Areias Do Seixo Charm Hotel & Residences
Photo courtesy of Areias do Seixo
Areias do Seixo, Torres Vedras
Gonçalo Alves and his wife, Marta Fonseca, spent eight years turning an abandoned chicken farm on Portugal’s wild Costa de Prata into their dream retreat. “We wanted a big house to share with people,” says Alves. Their hotel, located a 45-minute drive north of Lisbon, is a whimsical escape with a hippie vibe. Each night Alves and Fonseca invite guests to join them for wine and traditional folk music around a bonfire. The architecture is modern, but the interiors have a fashionable flea-market feel. Inside the 10 rooms and four villas you’ll find bedding, rugs, and light fixtures from Morocco and India, driftwood-frame beds, and fireplaces that hang from the ceiling. Doubles from $345. 351/2-6193- 6340. This appeared in the October 2013 issue.
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Eat, Shop, Sleep
Areias do Seixo hotel is a magical place hidden down a quiet stretch of road on Portugal's rugged Costa de Prata. Don't be fooled by the futuristic glass and concrete exterior. Inside, this eco retreat feels like the warm, welcoming home of a hippie-chic globetrotter who has decorated the 14 villas and rooms with her favorite worldly finds. The large open bar and restaurant area features chunky wooden tables and a menu that highlights produce from the hotel's rooftop-garden. Tables are set with Moroccan-style candleholders and antique dishes. One of my favorite parts of the hotel is the gift shop, which sits just off the restaurant. The shop has the feel of a stylish general store and sells locally-made goods as well as some of the pieces on display throughout the hotel (I took home a set of candle holders). You'll also find old clocks, produce from the garden, and treatments that are used at the hotel spa.
Whimsical Seaside Style
Or the world, even. Located about an hour outside of Lisbon, Areias do Seixo has ten rooms, each one individually and exquisitely decorated, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lawn and the crashing Atlantic below. But why go out? The bathrooms are the most luxurious, most over-the-top romantic you can imagine. That one there? Deep sunken tub, wood-burning fireplace, and candles that are magically lit when you return from dinner.