This 1940’s inn is perched high on the mountain top with one of Portugal’s most panoramic views: the Serra da Estrela, the village of Manteigas, and its glacier valley. At 4000 feet, it does take some cool blooded driving along the tiniest mountain roads before you get to admire the beauty and serenity of this 5-star hotel: Casa de São Lourenço, a celebration of Portuguese art and design.
Established initially as a small inn in 1940, the hotel was a pioneer through its small size and original designer. Celebrated Portuguese artist Maria Keil was the original designer of the inn, and through the remodel, many of her original furniture was kept intact until today. Many of her graphics and ideas have been incorporated in the newly designed rooms and public spaces, paying homage to the iconic artist.
The architecture firm Site Specific Arquitectura and interiors firm P06 Atelier installed an impressive balance between the historical and the contemporary, between the guests and the surroundings. The new construction, wrapping the original inn, serves as a contemplation device to observe the mountain ranges and valleys. The property is a testimonial of Portuguese design, and the interiors inform the guests about local traditions, history, and materials. One of the hotel’s main themes is Burel, a wool type specific to the Serra da Estrela area. The Burel wool covers walls, art installations, hand-painted panels, and intricate ceiling constructions. The designers sourced all Burel materials from the local Burel wool factory, which has been established by the hotel owners to keep the Burel wool tradition alive.