The world’s most fashionable place to stay? Inside designer Christian Louboutin’s first-ever hotel


Could this be the world’s most fashionable hotel? It’s certainly going to be a top choice for the well-heeled.

Vermelho, the first-ever hotel to be created by legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin, has opened its doors in Portugal.

Newly built, the 13-room ‘secret getaway’ is nestled in the heart of Melides, a little coastal village in the country’s Alentejo region.

The name ‘Vermelho’ comes from the iconic shade of red that coats the sole of the designer’s shoes.

Christian Louboutin, who founded his eponymous brand in Paris in 1992, says: ‘I realised many people have the fantasy of designing or owning a hotel. I like to make my dreams a reality. That is why Vermelho is born.’

Vermelho, the first-ever hotel to be designed by the legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin, has opened its doors in Portugal

Newly built, the 13-room ‘secret getaway’ is nestled in the heart of Melides, a little coastal village in Portugal’s Alentejo region

Newly built, the 13-room ‘secret getaway’ is nestled in the heart of Melides, a little coastal village in Portugal’s Alentejo region

Christian Louboutin, who founded his eponymous brand in Paris in 1992, says: ‘Many people have the fantasy of designing or owning a hotel'

The name ‘Vermelho’ comes from the iconic shade of red that coats the sole of the designer’s shoes

Christian Louboutin, who founded his eponymous brand in Paris in 1992, says: ‘Many people have the fantasy of designing or owning a hotel.’ The name ‘Vermelho’ comes from the iconic shade of red that coats the sole of the designer’s shoes

The French fashion maven continues: ‘This project allows me to empty my storage full of antiques and objects I have purchased over many years! Furthermore, it is an opportunity to show the excellence of many artists and artisans I admire.’

The designer first passed through Melides a dozen years ago, and was quickly ‘mesmerised’ by the ‘dreamy atmosphere’ of the village’s pine forest and ‘the unique beauty of the sunlight on [its] lagoon’.

Smitten, he restored a small fisherman’s shack in the village and has returned there every June since to design his winter shoe collection.

Set to bring fashion lovers around the globe to Melides, Louboutin’s new hotel – which welcomed its first guests in April – is said to offer a ‘home-like experience’ amidst décor that offers an ‘eclectic, maximalist aesthetic’.

The retreat is filled with antiques and objects that the fashion maven has purchased 'over many years'

The retreat is filled with antiques and objects that the fashion maven has purchased ‘over many years’

The hotel is said to offer a ‘home-like experience’ amidst decor that offers an ‘eclectic, maximalist aesthetic’

The hotel is said to offer a ‘home-like experience’ amidst decor that offers an ‘eclectic, maximalist aesthetic’

Louboutin says that launching the hotel gave him the opportunity to 'show the excellence' of many artists and artisans that he admires

Louboutin says that launching the hotel gave him the opportunity to ‘show the excellence’ of many artists and artisans that he admires

The designer first passed through Melides a dozen years ago, and was quickly ‘mesmerised’ by the ‘dreamy atmosphere’ of the village’s pine forest and ‘the unique beauty of the sunlight on [its] lagoon’

The designer first passed through Melides a dozen years ago, and was quickly ‘mesmerised’ by the ‘dreamy atmosphere’ of the village’s pine forest and ‘the unique beauty of the sunlight on [its] lagoon’

In building Vermelho, he enlisted the help of the architect Madalena Caiado, with whom he collaborated on the design of his Lisbon home, which lies little more than an hour north of Melides.

Stroll into the lobby and you’ll spy a ‘gigantic’ green and gold gigantic glass-blown chandelier that has been crafted by artisans in India.

The Greek painter Konstantin Kakanias embellished the walls of a suite on the second floor of the hotel, with the artist noting: ‘The suite that I painted for Vermelho is basically inspired by the famous Villa Kerylos [an Ancient-Greek-Revival-style villa built in the early 1900s] in the south of France, but also pays tribute to 17th and 18th-century frescoed Italian villas and imaginary places that I would have liked to visit. 

‘Like Christian himself, it is a mosaic of memories, feelings and desires.’

During a stay at the boutique retreat, guests can indulge in spa treatments and massages

During a stay at the boutique retreat, guests can indulge in spa treatments and massages

Guests can sip on cocktails at the Vermelho bar, home to a decadent silver-leaf-covered bar counter

The hotel is said to embody 'the quintessence of the audacious spirit that so defines Christian Louboutin'

Guests can sip on cocktails at the Vermelho bar (left), home to a decadent silver-leaf-covered bar counter. The hotel is said to embody ‘the quintessence of the audacious spirit that so defines Christian Louboutin’

Standout decorative features in the property include the colourful tiles, which have been crafted in Portugal’s Azeitao region

Standout decorative features in the property include the colourful tiles, which have been crafted in Portugal’s Azeitao region

The hotel’s restaurant, Xtian, is run by Chef David Abreu

The hotel’s restaurant, Xtian, is run by Chef David Abreu

There’s more ‘exuberant’ artwork from the sculptor Elisabeth Lincot – her ‘Lagrima de Loros’ installation in the hotel is composed of a hundred glazed ceramic bird heads.

Other standout decorative features in the property include the colourful tiles, which have been crafted in Portugal’s Azeitao region.

During a stay, guests can indulge in spa treatments and massages, or sip on cocktails at the Vermelho bar, home to a decadent silver-leaf-covered bar counter.

The hotel’s restaurant, Xtian, is said to plate up the ‘culinary treasures of Portugal’. It’s run by Chef David Abreu, whose signature dishes include wild boar stew followed by ‘drunk pears’ – pears cooked in a wine-based syrup – for dessert.

Summing up the ethos of the retreat, a statement says: ‘Embodying the quintessence of the audacious spirit that so defines Christian Louboutin, Vermelho Melides is an exclusive, yet friendly hotel, open to the world while celebrating Iberian Peninsula savoir-faire and traditions.’

Rooms are priced from £452. Visit vermelhohotel.com



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