OLD ONES ARE BEST
Forget drab buildings, retirement living is getting seriously glamorous
Chandeliers in the gym, stained glass windows and a private member’s bar. This isn’t the list of facilities at a luxury hotel, but of the new wave of high-end retirement homes taking over the UK. Banish away ideas of dreary halls and small rooms, it seems that retirement living is going through a luxury revolution.
Following in the steps of America, where this model has been developing for many years with large retirement villages, the market has seen an injection of more homes aimed at affluent owners over the past few years. Part of the growth comes from the fact that retirement living is a fast-growing area, and within this increased demand are a lot of people hoping for a more luxurious kind of retirement.
“There is a strong demand from those downsizing from large family homes to have access to the premium facilities they are accustomed to,” Craig Woollam, head of Savills Healthcare, explains. “This means that these types of residents are being catered for as they are prepared to pay a premium to live with like-minded people and to have access to gyms, wellbeing suites and so on.”
In Norfolk, McCarthy and Stone have a new development at Eastlands Grange, Hunstanton. Samantha Watkins, regional sales and marketing director at McCarthy and Stone
East Midlands, says: “Our new Retirement Living Plus development in Hunstanton offers retirees the opportunity
to maintain an independent lifestyle, while also having access to tailored domestic and personal assistance packages to help them manage their day-to-day lives – and with an on-site bistro providing freshly cooked meals.
“The stunning show complex perfectly highlights the modern designs and luxurious surroundings that will be enjoyed when we welcome our first homeowners to this highly exclusive development.”
The retirement village company Audley Group has 19 villages around the country promising lavish living. “Entering retirement does not mean giving up on the luxuries in life, your own home or the things you enjoy doing,” Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley, says. “We are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, and as such the concept of ‘retirement’ is becoming increasingly outdated.”
Alongside high-end living choices of one, two or three bedroom properties, the villages also have state of the art health clubs, spas and restaurants as part of the Audley Club, which is itself often located in a grand stately home or listed building. Nick says that many of their residents are downsizing from large family homes, but do not want to lose the luxury of their everyday lives. This lets residents live independently while also having access to flexible care as and when they need it.
And they’re not the only ones, with other companies like PegasusLife and Anchor Hanover building their own luxury alternatives to the traditional model.
Whatever you’re after, deciding on the right kind of retirement village or home for you is a difficult decision to make, so Craig advises plenty of planning. “Definitely do your research,” he says. “You should look into the wider village itself. Potential residents should consider care and support packages that retirement villages offer, if any, in addition to the cost and levels of communal facilities and not just focus on the unit itself.”
“Retirement does not mean giving up on the luxuries in life”
Luxury retirement homes offer facilities akin to five star hotels
Inside one of Eastland Grange’s luxurious two-bedroomed apartments
The bistro/lounge at Eastlands Grange, Hunstanton
The bar at Audley Redwood