Inside W Algarve, designed by AB Concept

It’s ‘firsts’ all round on this project. W Hotels takes its distinctive energy to Portugal for the first time, while it marks the completion of design studio AB Concept‘s first full hotel and residences project in Europe. We took a closer look inside…

wave like installation in lounge at W Hotels Algarve

Located on the sun-drenched shores of the Algarve, where jagged cliffs merge with crystal clear waters, the new W Algarve shelters 134 guestrooms and 83 residences. With every inch of the property designed by AB Concept, the intriguing design scheme entwines the location’s striking natural scenery and rich Portuguese history with a sprinkle of the W brand’s signature style.

The destination’s mesmerising curved Benagil caves inspired the flowing design of the hotel’s interior spaces, while the colour palette of blues, aquamarines and turquoise nod to the azure sky and surrounding Atlantic Ocean. From fabrics and surfaces to tempting textures, each detail of the hotel is intentional. Guests will discover expertly curated art and spectacular lighting all telling the story of local traditions and heritage – from ceramics, mosaic and crochet to Moorish costume, fishing livelihoods and the destination’s surf culture.

“We love to create expressive designs for both experience and memory, creating both impactful first encounters and lasting impressions,” said Ed Ng of AB Concept. “We are delighted to be working with W Hotels Worldwide to bring our joint vision of W Algarve to life, combining the cultural nuances and local traditions of this beautiful region of Portugal with W Hotels’ inimitable flair for thoughtful, intriguing and imaginative design across its hotel and residences.”

W Hotels bar with Portuguese and Moorish design influences

Image credit: W Hotels

Guests arrive through an entryway inspired by an old local folklore tale featuring a fluid, curved feature wall adorned with infinity mirrors and Portuguese handmade ceramic plates made by Vista Alegre, a Portuguese porcelain craft company that has been in existence for almost 200 years. Designed in ethereal greens and blues and arranged in an abstract form, a mystical underwater feel is created the moment guests step through the doors.

The theme continues into the energetic W Lounge which features a mesmerising wave centrepiece installation made from glass panels, taking inspiration from Moorish jewellery and oceanic bubbles. With one side of the W Lounge opening out onto the terrace, the space is flooded with bright, natural light, creating an indoor-outdoor feel. The glamorous bar, decorated with custom-made Moorish-inspired tiles, features dramatic handblown glass lighting pendants all underscored by a 20 metre long onyx counter that extends from the interior bar to the exterior terrace.

W Algarve guestroom with colourblocked carpet and contemporary design

Image credit: W Hotels

The guestrooms all embrace a clean maximalism. Opposites attract as natural hues and materials marry colour. Custom-made furnishings and intricate local touches are peppered throughout including filigree bedside lanterns, dramatic backlit headboards designed in a nod to nearby churches, mosaics made from authentic Algarve ceramic tiles, and a crochet pattern that adorns the glass panel separating the bathroom from the bedroom, reflecting onto the bedroom floor as the light shines through. All rooms offer balconies with stunning views across the gardens and the Atlantic coast.

The 10 WOW suites feature rooftop terraces with endless coastal views. The Extreme WOW suite takes inspiration from Moura Encantadas, the supernatural beings from Portuguese and Galician folklore. In true W style embracing individuality and authenticity, guests are immersed the moment they walk through the mirrored foyer. Outdoors, travellers can luxuriate on their private deck, complete with a dining table, lap pool and unparalleled sea views.

The WET Deck is the W brand’s signature take on the poolside scene, and offers guests a stylish space to soak up the sun. Laid back cabanas surround the curved edges of the cascading pools that mimic the coastline. In addition, the Market Kitchen restaurant has been created with a neighbourhood ambience, taking inspiration from local markets using traditional Calçada Portuguesa patterned pavements, Azulejos tiles and typical style windows. It will offer a relaxed, rustic feel through the timber flooring, floor-to-ceiling tiling detail and louvred, window doors which open out onto the bright fountain garden, flooding the space with light. A tiled communal table in the centre of the restaurant and counter seating will complete the convivial atmosphere created by this space.

W algarve bar with portuguese and moorish design influences

Image credit: W Hotels

Sitting atop the hotel with panoramic views as far as the eye can see, Paper Moon, sister to the renowned Milanese restaurant, showcases a chic white interior and exterior, created with white timber and monochrome floors. Stylish and energetic, this is another seamless indoor-outdoor space; interiors are airy and light with windowed doors that open out onto an expansive terrace where guests can enjoy the peninsula’s breathtaking sights.

Moving from dining into wellness, the spacious AWAY Spa features six treatment rooms and a design scheme inspired by local fishing decks. The spa also incorporates a wet area with sauna, steam and jacuzzi and a covered outdoor relaxation area. The Beauty Bar – a relaxed, social space – is designed in pastel hues and incorporates the patterns of traditional Portuguese tiles, created in mosaic across the ceiling.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Marriott’s 8,000th property to open?

Main image credit: W Hotels