Aethos Ericeira: a dreamy hotel on the Portuguese Coast
On more than one occasion, we have recommended projects that have been conceptualised and designed by Astet, the architecture and interior design studio formed by Ala Zreigat and Óscar Engroba. And this time we’ll do so again, because they are the creators of the Aethos Ericeira hotel, a truly beautiful luxury accommodation that is located at the top of a cliff with ocean views, where you can enjoy nature and connect with what really matters.
The Aethos Ericeira hotel is in Ericeira, the mecca of surfing, a 50-minute car journey from Lisbon and 1.5km away from the Praia da Calada beach. In other words, on the attractive Portuguese Costa de Plata, a coastline of approximately 240 kilometres of beaches, small fishing towns and ports. An unbeatable setting for this accommodation that reinvents luxury for surfers who are looking for waves, for slowlife enthusiasts and for anyone who loves sophisticated design spaces and places with charm.
“Aethos hotels are a true reflection of the different landscapes where they are located. Their owners are not your usual hoteliers and what they seek to create are destination hotels with a unique individuality.”
A luxury refuge of casual and cosmopolitan design to enjoy a holistic experience
As we were saying, the Aethos Ericeira is a destination hotel where you can go to enjoy a memorable experience. And there is no need to move from the location to enjoy that experience. This is a great advantage if what you are looking for is to disconnect from the daily routine and the frantic pace of the city as well as devoting your time to the dolce far niente, while making the most of the different services the hotel offers at your disposal.
“Aethos Ericeira stands out for its design, for being focused on wellbeing, for its unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean and for some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.”
The property has 50 rooms and suites, a wooden walkway along the edge of the cliff, a yoga and meditation deck, a gym, a heated saltwater pool, a spa with a hammam, a surf shop that transforms at night, a living area that also acts as a library and a co-working space, as well as the Onda restaurant.
All these spaces have stucco wall finishes, flooring made from limestone and/ or recycled synthetic paving that is versatile and interconnected.
With regard to the rooms, these have been decorated with oak furniture which was made to measure by Astet Studio, and that exudes the same delicate, yet not at all ostentatious, luxury as the rest of the spaces but in a more toned-down version to enable a more private, relaxing and intimate experience.
Most of them offer incredible views of the Ocean.
“The different spaces in the hotel have been designed to offer a holistic approach that promotes physical and mental wellbeing.”
Design integrated in nature, the ocean and the personality of this ara of Portugal
Its stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and its natural setting were the starting point for conceptualizing this old agricultural property. That’s why Astet, the Barcelona-based award-winning design studio, carried out an in-depth study of both the textures and the diversity of the landscape that surrounds the Aethos Ericeira, and also of the different, ever-changing hues of the sand combined with the intense blues of the ocean, the sky and the earthy colours of the cliffs. As a result, the colour palette was based on neutral tones that range from white to beige, through a very rich range of cream and sandy tones that in turn contrast with details in green and blue, inspired by the ecosystem that surrounds the hotel.
“We wanted to give a more sophisticated spin to both the materials, the interiors and the typical Portuguese architecture.”
The result is a hotel that has managed to capture the genuine spirit of the local atmosphere and the casual sophistication of the Aethos brand, as well as conveying a feeling of belonging to the guests. All this can be felt at any point in the interiors, where noble materials such as natural wood, leather, stone, marble stand out as do the textiles such as the plush carpets, which additionally provide warmth during the colder months. Aethos Ericeira is also remarkable for the absence of decorative frills, for the well elaborated details and for its collection of sculptural furniture and decorative objects that combine modernist and vernacular elements.
Wellbeing: the cornerstone for the Aethos brand
Wellbeing is a comprehensive component of the Aethos brand, and that is why the hotel has everything necessary to continue to support this philosophy: from a gym with professional trainers, yoga classes with first class instructors, a meditation deck with views over the Atlantic, a saltwater pool and an exclusive spa where they offer treatments with organic products by the Swedish brand Under the Skin.
Also, and with the aim of making the most of its location, guests have electric Fat bikes and beach buggies at their disposal so that we can discover the beautiful surroundings of the property, the cycle lanes and the nearby beaches.
And if surfing is your thing, congratulations. Whether you have all the equipment yourself or if you want to hire it to book your first classes.
“The hotel counts on the best connections to make our surfing experience legendary.”
Onda Restaurant: mens sana in corpore sano
As you would expect, the experience is complemented by the Onda Restaurant (which means “wave” in Portuguese). A hotspot with vast views of the ocean that compete with its delicious dishes, prepared by the chef Alfonso Blázquez and his team.
The menu specialises in Mediterranean cuisine and can be adapted to vegetarians, vegans and lactose-intolerant guests.
“The menu at Onda combines fresh fish and seafood from the fishing boats at the Peniche port with many seasonal vegetables.”
And among its delicacies, delicious dishes stand out such as the homemade clam tagliolini with parmesan or its famous Aethos pulled pork sandwich, on homemade brioche bread, green apple, spicy radish, gherkins and fries. The portions are all generous and can be shared.
The restaurant also has a semi-covered terrace-dining area which is shielded from the wind to be able to eat or dine in the open air almost all year round. And every morning, they serve a very complete continental, vegetarian breakfast a la carte, which is delicious.
Discovering Ericeira and its surroundings
If what you fancy, apart from making the most of the hotel, is to get to know Ericeira, as well as other villages in the area, these are some of our recommendations.
Ericeira: This lively picturesque coastal town is full of small, whitewashed, blue and white houses with cobbled streets full of different shops, cafeterias, restaurants and bars. As you can imagine, it’s full of surfers as it’s a World Surfing Reserve. That’s why many businesses are directed at this audience.
We strongly recommend that you visit it, lose yourself along its streets and eat there as it offers really interesting gastronomical options. We absolutely loved Balagan Ericeira.
And if you visit in summer… you can enjoy its beaches: the Praia dos Pescadores, the Praia do Norte, the Praia do Sebastião, or the Praia do Sul. These beaches in particular offer fairly moderate waves, and although the temperature in the water isn’t the same as in the Mediterranean… they’re perfect for a dip.
Sintra: It’s a Portuguese town, close to Lisbon and the hotel, that was declared a World Heritage site in 1995. Among other things, its architecture stands out, as do its narrow and slightly steep streets, its crafts shops, its typical sweets, its stunning and bucolic Palácio da Pena sat at the top of a hill and Quinta da Regaleira, that is an awe-inspiring Manueline-style palace with grand balconies and enormous towers. The most striking feature here is the Torre Invertida (Inverted Tower), a nine-storey spiral underground gallery where each storey represents one of the circles of hell in Dante’s inferno in The Divine Comedy.
(*) Photos by Ely Sánchez and Cecilia Camacho.