14/08/2015

Vidago Palace, the Portuguese hotel that rose from the ashes

The history of this luxurious property in northern Portugal did not allow that its facilities were enjoyed by those who commissioned its construction. The King Carlos I of Portugal was the one who, taking advantage of extraordinary conditions of the mineral waters of the parish of Vidago, in the town of Chaves, launched the construction of what would be the next summer residence of his family. After the murder of the king, his son and successor Manuel II continued with the plans that his father had set but, like him, failed to take the palace designed by architect José Ferreira da Costa which, coincidentally, was opened the same month of the proclamation of the first Republic of Portugal, in 1910. After opening, the complex was used as a hotel and its main customers were the members of the European aristocracy, who were attracted by the beneficial properties to health of its waters.

After a period of prosperity in the post-war, the hotel closed its doors in 2006 and not reopened again until the 6th of October 2010, coinciding with the celebration of its centennial. Portuguese drinks group Unicer was commissioned to provide the investment needed to rehabilitate the complex maintaining the sophistication and charm of the original building and at the same time adding all the luxuries needed for a five-star hotel of the 21st century. It was so successful the restoration carried out by the designers José Pedro Lopes and Diego Rosa that the Vidago Palace has today with the honor of belonging to the group Leading Hostels of the World , in which only those accommodations that meet stipulated standards of excellence are included.

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Majesty on the outside

A forest of centenary sequoias, camellias and magnolias leads to the main entrance of the hotel, which has in its vicinity partially hidden sources of medicinal water in small palaces style Art Nouveau . The imposing facade of the Vidago Palace, replete with balconies and terraces situated opposite a small lake, and gives us enough background on what we see in the interior rooms.

Another external demands of this new era of Vidago Palace, in addition to its stunning pool is the golf course that has been expanded from 9 holes he had in his original design of 1936 by the Scottish architect Philip Mackenzie Ross , to the current 18 holes that put him among the best in the country.

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Heterogeneity on the inside

The mixture of tradition and modernity is a criterion that applies to each of the 70 rooms, of which 4 are suites. In all the extreme care that has been given to the decoration, combining antique furniture with modern design details is perceived, both styles connected by a palette of colors ranging from pastels to the most strong colors such as blue night. In the large bathrooms have been able to reproduce the original appearance through the incorporation of parts of vintage style without neglecting the necessary time for the proper functioning of each of the services technology.

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The glamour of the Belle Époque can be seen in each of the large dining rooms located at the four resort restaurants of the hotel. In them it is where the palatial character of the original design of the Vidago Palace is perceived. In addition to sample dishes of the highest quality in its restaurants, the hotel offers the chance to taste the most famous wines of the region at its winery, located on the ground floor.

Unlike the rest of the palace, decorated with a model based on the Art Nouveau style, its spa of 2,000 square meters – designed by the architect Alvaro Siza Viera – , located in a separate building, has a minimalist design with a predominance of white and large windows that provide light and help guests to relax in their coveted waters or receiving beauty treatments in any of its twenty rooms. The spa has three pools, one indoor and one for children

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