is better connected than ever before.

In the US, the West Coast is of especial interest to me, the combination of lifestyle and economic dynamism here is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. One area which appeals to me is Pasadena. Home to the Rose Bowl stadium, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena offers an attractive combination of relative value compared with neighbouring communities in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and the desirable lifestyle and privacy that residents of Los Angeles seek. The neighbourhood is easily accessible, with a light rail line that puts it within 15-20 minutes of Downtown Los Angeles.

Read more: Kuwait’s ASCC launches visual arts programme in Venice

In terms of growth areas I would point to student accommodation and retirement. Student in particular is counter cyclical (i.e. typically more students in a recession). Participation in tertiary education globally is increasing – OECD predict 8 million internationally mobile students by 2025 (up from 5m today). Markets remain structurally undersupplied. In terms of where Sydney looks good it has a big student population and low pipeline due to shortage of development land. In terms of development, I like big European cities like Barcelona, Lisbon and Paris. European markets comprise with very little existing organised supply. Europe is new front for portfolio development, scale building and brand.

At the opposite end of the age scale is senior living where the market is undergoing rapid growth, underpinned by demographic shifts that are increasing demand for a wider array of specialist housing to suit the changing needs of older purchasers. London and the South East, Bristol and Edinburgh are key UK senior living markets. Globally, America, Canada and Australia are at the forefront of investment.

Finally I would invest in farmland. Choosing where to invest in agricultural land depends very much on your appetite for risk but the world faces both a water shortage and food shortage by 2040 and 2050 respectively and therefore, investors looking at long-term food security are well advised to invest in agricultural land. With the world’s fastest growing population, Africa offers some very exciting opportunities. Zambia, for example, provides a good balance of relative political stability and established infrastructure. The Asia-pacific region is seeing a huge growth in wealth and rain-fed farms on the east coast of Australia are well placed to take advantage of this market.

And, that’s my £100m invested.

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Knight Frank’ Wealth Report directs ultra-high-net-worth individuals on where to invest in property and reflect $3 trillion of private client investment into real estate annually. The countries that have been most robust and performed best over the last decade have been those where there is a steady political and economic situation as well as transparent rule of law, high quality living and first class education. The above portfolio choice reflects this.

Reading time: 6 min
Alpine village of Andermatt in winter
Alpine village of Andermatt in winter
Up next in the exciting new development of Andermatt Swiss Alps? A state-of-the-art concert hall and artworks by a Swiss graffiti artist

At first glance, it might not seem like the most likely pairing: hip, Swiss graffiti artist Ata Bozaci with Andermatt Swiss Alps, the mountain village south of Zurich that over the past nine years has been gradually developed into a world-class, year-round destination resort. Yet Bozaci (who is known for working under the pseudonym ‘Toast’ and counts the late, legendary German photographer Gunter Sachs among his collectors) has been tasked with putting his artistic spin on Eisvogel, the latest apartment house currently under construction in the resort’s Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss.

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The house (which is due for completion in 2019) will be split into a series of smart studios aimed at younger urbanites. Smaller units are planned in a way that makes use of every square metre of space, plus residents can relax in the spa, socialise at the in-house bar and hang out in the communal kitchen, dining and chill-out zone – which is where Bozaci’s distinctive graphics come in. Similarly to the other apartment houses in the holiday village, owners here can also benefit from a specially developed rental concept that encourages them to generate income (and keep the place feeling lively) when they are away.

From the outset, Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss has been at the heart of this £1.3billion development project, encompassing around 500 apartments, 28 exclusive chalets and a handful of hotels including five-star, Jean Michel Gathy-designed, The Chedi Andermatt. An international architectural competition led to 30 global architects (including Kurt Aellen, Itten+Brechbühl and Soliman Zurkirchen) being selected to design the 42 apartment houses and hotels. Of those already sold, 50% have been snapped up by international buyers – many of them British, German and Italians – making the most of the exemption from both the Swiss Second Home Law and the Lex Koller legislation, which restricts the acquisition of real estate by non-Swiss residents.

