Ever since we discovered Vila Real de Santo Antonio 5 years ago, the Hotel Guadiana building by the river Guadiana has captured our interest and imaginations. At that time, it was deserted and empty and had a big sign saying it was for sale, but we could see the potentials for this Grand Lady if anyone would just take the opportunity and invest.
When the sign for sale was taken down two years ago and the whole building was covered, the big facelift was started, first on the outside, then also on the inside as well as the new name “Grand House Algarve” was announced. Now we could only wait and see what the outcome would be once the Grand Lady is finished but of course we had big expectations. Finally, the big day came to the grand opening day with open doors.
Hotel Guadiana: Old times – Before renovation – Under renovation
Kristina and I got the tour this morning, going there with all the expectations and fantasies we built up since we saw the building for the first time, and I must say that we were very impressed. First of all, we got a very warm welcome by the staff that met up in the reception, giving us the tour and informing us about the history, future ambitions, etc. The materials, craftsmanship, decorations, etc. has exceeded all our expectations and the Grand House Algarve will for sure contribute to Vila Real de Santo Antonio in the future as it has done in the past.
Some historical information: The Guadiana Hotel was designed by architect Ernesto Korrodi during the first quarter of the 20th century; its construction was ordered by Manuel Ramirez (a tinned food manufacturer), and it resulted from the need to accommodate national and foreign tradesmen. The initial depreciation caused by its construction, which was in clear contrast with the Pombaline ensemble, is now accepted as the proof of historic urban evolution, an expression modernity. The building’s predominantly eclectic architecture, characterized by a mix of several architectural styles, according to the taste of the time, shows an elegant decorative transition between the aesthetics of Art Nouveau and Classical Composition. The building is listed as Property of Municipal Interest since 2011.
Pictures from our tour: