Best Luxury Retirement Developments to Retire in Style

Words by
Zoe Dare Hall

10th January 2024

From the buzz of the city to bespoke beekeeping, wealthy retirees can enjoy life in properties that offer five-star facilities reminiscent of private members’ clubs. We pick the best luxury retirement developments in the UK to retire in style.

It’s hard to say whether it’s the indoor pool and spa that steals the show, or the reading room with its chandeliers, chess sets and Steinway piano. The private cinema, alongside a low-lit basement bar, is quite something too, with individual Champagne buckets in front of each super-sized velvet wingback chair.

Auriens Chelsea, which opened two years ago in quiet Dovehouse Street, just steps away from the Kings Road, has become the blueprint for retirement multi-millionaire-style. This is “ageing in place”, to use the assisted living sector’s buzz phrase, for the seriously wealthy to whom care means having your martini mixed just how you like it.


Auriens Chelsea luxury living
Auriens Chelsea in the heart of London offers luxurious living, with discreet aids to make life easier as required

These are people who can afford £13,500-£45,000 a month to rent an apartment ranging from 900 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft. For those who prefer to buy, the 56 residences now include one-bed flats from £2.75
million and two-beds from £3.95 million, many of them overlooking a peaceful courtyard garden designed by Chelsea gold-winning designer Andy Sturgeon.

Auriens, owned by Oaktree Capital Management, is part of a transforming landscape of upscale retirement in the UK, fuelled by “serious institutional backers” including Bupa, AXA and Goldman Sachs, says Peter Youngs, partner in Knight Frank’s Seniors Housing team.

“In this sector, everyone talks about luxury, but this is without compare. These are age-restricted apartments with the facilities of a private members’ club,” says Henry Lumby, Auriens’ sales and marketing director.

Auriens Chelsea has set a new standard for retiring in style in London. Here are some of the newest and best other alternatives.

Best for country grandeur 
Wildernesse house

Wildernesse House luxury retirement home
Wildernesse is set in 24 acres of rolling parkland, ideal for rural retirement

What Auriens is to well-heeled city living, Wildernesse near Sevenoaks in Kent is to retiring in rural stately style. Or not really retiring in the case of residents such as David and Kim Elstein, both former TV execs aged 78 and 65 respectively, who own two adjoining mews houses among the 24 acres of this historic estate’s private parkland.

“We see ourselves as a community of definitively ‘unretired’ people. Life is never boring here. There is always something going on — Friday afternoon concerts and coffee mornings in the Great Hall. We take painting and clay modelling classes in the grounds and do pilates in the Wellness Centre,” says David Elstein. They use one of their houses (originally bought for Kim Elstein’s late mother) to indulge their passions — he’s writing a book about 1950s Kenya; she loves quilting — and live in the other.

Wildernesse House luxury retirement home
The interior of Grade II-listed Wildernesse House near Sevenoaks

Besides eight mews houses costing from £625,000 and 53 new homes launching in 2024, there are 23 apartments priced from £970,000 in the magnificent Grade II-listed Wildernesse House itself.

Residents enjoy private five-star facilities including a cocktail bar, a health spa with pool and treatment rooms, walking paths and a croquet lawn. Stroll across the gardens and you reach the high-arched, vaulted-ceilinged Pavilion restaurant, designed to echo the Victorian glasshouse that once stood on the estate. Care, if required, is provided by an experienced team in the comfort of your home.

best for riverfront living 

Riverstone Luxury Retirement Home
Riverstone in Fulham is located north bank of the Thames

“If you’re looking for posh retirement, then you need to know Riverstone — right on the river on the north bank of the Thames in Fulham, with a fantastic restaurant,” says Youngs. Apartments cost from £790,000 for a 700 sq ft one-bed flat to £3.2 million for four-bed apartments of around 3,200 sq ft, set around communal gardens designed by Andy Sturgeon, and amenities include a spa, cinema, library, hair salon and indoor pool.