Some, such as apartment house Alpenrose (due for completion this winter) are set around the main Piazza Gottardo, with its high-end restaurants, cafés and boutiques (other apartment houses are positioned just behind the square). Cleverly combining an alpine-inspired facade that integrates harmoniously into a traditional Swiss village with contemporary interiors, Alpenrose houses 20 apartments, from 50 square metres up to 146. Many have a glazed corner bay that provides excellent views of the surroundings, while maisonettes on the top floors come with their own sauna.

Developments in the swiss village of Andermatt

Render of ski chalet in Andermatt in the Swiss Alps

Andermatt’s redevelopment includes new apartment houses, hotels and chalets

Another important addition when it opens this season will be the Gotthard Residences: around 100 apartments, each with the added bonus of hotel services provided by Radisson Blu. Owners of the apartments, ranging from one-bedroom residential units to spacious multi-bedroom apartments and luxurious penthouses, will have complimentary access to the Radisson Blu fitness and wellness centre for the first three years, plus use of a ski locker in the hotel’s fully equipped ski room as well as a concierge on hand 24 hours a day. The Radisson Blu itself will also have six meeting rooms and a conference hall for more than 500 guests – making it an appealing venue for businesses throughout the year.

The process of realising Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss continues to have a positive impact on the local economy, with a 65 percent upswing in construction industry employment (this looks set to continue, with growth predicted in the hospitality, trade and service sectors). The number of overnight stays in the Urseren Valley has also increased massively: in 2016, the numbers reached 100,000 for the first time, and are expecting to hit 260,000 by 2022. This would place Andermatt at the scale of destinations such as Flims-Laax; with further expansion steps, the scale of Engelberg, Arosa or Grindelwald could be reached.

Of course, buyers are flocking here for the stunning natural beauty of the place. From blossoming pastures in summer for hiking and biking to the snow-blanketed mountains in winter, Andermatt Swiss Alps offers something for anyone who appreciates the appeal of fresh air and rural landscapes. Adventurous hardcore skiers come for the excellent powder, black runs and off-piste challenges of the Gemsstock Mountain; others make the most of ice-climbing at Göschenen and the ice-rink in Andermatt.

Read more: Photographer Hossein Amirsadeghi’s book launches at Hatchard’s

Now though, there is a handful of new sporting and cultural additions designed to draw in even more crowds. For starters, there’s the Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course (named Swiss Golf Course of the Year in 2017 for the second year in a row). Ranked among the Top 100 Golf Courses of the World with a rating of five stars, the Scottish-flavoured course, designed by the renowned German golf course architect Kurt Rossknecht, is over six kilometres long and meets international tournament standards. It comes with a modern clubhouse, The Swiss House, which doubles up as a hub for cross-country skiers in winter.

Not to mention a busy events calendar featuring the annual Bike Festival Andermatt (watch Olympians and world champions race in the PROFFIX Swiss Bike Cup), Andermatt Swiss Alps Classics (a classical music festival where concerts take place in various locations such as The Chedi Andermatt and the newly opened gondola station Nätschen) and Woldmanndli (based on an ancient custom where a procession of men enter the village to protect the forest below the Gurschen).

There’s also the much-anticipated Andermatt Concert Hall, a renovation of a former convention venue by Studio Seilern, due to open early next year. With an extended roof and covered plaza, it will adhere to the acoustic requirements of a state-of-the-art concert hall and be large enough to accommodate the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as well as host gala dinners and lectures.

Render of the Studio Seilern-designed concert hall in Andermatt Switzerland

The Studio Seilern-designed concert hall

As part of the ongoing Andermatt Swiss Alps project, there has also recently been a fresh focus on the gastronomy on offer within the resort. Multi-award-winning chef Dietmar Sawyere, who has been executive chef at The Chedi Andermatt since May 2015, has assumed overall responsibility for gastronomy. Currently the top choices for eating out in the resort are the restaurants at The Chedi Andermatt, which include one-Michelin-star The Japanese Restaurant (the five- to 10-course Kaiseki menu is a speciality), a wine and cigar library and the main restaurant, which has a noteworthy cheese cellar. Over the next few years, these offerings will be joined by half a dozen new restaurants in the village of Andermatt and on the surrounding mountains.

