My Favorite Portuguese Gem: Christian Louboutin's Vermelho Hotel
Bougie on budget
You’ve visited Porto and Lisbon. Why not head south to a special boutique property in Melides? Vermelho. Nestled in the small village of Melides, Christian Louboutin's boutique Vermelho Hotel offers an intimate experience offering 13 unique guest rooms with the local craftsmanship of distinctive works of art, handpicked by Louboutin. “Vermelho” (meaning “red” in Portuguese) is the creation of Christian Louboutin and is the epitome of a designer hotel. Glossy red tiles - an homage to the designer’s red bottom shoes - adorn the lobby and the bar.
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Why I loved Vermelho
Located less than 1.5 hours from Lisbon (it’s an easy drive, minus the super narrow streets in the village of Melides), this jewel box property is a fantasy of design. The attention to detail in every aspect of the hotel is remarkable. Whether you're seeking relaxation, adventure or a bit of both, this boutique property offers a truly unforgettable experience that celebrates the essence of Portugal. The hotel had opened just a month before my visit (May 2023), yet service flowed efficiently and smoothly. Service is ultra-personalized and kind. Despite being open for only a month, the staff operates with efficiency and warmth, making sure that every guest feels like a VIP.
Each guest room is a work of art, adorned with handpicked local craftsmanship and custom tiles that tell a story of the region's heritage. The grandiose shell chandelier hanging in the common area adds a touch of elegance and whimsy, while the large leather tassel keychains in each room serve as a playful reminder of the hotel's unique personality.
My room (a suite) had a large balcony, separate sitting room, and a sizable bathroom with both tub and standing shower. Lush, custom-embroidered robes and pillows and gorgeous bedding. Every room is unique with its own custom tiles, pops of color and truly curated mix of special details.
Who would appreciate & enjoy Vermelho
Don’t let the designer aspect intimidate you - the property is not pretentious or packed with influencers posing for selfies. In fact, access to this special enclave is limited to guests or those with reservations at the hotel’s Xtian Restaurant.
This property is for those seeking a low-key, quiet escape. The hotel’s pool is a small and lovely (not for laps) and the environment lends itself to friends, individuals and couples looking for tranquil surroundings. There are so many activities, neat shops and special dining experiences within a 15-minute drive, but I preferred to spend my time reading on a lounger.
While the hotel itself is a haven of tranquility, there is no shortage of exciting excursions and experiences just a short drive away. Here are a few of my favorite cool excursions, special shops and glorious meals:
Vida Dura - Locally produced textiles, ceramics and tableware coupled with a florist. One-of-a-kind ceramic lamps, glorious cloth napkins and comfy pillows. This shop is located just a few steps from Vermelho and adheres to hours that include an afternoon siesta. Truly a treasure trove of wonderful pieces - I needed to buy another suitcase.
Rice - Cool concept store in Comporta selling housewares and apparel
For wine enthusiasts, a visit to Herdade da Comporta vineyard is a must. Here, you can indulge in a wine tasting experience that showcases the flavors and aromas of the Alentejo region.
Lunch at Tasca da Comporta (Sublime, Comporta) - easy, relaxed lunch at this amazing hotel property set on a 42 acre estate of umbrella pines and cork trees. Don’t miss the grilled chorizo.
If you're feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at surfing on the low waves of Carvalhal Beach? Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, the thrill of riding the waves is an experience you won't soon forget. Surf lessons are a fun way to get your toes wet!
Beach lunch at Sublime Comporta Beach Club is the best way to spend the afternoon. It’s bohemian fantasy vibes with amazing food, spectacular views of Carvalhal beach and fun crowd (reservations a must.)
Need to Know
I traveled on my own - and it was wonderful to slowly explore this part of Portugal and return to the magical Vermelho to decompress.
This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal. In need of further inspiration? Check out Rebecca Hanson‘s guide, More Than Shoes: My Fantastic Visit to Christian Louboutin's Boutique Hotel in Portugal — Vermelho.
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