Ver­ride Palá­cio Santa Cata­rina

Epicure - - CONTENTS -

Blend­ing old-world charm with lovely weather and a bur­geon­ing culi­nary scene, Lis­bon has climbed the ranks to be­come one of the world’s most de­sir­able travel des­ti­na­tions. The pres­ence of the 18th cen­tury palace-turned-bou­tique-ho­tel, Ver­ride Palá­cio Santa Cata­rina, makes Por­tu­gal’s cap­i­tal even more ir­re­sistible. By Justina Tan

From its sto­ried past to cen­tury-old wooden trams and fu­nic­u­lars to its cob­bled streets and di­verse ar­chi­tec­ture, Lis­bon is teem­ing with char­ac­ter. An apt ad­di­tion to Lis­bon’s vi­brant, sun-kissed cityscape, Ver­ride Palá­cio Santa Cata­rina is carved from an 18th cen­tury palace that was pre­vi­ously home to a Por­tuguese count, a bank, and even pop-up art ex­hi­bi­tions.

Since of­fi­cially launch­ing six months ago, the 19-room lux­ury bou­tique ho­tel has quickly gained a rep­u­ta­tion as the city’s most stylish ho­tel. Perched on the Santa Cata­rina hill­top at the edge of the cul­ture-rich Chi­ado district, the four-storey town­house of­fers sump­tu­ous views of the At­lantic Ocean and the Ta­gus River’s scenic bay from its top floor ter­race. Sunny-hued trams trun­dle up and down the same street, while the fas­ci­nat­ing Phar­macy Mu­seum nearby in­trigues with medic­i­nal arte­facts of yore.

Blend­ing seam­lessly with its quaint sur­round­ings, Ver­ride Palá­cio Santa Cata­rina is a mar­riage of old and new. Renowned ar­chi­tect Teresa Nunes da Ponte and in­te­rior de­signer Andrea Previ breathed new life into the 263-year-old her­itage build­ing with a fas­tid­i­ous hand. “The ex­cep­tional lo­ca­tion and in­trin­sic value of the struc­ture served as in­spi­ra­tion and a start­ing point for its re­fur­bish­ment. One of the big­gest chal­lenges we faced was cre­at­ing a fresh and con­tem­po­rary at­mos­phere within an old build­ing with­out hurt­ing its her­itage,” shares Nunes da Ponte.

Re­gal restora­tion

Us­ing the struc­ture’s Pom­ba­line con­struc­tion – a Por­tuguese ar­chi­tec­tural style of the 18th cen­tury – as a foun­da­tion for the ho­tel’s de­sign con­cept, Nunes da Ponte and Previ re­cov­ered Ver­ride Palá­cio’s orig­i­nal build­ing el­e­ments wher­ever pos­si­ble. This in­cluded restora­tion of or­na­men­tal ceil­ings, the dra­matic curved wrought iron stair­case, orig­i­nal stuc­cowork, and 18th cen­tury Azulejo tiles.

To add bal­ance to the build­ing’s or­nate ‘hard­ware’, the rooms and suites are decked in a warm, neu­tral pal­ette of pale grey, beige, soft blue and light brown, and fit­ted with mod­ern fur­nish­ings such as cus­tom de Gour­nay silk wall pan­els, AJ floor lamps, and pur­ple or blue glass baubles by artists Irene Buar­que and Cláu­dio Goulart. Mean­while, the ma­te­ri­als used are lush and tac­tile – think vel­vet, raw linen and wool rugs in soft, com­fort­ing tones. Gen­er­ously sized win­dows are worked into the struc­ture to al­low Lis­bon’s sig­na­ture golden light to flood the spa­ces.

Many of the fur­ni­ture pieces were de­signed by Nunes da Ponte and Previ specif­i­cally for this project, in­clud­ing the stun­ning ebony con­soles in the Yel­low Room – a plush space that con­nects the two Royal Suites – and the rein­vented Art Deco style wardrobes in the sec­ond-floor gue­strooms. “I’m proud of how we’ve con­served the el­e­ments from var­i­ous styles and cen­turies – par­tially dis­cov­ered dur­ing con­struc­tion – and har­monised them through a de­sign of sharp and sim­ple lines,” says Nunes da Ponte.

The suites, in par­tic­u­lar, per­fectly show­case Nunes da Ponte’s and Previ’s work. De­tails like Ro­coco-style mould­ing, carved wooden ceil­ings and hand-painted 18th cen­tury Por­tuguese tiles are flaw­lessly com­bined with de Gour­nay wall­pa­per and be­spoke fur­ni­ture by the dy­namic duo. Each suite fea­tures a free-stand­ing mar­ble bath­tub, with some of­fer­ing breath­tak­ing views of the Ta­gus River. The Queen’s Suite is em­bel­lished with stuc­cowork and

its bath­room is sur­rounded with blue and white Azulejo-tiled mu­rals from 1901; the King’s Suite has a spec­tac­u­lar wooden cof­fered ceil­ing; and the Arch Suite boasts an 18th cen­tury ex­posed stone arch.

A taste of Por­tu­gal

While the gue­strooms and suites are cer­tainly highlights of

Ver­ride Palá­cio Santa Cata­rina, the rest of the prop­erty is no less mag­nif­i­cent. Fur­nished with din­ing ta­bles made from sal­vaged tim­ber floors from the old struc­ture, the restau­rants in­clude Suba, a chic gas­tro bar that serves an in­cred­i­ble city view to­gether with con­tem­po­rary Por­tuguese cui­sine; and Criatura, a restau­rant with rust-hued vaulted ceil­ings that of­fers com­mu­nal Por­tuguese dishes with a twist. There’s also a break­fast room with French doors that open up to an out­door ter­race with a bi­jou glass-en­cased lap pool of­fer­ing views of the neigh­bour­ing rooftops.

“Quiet, el­e­gant and lo­cal was the motto that guided the in­te­rior de­sign process. The rich­ness and di­ver­sity of the ho­tel’s sur­round­ings trans­ferred to its in­te­ri­ors. The pop­u­lar Bica neigh­bour­hood, the river’s ever-changing colours, and the aris­to­cratic palaces that sur­round this site all some­how found a way in,” shares Nunes da Ponte with pride.

Cus­tom de Gour­nay wall­pa­per adds an el­e­gant touch to the Queen’s Suite.

In­tri­cate Azulejo-tiled mu­rals in this bath­room per­fectly com­ple­ment the free-stand­ing mar­ble bath­tub.

The build­ing’s orig­i­nal Ro­coco-style mould­ing is beau­ti­fully show­cased in the Queen’s Suite.

The Yel­low Room is a plush space that con­nects the two Royal Suites. The curved wrought iron stair­case was pre­served from the orig­i­nal struc­ture. The vaulted cel­ings in Criatura restau­rant add depth to the space.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.