It’s all a far cry from when the Swiss Army was garrisoned near to Andermatt after World War II (prior to that it was a chic mountain resort on a par with Verbier and Zermatt). In 2003, the artillery range was closed, effectively reducing the population and the village’s major source of income at the same time. It wasn’t until Samih Sawiris, founder of Orascom Development, visited nearly 20 years ago that everything changed. Inspired by the picture-postcard Urseren Valley and untouched alpine countryside, he had an ambitious vision to turn the fortunes of the village around.

After collaboration with residents, government and tourism organisations, the people of Andermatt voted with an overwhelming 96 percent majority in favour of the development. Construction on the Andermatt Swiss Alps project began in 2009, the Chedi Andermatt opened in 2013 and to date, £687 million has been invested £131 million in 2017 alone).

Key to the master plan has always been merging the Andermatt and Sedrun ski regions into SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun, the largest ski area in Central Switzerland – something which is coming to fruition this winter and by 2022, is expected to attract around 580,000 skiers over the course of a single season. There are also plans to invest another £305 million in the further expansion of Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss and the train station, cementing the area as a major destination for winter-sport enthusiasts.

The future for Andermatt Swiss Alps looks very bright indeed.

SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun

This winter’s ski season marks the full opening of the new SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun: more than 120km of pistes connected by the Oberalppass-Schneehüenerstock gondola cableway which can carry up to 2,400 people an hour from Andermatt to Gütsch mountain station. This huge development project has involved the construction of 14 lifts (some new, some replacements) and creating snow-making systems. Work on several new mountain restaurants is also underway. The result? For the first time ever, it is now possible to ski from Andermatt to Sedrun and back – what a thrill.

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This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue, to view more content click here: The Beauty Issue

Reading time: 7 min
view of luxury penthouse suite with wooden decking and outdoor seating areas
view of luxury penthouse suite with wooden decking and outdoor seating areas

View from a penthouse in the Parc Du Cap development by the Caudwell Collection

In 2006 British entrepreneur John Caudwell sold his pioneering telecommunications company, the Caudwell Group, which included high-street mobile phone retail giant Phones4U, and turned his attention to property and philanthropy. His luxury residential development company, the Caudwell Collection boasts a portfolio of properties in prime locations across the UK and France whilst Caudwell Children is one of the leading charities in the UK for children’s disabilities. LUX Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai speaks to the billionaire about real estate, Brexit and building a centre for autistic children
Portrait of british entrepreneur John Caudwell in front of Caudwell Children sign

John Caudwell

LUX: You were known in the UK as one of the big mobile telephone entrepreneurs back in the 90s, 2000s, but now you are involved in property development. How did that happen and has high-end property always been one of your passions?
John Caudwell: I wouldn’t say it was a passion because for one thing I would never have had the money to exercise or endorse that passion, but I’ve always had a passion for beautiful things, especially beautiful architecture. So, my factory, for example, the Victorian tile factory, that was completely derelict until we took it over. We completely restored it and made it into a really fabulous headquarters for the business. So I guess I’ve always had that interest but not as a property developer, more in terms of developing properties for my own business use.

Then the crash happened, and it was almost impossible to find anywhere to put your money that was safer than under your bed, so you have mattresses stuffed full of £50 notes everywhere. The world was so fragile that you could not have any confidence that it was going to pull through and that your money was going to hold its value. So I decided to put my money into equities that I thought were resilient to a world collapse.

