Contrary to what is said, François Savatier and Jean-Christophe Lalanne do not want guests to feel at home. “The idea is to get out of the routine and have a different experience from the usual day-to-day,” defends the couple who left Paris for Arraiolos to open the extramuros villa-hotel. In this case, the experience includes sleeping in a house of contemporary architecture, with a large central courtyard where the breakfasts and geometric lines that extend to the panoramic terraces of the five bedrooms are served.
“The landscape calls this architecture, the contrast is beautiful,” say the owners, who make a point of mixing tradition and modernity, and having some local craftsmanship alongside the many pieces of designers like Marc Newson and Philippe Starck.
“The last thing we wanted to do was a design showroom. This is our home, with our things, our works of art, the pieces we brought from travel or that we bought here.” On the whole, it’s not hard for every guest to feel inside the decorating books and magazines that are scattered a little everywhere.
The house was built between 2008 and 2011, in a valley 20 minutes walk from Arraiolos, by the Lisbon atelier Voar Arquitectura, by Jordi Fornelles. In 2017, the same architect designed the two huts erected in the olive grove of the property. Views from the outside are cork-coated cubes with an unexpected rectangle-shaped neon. Inside, and especially in the red hut, it’s as if we had suddenly entered the holiday home of Charles and Ray Eames: with decoration from the 60s and even a kitchen hidden in a wardrobe where the wavy pattern, very sixties, was made with estremoz mosaic.