Prestigious international award confirms Winelands’ status as a premier global retirement destination

The Winelands has long been regarded as a premier retirement destination in South Africa, but it’s place on the global map was sealed this month with Val de Vie Evergreen scooping the award for the Best Leisure Development in the World at the 2021 International Property Awards.

This comes just three months after Evergreen was crowned Best Leisure Development in South Africa and Val de Vie was nominated as Best Residential Development in South Africa by the International Property Awards for 2020/2021.

Chris Cilliers, CEO and Co-Principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, believes that the inimitable lifestyle in the region coupled with pioneering innovation have been the winning recipe for the area’s success in the retirement sector.

“The current retirement market is the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) and they are very different from their predecessors who were more traditional and conservative in their general outlook, lifestyle and retirement needs.

“Most boomers are looking to extend their independent lifestyles well into retirement and when they do give up the family home they tend to prefer to move to multi-generational communities, preferably with amenities.

“To meet these changing needs, developers in this sector have shifted their focus to create a more holistic offering with an emphasis on lifestyle, wellness and vitality, and this includes hospitality and fitness facilities.

“And many now accept residents from the age of 55 as a growing number of empty-nesters no longer want the responsibility of large homes and prefer to move just once rather than downsize and move again five or 10 years later.”

Cilliers says that it’s no surprise that South Africa’s first super estate - and pioneer in the residential estate sector - is also establishing the trends and setting the bar in the retirement sector.

“Not only was Evergreen Val de Vie developed as a hospitality model rather than a nursing model like traditional old age Homes, the village-within-the-estate concept elevates the retirement lifestyle to a whole new level.

“In addition to the facilities in Evergreen which include a private clubhouse, bistro, cinema room, library and bowls practice lawn, residents have access to 21 km of walking trails, an Olympic-sized pool, access to the Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, tennis, polo fields and an equestrian centre.”

Regarded as the safest retirement village in South Africa, Val de Vie Evergreen Val de Vie Estate took the honours based on the quality and unprecedented variety of leisure activities offered to residents and a lifestyle focused on wellness.

However, although the Winelands is home to the country’s foremost retirement development, it also offers a variety of other options to suit the lifestyle needs of the modern retiree.

“More and more people want to retire away from the city,” says Cilliers, “and the Winelands is especially appealing as it offers a slow-paced country lifestyle in scenic surrounds, yet is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and a short hop to pristine beaches and popular attractions.”

She adds that the growth of this sector in the Winelands has not only been spurred by changing buyer needs and demographics, but also by an emergent trend which is seeing more and more people planning for their retirement from an earlier age.

“Many people now recognise the long-term value of these developments and the benefits of investing in their retirement home long before retire. Not only are they are ensuring that their golden years are comfortable, they are doing so at today’s prices.

“Developers are also taking into the account the fact that there are now a number of different stages of retirement and offer a variety of packages, including mature people who are still active but no longer want the responsibility of large homes, with many accepting residents from the age of 55.

“Retirees can therefore settle for life knowing that they can be cared for in their homes or in frail care of necessary and that another move later on won’t be necessary.”

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