Nixon Design, Michael Sodeau and Conran & Partners work on Portuguese resort

The Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is opening in Portugal’s Algarve region, with branding from Cornish consultancy Nixon Design, furniture by Michael Sodeau, and a masterplan by Conran & Partners.

The five-star resort sits on a 25ha site overlooking Martinhal beach. It features a 38-bedroom boutique hotel, as well as more than 100 houses.

Nixon Design created the initial brand identity for Martinhal in 2004, according to the consultancy’s strategic director Toby Ash. Nixon Design had previously worked with the Luxury Family Hotels group, whose founders, Nigel Chapman and Nicholas Dickinson, part-own the Martinhal resort.

Ash says the consultancy was tasked with creating a brand that would ’differentiate the resort from the rest of the Algarve’, and Martinhal owner Chapman says, ’The resort is all about the location. It’s very important to get that across in a non-clichéd way.’

After creating the initial logo and promotional material, Nixon started work on refining the identity in January, as well as creating more than
20 sub-brands for restaurants, shops, spas and other facilities on the site. The masterplan for the resort has been created by Conran & Partners, with Portuguese practice JLTP Architecturo working on the building exteriors, and Carol Taylor from travel company Four Winds Resorts working on the interiors.

Michael Sodeau was tasked with creating furniture for the houses and hotel bedrooms. Chapman says, ’Our brief to him was to design something that will last indefinitely and will improve over time.’

Sodeau, who started working on the project two years ago, has used wood and locally sourced materials such as cork and granite. He says the aim was to create ’a soft domestic feel, not your standard contract pieces’.

The hotel opened this month, while the resort will be fully open by 1 July.

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel

Branding – Nixon Design

Masterplan – Conran & Partners

Building exteriors – JLTP Architecturo

Landscape design – Biodesign

Interiors – Carol Taylor from Four Winds Resorts

Furniture – Michael Sodeau

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