Solar de Vila Meã Boasts the Best of Portuguese Craft Traditions

In the lush vineyards a short distance from Porto, Joana Aranha Studio restores a secluded 19th-century manor house into a colorful 29-room hotel whose panoramic views of rolling hills are sure to delight oenophiles.

Opening Shot is a column that peeks inside new hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops with dreamy interiors.


Location: Barcelos, Portugal

Designer: Joana Aranha Studio

On Offer: Just 30 minutes from Porto and into the vineyards of Minha, where the grape for the region’s signature vino verde grows, a late 19th-century villa is the new home to Solar de Vila Meã. Joana Aranha restored the Manor House and a main building into a hotel with the best of Portuguese craft traditions: wicker accessories, embroidered textiles, and clay pottery. Such terracotta—formed into pots and strung like beads from rope, or hung like dripping wall sconces—create a backdrop for the Barro Restaurant, whose Spanish-inflected menu takes its cues equally from haute cuisine and seasonal bounties. Buffet tables are clad in Todobarro terracotta tiles, while the tables are the Joana Aranha Signature designers, with iron feet and tops of chestnut, crisped up with Pierre Frey fabrics.

Standout Amenities: The 29 suites are split between the two original structures. In the Modern Building, 22 of them include six duplexes, each sporting its own color scheme and fleet of antiques complimenting material palettes of lush velvets and linens. But the Manor House is the ultimate destination: just past an opulent Honesty Bar and lounge, seven suites offer their own kind of intoxication via one-of-a-kind panoramic murals of vistas inspired by the area’s rolling, romantic landscapes. For a glimpse of the real thing, guests can detox in the spa’s outdoor pool and lounge, rooms for massage and skincare treatments, and dips in the indoor pool and jacuzzi, all before returning to the restaurant for another glass or two of the local specialities.

Images courtesy of Joana Aranha Studio

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