Sobreiras Alentejo Country Hotel - Grandola, Portugal
From an architectural perspective, this hotel is a case study of how a building can be inserted into the landscape in a respectful, thoughtful way.
The Lisbon-based Miguel Correia of Future Architecture Thinking has harnessed the full complement of his team of architects, planners, landscape architects and designers to create a white-washed oasis an hour’s drive from the Portuguese capital.
Here, in the middle of a 25-hectare flat sprinkled with naturally sparse stands of cork, oak, and holm, Correia has laid out 24 rooms (all with private terraces) and ancillary services in a simple row of peak-roofed, east-facing buildings that sit gently on the earth to minimise soil damage.
Except, of course, the devil is in the details. The sober silhouette is outlined by a façade of slender, evenly spaced vertical timber logs to create an unexpected palimpsest that also provides striated shelter from the elements. From the sparse but comfortably furnished rooms to the bright public spaces furnished with a mix of contemporary and mid-century furniture, the mood is calm, and the eye drawn constantly towards views of olive trees and horizon through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Where possible, Correia has oriented spaces to maximize natural ventilation in summer and heat retention in summer while solar thermal systems and rainwater collection are just the start of the hotel’s eco-programme. It all makes for a virtuous vacation spot.