Few times in my life have I had butterflies in my stomach, quite like I had in anticipation of visiting Spy Manor. Indeed, I trembled a little when I walked in for the first time, for the word ‘spy’ implies so many things. Thanks to an exclusive invitation from Spy Manor founder Vanda Everke, I got to visit one of the most notorious properties in the Algarve, in attendance at the Aston Martin event at Villa Skyfall, one of Spy Manor’s legendary properties in Ferragudo, here in sunny Algarve.
THE ASTON MARTIN EVENT
On 15 August 2023, Aston Martin Lisboa, The International Motor Film Awards, and Spy Manor Productions collaborated to execute a delightfully elegant event, where special guests included the famed stuntman and woman of the James Bond series (and other legendary films), film industry professionals, and Aston Martin’s elite clientele, and of course us, the attending media.
The main event took place upon a specially dedicated elevated platform on the east side of Villa Skyfall’s extensive landscaped ocean front terrain, which effortlessly envelopes the cliff side in perfectly manicured gardens and functional spaces. The warmth and hospitality I experienced was exceptional, and the Spy Manor team went out of their way to make us feel warm and welcome.
FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT
Waiting staff served hor d’oeuvres of ceviche and blinis, accompanied with champagne, whilst we watched the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean to the sound of famed Portuguese fado singer Cuca Roseta. Listening to Fado in such a beautiful environment, and at such a captivating moment, really brought home just how special the Spy Manor estate is, and everybody felt that beauty in that moment. Few sunset moments have ever been so perfect. The evening continued with a “fireside” chat with Vic Armstrong and his wife Wendy, who have been doing big screen stunt work for four decades, including several James Bond films and some Indiana Jones, but to name a few. It is always fascinating to get a glimpse into the people behind big screen magic, and to understand the risks and challenges that comes with making epic entertainment. Listening to Vic and Wendy reminded me of just how much goes into creating action packed blockbuster films, and the brave men and women who fill in for big name Hollywood actors. It was a truly magical night, enjoyed by Aston Martin’s Portuguese clientele, as well as other film industry professionals such as Vince Knight and acclaimed Producer Peter Ogunsalu.
The entire event was so elegant and perfectly curated, with every need catered for, including being driven around the Villa Skyfall’s extensive property on a buggy. But possibly the most exciting part of the evening was when guests were given a rare opportunity to view the clandestine collection of Aston Martin’s vehicles which are currently housed at Villa Skyfall in a hidden museum-like car garage, which is accessed via a cleverly disguised flip up garage door covered in flora to look like a garden than a garage door. It does not get more spy-like than that. The entire place is like a skillfully crafted vestige to the glamor and nuances of the spy flick genre, yet done in a harmless and totally playful way. This is more about a showcase of luxury, technology, and a fair amount of theatre.
For a few years now, Spy Manor group has been peaking the interest of locals in the Algarve, as we have seen it evolve into a bona fide independent film production house, as well as establishing a luxury real estate agency, with a portfolio which includes some splendidly luxurious properties. The overall aim of Spy Manor in its entirety, is to provide luxury boutique services and custom experiences across the film, property development, and real estate industries, specifically dedicated to an exclusive, luxury orientated global clientele.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
Spy Manor is indeed a super exciting brand and they are doing some really progressive projects, having immersed themselves in the local community by participating in several events such as the tech, media and business innovation conference, Share Algarve, which happens on 22 – 23 October 2023. At the Share Algarve Conference, Spy Manor will be doing the opening keynote speech. Other interesting events that Spy Manor is involved with are the Indie Media Workshops that they put on, which, being from an Indie Media background, really makes my heart sing. It is so important for Indie Media to feel supported, and for there to be educational opportunities for those wanting to learn and grow into the world of independent media of all kinds.
AWARDS & INDIE FILM FESTIVALS
The Indie Film Festival circuit is a familiar trodden path for me, and this is where Spy Manor Productions gets huge credit for being a truly independent production house developing content for TV and film. Spy Manor is also involved in lots of different film festivals and International Motor Film Awards.
NEW PROPERTY LAUNCH 28 October 2023
There is so much going on at Spy Manor, which are mostly known for the properties they develop. The next big launch will be Sky Base One, which is located in Carvoeiro Club. This is a spectacle which will involve an interactive show that involves the villa, and British Mentalist Katherine Mills. This is a luxury brand that likes to do things differently, whilst being on the cutting edge of tech and cultural trends.
Being somewhat fussy about style and design, I was curious to find out who had the courage to make the creative leap into cutting edge architectural design and technology here in the Algarve. The amazing properties being developed by Spy Manor are designed by Bespoke Architects of Carvoeiro. This super talented team have been instrumental in rendering forth the passion that Vanda and her husband Alex, have for skillfully crafted, groundbreaking, tech savvy living.
“We are thrilled to bring the world of luxury and creativity to Ferragudo, Algarve.”
One really has to appreciate the flair of Spy Manor Group’s founder Vanda Everke. This is a woman who does luxury in a big way, and yet with understated elegance. Vanda has a cool, elegant style, and carries herself with so much grace. This is reflected in Vanda’s approach to her business, which comes from a big-hearted place, with the intention to promote the Algarve as a top luxury destination, which ultimately benefits the local economy by bringing in wealthy investors into the region. A woman after my own heart, Vanda shares my enthusiasm for the local community, and in particular, the Algarve as a world-class destination for making films, for indeed, the Algarve has such incredibly diverse landscapes for film and in fact, all sorts of media. But most importantly, this is a local independent film house truly creating waves in the big time film industry, making Spy Manor Group a worthy ambassador for the Algarve, and indeed Portugal as a whole. To quote Vanda Everke, Founder of Spy Manor Productions: “We are thrilled to bring the world of luxury and creativity to Ferragudo, Algarve.