A lesson in monochromatic modernism on Portugal’s wild Atlantic coast, Memmo Baleeira has long established itself as a hub for design aficionados, surf junkies, and nature lovers alike.
Not content with standing still, however, the first sun-dappled days of spring herald the unveiling of the 144-room hotel’s fresh new look—the results of an extensive renovation project comprising the creation of restaurant “Fornaria Memmo”, complete remodeling of the outdoor pool area, and a reinvigorated aesthetic. Throw in a newly refurbished wellness space, children’s play areas complete with climbing wall, and bike and surfboard stations, and you have the epitome of a house for all seasons.
Set amid a dramatic landscape that is characterized by pristine beaches, jagged cliffs, and the thumping roar of the Atlantic surf, it is little wonder that the creative team at Memmo Baleeira looked to its surroundings for design inspiration. The hotel’s former white-on-white aesthetic has been lifted with earthy tones and the use of raw, natural materials, while clusters of lush foliage are a nod to the area’s pastoral verdure. In the public areas, neutral, sand-colored rugs and sofas upholstered in tonal linens add warmth while maintaining the hotel’s unique brand of restful minimalism, allowing for its spectacular locale to take centerstage. The hotel’s 144 guestrooms feature a refreshed color palette of greys and browns, augmented by signature design pieces such as the blue-and-white throws traditionally crafted from pure mountain wool by sustainable Portuguese brand Burel.
Paying homage to the area’s gastronomic heritage is central to the ethos of the hotel’s first-floor restaurant Fornaria Memmo. An open wood-fired oven is at the heart of the culinary concept, which focuses on regional produce and locally-caught fish prepared simply in dishes such as “roasted octopus in rosemary olive oil” and “black linguini with shrimp and cuttlefish”. The refreshing simplicity of the menu is complemented by the clean lines of the restaurant’s interiors, which are defined by off-white walls and natural wooden cabinetry. Cozy rattan sofas with plush throw cushions and Scandinavian chairs from the hotel’s original Sixties’ incarnation sit alongside modern design masterpieces from the likes of Philippe Starck and Tom Vac, while the stoneware is a feat of ceramic craftsmanship courtesy of Costa Nova.
From its position stretched flat on a hill, Memmo Baleeira overlooks the charming village of Sagres and, of course, the vast expanse of windswept coastline. Providing the perfect perch from which to soak up the breathtaking views, the outdoor pool area has undergone a complete transformation. A sun-drenched deck dotted with loungers frames the heated pool, while the newly established poolside bar ensures that sundowners flow way past sunset. For those drawn to the siren call of the crashing waves below, the hotel’s new surfboard store and rental is a very welcome addition to Memmo’s existing surf school that offers unrivalled access to the Sagres surf scene. The bike station, on the other hand, opens up the myriad of trails through the brooding clifftops and heady eucalyptus woods to give guests an invaluable insight into this untamed corner of the Algarve.
Closer to home, smaller guests are well served by the opening of two children’s play areas, complete with climbing wall and trampolines. Meanwhile, adults can unwind and recharge at the enhanced wellness area, which features an indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, and spacious gym.