Review – Christian Louboutin’s first hotel – The Vermelho Melides

ByAndrea Thompson

September 28, 2023
What is more luxurious than stepping into a pair of those infamous red soled shoes you may ask – well it happens to be The Vermelho Melides Boutique Hotel!What is more luxurious than stepping into a pair of those infamous red soled shoes you may ask – well it happens to be The Vermelho Melides Boutique Hotel!

What is more luxurious than stepping into a pair of those infamous red soled shoes you may ask – well it happens to be The Vermelho Melides Boutique Hotel!

Around 81 miles from Lisbon airport with a flying time of around 2 hours, 45 mins direct from London, this property is nestled in the village of Melides. An area known for its gentle pace of life, rice fields and vineyards.

The Vermelho is legendary shoemaker Christian Louboutin’s first hotel and he has captured the essence of his eclectic character in this 5* star hotel even the name Vermelho means red in Portuguese. Christian Louboutin has a longstanding love of Portugal and the Melides area in particular, spending weeks living and taking inspiration from the local creative community, cultural and beauty to design some of his collections.

From the moment the property comes into view with its palette of powder blue and white walls, ornate chimneys and sloping roofs, the big reveal is behind those large wooden doors steeped in history where you step into boutique luxury combining both of Spanish and Alentejo traditional design but interlaced with a little French and Egyptian elements as a tribute to his roots and of course his signature pop of colour. Every space has been designed to stimulate the senses and is described as “A place like no other for people like no other”

Louboutin is very lucky to have good and talented friends who have helped with his vision bringing a home from home ambiance but with ultimate luxury. From distinctive rare works of art, decadent soft furnishings, all handpicked by Christian himself and most of which are from his own private collection gained through his extensive travels.

There are in total 13 rooms, all decorated in their own unique style, ranging from 40m² to 84m² and start around £387 per night depending on the season. The rooms are all alluring and decorated completely differently so they have their own personality and individuality. With hand painted tiles from Azulejos de Azeitão’s workshop nearby, to Murano glass style lamps, seashell reading lights and the most comfortable beds and armchairs you could possibly want.

The rooms offer balconies or terraces overlooking or leading to the pool and the second-floor suites feature walls are adorned with frescoes all hand painted by Athens-born painter Konstantin Kakanias

All have the usual amenities expected in a 5* hotel including Kama Ayurveda toiletries, Frette bathrobes and slippers, mini bar, Nespresso machine, air-conditioning and underfloor heating. A turndown service is offered during your stay but televisions are not standard in any of the rooms but are “upon request”.

The hotel’s facilities include an Indian lounge where you can relax or meet with other guests and a restaurant called Xtian. During the day Xtian offers bistro-style dining using traditional Portuguese cooking techniques with a twist of international flavours and seasonal produce all served on handmade artisan tableware. At sunset Xtian turns into a candlelit Melides restaurant oozing charm and elegance. No restaurant would be without their signature dish and of course theirs happens to be a red dessert.

The naturally heated pool is a haven of peace and tranquillity surrounded by natural vegetation and gardens which blends into the landscape and has been designed by Louis Benech whose portfolio includes the Gardens of Versailles so subtle but very impressive at the same time.

It is a stunning and quirky hotel, not recommended for children, with so much character that you need to go back to make sure you haven’t missed a thing the first time round.