Domingos da Silva – Managing Director of Quinta do LagoBy Alison Hojbjerg • Mar 4th, 2005 • Category: People, Quinta Lifestyle
Domingos da Silva is Managing Director of Quinta do Lago. He has been with the resort for over 17 years, and for many people, he IS Quinta do Lago. In that time he has seen it grow, change and mature, almost like a person. He talks about his life, his loves – and Quinta do Lago.
“I have to be here. I have no choice”. Domingos da Silva talks about the job which has become his career and his life – guiding the path of Quinta do Lago, the créme de la créme of 5-star resorts in the Algarve and the rest of Europe.
Mister “Quinta do Lago”
He studied psychology at Lisbon and then went to Canada to finish his education. Why Canada? “I met a girl,” he laughed, “my whole life has been driven by ladies”. While studying by day, Domingos started working in the hotel and catering industry at night to pay his way, and quickly realised his talent for this type of work. At 24 years of age he was Maitre d’hotel and shortly afterwards opened his own restaurant at the Four Seasons resort in Montreal, in time for the 1976 Olympics. In 1981, married with two children and Canadian citizenship, he came home. Starting at Dom Pedro Hotels in Vilamoura, he quickly established his own chain of restaurants with an English partner before moving to the newly-opened Quinta do Lago Country Club in 1987.
It was in the pivotal year of 1989 that he joined Planal – and he has been at the helm ever since, holding the boat steady through calms, storms and changes of ownership. He is philosophical about the past and the future.
“What Quinta do Lago needs is love and responsibility, especially from those who make a living out of it,” he says,
“Tell the truth and look the client straight in the eye. We have a fabulous product here, something to be very proud of: don’t abuse the client.”
He has strong words, too, about the golf prices in the Algarve. “The golf offer needs to become more flexible and better adapted to a wide variety of clients’ requirements.”
Domingos, known as a bon viveur, is a connoisseur of red wine, and it is no accident that, to celebrate the 30th birthday of Quinta do Lago, he commissioned a special wine for the resort, MÃstico, from his favourite region, the Douro. At the end of the day, he leaves Quinta do Lago behind and heads for his home in the hills, surrounded by natural Algarve countryside. “There comes a point where you need some peace.”
What do you feel strongly about?
“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Give the client value for money. And do your job with love – in other words, have consideration for the people you deal with.”
What do you see in Quinta do Lago today?
“Many real estate agents are nothing more than order takers. It is good that Quinta Properties offers a really professional service that reflects well on Quinta do Lago: I am happy to contribute to the Buyer’s Guide, which offers valuable information and advice to anyone interested in Quinta do Lago.”
What of the future?
“Various plots will be released in the second half of 2005. In San Lorenzo Norte plots will be around £1.2 – £1.5 million, and in Ria Formosa around £900,000 to £1.2 million.”
What advice would you give to people thinking of buying in Quinta do Lago?
“It’s unique – what else can I say?”