Marketing and Communications Director of Sublime Comporta

Every hotel needs a soul and an ambassador. In the case of Sublime Comporta, they are owner Goncalo Pessoa and his Director of Marketing, Teresa Barros. When Teresa isn’t meeting with guests or a journalist, you can usually find her typing rapidly on her laptop at one of the small round tables next to the bar. Teresa is quick, straightforward, full of energy, and her life is a gallop between her home in Lisbon and her work in Comporta. We’ll meet you for a drink at Sublime.

The Niche Traveller: Teresa, tell us about where are you from?
Teresa Barros: I never quite know how to answer that question. I have lived in 4 different countries – England, France, Canada (for 30 years) and now Portugal.  If you ask me what nationality I feel I would say Canadian / Portuguese but I suppose I´m a “citizen of the world” – LOL

TNT: What connects you with Comporta?
Teresa: The simplicity and the beauty of nature.

TNT: What is the best thing about your job?
Teresa: I get to work in a place I love and tell its story – in the right way. Simultaneously, I get to meet incredible people from all over the world.

TNT:Tell us your 3 golden rules of hospitality?
Teresa: Hospitality is to welcome people.  To have them feel comfortable, catered to, pampered and constantly surprised. To surpass expectations.

TNT: Why stay at Sublime Comporta?
Teresa: Sublime Comporta is a place where a breath-taking natural environment comes together with elegance and achieves the perfect balance between design, comfort and respect for nature and its surroundings. It’s a place where time seems to have another rhythm.  Staying here is coming back into contact with one´s true essence, which in our “fast-paced” lives is more and more important.

TNT: How would you describe the atmosphere at the hotel?
Teresa: Unassuming luxury.

TNT: What does Comporta Style mean? How would you describe it?
Teresa: Comporta is a place where you can take off the „mask“ of who you „have to be“ in your daily life, put on your “Havaianas” and get back to your essence.

TNT: Where do you go to escape?
Teresa: I don´t have one place but several.  For me the perfect escape is one where I am surrounded by nature in a luxurious yet simple environment.

TNT: Your favorite place in the area?
Teresa: Sublime Comporta, of course.

TNT: What do you recommend people who are coming to Comporta for the first time?
Teresa: First of all, I like to manage expectations what Comporta is.  Comporta is a large area made up of 8 “areas/villages” and not just one cute little village. What is magical in Comporta, besides nature, is interacting with the locals while simultaneously meeting really interesting international crowd that understands the essence of the area. Comporta is about getting back to basics, remembering simplicity. Quality is in the simple things – great food, great wine and breath-taking environment.  Combine this with an beautiful, comfortable place and incredible people and you have all you need.

Comporta is about making friends when you least expect it. It is about getting invited to a dinner or lunch at someone´s house and the next day inviting them.  I definitely recommend interacting with both locals and foreigners as this is where the magic lies. I also recommend a horse-back ride along the rice fields, sand dunes and deserted beaches of Comporta as it is a fabulous way to get a feel for the area. I recommend a visit to the incredible artesanal fishing port of Carrasqueira, tasting some of the incredible Portuguese wines with some of the countries best sommeliers at Sublime Comporta, getting to know the resident dolphin community, having dinner in the middle of an organic garden at the Food Circle where you dine under the stars with the aromas of the garden.  Here only ancestral cooking methods are used and fire has a leading role.  The chef uses only organic produce. There are so many things to do in the area, it´s difficult to choose just a few.

INTERVIEW: Kerstin Bognár
PHOTO: Mia Takahara