We stop off at Largo Carlos Amarante, in the historic centre of the city, embellished by a 17th century fountain, lush flowers, old and well preserved façades and by the Church of Santa Cruz, built in the 17th century. In distant times, at least since the 12th century, this square was home to a hermitage dedicated to Saint Mark, and also to a hostel and a Templar convent, which became defunct in 1312, giving way to St. Mark’s Hospital, founded in 1508 by D. Diogo de Sousa. Braga Hospital has long since moved to another, higher part of the city, and the listed building had been empty since 2011. Vila Galé Collection Braga came about from the renovation of the old Saint Mark’s Hospital, respecting its historical and architectural aspect, maintaining the existing structure and recovering some elements, such as the original vaulted ceilings. This is the Vila Galé Group’s 30th hotel, a hotel with 123 rooms and suites, two restaurants (the Fundação, with buffet service, and the à la carte Bracara Augusta), bar, wine cellar, and outdoor swimming pools for adults and children. It also houses the Satsanga Collection Spa with indoor pool, gym and massage rooms, as well as eight meeting/event rooms, and also a space dedicated to innovation with 4K, virtual reality experiences and holograms.
Vila Galé Collection Braga came about from the renovation of the old Saint Mark’s Hospital, respecting its historical and architectural aspect.
When talking about this new hotel, Vila Galé’s chairman, Jorge Rebelo de Almeida, stresses: «Once again we have developed a project that revitalises and makes viable historical heritage that was not being used, breathing new life into a building that is remarkable in Braga». Boasting the ‘Collection’ sub-brand, Vila Galé Collection Braga has the history of the archbishops and of the founding of Portugal as its theme. And its motto is excellence, one of the reasons why it is one of the largest hotel groups in the world.