Vivenda Miranda: Luxury Boutique Hotel in The Algarve
For just the past 50 years, Portugal’s posh playground for upscale Europeans has been the 155 kilometer (96-mile) coastline known as The Algarve. Boasting over 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, this enchanting coastal area of Portugal’s southernmost region is where savvy Europeans come to bask in the ideal climate, invest in vacation villas, build resorts, and satisfy their recreational and gastronomic desires in splendor and stunning natural beauty.
It is well-known that Portugal once led the world during the earliest stages of the Voyages of Discovery. Today, the land of the Discoverers is now A Land Discovered—as visitors flock to this coastal paradise throughout the year, keen on acquiring their own place in the sun. Here one finds world-class golf courses, charming marinas, intriguing limestone caves and picturesque grottoes stretched along miles of alluring coastland.
One of the finest gems of this treasured region is the luxury boutique hotel Vivenda Miranda, located just five minutes away from the historic town of Lagos. Twenty-five elegant rooms and fabulous suites with gorgeous views of The Atlantic Ocean are situated high atop the sheer cliffs overlooking the beach of Porto de Mós. Every room features its own terrace from which breathtaking views of richly landscaped Mediterranean gardens, featuring palms, pine trees, and the lovely swimming pool, mesmerize the mind and hold it captive. Here you find yourself entranced, stopping to stare for just a moment, only to—once again—turn your gaze toward yet another object of beauty or wonder. Could anything possibly be this lovely? This landscape, this vista, this Eden—is it real?
In 1990 Swiss businessman Urs Wild caught the vision and began transforming this 17th century villa, once held by a noble family, into the sparkling jewel it has become today. Now, some fifty percent of Vivenda Miranda’s clientele are established and returning customers, showing a peculiarly devoted but understandable loyalty to a destination resort that possesses a powerfully magnetic drawing force. Most guests make the trek from northern European areas such as Germany, England, Ireland, Holland and the Scandinavian countries. As yet, Americans have not made The Algarve one of their top choices, a lamentable omission, it seems. Nevertheless, of the 10 million visitors who descend upon this region annually, fully 7 million are foreign visitors while some 3 million Portuguese make this vacation hotspot their number one choice as well. Understandably, tourism is The Algarve’s leading industry.
Despite the statistics, this vast coastal paradise does not feel crowded. In summer during peak holiday visits, the population swells from itsnormal half million residents to three times that amount. Our visit in early May was comfortable and convenient. We were not affected by traffic or crowds. By the end of the day we found the parking lot full, but the boutique hotel was always quiet as guests respected the serenity of the peaceful surroundings. In July and August, however, things get pretty busy throughout The Algarve region as most Europeans use these months for their own vacation getaways.
From the seaside town of Lagos, we drove up to the four hundred year old villa, instantly captivated by the soft pastel color scheme of the architecturally handsome, inspiring buildings, the cobblestone pavement of the parking area and the lush tropical vegetation. Once greeted and registered by an enthusiastic and warm receptionist, we were invited to pass through the Restaurant Mirandus and out to a table for two on the lovely terrace, overlooking the pool and gardens with a majestic view over the broad sweep of the azure Atlantic. The delicious aroma of salt sea air blended intoxicatingly with the vibrant, contrasting colors of the ocean, verdant landscape, and warm sandy beaches below. Two complimentary glasses of chilled white wine were served as we were invited to allow the soothing breezes, soft palette of colors, and gracious furnishings of the restaurant terrace to melt our cares away. Truly, it felt as though now arrived, how could there ever be sufficient reason to leave? It seemed as though everything one ever might want in life was now here. Paradise found.
But there was even more to come. We were shown to our room, The Superior Suite on the main level, just steps away from a spiral staircase that led to the downstairs spa. Entering the room, we found the suite featured a large living room and a separate bedroom, both with satellite TV. Passing across the room toward the ocean view were two huge glass doors that opened out to a gorgeous tiled terrace. Two chaise lounges and a table with chairs invited us to relax and enjoy the serene vistas of pool, landscaping, ocean and beaches below. Back inside the suite, individually adjustable mood lights (from Zense Creative Lighting Solutions) allowed one to choose from a color wheel on a dial in the wall next to the bed, alternating the color scheme according to one’s mood from blue to violet, red, orange, yellow, and soft green. The bathroom featured a walk-in rain shower with a shower head that looked like it was at least 18 inches in diameter. Waterfall faucets graced the countertop. Our suite was warmed by under-floor heating and cooled by air conditioning. Bathrobes, slippers, hair dryer, beach towels, minibar and safe were all available to guarantee our comfort and security.
With lush Mediterranean gardens and panoramic ocean views, The Vivenda Miranda makes for the ideal location for weddings and other special events. The Hotel’s Spa has partnered with Neal’s Yard Remedies (NYR) the famous British retailer of organic natural health and beauty products. Founded in 1981 by Romy Fraser in Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, London, the company has been a regular recipient of awards for its ethical standards, ecological values and popularity of skincare products. The Spa itself features a sauna, steam room, foot spa, and heated outdoor pool as well as offering an extensive choice of treatments.
The Mirandus Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our breakfast buffet featured a wide assortment of fruits, juices, pastries, cereals, meats, and other delicacies. Specially-prepared hot dishes of eggs and bacon and other items are available as well. For other meals, the Mirandus offers a fine dining menu of organic, vegetarian, vegan, and raw choices featuring local, healthy seasonal Mediterranean fare. A three-course and five-course daily degustation menu is served with discounted price offered to hotel guests.
Guests rave about this lovely villa on internet reviews, seldom awarding anything less than the highest rating. Director/Owner Urs Wild anticipates substantial future interest of medium-size groups (fifty or so persons) such as corporate entities, family re-unions, wedding parties, etc., in renting out the entire facility for a weekend retreat or summit. The current high ratio of repeat clients ensures that Vivenda Miranda will remain one of the more popular destination resorts of The Algarve. Truly, in the land of the discoverers lies the discovery of a land of true enchantment.
Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda
Rua das Violetas, Porto de Mós
8600-282 Lagos, Algarve, Portugal
Telephone: +351 282 763 222
Fax: +351 282 760 342