Photography © do mal o menos
Situated deep in the idyllic and peaceful Alentejo wine region of Portugal, the Torre de Palma Wine Hotel is, for the first time, welcoming guests to experience the ultimate wine tasting and adventure holiday. Guests are invited to experience the majestic history of the manor house, its vineyards and winemaking process and the many adventurous activities on offer. The hotel has been painstakingly restored to fuse past and present offering luxury alongside a tradition. The hotel was renovated with a view to the future; sustainability informed the choice of materials, such as Kebony wood, and renewable energy sources are used throughout.
Aside from the draw of the vineyard, grape-picking, wine tasting and wine making experience, the hotel allows guests to explore the beauty and wonder of the surrounding landscape through its canoeing, hot air ballooning and white water adventures. After the daytime activities guests can enjoy the comforts of the hotel, which offers a pool, cinema, bar and the Basilii Restaurant, which uses seasonal produce harvest from the vegetable garden for the decadent tasting menu. For those wanting to relax they can enjoy the hotel’s luxurious Alentejo spa, inspired by the nearby Torre de Palma Roman ruins.
The architecture tells the history of this magical place, which dates back to 1338, when the land was first owned by the Portuguese Crown and then subsequently by noble families who were responsible for making the area into the celebrated wine growing region it is today, which is responsible for half of the country’s wine production. A treasure lost in time near the village of Vaiamonte, the building has tower and ramparts offering guests spectacular views over the Alentejo landscape. The land around the complex, designed by the architect, includes a vineyard by a historic levada – a traditional irrigation trench – and a new swimming pool, decked in Kebony wood, the sustainable alternative to tropical timber.
Isabel Rebelo and Paulo Barradas, the hotel said: “After a lot of work we are happy to be welcoming guests to enjoy the simplicity and sophistication of this newly renovated recluse in the heart of the Portuguese wine region. Wood has, throughout time, been considered a noble material for its strength, resistance and imposing presence and its application to the design and final look is impressive. Kebony has again made wood a viable construction material as a sustainable alternative to tropical hardwoods.”
Adrian Pye from Kebony said: “The Torre de Palma Wine Hotel is a beautiful hotel that has focused on the sustainable aspects of this incredible restoration project in the design and the materials it has chosen. The appearance and durability of Kebony beautifully complements the landscape and will develop a grey patina over time.”
“The project was designed and delivered by architect João Mendes Ribeiro (with architect Luísa Bebiano in the Wine Cellar and Cottar House buildings).” The project was shortlisted for the Portuguese Prize for Wood Architecture and the wood was supplied by Banema, the Portuguese distributor of Kebony. The Torre de Palma Wine Hotel was also shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award 2015, one of the most prestigious and important architecture prizes in Europe.”