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Costa del Sol Life

Latest happenings and lifestyle articles from Southern Spain, Costa del Sol.

Is this the most luxurious house on the Costa del Sol?
Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Villa Cullinan mega mansion (named after the largest diamond that has ever been found in the world) is located in the prestigious La Zagaleta in the hills of Marbella and it's probably one of the finest ultra-luxury real estate.

It's the epitome of top quality. Dubbed as the Pride of Zagaleta’ or the ‘Diamond of Marbella’

Check our this video tour by formal pro Swedish freeskier, Youtuber and co-founder of Douchebags travel gear brand Jon Olsson who also lives with his family in Marbella.

The 3.110 square meter of designer living space and flawless architecture is an absolute jaw dropping experience to see. It dwarfs any celebrity home that you could have seen on MTV Cribs.

The price tag on this mega mansion is €32.000.000 euros which will land you in an estate that features 14 baths, 10 bedrooms, huge living areas with extra high ceiling, a spa-centre, private cinema, a deep diving pool, multiple garages, multimillion euros art installations.


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Community pools vs. Private pools and the cons and pros of each
Friday, July 31, 2020

With the summer heat, nothing better than a good refreshing dip to cope with high temperatures that seem to be just rising further every year - is this where we blame climate change? Perhaps not, but undoubtedly the summers are getting hotter and there's less and less rain that would ease the heat through the high-season.

There are those who go to the beach in Spain and there are those who prefer the pool. When a group of property owners has a community pool, it must be taken into account that there are many factors that can influence a smooth running of a communal pool. The way they are managed used by the neighbors make the difference between a pleasant place for everyone or only for a few. 

With the recent COVID lockdowns it seems like the use of community pools became more difficult and rules strict that may make them more difficult to enjoy. Some urbanizations didn't even open their shared pool areas for this summer season or have time and capacity restrictions. Private pools became more relevant and in-demand for many this year and a lot of people consider moving to a home which is equipped with one. 

Here in this post we would like to contemplate what are the best things about communal and private pools and will mention some of the drawbacks too.

Community pools: advantages and disadvantages and relevant regulations

One of the most demanded and desired elements when looking for a home is the pool, which is not surprising, since it is one of the most popular facilities during the hot months. If it is an individual house or a chalet, this will not entail major problems, beyond the expenses or the reforms that we want to do in it.

However, if we decide on a semi-detached house or a block with a community pool, we must consider a series of elements, such as the extra cost (the community fee can grow exponentially) and the coexistence problems that it can entail. Here are some aspects to consider before deciding on a home with a community pool:

Regulations and Lifeguard: Each Autonomous Community has its own regulations regarding private community pools. In addition, we should add what the municipal ordinances of our city establish on this subject. Thus, depending on the number of houses, the size of the pool and its depth, in some autonomous communities it is mandatory to hire a lifeguard, something that can significantly increase the cost of the community f ee.

Liability insurance: Although it is not always compulsory, it is advisable to take out a civil liability insurance that covers damages and possible accidents in the pool and its enclosure.

Internal use regulations: In addition, the community must write internal regulations that must be posted in a visible place in the pool area. This document should include aspects such as opening and closing hours, authorized clothing, prohibited activities (such as jumping into the water or not showering before entering the pool) and the maximum capacity allowed.

Maintenance and safety: This is another of the points that can make the community fee more expensive, since our pool must be reviewed and adjusted every year before it opens, to which we must add any possible damage and breakdowns to be repaired during the season of summer. The regulations of the Community of Madrid, for example, establish that a technically trained person is responsible for the correct operation of the installation, that there is an Official Registry Book, available to users, where data such as the PH, the disinfectant used, the reading of the purified water meter, etc. In addition, according to the same regulations, the water in the glasses must be purged daily and continuously at least during opening hours, with the appropriate procedures, having the suction system points at the bottom,

Off-season maintenance: Although the pool is not working, we cannot avoid its maintenance. On this matter, the regulations of the Community of Madrid establish that, when the pool is not in operation, the glass must be covered or fenced to prevent it from being damaged and that someone may fall into it. In addition, it is mandatory to empty the glasses completely at least once in the season.

private pools in Spain cons and pros vs communal pools

Private Pool: The Pros and Cons

When the heat begins every year, it comes to our mind how happy we would be if we could enjoy a long vacation on the beach, especially by having the sea at hand where we can cool off after lying in the sun.

