New five-star hotel for Algarve’s east coast


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Builders broke ground as part of a ceremony last week close to the historical village of Cacela Velha in Vila Real de Santo António to mark the start of construction of a new five-star hotel, Quinta da Ria.

The hotel is expected to be ready in March 2008 in time for the summer season that year.

The Quinta da Ria hotel will be located in the Ria Formosa Nature Park and will be nestled in between two golf courses, which have already been built.

The Robinson Group and the World of TUI have provided the financial backing for the Quinta da Ria hotel project.

The Robinson Group has been established since 1970 and has 24 developments in 10 countries. Max-Peter Droll, director-general of Robinson Hotels, said he was very concerned about the environment and the hotel will endeavour to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

The World of TUI has links to 16 countries and prides itself in construction projects that value the environment and actively avoid damaging surrounding natural areas. Since 1992, it has implemented measures in all hotel projects to support environmentally compatible hotel management.

Miguel Ângelo Silva, the head architect, was responsible for creating conference rooms for business guests as well as sport and leisure facilities for recreational guests.

The hotel will consist of eight, two-storey buildings with a rustic feel to the whole complex. The luxury accommodation will boast 185 bedrooms and 25 suites, with a total of 600 beds.

Adjacent to the hotel will be a health club as well as the Quinta da Ria Golf Club. The hotel developers believe that golfers will make up the majority of the clientele due to the close proximity of the two golf courses.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, the president of Vila Real de Santo António Câmara, Luís Gomes, said that he was very happy with the development and hopes it will bring many visitors to the area.

He said this hotel was a testament to the possibilities of hotel developers working in harmony with the environment in this conservation area. He was joined at the ceremony by the directors of The Robinson Group and the president of Tavira Câmara, Macário Correia.

The long-awaited project in Vila Real de Santo António has been in the pipeline for many years and an environmental study, published in March 2004 by Almaragem, an environmental association in the Algarve concluded that the new hotel project would not be detrimental to the environment.

Careful project management and concern for the environment was one of the reasons that the project has taken so long to be approved.

The Resident contacted Nuno Grade, the head of the Ria Formosa and said that he is involved in the project to ensure no damage is caused to the delicate ecosystem.

He said that it was a collaborative effort and was pleased that the hotel developers were just as worried about potential environmental effects on the conservation land as he was.

Quinta da Ria will create around 150 new jobs and the câmara hopes that it will be the dawn of a new age of high quality tourism for Vila Real de Santo António.