Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East

Barefoot Luxury holiday villas hide among Cape Verde's mountains

Polo Architects and Going East have paired cobbled stone walls with neutral interiors to camouflage this cluster of guest villas against Cape Verde's rocky terrain.

Decked out in materials that match its immediate surroundings, Barefoot Luxury has been designed by Antwerp-based studios Polo Architects and Going East to be "entirely trompe l'oeil".

Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East

"The Cape Verde archipelago predominantly houses a strange moon landscape with craters, bumps and rocks as far as the eye can see," they explained.

"It charms with beautiful shades of brown, ochre, red – and contrasts dramatically with the deep blue Atlantic ocean. Respect for the surrounding landscape was essential."

Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East

The collection of 12 stone-clad villas are nestled against the rocky hillsides of Baia de João d'Evora, a secluded bay on Cape Verde's São Vicente island.

Most of the local population resides in the nearby town of Mindelo, which is host to music venues and late-night bars.

Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East

Whilst ensuring that the villas don't interrupt the landscape, Polo Architects wanted guests to have maximum exposure to the sweeping sea views and natural daylight.

Each building is therefore arranged around a central outdoor patio that comes complete with a pool and kitchen area. Large panels of kotibé wood that front the space can be pivoted to minimise the strong winds that typically blow through the region.

Tall pergolas topped with strips of rattan provide shade to white daybeds and sun loungers.

Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East

Going East has then added a selection of natural-tone furnishings to the villas' interiors, which boast board-marked concrete surfaces.  Warm-hued timber has also been used to craft cabinetry and to frame the full-height windows.

"Most of the furniture in the villas is made by local artisans," explained the studio.

"We have searched the Mindelo markets for objects ranging from shark teeth to Awalé game boards, wicker baskets and cassava mortars."

Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East

Located just under 400 miles off the coast of West Africa, Cape Verde is still a largely untouched tourist destination.

Last year engineering firm WSP proposed erecting a carbon-neutral hotel in the country, which would look like a faceted concrete pod.

Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East

Much like Barefoot Luxury, the Olea Hotel was designed by Block722 Architects to blend into the rugged landscape of small Grecian village Tsilivi.

Sand-coloured plaster, chutes of bamboo and offcuts of wood were applied throughout its interiors.

Photography is by Francisco Nogueira.

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Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East
Barefoot Luxury hotel in Cape Verde by Polo Architects and Going East