A melting pot of Palm Springs nostalgia and European-chic collide to create fabulously fun 1950s-inspired décor at The Magnolia
Words: Laura Ewart, Ruth Bell
What do you get if you combine a 1950s Palm Springs motel aesthetic with a splash of chic contemporary European décor? Well, we think you’d get the fabulously fun Magnolia Hotel, a boutique retreat, which is part of the Quinta do Lago resort in the Algarve. Paying homage to the iconic ‘50s Americana look, there’s vibrant and stylish interiors and colour palettes aplenty, with each of the 74 rooms and seven vintage cabin-style cottages decorated elegantly – but with plenty of bright and bold nods to Magnolia’s blueprint.
The hotel is infused with unapologetically fun hues (think pastel pinks and turquoise) for a kitsch yet cool ambience. Designed by the award-winning Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, it captures the glory days of 1950s interiors ﬂawlessly.
The lobby bar (above and below) has blended Americana and Portuguese interiors for a distinctive and playful look. Light, fresh, uncluttered and contemporary designs have created a blissful holiday vibe that is easy to replicate at home. From eye-catching tiles to a fantastic use of complementary and clashing colours, cosy rugs and achingly-cool furniture (hello rattan chairs, perfect for sipping cocktails), it really does feel like you’ve been transported back to the best of the ‘50s thanks to the perfect blending of Portuguese and Miami-inspired interiors.
Statement tiles, vibrant bar stools and a fun light-up sign create a real wow-factor in the hotel’s main bar, which is adjacent to the fabulous pool. Light-up signs have been doing the rounds for a while, but they really are a fabulous addition to this scheme so hang them in kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms… anywhere that you think could do with a splash of fun.
Uplifting colours can be found everywhere at the Magnolia, even down to the bowls and plates in the restaurants. Another beautiful case in point is the sumptuous strawberry pink upholstery in the dining area, seen here contrasting with the yellow chairs and elsewhere as vintage-inspired booth-style seating.
The bedrooms embrace the Palm Springs colour palette teamed with vintage pieces, but do so in the subtlest of ways to bring a real retro-chic vibe. They’re light, fresh and uncluttered, avoiding fussy cushions or throws, and feature little bursts of colour, such as the pale green pillowcases seen contrasting with the otherwise pure white linen.
The bathrooms are designed to offer contemporary comfort and luxury with luxurious rain showers, oversized baths and double vanities in the larger bedrooms. Décor is softer than in the rest of the hotel to encourage relaxation – as can be seen in this bathroom from one of the cottage retreats. Simple white-painted timber walls and natural wood floor complement marble-effect tiles for a the calmest of schemes.
Nestled in the hotel grounds, among the pine trees, the cottage retreats provide secluded two-bedroom accommodation. In keeping with the ‘50s-inspired scheme, they’re painted in candy-bright pastels that bring brilliant colour to the landscape.
The design of this hotel extends to every detail. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the deep blue of the swimming pool contrasts so perfectly with the bright yellow and white pinstripe parasols and yellow sun loungers positioned around the edge.
Finally, if you're drawn to venture out of The Magnolia to explore more of the beautiful Quinta do Lago resort, allow yourself to be tempted by the Bovino Steakhouse (above). With interiors created by world-renown architectural designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, the Bovino is a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Bovino was once a 200-year-old Algarve farmhouse, which the team has transformed into a restaurant that effortlessly combines the history of the building with chic contemporary style. The success of the scheme speaks for itself – and the cooked-to-perfection steaks aren't bad either!