Riverstone Luxury Retirement Home
The Riverstone indoor pool

You’ll know if you’re a Riverstone type; partnerships are with organisations such as the ENO and Saatchi Gallery. Show apartments are the work of Honky Design. The Hurlingham Club is nearby, and the Riverstone experience also includes a downsizing consultant, garden parties and guest speakers such as Sue Barker.

best for jet-setters 

Audley Sunningdale Park Luxury Retirement Home
Audley Sunningdale Park, a magnificent neo-Georgian mansion, is just 20 minutes from Heathrow

Heathrow Airport is 20 minutes away by cab, making the newly opened Sunningdale Park perfect for the active, 60+ lock up and leave brigade. But what a majestic place to come home to and immerse yourself in pure Englishness again, with the estate’s grand neo-Georgian mansion, Northcote House, set in 79 acres of woodland, lakes and gardens. There are sweeping staircases, designer dining rooms and a wonderful cocktail bar overlooked by a stone-arched mezzanine floor. You can buy apartments in new buildings in the grounds from £760,000, but if it’s Georgian grandeur that floats your boat, a one-bed apartment in the historic house costs £1.225 million.

Audley Sunningdale Park Luxury Retirement Home
Sunningdale Park's striking cocktail bar and stone-arched mezzanine floor

best for city living 


Audley Nightingale Place luxury retirement home
Audley Nightingale Place in Clapham is conveniently sited for central London

If you want a resolutely urban retirement, Nightingale Village, next door to Clapham South tube station to whisk you into central London, and overlooking Clapham Common’s green expanses, could be for you. 

Audley Nightingale Place luxury retirement home
A Nightingale Place interior

Nightingale Village has its own health club, spa, library, restaurant and cinema. Properties start at £750,000; the crowning glory, with panoramic park views from its roof terrace, is the two-bed penthouse for £2.66 million.

best for VILLAGE LIFE 

Audley Stanbridge Earls Luxury Retirement Home
Audley Stanbridge Earls near Romsey offers a more rural experience

Set in 32 green acres near Romsey in Hampshire, this estate’s Grade II*-listed Tudor manor house is now joined by 155 cottages and apartments, providing what Knight Frank’s Peter Youngs rates as one of the best retirement homes for a village experience. Available properties range from £760,000 to £1.225 million, from apartments in modern, barn-like buildings to detached cottages, and all owners have access to the health club, spa and restaurant, and care if needed.

Audley Stanbridge Earls Luxury Retirement Home
Many Stanbridge Earls properties have a village-like feel

“In all our villages, we ensure there’s space for everyone to indulge their passions, whether that be swimming or exercising in our spas and gyms, housing beehives and allotments in the grounds or having hobby rooms in the centrepiece buildings dedicated to art and literary classes,” comments Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group.


The Oren Luxury Retirement Home
The Oren in Hampstead features gracious living spaces

Tunbridge Wells, Berkhamsted and St Albans. For those who know and love Hampstead, The Oren — which opens in 2024 — offers the height of luxury living from a hugely sought-after heathside location. The amenities are, naturally, first class, including a pool and spa. Yoga, wine tastings, theatre trips and lectures are among the activities on offer.

The Oren Luxury Retirement Home
The location's spacious penthouse boasts a wrap-around balcony with extensive views

Properties start at £1.825 million, and for those who want to feel on top of the world, there’s a three-bed penthouse on sale for £4.95 million, with vast views across the heath and London. With 2,400 sq ft of internal space, plus a large wrap-around terrace, there’s no downsizing required.

best for dementia care 

 Loveday Luxury Dementia Home
A cheerful florally decorated Loveday facade
Loveday Luxury Dementia Home
The lounge at Loveday Kensington

This is luxury living at what Loveday calls “private members’ clubs for seniors”, with a concierge on hand to handle social arrangements and cultural enrichment. Loveday’s locations — Kensington, Chelsea and Abbey Road — strongly hint at the target audience, as do prices from £3,000 per person per week, depending on each individual’s needs. For some, Loveday will be the next step when specialised dementia care is needed

Loveday Luxury Dementia Home
Loveday gardens are carefully tended

Underpinned by bespoke nursing support for various conditions, the underlying ethos — to remain stimulated and active in a prime setting — reflects that of the rest of the luxury retirement sector.