Aethos, the design-led hospitality brand for the next generation of luxury travellers, opened a new hotel near Portugal’s surf mecca, Ericeira, on September 1, 2022. Nestled on top of a 40-metre cliff, this new lifestyle destination with unrivalled views of the Atlantic Ocean is surrounded by some of Europe’s best and most beautiful beaches. Aethos focus on community-driven experiences stands out through a locally engaged approach that puts wellness at the centre, which can be experienced in many ways. From delicious food to daily yoga and meditation classes, Aethos strives to create a healthy balance in all of its properties, and Aethos Ericeira is no exception.
“We are creating culture. We have a community of influential change-makers and entrepreneurs, and we use Aethos as a platform to drive positive change for both our guests and the overall setting as a whole,” says Benjamin Habbel, founder and CEO of Aethos. “We want to be an authentic reflection of the local environment, so every destination is very different from the others. What is true in all of our properties is that there’s always something happening, and there’s a reason to be there.”
He adds: “I think what is exciting about Aethos for everybody is our ability to listen to the local community, to listen to our guests, and to just get on with it. And a lot of the ideas we implement come from what we picked up in conversations with the local community. And, of course, our global cluster of guests. As entrepreneurs, we try to find common-sense solutions to annoyances. And this is the beauty of building a hotel from scratch. We’re not traditional hoteliers. We’re owner-operators who can look at a hotel as a completely white canvas, since we have no brand standards dictated by anyone, and there’s no one telling us what to do — we can just do what we think is the best experience for our guests.”
The Privileged Location
Ericeira is a charming fishing village abounding in cobbled streets and whitewashed houses descending to glorious beaches along the western Portuguese coastline. The spectacular views over the ocean are also shared by Aethos Ericeira, thanks to its privileged location on top of sandstone cliffs surrounded by nature.
The property, which is centred around undisrupted sea views, features 50 rooms and suites, a wooden walkway along the edge of the cliff, a meditation and yoga deck, and a fire pit area. With a focus on physical and mental wellbeing, Aethos’ experiential offerings cater to the modern luxury traveller and the surfer community alike. Besides a gym and heated saltwater pool the spa area includes a hammam, a hot slab as well as treatment rooms. Complimentary e-bikes and beach buggies will allow guests to discover the property’s beautiful surroundings and nearby bike paths and beaches. In addition hotel guests have, as “Resident Members”, the same privileges as Aethos Members for the duration of their stay and can participate in all cultural and social events.
Architecture & Interior Design Project
To reimagine this former farm property, Aethos partnered with award-winning design studio Astet, based in Barcelona, and Portuguese architect Luis Pedra Silva. Together, they have created a unique hospitality destination that captures the textures, diversity and spirit of its surroundings: the ever-changing hue of the sand combined with the intense blue of the Atlantic Ocean and the earthy colours of the soaring cliff. “One of the challenges was making it work for every season,” says Ala Zreigat, one of the founders, “but we believe we were able to solve it by proposing a dialogue between cold and warm materials.” From warm wood, leather, velvet, rugs, and other fabrics to more noble materials, like stone and marble, the interior design project feels laid back yet elevated, with “a colour palette that reminds the guests where they are.”
Astet also considered that Aethos Ericeira is aimed at a young, striving community, including “nomads who love surfing, but also appreciate effortless luxury,” says Ala. The unpretentiousness of the space is materialized through several architectural and design choices that allow guests to “enjoy the pleasures life can offer.” He adds: “the proposal is very eclectic. You feel that it belongs to the context but is also like an international project where anyone from anywhere would feel happy and relaxed, that they belong and are not out of place”.
A Wellness Retreat
Indulge in the ultimate relaxation experience with a wide range of healing massages through the hands of inspired experts. Each journey begins with an exclusive aromatic welcome ritual that awakens mind-body relaxation, combined with natural ingredients and bespoke massage techniques. Aethos’ locally organic products are at the heart of its soothing pamper treatments. To receive your most desired treatments, Aethos will offer a one-on-one consultation before you visit to distinguish your personal needs and desired outcomes. From blissful massages to revitalizing facials, let their expert therapists nurture you.
Surf In Ericeira
Surf enthusiasts will not only appreciate individual storage for boards and wetsuits but can also take advantage of in-house surf coaching, as well as a dedicated surf concierge. Overall, there will be daily group surf lessons, and additional surf coaching sessions for families and/or groups (with a private coach) can be booked through an experience platform. Furthermore, surfers will get updated information and recommendations for the best surfing spot on their phones, thanks to the surf concierge — making Aethos the best starting point to explore one of Ericeira’s most remarkable features.
Conscious Food For Conscious People
ONDA, the property’s exquisite yet relaxed restaurant, invites guests to share and indulge in the flavours of contemporary coastal cuisine while taking in breathtaking views over the Atlantic ocean. The menu is inspired by the beauty and culture of its surroundings. The main goal is for people to come to ONDA and have a unique experience of sharing and discovering dishes that are cooked with love and appreciation for Portugal and its people.
Onda’s menus evoke conscious eating, responsibly sourced local ingredients, and myriad dishes that cater to every palate. Whether in the bar, on the terrace, or by the pool, Aethos has concocted the perfect setting for guests to enjoy a glass of wine in a vibrant atmosphere 40 meters above the ocean.
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