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LUX: What kinds of equities?
John Caudwell: So essential commodities and essential items, things that are always going to be there. For example, there’s always going to be farming, there’s always going to be land and water. Not so much oil these days because that’s a thing of the past, but there were items you could recognise that were probably going to be reasonably – not recession proof – but certainly collapse proof because they would always be needed. Of course even those things were fragile because everything took a big hit, but because commercial property had dropped in value enormously, I decided to start buying property that had long lease holds or even in some cases, shorter lease holds that I could develop and try and add extra value to. That’s how I got into property, but it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing or beautiful property, it was was purely to protect myself commercially. And it did quite a good job – I built up quite a good portfolio, it wasn’t meant to make a lot of money, it was meant to be a protectionist measure. But from that, agents who were having a tough time as you can imagine, came to us with various properties and people came to us with properties that I was actually interested in, things of beauty. For instance, one of the ones we bought was Provencal in the South of France.

Luxury living room decorated in blue and white

The living space in Les Oliviers by the Caudwell Collection

LUX: How’s the development going? Is there a scheduled completion date?
John Caudwell: In the South of France we’ve completed Parc du Cap – a luxury development with 88 1-4 bedroom apartments and penthouses, and Les Oliviers – 6 spacious apartments in a beautifully restored Art Deco building, both in Cap d’Antibes, and we’ve got other Caudwell Collection projects there as well, like Provencal. We’ve been working with the authorities to get Provencal to a point at which we believe it is developable – and after several significant challenges we’re now in a place to say work is fully underway to create 35-40 ultra high-end apartments there. We aim to launch in 2021-22. Over in London, with the Audley Square property, we’ve had to work very, very closely with Westminster council and the planners, and obviously everyone’s got their own angle but there’s been a real spirit of cooperation because everybody wants to see it happen. It’s good for the city because it turns an eyesore into a beautiful building, not to mention the jobs it creates through the building work.

Read more: Inside Lake Como’s luxury residence, Villa Giuseppina

LUX: And with the London developments, such as Audley Square, how did that come about?
John Caudwell: It came about as a result of us becoming aware of the site and contacting Nama, who were the people who held all the debt. You might know Nama as the Irish bank that took all the property debt? We ended up in a two-year negotiation with Nama on the site. It took a long time because there were a lot of fundamental problems with the site, there were a lot of risks at that time and the price they were asking for was too high. But eventually, whilst we were negotiating. we worked through some of the problems and did a whole range of due diligence exercises to try and assess and minimise the risk as well as reduce the price. Eventually, it got to a point where it was acceptable so we did the deal and then that was the start of all the work!

Luxury bedroom with double bed and white and blue furnishings

Les Oliviers was partly restored using local materials and products

LUX: The properties that you’re creating are very high-end, sophisticated, luxury – is there a plan to broaden the brand, the Caudwell Collection, beyond property?
John Caudwell: Well, we are already doing that partly, but depends on the success that we have and we do expect it to be extremely successful. But you know the situation in the UK at the moment is not so good with stamp duty, and the Brexit situation. I mean London is the powerhouse of the world, it’s a fantastic city and will remain a fantastic city – I am extremely positive about the future, but I am a bit concerned about the effect stamp duties have had on the market. I don’t disagree with it incidentally, I think it’s fair enough to raise all these huge sums of money from wealthy people who can afford very expensive properties, but it has damaged the property market. The non-doms, I don’t disagree with either, I don’t disagree with it from a moral point of view because I think the rich have to pay their appropriate share of the taxes, but it’s not good if you start losing very wealthy people who take their economic interests to other countries like Paris and New York and Monaco and so on. Those countries that welcome them, are then taking our livelihood away because those people, by being financially centric to London, also tend to then have a lot of their business interests in the UK and tend to be much more likely to have business centres in the UK.

