EXCLUSIVE: Interior designer Clodagh speaks to CLAD about the vision behind Six Senses' first European resort

by Kim Megson | 12 Jan 2016

In an exclusive interview with CLAD, New York-based designer Clodagh has revealed her inspiration for the design of the Six Senses Douro Valley resort, which recently opened in Portugal.

The resort and spa – the first to be operated by Six Senses in Europe – is located in a 22-acre, 19th century vineyard set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Speaking in the latest issue of CLADmag, Clodagh said the region’s rich history as a trade route inspired her and her team at Clodagh Design.

“As Portugal was on the silk route, we wanted to embody a sense of history in all our material choices,” she said. “We used burnished metals in the rooms behind the beds and the carpets through the corridors had green tones inspired by the water of the Douro river, where the play of light and shadow became like a welcome mat inviting visitors.”

In order to preserve the historic feel of the building, Clodagh revealed that the designers met the previous owners of the property to “discover the spirit of the place.” Subsequently old wine cases, raw steel and empty wine bottles were used as lighting fixtures and a collage of ancient Portuguese tiles and reclaimed wood was used in dining areas.

The resort features 57 guest rooms, a wine library, a gym and activities huts. A 24,000sq ft (2,230sq m) Six Senses spa features 10 treatment rooms and offers signature treatments inspired by the region’s wine culture. It also contains an indoor swimming pool, laconium, herbal bath, gym, experience showers, forest bathing and nail bar.

The resort also includes five hectares of surrounding forest that can be used for forest bathing, a Japanese term used to describe a gentle and quiet walk in the woods with senses open to sounds, smells, colours and feel of the forest designed to have a therapeutic effect on the body and mind.

“We flew to Portugal and were blown away by the light, colours and endless fields of grapevines,” said Clodagh. “Drawing on these colours and this already existing, unimaginably beautiful place, we dreamt up a scheme that tipped a hat to the past while still being totally contemporary and designed it to bring joy to every single visitor.”

Clodagh is one of CLADmag's chosen CLAD People in the latest issue of our quarterly magazine, which has just been released and can be read on both Digital Turning Pages and as a text PDF download.

Six Senses  Clodagh  Clodagh Design  interior design  design  architecture  UNESCO  Portugal  resort  spa  Six Senses Douro Valley  
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FEATURE: Interview – Craig Cogut

In an exclusive interview with CLAD, New York-based designer Clodagh has revealed her inspiration for the design of the Six Senses Douro Valley resort, which recently opened in Portugal. The resort and spa – the first to be operated by Six Senses in Europe – is located in a 22-acre, 19th century vineyard set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Speaking in the latest issue of CLADmag, Clodagh said the
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The resort is located in a 22-acre, 19th century vineyard set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site
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