Portugal is one of the hottest emerging destinations in Europe. American travel jumped by more then 20% this year in terms of overnights and visitors (January to July), TAP launched two new gateway cities from the US, United kicked off DC-Lisbon flights, and Delta announced it will offer a new nonstop from JFK. Hotels are opening by the dozen – so obviously we have too much “new” news to squeeze into one newsletter – so let us offer a few fun new offerings in Portugal.
Algarve: Faro Boutique Hotel
Leixões (Porto): Casa da Arquitetura to open in 2017
In the spring of 2017, a major international exhibition marks the opening of the new "Casa da Arquitetura"- House of Architecture, in the former home of Alvaro Siza in Leixoes. In all, the house will have 4,700 square meters of exhibition space (with an auditorium), library, bookstore and shop.
Tomar (Centro): Agartha, Boutique Hotel – Retreat and Wellness Centre opens
The Agartha, Boutique Hotel – Retreat and Wellness Centre is now open, 80 minutes north of Lisbon in the beautiful Portuguese village of Monchite. The Agartha (referred to as the mystical the center of the earth) is just a short 12 minute drive from the medieval city of Tomar, famous for its World Heritage Convento do Cristo, the Templar Knights and its quaint cobble stoned streets. The Agartha is less than half an hour from the Shrine of Fatima.
Lisbon (Alfama): Jewish Museum to open in 2017
After the opening of the first Jewish Hotel in Portugal – Belmonte Sinai, a Jewish Museum is coming to the city capital. The project involves the City of Lisbon and the Jewish Community of Lisbon, and it is set to be completed by 2017. The museum will open in Alfama – home to the city's Jewish quarter in the Middle Ages - with the architect Grace Bachmann will be in charge of its design.
Lisbon: MAAT opens
A new urban ultra modern museum has just opened on the River Tejo, in Lisbon. The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), by the Fundação EDP, aims to become one of the main cultural spots of the “new Lisbon."
With ultramodern lines, the new project is signed by Amanda Levete – an award winning architect – and was yet compared with a big shell. The ceramic front and the ramp will allow peaceful walks on the roof of the building, overlooking the Tagus River and all the cultural area of Belém.
MAAT will focus on contemporary culture, by combining visual arts and the media, architecture and city, science and technology. The new Fundação EDP museum will have about 23,000 square feet dedicated to exhibitions and leisure.
Porto: Time Out Market to open in historic train station
The famed São Bento station will host restaurants, bars and shops when the successful Time Out Market concept from Lisbon’s Mercado da Ribeira comes to Porto. São Bento is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and is known for its breathtaking tile panels.
There will be about 2,200 square meters of open space with 500 seats, 15 restaurants, four bars, four stores, a coffee shop and an art gallery. The opening is scheduled for the second half of 2017. And, the space that will offer mainly local businesses. The goal will be to repeat the success of the Ribeira Market- and attract top Porto chefs and eateries.
Algarve: 5-Star Hotel to open in Vila Real de Santo António
Vila Real de Santo António will get its first 5-star hotel in 2107, with the redevelopment of an historic hotel. Nira Hotels & Resorts group will revive the historical Guadiana Hotel located on the riverfront. The Hotel Guadiana was a landmark in the early twentieth century and was designed by the architect Ernesto Korrodi. It was built between 1918 and 1921 and opened in 1923. The City of Vila Real de Santo António plans to transform the historic downtown in a destination in terms of tourism, setting into motion an ambitious project to convert three Pombaline buildings into inns. The city was built on across the Guadiana River from Spain in the 18th century, and its design mirrors Lisbon’s Baixa.
Tras-os montes (Norte) 2 New hotels in 2017
The Portuguese group Premium Hotels will invest EUR 10 million in 2016 a new hotel in Bragança and hotel update in Chaves with an opening in 2017.
The new Premium in Bragança will be opened in 2017, offering 60 rooms, spa and conference room. Premium Hotels will rebrand and renovate the Hotel Aquae Flaviae as the Premium Chaves, a luxurious three-star with a total of 166 rooms.
Fátima: 100the Annivsaty of the Mircale of Fátima
Portugal’s Sanctuary of Fátima is a symbol of the Virgin Mary and one of the world's most important religious sites. A major tourist attraction for pilgrims from all over the world that come here every year, especially between May and October. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit in 2017. The Sanctuary of Fátima annually welcomes hundred of thousands of visitors.
In the Fátima calendar, the dates May 13th (the first apparition) and October 13th mean a jump in the guests visiting the Sanctuary - built on the site of the first apparition - and the places where the three children lived in Aljustrel, a village located around 1.5 miles away.