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And then of course Brexit as the next stage of that whereby I was very strongly pro-Brexit. I wanted a clean proper Brexit with a strong government and I said that when the Conservatives called the election, I said if there’s no other reason why the people vote Conservative, it needs to be to give the power to the party to negotiate a deal. And now where are we? Nearly two years down the line, we’ve got a very, very weak Conservative government with no majority, with a lot of back biting from within, with the house of Lords almost seeming to sabotage the position. I think, at the moment, it’s all very worrying because we needed a strong powerful Brexit or we needed to stay – we needed to either be properly in or properly out, not some horrible mishmash in the middle that doesn’t deliver the benefits. If we’re not careful we’re going to have all the pain of Brexit and limited benefits, which would be a fiasco. So, I am a bit concerned about that, it’s long answer to your question but the answer does relate to how far I see the Caudwell Collection going. And also, opportunities because opportunities like the Audley Square, that allow you to turn something that’s very, very ugly into a thing of beauty, or Provencal, which has been derelict for thirty years, but if we do what we’re planning to do there will become a most magnificent property, on par with some of the properties in Cannes. Those sorts of opportunities don’t come up every day and to be able to make those into a commercial success as well as an aesthetic success, is something that plays very much into my absolute ethos.

detail of spiral staircase and glass lift shaft on a building

The original building façades of Les Oliviers were maintained during the development

LUX: Do you find this new business as consuming as Phones4u and your other previous companies? Or is it more of a side-line in terms of operating?
John Caudwell: Totally different. Phones4u was my life, my absolute life. Most people know of it because of the high street brand, but we were the world’s biggest in nearly every area in which we traded, which was accessories, hand set distribution, we even had our own in-house recruitment company with about 70 or 80 employees there, and we even recruited for other people. Same with security, we did our own security but then did it for other people, so we grew into what was a bit of an empire really, where several of my businesses were the biggest and best in the world. So, it was a complete and utter all-consuming thing, and also it was my entire wealth, so you know, fail at that and I would have been entirely broke, probably not totally broke, but I would have been broke.

Aerial shot of seaside apartments with roof gardens

An aerial view of the Parc du Cap development

Succeed at that and then the result is the result that I got. But it was also extremely stressful, every minute of every day was extremely stressful, and I could never live that life ever again, nor would I want to, so that’s gone, and I am glad it has, but they were very special years. It’s different now, these businesses I didn’t need to do because my life now is all about philanthropy. But when they came along, and I saw them, I thought well, that’s a really interesting challenge. It gives me the opportunity to create a thing of beauty, put my stamp onto London with a building that’s going to be beautiful and timeless and make money as well. It’s a unique situation and a lot more pleasurable. I’ve got a great team of people who are helping me to run all of this and it’s a much more relaxed situation. I’m nowhere near as dedicated to it in terms of my time and effort because I have people who do that, but also its not as stressful and threatening as the mobile phone business was, which was ferocious, every minute of the day. That doesn’t mean its easy – it isn’t, we’ve got to be smart, we’ve got to be clever. Lots of problems to address and solve and we’ve got to create the vision of beauty that we promised.

Luxurious rooftop swimming pool with wooden decking and views of the ocean on the horizon

The view from a penthouse in Parc du Cap

LUX: How important is it for you that people talk about the Caudwell brand in relation to the properties you develop?
John Caudwell: The brand stands absolutely for quality. When people go to the Parc du Cap building, which is the one that I wouldn’t have built, but it is a beautiful, beautiful development, and most people who’ve visited it, say it feels quite pricey, and they understand why it is quite pricey, because the quality is exceptional for that coastline. And everybody says they’ve never seen another development of that quality which is quite nice to hear and that’s sort of part of the Caudwell collection brand. We got the same feedback with Les Oliviers it was the same feedback; it is a building that is really a fantastic quality throughout and is really desirable to live in, and that’s exactly what we’ll do with Provencal once we get started. We are creating these buildings of huge quality and recognisably of huge quality, it’s not just me saying it, but these properties stand the test of third parties too, whether they’re agents or buyers, everybody thinks they’re beautiful.

