Casa Das Penhas Douradas is the highest-altitude hotel in Portugal, located at 1500 meters above sea level, with views of the surrounding mountainous terrain. Architect Pedro Brígida designed the hotel in perfect harmony with its surroundings and taking inspiration from local architecture.
The owners, Isabel Costa, and João Tomas fell in love with Serra da Estrela Natural Park in 2006 while exploring it. As they hiked, they found the old Sanatorium in the Penhas Douradas. The occasional discovery became the realisation of the master dream of creating the expedition hotel. It was an event that marked the beginning of a long recovery process. It is impossible to tell the story without mentioning the Burel Factory since these two elements are inextricably linked.
Another find was made by the owners in the town at the bottom of the mountain - the factory of Lanífícios Império, which was specialised in producing the very local wool fabric called burel. To furnish the new project of their upcoming hotel, they started collaborating with it to decorate the new interiors. However, they soon found out that it was on the edge of economic collapse with its production capacity. The adventure would have come to an end for some, but it wasn't likely to be for Isabel and João.
They decided to add the factory to their list and invested time and passion to bring the region back to its former glory. "We decided to go through a process of restoration of the factory and its acquisition to continue the narrative brought from the last century and bring back to life the local population that depended on it. To show that art to the world " say the owners. With the creation of the hotel and redesigning the factory, a unique and sustainable project was created, preserving the heritage and highlighting the tradition that has long been hidden in the valleys of this most iconic mountain in Portugal.
The hotel has 17 rooms and 1 suite, all with panoramic views and an intimate atmosphere of great comfort. Coated with birch wood and large windows and balconies offering a panoramic view over the mountains of Serra da Estrela. The rooms, with their vast windows, magnify the view over the landscape. The decoration is made in warm, welcoming tones, and features pieces by Nordic and Portuguese artists and designers such as Catarina Pinto Leite, Hans Wegner, Bruno Mathsson, Borg Mogensen, Pedro Silva Diasand, Pedro Brígida.
Woolies are one of the main elements, with burel coating some pieces of furniture such as sofas, puffs, armchairs, and some walls. There are also fireplaces, a vast library that can be transformed into a multimedia meeting room, a movie projector, and a Ski museum. The restaurant is panoramic and Its signature cuisine has transformed the mountain flavours to ensure an innovative touch through the use of local ingredients that change with the seasons. Casa das Penhas Douradas has a SPA with several cabinets, a Vichy shower, and a relaxation room where tea is served in silence.
From the hotel, more than 250km of marked trails offer the opportunity to explore the unexplored, undiscovered peaks, undiscovered valleys, and historic rural villages, a natural heritage of value that is worth a visit. In the summer, it is possible to dive in the pure warm lagoons waters very close to the hotel, explore them on a kayak, and discover the rivers that begin their journey down the mountain.
The hotel has a wide range of activities and a specialised team that provides a unique mountain tourism experience.