Today, Inspiration and Ideas is presenting to you one of the most perfect and peaceful summer destinations hiding in the hills of the Portuguese countryside, an arts and crafts inspired boutique hotel, called Dá Licença. Portugal is considered by many one of the best summer destinations, so we hope to leave you eager to visit this beautiful country!
Five years in the making, Dá Licença Boutique Hotel, which in Portuguese means “with your permission”, has taken over a cluster of 19th-century farmhouses along with the surrounding 120-hectare estate that abounds in olive, fig and cork trees.
The existing structures were transformed into a modern design of clean lines and discrete volumes without effacing the traditional character of the rural estate. An abode of small hotels perfect for our readers’ summer destinations!
Punctuated by geometric openings, the austere sensibility of the all-white exteriors is mirrored in the minimalist aesthetic of the hotel’s interiors which Borges and Laigneau have themselves masterminded by harmoniously fusing contemporary design with folkloric craftsmanship and a stunning art collection.
The boutique hotel consists of three buildings, a larger structure housing the common areas, a suite, and two guestrooms, and two smaller buildings where four additional suites and one more guestroom are located.
A series of larger and smaller courtyards, private gardens and intimate terraces create a spatial fluidity between interiors and exteriors while offering guests a series of spaces both for socializing and contemplation.
The interior design is based on an Arts & Crafts philosophy and a desire to create a dialogue between art and nature. Dark granite floors, lime-washed walls, and marble furnishings that have been hand-carved from white and pink marble from the local quarries create the perfect backdrop for an eclectic selection of handcrafted furniture, tapestries, and ceramics.
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From marble side tables and lamps designed by Borges, to colourful blankets by artist Mizzete Nielsen, ceramics by Susana Piteira and antique wooden cupboards by 19th century Norwegian woodcarver and designer Lars Kinsarvik, most of the furniture stylistically draws from Jugendstil, a more graphic and geometric Scandinavian version of French Art Nouveau, and Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophical Design.
Both movements are close to Borges and Laigneau’s heart, with Laigneau, a gallerist by profession, being considered an expert authority.
Borges and Laigneau’s unique furniture collection and the accompanying art collection is a lifetime project with pieces from all over Europe.
In fact, Borges and Laigneau see no distinction between furniture and art pieces, low and high art, mixing them up throughout interior and exterior, public and private spaces, which is why the hotel does not feel like a museum or gallery despite its abundance of works by artists and artisans.
It is only in the boutique hotel’s dedicated gallery space, housed in the farm’s old oil press, where the collectors’ deep passion for the arts is made explicit.
Guests at Dá Licença can enjoy an ever-changing menu based local and seasonal products which they can savor at one of the three private dining rooms, completing a refined, thoughtful and authentic kind of hospitality that can only be described as sublime.