Read more: Caroline Scheufele on Chopard’s gold standard

LUX: There are parts of Les Oliviers that you restored, using local products and materials. Is restoration an important aspect of your developments?
John Caudwell: Our design approach with Les Oliviers was to carefully restore the original building façades and use some locally sourced materials including natural stone for the terraces and loggia floors, and Provencal limestone paving around the swimming pool. The quality of the finished product is exceptional – from the apartments fitted out with high tech features and contemporary yet classically inspired interiors through to the beautifully manicured Provencal style gardens. You can’t necessarily use local materials all the time and of course it’s a commercial venture, so I don’t put local materials as the priority but what I do put as the priority is that it must be as environmentally friendly as possible. For instance, with Audley Square, we’ve put geothermal in, and I’ve just put geothermal into my house. The whole point is to try cut down on pollution and energy loss.

luxury apartment living room with siding doors onto a terrace and open plan kitchen living area

The living room in one of the two bedroom apartments in Parc du Cap

LUX: Finally, can you tell us more about your philanthropic work and in particular, the Caudwell Children.
John Caudwell: That’s extremely exciting because we help children with 600 different illnesses. During the 18 years that we’ve been running, we’ve had more applications from parents with autistic children than any other category, in fact we’ve had so many applications that 50% of the work we do is with autistic children. We developed methods of intervention that have helped thousands and thousands of children and their families live a better life. Of course, autism is an extremely broad condition; it’s the families of autistic children that have difficulties managing and coping emotionally and physically and that’s where we’ve focussed our effort over the years.

There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK, so the task I gave to my chief executive was how to find more and more children and how to change the medical profession’s understanding of and attitude towards autism. We believe we can substantially help to improve the lives of autistic children and we’ve done it many, many times, but people who wish to be cynical could say that the autistic child would have carried on, on that developmental path anyway, so what you’ve done has made no difference because the child may have made that progress without you. So we’ve built this centre and are putting a big team of medical people in there to prove to the medical authorities that we can intervene in autism and that we can improve the lives of autistic children. When the centre opens in the next couple of months, we’ll still carry on the work for all the other children as well but the focus will be on autism. And if we can change the NICE guidelines to read differently, then doctors around the country, instead of diagnosing an autistic child and saying to the parents, ‘I’m sorry there’s absolutely nothing we can do, just go home and do the best you can with your child and keep your child safe and healthy’, they’ll be able to say, there is help you can get and this is what can be done and this is who you might go to and this is the way you can improve your child’s life.

To view the Caudwell Collection’s portfolio of luxury properties visit:
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Reading time: 14 min
a thin road winding up a lush green mountain with a cloudy sky
a thin road winding up a lush green mountain with a cloudy sky

The sinuous curves leading up to the St Gotthard pass

The St Gotthard, Oberalp and Furka are three of the most spectacular mountain passes in Europe. And the new Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss is the perfect base from which to explore them, discovers Emma Love

Anyone who has watched the car chase scene in the James Bond film Goldfinger will be familiar with the Furka Pass. As Sean Connery sped round the hairpin bends of one of Switzerland’s oldest passes in his Aston Martin DB5, surrounded by dramatic mountains on one side and the Rhône glacier on the other, it wasn’t just the slick driving that gripped viewers attention but the stunning Alpine landscape, too. One of Andermatt’s ‘big three’ passes – the other two are the St Gotthard Pass and the Oberalp Pass – the Furka is a must for any thrill-seeking adventurers looking to explore the Swiss Alps, whether in a classic car (albeit at a more leisurely pace than Bond) or on two wheels.

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Mike Cotty, who specialises in endurance cycling and is behind The Col Collective, an online resource for cyclists wanting to tackle the world’s greatest mountain passes, believes that these are some of the greatest peaks in Europe for mountain bikers. He recently set himself a 105km cycling challenge that featured a trio of three of the toughest climbs in Europe: Furka, Nufenen and St Gotthard (Furka alone has an average 7.3 per cent gradient and an altitude of 2436m). “The way the peaks are positioned in this area makes it an exciting prospect to link up two or three mountains in a loop like this,” says Cotty, who also hosts cycling tours around the world. “With three mountain passes above 2,000m elevation, the sheer amount of climbing is what makes this route a toughie and on a par with some of the premier mountain stages of the Tour de France.”

