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Vermelho, Melides

Put on your red shoes

Photos @CrystalMcClory

Hotel Vermelho, Melides

Christian Louboutin has opened his own fashionable hotel Vermelho in the seaside town of Melides, near Comporta in Portugal.

A 13-room boutique luxury hotel, with Marugal, with accents of his signature red. Vermelho means red in Portuguese and as you'd expect from this iconic shoe designer, the eclectic hotel is extravagant and of impeccable taste. The designer personally sourced all the furniture, art, and ceramics to reflect the rich history of the Alentejo coastal town.

Christian Louboutin owned a retreat in Comporta up the coast and this small Alentejo village, Melides is just half an hour away. The coast here is a protected area, which hinders any development. This is one of the only hotels in town that will no doubt attract fashion lovers and creatives who appreciate high design.

Subtle and sophisticated, the purpose-built, palatial hotel has sculptural rococo-style window features by Giuseppe Ducrot.

Bursting with colour and local flora, Vermelho’s gardens are a peaceful sanctuary with a natural heated swimming pool. Designed by French landscape architect, Louis Benech, these natural gardens blend in perfectly with the Melides landscape.

A large white building appears with dark red window frames and sky-blue trim of the Vermelho Hotel. A mix of Spanish and Alentejo traditional design, the white and blue in keeping with coastal Portugal. We step through Vermelho’s historical wooden doors.

Sat in gorgeous surroundings at dark red tables, on wickerwork chairs for a glass of local wine with snacks. There are cream rope-fringed parasols, a lush planted colourful garden and manicured lawns.

Young local staff are welcoming and service is casual and low-key. Expensively dressed hotel guests make us rather regret having stumbled off the beach in Havaianas and I wish I’d put on my red shoes! A balcony has pale pink tables and chairs with a view of the stunning grounds and a wall with quirky ceramic bird heads, I spy a cockatoo!

The bar is petite, yet elaborate with a bespoke ornate silver bar by Villareal goldsmiths and features an Easter paso de palio canopy (like a holy float procession).

The floor has red hexagon tiles and an incredible 3D circular picture adorns the wall.

Restaurant Xtian is led by Portuguese Chef David Abreu (who trained in hotels in Macau, Lisbon and the UK). The curated wine list features many Portuguese wineries. The restaurant also serves pastels de nata, local cheeses, ham, eggs, omelettes, and seasonal fruits.

The rooms are masterworks of Iberian artistry. White-washed walls and simple blue window frames and carved wooden doors, with pops of colour, like green jewel-toned tiled floors and Louboutin’s signature red. Unique, tasteful, and full of surprises, each of Vermelho’s five-star 13 luxury rooms are individually designed with collected art, frescoes, antique furniture, local craftsmanship, and Alentejo tiles.

During summer, there's a car (I spy cute Fiat 500s with signature red roofs) for guests to the beach (10 mins away). Experiences offered are horseback riding on the beach, visits to wineries and short trips to nearby villages like Comporta, Porto Covo, Alcácer do Sal. A small wellness spa offers facials and massages using Kama Ayurveda or just laze around the pool!

Wandering the sleepy streets of Melides village we spy the delightful local design store Vida Dura. We love the bright crockery and eclectic dinner place settings.

Noemina, is full of gorgeous gifts and is owned by Louboutin's friend, Noemi Marone Cinzano, (of the historic Italian liquor family).

Cats snooze in the quiet cobbled streets in the sunshine and we walk past a lovely pile of stone books carved with book titles: The Cultura saiu a Rua num Dia Assim, gives new meaning to a weighty tome!

Written by Crystal McClory

Photos @CrystalMcClory

For more info and to organise your trip contact Abbotts Travel

020 8989 9445 /

Read more about Comporta, Portugal here and In the Press


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