Santa Bárbara | Ribeira Grande, São Miguel | Azores, Portugal

Santa Bárbara | Ribeira Grande, São Miguel | Azores, Portugal

The Vibe: Eco beach.

The Area: Located along the picturesque northern coast of São Miguel in the Azores; the natural black beaches strikingly contrast with the unique, almost magical, green pastures and mountain hues and the azure blue ocean.

The DNA: Not just another hotel, but a dream given form by João Reis, an entrepreneur and enthusiastic surfer. The Santa Bárbara‘s (named after the beach it directly sits on) architecture, the materials and the framing of the landscape were the three main concerns of the project. What resulted was a site that breathes in the island and coastal ecosystem, providing its visitors with a tranquil stay. Natural materials where prioritised, primarily the use of local wood (cryptomeria), cork and bamboo, and infused decorative elements that callback to traditional Azorean motifs and accents. The compound is dominated by a huge saltwater pool with submerged stone lounges and a manicured patio that provides views of the ocean that promise to relax and delight. A wooden deck was built on top of a cliff overlooking the beach, the perfect place to have a massage, while relaxing to the sound of the waves, wind and seabirds. Individual patios with thatch parasols provide personal spaces for meditation, leisure and peace. The gastronomic farm-to-table concept (with fresh produce right from the estate) is inspired by the historical routes of the Far East. Chef André Santos has developed several dishes inspired by Indian, Thai, Korean and Japanese cuisines that combine savory, aromatic and exotic tastes.

Suite-Me-Up: With its facades of cork and wood the spacious studios and villas blend harmoniously into the environment. Inside, dark polished cement is reminiscent of the volcanic rock of the Azores Islands. It is used not only as flooring, but also in wall and furniture design. The simple and plain ambience is livened up by colored textiles and the view through the large picture windows. They come with a small equipped kitchenette, a stylish living space and a spacious terrace with, depending on the accommodation, a private jacuzzi or access to a shared swimming pool with climatized salt water.

Your Hosts: Catarina & João Reis

✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters 14 studios, 7 one bedroom villas and 9 two bedroom villas (50-98m2) (538-1,055 sq ft) • hotel opened: June 2015 • architecture & interior design: m-arquitectos • bathroom amenities: VOYA ✅ free on-site parking • pets allowed • wheelchair accessible

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