To this end, he advises any cyclists thinking of tackling the route to have some mountain experience. His highlight, he says, was summitting the Furka and seeing the valley ahead. “The road to the Grimsel Pass looks like it snakes off to heaven, which is pretty surreal, as are the cobblestones of the old Tremola Road at the end of the ride. How the road was built all those years ago, and the history that has gone before it, is hard to comprehend. It’s a very special place.” Unsurprisingly perhaps, the Furka Pass is included on the Ultimate Drives ‘Greatest Driving Roads’ app (it’s described as “a stunning pass, with an amazing combination of sweepers, tight switchbacks, dramatic views and a drag straight at the end”), which was launched last year by Mark Heather.

Architectural render of pastel coloured swiss style chalet in alpine village during the summer

Andermatt’s new Apartment House Alpenrose

Heather is also behind Ultimate Drives, a Zurich-based company that rents sports cars and supercars, and provides personally tested driving tour itineraries. “The Furka is so dramatic because it’s a mountain road that is driven entirely above the tree line. For most people, they never get this high unless they are skiing, and then the valleys are covered in snow. These lunar like landscapes are something really special,” he says, adding that these are the roads that cars such as a Porsche 911 4S Cabriolet or Mercedes AMG Roadster were designed to be driven on: “Smooth tarmac and sweeping corners, combined with the most dramatic, jaw-dropping backgrounds of the peaks of the Alps. Add to this the soundtrack of a V8 engine reverberating off the valley walls, and the stunning performance and handling of these cars, and it’s really something you have to experience to believe.”

Read more: Is the Waldhaus Sils the most spiritual hotel in the Alps?

Someone else who has vast experience of these roads is Jan Baedeker, Editor-in-Chief of Classic Driver magazine and editor of several books on the subject, including Porsche Drive: 15 Passes in 4 Days. “The diversity of this region is just incredible. In just one day behind the wheel, or a couple of days on your bicycle, you can experience some of the world’s most exciting roads through breathtaking landscapes,” he says. He advises anyone thinking of driving here to start early to avoid the crowds. “The Gotthard Pass is one of the most dramatic and important historic alpine crossings and it’s still my favourite pass in Switzerland.”

Whether you’re behind the wheel of a classic car, on a mountain bike or a Harley Davidson, experiencing these legendary Alpine passes is a Swiss summer must.

A new luxury base for exploring the three big passes in the heart of Switzerland

When it is completed this winter, the latest addition to Andermatt’s Piazza Gottardo, Apartment House Alpenrose, will have 20 exclusive apartments. The exterior matches the architectural style of the Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss; inside the apartments range from those with one- to three-bedroom maisonettes (the largest are 146sq m, but for anyone wanting even more space, two flats can be converted into a single unit on request).

luxury apartment interiors with rustic style contemporary furnishing

Apartment interiors can be bespoke fitted

The joy of the design is that each one can be customised; buyers can choose from two looks (‘modern rustic’ and ‘modern light’) or opt for a bespoke build-out. Most of the apartments come with a corner picture window looking out onto the mountains while all the rooftop maisonettes have their own sauna. Other benefits include use of the fitness studio, spa and swimming pool in the nearby Radisson Blu hotel, and an excellent concierge service which can help with anything from travel plans to stocking the fridge and car hire, making Apartment House Alpenrose an ideal all-year holiday base. And non-Swiss nationals need not worry about the real estate purchasing laws. Andermatt Swiss Alps is exempt, so international buyers can purchase here without special permits (and sell with no minimum holding time).

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Skyline view of Manhattan Upper West Side, luxury neighbourhood
sunny skyline view of Park Avenue from Central Park, New York

520 Park Avenue, under construction, seen from Central Park

Gennady Perepada is New York’s go-to real estate broker who curates lavish lifestyles for his elite, high-net worth clients. LUX Editor-at-Large Gauhar Kapparova finds out how he does it
Portrait of renowned real estate broker Gennady Perepada in a suit and tie in front of New York backdrop

Gennady Perepada

Two years ago luxury real estate broker Gennady Perepada organised a surprise on behalf of one of his clients. The man had bought a family holiday home in the Hamptons, without telling his wife. “I arranged a helicopter to take them for a ride along the coastline so she could see it from the sky. He said to her, ‘Do you like this house with the pool? Well it’s already yours’. When they landed, there was a limousine with champagne waiting to pick them up,” he recalls. “It was a very romantic presentation, a personal show of this amazing property.” Yet while this particular man went to impressive lengths to show off and celebrate his purchase, many of Perepada’s clients – foreign and American high net-worth investors, who, as a rule, have a portfolio of real estate around the world – don’t even view a million-dollar apartment in person before they buy (they see a video instead).

