Grand House Algarve – A belle époque classic

It is the oldest hotel in the south of Portugal and one of the first luxury hotels of the Belle Époque. Its owners, the Ramirez family (owners of the oldest canning company in the world) opened this hotel in 1926 to receive the influential elite of the time, creating new standards in Portuguese hospitality. It is currently a Grand House, with all the glamor and grandeur that characterizes it, an icon in the city of Vila Real de Santo António, in the Algarve.

It was designed by the Swiss architect Ernesto Korrodi and was initially called Hotel Guadiana, in honor of the river that flows through the city, and being a historical landmark, it marked the starting point for tourism in the Algarve at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s been almost 100 years, where legends and stories abound, and when we arrive at the hotel we feel its grandeur, with Art Nouveau elements and a whole mystery that fascinates me in historic hotels, but at the same time it’s welcoming, especially because the Grand House was designed as if it were a Grand Residence and not like a hotel.

This is our home, full of corners, libraries and spaces to curl up and read a book. Our Grand Suite is a large space with stunning views over the river and exuberant decor, with crystal chandeliers and tall windows that let the splendor of natural light shine through in an eclectic style that combines Art Nouveau with more contemporary elements, harmoniously elegant.

Grand Cuisine accompanies all the splendor of the house, in an alchemy of flavors that celebrates Portuguese gastronomy and the culture that embraces its elements – land, sun and sea – with organic and local ingredients. In the morning, breakfast is divine with an à la carte service and a complete offer of healthy and extremely delicious delicacies. In turn, the Tasting Menu at the Grand Salon is a refined experience, with excellent and discreet service, in a relaxed and inspiring environment. The good wine and the genuine flavors, the contemplation of the sunset that shines on the river, the natural light that slowly falls and transforms the atmosphere of the room, more and more welcoming. These little moments are pure luxury, the best that life has to offer.

In a setting that celebrates nature, where the Guadiana River meets the sea, the Grand Beach Club is an oasis of leisure. Here everything is beautiful and relaxed: an infinity pool with sunbeds, the boats that cruise on the river, the tables made up of delicacies from Portuguese cuisine: seafood, fresh fish or salads, accompanied by delicious cocktails and a very tempting menu of land and sea, the perfect lifestyle for this summer! The Grand House is a story of passion and authenticity, a unique hotel that provides an experience that goes far beyond material luxury. Marita Barth, the general manager, together with the entire team of dedicated professionals, provide us with truly unique moments, which deserve to be “savored” with time and peace of mind, collecting memories that we know we will keep.

By Carla Branco


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