There are places in the world where time stands still. Where man and nature come together so harmoniously – everything hums and breathes as though it has always been so and it will always be so. Areias do Seixo or “Pebble Sands” in English, is a one of these types of special places, situated in Santa Cruz, less than one hour from Lisbon, Portugal and uniquely surrounded by the sea, sand dunes and magical forest. It’s one of those places that seems to rise up from the earth seamlessly, it’s sustainability and commitment to the environment so purposeful that It exudes from it’s very pores.
For owners Marta & Gonçalo, their dream was to build a space where every single detail of the hotel contributes to the overall whole of receiving guests from all over the world, from any culture and walk of life, in a comfortable, sophisticated and familiar environment that tells the story of the land on which it stands. Each of the rooms and villas tells a different and special story. A common thread sneaks and snakes it’s way into your heart in the use of raw woods, dreamy, creamy linens and luxe stone work in both fireplaces & in-ground tubs which add to the ambiance, as well as an onsite restaurant that draws both it’s ingredients and inspiration from the surrounding flora and fauna.
Photographer Pedro Viela tells us photographing featured couple Rui and Debora on their wedding day in this setting was nothing short of spectacular. Especially because the couple sees Portugal itself as the third character in the narrative of their love story, falling in love in Lisbon, as fate would have it, though hailing from both near (him) and far (her). They wanted to exchange vows in a place that revered this particular place on the planet as much as they do, which they found in abundance in this magical gathering space of sea, sand and lush forest.
Tell us about the venue in general?
Areias do Seixo Hotel is situated in Santa Cruz, about 35 minutes from Lisbon ( Portugual's biggest city ). Its an eco hotel integrated into nature, with ocean view…
Tell us a little bit about the event you photographed.
It was a very emotional wedding. One of the most beautiful, fun, and emotional weddings I've come across. The couple met in college. but it was only in 2003 when their paths really crossed. They both chose to study in New York and they started dating. Rui wanted to return to Portugal to realize his dream of opening an advertising agency while Debora went to work for MTV.
They started building a life together. 10 years together have seen many good times, trips, moments of fun and many friends. They believe they were lucky to have met and the destination, Portugal, was a catalyst , since Debora come from South Africa at 16 and moved to Cascais , Rui came from Leiria and only came to Lisbon to college... it must have been fate that brought them together :)
What made this venue an ideal location for the event?
The venue's sustainable approach, gorgeous architecture and overall respect for nature.
Favorite existing design elements of the venue?
Every room is so different from the other, I like also the big stairs on the middle of the hotel.
Were there any areas you thought lighting was the best?
The sunset is amazing. The woods with the trees. The ocean view, the beach, the strong contrast and low light.
Any special drinks or eats you had in the surrounding area? What did you do while in the area? Fave shops? Fave restaurants?
There are nice restaurants nearby, with beautiful, fresh fish. The beautiful West Coast beaches are good for surfing. During summer its a nice place to be with friends and the night life is vibrant.
Please tell us some of the highlights of your experience at the venue?
The staff is very friendly. Areias do Seixo hotel is a very relaxed place, you feel it everywhere, with the environment with the architecture…Everything is well-designed in a peaceful environment. The owners are very friendly and make you feel at home.
What makes both the area + the venue a good destination for a group getaway or event?
At the venue, gourmet meals are prepared with fresh, natural ingredients in Areias do Seixo's restaurant, but you have other nice restaurants close at hand. The beaches are very good for surfing and the weather is spectacular with beautiful sunsets.
Did you meet anyone at the venue that you connected with or made a lasting impression?
Any inside tips??
The penthouse is great for a getting ready photography session
Venue: Areias do Seixo | Photography: Pedro Vilela Photography | Floral Design: Hélia| Videography: Video Art | Invitations: Bruno Roda | Hair Styling: Facto Bairro Alto | Wedding Dress: Joana Montez| Rings: Elements
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