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“My clients don’t need to come to New York to make a deal. Our lawyers are experts in international investment,” says Perepada, who set up his company, One & Only Realty Inc, eight years ago with lawyer Edward Mermelstein and thinks nothing of flying between three continents in a week for meetings. “The problem for many clients is that often they don’t have enough time – and that’s what I can give them.” Which he does, not only by finding and securing the most exclusive properties in New York and Miami but also by offering a 24/7 concierge service where no request is seemingly too obscure. “For my clients, I take care of everything from A to Z. Everything,” he emphasises. “For one family from the Middle East, I sorted out medical insurance, kindergarten for the children, connecting the cable television channels in their apartment.”

Render of luxury balcony in New York apartment

520 Park Avenue overlooks Central Park as visualised in this render

He reels off other examples. A client with a daughter studying for an MBA at New York University for whom he found an apartment and arranged a housekeeper to fill up the fridge with food every week; another who needed knee surgery so he organised a private hospital and the best doctors; the morning he spent at a dealership test driving new cars for a client’s wife. His phone is never off, and he is constantly on call, all day and all night, as his clients attest.

It’s all a far cry from 1990 when Perepada immigrated to the US with his family from Ukraine and worked as a taxi driver and as a stall holder at a flea market to survive. Looking for a career, he chose real estate because of the buzz that comes with property. He began by selling regular apartments but soon realised that he needed to find his own niche – the real estate elite. “In real estate trading, create your own market and your own clientele, do what no one else has done,” he says.

Read more: Meet the Swarovski x Design Miami/ Designers of the Future

Fast forward to today and he has 18 members of staff, including two personal assistants, looking after the needs of around 30 clients at any one time (he is currently looking at the possibility of opening offices in Dubai and London). Between them, his employees speak Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic (among other languages) to support those clients who aren’t fluent in English, and he has relationships with key property developers in both New York and Miami. “I know every building, every developer, they call me when something new and unique comes on the market because they know I have the contacts with the high net-worth buyers,” he says. “I understand the mentality of my clients and I have lots of experience with what kind of property I need to deliver for them.”

Skyline view of Manhattan Upper West Side, luxury neighbourhood

Manhattan’s now super-desirable Upper West Side

Key to his success is always anticipating his clients’ needs before they know what they want themselves. “When my clients buy a property, before they’ve even thought about it, I’ve got a team of interior designers putting together proposals down to the tiniest details, such as electric blinds, paint colours and smart-home technology.” On top of this, he also looks after real estate management, which involves everything from collecting rent on a property to repairs and full-scale renovation.

Read more: A different kind of Alpine luxury at The Tschuggen Grand Hotel

If it sounds all-consuming, that’s because it is, but Perepada says he wouldn’t have his job any other way. “I love my job; I don’t like it, I love it. It gives me the opportunity to meet and communicate with very interesting and significant people from all over the world. My clients are normal people and they feel very comfortable with me, so they call me like a friend.” They often comment on his endless energy and enthusiasm, he says, and are so happy with the service he provides that they sometimes give him presents. “Last year, one lent me his yacht to enjoy so I spent a week during the summer in Monte Carlo.” In fact, he usually spends at least one month during the summer in the south of France, partly on holiday, partly networking.

Many clients are repeat business (his motto is “return to those who are trusted”), who enlist his services as much for the lifestyle he offers as the property he sells. “Call me, buy a nice apartment and after that I provide a luxury lifestyle,” he concludes. “Trust me and I will take care of everything.”

Find out more about Gennady Perepada’s properties and services:

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of LUX, on sale now worldwide.

Reading time: 5 min