Inspired by Portuguese culture, Louboutin has opened Vermelho, an intimate, maximalist luxury bolthole in the tranquil village of Melides. Rose Dykins reports
Designer Christian Louboutin has opened his first hospitality project, Vermelho. A luxury boutique property with 13 rooms, managed by Marugal Hotel Management, Vermelho is situated deep in Portugal’s Alentejo region, inland from the west coast, and south of Lisbon.
Louboutin has a long-standing admiration for Portugal and the area, having spent time designing his collections in the country and drawing inspiration from its: “unique light and culture of the people”.
The name Vermelho – meaning “red” in Portuguese – is an homage to his signature colour, while the property’s design is a tribute to the region’s nature and heritage. Offering a gentle pace of life, Melides is home to a flourishing creative community. The village appealed to Louboutin’s passion for art, crafts and culture, and he has spent time here surrounding himself with the artisans, artists and craftspeople whose work is nurtured by the peaceful atmosphere and the inspiring backdrop of vineyards, rice fields, white cobbled squares and Atlantic ocean views. Vermelho’s interiors showcase Louboutin’s eclectic, maximalist aesthetic, and incorporate furniture, art and ceramics personally sourced by the designer. The hotel’s decor is intimate, warm and vibrant, offering a “home-away-from-home” experience that celebrates Portuguese talent and traditions.
Xtian, the hotel’s restaurant serves timeless Portuguese dishes, while Vermelho bar is a relaxed setting for cocktails. Spa treatments are also available to guests. Speaking about Vermelho, Louboutin says: “I realised many people have the fantasy of designing or owning a hotel. I like to make my dreams a reality. That is why Vermelho is born. This project allows me to empty my storage full of antiques and objects I have purchased over many years! Furthermore, it is an opportunity to show the excellence of many artists and artisans I admire.”To develop Vermelho, Louboutin called upon Lusitanian architect Madalena Caiado, whom he had already collaborated with on his Lisbon house, while his long-time friend Carolina Irving advised on the hotel’s textile creations and overall decoration. His friend Patricia Medina helped connect distinctive Iberian artisans with a with contemporary architectural visionaries to bring the hotel to life.
French landscape architect, Louis Benech – regarded as one of the most remarkable landscape architects of his generation – designed the hotel’s colourful gardens, which are intended to blend harmoniously with the wider landscape.
Room rates at Vermelho start from €400 per night, including breakfast.