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by Susana Ribeiro
Gemieira, Ponte de Lima, is the home of Carmo's Boutique Hotel, a charming 5-star establishment which belongs to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Amongst its many achievements is the Best of Wine Tourism 2016 award, in the accommodation category.
The architecture is by Carvalho Araújo, who used concrete as the chief material, evident everywhere. To contrast with the “crudeness” of the grey, the decoration is very inviting. And the living room is one of those places where you will feel completely at home. There are books everywhere you look, bottles of wine and vintage objects, such as old radios, paintings, puppets, a piano, guitars and sofas where you can enjoy your meal. At night, the atmosphere becomes more intimate with candles.
As soon as you arrive in the car park, all eyes are fixed on the Oficina. This is a sophisticated wine cellar decorated with bottles, barrels and tables where visitors can taste the wine while sampling tapas.
The 'oficina' at the hotel
At breakfast, there is a table with sweet treats and jams to whet the appetite, but everything is served at your table. Coffee, milk, or tea? There’s also fresh orange juice, fruit, cakes, bread, cheese, ham and sausages, cereals and yoghurt, and you can also order pancakes and scrambled eggs.
Outside, there’s a marquee which forms an extension to the main room. There are sofas and a fireplace to relax and watch a film after dinner. Also take the chance to visit the gardens, with an outdoor swimming pool and loungers where you can relax and sunbathe on hot days.
The hotel ties to the land can be seen in the gardens: the vines on the neighbouring farm (from which the hotel’s own vintage is made, by the hands of the oenologist Anselmo Mendes) and the riding area with two ponies: Black and Frederico. There is also an organic garden which produces food used in the kitchen.
The boutique hotel has 15 rooms (12 double/twin and 3 suites) and all are decorated differently. In ours, the huge bed and white curtains stand out, as well as the little touches which give it a very distinctive atmosphere: the paintings and lace bedspread at the foot of the bed, a contrast between the modern and the traditional.
In the en suite bathroom, there’s a bag with all the products you need: a shower cap, body cream, soaps, toothbrush and toothpaste, beauty kit, sewing kit, comb and a shoehorn. The shampoo and bath gel are in the shower.
On the lower floor is the Spa – with treatments and massages – the indoor pool and the jacuzzi. This is a relaxation area but even so the decoration has been carefully thought through.
Besides being a place for people to stay, Carmo's Boutique Hotel also provides experiences, such as wine dinners, wine tours, picnics, mountain biking and much more, both in Ponte de Lima and other cities in the north of the country. Enjoy your stay!
Estrada Nacional 203
Gemieira - Ponte de Lima
Tel: +351 910 587 558 / +351 258 938 743
Fax: +351 258 240 895