Can you imagine how good it would be to have that way to cool off from the heat throughout the summer?

It is for this reason, and because of the heat that every summer seems to be more intense, which is why many consider the possibility of building their own pool at home .

Although at first glance it will seem an excessive expense, if you can afford it, we assure you that in the long run you will pay it off.

Advantages of having a pool at home...

Available throughout the summer: You don't have to be on vacation at work to enjoy a dip. Returning from work in the afternoon and being able to overcome the heat and tiredness by relaxing in your own pool is priceless.

No sticking to schedules: You can enjoy your pool and surroundings 24 hours a day, when you return from work, weekends, even at night: nothing more relaxing and refreshing than dining by the pool, with the relaxation that the reflections of the lights provide in water. And all from the privacy of your home, in a totally private environment and to your liking.

Goodbye to crowds: You can enjoy the pool exclusively with your family or friends. Forget about people running or screaming around you disturbing your rest.

Children fun: Children are the ones who most enjoy a pool at home, yes, it is very important to be aware that we should never leave them alone and without the supervision of an adult to avoid accidents.

Social life at home: Having a private pool at home is an ideal solution to celebrate family and friends gatherings. A barbecue by the pool is a perfect pretext to meet and spend pleasant moments during the summer.

You exercise while you enjoy: Swimming is one of the sports in which the most muscles are exercised, so in summer, it is the best exercise, since you stay in shape while you cool off.

Revalue your home: Having a pool is a great advantage when selling a home, the value increases by having that plus that is sometimes considered an extra luxury.

Disadvantages of having your own pool at home

Yes, having a pool at home also has some disadvantages, the first is the initial investment that must be made to build it, we must be aware that it is an important expense that we must be sure of being able to face.

A pool requires periodic maintenance, both to maintain water quality and to avoid structural damage if we want to keep it in good condition.

That said, you have the foundation to jump into the satisfying experience of having a pool at home.

Having a pool is not just thinking about having it and it will magically appear in your garden overnight. If you decide to have a pool at home, you should first analyze whether they have the optimal space to install one.

  • Costs: There's the obvious one-off large investment of the installation but it's also worth considering what the ongoing maintenance entails. Different elements and chemicals are needed and although they will only be used in the summer, maintenance should also be done in the winter.
  • Maintenance: Pools require certain care (not only those made of material, in some cases also canvas) such as the use of a filter, pH control. of the water that must be balanced and cleaning the walls and surroundings of the pool. Furthermore, the water requires a chlorine treatment and must be clean. For this, covers are used for sinks, the sheets are removed with a net, a decanter is placed and the bottom sweeper is passed.
  • Security concerns: Another aspect to contemplate is that of security. If you have young children, it is a priority to take the necessary safety measures (such as fences around the pool) before deciding to have a pool and be 100% vigilant. You also have to be careful if you have pets at home.

If we were to come to a conclusion, the balance leans positively toward having a pool. If they take the necessary security measures and are willing to face the monetary costs; These disadvantages will not be a problem and will not overshadow the enjoyment of having your own pool to share (or not).

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5+ reasons that make Spain one of the healthiest country in the world
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The "Bloomberg Global Health Index" values ​​Spain as the healthiest country among 169 nations. 92.75 out of 100: this is the score that Spain has obtained. But do Spaniards and expats who live here really have this impression? Let's look at 5 specific reason why Spain can fill this prestigious positition on this list.

Bloomberg healthiest countries list 2020

1. Public Health Service

It is one of the aspects best valued by the authors of the list - especially since primary care is mainly public and is made up of multidisciplinary teams.

But does the health system really have such an impact on health? Most of our lives are spent outside the health system, so the impact on health is very limited - reliable sources put the inlfuence between 10-25% percent. The rest has to do with social circumstances.

The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Spain's public health care the 7th best in the World that offers universal coverage and quality care. 

2. Life expectancy in Spain

Life expectancy is the highest here in Europe according to the Bloomberg report. Although the experts in social health work adds a nuance: it is actually only women, where it is the highest, at 86.1 years, but men are at the 8th place, with 80.6 years of life expectancy. Swiss males live the longest in Europe (an average of 81.6 years).

