This magnificent, modern building looks out across the vast Atlantic between Porto and Lisbon, on Portugal’s stunning west coast. Marta and Gonçalo, the owner-designers of Areias do Seixo, wanted to establish their striking and unique eco-retreat that would draw an international crowd and allow them to pursue their green-living ideals.
The result is stunning: a gorgeous boutique hotel with impressive eco-credentials. Each of the 14 rooms and 4 self-catering villas are designed to take advantage of the shoreline, with weather-worn timber terraces gazing out over billowing reeds and sweeping sand dunes. A feeling of simple luxury pervades: woven fabrics and plump cushions add warmth and interest to polished concrete floors with deep bathtubs and driftwood-framed beds.
More than eco-design, this is an eco-experience. Home-grown organic produce is transformed into simple Portuguese-inspired dishes at the hotel restaurant. Visitors wanting to learn more can get their hands dirty with the 'plot to plate' experience: working with the hotel gardeners and chefs to source and prepare their own lunch, while also acquiring a greater knowledge of the region’s agriculture, fishing and cooking practices.
Phrases such as ‘be simple, be happy’ are dotted around the hotel, written in chalk, and guests are encouraged to relax with fresh ocean air walks and bike rides, or soothing Ayurvedic treatments in the adults-only spa if the mood takes them. Marta and Gonçalo’s wanted nothing short of magical, and luckily, wherever you look in Areias do Seixo, they’ve surpassed it. Let’s just say, we’re brushing up on our Portuguese...
Rooms from £265 per night. Book through i-escape to receive a welcome tea and cake when you stay, www.i-escape.com/areias-do-seixo