It’s one of the trendiest new restaurants on London‘s dining out scene, with its interiors sparking delight among customers.
And now the man behind the interiors of Amazonico in Mayfair, which opened late last year, is recreating his magic at a new development of luxury holiday homes in the South of France.
The development is part of a resort called LUX* La Baraquette, and includes homes for sale costing between €300,000 – the equivalent of £273,000 – and €4.5million – the equivalent of £4.1million.
Included is membership to a nautical club, an 11-acre vineyard and a wine academy with a sommelier.
The luxury holiday homes at LUX La Baraquette cost between £273,000 and £4.1million
Lázaro Rosa Violan, tells MailOnline Property exclusively why he got involved in the project in the South of France and what special touches he brought to the holiday homes.
The properties can only be lived in for half of the year, and must be made available to rent out for the rest, a chunky management fee and other considerations buyers must be wary of, which we highlight below.
Where is it?
The LUX* La Baraquette development includes homes for sale and a holiday resort in the port town of Marseillan in the south of France, west of Montpellier.
It sits on the edge of the Étang de Thau, the second largest lake in France.
What’s the price?
There are 22 studio and one-bedroom flats that open up onto the hotel gardens, a further 133 flats, 30 houses and four waterfront villas.
Prices start from €300,000 – the equivalent of £273,000 – for a studio to €4.5million – the equivalent of £4.1million – for a five-bedroom house.
Mediterranean roots: The interiors have been designed by Lázaro Rosa Violan
What’s so special about it?
The development is linked to a neighbouring luxury hotel and homeowners can use all its services and facilities.
Alongside the five-star hotel and spa, there is a village square, with restaurants and bars.
Homeowners also get membership to La Baraquette nautical club, an 11-acre vineyard and membership to the wine academy.
Membership to the wine academy includes a personal sommelier, one-on-one harvest experiences, winemaking courses, and two cases of ‘La Baraquette’ wine per year.
The homes are part of a seafront vineyard estate, which includes a five-star hotel and spa
The residences at LUX* La Baraquette have been designed by Slow Life Architects from Barcelona, with the interiors by Lázaro Rosa-Violán Studio.
The LRV studio is also behind the interior design of the trendy London restaurant Amazonico, which opened in November 2019.
Lázaro Rosa-Violán, founder of the Lázaro Rosa-Violán Studio, told MailOnline Property: ‘At LRV studio, we always look to give each place its own personality. As such, there are no common links between both projects.
‘On the French property project, we wanted the space to tell the true story of the site, its Mediterranean roots and the maritime and fishing atmosphere of the lagoon.’
He added: ‘The use of traditional materials, to enhance the work of artisans helps us to create a natural atmosphere.’
The development includes a village square, with restaurants and bars
When will the homes be ready?
The development is not for impatient buyers as they will need to wait until 2021 to enjoy the finished holiday homes.
And they will only be able to spend a limited amount of time at the properties as they will be rented out under a management agreement for the rest of the year (see more details below).
Who would live in a house like this?
The properties are aimed at a ‘young and active crowd who are looking for unstuffy five-star quality’, according to the development’s marketing literature.
Lázaro Rosa-Violán was behind the interior design of the trendy London restaurant Amazonico
What is the rental yield on a two-bedroom apartment?
The developer was unale to provide a rental yield, saying they are not guaranteed and would depend on the type and size of the property, as well as its location in the resort.
What is the local area like?
There are plenty of charming towns and villages in this region, with some of France’s finest seafood to be found along the coastline.
Montpellier is a historic city that’s less than an hour away, and has shops and restaurants.
Alternatively, follow the Canal du Midi from the coast inland to Carcassonne, home to the world-famous medieval citadel.
Located on the Thau lagoon, the region is ideal for water-sports and is less than five hours drive from the Pyrenees, where there is skiing and hiking.
The London restaurant Amazonico opened in November 2019 with its elaborate interiors
Where’s the best place for dinner nearby?
The pretty town of Marseillan serves up world-class food using fresh produce from the Thau lagoon.
Try Tarbouriech Le St Barth, a rustic waterfront restaurant that serves oysters and a selection of local wines.
Martini fans should also take a trip to Noilly Prat for a tour of the cellars, where the world-famous Vermouth is produced.
Early risers can head to Sète, to buy fish straight from the boats, while night owls can dance the night away at the street parties of the Béziers Feria.
What is there in the town for children and families?
There are plenty of activities in the area for families and children. The Thau lagoon is perfect for water sports, with scuba diving, sea-kayaking, sailboarding, and kitesurfing.
Further inland, it is possible to spend the day hunting for France’s famous ‘black diamond’. Hire a local expert and go truffle hunting in the area’s lush woodland, with the reward of a delicious truffle-based dinner using the foraged goods.
Alternatively, head to the nineteenth century arena in Beziers for some live music. This 13,500-seat amphitheatre was built in 1897 for bullfighting and is now used for various events and concerts throughout the year.
What property purchase costs do buyers need to be aware of?
In France, all property purchases must be completed through a notaire, whose fees are charged as a percentage of the property price – typically between 2.5 and 3 per cent.
What items are included in the sale of the property?
The villas and flats are sold fully furnished, and come with parking and storage areas.
How can investors reclaim VAT?
To be able to reclaim the VAT from the property, buyers must enter a management contract for the management and letting of the property.
They get a full refund of 20 per cent directly from the French Government. The request to ask for the refund can happen once a year and takes a few months.
The villas and flats are sold fully furnished, and come with parking and storage areas.
What does the property cost to run?
There is a management charge paid by owners, which covers the cost of maintenance of all common areas of the estate, including basic maintenance of the buildings and communal pools, as well as upkeep of the gardens and pathways, and will be billed annually.
The management charge is 20 per cent of the gross revenues generated by the property when it is rented out.
Also, there is the French ‘taxe foncière’, which is a property tax similar to council tax. It is used by the local authorities to cover the costs of rubbish collection, lighting and access to the site.
The tax is charged on the basis of the theoretical rental value of the property and is adjusted annually in line with inflation. Local authorities are yet to evaluate this tax, but it is expected to be around €10 per square metre.
What are the buying criteria?
Buyers can use their property up to 180 days a year, spanning across a single longer period or several shorter stays.
The remainder of the time, the property must be rented out.
Renting out the holiday homes
The developer and management company makes bold claims when it comes to the projected rental yields for investors buying at the development.
It said returns for investors at LUX* La Baraquette are not guaranteed, and if the property is rented out, the projected returns will be affected by several factors, including how long buyers use the property.
All the properties are sold on the basis that they will be rented out, although buyers can opt out under certain conditions.
The rental management will be run by the developer Propriétés & Co and LUX*.
However, while the returns are not guaranteed, the projected rental figures below are based on a two-bedroom flat as an initial example.
• Purchase Price (includes VAT refund of 20 per cent) of €550,000
• Yearly estimated rental income to owner of €32,910 net of management costs
This delivers a before costs yield of 5.9 per cent (based on annual rent as a percentage of purchase price).
However, it is important to consider costs and financing when calculating returns.
Deducting maintenance, taxes, insurance, utilities and furniture replacement costs of €6,100 the pre-mortgage yield would be 4.8 per cent.
Using an example mortgage yearly interest costs of €8,420 delivers an annual income of €18,410.
Using a 50 per cent mortgage, at 2.5 per cent, cash invested would be approximately €275,000 , which would deliver a net yield of 6.6 per cent, based on post-costs income of €18,410.
The management insisted that there is ‘absolutely no guarantee that the projections will be achieved in whole or in part’. The projections are based on buyers renting out their property for the full year.