To be honest, Portugal’s Ericeira, about an hour northwest of Lisbon, isn’t precisely some model new discovery. It’s been on the radar for some time now—not less than for surfers. Its waves are extra accessible than the big ones up the coast at Nazaré, however reliably attention-grabbing for a spread of talent ranges, which is why it’s Europe’s solely “surf reserve.” However whereas the city itself retains plenty of the allure of the fishing village that it as soon as was, its companies have tended towards hostels, surf faculties and cafés serving açaí and quinoa bowls.
That modified this summer season with the opening of two new five-star motels within the common environment of the city—not strolling distance however inside straightforward attain should you include a automotive. (Name them Ericeir-ish.) Surfers are nonetheless greater than welcome after all, however additionally they supply rather a lot to individuals who don’t care about chasing waves. And, becoming a member of with the prevailing lodge You and the Sea, they’re set to alter the enchantment and notion of Ericeira.
To make certain, Ericeira is unlikely to turn into the brand new Comporta, not less than not anytime quickly. However now it’s turning into a spot that guarantees its personal model of gradual journey. It’s a vacation spot for individuals who respect nature (not simply seashores), fashionable design, high quality supplies and good meals, however with out the glamour or the necessity to see and be seen.
The primary lodge to alter the notion and place of Ericeira is Immerso (as in “immersion in nature”), which opened earlier, and which is constructed right into a hillside to assist it mix into its environment and to make sure that every of the 37 rooms has a superb ocean view, particularly at sundown. Actually, the tv is to the aspect of the mattress, making it a bit awkward to look at—the concept is to look straight forward, out the window, as an alternative.
The design, by Portuguese architect Tiago Silva Dias and designers Alexandra Almeida d’Eca (one of many founders of the lodge) and Bárbara Neto, is easy, with concrete flooring, woven rugs in pure colours, natural shapes, artisan furnishings and textures from the land and sea. They labored plenty of artists on gadgets for the rooms, indoor lounge, lengthy terrace and pool deck and hearth pit.
The spa is extra formidable than it must be, with warmth and moist areas, three remedy rooms and a menu of companies based mostly on the vegan, pure skincare model Vinoble Cosmetics. The therapeutic massage checklist ranges from Japanese shiatsu to scorching stones to Ayurveda.
The restaurant, Emme, additionally takes its cues from the lodge house owners’ acutely aware, native and pure philosophy. Dogma apart, its fairly good, with a quick however tasty menu, a vigorous relaxed eating room and snappy service. The consulting chef is Alexandre Silva, who holds a Michelin star at his Lisbon restaurant Loco and earned a status for his glorious cooking with hearth at Lisbon’s Fogo and the Alentejo’s Craveiral FarmTable.
Executed right here by resident chef Paulo Pedro (ex-Fortaleza do Guincho), the menu is powerful on native fish and seafood—the trio of oysters is a wonderful starter, and the straightforward important programs are tasty—with some greens from the natural kitchen backyard and saline-tasting vegetation from the ocean combined in. The unfold for the breakfast buffet is nicely above common. When it opens later this autumn, Emme on Fireplace will likely be an out of doors, communal eating expertise based mostly on meals cooked over an open hearth—what they’re calling a “medievally festive” expertise.
By coincidence, Immerso was joined final week by Aethos Ericeira, an unrelated lodge that additionally occurs to prioritize consciousness, nature, group, wellness and design. On prime of a 130-foot-high cliff in a nature reserve, it has spectacular pure gentle and wonderful views over the Atlantic. It’s a part of the the Aethos group (after the Greek “ethos,” or attribute spirit of a tradition), a set of members golf equipment and boutique motels in Europe that was based by a pair of worldwide serial entrepreneurs who need to create a “world household of acutely aware explorers.”
On the Ericeira lodge, which was designed by the Barcelona studio Astet and Portuguese architect Luís Pedra Silva, which means 50 suites and rooms that mix pure tones, supplies and textures with the clear traces and mushy simplicity of modernist design. The premium rooms have superb views over the ocean, generally with personal terraces.
On the restaurant, Onda (“wave”), chef Afonso Blazes and his staff deal with shareable, sustainable fish and seafood from the encompassing coast, with loads of greens within the combine. The dinner menu contains dishes like asparagus with recent inexperienced curry, bergamot gel and sourdough croutons, and squid “noodles” with pickled mushrooms and dashi. The oysters listed below are glorious as nicely.
According to the Aethos philosophy, there’s a powerful wellness part, together with a spa that makes use of natural merchandise from Sweden’s Underneath the Pores and skin model, a gymnasium with professional trainers, yoga courses with world-class instructors, a meditation deck overlooking the Atlantic and a stone-trimmed saltwater pool. However this Ericeira—and browsing checks fairly a couple of of those self same wellness bins. (I dare you to consider something aside from browsing whenever you’re doing it.)
And Aethos being a five-star lodge, it has its personal luxurious tackle the game. It has a devoted surf concierge, onsite storage amenities for boards and wetsuits, and onsite leases. It additionally has a relationship with Joana Andrade, Portugal’s first feminine huge wave surfer and champion a number of occasions over. She additionally began Portugal’s first feminine surf faculty in 1998, and continues to educate professionals in addition to rookies.
Aethos visitors of any talent stage can guide a non-public session together with her and achieve rather a lot by way of abilities and particularly confidence in a short while. It’s a luxurious model of browsing for certain, and in addition very a lot in keeping with the brand new course of Ericeira.