CABANAS NO RIO
Tucked into the tranquil Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, a little more than an hour’s drive south of Lisbon, are two small wooden fishermen’s huts, a tiny dock with a ladder leading down to the riverbed, and a simple plank walkway connecting the three. This is Cabanas no Rio, the latest in a collection of unique Portuguese properties—’hotels’ seems too imposing a word—all of them designed by the Lisbon-based architect Manuel Aires Mateus.
The developer first stumbled onto the two huts, now completely rebuilt by Aires Mateus and his firm, on a sojourn from nearby sister hotel Casas na Areia, four small houses set on a floor of silky sand. Designed to sleep just two, with a bedroom and bathroom in one building and a kitchen and living area in the other, Cabanas no Rio is impressively private without being too remote, just far enough away for a sense of escape, but still connected enough to offer Wi-Fi and an iPod dock.
Aires Mateus explains that his firm maintained the general shape and presence of the existing huts in a nod to local tradition, but remade them in reclaimed wood “burned by the sun,” then transported them to their current location on the back of a truck. Plain and clean, Cabanas no Rio offers a return to a simpler time, one as unencumbered and pure as the vision of the sun setting over the vast expanse of the Atlantic.
For more information, please visit CabanasnoRio.com.