Located in Portugal, this long, snaking sleeping and dining complex is a stunning example of modern stay-in wine resort design, made for the most elite of occupants. Crafted to nearly invisible from the side of its entrance, the building is the polar opposite when seen from the vineyard below. Featuring a restaurant and pool/spa facilities on one end, the accommodations are filled to the brim with amenities, and each room is large enough to be considered a modern home in its own right. It’s easily one of the most remarkable and well-thought-out hotel designs in recent memory.
A number of extremely clever design choices have been made to keep the glass area of this huge complex impressive. The building’s angle changes are built into the shape of the rock face that it crowns, and keep the forward views of each room from direct sight of the interior of any others. At the back, the view is of the rock face the hotel is built into, and a long hallway runs the length of the building’s rear to make sure that rooms remain private while still seeming completely open to an all-encompassing view of the vineyards. The actual form of the hotel sinks into the landscape in a similar fashion to a Frank Lloyd Wright design, and subtly sprouts from a snaking path that leads onto the property. The entirety of the building, as a result, comes off as a natural addition to the landscape instead of a glaring stereotypical resort block, and also exudes a class unmatched by those concrete rectangles familiar to many tourists.
The end of the building, which is its widest section, includes all the public amenities of the resort and some of its most commanding views. The main feature of this area is the building’s restaurant, with a selection of wine from the vineyards (obviously) and world-class food.
The end section of the building gives direct access to grassy paths leading through the rocks into the vineyard, as well as a general common area directly outside the restaurant. The landscape is well-sculpted, but still has a natural feel to it.
As the building leads on toward the guest rooms, the ground drops away and the view out the window becomes more elevated. Each room has an entire window wall to see all that the vineyard has to offer.
On the other side of the building, window walls along the back hallway provide well-lit views of the attractive rock face the hotel was built in front of (and onto, in some places).
The resort’s every curve and corner matches the rocks in the back, meaning that not enough light enters the hallway during the day to be blinding or uncomfortably hot. On the other side of the building on the glass walls of the individual rooms, the extended roofline keeps the sun’s glare out of the way while providing unobstructed views.
Since the building springs from a path leading onto the property, visitors can traverse the length of the roof to enjoy even higher views of the winery fields.
At the end of the initial path which leads from a roadway, a staircase leads down into the main building. While some may continue on along the top for the views, most of the time visitors will descend towards their rooms or the restaurant.
Since the back hallway might be a problem point for privacy, glass is kept to the outside-facing wall. The wooden doors to each room are kept solidly private so no prying eyes can make it inside.
Each room is as modern as the overall building, with open space abound. Because of the carefully-sculpted shape of the hotel, rather intimate areas like bedding and showers can be kept close to the windows with no fear of being seen by fellow guests or vineyard workers. This innovation keeps the bedroom space from being dark and isolated like a traditional hotel room.
The pool is in a cool concrete room, with the only decoration being a large, waterproof modern couch. For relaxation at the end of the day, it provides a water-resistant and stress-free environment.
In the restaurant area, the building was shaped around the largest of rock protrusions on the property, creating an indoor geological treat for guests to behold.
The entire building encircles half the hill’s crown, giving a brilliant crescent shape when seen from above.
From the fields themselves, the hotel is much more imposing than the flat plane seen from the hill’s crest. Jutting from the hillside, its elegant modernity graces the slopes.
As shown here, the pathway to the resort starts at a nearby road and slowly gets larger before turning into the building’s roof. The texture of the pathway is kept consistent from the roadway to the rooftop’s end.