Casa de São Lourenço, the second addition to the Burel Mountain Originals family, is a remarkable architectural achievement resulting from close collaboration between P-06 Atelier and Site Specific.
The design of the hotel prioritizes the preservation of the existing historical building and its seamless integration into the surrounding landscape, honoring the original project by architect Rogério de Azevedo. After years of neglect, the old property was reborn in October 2018, occupying a privileged position at an altitude of 1,250 meters in the heart of the Serra da Estrela Nature Reserve.
The hotel's new construction prominently features visible concrete, serving as a framework for observation and contemplation, reviving the connection between guests and the awe-inspiring landscape. The simple and rational geometry of the building allows for expansive glass surfaces and generous outdoor spaces in all of the hotel's rooms and social areas. Burel, a locally spun wool fabric, plays a central role in the design, harmoniously blending contemporary elements with the historical context and natural surroundings. The reuse of the original designs and furniture from the Pousada de São Lourenço, one of Portugal's pioneering hotels from the 1940s, further enhances this connection.
The interior style of Casa de São Lourenço is contemporary, deeply rooted in Portuguese design, and adorned with meticulously restored furniture by Maria Keil, one of Portugal's renowned 20th-century artists. Additionally, the hotel showcases the works of various contemporary Portuguese designers such as Nuno Gusmão, Marco Sousa Santos, Vicara, Util, Grestel, Bordallo Pinheiro, Bartolomeu Gusmão, and Vanda Guerreiro.
While the first Casa Das Penhas Douradas incorporated burel as a subtle interior finishing touch, Casa de São Lourenço takes it a step further by incorporating burel throughout the entire space. This versatile material helps to narrate the story and deepen the sense of discovery. From walls adorned with embroidered poetry by Fernando Pessoa to hand-painted panels and art installations, every corner of the hotel immerses guests in the rich history woven by the mountain.
Casa de São Lourenço boasts 17 rooms and 4 suites, where the hybrid design seamlessly combines the old and the new, striking a harmonious balance. The hotel offers various dedicated relaxation areas, private balconies, and access to a garden featuring indigenous plant species, allowing guests to constantly feel the presence of the mountains.
The restaurant, housed in a two-layer reinforced concrete building with full-height windows, offers breathtaking views of Manteigas and the Zêzerev Glacial Valley. The interior is complemented by a handmade "sky" structure consisting of tiny wool elements arranged in the shape of a star, covering the majority of the ceiling. Every detail in the restaurant's design is carefully considered to ensure visitors' utmost comfort.
The indoor pool, featuring a hydro-massage circuit, seamlessly connects to a small outdoor pool via a water passage. The Mountain Spa comprises three treatment rooms and a relaxation room with a mesmerizing view of the mountain range. The natural pinewood tones and terrazzo dominate the space, creating an echo that resonates throughout the rest of the hotel. The Wellness area includes a sauna, a steam room, a waterfall shower, and access to a small garden where the fresh air contrasts with the soothing warmth indoors.
Casa de São Lourenço offers over 250 kilometers of signposted walking and mountain biking paths that guests can explore, either with or without a guide, to uncover unexplored places, summits, valleys, and historic mountain villages. The abundance of diverse and unique heritage adds an interesting and coherent dimension to the overall experience, perfectly complementing the natural beauty and form of the hotel.