The report also indicates that by 2040 Spain could be the country with the highest life expectancy in the world. At least this is what the trend shows.

But what about quality of life? Is Spain also first on the list? Apparently not - although it is a difficult thing to measure and can be looked at from many different angles - according data based on Eurostat: the expectation of healthy life years for Spanish women is 66.5 years, which places them in tenth place among the countries of the European Union. And in men it is 65.9 years old, occupying the eighth place. One thing is life expectancy and another quality of life. Ultimately we all want to enjoy a long AND healthy life.

3. The famously good Mediterranean Diet

The studies that support the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for health are numerous, and the fact that it is the basis of the country's diet adds points for Spain. But do we really follow it or are fewer and fewer Spaniards betting on it?

According to extensive research that analyzed global trends in adherence to the Mediterranean Diet since the early 1960s, Spain is the 7th on the top list of countries who kept to the parameters of the Mediterranean diet. Maintaining the charactersctics of the Mediterranean Diet is crucial for public health. Among other benefits the foods in a typical Med diet - nuts, fish, legumes, vegetables, healthy fats, plant oils and fresh fruits - help lower inflammation in your body, reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes and improve blood vessel function which lowers possiblility for cardiovascular illnesses.

4. Olive oil and nuts

Olive oil is, without a doubt, one of our hallmarks of Spain when it comes to cooking. The authors of the Bloomberg report have taken this into account, and have looked at the results of the Predimed Study, which highlights the cardioprotective effect of following a Mediterranean diet with the special presence of extra virgin olive oil and nuts. But how much should we take to notice its healthy effects?

The Spanish Community Nutrition Society (SENC), in its new pyramid, recommends taking extra virgin olive oil daily. 2 or 3 tablespoons are enough.
The nuts must be taken several times a week, minimum 3. The recommended portion is one handful (about 25-30 grams). Choose them plain, or roasted and without salt.

5. Spanish lifestyle habits are quite healthy

Habits also greatly influence the quality of life. For this reason, the authors of the report take into account the sedentary lifestyle (closely linked to the extra kilos) or the number of people who smoke in the countries analyzed. The sunny cliamte of the Southern part of the country, especially Andalusia's Costa del Sol - some locations boasting 300+ days of sun- offers an opportunity for outdoorsy, active lifestyle. 

How is Spain doing regading healthy lifestyle choices?

Regarding obesity, figures show (17%, according to data endorsed by the WHO) are far from countries such as Egypt (with 42.5%) or the United Kingdom (with 29.7%). But despite this it is also true that the number of people with this disorder has doubled in the last 30 years in Spain.

According to the data from the National Health Survey, the prevalence of overweight condition, sedentary lifestyle and a high level of exposure to screens leads us to consider strategies that involve an increase in physical activity by more than 150 minutes a week from childhood, and especially in the case of girls from the age of 14.

As for smoking, it is surprising that it doesn't put Spain lower on the list of healthiest countries because the figures are among the highest in Europe.

Thanks to the reduction in the prevalence of tobacco consumption in recent years in Spain, there had been a significantly lower number of cardiovascular problems and cancers, which surely has had a considerable impact on reaching the first place on the Bloomberg scale. This trend is reversing however, which should be of great concern to Spain, as the latest data tells us of an increase in the number of smokers. It has gone back 12 years in the fight against tobacco.

5+1 Environmental factors that add points

In order to prepare the index, parameters of what is commonly called “First World” have not only been taken into account. Other factors, such as access to drinking water, also have an impact on the final ranking. And at this point it is clear that certain countries, such as Spain, have a clear advantage over others more disadvantaged. 

In Short Summary

Using these factors, each country is given a rating out of a top score of 100. According to the 2020 ranking, Spain is considered to have the healthiest people in the world with a score of 92.75. Spain boasts a life expectancy of 83.5 years, which is expected to rise to 85.8 by 2040 and be the highest in the world.

Although Spain is known for smoking, drinking a lot of wine, and staying up late, their everyday diet and lifestyle choices sets them above the rest. Spain has the highest percentage of walkers in Europe, with 37% of them walking to work instead of driving (in comparison, only 6% of Americans walk to work). Additionally, Spain’s universal healthcare program is very successful, and they have managed to lower their rate of preventable deaths to 45.4 preventable deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

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