The creation of Select Resorts Properties: Where it all began…

12 October 2017

We sponsor the West Hant Club; a sport organisation enriched in tennis history and formed in 1926 in Dorset. For our tennis enthusiasts, this is an excellent club where you can play on the same centre court as the greats: Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Virginia Wade and more.

If you would like more information about The West Hants Club facilities and offers, please phone them on 01202 519455, visit their website or email them at [email protected].

We were recently provided the opportunity to publish an editorial on their website and we decided to take it all the way back to the warm and humble beginnings of Select Resorts Properties.

We hope you enjoy the editoiral written by our Marketing Executive, Tamsin Pearce with help from Paolo Bonnani, Founder of Select Resorts Properties.

Where it all began...

As Paolo, Pauline and a very young Georgina Bonanni trundled up the potholed dirt track on a dry hot day, there was little sign of the now world renowned resort which was awaiting them. It was spring 1983 and the family were on their way to La Manga Club in Murcia, South East Spain.


A small sign on the side of the road simply reading ‘Golf’ was the first indication there was more to come, yet it was not until they passed the sweet smelling lemon groves, the scatty goats diving across the road like confused rabbits and many sorrowful looking donkeys that the immaculate bright green of the golf courses came into view. The contrast between the rough, hilly, dusty land and the flat, lush fairways was reminiscent of an oasis in the desert. Just a few years old at the time but already getting increased interest from overseas, visitors were drawn to not only the championship golf courses, but also to the excellent tennis facilities and choice of apartments and villas available to rent or buy.


Paolo and Pauline had arrived as the development was starting to take shape and having been introduced to the area by a developer friend of theirs were offered the chance to get involved in the selling of property in the resort.  This is where they cut their teeth in the property world and sold their very first villa. Select Resorts Limited was born. 


Paolo remembers these early years fondly, recounting how on one of the very first client visits he was put in a rather embarrassing situation at the airport.  As he recalls, ‘Pauline and I had planned a site visit for two clients wishing to purchase at La Manga Club, however we could only reserve one seat on the direct flight to Murcia.  It was decided that we would split up and Pauline would fly directly whilst myself and the clients would go via Barcelona. I only had a small bag with me for the weekend, but Pauline’s bag was much larger and heavier as she had prepared for every social occasion with her outfits. Thinking it would be a nice gesture I offered to take her heavy bag with me whilst she travelled with my lighter one. It was on changing planes in Barcelona however that I regretted that decision. A burly security guard motioned to me to head over for a case inspection.  It was to the great amusement to everyone in the arrivals hall when one by one the guard unpacked ‘my’ case and held up various items of lacy undergarments and ladies clothing whilst looking at me quizzically.’  Paolo managed to explain himself and thankfully his clients saw the funny side and went on to purchase a property in La Manga Club.


La Manga Club is a Mecca for golf and tennis enthusiasts, having built an enviable reputation among world-class athletes as an excellent place to train in preparation for major tournaments. It is easy to see why as the resort boasts three 18-hole golf courses which are complimented by an 18-hole pitch and putt course designed by Severiano Ballesteros and a new Golf Academy. The 28-court tennis centre has played host to prestigious events such as Davis Cup matches, the Fed Cup and ATP tournaments and the tennis Academy offers tailored tennis coaching for players of all ages and levels.


The activities do not end there however, with an abundance of other leisure options available including football, cricket, rugby, swimming, cycling, diving and horse riding to name a few.


As the sporting activities have grown, so have the number of onsite properties to cater for the many visitors wishing to benefit from all the activities on offer. Beautiful villas and apartments are dotted throughout the site all of which have access to large communal or private pools, and a leisure complex with spa, restaurants, shops and cafés.  Properties range from contemporary to the traditional and suit all budgets.


Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

A few thousand miles to the east of La Manga Club and across the Mediterranean Sea lies Cyprus. An island known for glorious beaches, a rugged interior, ancient architecture and its fine wines. 


To the west of the island and set among the hills a few kilometres east of the city of Paphos is the Aphrodite Hills Resort. 


Paolo and Pauline were first drawn to the country when they were introduced to a new development by an agent friend in La Manga Club. They had a proven track record in selling property in Spain and as such their expertise was sought as they were asked to be involved from the very beginning when this new project took shape. Their opinion was so well respected that they were asked to attend a meeting to decide among other things the name for the resort.


Just like La Manga Club, this award-winning 5* luxury holiday destination is also an ideal retreat for tennis enthusiasts with 8 floodlit courts, of which 5 are plexicushion hard courts and 4 European red clay courts – designed to offer players of all standards a surface that is of the highest quality. The Tennis Academy offers a wide selection of coaching services for all levels and ages with tournaments and social tennis sessions taking place regularly. If you prefer a less structured game, court hire is available for players, friends and family to enjoy with tennis racquets and balls included.


The stunning 18-hole championship golf course spreads across two plateaux’s divided by a dramatic ravine and commands spectacular sea views of the Mediterranean and the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Paolo remembers arriving at the site before the building work began and being blown away with the beauty. ‘It was quite frankly the most beautiful piece of land that I had ever seen. It was south facing and the gentle slopes were lined with Olive and Carob trees. The sea views were magnificent.’


For those wishing to simply relax, there is the award-winning Retreat Spa which enjoys fantastic sea views from the large outdoor infinity pool and offers spa packages from an expert team of therapists.


When asked which development he preferred, Paolo hesitated. ‘Both La Manga Club and Aphrodite Hills are fantastic resorts. They have the same Mediterranean climate and lovely surroundings with plenty of activities on offer. The tennis and golf facilities are second to none so I would definitely recommend them both. Purchasing a property in either resort would prove a great investment whether it be to improve your own lifestyle, to earn some extra income by renting it out to the steady flow of visitors, or a bit of both.’


Like La Manga Club, Aphrodite Hills gives you the opportunity to purchase a spacious apartment or luxury villa within the grounds giving you easy access to all the leisure facilities.


Select Resorts is still going strong and has built an enviable reputation as one of the most respected forerunners in the industry. By nurturing close relationships with developers they have direct access to comprehensive information on each project, often visiting sites to further the knowledge of their team of advisors. The team take pride in what they do and endeavour to smooth the way forward for a successful purchase, helping guide you through in a personal and friendly way what can be a daunting process when buying overseas.


This year the company celebrates 35 years in business in which time they have expanded to sell property all over the world. There are now two main sides to the business: International which is under the name of Select Resorts, and UK under the name of Select Portfolio, both offering superb opportunities for people wishing to purchase a lifestyle property overseas or to create/add to a high yielding property portfolio in the UK. Select Resorts is also the only UK associate of Savills International and works closely with their team to deliver high quality properties throughout the world.


Though Paolo is now retired from the business, Pauline continues as the Managing Director. The young Georgina went on to study for a BA in Hospitality Management and after stints working in hotels in London and Dublin has been working for the company for many years as Operations Director alongside her husband Michael Reilly, Sales & Marketing Director. Michael and Georgie were instrumental in setting up Select Portfolio which is now a vital part of the company. With two young children of their own there is hope that what Paolo and Pauline started 35 years ago will continue to the next generation.



Both with sport facilities including tennis courts, stunning developments La Manga Club and Aphrodite Hills still have apartments available to purchase. 



Aphrodite Hills: View full resort information here -


Aphrodite Hills: View full resort information here -

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