Melides, a Portuguese seaside hamlet on the Alentejo Coast, is a time capsule to 19th-century Europe. Just an hour and a half drive from Lisbon’s lively city streets and neighboring the sought-after coastal town of Comporta, this seemingly untrodden stretch of Portugal’s coastline was built for the slow traveler. This relaxed atmosphere was one of the reasons Christian Louboutin bought a vacation home here over a decade ago. No longer a personal enclave for just him, the fashion designer has transformed the abode into a new modish boutique hotel, Vermelho.
Blending seamlessly with its peaceful environs, the hotel boasts a powdery blue and clean white façade, which infringes on a rustic wooden entrance framed with intricate carvings.
Upon first entrance, you will immediately see how this maximalist 13-key stay oozes five-star luxury while honoring Melides’ rural coastal charm; each ounce of space reflects the fashion designer’s style.
Inside, guestrooms welcome travelers via diamond-shaped brass door handles. Hues of blue and Christian Louboutin’s signature red shade adorn each handcrafted suite’s interiors, from graphic parquet flooring to punchy-colored walls. Traditional Portuguese Azulejo tiles embossed with colorful patterns appear ubiquitously. Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias spruced up corridors with whimsical frescoes. Other noteworthy splendors include furnishings from the designer’s private collection and private balconies that peer out at the surrounding verdant landscape.
Moving back outside, it’s obvious that every aspect of Vermelho’s grounds is fashionable to its core: the spectacular garden was styled by French landscapist Louis Benech, who also worked on the renowned Gardens of Versailles. Lush green hedges surround the naturally heated plunge pool, which provides the perfect respite for basking under the Melides’ summer sun. Also, here are handcrafted sculptures by Italian artist Giuseppe Ducrot.
Relinquishing to the slow-paced lifestyle (in style, of course) seems effortless at Vermelho’s spa, which offers bespoke facials, body renewal treatments, holistic massages, and ancient Ayurvedic healing techniques.
Guests can congregate and discuss the day at the Indian Lounge, a cozy communal space dressed in blush furniture, tesselated-framed mirrors, and posh antiques.
Last but not least, make sure to dine at the hotel’s candle-lit Portuguese restaurant, Xtian. If in the mood to sip a nightcap, opt to grab a sumptuous drink at the onsite cocktail room, Vermelho Bar.
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