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    Surrounded by the rugged natural landscape of Alentejo with views out to the Atlantic Ocean, Pa.te.os sees four architecturally designed houses by acclaimed Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus near the Portuguese village of Melides.

    Created as works of art in the vastness of the land, Pa.te.os intend to, as the name suggests, explore the concept of the patio, where nature is embedded within the inhabitable space of a house. Blurring the line between interior and exterior, Pa.te.os encourages a level of comfort and privacy you can only feel when you are home.

    Sofia and Miguel Charters are the visionaries and owners of Pa.te.os. What started as an idea to create a place to welcome friends (when they purchased the property 15 years ago) grew into something much bigger where they could welcome guests from far and wide, bringing together their pleasure of hosting and passion for hospitality. The concept of patios, an Arabian influence pervasive in architectural projects in the southern region, became a way to maximise contact with nature. To recreate this contemporary idea and vision of what it means to have a casa alentejana, Sofia and Miguel turned to Manuel Aires Mateus, the renowned Portuguese architect with whom they are friends and his unique design language.

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    Manuel Aires Mateus was able to perfectly capture their idea, challenged, at the same time, by the implementation of the fundamental principles and values of Sofia and Miguel’s real estate company, Primosfera: the authenticity of materials, the coexistence of aesthetics and function, and the coherence between what you see and what you experience. Bare concrete, natural wood (European oak) and stone were used to help create a feeling of authenticity. However, much of the magic is related to how the project relates to the land and allows guests to interact with the landscape.

    The result is four independent houses with slightly different typologies and features, offering a total of seven rooms. With a maximum capacity of 14 guests, they can be individually booked or together with guests over 16 years old.

    Protected but not isolated and surrounded by various courtyards that create private spaces perfect to rest and connect, the four houses of Pa.te.os offer a constant dance of light and shade. By letting nature come in, the comfort you feel inside blends seamlessly with the exterior landscape. Each house offers expansive views over the ocean, and a communal swimming pool reflects the shape of the houses and respect for the topography.

    Every morning, breakfast is delivered and set up in the kitchen at an agreed time. There is no restaurant as such, but a small menu with light meals and an on-demand private chef service are available. There is also a wine list carefully curated by the owners from which you can select a bottle of wine to be delivered to the house. All houses have Wi-Fi and air conditioning. In the cooler months, heating is provided via a radiant floor heating system and hanging fireplaces. Different parts of the houses offer glances at the sky through slits in the ceiling. All houses offer outdoor showers and Aesop amenities. They also offer an outdoor training platform, Blue Sky, and a massage/yoga service on-demand.

    “We want our guests to see, understand and feel the truth in this project. With no hidden tricks, Pa.te.os reflect the authenticity of materials without disregarding comfort and function, with the purpose of offering a genuine sensory experience.” 

     

    – Sofia & Miguel Charters

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    In terms of the interiors, distractions are few and far between — only small features like the mobiles in every room, the linen tote bags provided to guests to take to the beach, or the art, architecture, design, cooking, and travel books that are offered for well-deserved, slow reading.

    One highlight is a custom artwork by Portuguese artist Olga Sanina, who was commissioned to create four pieces (one for each house) to represent the four seasons and did so by collecting foliage from the property over the period of construction. 

    Melides lies south of Comporta, sitting within the world’s third-largest stretch of sand, alongside the ocean, with its natural lagoon and rice fields. Just an hour or so from Lisbon, Melides is authentic and unpretentious and offers a calm and wild beauty, making it the perfect place to disconnect from the day-to-day busyness of life.

    Pa.te.os is part of a rural property of approx 80 hectares, just 5km from the village of Melides. A landscape made up of cork oaks, pine trees, olive trees, and strawberry trees (its fruit is used to make a local aguardiente, a centuries-old activity that is part of the history of this southwestern region) and an infinite number of aromatic herbs. The setting is both idyllic and peaceful.

    Before you arrive at Pa.te.os, it is suggested that you stop in either Melides village or Comporta, where you will find a supermarket and grocery stores with everything you need to stock up on supplies for a perfect stay.

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    Aware that smells rekindle memories and that these memories let us remember moments of joy and the simplest things in life, Sofia and Miguel decided to create a scent that would become an integral part of the identity of Pa.te.os. For this, they commissioned the British perfumer Lyn Harris to craft an exclusive fragrance based on the olfactory memory of this territory – capturing the freshness of the pine forest in Melides and the salty dampness of the coast, intersecting them with the earth, the stone, the wood, the concrete, and all the materials that help erect the four Pa.te.os houses in all its “purity, beauty, space, breathing, and silence”.

    “The sea breeze merges into the fragrance of the pine trees… A smell I had been looking for in its essence but had not been able to feel until I got here, where I truly experienced it,” Lyn says. “I wanted to bottle up this purity forever and intersect it with the materials of this unique project, such as the wood, the slate and the concrete with a hint of sea moss and pine. The earth and the stone, a magical feeling you won’t be able to uncover anywhere else.”

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    The four houses are surrounded by Mediterranean flora, such as cork oaks, olive trees, pine trees, and arbutus.

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