André Jordan: Architect of Dreams, Father of Portuguese Tourism


Get to know the founder of Vilamoura – father of Portuguese tourism, André Jordan (1933-2024).


In the rich tapestry of modern Portugal, André Jordan emerges as a towering figure, a visionary architect of dreams, and undeniably, one of the most famous tourism entrepreneurs of our time. Born Andrzej Franciszek Spitzman Jordan on September 10, 1933, in Lviv, Poland, his life’s journey weaves through Brazil, the United States, and ultimately back to Portugal, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s landscape. André Jordan’s story is not just a personal narrative but a saga of transforming visions into reality, and his legacy reverberates through the resorts, golf courses, and sustainable communities that dot the Portuguese map.


Early Years and International Ventures

Young André’s early years were marked by the tumultuous backdrop of World War II. Fleeing the Nazi threat, his family settled in Brazil, where André embarked on his journey, first in journalism and later in real estate. His father, a pioneering figure in the Brazilian real estate business, instilled in him a spirit of entrepreneurship that would guide him in the years to come.

In 1968, André Jordan took on a pivotal role as the International Development Director of Levitt & Sons in New York, the most significant residential development company in the United States at the time. This position not only showcased his leadership but also provided him with a wealth of experience in the intricacies of large-scale real estate development.


Return to Portugal and Quinta do Lago:

In 1971, André Jordan returned to Portugal, a move that would shape the trajectory of the country’s tourism landscape. His vision was clear – to create a world-class resort that seamlessly blended luxury, sustainability, and a commitment to quality living. Thus, Quinta do Lago was born.

Quinta do Lago, André Jordan’s magnum opus, became internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious resort developments globally. Even after four decades, its allure remains undiminished. It set a new standard for luxury living, featuring championship golf courses, upscale amenities, and a commitment to environmental sustainability – a hallmark of André Jordan’s philosophy.


A Sustainable Approach to International Ventures

While Quinta do Lago solidified André Jordan’s reputation, his journey didn’t stop there. In the late ’80s, after the sale of Quinta do Lago, he assumed the role of Managing Director of Bovis Abroad in London. This phase of his career saw projects in Spain, Portugal, and the Caribbean, including the iconic La Manga Club in Southern Spain.

In 1991, André Jordan unveiled another groundbreaking project – Belas Clube de Campo. Nestled in the Sintra hills near Lisbon, this residential community spanning 465 hectares exemplified André’s commitment to creating not just developments but thriving, sustainable communities. It was a testament to his foresight, with a focus on environmental consciousness and quality of life.

This commitment to sustainable development is what set his projects apart. From Quinta do Lago to Belas Clube de Campo and our own Villamoura, environmental consciousness was woven into the fabric of each project. Numerous international certificates and awards show André Jordan’s dedication to creating not just opulent spaces but ones that are harmonised with nature.

His commitment to sustainability wasn’t just a professional ethos but a personal philosophy. André Jordan’s endeavours were marked by a conscious effort to balance progress with environmental responsibility. The lasting impact of his contributions is evident in the international acclaim and recognition garnered by his projects.


Vilamoura: A Crown Jewel Reimagined

The year 1995 marked a pivotal moment as the André Jordan Group acquired Lusotur, SA, the owner of Vilamoura. This move catapulted Vilamoura into the spotlight as the largest leisure and residential complex in Europe. Under André Jordan’s guidance, it underwent a comprehensive revitalization, attracting investors and restoring its current status as a premier destination.

The resort, boasting a 1000-berth marina, championship golf courses, a casino, and luxurious hotels, became another crown jewel in André Jordan’s portfolio. His revitalization efforts breathed new life into Vilamoura, making it a sought-after destination for leisure and luxury living. In 2006, the André Jordan Group sold Lusotur, marking the transition of Vilamoura into new hands.


Beyond Real Estate: A Renaissance Man

André Jordan’s impact on Portugal transcended real estate. He was deeply involved in civic, cultural, and educational organisations, both in Portugal and on the international stage. As a Vice-Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the first President of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Portugal, he played a pivotal role in shaping tourism and urban development strategies.

He also had a profound influence on Portugal’s golfing landscape. The nine golf courses created by André Jordan in Portugal weren’t just scenic wonders but venues that hosted major international championship events. Some of these courses found their place among Europe’s and the world’s top-rated, cementing Portugal’s status as a golfing haven.


Honours and Accolades

André Jordan’s contributions were celebrated worldwide. From being an Honorary Citizen of Rio de Janeiro to receiving the Gold Medal from cities like Loulé and Sintra, his influence resonated across borders. The Portuguese Government acknowledged his service with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit. André Jordan’s commitment to Portugal’s progress was underscored by the accolades and honours he received.


A Visionary’s Departure and Enduring Legacy

On February 9, 2024, André Jordan passed away, leaving behind a legacy that transcends bricks and mortar. A Doctor Honoris Causa of ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon and the University of the Algarve, he epitomised the fusion of vision, business acumen, and a profound love for Portugal.

André Jordan’s life was a symphony of creation, innovation, and tireless dedication to the enrichment of Portugal’s cultural and economic fabric. His legacy lives on in the resort towns, golf courses, and sustainable communities that bear the indelible imprint of his visionary spirit. As the sun sets on André Jordan’s remarkable journey, the dawn of a Portugal transformed by his dreams continues to shine brightly.








Vilamoura, Quarteira, Portugal


The moment you set foot in Vilamoura you will not want to leave. Shall we show you some houses?

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Old Course Golf Club is still a reference in Portugal, known internationally for its course and clubhouse.

Volta do Medronho, 8125-548 Quarteira

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