The sleepy seaside village of Comporta has long-been a beloved holiday destination for the Portuguese, who cherished its bucolic, fisherman’s idyl. Located an hour-or-so south of Lisbon, think of the area of Comporta as Montauk from way-back-when. But when it comes to the international jetset, it took a quaint hospitality project to get them up to speed: In 2014, owner Gonçalo Pessoa opened Sublime Comporta, a rustic-chic 14-room hideaway surrounded by 17 acres of rolling sand dunes, lush rice fields, and towering pine trees. It’s a tall order that begets expectations when you baptize a hotel with a word like “sublime,” but right from the get-go, the property was living up to its name.
Thanks to the easy-going service, the purposeful but subtle decor, and, of course, the unforgettable beauty of its surroundings, Sublime was luring not only in-the-know travelers but also celebrities looking for an under-the-radar vacation spot to this previously secret pocket of the Iberian peninsula. And today, it’s become one of the toniest resort destinations in Europe. In fact, Christian Louboutin, long-time vacationer to Comporta, is soon entering to the world of hospitality with his own hotel not far from Sublime.
With its newly coveted status and a fan club that continues to grow, Sublime Comporta has been slowly fleshing out its list of luxury amenities: In 2018, several A-frame multi-room villas outfitted with their own pools were created as the first phase of a full-scale expansion. But this year, work on the hotel truly kicked into high gear with the unveiling of nine biological pool suites. While en-suite plunge pools are expected perks when staying at luxury beach resorts in Southeast Asia; not so in Europe. But what makes these pools especially unique is that there are no chemicals in them. Aquatic flora have been planted into and around the pool and other bio matter have mixed into the water to keep it naturally clean. This thoughtful holistic wellness strategy now also includes the on-site organic garden, a new gym with a pilates and yoga studio, and even a paddle board court.
The entire dining program has also been revamped this season. First, Tasca da Comporta—an indoor-outdoor eatery focusing on elevated petiscos (or shareable plates)—opened in June. It offers up a fantastic primer to traditional Portuguese dishes like the alheira (a type of sausage from the north) and Iberico pork cheeks in a red-wine stew. But for the serious foodie, the marquee culinary experience on property right now is the Food Circle, a 12-seat chef’s table experience introduced by Tiago Santos this summer. The intimate restaurant is surrounded by the very garden that helps inform the menu, which typically features nine to 12 courses, paired with natural wines from the country’s finest vineyards. The kitchen is influenced by the cuisine of the Alentejo, and is cooked only with open fire. Here, seasonality and inspiration determine what Santos and his team will prepare every night, making each dinner a delicious surprise.
Check out more pictures of Sublime Comporta below: