True luxury is being able to enjoy life barefoot, we read on the website of Barefoot Luxury, a brand new hotel on the island of São Vicente in Cabo Verde. It is located on the rocky hillsides that flank the Baia de João d'Evora and it is close to the charming port city of Mindelo. A beautiful location for a relaxing holiday resort.
Considering the colonial history of the island, POLO Architects designed the project with respect for the natural environment and local people. The choice of materials played an important role here: walls were built from raw concrete and basalt rocks dug from the surrounding valley as a reference to the Cape Verdean tradition. The villas of up to four storeys high are connected by a network of pathways also made of these basalt rocks. Local specialists from Santo Antao also lend a hand, “proving that it’s possible to create contemporary structures with local techniques and typologies," says Patrick Lootens, co-founder of POLO Architects.
Walls were built from raw concrete and basalt rocks dug from the surrounding valley as a reference to the Cape Verdean tradition.
What the team also had to take into account: the extreme winds that blow inland from the ocean. Guests may want a unique view of that ocean from their villa, but would also need protection from the wind. The pivoting panels are made of Kotibe wood from Portugal, a material that was also used in the villas, ensure this.
POLO Architects and Going East create the ultimate holiday resort where freedom and luxury are central, but also respect for the environment.
Responsible for the interior were Anaïs Torfs and Michiel Mertens of the Antwerp design agency Going East. According to the duo, they scoured the markets in Mindelo in search of objects that would connect the residences with their surroundings. In addition to Scandinavian-inspired furniture and objects, the hotel also has shark teeth, Awale game boards, wicker baskets and manioc mortars.
This is not a large-scale resort or busy tourist hotspot, but a place where you become one with nature and can enjoy the quiet and slow life barefoot.