The Vintage Hotel, Lisbon

Bomporto Hotels asked Foster & Bloom to apply its trademark local focus and attention to detail to The Vintage Hotel in Lisbon. This new acquisition by Bomporto required a total refurbishment of all rooms, public & restaurant areas and spa; with a brief to allow guests to become part of something unique to their Lisbon location — ‘tapped in’ to the city’s cultural heart and soul.

This second collaboration between the hotel group and creative consultant Samantha Lawrie of Foster & Bloom aims to build on their first partnership in Lisbon, for sister hotel The Lumiares.

Foster & Bloom approached a Lisbon local; designer Daniela Francheschini of Quiet Studiosto design & create, curate and oversee construction of the hotel’s top-to-bottom refurbishment. The pair set out to redefine the term ‘vintage’ in a contemporary way.

As experts in sourcing furniture pieces from the mid-century, Quiet Studios offered the perfect solution to the task set by Foster & Bloom: to ensure each guest’s room would include a one-off, vintage piece. Every room at The Vintage now has its own unique showcase for local products – a signature mid-century bar cart, sourced by Quiet Studios, and each trolley showcases a trove of local products, both complimentary and for retail purchase.

Soul and authenticity is what Foster & Bloom sought to add to The Vintage Hotel experience. To that end, the hotel’s minibar offering was completely rethought. Star of the signature bar cart is guests’ very own do-it-yourself complimentary gin & tonic kit, created by Portuguese cocktail expert, Nino Lopes. Nino crafted a simple bespoke recipe for Foster & Bloom and The Vintage – a gin & tonic with a Portuguese twist: dried fig, cinnamon and lemon combined with Sharish premium gin from Alentejo and Portuguese tonic water, Castello. The bar trolley has all the ingredients needed – even an ice bucket – for guests to create their own ‘Madmen’ moment in the comfort of their room, before heading up to the ‘V’ Rooftop Bar.

On the lower tray of this bar trolley cart, housed in a bespoke leather basket made for the hotel by Lisbon’s artisan leather makers, Project 226, guests will find a tray of local treats available for purchase, curated for The Vintage by Foster & Bloom.

The minibar basket includes: Porto-based cake and cookie connoisseurs, Casa Biscuit; handmade chocolates by Lisbon artisan chocolatiers by Claudio Corallo & Co – whose bijou coffee & chocolate shop can be found just minutes down the road from The Vintage on Principe Real. Locals queue up first thing to sample Bettina Corallo and her sons’ aromatic coffee. This same company has now developed a bespoke coffee blend for restaurants and bars of The Lumiares (Lumi Rooftop) and The Vintage Hotels (Blue). To refresh the palate or simply a quirky Lisbon souvenir, a bag of Portugal’s iconic Dr.Baynard anise sweet mints is included in the retail tray. While the images on the vintage label suggest their origin as cough relievers, these anise and honey-flavoured drops have become a favourite sweet for many Portuguese.

The materials and contents of each room have been thoughtfully co-ordinated and curated, down to the last design details. Guest services books are bespoke designs by Emilio Braga, and even complimentary pencils have been customised for the hotel by Viarco; both family-owned traditional Portuguese makers, in a collaboration by Foster & Bloom for Bomporto. Room amenities are by iconic Portuguese soap & fragrance brand, Claus Porto

Attention to design detail and local craftsmanship at every turn makes for a truly engaging stay. Graphic artwork lining the walls of the hotel and its 56-rooms by Brian de Graft, Joao Rei, Margarita Fleming and others was sourced especially for The Vintage in a 3-way curatorial collaboration between Omey Projects, Quiet Studios & Foster & Bloom.

Lappalainen‘ are the makers of the large brass mobile greeting guests at the hotel’s entry; a piece sourced by Foster & Bloom and chosen to bring graceful movement to the space and introduce the clean, curved, modernist lines evident in the rest of the hotel’s design by Quiet Studios. The Alexander Calder-inspired mobile is fashioned from glittering brass and silver by German based designers Rivka Baake and Wilfrid Kreutz

The lobby ‘hangout’s’ wood-clad fireplace makes the perfect perch for half-Swedish, half-Portuguese Lisboeta ceramicist Anna Westerlunds pieces. A celebration of the beauty in imperfection, Anna’s work is prized in Portugal and around the world. Quiet Studios, in collaboration with Foster & Bloom, selected these smooth, elegant handcrafted vases by Westerlund to reflect the minimalist simplicity of the midcentury, refracted through the eyes of a local artist.

At the heart of The Vintage Spa is a stunning piece in painted glass, suspended above the waters of the ‘Tranquility Lounge’ by Branca Cuviera Lisbon artist whose work reveals a fascination with the body; in both its physical and conceptual forms. Cuvier’s companion drawings for the gym at the spa inspire guests to activate the body as well as the spirit. Foster & Bloom and Quiet Studios selected Cuvier for this commission to help Bomporto hotels realise an immersive, contemplative, sensual environment at The Vintage Spa.

Bespoke pieces by Lisbon ceramicist Cecile Mestelan can be found throughout the hotel – whose colourful palette provides an opportunity for Mestelan to showcase her collection of deep-hued tableware. The warm tones of her ceramic pieces – cups & saucers, teapot – and their sensory, earthy texture and shape perfectly compliment The Vintage Spa environment, where organic herbal tea served to clients after spa treatments allows a reflective moment, while sage green dishes and plates look right at home in the lush botanical haven of ‘V’ Rooftop Bar,

Foster & Bloom is also proud to have sourced special artworks for the hotel’s own restaurant, ‘Blue‘; where a large series of documentary photographs of pole & line fishermen on the Algarve coast from the 1950s connect the colours and materials of the restaurant to Portugal’s strong associations with sea and sky. This collection of prints was purchased by the hotel in collaboration with artist/photographer Vasco Celio and Omey Projects

Developing a new marketing concept for The Vintage, briefing and overseeing the redesign of the hotel’s new website and the creation of a pop-up retail ‘cabinet of curiosities‘ will round out Foster & Bloom‘s involvement in overseeing this exciting, year-long refurbishment design project for Bomporto Hotels group.

Photos by Carlos Luque and Luis Ferraz

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